Date   
Re: HO Double X-Overs

Bill Wilken
 

What's really "fun" is installing four Tortoise switch machines underneath one of these beasts.  I finally resorted to bunches of #10 turnouts to achieve the same effect functionally.


On 01/12/2014 02:46 PM, Redvdub1@... wrote:
 

Thanks Bill for that advice.  Our club Shinohara double x-overs work fairly well but do have stop and go problems with some locos and they are not technically DCC friendly.  I am going to follow up on your comment about "leveling" and check our doubles tomorrow for planarity. 


Soundtraxx LC series again

asychis@...
 

Well I have solved my lighting issues, and have everything working the way it needs to on two LifeLike PAs.  One remaining problem.  The sound does not work on one locomotive.  The wiring, capacitor and speaker are  identical to the first locomotive.  Is there a way to test the green/brown leads to test to tell if there is a signal going tot he speaker when the sound, such as the bell is turned on? 
 
 I am guessing that the audio portion of the decoder is blown, but would like to confirm that.  I have changed out the speaker with the same result. Will you damage the decoder or speaker by leaving the capacitor out?  I have not done this, but perhaps the cap is bad?
 
Thanks,
 
Jerry Michels

Re: HO Double X-Overs

Gregory Latiak
 

If using the Tortoise remote operator it is possible to use two motors to operate the complete double crossover. Each remote has two flexible connectors -- the tricky part is setting them up so the throwbars move in opposite directions. And acceptance that the cross-over really has two states -- straight thru and crossed, so for all intents it is really just a very messy simple turnout. So both motors are driven from the same DS64 port.

Greg Latiak

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Paul O
 

Jerry, that is a ‘bipolar’ electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no specific + or – lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, + to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 8:52 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Soundtraxx LC series again

 

 

Well I have solved my lighting issues, and have everything working the way it needs to on two LifeLike PAs.  One remaining problem.  The sound does not work on one locomotive.  The wiring, capacitor and speaker are  identical to the first locomotive.  Is there a way to test the green/brown leads to test to tell if there is a signal going tot he speaker when the sound, such as the bell is turned on? 

 

 I am guessing that the audio portion of the decoder is blown, but would like to confirm that.  I have changed out the speaker with the same result. Will you damage the decoder or speaker by leaving the capacitor out?  I have not done this, but perhaps the cap is bad?

 

Thanks,

 

Jerry Michels

Custom length RJ cables ++

Glenn
 

I previously made the assumption the reference to RJ cables mean network patch cables. AKA RJ45. I am unfamiliar with the NCE wired setup.

 

The RJ12 – 6P6C system is used in telephone networking known commonly as the Key System. This may help in locating suitable cables.

 

On a slightly different thought, assuming you are doing a custom installation, you might be able to skip the plug portion of the cable and go with a Keystone Jack.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03800

It requires stabbing the wire into a vise like jaw, preferably with a specialized tool, but I have successfully used a 1/8” flat screw driver.

 

Depending on cost you may want to look into using another component of the Keystone system, the coupler.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03673

 

Either of the two fit into the Keystone wall plates which have up to six ports.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03410

These are available most anywhere.

 

The total Keystone system is represented at:

http://search.cablestogo.com/?vno=50&p=e&N=0&Ntt=keystone

 

I the references are from a previous vendor/manufacturer that I worked with for 12 years. Use the information as a reference. I have seen their products in many stores including the home centers.

 

It is possible to purchase just the mounting plate and attach it to the fascia board. You can also purchase a surface mount box which is similar to the retro fit modular telephone connections.

 

Glenn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of george hohon3
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 13:26
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Custom length RJ cables

 




Does anyone know of a supplier that makes custom length RJ cables for connecting UTP panels on a NCE system?  Thanks.

George


Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

asychis@...
 

Jerry, that is a 'bipolar' electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O
Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -
 
Jerry Michels

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Paul O
 

Jerry, NO, I said plus to plus OR minus to minus.

You want both eletorlytics in SERIES with OPPOSITE POLARITY.

