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DCC for Bachmann Spectrum

PAUL POWERS
 

Hello,
I've purchased a new Bachmann C-19 G-Scale DCC wired locomotive.
From what I've read, the loco is DCC plug-n-play wired.
I would like to get advice & options for both the DCC controller & decoder
that would take the minimum amount of wiring.
Thanks in advance - Paul


Re: Auto Reverse

Jim Betz
 

Lawrence,
  A crossover, in an of itself, does not constitute a reversing section.  The only way to know if you
have a reversing section is to take a car and "run" it over the layout thru all possible paths (can
be done virtually on your plan).  If the car can come back over the same piece/section of track
going the other way then you have a reversing section (more than one?).  Even then the cross
over doesn't have to be the reversing section (it can be much larger and somewhere else).
  Although the AR-1 is made by NCE ... if you are going to run sound, lighted passenger trains,
or consists ... you will probably prefer the PSX-AR to the AR-1.  The AR-1 was designed a LONG
time ago and before the advent of sound and does not do well for trains that are drawing more
current.  Even if you don't intend to run any of the above ... if I were you I'd still use a PSX-AR
because once you've run a couple of sound locos you are unlikely to "go back".  ;-)
                                                                                                                                    - Jim in PNW


Re: Auto Reverse

Don Weigt
 

Hasn't this been discussed before? I know I've looked at that track plan previously...

You are making this more complicated than needed. But, there is no "right" answer. There are several choices, depending on track lengths, train lengths, how many trains will be on the layout, how many moving at any one time, and how you want to run trains.

Terminology: The 2564 is a CROSSING, not crossover. It has fixed routes, no moving parts, no points, only four frogs. The two routes through the crossing probably are isolated from each other. I say probably, because the Atlas website has so little technical information.

You can test if the two routes are isolated. Temporarily power one route through the crossing, run a loco there to test it, then without changing where the power is connected, try running the loco on the other route. If the loco has power on both routes, then the two are connected electrically, and will limit the wiring choices.  You can also check this without power or a locomotive if you have an Ohmmeter and know how to use it. Test that you have continuity when you touch the two meter probes together, and both to the same rail, then test that the rails on one route through the crossing are not connected to the rails on the other route.

I'd wire the entire layout without any reversing, except I'd insulate both rails of all four tracks where they meet the two turnouts on the right edge of the simplified drawing. Connect that right side part or left side of your layout, whichever has the fewer trains running at once, to your auto reverser and you're done.

If you have a "nested" auto reversing section in the right side, then fix that track phase (hard wire to your track power) and put the auto reverse on the left half of the layout. In that case, I'd wire the crossing tracks to the right side of the layout, and gap both rails of all four tracks going to the two turnouts on the left side of the drawing, to have more track with fixed phase and less auto reversed.

Ideally, you want as much track fixed phase as practical, and as little auto reversed as needed for the way you want to run your railroad. So, if those crossing tracks are as long as you longest trains, or if all the cars have plastic wheels so you only need to worry about power to the locos, then fix the phase of the entire layout EXCEPT the two crossing tracks from the turnouts at the top to the turnouts at the bottom, gapping both rails of those tracks where they connect to the turnouts. You should only need one auto reverser for the two routes, unless you really intend to have one train entering one route while another is passing through the other route.

So, you have choices to make. Think about how you want to run your trains, which choice gives all or most of what you want with the least complexity. Build your railroad, wire it that way, and run it.

You probably will find how you run your trains will change over time. I'd suggest waiting a while before scenicing everything, in case you decide to modify which parts are auto reversed and need to change where the insulated gaps are in your rails. One way to avoid or minimize that, is to gap both rails anywhere you may later want reversing tracks to meet fixed power phased tracks. You'll need more track feeders that way, but it will save you work and annoyance in the future, should you decide to change how it's wired.

And one last thing: test, test, test! Don't build the whole railroad, apply power for the first time, and try to find any shorts or other problems. As soon as you have your first block or section of track down, power it up and make certain it works. It's fun to see trains move on new tracks. Every time you add more than a few feet of track or turnouts, test again. Then, if a problem is found, it's probably in the small amount of trackwork you just added. You don't need to spend a lot of time looking at other parts of the railroad.

Don Weigt
Connecticut

--
Don Weigt
Connecticut


Re: Auto Reverse

Lawrence Varady
 

Here is some info:
I would like help on determining how to wire AR1'(s) for my layout.
I am using an Atlas 2564 DEAD FROG crossover.
I will not be running any lighted cars or more than a 2 Loco consist thru this crossover.
Crossover track colors indicate Power Districts, BUT all power is from an NCE Power Cab system, no boosters.


Re: Auto Reverse

Lawrence Varady
 

Don't mean to hijack this topic but I have similar question on AR1 requirements and wiring for this diamond crossover.

https://groups.io/g/w4dccqa/album?id=269711

Thanks


Re: Is it possible?

thomasmclae
 

Which decoder?
Walthers has uses Tsunami, QSI and Loksound as decoder source.

Thomas
DeSoto, TX


Re: Auto Reverse

JIM MARTIN
 

Thank you all. That was my original thought but then I think I read too much and got thoroughly confused. I read another message just before I posted this that seemed to confirm as well but since I could not locate the pictures to go along with the post I decide to ask just to be certain. 

 


Re: Auto Reverse

Wil Davis
 

What you show is not a problem depending on whats on the other end.  If it is a standard loop everything is fine.  If they come together at a turnout you have a reversing loop.

Just my .02,
Wil


Is it possible?

