Date   
PECO Code 100 24 Degree Crossing: Shorting Issue

Daniel Brewer
 

I installed the Peco Code 100 crossing in an industrial area of my railroad. I've run 5 different brands of new locos through it, and they all short out. I have tested the wiring before, after, and inside the crossing and each rail reads the same on my VOM; ~15 volts. (NCE Command Station, 12Ga wire to all power district NCE Circuit breakers, 14Ga bus, 22Ga feeders, all feeders are correctly wired)

It has been suggested that a Dual Frog Juicer from Tam Valley will cure this shorting issue automatically.

Peco suggested front panel switches to power the route I want to power (jenky). 

Does anyone have a solution to this that would be automatic upon a train's entry into the crossing?

I've even thought of ripping it out and replacing it with two turnouts...ugh

Thanks in advance!

Dan

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Don Vollrath
 

Jerry you have rediscovered the reason to make all AR sections longer than the longest train. Many passenger cars have multi-axle pickup where two or more axes on a Truck are electrically connected together even if the power pickup is not being used. As a result the multi-axle truck acts like a Long jumper across each isolating gap In the rails. This causes confusion and even short circuits to the AR controller when a loco or other multi-axle pick up truck also happens to be crossing an isolating gap at the other end of the AR section. I don’t see any way adding diodes will resolve the issue.
Fixes. ... adjust the length of the AR section slightly to avoid simultaneous crossing of the gaps at both ends of the AR section using your particular train car lengths.
Be sure to fill AR section gaps so that steel wheels cannot fall into the gap while touching both rails.
Avoid using wires inside the car to achieve multi-truck pickup to reduce light blinking. (Use some other electrical technique)
If you are not using car lighting use plastic wheels to avoid bridging the gaps.

DonV

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Carl
 

Hello Jerry:

Thanks for the additional information:

So one option would be to power the lights from just one truck. You would still need the "dead" section.

If you want to avoid flickers and have power over the gap you could add 8 diodes, four for each truck. Lets just assume LED lights so we know the current can only flow one way. So the wheels on each side would be routed to two diodes. These diodes would be routed to the appropriate side of the LED lights. The diodes only need to be large enough to carry the LED lights.

Carl.

On 11/11/2019 12:14 PM, Jerry Michels wrote:
Hi Carl,

Our club is running two-rail HO scale.  Each truck picks up power from the rails.  I am not sure of the circuitry, but all four of the right-hand wheels pick up power as do the left-hand wheels.  Our blocks are in phase with each other, so call this polarity.  This is a DCC system.  In our case, the passenger train is not long enough to reach 3 blocks.  Our problem is that when the lighted cars cross from one block to another, they short.  I like the idea of a diode, I suppose the first thing to do is open one of these cars up and look at the circuit.

Jerry Michels

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Carl
 

Hello Chuck:

Thanks for the information.

If you could make the reversing section longer than your longest train would be best, but I figure you have a limit to keep.

Here are my suggestions:

1) Insulate the trucks from the car frame, if not already.

2) Cut in a short block at each end of the reversing block, a bit larger than the passenger trucks. Just let this be dead track, 8cm perhaps.

Your locomotives should be able to bridge these new blocks, and still allow enough space for the passenger trucks to cross with out shorting.

The other option is to insulate all the passenger car wheels. I know metal wheels roll better, could you switch to plastic side frames? Or perhaps insulate the axles from both wheels.

What you don't want is the wheels connecting the rails at the gap when the current is reversed.

Hope this helps.

Carl.

On 11/10/2019 11:06 PM, Chuck Gevaert wrote:
Carl:

I am running 2 rail HO. I am not powering lights in my Walthers passenger cars but am trying to run them from one power district to another which includes a reversing circuit. The second district is not long enough to fit the entire train on the reversing circuit so the reversing circuit stops the train. Would installation of a diode on each truck stop the reversing circuit from stopping the train? If so, where do I install the diode and would a 1 amp diode be sufficient?

