Date   
How to wire a large garden extension layout

kim_atkins@...
 

Hi,
I’m Kim and I Model UK O Gauge with a friend here in Western Australia.
I’m helping to extend his o gauge 8m end to end, garage layout into the garden. He is using a NCE Radio Procab handset linked to a SB3a 5amp system with a EB1 circuit breaker and a RB02 wireless base station.
I / we need help re what size the wiring will need to be and what further NCE equipment is needed.
The 8m existing layout has an extension of 6m twin mainline which will go into a storage area inside a shed, then the twin lines go out into the garden on a 10m long raised curved section which will then connect to a twin track oval approx 50m total run round in length.
So we need to find out how to add to the NCE system to allow us to use wireless procab hand sets around the garden area, which I assume means adding at least 1 x DB5 booster and because of the distances a second wireless base station linked to it?
We intend to wire each section of track and pointwork with 24 strand dropper wire but we are not sure on the size of the main bus wire.
All trackwork will be approx 1.2m above ground level so no buried wires.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Regards Kim

Dead track area dcc

vincent marino
 

How do you explain a dead track area when the voltmeter reads normal? 

Re: Dead track area dcc

Mark Gurries
 

On Jun 23, 2018, at 9:51 PM, vincent marino <vmarino2009@...> wrote:

How do you explain a dead track area when the voltmeter reads normal? 
_._,_._,_


You have a open connection.

Voltmeters can lie because they do not require any current to flow of any consequence to measure the voltage.  In other words you can have a very weak electrical connection that cannot support any current and the meter will say everything is OK.

The technical reason is the voltmeter has what is called a very high input impedance.   10 millions of Ohms AKA Megohms or input resistance so to speak.

You can see an example of this if you put the meter in AC mode on the lowest voltage setting and have each one of you hands hold one of the two test leads.  Watch…you have AC voltage!  Play around with this.

You body is acting like an antenna picking up electrical energy in the air.  The meter reads this very weak signal and display a value.

In electronics, one has to know the limitation of the test equipment they use.

Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: Dead track area dcc

Max Maginness
 

Is this in a section of plain track, part of a turnout or crossing or has rail joiners at one or both ends?

 

Seems likely you have a high resistance contact to that section – looks OK on a multimeter voltage range, but drops when any current flow is attempted.

 

Useful tool  - auto test light  – basically a 12 volt incandescent lamp in a housing with a probe at one end and a clip lead at the other.  Takes enough current to find this sort of  issue.

\

 

Max

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of vincent marino
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:51 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Dead track area dcc

 

How do you explain a dead track area when the voltmeter reads normal? 

Re: Dead track area dcc

Gregory Latiak
 

It is also worth considering the nature of the electrical contact between the pickup(s) and the track in that area. If your rolling stock has a single set of pickups it might be helpful to look very closely at how the wheels track over the area where there is poor conductivity. With my own screwups, mounting a camera at track level and capturing video while the rollingstock traversed the area can sometimes be very educational. And it never hurts to ensure that both the track and the wheels are clean as any crud will magnify other problems.

greg

Re: Dead track area dcc

Don Vollrath
 

As Mark G says... You have a high resistance connection to that particular section of track.
What does the voltmeter across the track say when a loco is stalled right there? Look for a poor electrical connection at a rail joiner to other powered track or a bropken solder joint in the wiring..

DonV

Re: Dead track area dcc

JerryG
 

I had a similar problem once, near the middle of a three-way turn out.  It seems that the rails were slightly wider than standard as they curved and sometimes engines lost power going through even though all my frogs were powered.  Spiking the rails into alignment solved the problem.

Jerry
________________________________________________
jerryg2003@...

Re: Dead track area dcc

emrldsky
 

There is probably a good electrical connection to the track, so it is not that.. Very probably there is a "slight" dip in one or both tracks, so one or more wheels is actually not touching the track. I have run into this a few times. Hold a long straight edge on each rail, individually and look for a gap between the rail and the straight edge.

Peace,
Mike G.

Re: Dead track area dcc = Get Physical

Glenn
 

I agree, you may have a bad connection that is not visible. A weak, oxidized contact can give a good meter reading since meters require very little current to operate. Motors require a lot more and a weak joint will not pass it.

Mechanically clean the rails by scraping or sanding. There maybe a coating or corrosion that the usual rail cleaners may not touch.

Try redoing the wire to rail connection if there is one. Unsolder it, clean the area including removing old solder, use additional flux if you can.

