Date   
Re: Shorting across power districts

Steve McKee
 

I had that same exact problem on my layout just before the last narrow gauge convention on my layout which is almost a club size layout. Everything was working fine the way I had it and then I had your problem. My friend Mark found out that you have to ground the extra power boxes to the each other by putting a screw in the bottom of the metal box and grounding them to each other. We did that and the problem was solved. Steve McKee

Re: Shorting across power districts

wrhastings@...
 

The booster common wire is a bit confusing. I noticed the comment in the manual, but it didn't give much detail. Do I just wire the 3 PB110 cases together?

We're running HO scale. Eventually, each booster will eventually connect to 4 PSX breakers - Upper level mainline, upper level sidings, lower level mainline, and lower level sidings.

Bill Hastings

Re: Shorting across power districts

Mark Gurries
 

On Nov 27, 2014, at 8:59 AM, wrhastings@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

The booster common wire is a bit confusing. I noticed the comment in the manual, but it didn't give much detail. Do I just wire the 3 PB110 cases together?

Yes and there is another step.  As Don stated in his email, you must verify the screw INSIDE the box is in the correct location.  This information is found in you PB110 Manual.

We're running HO scale. Eventually, each booster will eventually connect to 4 PSX breakers -

Do it sooner than latter.  You may burn something up.  There are some potential risk working with HO and PB110 boosters.



Best Regards,

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



Help on wiring 3 way turnout with tortoise

vincent_roy75@...
 

Good day All,


I have a Peco N scale 3 way turnout that i want to install but I'm a bit confused on how to wire it.. I have read lots of things on the subject but I want to be 100% of what to do before actually doing it.


Here is my setup: My DCC system is NCE. All my other turnouts are connected to a Tortoise and an NCE Switch8 module.


So I have my two Tortoise for the 3 way turnout. Under the turnout, there is already two metal wires from the two frogs. Am I connecting those wire to the Pin#4 on the tortoise?


Any help would be appreciated!!


Thanks


Vince


Re: Shorting across power districts

wrhastings@...
 

Problem solved. I started out by connecting the boosters together. As part of that, I took Mark's suggestion to heart, and put a #1156 light bulb in series with each leg of the commons. Was still having shorting issues and started isolating shorter and shorter sections of track. Finally came down to a single section, with one turnout on it. Close inspections showed that one of the PC ties was not correctly gapped. Cut the proper gap, and everything is working as it should. Thanks for all of the help and comments.

Bill Hastings

Re: Shorting across power districts

asychis@...
 

DonV writes: "Bill you can verify the booster polarity by placing a small 14-16V lamp across the rail gaps isolating the booster districts. If it lights when placed across gaps in the same rail the polarity is reversed. If no light then polarity is OK. The lamp should light when placed diagonally across the rail gaps when the booster common is connected properly."
 
I would be 99.9% sure this is the problem.  On block is out of phase to the other. Jerry Mihels

Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

Dave Phillips
 

I am using two-lead bi-color LEDs to indicate the position of Tortoise switch machines. The LEDs are in series with the Tortoise switch motor. But the red and green indications do not appear equally bright to me. I can see no way to adjust the brightness of one color of two-lead LEDs, but it appears possible with three-lead LEDs by using different resistors in the green and red legs of the LED. The three-lead LED circuits I've seen are wired to the Tortoise auxiliary contacts, but I really like the simplicity of the LEDs in series with the switch motor.

I have seen a circuit by Don Vollrath that simulates a two-lead bi-color LED by connecting the anodes of two external diodes to the common cathode of a three-lead LED, and connecting the cathodes of the external diodes to the red and green leads of the three lead LED. Those two leads are then connected in the same way as a two lead bi-color LED in series with the switch motor.

If I do that, can I place a small trimming resistor in series with one of the external diodes to lower the brightness of the brighter color? I'm thinking that a resistor value that would drop the current 5 ma or so in the brighter color leg should do the trick. Also, is the voltage to the Tortoise reduced by the forward voltage drop of both the bi-color LED and one external diode, i.e., approximately dropping the voltage across the switch motor by about 4 Volts, for each simulated two-lead LED? This drop would need to be compensated for by increasing the voltage of the DC power supply.

I'm hoping this approach will work as I would really like to avoid wiring the LEDs to the auxiliary contacts on the Tortoise.

Thanks in advance.

Dave


Re: Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Dave,

When placing LEDs in series with the Tortoise motor it is the resistance of the motor that limits and controls the current through the motor and LEDs, AFTER any voltage drop of the LEDs. The Tortoise requires a minimum of 4-5V to operate reliably... and even they will move very slowly. So anything more you place in series with the circuit will lower the motor voltage and operating speed. Most Tortoise control methods supply 10-12V so there is some room to play.

