Date   
Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Don Vollrath
 

Good rule Jerry. After all it’s your RR and your club.
DonV

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Mark Gurries
 

This topic seems to have derailed into a layout question as opposed to YOUR decoder question.

Almost ALL decoders made past and present support both DC and DCC mode of operation.

The question is not if the decoder will support DC mode but how well it supports DC mode.   You can see a wide variation in the locomotives response to a DC throttle position.  Simply put is will not have as wide of a speed control range than the locomotive had BEFORE you installed the decoder.  Many considered this speed control in DC mode unacceptable.

Some History:  Some time ago, Atlas decided to market a new type of decoder with a marketing name of "Dual Mode”. By Dual ModeTM, they meant the decoder has a physical jumper plug that allows the modeler to select between DC-only operation or DCC and DC operation. With the plug in the DC-only position, a decoder equipped locomotive runs on a standard DC powered (analog) layout with no speed differential when compared to a similar non-decoder-equipped locomotive.  The locomotive shell had a roof top hatch that you removed exposed the jumper so you can change it on the fly.  You then put back the hatch.

These decoders are no long made but it has lead to some confusion in the market place to imply you must buy a specific decoder to run in both DC and DCC mode when that is not true at all.

Finally there is one downside to keeping the DC mode enabled (by default it is typically enabled) when running on DCC.   If there is a momentary short on the track, it can confuse the decoder and it will exit DCC mode and go to DC mode on the fly.   Unfortunately this results in a runaway locomotive under DCC mode where the only way to stop it is to kill layout power or grab the engine.

On Feb 20, 2020, at 5:04 PM, Duff & Polly M via Groups.Io <dpmeans@...> wrote:

I am sorry if this has been asked before, or if this question should go elsewhere.
I currently operate DC, mainly because of the number of locomotives that will need work.  I do have a few locomotives that are DCC Ready.
A club I am joining is DCC.  I am thinking I would like to equip one or two of my DCC Ready locomotives with decoders, so they can run at the club.  However, I would also like to use them also at home on my DC layout.

I have heard something about dual mode decoders that can automatically determine whether DC or DCC is available.  If these do what I think they do, are available, and not too too expensive, I am inclined towards this solution.

Are there negatives to this approach, and.or recommended methods?

Thank you.

Best Regards,

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



Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Jerry Michels
 

Hi Thomas, we've had similar discontent at the Amarillo Railroad Museum, but we just ignore it.  The rule is that we run DCC, no if ands or buts.  We have even disabled running address 00 because it messes with our detection system.  No one is forced to join the museum, so you either comply or take your DC locomotives with horn-hook couplers and plastic-wheeled rolling stock elsewhere.
Jerry

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Jerry Michels
 

Ron wrote: "he argument "I have 50 engines for DC" doesn't really hold water when you ask them "How many of them do you regularly run?""
Also, conversion to DCC doesn't have to be done to all locomotives at the same time.  
Jerry Michels

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

thomasmclae
 

Trying to do that for 20 years.
Still some folks that insist on running DC.

Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

RONALD ST.LAURENT
 

Greg,

We avoided the DC/DCC thing at our club by purchasing a decoder for each member to install in an engine of their choice.  This was about in the year 2000.  Our club has been around since 1953.

The argument "I have 50 engines for DC" doesn't really hold water when you ask them "How many of them do you regularly run?"

Being a pure DCC club makes things infinitely easier.

Ron

Lansing Model Railroad Club www.lmrc.org


On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 9:25 AM Greg Harter <greg1462@...> wrote:
Just for info:  Our club, in Columbus, Indiana, is over 25 years old, and has been running both DC and DCC on the same layout for over 20 years.  We use DCC detector boards, which we designed and built, that preclude a loco going from a DC track to a DCC track, or vice versa.  We have four mainlines, several crossovers and a couple of reversing loops, If the current on two specific mainlines isn't the same (DC or DCC), the crossovers will not operate, and/or the isolated track section between those two mainlines will not receive any current of either type.  We have never had an incident where this did not work, and have not had an incident involved any damage to a loco.  

We planned this originally because we had several members who wanted to run DC and several who wanted to run DCC.  

We did a clinic at the 2016 NMRA in Indianapolis on how this operates.  

Dual mode decoders are okay, but very limited.  

Greg Harter
Columbus Area Railroad Club

Speaker for a Walther's mainline loco.

