Date   

Re: DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Jerry Michels
 

This is good advice. We operate a large two-level laout, about 10 scale miles, and use no snubbers.  All works well regarding the DCC signal.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Re: DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Blair & Rasa
 

Ross
(minor responses interspersed below, then read on here:)
The layout room is 52 x 28; the layout is HO.  Attached is the overall DCC plan. The room is basically a double deck, with three locations where it becomes triple.  Some context: the oval at the bottom is a three tier staging room, 10x28; The three peninsulas are fed from their bases(points A, B, and C), as are the outside walls of the room.  Be aware, there are more subtleties, but this gives you the flavor.  We have built about 30% of the upper deck, as well as the branchline on the third level, upper left (i.e. busses C2 and C3 are in place and in use).  We have been operating with a single DCS100 located at 'C'.  The time has come to build the rest of the upper deck, which requires boosters at A and B, hence my questions.  Once built, A will be the location of the DCS100, B will be a DB210, and C will be a DB150.  Each will have a quad circuit breaker; yes, this could change, but the basic topology doesn't change if I add or remove a breaker or two.

In short,
- There's around 600' of main line, plus two 120' interchange RRs, and a 70' branchline. 
- the topology of the RR lends itself to the chosen booster locations.  There's just a lot of track in excess of 30' from the chosen locations.
- most bus runs go in two directions from the boosters already. 
- Most of those runs are > 30' each way.  All busses shown are planned to be 12 ga. twisted.
- everything installed to date passes the 'quarter' test, and runs fine, with the exception of two reported instances of loss of control at the far ends of busses C3a and C3b.  These could have been operator error (i.e. using a DT400, you can end up with the wrong knob active, and only think you're changing your locomotive's speed...)
- I'm trying to avoid more boosters, as for the operations I plan, more current is unnecessary based on loco and passenger count; two 5A boosters and an 8A booster are enough.  That will service the three yards, and the long mainline country runs.  If I eventually need more, it's likely that the staging yard room will be the reason, and it will be easy to separate it out and add a booster or two.

From what I've read, adding snubbers improves performance to the point where I'll be okay with the longer runs, but how many snubbers to add is the question.  I'm well aware that each one presents an added current load, though not a lot; most recommendations list a 1/2 watt 100 ohm resistor.  If we assume 1/4 watt dissipation, each resistor draws about 50 ma.  (P=I*I*R, R=100, P=0.25, therefore I=0.05).  If I had to install 34 snubbers, I'd be looking at 1.7 amperes just for them.

Sorry for the length of this, but I'm trying to give you all the info you might need, as you seem to want to help.
Thanks
Blair

On 2019-09-21 8:39, Ross Kudlick wrote:
Blair,

I have 3 thoughts:

"each limiter's output will feed multiple bus segments" my not be convenient for operations.  A short in one segment will stop trains in all other segments which will be frustrating to your train crews..  I suggest having each 'circuit breaker' power a contiguous section so a track short creates minimal train operation disruption.
Already sort of done.  See plan.

"each of those runs will exceed 30' " --  Can you relocate your boosters to avoid exceeding 30' main bus runs?  A 60' length can be powered as 2 30' sections by lacating the booster with a main bus configured as a 'T."  You could power a 60' section on both levels (120' total) with a single booster without exceeding 30' main bus length.   This will mimiize (and possibly eliminate) any need for 'snubbers.'
Already done. 

Circuit breaker selection - consider using 'single' breakers rather than a 'quad' breaker.  Individual breakers can be located along the main bus creating a 'sub-bus' feeding  each section.  This mimimizes the amount of large gauge bus wire needed (and mimizes the 'spaghetti bowl' of wiring under the railroad).  I prefer the PSX breakers; others may offer other suggestions.  (Note - a PSX4 is actually 4 indiviual PSX breakers that can be snapped apart for individual installation.)
Noted.  I have the PM42s, and intend to use them until they annoy me enough, or are inadequate, at which point PSX is likely where I'm going, unless there's a newer product available.  We'll see.

 Designing to 'best wiring practices' now will be benficial in the long run.  You may have to think 'outside the box' for the best solution for your railroad.
Yep.  Already trying to do that, that's why I asked before I proceeded.  Short of spreading boosters all over the place, I would have thought "best wiring practices" would include snubbers, where length dictates.  Not sure which "best wiring practice' you think I'm violating, so please elaborate.

But thinking outside the box requires that one actually know where the box boundaries are...
8-)

Regards,
Ross


Re: DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Ross Kudlick
 

Blair,

I have 3 thoughts:

"each limiter's output will feed multiple bus segments" my not be convenient for operations.  A short in one segment will stop trains in all other segments which will be frustrating to your train crews..  I suggest having each 'circuit breaker' power a contiguous section so a track short creates minimal train operation disruption.

"each of those runs will exceed 30' " --  Can you relocate your boosters to avoid exceeding 30' main bus runs?  A 60' length can be powered as 2 30' sections by lacating the booster with a main bus configured as a 'T."  You could power a 60' section on both levels (120' total) with a single booster without exceeding 30' main bus length.   This will mimiize (and possibly eliminate) any need for 'snubbers.'

