Bus Length

Ron Haviland

HI to All,

New to the group here, hoping you all can help fill in the blanks.

I had a small layout and tore it down last year to build a larger one. I will be adding an SB5 to my Power CAB.

My question is: if you add a sub bus for occupancy does hat affect the the total length of the control bus? AT 5A I will be pushing the total length of bus runs at 36-40ft. from what I am reading if i add an RC filter and use 12ga solid  wire I should be OK, unless of the course you need to add the length of the sub-bus to that total. It seems to me however that it is running parallel to the main bus.

Thanks!

Re: Bus Length

dvollrath@...

Ron,
I'm assuming you mistakenly used the words 'control bus' instead of DCC track power bus. If you are monitoring the sub-bus for occupancy detection add a snubber/filter on that bus on the SB5 booster of the wires just before they go from the main bus through the occupancy detector. Putting a snubber/filter on a sub-bus after it has already passed through a current measurement occupancy detector will result in that track branch to register as always occupied.

DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <ronh56@...> wrote :

HI to All,

New to the group here, hoping you all can help fill in the blanks.

I had a small layout and tore it down last year to build a larger one. I will be adding an SB5 to my Power CAB.

My question is: if you add a sub bus for occupancy does hat affect the the total length of the control bus? AT 5A I will be pushing the total length of bus runs at 36-40ft. from what I am reading if i add an RC filter and use 12ga solid  wire I should be OK, unless of the course you need to add the length of the sub-bus to that total. It seems to me however that it is running parallel to the main bus.

Thanks!

Re: Bus Length

Steve Haas

>>>> My question is: if you add a sub bus for occupancy does that affect the total length of the control bus? <<<<

That would depend on where you connect the sub bus to the track bus.  If you connect a 10 foot sub bus to the end of a 40 foot bus you have an effective run of 50 feet.  If you connect a 10 foot sub bus to a 40 foot bus just 10 feet from the booster you’ll only have a 20 foot run to the end of that sub bus.

>>>> AT 5A I will be pushing the total length of bus runs at 36-40ft. <<<<

I’m curious as to where you got those specific limits.  The primary concern with long runs is voltage drop, this can be remedied to a point by using heavier wire.  The other concern is that the longer a bus run is the more likely the layout will have to deal with inductances issues.  These inductance issues can be greatly reduced by twisting those bus wires three to five times a foot.  If needed, a RC snubber can be added.  The other thing to remember is that a bus can go in two directions.  Placing a booster at the beginning of a 60 foot run might cause you some problems – placing that booster in the middle of that run results in two 30 foot runs – half the distance, half the problem.

>>>> From what I am reading if i add an RC filter and use 12ga solid wire I should be OK, unless of the course you need to add the length of the sub-bus to that total. It seems to me however that it is running parallel to the main bus. <<<<

Filter won’t hurt.  For our purposes dealing with DCC power and data packets, there’s no difference between using solid and stranded wire of the same size.  With regard to total bus length, refer to my comments above; effective bus length = distance from booster to connection with sub bus + plus length of sub bus.

Any questions? Give us a holler!

Best regards,

Steve

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

Re: Bus Length

Ron Haviland

Thank you, most things I've read said the snubbers wont work at all on a detection sub.

Turntable

David Buuck

I am trying to program my walther's turntable and the instructions are so vague you have to be a computer programer to set up anybody able to help

Re: Bus Length

Ron Haviland

Thank you Steve,
Your response concerning the location of the sub connection to the main makes perfect sense.

<<<<I’m curious as to where you got those specific limits.>>>>

even with placing my SB5 near the center that's what my bus lengths will be. I do know about about twisting the pairs. Interesting that you say no difference between solid or stranded, I have read that stranded is not recommended for a power bus. At any rate solid is readily available to me.

Re: Bus Length

Steve Haas

>>>>> Interesting that you say no difference between solid or stranded, I have read that stranded is not recommended for a power bus. <<<<<

If I recall correctly, (and that’s a _big_ if), the difference between solid and stranded wire performance is miniscule at the power and signal levels used in DCC.  The difference can be significant in other applications.

I prefer stranded as it is much easier to work with when running the buses. I also prefer to keep wiring as close as possible the framework of the layout so it doesn’t get in the way when someone has to get under the layout to do some work; a track bus leaving the main bus for that area will travel along an L-girder, turn 90 degrees to run toward the track in question, then turn 90 degrees and rise vertically to the track bus serving that area.  Lot easier to do that with stranded.