Try moving the rail joiners. use a little contact cleaner applied with a toothpick or such.

Solder/re-solder the rail joiners. If you need to, replace the joiners and solder.

Glenn





-----Original Message-----
From: Don Vollrath
Sent: Jun 24, 2018 5:18 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Dead track area dcc

As Mark G says... You have a high resistance connection to that particular section of track.
What does the voltmeter across the track say when a loco is stalled right there? Look for a poor electrical connection at a rail joiner to other powered track or a bropken solder joint in the wiring..

DonV

Re: Dead track area dcc

john
 

It could be track!  I have found a number of Rail Joiners that just don't make good contact. Although rare, it has happened. I have also discovered a number of cold solder joint connections on tracks. It happened more on Brass track than on Nickel Silver but I have them show up occasionally. It even happens inside soldered Rail Joiners too. 
Enjoy,
john


On Monday, June 25, 2018 12:09 PM, emrldsky <azMikeG@...> wrote:


There is probably a good electrical connection to the track, so it is not that.. Very probably there is a "slight" dip in one or both tracks, so one or more wheels is actually not touching the track. I have run into this a few times. Hold a long straight edge on each rail, individually and look for a gap between the rail and the straight edge.

Peace,
Mike G.


Re: How to wire a large garden extension layout

wirefordcc
 

Hi Kim,

My website has a table of wire sizes that are appropriate for each scale.  You can find the table for bus wires at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a26

For feeders, use this table:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a14

For general information on DCC in the garden, check out this page based on my garden railroad:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/garden.htm

Soldering to G-scale track takes a lot of heat.  If you can find clamps that will clamp your wires to your track, you may want to use those.  Be sure your track is clean where you intend to clamp it.

Putting boosters in your garden can be done, but keeping the water out of them can be difficult.  So if you can, locate your boosters close to the garden.  Twist your wires and use snubbers at the ends of your runs.

I've not used NCE equipment in the garden, so I'll leave the recommendations as to what equipment should be used to those with the experience. (I plan to use NCE equipment in my next garden railway, but that may be a few years off.)

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC

Re: Dead track area dcc

John Cahill
 

Ditto but mine was caused by the track being hit with a pin hammer on one side causing it to dip and then lose contact when certain locos entered the section.  Had to replace damaged section.
John

On Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 12:19 PM, JerryG via Groups.Io <jerryg2003@...> wrote:
I had a similar problem once, near the middle of a three-way turn out.  It seems that the rails were slightly wider than standard as they curved and sometimes engines lost power going through even though all my frogs were powered.  Spiking the rails into alignment solved the problem.

Jerry
________________________________________________
jerryg2003@...


Re: Dead track area dcc

Ron Still
 

Agree with Mike, had this exact problem with Atlas crossing. Drove me crazy till I figured it out!


On Jun 25, 2018, at 10:09 AM, emrldsky <azMikeG@...> wrote:

There is probably a good electrical connection to the track, so it is not that.. Very probably there is a "slight" dip in one or both tracks, so one or more wheels is actually not touching the track. I have run into this a few times. Hold a long straight edge on each rail, individually and look for a gap between the rail and the straight edge.

Peace,
Mike G.

Re: How to wire a large garden extension layout

whmvd
 

I was foolish enough to have a gently sweeping curve with a bit of camber. Possibly the biggest mistake I ever made - not even an LGB crocodile could get through... It looked spectacularly natural, but I had to go back to an ordinary flat curve because of contact problems.

Wouter

On 25 June 2018 at 19:20, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Hi Kim,

My website has a table of wire sizes that are appropriate for each scale.  You can find the table for bus wires at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a26

For feeders, use this table:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a14

For general information on DCC in the garden, check out this page based on my garden railroad:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/garden.htm

Soldering to G-scale track takes a lot of heat.  If you can find clamps that will clamp your wires to your track, you may want to use those.  Be sure your track is clean where you intend to clamp it.

Putting boosters in your garden can be done, but keeping the water out of them can be difficult.  So if you can, locate your boosters close to the garden.  Twist your wires and use snubbers at the ends of your runs.

I've not used NCE equipment in the garden, so I'll leave the recommendations as to what equipment should be used to those with the experience. (I plan to use NCE equipment in my next garden railway, but that may be a few years off.)

