Re: Auto Reverse Loop
I think you want to do what I am doing. I have a point-to-point layout with balloon tracks at each end. I haven't put this on my website because I'm using DS-54's to control my turnouts and the DS-54 is obsolete.
There are a number of products on the market that will do the trick. The concept is simple. I will be putting more on my website about this. I'm adding more on reversing this weekend in response to all the traffic on this chat group.
I use Tortoise switch machines with a relay that reverses the polarity of the balloon track.
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a46 Will show you a simple way to control a reverse loop and a tortoise. This weekend, look for a reverse loop controlled with a DCC turnout controller.
1. A DCC stationary address (turnout controller).
2. You may need a relay, as I use, if you need to use your contacts in your tortoise for signaling feedback.
3. Two photo sensors.
4. A device that will generate DCC commands when switch inputs are activated.
Connect the photo sensors to the inputs of the device that generates switch commands. You will need to configure it to generate the DCC commands for your loop's throat turnout.
The loop will need to be big, about 3x-4x, the length of your train. You need to make sure of two things.
a) your sensors need to be far enough away from the turnout that the Tortoise will through before your locomotive reaches the turnout at the throat.
b) you need to make sure your train doesn't cover both sensors at the same time.
Pretty simple. When we are open to the public for train shows, the train just continuously runs, running around the balloon track and tripping sensors. By the time the train reaches the throat, the turnout is thrown.
Wiring For DCC