Date   
Re: Wiring help needed

Jerry Michels
 

Tim,

You got the basic idea, the PM42 would be wired after the Zephyr, and then out to the layout.  The PM42 provides short circuit protection, but also gives you the ability to divide the layout into four separate blocks, each with its own short-circuit protection.  So if a train derails in one of the blocks, trains keep running in the other three.  The block with the short circuit will automatically reset itself once the short is removed.

One note, if you do decide to buy a PM42, also buy the PM42 breakout board offered by Accu-Lites.  It make installation very, very easy.  If not, you are looking a using a 44-pin connector which you need to wire yourself.
 
Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Re: Wiring help needed

Chuck Stiles
 

Tim

I don't have access to the Atlas layout design you refereed to so I don't want to comment on the specifics of the layout or if it would require a PM42.
I do know this from experience. You can wire and Run your layout with the Zephyr. Wiring provision for a future PM42 might be advised. If you can Post a copy of your layout to the Group may make things easier.
Placement of the plastic insulation joiners is critical. Now is the time to decide what you want to do with your layout in the future, and install your buss wiring accordingly. Take into consideration if you want to create blocks, and possibly future automated signaling, operating crossing gates etc. Trying to create blocks at a later date can be more difficult.

Good Luck
Chuck
Brick NJ 

Re: Wiring help needed

Jay
 

Re: Wiring help needed

Don Vollrath
 

Tim, If the layout is indeed that of https://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/PROD/150-HO16 as Jay has suggested then...
1. There are no reversing loops so no DCC polarity reverser is needed.
2, You might want to isolate one or more sections for either electronic circuit breaker or track occupancy detectors for signaling, etc. Passing sidings are a good location for this.
3. The easiest way to do #2 is to provide plastic isolating joiners on all 4 rails of the frog end of mainline turnouts/track switches.
4. Doing #3 forces you to provide individual DCC power feeders to all isolated sections of track. Drop these feeders down under the layout to connect to either a common DCC bus following the general flow of track... OR as each track section is fed through individual occupancy sensors or circuit breakers added now or later to suit your plans.
5. Put your DCC command station/booster near the middle of the layout "L" and fan out the DCC track power bus in both directions to flow under the layout, but do not connect it up into a continuous loop. Use #18 or larger wire for the DCC main bus... in twisted pair or 'zip' cord.
6. If you plan on using accessory decoders make provisions for a separate DCC feeder sub-bus to power those units. In that case provide an electronic CB (PSX is the suggested brand) for the main DCC bus feeding the track and wire up the accessory sub-bus directly from the booster output.  

DonV

Re: Wiring help needed

Carl
 

Hello Tim:

The isolated track can also be wired as a program track. Then once programmed you can switch to DCC and test run the locomotive without picking it up.

Carl.

On 1/22/2019 11:52 AM, Don Vollrath wrote:
Tim, If the layout is indeed that of https://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/PROD/150-HO16 as Jay has suggested then...
1. There are no reversing loops so no DCC polarity reverser is needed.
2, You might want to isolate one or more sections for either electronic circuit breaker or track occupancy detectors for signaling, etc. Passing sidings are a good location for this.
3. The easiest way to do #2 is to provide plastic isolating joiners on all 4 rails of the frog end of mainline turnouts/track switches.
4. Doing #3 forces you to provide individual DCC power feeders to all isolated sections of track. Drop these feeders down under the layout to connect to either a common DCC bus following the general flow of track... OR as each track section is fed through individual occupancy sensors or circuit breakers added now or later to suit your plans.
5. Put your DCC command station/booster near the middle of the layout "L" and fan out the DCC track power bus in both directions to flow under the layout, but do not connect it up into a continuous loop. Use #18 or larger wire for the DCC main bus... in twisted pair or 'zip' cord.
6. If you plan on using accessory decoders make provisions for a separate DCC feeder sub-bus to power those units. In that case provide an electronic CB (PSX is the suggested brand) for the main DCC bus feeding the track and wire up the accessory sub-bus directly from the booster output.  

DonV

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Jack Wabbit

David S <docdata3d@...>
 

I posted this on another DCC groups but no answer yet so here it goes again.

I just purchased a Jack Wabbit Quad for Tortoise switch machines and have some questions prior to wiring it up.  I'm emailing with Erick at the place where it was purchased but so far, I'm still not understanding everything I need in know.

The unit can be powered by DCC track voltage or external DC.   The Tortoise switch machines need to DC to operate but need the DCC to get the signal to throw the machine. 

So, if the JW is powered by DCC, where does the DC come in for Tortoise throws?  If it is powered by DC, where do the DCC signals come from to tell the Tortoise to switch?

