Date   
Re: New to DCC

Mark Cartwright
 

Greg,
And I hope I don't get dinged on this being Off - Topic but I can't stress enough my agreement with DonV for sealing your Basement walls.
Running in my case 2 x 3's along the outer perimeter walls, installing a combination of Fiberglass as well as spray in insulation and then refinishing it off with ?
Water Proof Wall Board.
No...
I am using 36" x 60" Hardiebacker Cement Wet Area Board. I also sealed the wood 2x3's with Rustoleum Enamel. Then I paint the Hardiebacker Board with Rustoleum again and again...
In which ever color I can get cheap from nearby Habitat Restores.
Old Rustoluem is thicker and hence is perfect for such a project.
(I suggest buying new if a final smooth finish is important.)
One of the reasons for choosing this board...The base wall is 60 inches high so each board fits without cutting.
Cutting Cement Board ?
I don't recommend it and if you do...Wear a serious mask. I found the use of a Sawsall with a fine metal cutting blade to work the best as low speeds, which tends to create less cement dust. Sorry a Painter's Mask won't do it...and upon those rare occasions you do need to cut, keep your exposure to the dust at a minimal of time for the entire day, perhaps the entire week - Allowing your body and breathing passages to expurgate the dust.
=====
However ?
With all the above said....I found the 25x50 foot basement in my 1908 House, the neighborhood and life in general to be too much for me at times....
Along with the Humidity, Peat Dust and Tiny Critters of the Central Valley.
So...
Last May, I basically abandoned that layout basement space for a totally different one -  Above Ground. Less than a mile,  away, this house, neighborhood and above ground Layout Room is nearly a whole other experience.
=====
We can get sudden flooding in California, with several inches of rain falling within a few minutes.
These rare occurrences where apt to cause water to seep through the basement walls and cause the floor to gain upwards of a quarter inch of water.
That is until...
I set in a 6 inch line of perforated drainage line along both sides of the house, to the front of the house, draining into a pair of French Drains under the front lawn. Once I accomplished this installation on both sides of my house with a slight angle down to the front lawn...The water coming through the walls (for over a Century) stopped.  These leaks left cracks in the walls. I used a two part epoxy from Simpson Strong Ties to close these cracks. I further sealed the walls as best as I could with old cans of Rustoleum Enamel.
=====
=====
But I must say....
I was unable to hold myself back....
I simply couldn't wait til I have completed the basement before I began my Basement Empire Layout.
This was somewhat of a Mistake...
For I found myself fighting dust, humidity and small dust critters while trying go determine why my LokSound Equipped Sound Decoders were resetting...along with other issues such as too tight of a radius for my Brass (DCC Sound Equipped) Locomotives. to take a Train over an Operating Bascule Bridge.
There are simply too many distractions in the World today; and I found it particularly disquieting trying to concentrate in such an environment.
However....?!?!?
I found solace in reading The Model Railroader magazine to a time before World War II, when such basements were in vogue.
Hope this helps.
:)) Mark

Re: New to DCC

Carl
 

Hello Mark:

I helped renovate our 1900 basement in Iowa as a kid, late 1960s. We visited a painting contractor friend of Dad's and he taught us a paint mix for the stone walls. First patch the holes and cracks with a thick mix of latex paint and Portland Cement. Then two coats of latex paint, silicone sand and Portland Cement, to a pancake consistency. Since it was white paint this make the basement look great and really help sell the place. I believe it helped dry it out too.

Now I use the paint / cement mix for railroad scenery, I'm doing two workshops at Salt Lake City this Summer at the convention.

I do like the idea of the cement board, I would think plastic deck lumber would be less work than paint 2x4s.

In South Carolina's Low Country basements are a bad idea, so my railroad is in the back of the garage, on a 3' platform, so high above possible flooding.

Carl.

On 2/11/2019 12:16 PM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io wrote:

Greg,
And I hope I don't get dinged on this being Off - Topic but I can't stress enough my agreement with DonV for sealing your Basement walls.
Running in my case 2 x 3's along the outer perimeter walls, installing a combination of Fiberglass as well as spray in insulation and then refinishing it off with ?
Water Proof Wall Board.
No...
I am using 36" x 60" Hardiebacker Cement Wet Area Board. I also sealed the wood 2x3's with Rustoleum Enamel. Then I paint the Hardiebacker Board with Rustoleum again and again...
In which ever color I can get cheap from nearby Habitat Restores.
Old Rustoluem is thicker and hence is perfect for such a project.
(I suggest buying new if a final smooth finish is important.)
One of the reasons for choosing this board...The base wall is 60 inches high so each board fits without cutting.
Cutting Cement Board ?
I don't recommend it and if you do...Wear a serious mask. I found the use of a Sawsall with a fine metal cutting blade to work the best as low speeds, which tends to create less cement dust. Sorry a Painter's Mask won't do it...and upon those rare occasions you do need to cut, keep your exposure to the dust at a minimal of time for the entire day, perhaps the entire week - Allowing your body and breathing passages to expurgate the dust.
=====
However ?
With all the above said....I found the 25x50 foot basement in my 1908 House, the neighborhood and life in general to be too much for me at times....
Along with the Humidity, Peat Dust and Tiny Critters of the Central Valley.
So...
Last May, I basically abandoned that layout basement space for a totally different one -  Above Ground. Less than a mile,  away, this house, neighborhood and above ground Layout Room is nearly a whole other experience.
=====
We can get sudden flooding in California, with several inches of rain falling within a few minutes.
These rare occurrences where apt to cause water to seep through the basement walls and cause the floor to gain upwards of a quarter inch of water.
That is until...
I set in a 6 inch line of perforated drainage line along both sides of the house, to the front of the house, draining into a pair of French Drains under the front lawn. Once I accomplished this installation on both sides of my house with a slight angle down to the front lawn...The water coming through the walls (for over a Century) stopped.  These leaks left cracks in the walls. I used a two part epoxy from Simpson Strong Ties to close these cracks. I further sealed the walls as best as I could with old cans of Rustoleum Enamel.
=====
=====
But I must say....
I was unable to hold myself back....
I simply couldn't wait til I have completed the basement before I began my Basement Empire Layout.
This was somewhat of a Mistake...
For I found myself fighting dust, humidity and small dust critters while trying go determine why my LokSound Equipped Sound Decoders were resetting...along with other issues such as too tight of a radius for my Brass (DCC Sound Equipped) Locomotives. to take a Train over an Operating Bascule Bridge.
There are simply too many distractions in the World today; and I found it particularly disquieting trying to concentrate in such an environment.
However....?!?!?
I found solace in reading The Model Railroader magazine to a time before World War II, when such basements were in vogue.
Hope this helps.
:)) Mark


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Re: New to DCC

Greg Smith
 

I would like to seal the basement walls but probably will not have the time to do the interior basement walls with anything but paint.  Because of my wife's allergies we will have to get the entire basement painted quickly so that it we can have the windows open for a big chunk of the summer to let the paint 'outgas', or whatever you call it.  We have a couple of areas that get damp when we have extensive rain - usually takes a week or more which is pretty rare around here.  Another reason to stick with just concrete paint.

With gobs of 12 gauge wire I can't justify buying something else for my power busses.  After the feeders are soldered on I intend to cover the solder splice with liquid rubber (not sure the actual name) that is sold in electronics supply shops.   

Another question.  I like the look and feel of DPDT (center OFF) toggle switches to route power at turnouts in yard and industrial areas where I will be using caboose Industries ground throws.  I would like to use LEDs to indicate whether the straight or diverging route is powered.  Probably use green for the straight and red for the diverging route.  I used a similar setup with 60 year old red and green panel lights my Dad had scrounged in the layout I had 35 years ago.  Those lights would take way more power than necessary so I would like to switch this system to LEDs.  Do most LEDs have data on them that lets you know what size resistors are needed depending on the voltage?

Thanks
Greg

 

Re: New to DCC

redking56@...
 

Greg, if you are going to simply paint the basement walls, I recommend Drylok which I used with highly satisfactory results. It can be purchased at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

I live in the Chicago area and my layout is in an unfinished basement which is heated and cooled along with the rest of the house. The foundation is poured concrete. Before building my layout, I painted the concrete walls throughout the entire basement. Any feeling of dampness is long gone, and the musty smell was eliminated for good once the walls were painted.

Rich

Re: New to DCC

Carl
 

Hello Greg:

The latex / concrete mix has a few days of an ammonia smell, then little else. And a sump pump is a good idea.

If you use insulation displacement screws you can avoid soldering:

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

I have had very good results with these.

I'm not sure why you would use center off toggles for your turnout. On Jim's layout we only used three position toggles for his three way turnouts. It took two relays to make the turnout motors run. So are you planning hand Caboose ground throws and then powering the points with the toggles? I think Caboose has ground throws that include contacts for frog power.

I usually use 1K ohm resistors for LEDs. They seem to work fine.

Carl.


On 2/11/2019 6:38 PM, gcscls@... wrote:
I would like to seal the basement walls but probably will not have the time to do the interior basement walls with anything but paint.  Because of my wife's allergies we will have to get the entire basement painted quickly so that it we can have the windows open for a big chunk of the summer to let the paint 'outgas', or whatever you call it.  We have a couple of areas that get damp when we have extensive rain - usually takes a week or more which is pretty rare around here.  Another reason to stick with just concrete paint.