Arthur Hammeke
 

Been looking for a speaker and shroud that will fit a Walther's mainline sd70ace. The factory installed versions have a shroud with built in screw hole from the top.  Like to find something similar.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks,
Arthur.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

thomasmclae
 

Most decoders let you set whether the Lok runs on DC as well as DCC.
However, some DCC layouts require you to turn this option off for technical reasons.
Best option is to select some Locs to add DCC, and use those exclusively at the club.
(Note, my club still has DC as well as DCC.)

Thomas
DeSoto, TX 

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

doncarter521@...
 

FYI 
Most newer decoders will work with just DC current with no problems. Most manufacturers will state if it will work both ways so check when you purchase. them. 
📞🚂👂


On Feb 20, 2020, at 8:04 PM, Duff & Polly M via Groups.Io <dpmeans@...> wrote:

I am sorry if this has been asked before, or if this question should go elsewhere.
I currently operate DC, mainly because of the number of locomotives that will need work.  I do have a few locomotives that are DCC Ready.
A club I am joining is DCC.  I am thinking I would like to equip one or two of my DCC Ready locomotives with decoders, so they can run at the club.  However, I would also like to use them also at home on my DC layout.

I have heard something about dual mode decoders that can automatically determine whether DC or DCC is available.  If these do what I think they do, are available, and not too too expensive, I am inclined towards this solution.

Are there negatives to this approach, and.or recommended methods?

Thank you.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Greg Harter
 

Just for info:  Our club, in Columbus, Indiana, is over 25 years old, and has been running both DC and DCC on the same layout for over 20 years.  We use DCC detector boards, which we designed and built, that preclude a loco going from a DC track to a DCC track, or vice versa.  We have four mainlines, several crossovers and a couple of reversing loops, If the current on two specific mainlines isn't the same (DC or DCC), the crossovers will not operate, and/or the isolated track section between those two mainlines will not receive any current of either type.  We have never had an incident where this did not work, and have not had an incident involved any damage to a loco.  

We planned this originally because we had several members who wanted to run DC and several who wanted to run DCC.  

We did a clinic at the 2016 NMRA in Indianapolis on how this operates.  

Dual mode decoders are okay, but very limited.  

Greg Harter
Columbus Area Railroad Club

Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Duff & Polly M
 

I am sorry if this has been asked before, or if this question should go elsewhere.
I currently operate DC, mainly because of the number of locomotives that will need work.  I do have a few locomotives that are DCC Ready.
A club I am joining is DCC.  I am thinking I would like to equip one or two of my DCC Ready locomotives with decoders, so they can run at the club.  However, I would also like to use them also at home on my DC layout.

I have heard something about dual mode decoders that can automatically determine whether DC or DCC is available.  If these do what I think they do, are available, and not too too expensive, I am inclined towards this solution.

Are there negatives to this approach, and.or recommended methods?

Thank you.

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

J. Frank Ervin
 

Hi Gary, I'm Frank Ervin and like you never heard of "resistance leak".  Also, I am a die hard customer of FAST-TRACKS for years. Terry Firth, cust. serv. and production
manager would love to see the messages about this subject and asked if I could email these to him in Canada. I'm not a computer guru, don't have the time or patience
(late 80's )  to get a PhD in computer science. I don't do FACEBOOK or  TWEET.  SOooooo, can you please guide me through the process of  emailing my friend this info?
Terry mentioned sending an email with an attachment. BUttttttt,  I see no icon for email !!!! 

No.2  What is a PREMIUM ACCOUNT?  What is the benefit?  Lastly, how much will it cost?

Thanking you in advance for any assistance rendered. I am  forever in your debt SIR.
 Please remember our patriots serving & protecting this country for our grandchildren. ALL GAVE SOME;  SOME GAVE ALL,

Always BLESSED,
Frank Ervin

Confirm

Steven Tobias
 

Thanks

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Gary Chudzinski
 

Like Brian, I have never heard the term, resistance leak.  I can't even imagine what it means!  I have built many Fast Track turnouts in over ten years and the only thing I can think that it relates to is high resistance between track and Circuit Breaker tie due to corrosion.  Corrosion that may have built up over time because an acid Flux was used and not properly cleaned, rather than a resin core solder, or a liquid resin with the solder.  In the early years, a Flux was recommended by Fast Track for a stronger bond, but reading the instructions for this application was a must! After completing the turnout, it was necessary to thoroughly wire brush the joints to remove the bulk of the Flux residue, than wash with soapy water to remove any remaining residue.  In so doing, I have never had any problem with corrosion.  However, in more recent years, Fast Track recommends using the Resin Core solder they sell.  Refer to their website.  Look under Tools and Supplies, and read the Description under both Flux and Resin Core Solder.  Corrosion is not a problem with their resin core.  