If I powered it with DCC, can I still use the manual pushbuttons to throw the machines or is pushbutton use only for DC power to the JW only?

Thanks,
Dave

Re: Jack Wabbit

Bill Wilken
 

David,

You can power your Tortoise machines with a small 5 volt transformer.  
The JW documentation is not very user friendly, but if you read it carefully, all the info you need is there.  If you are still uncomfortable, I suggest that you set up a little off-layout testbed with just a transformer, the JW, and one switch machine.  

Bill


On Jan 28, 2019, at 4:43 PM, David S <docdata3d@...> wrote:

I posted this on another DCC groups but no answer yet so here it goes again.

I just purchased a Jack Wabbit Quad for Tortoise switch machines and have some questions prior to wiring it up.  I'm emailing with Erick at the place where it was purchased but so far, I'm still not understanding everything I need in know.

The unit can be powered by DCC track voltage or external DC.   The Tortoise switch machines need to DC to operate but need the DCC to get the signal to throw the machine. 

So, if the JW is powered by DCC, where does the DC come in for Tortoise throws?  If it is powered by DC, where do the DCC signals come from to tell the Tortoise to switch?

If I powered it with DCC, can I still use the manual pushbuttons to throw the machines or is pushbutton use only for DC power to the JW only?

Thanks,
Dave

Re: Jack Wabbit

David S <docdata3d@...>
 

The instructions suggest setting up a test scenario initially. I’m going to do that but it leaves me hanging on the use of DC vs DCC vs DC etc, etc.


On Jan 28, 2019, at 8:28 PM, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:

David,

You can power your Tortoise machines with a small 5 volt transformer.  
The JW documentation is not very user friendly, but if you read it carefully, all the info you need is there.  If you are still uncomfortable, I suggest that you set up a little off-layout testbed with just a transformer, the JW, and one switch machine.  

Bill


On Jan 28, 2019, at 4:43 PM, David S <docdata3d@...> wrote:

I posted this on another DCC groups but no answer yet so here it goes again.

I just purchased a Jack Wabbit Quad for Tortoise switch machines and have some questions prior to wiring it up.  I'm emailing with Erick at the place where it was purchased but so far, I'm still not understanding everything I need in know.

The unit can be powered by DCC track voltage or external DC.   The Tortoise switch machines need to DC to operate but need the DCC to get the signal to throw the machine. 

So, if the JW is powered by DCC, where does the DC come in for Tortoise throws?  If it is powered by DC, where do the DCC signals come from to tell the Tortoise to switch?

If I powered it with DCC, can I still use the manual pushbuttons to throw the machines or is pushbutton use only for DC power to the JW only?

Thanks,
Dave

Re: Jack Wabbit

Bill Wilken
 

I connect JW to track power on a DCC system and it works without a hitch


On Jan 28, 2019, at 8:40 PM, David S <docdata3d@...> wrote:

The instructions suggest setting up a test scenario initially. I’m going to do that but it leaves me hanging on the use of DC vs DCC vs DC etc, etc.


On Jan 28, 2019, at 8:28 PM, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:

David,

You can power your Tortoise machines with a small 5 volt transformer.  
The JW documentation is not very user friendly, but if you read it carefully, all the info you need is there.  If you are still uncomfortable, I suggest that you set up a little off-layout testbed with just a transformer, the JW, and one switch machine.  

Bill


On Jan 28, 2019, at 4:43 PM, David S <docdata3d@...> wrote:

I posted this on another DCC groups but no answer yet so here it goes again.

I just purchased a Jack Wabbit Quad for Tortoise switch machines and have some questions prior to wiring it up.  I'm emailing with Erick at the place where it was purchased but so far, I'm still not understanding everything I need in know.

The unit can be powered by DCC track voltage or external DC.   The Tortoise switch machines need to DC to operate but need the DCC to get the signal to throw the machine. 

So, if the JW is powered by DCC, where does the DC come in for Tortoise throws?  If it is powered by DC, where do the DCC signals come from to tell the Tortoise to switch?

If I powered it with DCC, can I still use the manual pushbuttons to throw the machines or is pushbutton use only for DC power to the JW only?

Thanks,
Dave

Re: Jack Wabbit

Rich Randall
 

I use a separate DC power source (bus) for my tortoise controls. The power goes to the toggle switch or other selector to drive the tortoise pins 1 and 8 one way or the other. If you want to use track power, you have to rectify it with diodes and set up some clever toggle arrangement. DCC simply acts like AC power. I think the voltage is too high for a tortoise, so use resistors to knock it down.

I route DCC from the track (as close as possible to the switch) to one of the tortoise relays to change the frog polarity. I have to make sure the right polarity goes to the right pin.

Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA

Re: Jack Wabbit

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

I know it is tempting to use the DCC track power for extra loads. But why would you use a power supply that costs big bucks to do a job a simple wall transformer can? Plus I can't help to think the extra loads get in the way of the DCC signal to the locomotives.

Now there is also an option of LCC to take the signals for non locomotive loads: turnout control and track side signals.

Carl.

On 1/28/2019 9:55 PM, Rich Randall via Groups.Io wrote:
I use a separate DC power source (bus) for my tortoise controls. The power goes to the toggle switch or other selector to drive the tortoise pins 1 and 8 one way or the other. If you want to use track power, you have to rectify it with diodes and set up some clever toggle arrangement. DCC simply acts like AC power. I think the voltage is too high for a tortoise, so use resistors to knock it down.

I route DCC from the track (as close as possible to the switch) to one of the tortoise relays to change the frog polarity. I have to make sure the right polarity goes to the right pin.

Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA

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Re: Jack Wabbit

Bill Wilken
 

I've done the same, with a cheap little 5 volt transformer that powers over 20 turnouts via DBDT micro switches.  In the interest of simplicity, I arranged all of the micro switches so that a throw to the right indicates "straight-through" and a throw to the left indicates "diverging," eliminating the need for any red/green indicator lights.

On 1/28/19 9:55 PM, Rich Randall via Groups.Io wrote:
I use a separate DC power source (bus) for my tortoise controls. The power goes to the toggle switch or other selector to drive the tortoise pins 1 and 8 one way or the other. If you want to use track power, you have to rectify it with diodes and set up some clever toggle arrangement. DCC simply acts like AC power. I think the voltage is too high for a tortoise, so use resistors to knock it down.

I route DCC from the track (as close as possible to the switch) to one of the tortoise relays to change the frog polarity. I have to make sure the right polarity goes to the right pin.

Rich

Rich Randall
Gettysburg, PA

Re: Jack Wabbit

David S <docdata3d@...>
 

I received a private email from a very helpful person who explained what I needed to know  and my test scenario works fine, including being able to move the Tortoise by DCC and by pushbutton! Now, I need to change the ID's fromt the default 1,2,3 & 4 to 9,10,11 & 12. The instructions are very cnfusing and, im my case, no help at all. Anyone know how to program this?

Re: Jack Wabbit

David S <docdata3d@...>
 
Edited

Follow up....  Turns out the firat decoder on the JW board had a defect and could not be renumbered.  A new board is on the way.  Everything else worked great!

Re: Two Questions

Mark Cartwright
 

On Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 04:12 PM, jwg766 atx wrote:
Atlas SD-9, model #53508
John, 

As I remember, the nomenclature is for a two part semi drop in decoder is TCS-CN
However...I do not believe it is still made today.
http://www.fiferhobby.com/tcs-train-control-systems-dcc-decoders/
=====
A few years ago, I came upon a distressed Altas SD-9 which was already equipped with such a decoder but came with one more decoder still in the package.
This became one of my favorite projects and ultimately one of my best runners.
====
I took it down to it's base parts, and then ran toothpaste through the geared trucks, running them back and forth on track, till I felt them loosening up, cleaning them with a water pic,
There was a high spot on the Worm Gear...Corrected.
But as I recall several other parts needed a bit of fine sanding and filing.  Once all the parts were a bit freer, and fitted > I oiled the worm gear assembly only, and reassembled. 
====
The previous owner believed the shell had been melted but it turned out to be only the D&RG Decals. The shell broke down into three parts and were easily painted with a light spray of Rustoleum Camouflage Paint...I renumbered it 5350 in large numerals.
This became a primary tester for long runs on my DCC Main Layout.
====
Good Runner ? YES!
However, I happened to have a similar SD in Brass sitting near by. Just for a Look See, I placed the Brass shell over the Atlas Chassis 
Wow! 
It hunkered down, making even better contact with the track; without being overly weighted.
>>> Since that day, I have modified several Brass Shells to fit over more modern (5 pole) chassis locomotives both in N and HO Scale; while being converted to DCC.
===============================
As for your first question....
On Track Detection.
I am working on it....
Via three very different approaches.
This is one of them....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qUJcdL9Gko

Just showed up on eBay one day with a. Buy it Now for $300 and I pushed the button.
I also own Digitrax and ESU ECoS....
Wish me Luck
:)) Mark

New to DCC

Greg Smith
 

Just starting to build a layout after collecting 'stuff' for 25 years.  I purchased a Super Chief system about 10 years ago along with a number of extra decoders, a 1021 power pack, an extra booster and throttle.  

I intend to use 12 guage romex for my power buses - primarily because I have 200 feet or so lying around after wiring my tractor and truck garage/shop building.  I have several rolls of black and red 20 guage solid wire that I am thinking of using as feeder drops.  I dunno, maybe wire overkill but the stuff is just lying around.

