Re: Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Marcus Ammann

Hi Mike and Don

Marcus here. Don, along with Allan you are the Men for wiring and many
things DCC, so Mike is in good hands already. I won't be able to add extra
scenarios apart from one.

I have come in on this discussion late and have not read all messages
closely to comprehend what is going on BUT Mike I see in this last message
you are using a Power Cab an EB3 and AR-1.

I personally have found that EB3s do NOT work correctly with a Power Cab.

Mike, looking back on my NCE-DCC Yahoo messages I saw that you reported to
only use PSX range of units with the Power Cab, why are the EB3 and now the
AR-1, being used?

Mike what happens with your dilemma if you use a PSX-AR instead of the AR-1?

Apart from this, maybe Mike you need to purchase an SB3a to go with the
Power Cab, for correct operation of all Circuit Breakers and Auto Reversers.

Sorry I have not had time to peruse the diagrams and comprehend what's going

I have made a page about using the Power Cab with C/Bs and A/Rs, at:

Hopefully this helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Mike G
Sent: Saturday, 30 October 2010 8:40 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Hi Don,

The puzzling part to me is that the entire setup runs just fine, as
expected, as long as AR-1 is not powered.

That means that the engine cannot run on any tracks in the wye (AR-1).

Why connecting AR-3 to it causes problems is an unknown. That is the issue I
am trying to solve. I may be forced to just power it as a fixed polarity
block until I get another AR unit. Seeing the issues I am having with just
the one wye, it will be very interesting to try to make the second wye work
- refer to the May 29 sketch.

I did install the low current jumpers in the AR units and set the CVs to
match - both have to be done. If that is not done, they will not work with
the PowerCab.

I am using the circuit breaker - EB3 - to divide the power from the PowerCab
into three districts. Then AR-3 tries to swap polarity and fails, one of the
LEDs on the EB3 flashes until the AR shuts itself off.

Mike G.

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 1:38 PM

Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Oh S... I've been ass-u-me-ing that you have a more powerful/compatible
system. In all probability the wiring fundamentals are being met and we have
an issue of interacting electronics. What version of the PowerCab do you
have (see display when first turned on)? What power source are you using?
Any use of an SB3? Or is it an SB3a? What is the source of power? Where do
you have the sensitivities set for the PSX-AR? Have you tried simply
re-adjusting the trip level for auto-reversing downward and adjusting the
trip level for shutting down upward? (provided your version HAS adjustments)

I'm no expert on that as I don't own either item. [Jumped in years ago with
a 5 amp NCE PowerHouse Pro and never looked back.] I just know that the
PowerCab is not powerful enough to be compatible with every type of A-R
unit. Supposedly later versions of the PSX-AR can be adjusted to work with
the PowerCab. See
Perhaps someone else can step in to offer step-by-step setting advice??
Marcus, Mark Schutzer, are you out there?

I know other folks are struggling with similar issues. A quickie search
brought me to... message # 60710 of the NCE forum on Yahoo...

Hi Shaz,
Not sure what you're saying, but pins 1 and 2 on J6 on the PSX-AR,
are to be joined for a Power Cab, setting it for 1.27 amps.
The inputs of the PSX-AR are to be connected to DCC, the outputs of
the PSX-AR goes to the track within the reversing loop.
The inputs of the PSX-AR need to go to live track (DCC to be present)
otherwise it won't work.
It's all explained on the paperwork that was supplied with the reverser.

If you are not a member of that forum, as an NCE user you should be.


-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... <>
[mailto:WiringForDCC@... <>
] On Behalf Of Mike G
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 2:07 PM
To: WiringForDCC@... <>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Hi Don,

Thanks for working on this with me. I have embedded my answers in your text

From: WiringForDCC@... <>
[mailto:WiringForDCC@... <>
] On
Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 11:23 AM
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Thx for continuing to work on this Mike. Re-reading your note below...It
causes a booster/CB shutdown then the loco is totally and only within AR-3??

I just did a re-check. It shuts down as the engine crosses the gap between
AR-3 and the fixed polarity track to the west of AR-3. Moving in a clockwise
direction, or a counterclockwise direction causes AR-3 to shut down

Something else is wrong here. What actually cuts out...booster, CB or

The AR-3 unit shuts down

How do you know?

All the lights on the AR unit go off, the PowerCab still shows a readout

What brand A-R unit are you using?


Does your DCC feeder to the input side of the AR units pass the 'quarter

The input side (fixed polarity) shuts down the system if shorted rail to

How about if you cause a short within the reversing section(s)? Can you
traverse around each 'balloon' track of AR-2 and AR-3 in both directions and
through all of the turnouts OK while avoiding the AR-1 section? (3
entrance/exits each to each balloon loop, always facing opposite but fixed
polarity tracks in at least one of those locations.)

