Date   
Re: Reversing Loop Controlers

Harlan Boyce
 

I use DCC Speciality PSX.AR. Really good units

Boyce's iPhone

On Jan 2, 2019, at 1:46 PM, Al Silverstein <alsilverstein@...> wrote:

Tim,

You have a number of choices depending on the construction of your reversing section. If you want automatic phasing then the three most common devices that I am aware of are the DCC Specialties PSX.AR, the MRC AD520 and the Digitrax AR1.

If your reverse section is where the track double backs upon itself like a simple loop and if your turnout point control device as spare DPDT contacts then you
could just wire the contacts of the turnout point control device to handle the power to the rails something like the DPDT toggle switches you use today. Now if you are using a snap action turnout then Atlas you can use the Atlas #260 snap-relay.

Recommendations are just that. The recommendation Is the solution that the person providing the recommendation prefers.

Al Silverstein.



Re: Reversing Loop Controlers

Al Silverstein
 

Tim,

You have a number of choices depending on the construction of your reversing section. If you want automatic phasing then the three most common devices that I am aware of are the DCC Specialties PSX.AR, the MRC AD520 and the Digitrax AR1.

If your reverse section is where the track double backs upon itself like a simple loop and if your turnout point control device as spare DPDT contacts then you
could just wire the contacts of the turnout point control device to handle the power to the rails something like the DPDT toggle switches you use today. Now if you are using a snap action turnout then Atlas you can use the Atlas #260 snap-relay.

Recommendations are just that. The recommendation Is the solution that the person providing the recommendation prefers.

Al Silverstein.

Reversing Loop Controlers

Timothy Holmes
 

HI Folks:

Due to my layout design, I will end up with 3 reversing loops -- 2 are
currently in existence, and right now I am using DPDT toggle switches
to control them -- they work, but ANNOYING. I know there are
automatic units out there from many manufacturers. Im not asking
whats out there, I am asking for RECOMMENDATIONS as to which ones you
like and think work best.

I am running N scale, hopefully eventually 2 - 3 trains at a time,
some with 2 -3 locomotives at a time, I am currently using a NCE
Powercab, which I hope to upgrade to an SB5 soon and eventually radio
control

Thanks for your input

TIM
San Luis and Rio Grande

Re: N scale Peco code 55 turnouts

Perry A Pollino
 

Thanks John
I have also read that no modification to peco was needed. Yes I plan to use hex frog. My layout will have 3 to 4 power districts.
Perry

On Jan 1, 2019, at 6:01 PM, John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...> wrote:

Perry,

 

I also use Peco code 55 (Electrofrog) turnouts, and have a similar number to you.  I haven’t got Frog Juicers on all of them yet, but I have not had any problems so far with them being detected as a short.  With that many, I assume you will be using Hex juicers, which test each of their six circuits in sequence, instead of all at once.  I also have my layout divided into blocks, which also may help, but it would take a lot of Juicers to add up to one sound card.

 

Regarding the Steadman method, I’m not sure it is necessary. I started with no Juicers, and no other power routing mechanisms except the contact between the point rail and the stock rail.  I had surprisingly few problems as long as I kept my track impeccably clean.  But a few turnouts in yards give trouble, and I presume the number will increase as things age and oxidize.  I have started adding juicers simply by soldering a single lead to the jumper wire that connects all parts of the frog.  I have not made any cuts, and have not encountered any problems yet.  I may be blissfully unaware of an impending disaster, but so far everything has worked flawlessly.  I did have to remove lightbulbs, and to make sure that the juicers were powered from the same block as the rest of the turnout. 

 

Good luck!