Circuit breaker selection - consider using 'single' breakers rather than a 'quad' breaker.  Individual breakers can be located along the main bus creating a 'sub-bus' feeding  each section.  This mimimizes the amount of large gauge bus wire needed (and mimizes the 'spaghetti bowl' of wiring under the railroad).  I prefer the PSX breakers; others may offer other suggestions.  (Note - a PSX4 is actually 4 indiviual PSX breakers that can be snapped apart for individual installation.)

 Designing to 'best wiring practices' now will be benficial in the long run.  You may have to think 'outside the box' for the best solution for your railroad.

Regards,
Ross


Re: DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Blair & Rasa
 

Paul
We already have sporadic loss of control at the far end of one run. Passes quarter test. Not enough experience yet, but we added a snubber to that run.
Blair

On 2019-09-20 22:22, Paul O wrote:
Blair, I’m a believer in the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.“
My suggestion would be to build the layout, test it and if you have a problem with the DCC signal, then look into installing snubbers where needed.

Paul O





Re: DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Paul O
 

Blair, I’m a believer in the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.“
My suggestion would be to build the layout, test it and if you have a problem with the DCC signal, then look into installing snubbers where needed.

Paul O


DCC Bus distribution and snubbers question

Blair & Rasa
 

Hi
I'm planning my DCC layout for my Algoma Central at this time.  I have located three boosters, each at the root of the three peninsulas.  Each Booster will feed quad current limiters, either PM42s or something more recent.  However, each limiter's output will feed multiple bus segments(e.g. one bus on the upper peninsula, one on the lower, each fed by the same limiter).  As each of those runs will exceed 30', I am wondering if I need an RC snubber at the end of each, or should I put one at the output of the limiter, before we fan out to both runs?
In the grand schema, we have 34 sections of bus to be fed; in some cases a limiter will feed up to four segments of track, so if I have to put a snubber on each long run, the current drain will become significant, I think.  
Is it correct that I need to snub each long run, or is it effective to put a single snubber at the base of the branches?
Thanks
Blair


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

PennsyNut <pennsynut@...>
 

This is IMHO only. If you are doing a small layout where the turnouts are accessible, use Insulfrogs. I have a small layout and use code 83 Insulfrogs. All track is caulked down except the turnouts. All turnouts are easily removed. No wiring whatsoever/use hand throws. But:if a layout is larger, and you use motors on turnouts, and/or lighting, etc. to show position; then you already have wiring to do. In that case, the Electrofrogs might be best. In my case, simplicity is/was foremost. And, should it be necessary for me to replace the turnouts, each and everyone is removable for whatever reason. Of course, that involves expense and time consuming work. But for now, I have no problems and believe that I will not have any in the future. (No short wheelbase locos. BLI for steam, and a few other brand diesels. None of which have problems with Insulfrogs.
--
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Doug Wagner
 

If we spend a lot of time looking for dead spots on our railroads, why do we intentionally install them on our layouts, then? Askin' for a friend....LOL

Doug Wagner
Bakersfield, California

In a message dated 09/19/19 13:30:55 Pacific Standard Time, snboy2001@... writes:


Having used both, I strongly believe in powering the frogs, as I have on my home layout. Its not hard. With Tortoise machines, there are contacts to do that. With Switchmasters (which I use) there is a microswitch available.  And if the control is near the switch, just use a DPDT to change to polarity of the frog when you throw the switch.  In case it matters, I'm in O scale.

John Bishop

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 12:41:52 PM PDT, Keith Elrod <elrodk73@...> wrote:


I use Insulfrogs and have never had a problem.
Keith

On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 1:58 PM Jennifer Lobo via Groups.Io <jenngeoff2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with Denny. I have just laid track and points on a new OO gauge  layout...it is all Peco Streamline SL-100 Electrofrog. Yes, the wiring is more complicated but the locos run beautifully.

Regards

Geoff Clarke


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:30:39 a.m. EDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA



 



Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Doug Wagner
 

Yes, and we've had those issues from folks who don't do regular maintenance on their locos.

But they blame the track work!

Doug Wagner
Bakersfield, California

In a message dated 09/19/19 18:22:09 Pacific Standard Time, carldw@... writes:

As long as both trucks on your loco are picking up power, you should not have an issue with "dead" frogs. However, one of those loco trucks aren't picking up power and you have a dead loco


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Doug Wagner
 

As long as both trucks on your loco are picking up power, you should not have an issue with "dead" frogs. However, one of those loco trucks aren't picking up power and you have a dead loco

Doug Wagner
Bakersfield, California

In a message dated 09/19/19 12:41:52 Pacific Standard Time, elrodk73@... writes:

I use Insulfrogs and have never had a problem.
Keith

On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 1:58 PM Jennifer Lobo via Groups.Io <jenngeoff2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with Denny. I have just laid track and points on a new OO gauge  layout...it is all Peco Streamline SL-100 Electrofrog. Yes, the wiring is more complicated but the locos run beautifully.