Thanks for your help.

Chuck

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Jerry Michels
 

Hi Carl,

Our club is running two-rail HO scale.  Each truck picks up power from the rails.  I am not sure of the circuitry, but all four of the right-hand wheels pick up power as do the left-hand wheels.  Our blocks are in phase with each other, so call this polarity.  This is a DCC system.  In our case, the passenger train is not long enough to reach 3 blocks.  Our problem is that when the lighted cars cross from one block to another, they short.  I like the idea of a diode, I suppose the first thing to do is open one of these cars up and look at the circuit.

Jerry Michels

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Chuck Gevaert
 

Carl:

I am running 2 rail HO. I am not powering lights in my Walthers passenger cars but am trying to run them from one power district to another which includes a reversing circuit. The second district is not long enough to fit the entire train on the reversing circuit so the reversing circuit stops the train. Would installation of a diode on each truck stop the reversing circuit from stopping the train? If so, where do I install the diode and would a 1 amp diode be sufficient?

Thanks for your help.

Chuck

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Carl
 

Hello Chuck:

A small diode should do, it just needs to carry the current of the lights in the car.

For the rest I'll need some more details.

Are we talking 2 rail HO? Are the trucks picking up power from one rail, or both?

Is the passenger train long enough to reach 3 blocks, or from the first, across the second block and back to the first?

Are the blocks at the same "polarity"?

Thanks, Carl.


On 11/10/2019 3:28 PM, Chuck Gevaert wrote:
Carl:

Would you explain how you would attach the diode to a truck in this situation? Also what size diode would you recommend?

Thanks for your help

Chuck

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Chuck Gevaert
 

Carl:

Would you explain how you would attach the diode to a truck in this situation? Also what size diode would you recommend?

Thanks for your help

Chuck

Re: Walthers lighted passenger cars

Carl
 

Hello:

May I suggest a pair of diodes, one to each truck so the power can't flow from one block to the other.

I had a similar problem with my K-Line passenger car. I was using a ZW to power two blocks and had parked the passenger car across the gap. The ZW has no over current protection between the power taps. The high voltage burned all the insulation off the roller wires.

Carl.

On 11/8/2019 9:55 AM, Jerry Michels wrote:
Hi Folks,

Our layout has been operating quite well recently, with the phase problems solved and not repeating for a couple of months.  However, we recently started testing a few passenger trains, and we are running into a curious problem with lighted Walthers passenger cars.

Although a string of up to four locomotives pass from one block to another with ease as they straddle two independent blocks, even those junctures crossing blocks powered by different boosters, the Walthers lighted passenger cars short out the blocks.  When we insulate one set of trucks (putting tape across the contacts), the problem goes away, but then we get flickering lights across the blocks.

Has anyone else had this problem?  Causes?  Solutions?

Thanks.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Walthers lighted passenger cars

Jerry Michels
 

Hi Folks,

Our layout has been operating quite well recently, with the phase problems solved and not repeating for a couple of months.  However, we recently started testing a few passenger trains, and we are running into a curious problem with lighted Walthers passenger cars.

Although a string of up to four locomotives pass from one block to another with ease as they straddle two independent blocks, even those junctures crossing blocks powered by different boosters, the Walthers lighted passenger cars short out the blocks.  When we insulate one set of trucks (putting tape across the contacts), the problem goes away, but then we get flickering lights across the blocks.

Has anyone else had this problem?  Causes?  Solutions?

Thanks.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Re: Book on DCC wiring

wirefordcc
 

Thanks for the kind words, Jerry!

I had offered the website as PDF files, but the Supreme Court's decision that I would have to collect sales tax for every state that I shipped to made continuing this service impractical. 

All is not lost. I do intend to create an eBook that I would sell through services that currently offer eBooks (like Amazon) and let them collect the sales tax.  I just can't say when I will complete this.  My website is about 600 printed pages - more than any current DCC book that I am aware of - so I have a huge project ahead of me.

