Date   

Re: Keeping It All Nice Neat And Tidy!!

Charles Brumbelow
 

Ultimate example???
Cheers! Charles


Repeal the 17th Amendment. 

On Mar 19, 2016, at 6:42 AM, colinseggie@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Hi Guys ,
I have been searching Google for some ideas of keeping the Wiring of our tracks neat and tidy. Whilst there are some good ideas;  a lot of pics show
"spaghetti junction"
Any body out there with a plan/diagram from the mains to boosters to control, etc that would like to share i would be most grateful.
DocColin


Keeping It All Nice Neat And Tidy!!

colinseggie@...
 

Hi Guys ,
I have been searching Google for some ideas of keeping the Wiring of our tracks neat and tidy. Whilst there are some good ideas;  a lot of pics show
"spaghetti junction"
Any body out there with a plan/diagram from the mains to boosters to control, etc that would like to share i would be most grateful.
DocColin


Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Gregory Latiak
 

Thanks for this. Looks like something within my skills to fabricate.

greg


Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

richg_1998@...
 

This has been sufficient for our club using the five amp NCE Power Pro. I used the voltmeter circuit with a LED display so we could easily see the reading anywhere in the room.
At home, I used the current option using a Harbor Freight meter on the 20 ma scale. I have four of these meters and they all agree.
I have a high amperage rheostat that I clipped across the track and lower the resistance until the booster trips. Tripped at about 4.97 amps as I recall.

The meters read 13.6 VAC across the tracks and are sufficient for voltage readings. A Scope showed us hardly any spiking.

DCC Ammeter (2010)

  More options below.

DCC Voltages


 

Rich


Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Mark Gurries
 

I should say the bipolar current waveform that although is rectangular is NOT in any time sync with the DCC voltage waveform.  The current pulses come from decoders that are actively driving motors with pulses (PWM) asyncrounsly with the DCC voltage waveform.  it is a random composite of all the decoder motor current pulses that are running.  But the end result through the rectifier is still DC although pulsed DC….the meter will report the AVERAGE value of the collective current pulses.  It will NOT report the peak current which is what the booster monitors.

On Mar 9, 2016, at 11:11 AM, Mark Gurries gurriesm@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

The complexity of the voltage waveform is the same for the current waveform.  Both are bipolar pulses.  A waveform that the most common DVM meters are not designed to read correctly.  The bridge rectifier removes the bi-polar nature of the rectangular waveforms to a unipolar output.  Given the waveform is a rectangular, the end result is that the rectifier converts the rectangular AC to 99% DC which any meter can measure accurately.

As Don said, there is calibration issue when reading voltage.  You ave to account for the two diode voltage drops.

For current, the bridge rectifier does not introduce an error term but does reduce the final track voltage by two diode voltage drops.   If a locomotive crosses a booster district where the track current is NOT monitored to one that is monitored, you can see the engine speed change.    However, higher end DCC decoder with BEMF motor drive will minimize/compensate for that effect.

Taking a step back, I am always wondering why people think is it important to monitor the booster voltage and current.    If you think it will give you a heads up on booster overload, that is not what actually happens.  Most overload problem are not related to train running issue.  They are recovery from a short circuit while dealing with high inrush current issues.


On Mar 9, 2016, at 9:57 AM, glatiak@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Well, I would except that the space available is barely larger than a single RRamp circuit board. I guess I don't really understand the issue of correctly measuring booster output -- I would speculate (and please correct me) that current flow should be straight forward, but voltage measurement for the DCC waveform is probably 'interesting'. I have a cased RRamp that I use for spot checking the track, so I probably don't really need running voltage from the booster or the idiot lights. If it ain't DCC coming from the booster than I probably have other issues.

Anyhow, if a regular digital amp meter will provide a reasonable value then I am probably ok with that.

greg

Best Regards,

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




Best Regards,

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




Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Mark Gurries
 

The complexity of the voltage waveform is the same for the current waveform.  Both are bipolar pulses.  A waveform that the most common DVM meters are not designed to read correctly.  The bridge rectifier removes the bi-polar nature of the rectangular waveforms to a unipolar output.  Given the waveform is a rectangular, the end result is that the rectifier converts the rectangular AC to 99% DC which any meter can measure accurately.

As Don said, there is calibration issue when reading voltage.  You ave to account for the two diode voltage drops.