John   

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Perry A Pollino
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 12:58 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] N scale Peco code 55 turnouts

 

I am using Peco code 55 turnouts.
DCC control
I have about 64 turnouts. I plan to use Frog juicers
I was told that it would be advisable to use Charles Steadman's method of preparing the turnouts. That with as many Frog Juicers as I plan to use, upon start up the DCC system it may detect them as a short.
My question: It seems to me if I make the cuts suggested by Charles method I create a dead spot in the frog.
Does anybody have expedience with this method in N scale.
Thanks
Perry

Re: N scale Peco code 55 turnouts

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Perry,

 

I also use Peco code 55 (Electrofrog) turnouts, and have a similar number to you.  I haven’t got Frog Juicers on all of them yet, but I have not had any problems so far with them being detected as a short.  With that many, I assume you will be using Hex juicers, which test each of their six circuits in sequence, instead of all at once.  I also have my layout divided into blocks, which also may help, but it would take a lot of Juicers to add up to one sound card.

 

Regarding the Steadman method, I’m not sure it is necessary. I started with no Juicers, and no other power routing mechanisms except the contact between the point rail and the stock rail.  I had surprisingly few problems as long as I kept my track impeccably clean.  But a few turnouts in yards give trouble, and I presume the number will increase as things age and oxidize.  I have started adding juicers simply by soldering a single lead to the jumper wire that connects all parts of the frog.  I have not made any cuts, and have not encountered any problems yet.  I may be blissfully unaware of an impending disaster, but so far everything has worked flawlessly.  I did have to remove lightbulbs, and to make sure that the juicers were powered from the same block as the rest of the turnout. 

 

Good luck!

John   

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Perry A Pollino
Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 12:58 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] N scale Peco code 55 turnouts

 

I am using Peco code 55 turnouts.
DCC control
I have about 64 turnouts. I plan to use Frog juicers
I was told that it would be advisable to use Charles Steadman's method of preparing the turnouts. That with as many Frog Juicers as I plan to use, upon start up the DCC system it may detect them as a short.
My question: It seems to me if I make the cuts suggested by Charles method I create a dead spot in the frog.
Does anybody have expedience with this method in N scale.
Thanks
Perry

N scale Peco code 55 turnouts

Perry A Pollino
 

I am using Peco code 55 turnouts.
DCC control
I have about 64 turnouts. I plan to use Frog juicers
I was told that it would be advisable to use Charles Steadman's method of preparing the turnouts. That with as many Frog Juicers as I plan to use, upon start up the DCC system it may detect them as a short.
My question: It seems to me if I make the cuts suggested by Charles method I create a dead spot in the frog.
Does anybody have expedience with this method in N scale.
Thanks
Perry

Two Questions

jwg766@...
 

All,

First, I have Kato Unitrack on my N scale practice layout.  I want to accomplish detection and ultimately transponding.  Based on Allan's turnout section and the Kato specific reco's I want to make the power routed turnouts not power routed.  I believe the arm below with the red squiggle is the arm I am to clip.  Confirmation would be really great so as to not ruin an expensive part of my layout.



Second, I recently purchased an Atlas SD-9, model #53508.  My research shows that this was a 2003 build and that there was to be a DCC decoder for it the next year.  Is there a decoder for this locomotive to make it DCC and if so what are my options?  I would prefer a drop in version but I am not sure that is possible from what I can surmise from looking at the insides.

Thanks!

John

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

PennsyNut
 

Carl: You hit upon a solution I might be able to live with. The feeder wires connected to the turnout can be connected but not soldered. A connector of some sort that can be disconnected easily. Automobile connectors? I'll check and see what's available.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

Carl
 

Hello Morgan:

It has been so long since I built my layout, O Gauge with Gargraves track, that I forgot a whole section can lift out. Three tracks with three crossovers on a 8 foot section of plywood. No pins or rail joiners at the ends, just careful alignment. ( Yes, O Gauge with deep flanges are more forgiving ) But it has worked for nearly 20 years. All the wiring, track and turnout motors are plug connected, so no cutting wires to remove, if ever.

Carl.