Others prefer solid, one reason that made sense to me was they felt it was easier to strip the solid wire in order to connect a feeder.

>>>> At any rate solid is readily available to me. <<<<

A bird in hand is worth two in the bus!

Best regards,

Steve

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

Snow Birding for a few more days in  Mesa, AZ

Re: Bus Length

dvollrath@...

I agree with what the goatfisher says. There is no significant difference between solid and stranded at the DCC frequencies of interest. the less flexible solid will tend to stay in place better and can strip easier for soldering on taps and is more readily available as already paired 12-14 awg, or larger. However, you can easily find 14-16 awg also in stranded and do pairing and twisting yourself. 2 conductor stranded  'zip' cord is also available but overpriced as 'speaker wire'.

DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <Goatfisher2@...> wrote :

>>>>> Interesting that you say no difference between solid or stranded, I have read that stranded is not recommended for a power bus. <<<<<

>>>> At any rate solid is readily available to me. <<<<

Re: Bus Length

john

Just two cents but:
Any time you run a pair of wires in parallel with a voltage on  them, they are more likely to affect other conductors, be affected by other conductors, and increase in capacitance. Twisting a pair diminishes this for the first two but not the third. All this is not likely yo affect track voltage but the wimpy control signal is at risk.
It is difficult to get an even twist on solid wires and it is difficult to manipulate 16, 14, and 12 gage wires.
It is easy to twist twisted conductors and they are easier to pull.
Finally, wire stripping is easily done with a plyer type stripper and most are adjustable or have multiple slots. My choice is a mechanical stripper. Mine can be used at an arms length in limited lighting just like under a layout.
Hmmm, I am not sure that is worth two cents,
Thank you,
jd

On Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:31 PM, "dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]" wrote:

I agree with what the goatfisher says. There is no significant difference between solid and stranded at the DCC frequencies of interest. the less flexible solid will tend to stay in place better and can strip easier for soldering on taps and is more readily available as already paired 12-14 awg, or larger. However, you can easily find 14-16 awg also in stranded and do pairing and twisting yourself. 2 conductor stranded  'zip' cord is also available but overpriced as 'speaker wire'.

DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., wrote :

>>>>> Interesting that you say no difference between solid or stranded, I have read that stranded is not recommended for a power bus. <<<<<
>>>> At any rate solid is readily available to me. <<<<

Re: Turntable-this is how we did it on the Wyoming Division

Verryl

After many hours over many weeks of trying to get repeatable programing
without misalignment errors, Lenny made this panel.[image: Inline image 1]

There are two deck switches each powered separately by a rocker switch in a
1" diameter finger hole. The left knob sends track power to track numbers 1
through 17, and the right to 18-34. He used two deck switches, because 34
poles on a deck switch would have been very hard to wire.

We have 5 Walthers Turntables, and he made panels for all of them, although
some do not have so many finger tracks, so only a single deck switch and
single power on-off rocker switch is necessary.

On the other turntables an operator can align the bridge tracks to the
finger tracks easily by eye, but the Cheyenne turntable is near the center
of a 84 inch wide bench. Lenny installed a permanent overhead video camera
and a 5" (approx) screen to "see" the track allignment.

Cheyenne also has a Walthers transfer table, and we had the same programing
problem. He solved it the same way, and it also uses a video camera to peer
down on the transfer table to align the tracks by eye.

Verryl Fosnight
http://wyomingdivision.org/

Re: Bus Length

dalemuir2@...

Here is an easy way to twist wire, especially 16, 14, and 12 gage house wire that you can buy at any home store:

You need a variable speed electric drill and a long work area such as a driveway.

1.       Unroll both wires in parallel across your work space.

2.       Fasten one end of both wires to a fixed object.

3.       Trim the free ends so both wires are the same length.

4.       Chuck the free end of both wires in your drill.

5.       Run the drill slowly until the wires are twisted to your satisfaction.

6.       The wires will untwist a little when released from the drill. That's OK, they are still twisted.

I've used this technique many times. It works great.