Ex:  DECODER -à+CAP-à-CAP+àSPKRàDECODER

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:31 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

 

 

Jerry, that is a 'bipolar' electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O

Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -

 

Jerry Michels

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Jerry,

It’s NOT + to + AND – to – (which would be connected in parallel). It is + to +  OR – to - then connect each of the other ends as if it is a single capacitor component into the circuit. Note that no matter which way the current flows one of the polarized capacitors will see the correct voltage polarity. Hence the term… non-polarized capacitor. When AC voltage and current is applied eventually each capacitor will end up charging and holding some DC voltage and acting as two capacitors in series. This why each capacitor needs 2X the capacitance to yield the desired value. 1/Ctotal = 1/C1 + 1/C2

DonV  

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 11:31 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

 




Jerry, that is a 'bipolar&#39; electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O

Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -

 

Jerry Michels




Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Chris Richter
 

I have a 3 tiered layout that is nearing the build phase after 2 years planning! I have approx. 700" of track to lay down and after reading through Wiring for DCC's web site I have designed my layout to use the Bus/Sub-Bus wiring scheme. The layout room measures approx. 16' x 21' and I am hoping to go with 2 Boosters for the layout. At least that is my current thinking as I will be running short trains - trams, subways and suburban trains with 2, maybe 3 passenger trains (7-9 cars w/ 1 Lok). All in all I plan no more than 6-8 in operation at one time.

I have drawn up my wiring diagram and limited my Main Buses to 30' max from Booster output to the end. What I am interested in knowing is: Can the last Sub Bus off a Main Bus run "beyond" the Main Bus (for instance if it is a 12 foot Sub Bus can it run out 11+ foot (allowing for some overlap with the Main Bus to allow connection to it) beyond that 30" Main length?

I ask as I'm not an electrician and electrically it strikes me as I'm possibly pushing the envelope of the 30' max. of a Main Bus by doing this (my Mains will have RC Filters installed at their ends). However when I look at Mark Gurries "Dedicated Main Bus" drawing under "Block Wiring for Large Layouts" it appears that a Sub Bus does run past the end of the Main Bus (far left of this drawing).

Thanks for all the help WiringforDCC has already provided me and future guidance to come.  Chris

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Anthony Ashley <anthonyashley@...>
 

Dear Chris,

 

Your layout sounds very similar to mine. Mine is called Welsh Dragon rail is 35feet by 15 feet and is in N gauge. I spent 12 months planning and have built the boards for approx 1/6 of the layout. It has taken me 4 months of emails and research to sort out the electronics, which I think i have now cracked.

 

I have a thread at the following which you may be interested to look at as I have been asking many questions similar to your own over the last 4 months.

 

The thread is at :

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/71151-north-welsh-coast-railway-welsh-dragon-rafor bothil/

 

You will find my wiring diagrams toward the end of the thread. I have slightly modified them and can send them to you in a more readable format if you wish to see them.

 

From my  research the sub bus and bus should be no longer that 30 feet in length. In addition I have read that there is a need to twist the pairs of wires  3 times every metre. It cann’t hurt to do this and is supposed to assist with impedance. You should also terminate the wires using a resistor between the wire pair to terminate them.

 

You may find the following web site very useful as I have used it extensively:

 

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a52

 

I contains much info on wiring and electronics.

 

On my layout I am having approx 7 power districts and 35 sub districts. Each sub district will have an on/off switch to isolate the sub district to assist with fault finding on the large layout. In addition every track will be wired into a terminal block so that I can disconnect any track to isolate faults.

 

If you wish to talk further please send an email and I can assist further if required.

 

Regards,

 

Anthony Ashley

 

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of cdrat72kingscc@...
Sent: Thursday, 16 January 2014 7:36 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

 

I have a 3 tiered layout that is nearing the build phase after 2 years planning! I have approx. 700" of track to lay down and after reading through Wiring for DCC's web site I have designed my layout to use the Bus/Sub-Bus wiring scheme. The layout room measures approx. 16' x 21' and I am hoping to go with 2 Boosters for the layout. At least that is my current thinking as I will be running short trains - trams, subways and suburban trains with 2, maybe 3 passenger trains (7-9 cars w/ 1 Lok). All in all I plan no more than 6-8 in operation at one time.