Virus-free. www.avast.com

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

Keith Elrod
 

I agree with Donv. It’s a long-standing debate, but I’m on the side of not soldering the rail joiners. Send feeders to all sections of track.
Keith

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

Don Vollrath
 

It is your RR. You do not need to follow the recommendations. However... Experience tells us that the rail joiners are not gas tight connections. Movement due to vibration, expansion and contraction will eventually cause the electrical connection to suffer. Yes, they can work very well for a while. The best way to avoid problems is to have an electrical feeder wire soldered to every piece of rail you want electrified. Soldering rail joiners to the rails is one way to minimize the number of track feeders but brings up the issue of making sure you leave a mechanism to relieve track expansion. Using unsoldered joiners at a turnout will allow you to slide them off and remove the turnout if necessary. However what is likely to go wrong at a well designed turnout??? A poor electrical connection to the turnout rails is the most likely issue... Particularly those of the movable points. It may take a few months or years to find that out depending on your environment and/or luck. A simple solution is to drop a soldered feeder wire to each rail inside the turnout. If you leave enough slack you can easily slide the joiners off and clip or unsolder the feeder wires.

For those who say to solder a feeder wire to the joiner... Think about where the connection issue actually occurs. It is the partially crimped 'sliding' joint between the rail and joiner itself that gets corroded.

DonV

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

PennsyNut
 

Carl: Yes. An excellent idea. I did see something similar and your idea is worth a try. I will let y'all know.
John J: I understand. I had thought of using joiners with a feeder wire soldered to the bottom and just slid on the rails. That isn't much better, but again, worth a try. I sure wish PECO would get their Unifrogs on the market. They do seem to solve a lot of problems.
John: Yes, I'm in HO, and code 83 . You are suggesting I solder a wire from the flex to the turnout without a joiner? A very simple solder job. Yes, I can do that. But it still requires unsoldering when needing to replace the turnout. And yes, I had thought of doing that for "leaving a gap" in the rail for expansion/contraction. Of course, then the rail alignment becomes critical. But I can see how it would be easier to remove the turnout. Just clip the wire. The unsoldering of a "little wire" from the turnout would be easy.
I even thought of using code 70, but I show my age by saying "too hard to see". LOL And yes, I remember code 100 brass. Do you remember Midlin track? Now that will show your age.
Thanks to y'all. I look forward to trying the suggestions.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

john
 

I may be giving away my age but once upon a time, to jumper a rail joint, a jumper was soldered from rail to rail avoiding the rail joiner. The rail joiner could be soldered but that would condemn the connection to be there for ever. Rail used to be code 100 and often brass which needed a tremendous amount to solder the joiner. The newer rolled joiners are much better connectors and are much better physical connecters but they will eventually fail if they are not soldered. soldering a jumper is easy.
I didn't invent this joint, the railroad still does it.
jd



On ‎Monday‎, ‎December‎ ‎17‎, ‎2018‎ ‎07‎:‎06‎:‎08‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EST, John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...> wrote:


Morgan,

 

I understand the logic, and sympathize.  It may work, but do bear in mind that it’s not a case of six joiners failing to cause a dead track.  The outside rails are continuous, so they be fed by joiners on each end.  The inside rails will depend on a single joiner.  I think if a single joiner fails to make good contact on an inside rail, that rail will be dead.  (I use Peco Electrofrogs (in N-scale) so I may not correctly understand Insulfrogs.) Also bear in mind that an unsoldered joiner has two opportunities to fail, one on the switch side and one on the flextrack side.   If either end fails, you have a dead spot.  Assuming the flextrack side has other connections, you could cut the potential failure points in half by soldering the feeders to the joiners themselves.  That can be a little tricky to do.  My experience has been that most mechanical connections (whether unsoldered joiners, or power routing through the point rails) work well for about a year before they accumulate enough oxidation to cause random gremlins. 

 

If you are in HO scale, you may be able to get Peco’s new Unifrog, which I understand combines the best qualities of both.  I haven’t seen one yet, but it may be worth investigating. If you are running long engines with lots of pickups, it may not matter.  You also may want to consider putting “keep-alive” supercapacitors in your locos, which makes them less sensitive to track power imperfections.