Bill Wilken
 

I discovered recently that a Walthers E7 diesel that had been running without issue suddenly was shorting out a power district. Close inspection showed no obvious problem in either of the 3-axle trucks. Instead of following the usual procedure of checking for internal wiring problems, I decided for no particular reason to try reprogramming the loco.  Presto changeo, the loco once again runs without throwing a short.  I have to wonder whether I'm dealing with some type of intermittent failure in the decoder. Any thoughts?


Re: Auto Reverse

Don Vollrath
 

Your picture by itself is not a reversing loop. But 1) you are just asking for future issues when you have parallel mainline tracks with opposing polarity of the tracks. Any crossings or crossovers further ahead will cause reversing polarity problems 2) there may be a polarity issue at the crossover you show depending on how it is constructed.

DonV


Re: Auto Reverse

Blair
 

Jim
Don is correct.  The definition of a reversing section is that a train "returns on the same rails it came from".  By that definition, you have no reversing section as long as that is a crossing, not a crossover, slip or double slip.  Change that simple crossing to any of those turnout types, and you've introduced a reversing section, dependent on the setting of the turnout.
Blair


Re: Auto Reverse

Don Weigt
 

Jim, your tracks cross, but at no place can the train return to its origin going in the reverse direction. This is NOT a reversing loop! Either a reversing loop or a wye requires one or more turnouts. You have zero here, so not a reversing connection, as long as that's a simple crossing and the rails through each route aren't connected to the rails through the other.

Another way to check is to roll a car or loco or imaginary one through the route and see if there's ever a way the wheels on the right rail ever end up on the left rail of the same track section. If so, then no matter how convoluted the tracks, it's a reversing loop. If the wheels never swap rails, then there's no reversing loop or wye.

Don Weigt

--
Don Weigt
Connecticut


Auto Reverse

JIM MARTIN
 

Like many others seem to be i am pretty new to DCC, having been in G scale for many years and then inactive for a number of years. I think i have read the answer to my question several times. Unfortunately, i keep confusing myself and coming up with different answers. I have posted a picture of a portion of the layout (auto reverse or pass through). My question is does this scenario constitute a reverse loop. I could not understand how it could but then read (very possibly i misunderstood) that this is a reverse loop. i then decided to just accept this at face value and proceed. However, the more i thought about it the more confused i became. I used the simple test i read somewhere about following the track to determine if the rails every changed polarity and they do not. I also saw that this may be a crossing and not a cross-over which may have caused my initial confusion. If there is any value in it i laid pieces of wire, for purposes of the picture, along the track to show how i plan to wire the mainlines, and really all the way through the loop. I am ready to start wiring, after purchasing PSX devices. The loop end, there is also a slightly larger one at the other end of the layout, will be its own power district but at this point i am very unclear on the need for a PSX-AR vs. an additional PSX1.

Thanks for any help you can provide
Jim


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

Blair
 

Glenn, PennsyNut

Just how will an SPST actually provide the functionality the OP requested?  I'm curious.

"Is there a way I can have green LED on for power and red LED showing track is not powered. "

Now, I would agree, the red LED is likely superfluous, but perhaps he has a situation where he would like "proof positive" that the switch is in the right position, despite not being visible; such might occur if the programming track, etc. were not readily available from all locations on his layout.

Blair


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

PennsyNut
 

I tend to agree with K.I.S.S. Just a simple SPST mounted with the "powered" position up. Keep them all down/unpowered until you need that track powered. And like it was also said. You can tell immediately if a loco is powered if it's sound. (Heck, even with no sound, if the headlight is lit.)
Morgan Bilbo, DCC since 8/18. Model PRR 1952.


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

Glenn
 

A simple on off (SPST) switch will also work. Install the switch in an up/down position. Up would indicate the track is powered, etc.

 

This will eliminate a lot of extra wiring.

 

Also I would use toggle switches as thew would be simple to install, Ie single drilled hole. They also come with illumination.

 

Glenn


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

Allan AE2V
 

Hi Jim,

You have received two answers as a way to indicate that your track power is off to the locomotives.  Either will work.  Do you understand what you need to do?  Or do you need more detail?  We can provide you with more detail if you need it.

You might also consider not using lights at all if you have locomotives that make sounds and light up when they are on a DCC powered track.  With all those lights and sounds, do you really need a green or red LED?  If you still want those LEDs, go for it!

Allan Gartner

Wiring for DCC


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

David McBrayer
 

Jim,
An easily available 4-pole double-throw toggle switch could accomplish what you want. Two poles would be used to switch DCC to both tracks; the third pole to select the respective track status LED, with the fourth pole unused. Don’t forget the current limiting resistors for the LED’s.

4-pole double-throw toggle switches are available two sizes; compact and full-size. Depending on what is available to you either size will work. They are available from on-line (Allied, Newark, Digi-Key, All Electronics, etc.) and walk-in (remember these?) dealers in discrete electronic components.

—Dave McBrayer
Auburn, CA

--
Dave McBrayer
Auburn, CA


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

Charles Brumbelow
 

Single pole double throw switch would do the trick. One direction would feed the track and the green LED. Other direction would feed only the red LED. I would probably use toggle switches but slide switches would work. Charles

On Nov 15, 2021, at 8:04 AM, seameadow17 <jgviolante@...> wrote:

Hello Everyone,
I would like to have an on off switch on my control panel for my storage tracks.  Is there a way I can have green LED on for power and red LED showing track is not powered.  With many sound equipped locomotives I don't want all of them situated on the sidings to add sound.  My passenger station will have 11 tracks and I would like to isolate tracks and see the status on a control panel.
Thank You
Jim


Re: Sidings and Storage Tracks on a control panel

p.a.buckley@...
 

Use a DPDT switch, one side powering the siding and the other selecting the proper LED.

Paul Buckley

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