I can if the connection form AR-3 to AR-1 is disconnected. If it is
connected, then exiting from any reverse loop into a fixed polarity section
causes the AR to shutdown

The only way to get from AR-3 to the track section marked AR-1 is through
either the East or North-West fixed polarity sections of track. What
direction are you moving CW or CCW?

The first problem showed up moving from the fixed polarity section on the
south into AR-1 moving clockwise. The run was from AR-2 into the fixed
polarity section into AR-1.

At which gap does the trouble occur? [Use o'clock notation with the marked
North at 12 o'clock.]

The engine halted at the gap at the south end of AR-1

I don't see why, unless the train actually reaches around the NW corner from
AR-3 to AR-1 tracks touching both sections and the fixed polarity of the NW
corner at the same time, but try reversing the L-R rail connections to the
AR-1 section, but keep it powered from AR-3 auto-reversing unit.

I will try this after lunch

Are you sure there is no other connection from the rails of AR-1 track? Do
you have all 3 locations of double track gaps blocked w/ plastic to
positively stay open? Also check all the other gaps while you are at it.

All of the gaps have been checked visually and with an ohmmeter

A voltmeter and putty knife also works! One tends to use what they have. But
sensitive auto-ranging AC voltmeters can give misleading results on DCC when
you don't notice where the decimal point is located ('cause you've got your
head under the table) and it is actually showing mV as uA of stray leakage
current into an open circuit.

The lowest setting on my meter is 200 vac, and so far I have had three
digits showing.

My test tool thingy is from the automotive/trailer shop. Wire and clip lead
on one end. Pointed awl on the other. 12V lamp in the handle. It draws
enough current to prove that power is really there and is always detected by
track current sensors. I've outfitted one of them with a R/G LED and
resistor in parallel with the lamp to also indicate if it is seeing AC or DC
and in the case of DC, the polarity.

I think I have one of those around here somewhere.

I was considering using a three lead LED and resistors monitoring the track
to show something or other. I was hoping for turnout position, but with the
AR in the works, that may not work anymore.

Don't beat on yourself too hard when you find the problem. So far there is
no smoke :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... <>
[mailto:WiringForDCC@... <>
] On Behalf Of Mike G
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 12:06 PM
To: WiringForDCC@... <>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Hi Don,

That is the sketch I am looking at. East is at the bottom. Your NSEW
annotations are on it.

Gaps are as indicated. All works just fine when the AR-3 to AR-1 connection
is not there. Both reversing loops work fine and the outer loop around the
east end works just fine. The only issue then is that since the AR-1 Wye is
not powered, nothing can run in it.

I have done my testing using a voltmeter and a putty knife instead if a
light bulb and a jumper wire. I also have run the engine in and out of AR-2
and AR-3, and onto the main. The entry and exit points at the east end have
been tested as well, and the engine runs back and forth there just fine. The
problem appears when I connect AR-3 to AR-1.

I have the same rail in the AR-1 and the AR-3 connected to the same output
terminal of the AR-3 unit.

The 29 May sketch is where I need to get to eventually. That is not being
used or built right now.


Mike G.

From: WiringForDCC@... <>
[mailto:WiringForDCC@... <>
] On
Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 6:45 AM
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

I'm looking at file I posted labeled "one solution" dated 5/27/10. Are you
looking at the same sketch? I put a NSEW direction indicator on it, but the
posting is rotated with East toward page bottom. Do you have the gaps as
indicated in that diagram? The path from AR-2 to AR-3 passes through a
section of fixed polarity track on the east end which should cause both
reversers to self align with that polarity. Sounds like your AR-3 unit is
not working.

With AR-1 actually wired to the track of AR-3, and that also doesn't work,
sounds again like your AR-3 reversing unit is not functioning. Got the
In-Out terminals right?

For testing: Check polarity alignment at track gaps by with a small 12-14V
light bulb jumpered across the same rail side gap. If it lights, there is
opposite polarity. Use a temporary jumper wire to force a gap closure, like
a loco would by rolling around the track paths. The A-R units should self
align so that the bulb always extinguishes at every place there is opposite
polarity. As you are troubleshooting the wiring, verify the action at both
left and right rails.

I see there is another sketch posted dated May 29. Hopefully you are not
looking at that one, as involves yet another wye tack.

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... <>
[mailto:WiringForDCC@... <>
] On Behalf Of emrldsky
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:12 PM
To: WiringForDCC@... <>
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Third Automatic Reverser Problems

Hi Don,
I hooked things up per the last suggestions in the thread "Third Automatic
Referring again to the diagram, a short happens as the engine goes from AR-2
through the reference track on the south side into AR-3.
Everything shuts down when the engine crosses from the reference track into
AR-1 entry in the south side.

If I move it by hand into AR-1, it runs fine across the shortcut into the
reference track on the north side and proceeds into AR-3. It passes the gap
o.k., but as soon as it is entirely in AR-3, the AR unit shuts down

Mike G.



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