Date   
Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Scott
 

Tim,

Thanks for the response. Yes I have considered that and figured I could always add the SB5 for more power while also gaining the ability to unplug the Power Cab  and walk around. I may opt to add that now - just haven't decided if I want to spend the extra money!!

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Scott
 

Al,

Thanks for the great reply. I am pretty familiar with basic electrical work and have been doing a lot of reading on DCC. I think based on the size of my layout a 16 awg stranded bus wire will be sufficient. I think I am going to bite the bullet and get the SB-5 which will give me 5 amps of power and the ability to unplug the Power Cab and also add other controllers if I want to. I think with such a small layout one will be plenty.

Access to wiring will be similar to what you described for your layout. I will most likely use taps for the feeders. Plan was to have two feeders for each track at opposite ends of the layout. 

The outermost oval will be 11 1/4 radius which I think should allow for our planned passenger train. The inner smaller loops will use shorter loco's and rolling stock. We have nothing smaller than 9." Obviously with this small of a layout we are a bit limited but the plan is to have 2 or 3 tracks at table height with one having a small incline and decline. The other two will be at levels 2 and 3 above the table. 

We will probably do some tweaking as we start actually laying things out but that is the initial plan. If things go well, we may look to do a larger set up (or at least I might) at some point in the future. 

The only unanswered question is with regard to circuit protection. Should I separate each track with its own protection or is one on the main bus sufficient for layout this small.

Thanks

Scott

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Glenn
 

Scott,

Your wiring is sound.

The basic power supply should be enough for four loco's.

If you get a booster, get the DB5 Smart Booster Part # 05240027, not the standard booster. This booster is made to be used with the PowerCab, the standard booster is not.

Glenn










-----Original Message-----
From: Scott
Sent: Sep 14, 2018 7:48 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Small N Scale DCC Layout

Hello all new to the forum –

 

After years of being out of the hobby and never having used DCC, my son and I decided to build a small N scale set. With a foot print of only roughly 3’ x 4’ we are planning to have 4-5 separate tracks and loco’s running. I wanted to set it up for DCC control but am having a little difficulty finding an answer to my main question, which is, can we power the entire layout from one NCE Power Cab? According to information I found on NCE’s website, I should be able to control up to 8 loco’s so I think we are good, my real question is on the wiring to make this happen. Each track will be no more than 12’ in total length, so my thought is to run my main bus wire of probably 16 or 18 gauge and then run two feeders to each track at opposite ends off the bus using 22 gauge. There will only be one turn out off one track with return to same track. With such limited space we are keeping it somewhat simple in that respect. Any suggestions or am I totally off base with what I am planning? Do I need more than the 2 amps the power cab supplies because of number of separate tracks or overall rail length? Should I break the layout into blocks and have circuit protection off the main bus for each track?

 

Thanks

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Jay
 

Scott,
Just an FYI, I have a large N Scale layout.
It is one big block. No isolators.
I run 2 double headed trains at a time.
The layout barely pulls 1 Amp.
Maybe 1.2 Amps when the engines are cold.
This is what my RRamp Meter is telling me.
It is wired between the Command Station & the track.
My base load is about .75 Amp at idle.
That is because I have over 30 engines on sidings ready to go.
So, 4 engines pulling trains are barely pulling over .5 Amps.

Jay

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Glenn
 

Scott,

Since your tracks are not connected to each other, you have blocks. I suggest getting two terminal strips and running feeders to each track. 18ga wire (lamp cord) should be adequate for this.

Use one strip for each side of the polarity. You could also use half of an 8 or 10 position strip. That way you can separate a single track if needed.

You may want to have some protection in the main feed.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott
Sent: Sep 14, 2018 10:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Small N Scale DCC Layout

Ron,

Thanks for the reply. So do you think I should separate the tracks into different blocks with separate circuit protection or with such a small layout would you not bother and just protect the main bus feed?

Scott

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

RONALD ST.LAURENT
 

Scott,

If you want the other trains to continue to run then you should use circuit breakers.  If you don't mind everything stopping then you need do nothing.  Your main unit contains circuit protection.

Ron


On Friday, September 14, 2018 10:23 AM, Scott <sesimon@...> wrote:


Ron,

Thanks for the reply. So do you think I should separate the tracks into different blocks with separate circuit protection or with such a small layout would you not bother and just protect the main bus feed?