With gobs of 12 gauge wire I can't justify buying something else for my power busses.  After the feeders are soldered on I intend to cover the solder splice with liquid rubber (not sure the actual name) that is sold in electronics supply shops.   

Another question.  I like the look and feel of DPDT (center OFF) toggle switches to route power at turnouts in yard and industrial areas where I will be using caboose Industries ground throws.  I would like to use LEDs to indicate whether the straight or diverging route is powered.  Probably use green for the straight and red for the diverging route.  I used a similar setup with 60 year old red and green panel lights my Dad had scrounged in the layout I had 35 years ago.  Those lights would take way more power than necessary so I would like to switch this system to LEDs.  Do most LEDs have data on them that lets you know what size resistors are needed depending on the voltage?

Thanks
Greg

 

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Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Ric Zimmerman <zimmermane@...>
 

I am in the process of building a DCC test track for our local NMRA division.  Being a HO Scale modeler, I have come across an issue I am nor sure about.  Z-scale motors are run on 9 VDC while N-Scale and HO are run on 12 VDC power.  When we apply DCC electronics to them, what is the power output?  

I don't one want to burn out someone’s Z-scale DCC decoder by applying the wrong voltage to the unit.  Does my DCC system (MRCProdigy Express) adjust the power output, or the fact that DCC uses square wave alternating current change the whole paradigm?

MRC has suggested that it should not make a difference and that their system will run all scales, but I would like a second opinion that I can understand.
--
RicZ

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Don Vollrath
 

I would certainly want to investigate further on what voltage is appropriate for Z scale locos before assuming that one can simply apply 12-14 volts from the typical N/HO DCC command station or booster. I've never seen a Z scale loco running on DCC track power. It's not necessarily the 'power' but potentially the repetitive Voltage peaks that do the damage. Find a manufacturer of DCC decoders that are used for Z scale and see what their ratings and limitations are. Yes, you can simply set the DCC 'throttle' to a lower speed step to reduce the average voltage and speed of the loco motor. But this does not reduce the peak voltage applied to the decoder from the track or to the motor by PWM from the normal 12-14 track voltage used for N or HO scales.
DonV

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Richard Gagnon <richg_1998@...>
 

I have run DZ125 deciders on my NCE Poweer Cab many times. The DCC voltage is 13.6 vac. Scope and meter.

Rich




On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:03 PM, Ric Zimmerman <zimmermane@...> wrote:

I am in the process of building a DCC test track for our local NMRA division.  Being a HO Scale modeler, I have come across an issue I am nor sure about.  Z-scale motors are run on 9 VDC while N-Scale and HO are run on 12 VDC power.  When we apply DCC electronics to them, what is the power output?  

I don't one want to burn out someone’s Z-scale DCC decoder by applying the wrong voltage to the unit.  Does my DCC system (MRCProdigy Express) adjust the power output, or the fact that DCC uses square wave alternating current change the whole paradigm?

MRC has suggested that it should not make a difference and that their system will run all scales, but I would like a second opinion that I can understand.
--
RicZ

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Jay
 

Hi!
Z Scale recommended voltage should be 9V.
12V is pushing the upper limit of the true Z Scale decoders in Z Scale engines.
The UP6Z is recommended by Digitrax for operating Z scale.

Jay

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Richard Gagnon <richg_1998@...>
 

I have run the DZ126 in HO also. Good for HO N Z. Not sure about any other Z scale. 

Rich




On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 11:25 PM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

Hi!
Z Scale recommended voltage should be 9V.
12V is pushing the upper limit of the true Z Scale decoders in Z Scale engines.
The UP6Z is recommended by Digitrax for operating Z scale.

Jay

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Mark Cartwright
 

Ric Z
Me too ?
When I began to consider which of my several DCC Controllers was a Keeper for a future Z Scale Coffee Table Layout...I have yet to decide.
Yes, Z Scale is 9 volts.
But my ESU ECoS is in excess of 15 volts.
Works great for N Scale...
An I may keep my Digitrax Chief since the local HO Clubs use this system
As for the rest ?
I do not know.
MRC Prodigy and Prodigy 2, Digitrax Zephyr, Bachmann Dynamis, ESU Navigator,?
Again ...I do not know.
=====
I have considered putting on resistors to the end of my DCC Controller Leads, just as it reaches the track.
Instead ?
I gave up (at least for now).
I have for now far too many distraction in my daily life to consider yet a 4th scale.
Let me know what you figure out Please.
:)) Mark