I have drawn up my wiring diagram and limited my Main Buses to 30' max from Booster output to the end. What I am interested in knowing is: Can the last Sub Bus off a Main Bus run "beyond" the Main Bus (for instance if it is a 12 foot Sub Bus can it run out 11+ foot (allowing for some overlap with the Main Bus to allow connection to it) beyond that 30" Main length?

I ask! as I'm not an electrician and electrically it strikes me as I'm possibly pushing the envelope of the 30' max. of a Main Bus by doing this (my Mains will have RC Filters installed at their ends). However when I look at Mark Gurries "Dedicated Main Bus" drawing under "Block Wiring for Large Layouts" it appears that a Sub Bus does run past the end of the Main Bus (far left of this drawing).

Thanks for all the help WiringforDCC has already provided me and future guidance to come.  Chris

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Flash Gordon
 

Chris,

I am no expert but I have read the same literature as you. My layout will have the same problems as yours.... I will use main bus and sub bus with tail light bulbs.

The way I read it, the 30' limit includes anything attached to that wire including the sub bus and even the track. So any single "line" should stop at 30". BUT there is a cravat. If you use the RF filters then you can go well beyond the 30 feet.

Since I am a suspender/ belt person I will use the RF filter on all bus end and have them run a little beyond the end of the track.

Now others will pop in here and say they have run 50 foot bus with no problems. I understand that but DCC is so fickle there are too many variables to account for all conditions. I am sticking to this plan until experience proves it right or wrong.

Also I plan to build in sections and test the track and wiring with running trains, then move onto longer and longer bus.

Ed S

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Paul O
 

Ed, tail light bulbs are ‘old school’.

For each loco and/or lighted car that’s in a district controlled by a bulb, the additional load will cause the bulb to drop more voltage.

Use DCC circuit breakers instead.

 

Paul

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Ed S
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:43 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

 

  Chris,

I am no expert but I have read the same literature as you. My layout
will have the same problems as yours.... I will use main bus and
sub bus with tail light bulbs.

 



Ed S

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Flash Gordon
 

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the reminder. I am old school and cheap. Short sub buss blocks with heavy wire the bulbs will work.

Ed S

At 09:49 PM 1/16/2014, you wrote:


Ed, tail light bulbs are 'old school'.

For each loco and/or lighted car that's in a district controlled by a bulb, the additional load will cause the bulb to drop more voltage.

Use DCC circuit breakers instead.



Paul

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Steve Haas
 

Chris,


<<I have drawn up my wiring diagram and limited my Main Buses to 30' max from Booster output to the end. What I am interested in knowing is: Can the last Sub Bus off a Main Bus run "beyond" the Main Bus (for instance if it is a 12 foot Sub Bus can it run out 11+ foot (allowing for some overlap with the Main Bus to allow connection to it) beyond that 30" Main length?>>

 

A local layout has 12 AWG bus runs of over 70 feet to a distribution panel.  12 and 14 AWG buses head out to the track from the panel.  Absolutely no problems at all.

 

The NCE Power Pro manual has the following recommendations:

 

“For the hobbyist wiring up a new layout our suggested wire sizes based on voltage drop are:

 

Runs to twenty-five feet         #16

Runs to fifty feet                    #14

Runs over fifty feet                #12

 

For best results on long runs (over 20 feet), twist the bus wires about three turns per foot.”

 

 

If you haven’t purchased you main bus and sub bus wiring yet, I recommend you go with stranded rather than solid wire.  The electrical differences between solid and stranded wire are negligible in the NCE environment.  The flexibility of stranded wire compared to solid makes it the wire of choice.

 

Best regards,

 

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Mark Gurries
 

On Jan 15, 2014, at 1:35 PM, <cdrat72kingscc@...> <cdrat72kingscc@...> wrote:

I have a 3 tiered layout that is nearing the build phase after 2 years planning! I have approx. 700" of track to lay down and after reading through Wiring for DCC's web site I have designed my layout to use the Bus/Sub-Bus wiring scheme. The layout room measures approx. 16' x 21' and I am hoping to go with 2 Boosters for the layout. At least that is my current thinking as I will be running short trains - trams, subways and suburban trains with 2, maybe 3 passenger trains (7-9 cars w/ 1 Lok). All in all I plan no more than 6-8 in operation at one time.