For current, the bridge rectifier does not introduce an error term but does reduce the final track voltage by two diode voltage drops.   If a locomotive crosses a booster district where the track current is NOT monitored to one that is monitored, you can see the engine speed change.    However, higher end DCC decoder with BEMF motor drive will minimize/compensate for that effect.

Taking a step back, I am always wondering why people think is it important to monitor the booster voltage and current.    If you think it will give you a heads up on booster overload, that is not what actually happens.  Most overload problem are not related to train running issue.  They are recovery from a short circuit while dealing with high inrush current issues.


On Mar 9, 2016, at 9:57 AM, glatiak@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Well, I would except that the space available is barely larger than a single RRamp circuit board. I guess I don't really understand the issue of correctly measuring booster output -- I would speculate (and please correct me) that current flow should be straight forward, but voltage measurement for the DCC waveform is probably 'interesting'. I have a cased RRamp that I use for spot checking the track, so I probably don't really need running voltage from the booster or the idiot lights. If it ain't DCC coming from the booster than I probably have other issues.

Anyhow, if a regular digital amp meter will provide a reasonable value then I am probably ok with that.

greg

Best Regards,

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




Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Gregory Latiak
 

Well, I would except that the space available is barely larger than a single RRamp circuit board. I guess I don't really understand the issue of correctly measuring booster output -- I would speculate (and please correct me) that current flow should be straight forward, but voltage measurement for the DCC waveform is probably 'interesting'. I have a cased RRamp that I use for spot checking the track, so I probably don't really need running voltage from the booster or the idiot lights. If it ain't DCC coming from the booster than I probably have other issues.

Anyhow, if a regular digital amp meter will provide a reasonable value then I am probably ok with that.

greg


Re: Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Greg,

If you want to permanently monitor booster output ampere demand, why not simply add one at each booster? See http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track.htm#a4 . Inexpensive multimeters with a digital DC ammeter readout are available at Harbor Freight and other discount suppliers.  

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2016 7:45 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Remote RRamp-like Indicators

 




When I built the control panel for my layout I included an RRamp meter in-line to monitor power draw on the track. Due to an influx of sound locos I have been forced to add an additional booster and partition the track feeds. I would love to have a meter on both booster supplies -- but have no space to add a second RRamp circuit board. And I have considered but rejected ideas to switch the meter between the boosters as this would cause interruptions in track power that I would prefer to avoid.

 

Is there anything out there that I could use to provide equivalent power and voltage metrics where the display could be some distance from the circuitry? I would prefer to not scratch-build but would if necessary. (I did ask the RRamp people but they suggested switching it...).

 

I have also considered unsoldering the display and moving it to the end of a ribbon cable. Not sure I am feeling that bold, but...

 

Any thoughts or suggestions?

 

Thanks,

 

Greg Latiak





Remote RRamp-like Indicators

Gregory Latiak
 

When I built the control panel for my layout I included an RRamp meter in-line to monitor power draw on the track. Due to an influx of sound locos I have been forced to add an additional booster and partition the track feeds. I would love to have a meter on both booster supplies -- but have no space to add a second RRamp circuit board. And I have considered but rejected ideas to switch the meter between the boosters as this would cause interruptions in track power that I would prefer to avoid.


Is there anything out there that I could use to provide equivalent power and voltage metrics where the display could be some distance from the circuitry? I would prefer to not scratch-build but would if necessary. (I did ask the RRamp people but they suggested switching it...).


I have also considered unsoldering the display and moving it to the end of a ribbon cable. Not sure I am feeling that bold, but...


Any thoughts or suggestions?


Thanks,


Greg Latiak


Re: Feeds for detection blocks

Mark Gurries
 

On Feb 26, 2016, at 12:48 PM, sgrzegorzewski@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

I will be using a BDL168 detector and will have a PM42 feeding into it from the booster.  The zone common will be rail A (red) coming out of the BDL168, and the detection common will be the rail B (black) coming out of the BDL168 also.  My question pertains to long blocks (6 to 8 ft).  

Definition of block length, long or short, of a given block is relative to the typical train length your running.

Looking at the BDL168 manual dated 2013 that names of the wires and the color do not match.  We need to work from a common drawing.  I am using the 2013 version of the BDL168 manual as listed on the Digitrax Website.

i will attempt to answer you question based on Figure 1 and using the wire colors shown.

I will likely need a second connection to the zone common (red).  

