Date   
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

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

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
 

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

Al Silverstein
 

Scott,
 
Your planned 3’ x 4’ layout with multi ovals is rather small. You will be limited in the type of engines and rolling stock that will transverse the curved portion of the track.
 
The ability of the command station to power your layout will depend upon the engines and rolling stock. Engines with sound require a lot more current than those with just a motor and lights. Even the type of lighting in the engine has an minor effect on the total current demand on the DCC command system. As a last note on powering the rails older engines often require more current than the new ones.
 
As one who has built a small N scale layout, 30” x 60” for display purposes for the local model railroad club I can testify to the following:
 
1) The feeders that I used in the construction of the above layout were 22 awg sold wires, color coded for red as rail A and black as rail B. I found, in my case, solid wire to N scale rails easier than stranded. Beware of heat which can warp or damage rail ties. I suggest you use some sort of heat absorbing clamps near were the feeders are to be installed. You should use any color code you feel comfortable with. I used to purchase my feeder wire from Radio Shack. Now I purchase it online from eBay. There are many sources to choose from no matter where you obtain the feeder wire.
 
2) I ran 14 awg stranded wire for rail bus down the center of the length of the layout using the same color code as that of the rails (red to red and black to black. Some modelers prefer to solder the feeders to the rail buss while others indicate using a wire tap. I have used both over the years. If access to the wiring is easy then either work sell. If access to the wiring is difficult then  you may want to use the wire tap.
 
3) Too many feeders does not hurt. Not enough feeds may cause problems. You can always add feeders if more are needed. 
 
The above layout has been electrically problem free for over 6 years.
 
The NCE Power cab is a great starter DCC command system for the small layout and single operator. You may want to consider a more powerful DCC command system that allows for easy multiple operators. Note here that the Power Cab can be used in conjunction with the NCE Power Pro system.
 
Al Silverstein
Model Railroader 53 years
N scale model railroader 30 years

Re: Small N Scale DCC Layout

RONALD ST.LAURENT
 

Scott,

It seems to me you would be good to go.  This would be no different than a large layout sectioned into blocks.

Ron


On Friday, September 14, 2018 8:07 AM, Scott <sesimon@...> wrote:


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

Tim Bowser
 

Track length or complexity really doesn't play into the power needs, it's what runs on it that'll determine the amp budget.  Given that N-scale locos have low power draw, I could see it working within the limits of the power supply.  With any additional draw, such as grain-of-wheat lit passenger cars, you'd be pushing it pretty close on 2 amps.

Small N Scale DCC Layout

Scott
 

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: Advanced Consisting

Mark Gurries
 

Today I am not aware of any US name brand modern decoder that do not support CV19.   Back early days up to around 2005, some models of decoder did not support CV19.  MRC and Digitrax.  I suspect that same is true for some old European brands other than Lenz.

On Sep 6, 2018, at 9:35 AM, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:

If you don't have info on a decoder in question... put the loco on the programming track, verify that you can read back the mfg and decoder ID. Then see if you can read CV19. If it comes back as a zero, chances are good it will respond to advanced consisting. If it comes back as a 255 or 'cannot read' there is no CV19 on that decoder and no advance consisting. Programming a short address number into CV19 should put into that particular consist. But if you are using NCE use their built-in easy to use advance consisting management features in the command station.

DonV

Best Regards,

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



Re: Advanced Consisting

Don Vollrath
 

If you don't have info on a decoder in question... put the loco on the programming track, verify that you can read back the mfg and decoder ID. Then see if you can read CV19. If it comes back as a zero, chances are good it will respond to advanced consisting. If it comes back as a 255 or 'cannot read' there is no CV19 on that decoder and no advance consisting. Programming a short address number into CV19 should put into that particular consist. But if you are using NCE use their built-in easy to use advance consisting management features in the command station.

DonV

Re: Advanced Consisting

Craig Zeni
 

If they support CV19, yes.  But I don't know if those decoders support CV19... you'll have to determine that yourself 

Craig Zeni
Cary, NC
Despatched from my infernal Android

On Wed, Sep 5, 2018, 10:35 <zimmermane@...> wrote:
OK, given that the command station controls the advance consisting data, can one use older decoders such as Soundtraxx LC100AT or even Lenz decodes in this set-up?