Scott


Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

Mark Cartwright
 

On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 07:30 AM, Scott wrote:
The outermost oval will be 11 1/4 radius which I think should allow for our planned passenger train.
Scott, I was not going to say anything till I began to read Planned Passenger Train.
Which One?
Please, I do not believe you can get any Passenger Train, even short 1880's types on a 11 1/4 Radius; to work effectively even with truck mounted couplers. What I mean by effective, is that you won't end up frustrated by the whole process of Surviving Your First Layout.
====
https://www.nmra.org/rp-11-curvature-rolling-stock
Yes, but are those specifications with single rolling stock or in an ever increasing length of train upwards of a Prototype; along with Prototype Details ?
Let me figure out how to say this...
Human Nature should be applied to understanding the creation of NMRA's RP-11; (even the dynamics/politics of any organization with opposing committees) and further in how the specifications are already minimized, not optimized nor maximized, hence are not quite up to what may actually be needed. Then further, how N Scalers in particular, are seemingly always constrained for space.
That is ...
Even if you write it down...
P
All Diesel locos. All
Electric locos.
All passenger cars. All freight cars

and hence state the P Minimum Radius is 21.5" = Your typical (even best) N Scaler will attempt a layout at a 19 inch radius. This 19 inches then becomes their specific reality (mindset), where all things measured and operated are at that level. (In Old Psychology, this was called Hysteria.)
You then accept your minimal radius, as is; yet struggle against it.
What might happen however...Beyond the Minimal Radius of 21.5 inches...Say begin again with a Minimal Radius of 22 inches?
====
As read, I believe you are describing a layout which should be set to NMRA Specifications N/O; with this specification, I know you can begin to run Passenger Trains. 
====
For other comments, I chime in with Al Silverstein and Others....
Well nearly, I would suggest if at all possible to go to a length of 60 inches for your first layout. (There is a Test Layout as I call it, leaning up against the wall just outside this room and it's 32 x 56 inches which I increased from 30x56. It would have greatly benefitted by just a few inches in both length and width. Three days ago I began a 50" x 88" Test Layout; rectangular in nature but could be extended into an L Shape.
Good Luck in Surviving Your First Layout...and then you can be just like us...Still not 100% sure of what we are trying to do.
Mark

Also for your first layout, stay away from DCC with Sound, lighted passenger trains, steam locomotives and perhaps seriously consider Kato Unitrack.
Do not try to Hand-Lay track for your first layout.

Next Test Layout 50" x 88" ...Before I go on to make an even Bigger Mistake.

Mark Cartwright
 

Years, ago; a friend of mine got this Gleam in his eye...Where you going? I said, To meet up with my next ex-wife.
Yes, he married her and yes, they got divorced.
One might think, we could eventually learn; but where's the fun in that !
=====
Before, I go on to making an even Bigger Mistake in a Main Layout....I have decided to first create a 50" x 88" Test Layout, just beyond the ramifications/specifications of NMRA's RP-11.
=====
Perhaps I should mention, I have tested nearly 200 different N Scale Locomotives and 199 of them run effectively on 28/30" Radius at 1.5% or lesser Grades, along with #10 or greater turnouts.
What I don't know is what happens to the Fleet at between 22" to a 24"radius; with only #10 layouts on a standard grade of 1.5%....Also to complete a turn yet travel over an Operational (Lionel) Bridge with a full train in tow. Took me some time, to learn NOT to test a layout with a single locomotive.
Ever try to run a prototypical train of today with 158 cars, with 8 consisted, speed matched locomotives?
Good Luck with that !
=====
To begin with...
This Test Layout will begin with basically two parallel Outside Radius.
Beyond that ?

> I really do not know, I have a specific need in me to create a Semi-Begginng Rail Layout, best described as what the Central Pacific was doing to Northern California circa 1881; but what I will probably end up with is something more akin to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe circa 1900 in actual trackage.
WYE?
Cause that is what I grew up with....Cross-Tie Walking the old rails of the ATSF, Southern Pacific and Western Pacific. Many of these old rails have been taken out by Modern UP and BNSF Railroaders. Yet, I find within myself a mindset of what I grew up to know. Maybe BNSF/UP modern specifications; for my next Main Layout, but I have no plans for Concrete Ties on this layout; nor high speed rail.
Instead....(belaying my totes full of Kato Unitrack, nearly all salvaged from other people's layouts) I am considering for this one to go Atlas Code 55 with it's ready made #10 Turnouts.
I may create one or two #12's with Fast Track Jigs or already partially assembled by BTS. These will probably all be controlled by ESU Servers.
========
Further, what I am not yet satisfied with ...Are any basic Track Plans as found on the internet.
One of the best selected, for example has two major conflicts in it, which may derail my N Scale Brass Steam Locomotives with DCC and Sound.
Further, I have already grown flustered with the basic rectangular shape. This frustration began nearly as soon as I began an attempt to lay down some basic Northern California Scenery, along with renditions of prototype Civil War Era buildings, known to exist in 1895. However, as soon as I sided this 50" x 88" layout with yet another hollow (32"x71") door, recreating it into an even bigger L Shaped Layout, a smile returned to my lips.
===
This all prompted me to move out of my downstairs bedroom and move upstairs; taking over the entire floor.  (My main Train Room is below this.)
Seems I can't get out of my own way.
===
Now back to DCC Wiring....?
I have been using Kato Unitrack mostly for the past 5 years.
Today, at least for this test layout, I am considering using Atlas Code 55...but not on modules as I have previously created.
Instead, going back to a near old school method of continuously soldered track with a drop down 12 Gauge Lead, every 18 inches.
At best there may be just one snap together junction, at the apex of the L.
Both Tables so to speak; are on their own rolling base. However, even at this juncture, I may solder it all as well.
Here is my Mindset of Today.
LokSound DCC in N Scale Brass Locomotives, with their DCC Controller being an ESU ECoS.
Derails, Glitches and Decoder Resets...Oh My!
I would really like to stop divorcing all my layouts, as I have done so many times before.
I just turned 65, I am gettin too old to Continue to Begin Again; so I am considering a continuous solder.
Mark