With the exception of the PS14 connection, all wires running long distances to or from a PM42 or BDL168 that carry track power must be heavy gauge.  The problem people encounter is that large gauge wires do not fit on the connectors.  A common solution to deal with the wire gauge problem is to mount a terminal block next to the BDL-168.   The terminal block makes it easy to transition between different gauge wires.  You can actually pre-build the BDL168 on a piece of plywood along with the terminal block and pre-wire the BDL-168 to the terminal block with small gauge wire.  That way when you install it, all you doing is working with the large gauge wires.

Looking at the BDL168 manual dated 2013, the:

1)  red wire is the “Detection Common” wire.  This heavy gauge wire should be run under the track.  You should have multiple smaller gauge track feeders connecting the heavy gauge detection common to the rail that is powered by the same given booster.  It should not be a single connection.

2) gray/black wire is a “Zone Common” wire which is also supposed to be a heavy gauge wire.   When the heavy gauge zone common wire reaches the BDL-168, it can be broken up into 4 very short smaller gauge wires such that each Zone input, A,B,C and D will each have a connection with a wire that fits the connector.

3) blue wires are the “Detection Section" wires.  The long run from the BDL168 to the track again needs to be heavy gauge since they will carry the train current.   Since heavy gauge wire cannot be directly connected to the terminals of the BDL-168, again you will have to use a short length of smaller gauge wire to complete the connection between the heavy wire and the BDL-168.  For each heavy gauge detection section wire you should have multiple smaller gauge track feeders connecting it to the sections of physical rail that represent the detection section.  It should not be a single connection.

Must I make the second connection to the long block from the same output of the BDL168 feed or can I connect it to the rail A bus that comes out of the PM42? 

PM42 must be placed after the booster but BEFORE the BDL168.    The same concept of having a terminal strip to adapt wire gauge local to the PM42 to deal with the change in wire gauge also applies.

GRAY/BLACK WIRE:  You need to run the Zone common Gray wire from the booster to the PM42 RAIL A input connection.  Then from the Track A output, run the Gray wire out to BDL168 Zone connections A, B, C and D.  This assume you want all 16 detections zone powered by the same booster.

RED WIRE:  You need to run the Detection common red wire from the booster to the PM42 RAIL B input connection.  Then from the Track B output, run the red wire out to the rail to complete the detection common connection.

Best Regards,

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




Feeds for detection blocks

Steven Grzegorzewski
 

I will be using a BDL168 detector and will have a PM42 feeding into it from the booster.  The zone common will be rail A (red) coming out of the BDL168, and the detection common will be the rail B (black) coming out of the BDL168 also.  My question pertains to long blocks (6 to 8 ft).  I will likely need a second connection to the zone common (red).  Must I make the second connection to the long block from the same output of the BDL168 feed or can I connect it to the rail A bus that comes out of the PM42?  Additionally, for the blocks connected to the BDL168, do all the detector commons also need to be tied to the detector bus common (black) coming from the BDL168 or can they be also commented to the rail B bus feed from the PM42 for that power district?


Re: Options for auto-reverser ...

redking56@...
 

For years, I was a big fan of the Digitrax AR-1, inexpensive and reliable. But, with its mechanical relay, it is just too slow to work well in the digital age. When I created power districts on my layout, and protected each district with a PSX circuit breaker, conflicts occurred with the AR-1 units. The solid state PSX circuit breakers were tripping faster than the AR-1s could reset. So, I sold off my AR-1 units and replaced them with PSX-AR units. No more conflicts.

Rich


Re: Options for auto-reverser ...

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Richard, look for Frog Juicer for frogs and the PSXAR for other auto reverser duties.

DonV

On Feb 23, 2016, at 5:58 AM, Richard Main richard@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I am building a small HO switching layout, and some crossings and
double-slips will require an auto-reverser (I will be using powered
frogs). Some friends have recommended the Digitrax AR-1 or PM-42 to
auto-set the polarity of the frogs.

What other options are there apart from Digitrax? (I'm not against
Digitrax as such, just looking at what's around!)

Kind regards,

Richard Main
Melbourne, Australia



------------------------------------
Posted by: Richard Main <richard@...>
------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.com
------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links



Options for auto-reverser ...

Richard Main
 

Hi all,

I am building a small HO switching layout, and some crossings and double-slips will require an auto-reverser (I will be using powered frogs). Some friends have recommended the Digitrax AR-1 or PM-42 to auto-set the polarity of the frogs.