I have software that will create PDF's with hyperlinks.  So you will have the advantage of having my eBook on your computer and being able to jump around the book like you can do on a web page.

Stay tuned!  I'll announce the book here on the Q&A forum.  Stay tuned, just don't hold your breath waiting! :)

Re: testing soldering iron tip for voltage

Greg Smith
 

Thank you, Mark
I was aware that you should never solder decoders that are connected to the DCC system or under power.  All soldering work is done in my shop.  Far away from the layout to prevent brain lapses:)

Re: Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Dennis DeGroff
 

Hey Don. Thanks for the reply. I have been working with the NCE Tech
Support person in New York for a number of weeks and we have not been able
to eliminate the issues. I have signed up for the NCEDCC group and have put
the message out to them once I am approved by the moderator. I added some
more information on my wiring to that as noted below.

My wiring is with 22 gage wire for connecting the SW8 to the BB, from the
switches to the BB, and from the Tortoise Machines to the led's and SW8. My
longest run from the switches to the BB is around 6' and the SW8 and BB are
within 12" or less on all the SW8/BB combinations (I have twisted the wire
pairs from the switches to the BB). I have twisted the wire from the
terminal block connected to the 12v DC Power Supply out to the various SW8's
(one leg goes to 2 SW8/BB and the other leg goes to 4 SW8/BB. I have a
total of 41 Tortoise switches, 41 SPST switches, and 82 red/green led's
wired into the 6 SW8/BB's.

When applying the separate 12v 5a power supply to the SW8 and switching from
DCC mode to DC on the SW8, the switches do not work. If I move the switch
from DC to DCC and back to DC, then the switches work. Disconnecting the dc
power from the SW8 puts the control panel back to not working. Either
moving the SW8 switch or removing the dc adaptor from the SW8 and replacing
it into the socket, then the panel works. Should the SW8 remember its
status if power is removed? I can't believe a person has to switch the SW8
DC/DCC switch every time power is removed from the layout.

Any suggestions on this would be appreciated. Thanks for your help. Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Don Vollrath
Sent: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 9:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Dennis
You might ask the SW8/BB question on the NCE group but many of those same
folks are also here.
Be sure to avoid long distance wires between the actual PBs and the Button
Board. Those wires can be sensitive to noise pickup. Ditto between the BB
and SW8.
Let us know what you find.
DonV

Re: Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Don Vollrath
 

Dennis
You might ask the SW8/BB question on the NCE group but many of those same folks are also here.
Be sure to avoid long distance wires between the actual PBs and the Button Board. Those wires can be sensitive to noise pickup. Ditto between the BB and SW8.
Let us know what you find.
DonV

Switch8 Mk2& Button Board Issues

Dennis DeGroff
 

Hey everyone.  I am wiring my control panels with six (6) NCE Switch8 Mark2/Button Boards in conjunction with SPST Switches and LED red/green lights and Tortoise Turnout Switches.  I have been successfully running the SW8 on my Digitrax DCC system for over 6 months without a problem.  In adding the Button Boards to have a manual switches on the control panels (I have 7 small panels distributed around the layout), however, I am having issues with the panels working consistently.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

In order to reduce the power the SW8/BB is taking from the DCC Track Power, I have added a 12v 5a DC Power Supply to terminal block/wiring out to the various control panels and continue to experience the same issues.  When hooking the 12v DC adaptor directly to one of the SW8 input, most of the time I have to move the DC/DCC switch on the SW8 from DC to DCC and back to DC for the switches to work (this is with no DCC power to the SW8 unit).  It's almost like the unit forgets it is in DC mode.  

I watched Larry Puckett's DCC Guy YouTube on the Switch8 / Button Board video and thought his suggestion of putting a separate power supply to the SW8 units to be a good idea and would take care of my issues.  Unfortunately, it has not.  Are there subtle wiring tricks I need to be aware of?  Should a 12v 5a power supply be able to power all 6 SW8/BB units, as well as the 41 Tortoise Switch Machines and 82 led located on the various panels I have on the layout?

