Date   
Re: wireing for turnout switches

wirefordcc
 

For wiring your turnout controls yourself, see my website at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Vincent Ficca
 

Hi All:

What I have found out building Fast Track turnout over time, is to cut a slot on the bottom of each PC tie after the turnout is made.  So their is no possible way for the current to flow to the other rail.

Vince



On Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 3:57 PM David Heine <dheineww4@...> wrote:
A wire from an actuator (tortise, servo, etc.) through a hole in a throw bar made from PC board, could touch foils on both sides. I build my turnouts in place and only use PC tie material for the throw bar. I normally have the actuator hole in the middle of the throw bar. I cut the top foil on both sides of the actuator hole and the bottom foil in one place. The only low current short issue I had is if I recently ballasted and it is still damp. One the ballast is completely dry, I have no problems.

Dave Heine
Pennsylvania 


Re: wiring for turnout switches

wirefordcc
 

Another product that offers complete turnout control, including panel indicators, is the Walther's Layout Control System:

https://www.walthers.com/products/walthers-control-system

While systems like this are not as inexpensive as rolling your own, these products fill the need for people who can't solder or are not good at wiring things up.  Products like this also install quicker than rolling your own.  So they definitely fill a need.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: wireing for turnout switches

mgj21932
 

I had same question.  Although somewhat daunting at first, it doesn’t have to be.  After researching, the biggest issues for me were potential compatability of components from multiple vendors and lack of readily available signaling equipment using LEDs to indicate turnout status.  (I guess long-timers make their own). 

Ultimately went to Tam Valley web site (http://tamvalleydepot.com).   They have complete system of servos, actuators, wires and very neat push buttons with LEDs that can be mounted on a panel with supplied fascia mounting gaskets.  A complete system!  Very neat and straight forward to install.  Can even add DCC Cab control as option to manual buttons.    

Site is not the easiest to navigate but with perseverance you ought to be able to find what you need.  Pay attention to bundled items to save money.  
 
Duncan McCree at Tam Valley is very helpful.  “de.mcree@...”

I ordered everything I needed from Rick at “dccinstallssales@...”.   Great guy to work with; tell him Bill Demarest referred you and you should get great pricing (you’ll save over buying direct).  

FYI, for compatability and simplicity I also went with Tam Valley’s “Hexjuicer” to handle up to 3 autoreverse segments and circuit breaker needs.  Again, Duncan can answer questions and Rick will get you everything you need.   Say “Hi” to both for me.  

Best of luck,
Bill Demarest


On Mar 2, 2020, at 3:44 PM, James Cunningham via Groups.Io <jccowboys825@...> wrote:

How do i wire turnout switches and motors and add direction signal led lights

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

David Heine
 

A wire from an actuator (tortise, servo, etc.) through a hole in a throw bar made from PC board, could touch foils on both sides. I build my turnouts in place and only use PC tie material for the throw bar. I normally have the actuator hole in the middle of the throw bar. I cut the top foil on both sides of the actuator hole and the bottom foil in one place. The only low current short issue I had is if I recently ballasted and it is still damp. One the ballast is completely dry, I have no problems.

Dave Heine
Pennsylvania 


wireing for turnout switches

James Cunningham
 

How do i wire turnout switches and motors and add direction signal led lights

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Gary

All this will be true with the Fast Tracks system, but this discussion started about turnouts, and track, that were built long before Fast Tracks came along.
Both situations I described did happen.
I mean like 30 plus years ago, when I first used home cut PC ties in the late 1970’s.
Yes, a low “current" leak is an applicable term too.


On Mar 1, 2020, at 11:32 AM, Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:

Richard Sutcliffe writes:
Both cases there was a very high resistance short, just a tiny leak of current.
I’m sure many can relate to the term resistance leak.

Dick,

For me, the term, resistance leak, is somewhat confusing!  How does resistance leak?  I think current leak better identifies the problem you describe!  Also, as one that has built many turnouts in S gauge, I don't see how applied heat during assembly could reduce the insulation  between the top and bottom foils to the point that they could come close to touching, unless the person uses excessive heat from the solder iron, or the CB ties are much thinner than Fast Tacks ties.  Forty to fifty Watt irons are sufficient to get a good flow of solder.  Further, the majority of heat should be applied to the rail base rather than the CB foil.  So, perhaps the flaw is in the application of heat.  Again, the instructions are very clear and detailed on how to apply the flux and heat!  The small swabs are perfect for applying the right amount of flux to the ideal location!  Early on, Fast tracks sold acid flux with precise instructions on how to cleanup.  However, resin flux is now a better option!  I'm wondering if acid flux was used and broke down the CB insulation material causing the high resistance short??