Gary Chudzinski

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Brian Lewis
 

Hi Denny,

Thanks for the praise - it went straight to my head.

'Pastes' are usually finely ground tin/lead contained in a Zinc Chloride liquid. I use this for tinning a bit, just by dipping it in the container. (And you will remember to do this before you heat the iron, won't you). But I never use paste for soldering, as it is very corrosive. What you want is 'Solder Cream', supplied in a syringe. You can get 62S in a cream and it solders like a dream and is totally no clean.

If you want a lead free cream, I used to purchase 35ml syringes, product code 42 NCLR-A, from a US company called Nordson EFD.  These are a 138 Deg. C tin/bismuth solder.  I searched on Google and and seems to be still available, (but I became slightly confused when typing NCLR, as I was taken to the 'National Committee for Lesbian Rights' site.....).

I used to say, that many folk who shy away from soldering if they can do so, because they are probably using the wrong type of solder, the wrong type of flux and an iron of too low a wattage. Under those circumstances, how can anyone expect to make good joints? We are covering solders and fluxes, so now a word about irons. For most work I use a 50W soldering station, produced by a German company called ERSA. No doubt there are similar products in the US. I do have a resistance soldering unit, such as is made by American Beauty, but rarely use it. Where I need something light and portable, I use a normal 25W iron. As long as you wait for it to heat up fully, this is usually adequate. (And they can take time to heat up - I have a 200W monster that takes about 12 minutes to reach its working temperature).

Spot repairs can be a problem. You want the benefit of passive fluxes, but experience tells you that an active flux will provide a longer lasting joint. Perhaps it is time to talk about what a flux actually does. Used properly, it certainly prevents the creation of oxides, which make for poorly soldered joints. But also it transfers the heat of the bit to the soldering point. So the tendency is to wet the joint with more than we need.  What I do - and I cringe with shame for admitting this, is to use a minimum quantity of phosphoric acid based flux and when the joint has cooled, flood the area with Iso Propyl Alcohol - I buy it not only in a can, but also in an aerosol. One quick burst disperses the residual acid and I have no bother after that. Phosphoric Acid is used in pretreatment of metals to be painted, so it should be OK.  (Good thing tomorrow is Sunday - I can get down on my knees and beg forgiveness for such heresy).

Soldering is an art and takes practice. If you can solder glass window panes into an etched brass kit, then I guess your skills are more than adequate.

On 08/02/2020 15:44, Denny Anspach wrote:
Brian Lewis’ post on fluxes is the kind of  information that goes into my DCC Wiring information bank. Thank you. That he advises that track repairs be done with acid flux soldering gets my attention inasmuch as I question my own experience with too many failed or weak track/rail rosin soldered joints over the many years  (one failure is one too many as compared to none!). 

Query:  When you advise to avoid “paste”, are you referring to “soldering paste”, such as has been available to our hobby from Kemtron (I still have some jars), and more recently- I believe- PBL f (they are not rosin and both note washing requirement). Soldering paste does have some real pragmatic uses, but  -now- ???


When doing spot finished/installed/detailed track or turnout  soldering repairs, just how should one best perform a repair with acid flux and then  adequately cleanup without a lot of collateral damage?

As an aside, my current rosin flux is an ancient tin can of Nokorode soldering paste resurrected out of inventory recently. that I first used in soldering brass rail in 1948! I note on the can that it was patented in 1926.  

Denny

 
Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento CA 


--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

 

I am tempted to get some of this silver bearing solder to try out.  I have a lifetime of experience with 60/40 Tin Lead solder and have no problem getting good joints. 

Pre-tinning ties will greatly help in soldering them to your rails.  The trick is keeping the thickness of the tinning down.  To that end I buy pre-tinned ties.  I created and contracted to have the ties made at a PCB plant in China.  Pre-tinned, drilled and gaped ties make my life a whole lot easier (www.voltscooter.com).