What other options are there apart from Digitrax? (I'm not against Digitrax as such, just looking at what's around!)

Kind regards,

Richard Main
Melbourne, Australia


Re: using computer powerpack for accessory power

tradertoolkit@...
 

Thanks Mark

So to be clear, if I intend on having the accessories controlled with DCC accessory decoders, then it CANNOT share the earth ground.


Re: using computer powerpack for accessory power

Mark Gurries
 

On Feb 22, 2016, at 2:19 PM, tradertoolkit@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Hello all,

I am a newcomer to both DCC and this forum having had a large LGB indoor layout running in analog for many years.

I am converting the whole layout to DCC, well not converting. Re-doing from scratch. My intent was to let the Zimo command station control the track power and to have a separate power panel from a 950 Watt Kentek ATX computer power supply. I have built one before but I've read that for DCC no earth ground can be connected. I see why that is for the command station power, does this apply to power for accessories as well? ( signals, turnouts, lights etc)
If the accessories are not electrically connected in any way to the DCC system, there is no problem. Each INDEPENDENT electrical system can have it own earth ground. It just cannot be shared or connected to with any other layout electrical system that has it own Earth Ground.

ATX power supplies may have minimum current you must draw from them on the main output in order for them to work properly as in meet full specifications for all of the auxiliary outputs. But I suspect you know that if you built one before.

One further question, my layout is indoors so the temperature remains fairly constant.
It is not just temperature, which helps some, but humidity too. Wood will absorb or release the moisture from humidity based on the environment as required with its goal of reaching an equilibrium with the environment. It can enters and exit from the exposed end grain of the cut wood. Plywood is the most stable. All this translates to the wood moving under the track. One good idea is to allows the wood to season to the environment of the room in spring or fall where the humidity is nominal and then paint the wood to seal it from the humidity. With the humidity controlled at the wood level and a temperature controlled room, you will be able to lay track at your leisure.

Given that, is it still recommended to have every piece of track soldered to something?
The answer comes down to the question relating to what type of rail joiners are you using. if you have simple slide on rail joiners, the rails will be allowed to move inside them. Movement allows oxidation. Oxidation allows electrical resistance to build up. Worse case the connection can fail electrically. The point is do not rely on the common slip on rail joiner for electrical conductions. Only rely on them for mechanical alignment of the rails.

Soldering the real joiners does work but at some point there will be a break in the solder joints due to the stress buildup of any wood movement. This is the argument about making sure at a MINIMUM there is no more than 2 rail joiner between track feeders of a given rail. The assumption here is it allow one rail joiner to fail allowing the other one to pick up the load. But is not foolproof. It you want 100% non failure, you need to solder a track feeder to every monolithic piece of rail such that is does not matter what the rail joiners do or not do electrically.

Now in Theory if you had screw based rail joiners where the screws after fighting are locked some how, then you can get away with less track feeders because you have a electrically reliable rail joiner. However I am not an expert in in LGB or G scale in terms of how in practice screw terminals work. There may be others on this list that know better than I what work and what does not due to experience.

I had a thought to use the LGB track power terminals every 5-6 ft rather than solder the jumpers, although not prototype, is this a viable option?
Yes, You will have to make sure the screw does not come loose or you as unreliable as regular rail joiner. Locktight?

Best Regards,

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


using computer powerpack for accessory power

tradertoolkit@...
 

Hello all,


I am a newcomer to both DCC and this forum having had a large LGB indoor layout running in analog for many years.


I am converting the whole layout to DCC, well not converting. Re-doing from scratch. My intent was to let the Zimo command station control the track power and to have a separate power panel from a 950 Watt Kentek ATX computer power supply. I have built one before but I've read that for DCC no earth ground can be connected. I see why that is for the command station power, does this apply to power for accessories as well? ( signals, turnouts, lights etc)


One further question, my layout is indoors so the temperature remains fairly constant. Given that, is it still recommended to have every piece of track soldered to something? I had a thought to use the LGB track power terminals every 5-6 ft rather than solder the jumpers, although not prototype, is this a viable option?


Thank you for all the great knowledge I've read so far on this forum.