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of PennsyNut
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2018 11:02 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] PECO Insulfrogs

 

Hello. I want to do something apparently not authorized. ?? A shelf layout, 12" deep by 24' long. On 2" foam. All wiring on top of the layout, hidden only by scenery. Switching. Want to use all PECO. Want to NOT use any machines or ground throws. Also, wish to install turnouts without fastening. i.e. Be able to slide joiners off the turnout onto attached flex track and simply lift up the turnout for repair or replacement. From the literature, Insulfrogs need no wiring. ? Unless I opt to do the simple cut and wire jumpers. But I choose not to. Now, the problem is the joiners. If the feeder is soldered to the flex track a couple inches from the joint with the point end of the turnout, and also solder feeders to the flex tracks at the frog end of the turnout. The one set of feeders is about 12" from the others. Is this clear? Won't having 6 joiners be enough to keep the turnout powered? i.e. Will all 6 joiners fail at the same time? I guess what I really want is to not restrict removal of the turnout. I've been told to "not rely on joiners". Fine. But how do you have soldered joints and wires attached - and still be able to get the turnout off to repair or replace. That would be a lot of work. What would be the odds of the turnout failing versus all 6 of the joiners failing? Actually, I think the odds are so low in either case as to not be a problem. So I want to take the easy way out. Finally, one last question: Is there a way to bypass the joiners without soldering to the turnout?
Sorry this is so long. But I guess I am stubborn and want to do it "my way". Besides, having the track wiring all on top makes it easier. And more wires mean more chance for problems. Kind of like the argument about soldering versus connectors. There is no choice for me but to solder. Period. No klutsy suitcase connectors, wire nuts, etc.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: PECO Insulfrogs --- Sidetrack

Glenn
 

Try this with your wiring.

Use a pointed soldering iron or point foam cutter to cut a shallow trench in the foam. press the wires into the trench with a blunt instrument like a popsicle stick, The trench can be hidden with ground cover, or filled in with some sort of filler.

Glenn



-----Original Message-----
From: PennsyNut
Sent: Dec 17, 2018 11:01 AM .
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] PECO Insulfrogs

Hello. I want to do something apparently not authorized. ?? A shelf layout, 12" deep by 24' long. On 2" foam. All wiring on top of the layout, hidden only by scenery. Switching.

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Morgan,

 

I understand the logic, and sympathize.  It may work, but do bear in mind that it’s not a case of six joiners failing to cause a dead track.  The outside rails are continuous, so they be fed by joiners on each end.  The inside rails will depend on a single joiner.  I think if a single joiner fails to make good contact on an inside rail, that rail will be dead.  (I use Peco Electrofrogs (in N-scale) so I may not correctly understand Insulfrogs.) Also bear in mind that an unsoldered joiner has two opportunities to fail, one on the switch side and one on the flextrack side.   If either end fails, you have a dead spot.  Assuming the flextrack side has other connections, you could cut the potential failure points in half by soldering the feeders to the joiners themselves.  That can be a little tricky to do.  My experience has been that most mechanical connections (whether unsoldered joiners, or power routing through the point rails) work well for about a year before they accumulate enough oxidation to cause random gremlins. 

 

If you are in HO scale, you may be able to get Peco’s new Unifrog, which I understand combines the best qualities of both.  I haven’t seen one yet, but it may be worth investigating. If you are running long engines with lots of pickups, it may not matter.  You also may want to consider putting “keep-alive” supercapacitors in your locos, which makes them less sensitive to track power imperfections.

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of PennsyNut
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2018 11:02 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] PECO Insulfrogs

 