Dale Muir

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 11:50 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Bus Length

Just two cents but:

Any time you run a pair of wires in parallel with a voltage on  them, they are more likely to affect other conductors, be affected by other conductors, and increase in capacitance. Twisting a pair diminishes this for the first two but not the third. All this is not likely yo affect track voltage but the wimpy control signal is at risk.

It is difficult to get an even twist on solid wires and it is difficult to manipulate 16, 14, and 12 gage wires.

It is easy to twist twisted conductors and they are easier to pull.

Finally, wire stripping is easily done with a plyer type stripper and most are adjustable or have multiple slots. My choice is a mechanical stripper. Mine can be used at an arms length in limited lighting just like under a layout.

Hmmm, I am not sure that is worth two cents,

Thank you,

jd

On Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:31 PM, "dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]" <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

I agree with what the goatfisher says. There is no significant difference between solid and stranded at the DCC frequencies of interest. the less flexible solid will tend to stay in place better and can strip easier for soldering on taps and is more readily available as already paired 12-14 awg, or larger. However, you can easily find 14-16 awg also in stranded and do pairing and twisting yourself. 2 conductor stranded  'zip' cord is also available but overpriced as 'speaker wire'.

DonV

>>>>> Interesting that you say no difference between solid or stranded, I have read that stranded is not recommended for a power bus. <<<<<

>>>> At any rate solid is readily available to me. <<<<

Re: Bus Length

Ron Haviland

Just curious...how do you fish for goats?

Re: Turntable-this is how we did it on the Wyoming Division

David Buuck

I checked the websight but could not find anything about the turntablable switch but did read some about the turntable thnx

On Thursday, March 1, 2018, 10:12:38 AM EST, Verryl Fosnight verrylf@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

After many hours over many weeks of trying to get repeatable programing
without misalignment errors, Lenny made this panel.[image: Inline image 1]

There are two deck switches each powered separately by a rocker switch in a
1" diameter finger hole. The left knob sends track power to track numbers 1
through 17, and the right to 18-34. He used two deck switches, because 34
poles on a deck switch would have been very hard to wire.

We have 5 Walthers Turntables, and he made panels for all of them, although
some do not have so many finger tracks, so only a single deck switch and
single power on-off rocker switch is necessary.

On the other turntables an operator can align the bridge tracks to the
finger tracks easily by eye, but the Cheyenne turntable is near the center
of a 84 inch wide bench. Lenny installed a permanent overhead video camera
and a 5" (approx) screen to "see" the track allignment.

Cheyenne also has a Walthers transfer table, and we had the same programing
problem. He solved it the same way, and it also uses a video camera to peer
down on the transfer table to align the tracks by eye.

Verryl Fosnight
http://wyomingdivision.org/

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Bus Length

Steve Haas

>>>> Just curious...how do you fish for goats?  <<<<

Usually with a 12-foot eight weight fly rod with a weight forward floating line.  Maneuver your boat close to shore and use a roll cast to get the fly up the hill to the goat.  Needs custom tied flies that look like tufts of grass or other vegetation depending on locale and season.  Best locations are along the old GN line on the south side of Glacier Park, but they can be found elsewhere in the area.

Best regards,

Steve

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

Re: Turntable-this is how we did it on the Wyoming Division

wdavis5069@...

I went to the web site and found it interesting, but could not locate anything on turntable operation.  Lot's of great pictures of everything.  Your inline photo did not show up as they probably are not allowed by the moderators.  You can post them to the Photos section and provide a link.

Thanks
Wil

Re: Turntable-this is how we did it on the Wyoming Division

monty cunningham

Would you mind giving more details about the camera?? Cost, availability, installation, etc.
Thanks
Monty

Mark Cartwright

I came upon a Yard Sale...The woman has a system For Sale for six cameras, each one either Battery (short life) or each could be run off a Transformer (supplied) on a short leash to a 110 outlet. I got the lot for \$100. This was a system modern enough to be connected wireless or via a USB from the receiver back to your computer or even direct to each camera.

===

There are better more expandable systems today. Costco and other National Retailers often have then on sale through their store or sometimes even cheaper via their website.

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Further, as Security Cameras go....There are even more modern systems which can upload to the Cloud as they record..or can be accessed via your internet system via your Smart Phone. There are a variety of these newer systems on display at Best Buy along with perhaps their own Sales Rep.  Some of them can have Voice...so you can also speak over the Camera System.