I have drawn up my wiring diagram and limited my Main Buses to 30' max from Booster output to the end. What I am interested in knowing is: Can the last Sub Bus off a Main Bus run "beyond" the Main Bus (for instance if it is a 12 foot Sub Bus can it run out 11+ foot (allowing for some overlap with the Main Bus to allow connection to it) beyond that 30" Main length?

Yes.

I ask as I'm not an electrician and electrically it strikes me as I'm possibly pushing the envelope of the 30' max. of a Main Bus by doing this (my Mains will have RC Filters installed at their ends).

Problem can potentially appear when the bus wires go beyond 30 feet.  It is not a cliff where at 31 feet everything starts to fall apart and decoder stop working.    It become a shades of gray problem that only gets darker as the bus length gets longer.

If you have OLD existing layout wiring, you can go beyond 30 feet  with a RC filter installed at the end of the track bus.

If you are installing new wiring, you can twist the cable and go a lot farther without installing a RC Filter.   Somewhere close to 50ft or so, a RC filter can start to become advisable again.  The actual distance depends on how well you twisted the cables.

Twisting the track bus and installing RC filters are both about preventing potential problems.


Where do the numbers come from?

When one reports a layout has no problems with excessive long track bus runs, the recommendation is often based on the false idea that there will be a clear indication of a failure when something goes wrong.   Things can go wrong long before one actually sees something go wrong.   

Example:  

Decoder in moving train receives DCC packets regularly the contain speed and direction information.   The assumption is the decoder may be on dirty track and momentarily lose power in which all speed and direction information is lost by the decoder.  To keep train running reliably, the DCC standard by design require redundant speed and direction DCC packets be sent.  Hence when the flywheels get the engine past the dead spot such that DCC power is restored, the decoder knows  right away what speed and direction it need to be at to continue pulling the trains without any surprises.  When a invalid DCC packet is received, it is thrown away by the decoder as if it was never sent.  But  because of the redundancy of the sending the DCC packets, eventually they get through and no problem APPEARS to exist because the train keeps moving.  This is the key to DCC's robustness and high tolerance when dealing with less than ideal electrical transmission medium due to the naturally intermittent wheel to rail electrical contact.

Now lets say the moving train decoder goes out on the layout that has long track bus wires.  The decoder will start to experience GROWING high DCC packet error rates due to growing noise and other electrical distortions of the DCC signal created by the wire properties.   This is on top of the existing problem is of the trains own creation due to the less the perfect electrical wheel to rail contact.    The number of successful DCC packets getting through falls as the engine get farther away.  The point is problem are present, but you may not see them.  

So how does severe problems look like?  Sever problem are potentially observable problems.  The problem shows up in the form of lost of control.  However to know that one has lost control, the engineer has to want to make a big changes to the train speed or sound the horn in the area where the failure is occurring to see it.  This results in a delayed response in the speed change  -OR-  the horn never plays.   Some people will mistakenly think they did something wrong on the throttle and dismiss the problem as their fault.   The point being is that one seldom or never makes any adjustments in the trouble are at the end of the long bus run, they may never notice the problem for the train may eventually get back to an area were there are no more problem and all appears to be fine.    

There are scientific ways to detect problem long before they are visible and that is what the recommendations are based on.

Best Regards,

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



Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Chris Richter
 

All - thanks to all for your inputs. I have planned to go with 12 AWG on my Mains (w/ RC Filters and twisted) and 16 AWG on my Sub Buses). The stranded vs solid has been an open question in my thinking as I understand the flexibility of stranded but have also seen value in solid wire. Since I am "no school" I have been leaning towards circuit breakers instead of blubs although I know there's a significant cost delta...

What I have not yet decided on is which Cab/Control/Booster system/manufacturer to go (and hence their recommendations on wire, et. al.) with but I have a few months before that decision so I continue to read and listen to what others have had to say.