Two things are required when soldering large things like rails and ties.  First your iron most have sufficient wattage to support the flow of heat from the iron to the rail.  Forty watts is sufficient IMHO.  Second the iron tip needs have enough heat capacity to quickly heat up the rail before there is enough time for the heat to flow down the rail and overly melt the plastic ties.  The tip of the iron should be as large in volume as you can get for the iron you are using.  Lack of a large tip can be somewhat made up for by increasing the tip temperature.  Increasing the tip temperature requires experience so that the solder job is completed quickly.  Doing a joint quickly requires sufficient flux to clean the rail quickly.  A paste can help this process but is not required if you use good technique and a good rosin core solder.  The things being soldered need to both be in contact with the tip and the point of contact needs to be solid and as broad as possible to assist the flow of heat.  There are lots of sites out there to provide more rudimentary soldering instruction.

Set up someplace to practice what you are doing before you tackle jobs on your layout.

Best Regards,
Ken Harstine

Re: Wiring AR segments -- Can two AR segments be adjacent to one another?

mgj21932
 

Thanks Don. I will redesign wiring plan accordingly. Want to avoid risk of the AR Switches competing when not necessary.
Bill

On Feb 9, 2020, at 9:22 AM, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:

Bill. Your understanding is correct. Making an AR section at each end of the figure eight allows you to separate them from each other via fixed polarity of the mainlines. It is possible for two AR sections to abut one another provided the AR controllers can be adjusted to have separate timing. Otherwise as you say they may continuously fight each other.

DonV


Re: Wiring AR segments -- Can two AR segments be adjacent to one another?

Don Vollrath
 

Bill. Your understanding is correct. Making an AR section at each end of the figure eight allows you to separate them from each other via fixed polarity of the mainlines. It is possible for two AR sections to abut one another provided the AR controllers can be adjusted to have separate timing. Otherwise as you say they may continuously fight each other.

DonV

Re: Wiring AR segments -- Can two AR segments be adjacent to one another?

mgj21932
 

I’m not using PSX-ARs so I don’t have that capability (that I know of anyway). But you seem to confirm my basic analysis and as I don't believe it essential for the figure 8 mainline to be AR, will avoid the problem.

On Feb 8, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Don Batman <donbatman1952@...> wrote:

PSX-AR “DoubleReverse” On some layouts there are situations that
require two PSXAR’s be connected back to back. This can cause a
condition where both reveres tryto fix the short byreversing the
lines. Theyboth keep trying to fix the problem and continue to flip
back and forth, causing a delay. The newer PSX-AR’s have a CV that can
be set to delaythe action of the reverser. Only one of the two
reversers needs to have this CV set to on. This allows the other
reverser to change status during the short delayand resolve the
conflict.

On 2/8/20, mgj21932 via Groups.Io <mgj21932=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am about to start wiring my conversion of an older DC layout (HO scale) to
DCC. The layout is basically a figure 8 mainline with two reversing loops
(and sidings unaffected by this issue). I am using Tam Valley frog juicers
(Hex Juicer) for AR circuitry with helpful guidance from Duncan McRee at Tam
Valley. Thanks to Max Maginness' advice, I reduced the planned wiring from
six AR segments (overkill) to three. But now I think what I really need is
just TWO AR circuits.
Question: This may be a silly question, but must there be a non-reversing
segment between AR segments? Or, stated differently, may two AR segments be
contiguous?
My two cents: If two AR segments are adjacent to one another, as the
momentary short is created by the front wheels of the engine crossing from
one segment into a segment of different polarity, wouldn't the AR switches
in the two segments "fight" with one another, i.e., wouldn't both attempt to
switch "polarity" (cycle pattern) to address the short at the same time?
Previously I had naively conceptualized that the AR switch in the "new"
segment (the one into which the engine is proceeding) would switch polarity
to "resolve" the conflict. But it occurs to me that the segment from which
the train is departing doesn't know (or care) which direction the train is
moving. (I understand that under DCC even the train doesn't care, as
direction is independent of polarity.) That suggests that the AR switch for
the "departing" segment would likewise be activated by the same momentary
short.
In the recent discussions of wiring AR segments on this blog, we talked
about various limitations, including an extended discussion about the
minimum length of the AR segment needing to be longer than the length of the
longest train. I don't recall, however, any discussion about AR segments
not being adjacent to one another -- and do not recall reading that as a
limitation in any of the several DCC Wiring manuals I've studied. Perhaps
that is so fundamental as to be self-evident. But initially I didn't
appreciate that fact (if it is a fact) as the foregoing indicates.
Proposed Solution: I think I need to wire my figure 8 mainline as a
non-reversing segment. Then, if I isolate the two reversing loops and wire
both as AR segments, only they will automatically switch the polarity
(whichever direction it happens to be in), to match that of the constant
polarity of the figure 8 mainline. If the polarity of the AR spur is
opposite that of the mainline, whether the train is entering or leaving the
loop, the momentary short experienced on the loop will result in the AR
switch rectifying the short before the short experienced by the mainline
trips the circuit breaker of the mainline.
Do I have that correct? Would appreciate confirmation of my conclusion,
and that wiring the mainline as a non-AR segment, while relying on the AR
switches for the reversing loops to address the polarity issue in both
directions, will address the issue.
A benefit of this arrangement is that, because the reversing segments are
short (relative to the mainline), I will not have more than one train in the
AR segment at any time. Therefore I shouldn't have to worry about any limit
on the current the TV Frog Juicer can provide to that segment (although I
believe it would be more than adequate to support two trains). Similar
concerns would not afflict the non-AR mainline as it would be powered
directly from the Track Bus at well-spaced feeder intervals.
Bill Demarest