====

However, while I believe such systems are perhaps excellent for Model Railroading...there are some downsides to using them for Security Surveillance. They can prove to be more frustrating ...as a Burglar can be seen, face plainly visible as he takes down and steals your camera. Then ? The police do little to help you, even though they have requested video footage. An ex-neighbor of mine along with leaders of the Church across the street from his now ex-home...went to City Council Leaders for help. I sat quietly in the room, nearly snickering to myself as the conversations became entangled. With video in hand and from across the street at the Church, this all caused them more consternation. My ex-neighbor sold his house, closing escrow last month at a loss of near \$80k. Nice house too, kind of sorry I didn't buy it.

:)) Mark

Re: Converting a brass E-60 2-8-0 to DCC

Annette and Dante Fuligni

Nick,

Sorry for the late follow-up. Hope you have satisfactorily resolved your concerns. But, for what it's worth, I offer my experience with a brass 4-6-2 with similar pickup issues.

First, run the loco on the layout to see if, in fact, you do have dead-track/frog issues. If not, save yourself money and time and leave things as they are.

If there is a problem, I agree with the keep-alive approach. TCS has a very small decoder with built-in keep-alive. I fit one in my ancient Varney Dockside 0-4-0!  Unfortunately, my brass 4-6-2 does not have enough room for this decoder or a separate keep-alive because of a necessary weight in the boiler taking apace. Also, I could not add one to the tender because the tender assembly is soldered; I had no desire to mess that up! But I did fit a small TCS decoder without keep-alive into the loco. Then I improved the tender pickups by adding wire connections from the trucks to the drawbar that connects to the loco rather than depending solely on the truck bolster screw connections to the tender frame.

Finally, don't forget about powering dead frogs with controls that power frogs and switch polarity automatically, such as certain Caboose ground throws and Tam Valley Frog-Juicers.

Dante

Re: Converting a brass E-60 2-8-0 to DCC

Nick Ostrosky

Craig, I finally have it wired up with the current keeper.  It seems to operate for a couple seconds, then dies, then comes back to life, then dies again.  Could this be a sign the motor is drawing more amps than the decoder can support (Soundtraxx TSU-750 since I have several in use in diesels)?  I have no problems with my diesels.  Thanks!

> Switchable Frog Turnouts from the 1960's for DCC ?

Mark Cartwright

Hello all....

Moveable Closure Points to the Frog?

I am in the midst of creating my own better turnouts and wyes in N scale for DCC...spanning the history of railroading from 1862 (stubb switch) to our most modern times with high speed rail and concrete ties.

==

With that said...I have been studying while also owning and testing many a variety of Ready Made/Commercially Available Switches/Turnouts in N, HO and O Scales.

Instead of a Frog Juicer, one intriguing possibility is to have the long closure rails not be cut nor segmented but to actually have them determine their polarity by how they interact with the outside rail and frog.

===

In this way the closure rails (the part that switches) can bend to form a near continuous radius in Code 55 Track.

===

The frog is also not segmented, it derives it's polarity first hand by the closure rail connecting to it.  The far end of the switch then could be insulated.

===

Where have I seen such a configuration?

Tru-Scale Switches and Wyes from the 1960's.

Mouse over for a more detailed view.

(Loose the metal plate under the frog.)

I have been using the HO Scale Wood as wider berms to my N Scale layout. That is > I place Tru-scale wood down first then put my Kato or other brand N Scale Track/Switches on top of it in a Southern Pacific fashion.(EsPee Trackage is raised above the surrounding topograph, as opposed to say Track of the Western Pacific which may have it's ties embedded down into the flat.

Ah? I bought a Lot in order to gain the radius sections and some of these Turnouts and Wyes were included.

======

> I begin again, the experiment continues.

Without testing my Tru-scale switches for their appropriateness to DCC in HO Scale...I am in stead recreating an N Scale Switch with long un-cut closure bars to side action the frog.

I believe I may be able to augment this connection on a slide type switch, so the frog with it's own drilled in/Soldered in wire and further add a second set of wires for better conductivity. i also have modified a #6 Kato into something similar to a #9.

My goal is #12's as my standard switch.

===

Anybody ...already try this in any scale?

:)) Mark

Sorry for the lengthy explanation between the bold prints...but I didn't think anybody would know what I was talking about without it.