I had acquired a number of old Shinnohara turnouts which I have begun to convert to 'DCC friendly'.  So far it seems pretty straight forward and I have a half dozen ready to add connecting wires.  There is my main question.  For connecting point to closure rails, as well as wiring power to the frogs, what guage wire should I use?  Also, solid or stranded?  I see where this can be a bit delicate and I guess that stranded would be easier to use but are there pitfalls with using the stranded wire?   This wire (unlike the romex and connecting wire) will be purchased specifically for upgrading these switches (around 20 in total).
Thanks
Greg 
ps - many more beginner questions to come 
.

Re: New to DCC

Don Vollrath
 

Greg,
A short length of 20 gauge solid copper wire works great for feeder drops to HO scale track. Just bend into a "J" that lays along the bottom flange on the outside of of the rail and add a little flux, the hot tip of a soldering iron and a little solder.

I would use maybe 22 gauge stranded to feed the movable point rails. Be sure to not let solder fill the strands and render it stiff rather than flexible. You might also leave a slight flexible loop. The points don't move much but any wire feed to them must also move.

One other trick with the power routing Shinoharas (and others) is to insulate the feed to the points and frog at the points by slipping a clear piece of plastic under the slider to the points (if there is one). Use insulated joiners at both frog exit rails of the turnout/switch instead of cutting any rail gaps. Then provide a SPDT switch synchronized to the throwbar to connect the points, and frog, and frog rails to the right polarity. [Look for examples on how to add a micro-switch to a throwbar or a Tortoise motor.] A frog juicer can also do the trick provided a decent connection is made at each point or as a loco enters from the frog end of the switch. Not totally "DCC Friendly" as the open point rail polarity will be opposite that of the adjacent stock rail. (I've never found that to be a problem except when there is a derailment already in progress.) Either way the operator must always set the throwbar correctly before the loco enters the turnout/switch. 

DonV
  

Re: New to DCC

Carl
 

Hello Greg:

I use strictly stranded wire. It is easier to bend and stays flexible. Also as a kid Dad wired my layout with then popular solid aluminum wire. It was very frustrating, the wire would break inside the insulation. Then I was faced with finding an open spot that I couldn't see.

One mentor taught me that all wire joints should be strong mechanically before they are soldered. Working on older control panels I can't tell you how often the open was a broken solder joint that had popped free.

Here is my contribution to model RR wiring:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Insulation-Displacement-Screw-Terminals/

I'll be presenting a wiring workshop in Salt Lake City this Summer if anyone in interested. ( Foam Rubber Scenery too! )

Carl.



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Re: New to DCC

Mark Cartwright
 

I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.

Re: New to DCC

Keith Elrod
 

To each their own. After years of working as a Broadway electrician, I am not fond of stranded wire. I use a solid wire on my Layout.


On Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 9:44 AM Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri=yahoo.com@groups.io wrote:
I am with Carl here on stranded wire for layouts. 
(but not always for houses or automotive/trailers/airplanes). 
====
The problem with stranded wire is it can corrode from inside. I had a front wiring harness do that on a BMW which I parked on an off near the Pacific Ocean for 5 years. To replace the wiring harness cost me $3100; on a car which had a Blue Book Value of $5k. 
====
But I digress....
I too considered Romex 12 Gauge Solid Wire..since I was buying so much of it for my houses.
However....? I also have some experience rewiring a Sailboat.  So I have also become a fan of Marine (tined) wire for better conductivity. After my BMW Corroded Wire Experience I may have run the other way.
=====
> My initial wiring from the DCC Controller to the track or Buss is Marine Stranded 12 Gauge Color Coded Wire.
From there, I ordered via eBay 200 feet of Blue White 12 Gauge Stranded Wire and 200 feet of White/Blue stranded wire. That is Blue with a White Spiral and White with a Blue Spiral. Yes, I twist it.
For now as drop down leads...I am using a modified Kato System for my N Gauge Layouts to the 12 gauge wiring below.
HO will be something different.
======
For my layout buildings and street lights...I use 14 gauge stranded red and 14 gauge stranded black. I do not run this wire through the same holes or even close by 2 inches to my Blue/White Spiral Wiring.
======
For some individual projects such as animation, I am for now using Trailer Wire which is 12 gauge stranded in 4 connected parallel wires.
This too will change, as I am planning on using a Rainbow of colors throughout my main layout.
:)) Mark

PS...
There is no Aluminum Wire in my house today. Along with many other issues which have been corrected. 
My WiFi Works. my switches stopped getting hot and catching on fire etc. Even my LokSound Decoders seem happier and do not reset.