Re: Automatic Train Control

Jan Frelin <jan.frelin@...>

At 11:18 2005-07-01 -0700, Mark Gurries wrote:


My club has a requirement for a tram that just goes back and forth
between it's terminal track and staging/storage. We want this to be
automatically controled. There are several kits for doing just this on
the market, but all I have found are DC based. As this track is
connected with the general layout, we would prefer a DCC solution, but
this seems to require a computer, a computer interface, and track

My question is: Is there a simpler solution with DCC? What's the
cheapest DCC-based solution (without building your own hardware or
Nothing is simpler or more cost effective than a DC solution.

DCC has layout automation software for DCC.


is an example of such software.

But you will need a computer, a computer interface to the DCC system,
sensors in the track (DC will need that too) and do some programming.

Definitely more expensive and requires a computer running to make it
happen. The DC solution would be hands off easy to setup and forget.
That's what I suspected, thanks for confirming.

Some thoughts...

Generally mixing DC and DCC is not recommended by anyone. I can result
in destruction of a booster, DC throttle or both if both power sources
connect to each other. (DCC is a form of AC power) If you must run DC,
the recommendation is that one have a master switch that toggle the
whole layout between DC or DCC but NEVER both at the same time. Many
layouts have done this successfully. There was an article about how one
club did it in MR magazine.

If you MUST have DC and DCC present, there are some recommended rules.

1) Isolate at least a 12: section of track the goes between the DC power
section of the layout and the DCC powered portion of the layout. A no
mans land with not power. Using a momentary center off switch, you
would toggle the power of the dead section of track to DC or DCC
depending on which side of the dead section of track you need to get
power from. The key is momentary switch. A standard toggle will no be
safe for you will forget to turn it off.
That solution is something like what I had in mind. We don't want any
rolling stock straying into the way of the automatic tram, anyway.

Thanks for a comprehensive answer.


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