If you have installed the SW8/BB units to your control panels and have similar issues and have some suggestions on how I can eliminate the problem, I would appreciate hearing from you.  Or if you just have suggestions or questions, please let me know.  I am at a dead end and don't know where to go from here! 

Dennis DeGroff, Fort Wayne, IN

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Jerry Michels
 

I have to nominate Allan's website as the best source.  It is easy to read and use his tips and techniques.  I would be nice if it was a PDF for those of us who still like a good book, but it is unequivocally the best source for DCC beginners and advanced users.

Jerry Michels

Re: testing soldering iron tip for voltage

Mark Gurries
 

Professional Soldering Iron used for professional electronics work will have a Earth Ground connection.  The Tip will be earth grounded for ESD reasons.   The voltage will be zero at the tip.   You will not have any problem with the soldering iron working on your decoders.

Regardless of what soldering iron you have, you should NEVER solder to a decoder that is powered by or connected to a DCC system.   You should take the engine off the test track if it on a test track or disconnect any test leads that go to the DCC system.


On Nov 3, 2019, at 5:10 PM, Greg Smith <gcscls@...> wrote:

I have a Weller WES51 soldering station that is supposed to be suitable for electronics work.  Three prong plug.
I have been using it for several years but would like to check to see if there is voltage across the tip before I start installing decoders.  I know I have seen this somewhere, but just can't recall where.
Thank you
Greg

Best Regards,

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



testing soldering iron tip for voltage

Greg Smith
 

I have a Weller WES51 soldering station that is supposed to be suitable for electronics work.  Three prong plug.
I have been using it for several years but would like to check to see if there is voltage across the tip before I start installing decoders.  I know I have seen this somewhere, but just can't recall where.
Thank you
Greg

Re: Book on DCC wiring

vincent marino
 

Best place to educate yourself is to search DCC wiring on you tube. So much good information there. Just decide what you think the best way to approach it for your capability and strengths. Come to the group with questions once you familiarize yourself with the different methods. Since your benchwork is started I would definitely get your design three steps ahead of where you are right now. Otherwise you'll be dismantling it. I speak from experience. Good luck


On Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 1:40 PM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:
Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty

Re: Book on DCC wiring

Larry Moray
 

Also great info on YouTube and Larry Puckett’s numerous DCC Wiring books through Kalmbach Media

Larry J Moray, DDS, MS
President, The Happy Tooth Dental Group
919.259.2280

Statement of Confidentiality
 
The contents of this e-mail message and any attachments are confidential and are intended solely for addressee. The information may also be legally privileged. This transmission is sent in trust, for the sole purpose of delivery to the intended recipient. If you have received this transmission in error, any use, reproduction or dissemination of this transmission is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please immediately notify the sender by reply e-mail or phone and delete this message and its attachments, if any.



On Nov 3, 2019, at 4:09 PM, Rex <raschildhouse@...> wrote:

Monty,

I am in a similar situation. I will comment on two books I purchased for self education, both from Model Railroader -

Basic DCC Wiring for Your Model Railroad and DCC Projects & Applications, both by Mike Polsgrove. Both informative and neither left me feeling comfortable.

I also downloaded installation and instruction manuals from several different manufacturer, also helpful but not completely useful.

Asking local model railroaders in groups started more "warm discussion" between the individuals than helpful answers.

If you find a good book, post the info.

Thanks, Rex

On November 3, 2019 at 9:04 AM monty cunningham <lamont7777@...> wrote:

Sort of new to DCC.  Older and retired and building for the first time a larger layout in spare bedroom.  Have benchwork half done.  Maybe I should think about wiring.  My only experience with DCC is a 5' X 4' layout using NCE with simple wiring. 
My question being what is a good book on wiring for someone with limited experience.
Thanks
Monty


 


 


Thanks,
Rex