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Mark Cartwright
 

One other aspect to such a Question.......
And I am sorry for I don't want to put a too fine a point on it....
However...
After reviewing City Permits and work kind of sort of accomplished, inspected and approved by my City's Building Department....of nearly 80 yeas and further with 4 very recent Home Inspections.
When it comes to Electricity ?
>>> Don't even trust PG&E.
=========
With that said....
There is an Old Cherokee Saying about barking up the wrong tree.
or ....
No, I don't believe you can get there from here.
http://z-scaletrains.com/using-correct-controller-z-scale/

Looks to me as if ...Rokuhan and Marlin  maybe the answer.
Meaning ?
Pretty much NOT anything you are gonna find at your American Train Store...
Well perhaps ...
https://www.yelp.com/biz/ac-euro-trains-stockton-2

Okay these people may actually know.
:)) Mark

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Don Vollrath
 

Ric and others... I stand corrected. Digitrax DZ125/6 is for Z and other scales. They give no specific voltage limits on the spec sheet but Digitrax suggests cutting the DCC voltage down when applied to Z scale tracks with their UP6Z. That may be an option to add to your text apparatus for the Z-scale track.
See http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/universal-panel-ir-radio-receivers/up6z/documents/UP6Z_opt.pdf.
DonV

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Richard Gagnon <richg_1998@...>
 

Yes. I saw 12.3 volt PWM pulses out of the orange and grey decoder leads with my Scope.

Rich

Failure is not an option. it comes bundled with Windows.


On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 11:04:15 AM EST, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:


Ric and others... I stand corrected. Digitrax DZ125/6 is for Z and other scales. They give no specific voltage limits on the spec sheet but Digitrax suggests cutting the DCC voltage down when applied to Z scale tracks with their UP6Z. That may be an option to add to your text apparatus for the Z-scale track.
See http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/universal-panel-ir-radio-receivers/up6z/documents/UP6Z_opt.pdf.
DonV

Re: New to DCC

Carl
 

Hello Keith:

You mention loose strands, I bet the strands were very fine to keep the cables flexible. I think welders use that type of stranded wire too.

In Charleston we have the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown. I am fascinated by the emergency wiring terminals, huge 3/8" terminal holes with set screws at all the bulk heads.

I also use the industrial terminals on our camper. The last two photos are of my DCC circuit breakers. The mixed bunch protect the boosters, the long group protect the rails.

Best wishes, Carl.



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Re: New to DCC

Don Vollrath
 

Crimped-on 'circular' ferrules are used on stranded wire in many industrial products for high reliability of the assembly to eliminate the possibility of loose wire strands at terminal blocks. Requires a special type of hexagonal crimping tool and the ferrule must be of the proper size to match the wire gauge. This speeds up assembly in manufacturing and eases repair component replacements when necessary without the nuisance of loose wire strands. The ferrule keeps all the strands together for a good connection to the body and holding set screw of a terminal block. Also works great with the spring force type terminals without spreading or breaking any of the wire strands. Stranded wire is almost always used for easier flexibility.
DonV

Re: PECO Insulfrogs --- Sidetrack

PennsyNut
 

I realize this was posted in Dec. But: Foam can be cut with a Xacto knife very easily. The feeder wires are 20 gauge and small enough that they need a very small groove. And I've already done a few this way. Scenery will cover very easily.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

In other posts & forums, I had participated in discussions involving this subject. And although not directly related to newbies/nocices, is of importance to modelers. Radio Shack may be hard to locate brick & mortar, but is still in business. ONLINE. I have no personal attachment to them. Just to let y'all know I received an email today and here's their web page: https://www.radioshack.com/collections/cleaners-and-chemicals?utm_campaign=2019-02-16%20Cleaners%20%26%20Lubricant%20BACK%20IN%20STOCK%20%28Hd9ZvS%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=E-08&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJwZW5uc3ludXRAZ21haWwuY29tIiwgImtsX2NvbXBhbnlfaWQiOiAiSktjZWVUIn0%3D
So, for those of you that are interested, check it out. And if moderators permit, I'd like to see comments from users of any of these. Specifically for cleaning or lubricating track or other model railroad uses. And which product works best for which application.
Thank YOU!
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Jay
 

Hi!
On my DCC N Scale layout, I used CRC 2-26 for my rails.
It was amazing, after 3 applications, all the dirt was sucked out of the track.
I have not had to clean my track in over 2 years.
My layout is in a dusty basement with a 70' mainline.
It made my life so much easier not having to clean the track every month!

Jay

Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Jay
 

Hi!
I am using a Digitrax DCS100 on my Z Scale layout.
Per the Digitrax recommendation, it has a UP6Z between it & the track.
The track is hooked to the 4v output, putting the track at about 9v.
Perfect for Z Scale.
All of my decoders are Digitrax DZ123Z0 decoders.

Jay