RicZ

Re: Advanced Consisting

zimmermane@...
 

OK, given that the command station controls the advance consisting data, can one use older decoders such as Soundtraxx LC100AT or even Lenz decodes in this set-up?

RicZ

Re: Advanced Consisting

Craig Zeni
 

With NCE the answer is yes... it's a combination of both.  NCE uses a great alias system in the command station along with the advanced consisting address in the decoder.  Use NCE's built in menu to set up the consist; it works extremely well.

It's primarily ancient decoders or inexpensive decoders that don't support advanced consisting.  Just check the specs when buying a new decoder.


Craig Zeni
Cary, NC
Despatched from my infernal Android


On Tue, Sep 4, 2018, 16:54 <zimmermane@...> wrote:
Is advanced consisting controlled by the decoder or the command station?  Will older decoders work with advanced consisting.  I have an NCE ProCab system.

RicZ

Re: Advanced Consisting

vincent marino
 

I have NCE and the pro cab controls the decoders consequently the pro cab controls the consists as well


Sincerely,
Vincent Marino
Vincent Marino
Affordable Roofing Contractors
Project Manager
904-260-7663 office
904-683-2914 fax
904-449-6339  mobile
www.bestaffordablecontractors.com 
 
The information contained in this message is proprietary and/or confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please: (i) delete the message and all copies; (ii) do not disclose, distribute or use the message in any manner; and (iii) notify the sender immediately.


On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 4:54 PM <zimmermane@...> wrote:
Is advanced consisting controlled by the decoder or the command station?  Will older decoders work with advanced consisting.  I have an NCE ProCab system.

RicZ

Advanced Consisting

zimmermane@...
 

Is advanced consisting controlled by the decoder or the command station?  Will older decoders work with advanced consisting.  I have an NCE ProCab system.

RicZ

New Easy To Make Terminal Strips

Carl
 

Hi Gang:
I just published an Instructables design for easy to make terminal strips. They are made of PVC trim and use hex head sheet metal screws for connectors. No soldering, no stripping, multiple connections are possible and changes are as easy as removing a screw. Check out the web site:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/
Or search instructables.com for Insulation Displacement Screw Terminals
Hope you find them easy to make and useful.
Carl.

Re: Placing an Auto Reverser on a Layout With Circuit Breakers

Tom in Texas
 

The PSX-AR will not work reliably if at all if installed downstream from a PSX circuit breaker. The PSX-AR has its own circuit breaker in addition to be an auto reverser so it should be powered directly from the booster

Tom in Texas

Re: Placing an Auto Reverser on a Layout With Circuit Breakers

redking56@...
 

Don, thanks for that follow-up analysis.

In the process of building my new layout, I have created 8 power districts. The four reversing sections are separate power districts, each controlled by a PSX-AR which also serves as a circuit breaker. The other four power districts are each controlled by a separate PSX circuit breaker. I have run separate buses from the output side of each PSX (PSX-AR) to the respective power district. So, in the event of a short in any one of the power districts, only that power district will shut down until the short is resolved.

Rich

Re: Placing an Auto Reverser on a Layout With Circuit Breakers

Don Vollrath
 

Rich... A followup on your original line of thinking is that a short circuit anywhere on the layout should stop all trains. This makes perfect sense on a single operator layout if you plan on letting a train run continuously on the main line loops while you busy yourself operating another to perform switching moves. This can be accomplished by dispensing with separate protected power districts (except for A-R sections) and let the single booster trip when there is a shorting problem, regardless of where it exists. Just be careful to be sure that the booster trip level is not likely to cause damage if it keeps recycling and pay attention to quickly find the issue and remove power while you fix the issue.

DonV 

Re: Placing an Auto Reverser on a Layout With Circuit Breakers

redking56@...
 

Don, thanks for that response. You're right.  I had not considered how the auto-reversers actually work. Fortunately, I have run separate buses for each of the four reversing sections. Incidentally, the circuit breakers are PSX units and the auto-reversers are PSX-AR units.

Rich