Hello. I want to do something apparently not authorized. ?? A shelf layout, 12" deep by 24' long. On 2" foam. All wiring on top of the layout, hidden only by scenery. Switching. Want to use all PECO. Want to NOT use any machines or ground throws. Also, wish to install turnouts without fastening. i.e. Be able to slide joiners off the turnout onto attached flex track and simply lift up the turnout for repair or replacement. From the literature, Insulfrogs need no wiring. ? Unless I opt to do the simple cut and wire jumpers. But I choose not to. Now, the problem is the joiners. If the feeder is soldered to the flex track a couple inches from the joint with the point end of the turnout, and also solder feeders to the flex tracks at the frog end of the turnout. The one set of feeders is about 12" from the others. Is this clear? Won't having 6 joiners be enough to keep the turnout powered? i.e. Will all 6 joiners fail at the same time? I guess what I really want is to not restrict removal of the turnout. I've been told to "not rely on joiners". Fine. But how do you have soldered joints and wires attached - and still be able to get the turnout off to repair or replace. That would be a lot of work. What would be the odds of the turnout failing versus all 6 of the joiners failing? Actually, I think the odds are so low in either case as to not be a problem. So I want to take the easy way out. Finally, one last question: Is there a way to bypass the joiners without soldering to the turnout?
Sorry this is so long. But I guess I am stubborn and want to do it "my way". Besides, having the track wiring all on top makes it easier. And more wires mean more chance for problems. Kind of like the argument about soldering versus connectors. There is no choice for me but to solder. Period. No klutsy suitcase connectors, wire nuts, etc.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: PECO Insulfrogs

Carl
 

Hello Morgan:

May I suggest using a strip of PVC "wood" for the front of your layout. You can cut grooves in the PVC for buss wires and use a sheet metal screw to tap in for each track wire.

Look here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/

When everything is working, make a nice cover for the front fascia.

I did a whole "O" gauge layout this way and it works great.


On my "O" gauge layout I didn't solder joiners but dropped two wires every 3'. I used crimp connectors and suitcases, since PVC wasn't in stores yet. No power problems at all.

Carl.

On 12/17/2018 11:01 AM, PennsyNut wrote:
Hello. I want to do something apparently not authorized. ?? A shelf layout, 12" deep by 24' long. On 2" foam. All wiring on top of the layout, hidden only by scenery. Switching. Want to use all PECO. Want to NOT use any machines or ground throws. Also, wish to install turnouts without fastening. i.e. Be able to slide joiners off the turnout onto attached flex track and simply lift up the turnout for repair or replacement. From the literature, Insulfrogs need no wiring. ? Unless I opt to do the simple cut and wire jumpers. But I choose not to. Now, the problem is the joiners. If the feeder is soldered to the flex track a couple inches from the joint with the point end of the turnout, and also solder feeders to the flex tracks at the frog end of the turnout. The one set of feeders is about 12" from the others. Is this clear? Won't having 6 joiners be enough to keep the turnout powered? i.e. Will all 6 joiners fail at the same time? I guess what I really want is to not restrict removal of the turnout. I've been told to "not rely on joiners". Fine. But how do you have soldered joints and wires attached - and still be able to get the turnout off to repair or replace. That would be a lot of work. What would be the odds of the turnout failing versus all 6 of the joiners failing? Actually, I think the odds are so low in either case as to not be a problem. So I want to take the easy way out. Finally, one last question: Is there a way to bypass the joiners without soldering to the turnout?
Sorry this is so long. But I guess I am stubborn and want to do it "my way". Besides, having the track wiring all on top makes it easier. And more wires mean more chance for problems. Kind of like the argument about soldering versus connectors. There is no choice for me but to solder. Period. No klutsy suitcase connectors, wire nuts, etc.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Virus-free. www.avast.com