Re: Wiring for A Wye

mikedolan34
 

Thanks Don. 
I was thinking that would be the best. Appreciate the quick response. 
Mike Dolan


On Feb 21, 2016, at 11:18 PM, 'Vollrath, Don' dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 

Mike
You can use a DPDT toggle switch to select which leg of the wye will be a reversing leg at setup time. Insulate both rails of each leg. Wire the rails of each leg to the 'throw' terminals of a separate DPDT toggle switch. Wire one end of each toggle switch to an AR unit. Wire the other side is the switch to fixed DCC. Flip the toggles to suit the setup. An alternate setup would be to let both legs be of fixed polarity and make the third switch of the wye determine the polarity of the turnout and tracks beyond according to the direction of the throw bar.
DonV


On Feb 21, 2016, at 10:00 PM, pkmjd@...<mailto:pkmjd@...> [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...<mailto:WiringForDCC@...>> wrote:

I belong to a Free-Mo Modular group and have a question concerning Wye wiring.
The nature of our group is such that each setup is different from the previous. I have built a Wye for use in the group and wired as it is, requires placement the same at each set up.
I would like to rewire this so that each leg of the wye could be swapped for the purpose of the reversing polarity. I would like to control each leg of the wye so that I could have Leg A as the reversing section at a set up but have Leg C as the reversing section at the next set up.
I've looked at SPST or DPDT toggles or maybe a 3 way Guitar type switch is required. But I'm confused.
Appreciate any feedback.
Mike Dolan
(New Member)


Re: Wiring for A Wye

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Mike,
Using a short leg of track for DCC auto-reversing is problematic. It would help if you could send a sketch of possible ways you envision how your module with the wye would be used. Post them in our files or photo section or send direct to me by email.
Be sure to check out other options at http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#a45.
DonV

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2016 10:19 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Wiring for A Wye

Mike
You can use a DPDT toggle switch to select which leg of the wye will be a reversing leg at setup time. Insulate both rails of each leg. Wire the rails of each leg to the 'throw' terminals of a separate DPDT toggle switch. Wire one end of each toggle switch to an AR unit. Wire the other side is the switch to fixed DCC. Flip the toggles to suit the setup. An alternate setup would be to let both legs be of fixed polarity and make the third switch of the wye determine the polarity of the turnout and tracks beyond according to the direction of the throw bar.
DonV
On Feb 21, 2016, at 10:00 PM, pkmjd@...<mailto:pkmjd@...> [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...<mailto:WiringForDCC@...>> wrote:



I belong to a Free-Mo Modular group and have a question concerning Wye wiring.
The nature of our group is such that each setup is different from the previous. I have built a Wye for use in the group and wired as it is, requires placement the same at each set up.
I would like to rewire this so that each leg of the wye could be swapped for the purpose of the reversing polarity. I would like to control each leg of the wye so that I could have Leg A as the reversing section at a set up but have Leg C as the reversing section at the next set up.
I've looked at SPST or DPDT toggles or maybe a 3 way Guitar type switch is required. But I'm confused.
Appreciate any feedback.
Mike Dolan
(New Member)






------------------------------------
Posted by: "Vollrath, Don" <DVollrath@...>
------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.com
------------------------------------

Yahoo Groups Links


Re: Wiring for A Wye

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Mike
You can use a DPDT toggle switch to select which leg of the wye will be a reversing leg at setup time. Insulate both rails of each leg. Wire the rails of each leg to the 'throw' terminals of a separate DPDT toggle switch. Wire one end of each toggle switch to an AR unit. Wire the other side is the switch to fixed DCC. Flip the toggles to suit the setup. An alternate setup would be to let both legs be of fixed polarity and make the third switch of the wye determine the polarity of the turnout and tracks beyond according to the direction of the throw bar.
DonV

On Feb 21, 2016, at 10:00 PM, pkmjd@...<mailto:pkmjd@...> [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...<mailto:WiringForDCC@...>> wrote:



I belong to a Free-Mo Modular group and have a question concerning Wye wiring.
The nature of our group is such that each setup is different from the previous. I have built a Wye for use in the group and wired as it is, requires placement the same at each set up.
I would like to rewire this so that each leg of the wye could be swapped for the purpose of the reversing polarity. I would like to control each leg of the wye so that I could have Leg A as the reversing section at a set up but have Leg C as the reversing section at the next set up.
I've looked at SPST or DPDT toggles or maybe a 3 way Guitar type switch is required. But I'm confused.
Appreciate any feedback.
Mike Dolan
(New Member)