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC


Re: Dead track area dcc

Gary Chudzinski
 


IMHO, I would never depend on rail joiners for electrical conductivity.  I solder power drops every six feet, in the middle of two three foot sections of flex track soldered together using #18 solid wire (for Code 100 rail) on the outside of the rails. Could also use rail joiners, however, if the joint ever needs to be separated, it's a major unsoldering job! One has to be particularly aware there is power to the turnout's short sections of track exiting an isolated frog. I have yet to have any track power problems using these procedures.

Gary Chudzinki

Re: Dead track area dcc

Brad Ketchen <bketchen@...>
 

Gary.. I'd actually suggest feeders at every 3 foot section of track. And for turnouts..I have no problem with Micro Engineering turnouts...and I run DCC/DC with a DPDT switch. 

cheers,
Brad

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 10:19 AM, Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:

IMHO, I would never depend on rail joiners for electrical conductivity.  I solder power drops every six feet, in the middle of two three foot sections of flex track soldered together using #18 solid wire (for Code 100 rail) on the outside of the rails. Could also use rail joiners, however, if the joint ever needs to be separated, it's a major unsoldering job! One has to be particularly aware there is power to the turnout's short sections of track exiting an isolated frog. I have yet to have any track power problems using these procedures.

Gary Chudzinki


Re: Dead track area dcc

Jim Gray <n747jg@...>
 

Just a bit off of the subject, but I am just completing the wiring of a 30' x 20' HOn3 layout using Micro Engineering flex track and turnouts. NCE power for DCC with PSX cbs and PSX-AR auto reversers for loops. Everything is running pretty well, but on occasion my Blackstone locomotives will stall on a random turnout, especially when moving slowly. And often will start moving again on their own after a brief stall. I don’t think it’s a short even though it acts like it might be. Frog polarity is correct, in conjunction with the tortoise, and works fine 95% of the time.

Any ideas what my issue might be? Or is this just the nature of the beast?

Thanks!

Jim Gray
Denver, CO

Re: Dead track area dcc

Don Vollrath
 

Jim, If other equipment stays energized it is not a short circuit but an open one. Turn on the headlight and make it crawl through in either orientation or direction. If the light goes off, you lost power to the loco. Look for a poor or intermittent electrical connection to the movable point rails as the loco rolls through. Look also for a vertical bump that lifts the loco wheels off the rails.

DonV  

Re: Dead track area dcc

Glenn
 

We experience a similar problem on a friends 25-year old layout. The layout was built with Atlas and later with some Shinohara turnouts. DCC was employed a few years after. Because the layout was built as DC all four rails on the frog side of the turnouts have insulated joiners.

There are two NCE EB3's involved, however neither indicated a short. Testing with a meter is almost impossible as the engine restarts before a meter can be used.

The problem happens mostly with 6-axle diesels and one or two 8-coupled steam engines. Four turnouts act up. Three are Atlas, but only one turnout in a Shinohara double crossover. Engines stall on the turnout then restart most often without human assistance.

The diesels are mostly DCC-ized Athearn 6-axle engines. But not all have the problem. The steamers are Broadway Limited 4-axle. Before I put the decoders in, the diesels sat on the shelf for at least ten years. I used NCE basic decoders. The original motors were left in.

Of course the problem never occurs when you are eyeballing the site.

Oddly enough, I had put a decoder into an old Penn-line 4-wheel Plymouth diesel, it has no problems navigating the turnouts.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Gray <@747>
Sent: Jun 27, 2018 9:43 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Dead track area dcc
Everything is running pretty well, but on occasion my Blackstone locomotives will stall on a random turnout, especially when moving slowly. And often will start moving again on their own after a brief stall. I don’t think it’s a short even though it acts like it might be.

Re: Dead track area dcc

Brad Ketchen <bketchen@...>
 

Jim.. have you tried cleaning the track? I have a bright boy at the ready... could be something as simple as that! Just a suggestion.

Brad

On Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 9:43 AM, Jim Gray <n747jg@...> wrote:
Just a bit off of the subject, but I am just completing the wiring of a 30' x 20' HOn3 layout using Micro Engineering flex track and turnouts.   NCE power for DCC with PSX cbs and PSX-AR auto reversers for loops.    Everything is running pretty well, but on occasion my Blackstone locomotives will stall on a random turnout, especially when moving slowly.  And often will start moving again on their own after a brief stall.  I don’t think it’s a short even though it acts like it might be.   Frog polarity is correct, in conjunction with the tortoise, and works fine 95% of the time. 

Any ideas what my issue might be?  Or is this just the nature of the beast? 

Thanks!

Jim Gray
Denver, CO