Re: Wiring AR segments -- Can two AR segments be adjacent to one another?

mgj21932
 

Thanks Don.

On Feb 8, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Don Batman <donbatman1952@...> wrote:

PSX-AR “DoubleReverse” On some layouts there are situations that
require two PSXAR’s be connected back to back. This can cause a
condition where both reveres tryto fix the short byreversing the
lines. Theyboth keep trying to fix the problem and continue to flip
back and forth, causing a delay. The newer PSX-AR’s have a CV that can
be set to delaythe action of the reverser. Only one of the two
reversers needs to have this CV set to on. This allows the other
reverser to change status during the short delayand resolve the
conflict.

On 2/8/20, mgj21932 via Groups.Io <mgj21932=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am about to start wiring my conversion of an older DC layout (HO scale) to
DCC. The layout is basically a figure 8 mainline with two reversing loops
(and sidings unaffected by this issue). I am using Tam Valley frog juicers
(Hex Juicer) for AR circuitry with helpful guidance from Duncan McRee at Tam
Valley. Thanks to Max Maginness' advice, I reduced the planned wiring from
six AR segments (overkill) to three. But now I think what I really need is
just TWO AR circuits.
Question: This may be a silly question, but must there be a non-reversing
segment between AR segments? Or, stated differently, may two AR segments be
contiguous?
My two cents: If two AR segments are adjacent to one another, as the
momentary short is created by the front wheels of the engine crossing from
one segment into a segment of different polarity, wouldn't the AR switches
in the two segments "fight" with one another, i.e., wouldn't both attempt to
switch "polarity" (cycle pattern) to address the short at the same time?
Previously I had naively conceptualized that the AR switch in the "new"
segment (the one into which the engine is proceeding) would switch polarity
to "resolve" the conflict. But it occurs to me that the segment from which
the train is departing doesn't know (or care) which direction the train is
moving. (I understand that under DCC even the train doesn't care, as
direction is independent of polarity.) That suggests that the AR switch for
the "departing" segment would likewise be activated by the same momentary
short.
In the recent discussions of wiring AR segments on this blog, we talked
about various limitations, including an extended discussion about the
minimum length of the AR segment needing to be longer than the length of the
longest train. I don't recall, however, any discussion about AR segments
not being adjacent to one another -- and do not recall reading that as a
limitation in any of the several DCC Wiring manuals I've studied. Perhaps
that is so fundamental as to be self-evident. But initially I didn't
appreciate that fact (if it is a fact) as the foregoing indicates.
Proposed Solution: I think I need to wire my figure 8 mainline as a
non-reversing segment. Then, if I isolate the two reversing loops and wire
both as AR segments, only they will automatically switch the polarity
(whichever direction it happens to be in), to match that of the constant
polarity of the figure 8 mainline. If the polarity of the AR spur is
opposite that of the mainline, whether the train is entering or leaving the
loop, the momentary short experienced on the loop will result in the AR
switch rectifying the short before the short experienced by the mainline
trips the circuit breaker of the mainline.
Do I have that correct? Would appreciate confirmation of my conclusion,
and that wiring the mainline as a non-AR segment, while relying on the AR
switches for the reversing loops to address the polarity issue in both
directions, will address the issue.
A benefit of this arrangement is that, because the reversing segments are
short (relative to the mainline), I will not have more than one train in the
AR segment at any time. Therefore I shouldn't have to worry about any limit
on the current the TV Frog Juicer can provide to that segment (although I
believe it would be more than adequate to support two trains). Similar
concerns would not afflict the non-AR mainline as it would be powered
directly from the Track Bus at well-spaced feeder intervals.
Bill Demarest