Chris

Re: Sub Bus "beyond" Main Bus

Chris Richter
 

Mark - your reply came in about 5 seconds after I sent out my thanks note - thanks much for your input (plus all the knowledge you've passed along in your writings)..  Chris

DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?

Robmorrison@...
 

A friend told me that he knew of a situation where a DCC system left on heated up the wires, especially the track feeders, so that a fire started all along under the track. He said the fire official told them that it looked like the fire was started and spread along the line of the track. He then went on to say that at 5 amps and 16 volts, we have about 80 watts going, quite a bit more than the average soldering iron, hence the fire potential. It is not known if there were separate circuit breakers.


I am a bit skeptical, but wondered if anyone on this list knows about this possibility.

My own On30 layout, which is only 12-feet by 12-feet, is separated into four districts, each protected by a DCC Specialties circuit breaker.  Probably overkill, but I feel better about it that way.

I would think that the circuit breakers would handle all or most shorts.  But what could be the cause of drawing enough power to heat things up that much without triggering any overload protection?  Unless the power station portion of the DCC system' s overload protection failed, I cannot envision the above problem.

Thnaks for any insights you may have.

Rob Morrison

Re: DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?

Bill><>
 

I too am extremely skeptical.
I suspect something shorting somewhere and no circuit breakers.
The more breakers, the easier it is to locate a problem.
Bill Kozel
 

Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2014 2:32 PM
Subject: [WiringForDCC] DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?
 
 

A friend told me that he knew of a situation where a DCC system left on heated up the wires, especially the track feeders, so that a fire started all along under the track. He said the fire official told them that it looked like the fire was started and spread along the line of the track. He then went on to say that at 5 amps and 16 volts, we have about 80 watts going, quite a bit more than the average soldering iron, hence the fire potential. It is not known if there were separate circuit breakers.

 
I am a bit skeptical, but wondered if anyone on this list knows about this possibility.
 
My own On30 layout, which is only 12-feet by 12-feet, is separated into four districts, each protected by a DCC Specialties circuit breaker.  Probably overkill, but I feel better about it that way.
 
I would think that the circuit breakers would handle all or most shorts.  But what could be the cause of drawing enough power to heat things up that much without triggering any overload protection?  Unless the power station portion of the DCC system' s overload protection failed, I cannot envision the above problem.
 
Thnaks for any insights you may have.
 
Rob Morrison

Madogbill><>

Re: DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?

Flash Gordon
 

Several things could have cause this.

First there had to be a short at the end of a line.

The buss wires and feeders were to small a gage to carry enough current to trip the command or booster
or
The transformer for the command or booster was to small to trip anything.

Each would cause the wires to heat up yet not trip anything.

A simple light bulb would have revealed this and save the layout.

I hope no one was injured.

Ed S


At 10:28 AM 1/20/2014, you wrote:
 

I too am extremely skeptical.
I suspect something shorting somewhere and no circuit breakers.
The more breakers, the easier it is to locate a problem.
Bill Kozel
 
From: Robmorrison@...
Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2014 2:32 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] DCC Wiring - Can it cause a fire?
 
 

A friend told me that he knew of a situation where a DCC system left on heated up the wires, especially the track feeders, so that a fire started all along under the track. He said the fire official told them that it looked like the fire was started and spread along the line of the track. He then went on to say that at 5 amps and 16 volts, we have about 80 watts going, quite a bit more than the average soldering iron, hence the fire potential. It is not known if there were separate circuit breakers.
 
I am a bit skeptical, but wondered if anyone on this list knows about this possibility.
 
My own On30 layout, which is only 12-feet by 12-feet, is separated into four districts, each protected by a DCC Specialties circuit breaker.  Probably overkill, but I feel better about it that way.
 
I would think that the circuit breakers would handle all or most shorts.  But what could be the cause of drawing enough power to heat things up that much without triggering any overload protection?  Unless the power station portion of the DCC system' s overload protection failed, I cannot envision the above problem.
 
Thnaks for any insights you may have.
 
Rob Morrison

Madogbill><>