PECO Insulfrogs

PennsyNut
 

Hello. I want to do something apparently not authorized. ?? A shelf layout, 12" deep by 24' long. On 2" foam. All wiring on top of the layout, hidden only by scenery. Switching. Want to use all PECO. Want to NOT use any machines or ground throws. Also, wish to install turnouts without fastening. i.e. Be able to slide joiners off the turnout onto attached flex track and simply lift up the turnout for repair or replacement. From the literature, Insulfrogs need no wiring. ? Unless I opt to do the simple cut and wire jumpers. But I choose not to. Now, the problem is the joiners. If the feeder is soldered to the flex track a couple inches from the joint with the point end of the turnout, and also solder feeders to the flex tracks at the frog end of the turnout. The one set of feeders is about 12" from the others. Is this clear? Won't having 6 joiners be enough to keep the turnout powered? i.e. Will all 6 joiners fail at the same time? I guess what I really want is to not restrict removal of the turnout. I've been told to "not rely on joiners". Fine. But how do you have soldered joints and wires attached - and still be able to get the turnout off to repair or replace. That would be a lot of work. What would be the odds of the turnout failing versus all 6 of the joiners failing? Actually, I think the odds are so low in either case as to not be a problem. So I want to take the easy way out. Finally, one last question: Is there a way to bypass the joiners without soldering to the turnout?
Sorry this is so long. But I guess I am stubborn and want to do it "my way". Besides, having the track wiring all on top makes it easier. And more wires mean more chance for problems. Kind of like the argument about soldering versus connectors. There is no choice for me but to solder. Period. No klutsy suitcase connectors, wire nuts, etc.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Programming track "short" message on NCE Powercab

Mark Gurries
 

On Dec 15, 2018, at 7:49 PM, Greg Elmassian <greg@...> wrote:

So the full manual (not the quick start) talks about a programming track, how to isolate it from the main layout with a switch, and in several places encourages you to use the program track.

That is correct for it will prevent a lot of problems.   The higher end DCC system typically include a set of dedicated programming track terminals so one can implement an isolated programming track.  The PowerCab does not.

It also indicates that if you have problems you could be drawing excessive current, or have lights on, etc.

The main problem with the programming track has to do with “reading" the settings stored inside the decoder such as the locomotive number (address).  If there is any electrical load such as a light that draws power from the programming track that is not under control of the decoder, then it will interfere with the reading process and result in errors.

So, while it does not explicitly say "don't use the whole layout for a programming track" it does encourage you to have a separate programming track.

Because if you take the time to remove ALL of you engines and lighted cars off the layout prior to programming so there is no current draw, you can be successful in the programming track reading.  Just place the engine on the track you wish to program and go.

The PowerCab's lower price comes at the physical expense of asking you to take time and prepare your layout for programming before you start to program.

Just makes sense that if you try to use the whole layout, it's easy to leave some other loads on it... in my case, I had DCC switch controllers from Tam Valley, and have to cut them out when in program track mode.

Yes that will interfere with the programming track.   NCE does offer a solution.   The NCE Autoswitch allows the PowerCab to have a dedicated set of programming track terminals.   


By installing the Autoswtich between the PowerCab and the layout, you will:

1) NOT have to disconnect the Tam Valley controller 
2) NOT have to remove any locomotive or lighted cars from the layout.
3) HAVE a dedicated set of terminals like a high end DCC system has to setup a dedicated programming track.   

If you want to go one more step to create a truly flexible programming track go here:


Now you can have the same dedicated programming track not only program locomotive successfully, but you will also be able to test them with a flick of a switch on the same track.



Greg

Best Regards,

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



Re: Programming track "short" message on NCE Powercab

Greg Elmassian
 

So the full manual (not the quick start) talks about a programming track, how to isolate it from the main layout with a switch, and in several places encourages you to use the program track.

It also indicates that if you have problems you could be drawing excessive current, or have lights on, etc.

So, while it does not explicitly say "don't use the whole layout for a programming track" it does encourage you to have a separate programming track.

Just makes sense that if you try to use the whole layout, it's easy to leave some other loads on it... in my case, I had DCC switch controllers from Tam Valley, and have to cut them out when in program track mode.

Greg

QSI Connectors

Eric
 

Help!   I am trying to install a GSI sound decoder, originally installed in a DC Porto 2000 RS-27.  This decoder has JST-type mini plugs to attach the power, motor, and lights, as well as the speakers.  There are four female plug connection on the decoder board, two 2-pin, and one each 4-pin and 6-pin.  Can any one familiar with this system tell me what the sizes and type of the required male connectors/plugs are?

I have been to Digi-Key, but they have about 20,000 connectors and without the proper terminology I cannot order some without guessing.  Any help,is greatly appreciated.

RicZ