Gary Chudzinski
_._,_._,_


Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Tom O'Hara
 

I'll echo what Gary says. I don't see any way that current gets from top to bottom copper unless a bit of solder crossed the gap or something else (??). Then the resistance would be tiny and an easy path from top to bottom, and there would be a definite short circuit. Does the substrate conduct? It shouldn't, as proved by zillions of pc boards in use. Can you decompose it? I doubt it, but I guess that's a (unlikely) possibility. Incidentally, if you check for continuity with a checker, there should be no connection.

I'll also echo the soldering technique. Heat the rail with your iron, not the pc tie. You may have to touch the tie for a moment, but that is all. The copper foil can peal off the substrate with too much heat.

I have installed hundreds of pc ties. Each time that I have had continuity where I didn't want it, I have found a metal bridge where I shouldn't have had one. Once removed, the continuity was zero and the resistance infinite.

...Tom

On Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 7:16 AM Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:
Richard Sutcliffe writes:
Both cases there was a very high resistance short, just a tiny leak of current.
I’m sure many can relate to the term resistance leak.

Dick,

For me, the term, resistance leak, is somewhat confusing!  How does resistance leak?  I think current leak better identifies the problem you describe!  Also, as one that has built many turnouts in S gauge, I don't see how applied heat during assembly could reduce the insulation  between the top and bottom foils to the point that they could come close to touching, unless the person uses excessive heat from the solder iron, or the CB ties are much thinner than Fast Tacks ties.  Forty to fifty Watt irons are sufficient to get a good flow of solder.  Further, the majority of heat should be applied to the rail base rather than the CB foil.  So, perhaps the flaw is in the application of heat.  Again, the instructions are very clear and detailed on how to apply the flux and heat!  The small swabs are perfect for applying the right amount of flux to the ideal location!  Early on, Fast tracks sold acid flux with precise instructions on how to cleanup.  However, resin flux is now a better option!  I'm wondering if acid flux was used and broke down the CB insulation material causing the high resistance short??

Gary Chudzinski











--
... Tom

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Gary Chudzinski
 

Richard Sutcliffe writes:
Both cases there was a very high resistance short, just a tiny leak of current.
I’m sure many can relate to the term resistance leak.

Dick,

For me, the term, resistance leak, is somewhat confusing!  How does resistance leak?  I think current leak better identifies the problem you describe!  Also, as one that has built many turnouts in S gauge, I don't see how applied heat during assembly could reduce the insulation  between the top and bottom foils to the point that they could come close to touching, unless the person uses excessive heat from the solder iron, or the CB ties are much thinner than Fast Tacks ties.  Forty to fifty Watt irons are sufficient to get a good flow of solder.  Further, the majority of heat should be applied to the rail base rather than the CB foil.  So, perhaps the flaw is in the application of heat.  Again, the instructions are very clear and detailed on how to apply the flux and heat!  The small swabs are perfect for applying the right amount of flux to the ideal location!  Early on, Fast tracks sold acid flux with precise instructions on how to cleanup.  However, resin flux is now a better option!  I'm wondering if acid flux was used and broke down the CB insulation material causing the high resistance short??

Gary Chudzinski









Re: Peco Unifrog

PennsyNut
 

Allen. I just looked at your link. Great. Very nicely done. The problem I see is that people are waiting for PECO to send Unifrogs to the U.S. and that the wait is taking a very long time. And if they start with Only code 100, those of us with code 83 will be waiting longer. (and what about the frog number? #6 first? #5 most popular) And Rick, who started this thread, is only one of many. PECO seems to be a little vague about when they will be supplying all this, so we can only wait and see! My only comment is that I used Insulfrogs and did not fasten them down - did no wiring - and just finger throw/or rod throw. No electrical connections at all. And they work fine. But when using machines or lights or frog feed, you should use electrofrog. But I was too lazy to wire or fuss with the turnouts. This is not to say my way is best. It's just that I practice the K.I.S.S. principal. And when the Unifrogs get here, I suspect they will be even better. And thanks to Allen for this fantastic thread that is a boon to DCC.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Peco Unifrog

wirefordcc
 

I have written up the Peco Unifrog on my website at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm#a7