Regards

Geoff Clarke


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:30:39 a.m. EDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA



 



Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

John Bishop
 

Having used both, I strongly believe in powering the frogs, as I have on my home layout. Its not hard. With Tortoise machines, there are contacts to do that. With Switchmasters (which I use) there is a microswitch available.  And if the control is near the switch, just use a DPDT to change to polarity of the frog when you throw the switch.  In case it matters, I'm in O scale.

John Bishop

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 12:41:52 PM PDT, Keith Elrod <elrodk73@...> wrote:


I use Insulfrogs and have never had a problem.
Keith

On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 1:58 PM Jennifer Lobo via Groups.Io <jenngeoff2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with Denny. I have just laid track and points on a new OO gauge  layout...it is all Peco Streamline SL-100 Electrofrog. Yes, the wiring is more complicated but the locos run beautifully.

Regards

Geoff Clarke


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:30:39 a.m. EDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA




Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Keith Elrod
 

I use Insulfrogs and have never had a problem.
Keith

On Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 1:58 PM Jennifer Lobo via Groups.Io <jenngeoff2003=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I agree with Denny. I have just laid track and points on a new OO gauge  layout...it is all Peco Streamline SL-100 Electrofrog. Yes, the wiring is more complicated but the locos run beautifully.

Regards

Geoff Clarke


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:30:39 a.m. EDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA




Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Jennifer Lobo
 

I agree with Denny. I have just laid track and points on a new OO gauge  layout...it is all Peco Streamline SL-100 Electrofrog. Yes, the wiring is more complicated but the locos run beautifully.

Regards

Geoff Clarke


On Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:30:39 a.m. EDT, Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...> wrote:


If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA




Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Dale Gloer
 

I'm with Denny.  Use Electrofrogs and prepare as described in the W4DCC pages and route the frog power via your switch machine.  Feed all your tracks from a heavy main bus.  Then no matter what you use as a loco there will never be any stalling on your switches.

It is more work than using Insulfrogs but a whole lot more reliable.

Dale Gloer


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Denny Anspach
 

If one subscribes to DCC Best Practice of leaving no track or rail segment unpowered (I have, and I do), then Electrofrog is your choice. You will never, ever regret it

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Bill Aulicino
 

You might want to look into Peco Unifrogs. They have a feeder wire attached to an insulated frog, and non hinged continuous points. Truly plug and play.
Bill Aulicino

------ Original Message ------
Sent: 9/18/2019 7:00:06 PM
Subject: [w4dccqa] insulfrog or electrofrog ?

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: change part of the question from what should i get to what is better]

iam building a peco ho code 100 dcc layout  some of the turnouts i will use to enter the fright yard  and exit the yard and some will be used  in the fright yard 
ok question what turnout is better to use the insulfrog or the electrofrogs for dcc
thanks


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Doug Wagner
 

After trying Insulfrogs on our club's layout, we have decided to convert them to Electrofrogs as we hate having "dead" sections of track!

But that's just us......

Doug Wagner
Bakersfield, California

In a message dated 09/18/19 16:08:08 Pacific Standard Time, staceyatvt@... writes:

[Edited Message Follows]
[Reason: change part of the question from what should i get to what is better]

iam building a peco ho code 100 dcc layout  some of the turnouts i will use to enter the fright yard  and exit the yard and some will be used  in the fright yard 
ok question what turnout is better to use the insulfrog or the electrofrogs for dcc
thanks


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

Clark Propst
 

Electrofrogs were great back in DC days, because they killed power to the track NOT selected. With DCC insulfrogs are the way to go. They’re like the old “Snap track switches” no worries about shorting when switches face each other at sidings and such.
 
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa
 

From: staceyatvt@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:00 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] insulfrog or electrofrog ?
 
iam building a peco ho code 100 dcc layout  some of the turnouts i will use to enter the fright yard  and exit the yard and some will be used  in the fright yard
ok question what turnouts shuold i use the insulfrog or the electrofrogs
thanks


Re: insulfrog or electrofrog ?

wirefordcc
 

Stacey,

You can always use Electrofrogs.  Insulfrogs may not work well with short wheelbase locomotives or those that only have a few wheels of pick-up on each side.  Insulfrogs are a little simplier to wire up.  So if you want to use Insulfrogs, I'd buy one of the highest size number you intend to use and try it out with all your favorite locomotives.  You still might have a problem with a locomotive you buy in the future.

You can also use Electrofrogs and not wire the frog unless you find you need to.  Note:  The size the dead area on an unpowered Electrofrog is a little larger than that of the Insulfrog.  If you do this, be sure to drop the frog wire down through the benchwork in case you need it in the future.

I use the Electrofrogs so I never have to worry about dead frogs.  You can learn more about Electrofrogs and Insufrogs on my website at: 

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

Allan
Wiring For DCC


insulfrog or electrofrog ?

staceyatvt@...
 
Edited

iam building a peco ho code 100 dcc layout  some of the turnouts i will use to enter the fright yard  and exit the yard and some will be used  in the fright yard 
ok question what turnout is better to use the insulfrog or the electrofrogs for dcc
thanks