See the problem yet with a 50" Width on one side but only a 32" width to the other?
I may soon regret not widening the 32" width to at least 40 inches.
This L offshoot however, will not directly affect my double 24/22" Parallel Test Ovals.

Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

wirefordcc
 

I've made some updates to the Wiring For DCC website.  Here's the link to the What's New section:  http://wiringfordcc.com/wirefordcc_toc.htm#a1

Topics
include:

1.  Radio Shack has an isle at Hobby Town.
2.  George T. Galyon's HO Turnout Compendium.
3.  Using a command station in booster mode could result in runaway trains.
4.  Using circuit breakers and auto-reversers.

More on the way!  In the meantime, enjoy!

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Jerry Michels
 

Allan,  Thanks for updating "The DCC Bible!"  I truly enjoyed reading the new material. You efforts have made a huge difference in our ability to correctly wire the Amarillo Railroad Museum layout.

To the larger group, our layout invested a lot of our capital in Digitrax PM42 circuit breakers quite a few years back.  However, most seem to be of the opinion that DCCSpecialities PSX-ARFB, specifically equipped with block detection and network feedback as being superior to the PM42s.  Looking at all the data I can find, I have to agree.  But my concern is the price.  We have over 60 blocks on the layout, at the going price (approximately $60), this would take over $3,600.  I wonder if this sort of investment outweighs staying with the PM42s.  

Thanks,

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

wirefordcc
 

Hi Jerry,

Thank you for the kind words.  And thanks for helping justify the time I spend doing this!  Now that I am retired, I'm getting to spend more time on my website.  Right now, I'm reading Digitrax and NCE manuals to get caught up with the world.

BTW everybody, we've all heard about the new Peco Unifrog turnouts.  I hear they are not in code 83 yet.  When they are, someone drop me a line or post here on this forum if you find out before I do.  I'll buy one right away and will post my findings on my website like I've done for the other Pecos.

I have a PM42 and used it for a long time before I bought a PSX-AR.  I bought the PSX-AR because I found the trip and release points of the PM42 tricky to set.  I could never seem to have something that always worked with all my sound equipped locomotives.

I've never loved the edge card connector. You need to add in the cost of the connector when you are figuring on using a PM42.  If you don't want wires yanking on the edge card connector, I went and ran wires from the edge card connector to a terminal strip where my track bus wires tied in.  You don't have to do this, but if you do, figure in the cost and the time to do this.

That being said, if you are using PM42s and they are working well for you, by all means, keep using them!

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

 

The only one that seems available right now is the double slips.

https://www.amazon.com/Peco-SL-U8382-Double-Turnout-Unifrog/dp/B01EUACBJ8

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Don Vollrath
 

I agree. If it works there is no reason to change.
DonV

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

redking56@...
 

The Peco Double Slip Unifrog is excellent. It is, indeed, "easy to use and install" (and wire).

I recently purchases four of them as part of my passenger station track complex.

Rich

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

 

i think this might be a mistake in pricing here:

https://tonystrains.com/product/peco-sl-u8364-ho-code-83-with-unifrog-6-crossing/

A good buy .

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Keith Elrod
 

Modeltrainstuff.com has it at $32.99 and Trainmastermodels.com (Buford, GA) has it at $23.37. I shop both these stores on a regular basis.

Keith

On Sep 28, 2018, at 8:22 AM, Dennis Cherry <dbcherry@...> wrote:

i think this might be a mistake in pricing here:

https://tonystrains.com/product/peco-sl-u8364-ho-code-83-with-unifrog-6-crossing/

A good buy .

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Rob Powers
 

Awesome, and thanks. 

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Tom Stephens
 

This link is for a #6 crossing – not a double slip switch.
I would expect it to be cheaper.
Tom
 

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

redking56@...
 

Yes, the double slip will cost you over $80.

Rich

Re: Wiring For DCC Update Announcement

Kurt Konrath
 

A lot less if you build your own!

But much easier to buy one!

I hand lay most of my switches with Fast Track jigs. 

Kurt


On Sep 28, 2018, at 4:29 PM, redking56@... wrote:

Yes, the double slip will cost you over $80.

Rich