It appears that the Unifrog will replace the Insulfrog and Electrofrog turnouts.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Peco Unifrog

Mike Hoggard
 

I did not know that Peco were going to produce a Unifrog turnout and I am not sure what it will do. I.m guessing that it will be a turnout that makes both legs live. You can do this very simply by using a small spring that Hornby make. One in each exit leg of the turnout overrides the isolating character of the standard Peco or Hornby turnout so that both legs are live. It,s easy and you can change your mind without lifting the turnout. .The part number is R8232 DCC Electro point clips. Pack of 20. They cost £7.20 a pack which is outrages but i suppose that 72 pence a point is not too bad.

On Saturday, 29 February 2020, 15:22:42 GMT, Arthur Hammeke <hammekea@...> wrote:


Did you try Ebay?

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Rick Beatty <rb10de@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:08 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco Unifrog
 
Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Guys

A very,very high resistant short circuit.
Not enough current flow to trip any circuit protection, but enough current to heat the circuit over time and cause damage.

I have had leakage through a grain of ballast from the bottom foil to the top foil of a PC tie. Over time (several years on a club layout) the small amount of heat destroyed the resin until the foils touched. Then it took a while to find the now significant short that was tripping the circuit protection. The area became apparent when a heavy loco was in the same place when the “short” occurred.

Another one was a Walthers passenger truck with one wheelset across the gaps at the end of a reversing block. In a much shorter time than above, the wheel softened enough to move on the axle causing a derailment. But did not trip the auto reverser.

Both cases there was a very high resistance short, just a tiny leak of current.
I’m sure many can relate to the term resistance leak.

I avoid the use of double sided PC ties, to the extent I heat & peal the the one foil off the tie before building the turnout. I usually do the pealing before cutting the ties to length.

On Feb 8, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:

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: Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

What would I try ebay for?

Re: Peco Unifrog

Arthur Hammeke
 

Did you try Ebay?


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Rick Beatty <rb10de@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:08 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco Unifrog
 
Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Re: Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

About a year ago I had contacted Peco. The word has been that they intended to expand the line as current tooling wore out. When I asked for an estimate on when that might be for HO code 100 their response was that it could take years.  

Has anyone heard anything recently regarding a timeline?

Adding CP6 and Auto SW

Wyndell "Wingnut" Ferguson
 

I have a NCE Power Cab and want to add a NCE CP6 circuit protector and an Auto SW Program Track auto switch. Im thinking I should go from the PNP to the CP6, then to the AUto SW and from the Auto SW use one output(C1) to the main track and another to the Program Track.  Is this correct?

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Duff & Polly M
 

I must take back part of my previous post.  Upon closer examination, the Bachmann SD40-2 is standard DC, although it appears that the motor may be isolated.  Wires from the trucks go to a simple circuit board, which appears to distribute power - both pos and neg -  to the motor and the lamps; no measured conductivity from either to the frame.  That may be a simple, but not necessarily low cost, conversion.  If so, I will make this locomotive dedicated, as I previously mentioned.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Duff & Polly M
 

Thank you for the various replies.

An issue of speed control was mentioned a couple of times; the locomotive with DCC decoder set for DC will not necessarily respond the same way as the locomotive without the decoder, when the locomotive is powered by lower DC throttle settings.  There is a minimum voltage needed before the decoder activates, resulting in a locomotive minimum speed that may be higher than desired.  I had not appreciated this before, although the physics makes sense.

One of the locomotives is a Mantua Pacific, with Vanderbilt tender.  It seems that the decoder is located in the tender, and the tender top is readily removable.  Except for possible problems with repeated removal and insertion of plug and decoder, it should not be inconvenient to swap the two, if the performance with the decoder programmed for DC is not acceptable.

The other locomotive is a Bachmann SD40-2.  I have not yet explored how easy replacements can be done, but my initial thought is that the reduced low speed performance would be more problematic, suggesting swapping, instead of reprogramming, might be necessary.  It was suggested that I dedicate certain locomotives for exclusive use at the club; this solution might be best for the SD40-2.