 

Yes, your suggested method of replacing the 2-lead bi-color variety with a 3-leaded version and the reversed external diodes across each color will convert the connection into a 2-lead design. Then adding a resistor in series with the too-bright color (probably Red) will tend to even out the color intensity. This will also lower the motor current and operating speed in that direction.

 

A better choice… as long as you are considering changing the indicator LEDs…  might be to simply select a different 2-leaded part that has better light intensity balance between the colors. Look in the catalogs for the intensity numbers (mcd @ the test ma) as a clue to the brightness. Don’t forget to look at the higher priced parts rather than just the bargain priced units.

 

There are also several methods of connecting up LEDs with diodes and resistors in parallel with the tortoise motor so that you can adjust the current through the individual LED colors independent of that flowing through the motor.

 

DonV    

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2014 6:31 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

 



I am using two-lead bi-color LEDs to indicate the position of Tortoise switch machines. The LEDs are in series with the Tortoise switch motor. But the red and green indications do not appear equally bright to me. I can see no way to adjust the brightness of one color of two-lead LEDs, but it appears possible with three-lead LEDs by using different resistors in the green and red legs of the LED. The three-lead LED circuits I've seen are wired to the Tortoise auxiliary contacts, but I really like the simplicity of the LEDs in series with the switch motor.

I have seen a circuit by Don Vollrath that simulates a two-lead bi-color LED by connecting the anodes of two external diodes to the common cathode of a three-lead LED, and connecting the cathodes of the external diodes to the red and green leads of the three lead LED. Those two leads are then connected in the same way as a two lead bi-color LED in series with the switch motor.

If I do that, can I place a small trimming resistor in series with one of the external diodes to lower the brightness of the brighter color? I'm thinking that a resistor value that would drop the current 5 ma or so in the brighter color leg should do the trick. Also, is the voltage to the Tortoise reduced by the forward voltage drop of both the bi-color LED and one external diode, i.e., approximately dropping the voltage across the switch motor by about 4 Volts, for each simulated two-lead LED? This drop would need to be compensated for by increasing the voltage of the DC power supply.

I'm hoping this approach will work as I would really like to avoid wiring the LEDs to the auxiliary contacts on the Tortoise.

Thanks in advance.

Dave

 




Re: Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

Thomas
 

Dave
Connect the anode of one diode and the cahtode of another diode together. Put a resistor in series with each diode. Tie the resistor free ends together. Put the results in series with the Bi-color LED. You could use trim pots until a final resistance value is selected. The circuit will conduct through one diode and resistor with one polarity and through the other diode and resistor with the other polarity. You can vary the resistance for the desired brightness.
Tom



From: "daphilli@... [WiringForDCC]"
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2014 7:31 PM
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

 
I am using two-lead bi-color LEDs to indicate the position of Tortoise switch machines. The LEDs are in series with the Tortoise switch motor. But the red and green indications do not appear equally bright to me. I can see no way to adjust the brightness of one color of two-lead LEDs, but it appears possible with three-lead LEDs by using different resistors in the green and red legs of the LED. The three-lead LED circuits I've seen are wired to the Tortoise auxiliary contacts, but I really like the simplicity of the LEDs in series with the switch motor.

I have seen a circuit by Don Vollrath that simulates a two-lead bi-color LED by connecting the anodes of two external diodes to the common cathode of a three-lead LED, and connecting the cathodes of the external diodes to the red and green leads of the three lead LED. Those two leads are then connected in the same way as a two lead bi-color LED in series with the switch motor.

If I do that, can I place a small trimming resistor in series with one of the external diodes to lower the brightness of the brighter color? I'm thinking that a resistor value that would drop the current 5 ma or so in the brighter color leg should do the trick. Also, is the voltage to the Tortoise reduced by the forward voltage drop of both the bi-color LED and one external diode, i.e., approximately dropping the voltage across the switch motor by about 4 Volts, for each simulated two-lead LED? This drop would need to be compensated for by increasing the voltage of the DC power supply.

I'm hoping this approach will work as I would really like to avoid wiring the LEDs to the auxiliary contacts on the Tortoise.

Thanks in advance.

Dave

 












Re: Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Dave… Tom clearly explains how to do it with the LEDs you have. The added diode drop will reduce the speed of the Tortoise and so will the added resistor(s) to trim the brightness. But try it and you might find it to be an acceptable solution.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2014 9:18 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

 




Dave

Connect the anode of one diode and the cahtode of another diode together. Put a resistor in series with each diode. Tie the resistor free ends together. Put the results in series with the Bi-color LED. You could use trim pots until a final resistance value is selected. The circuit will conduct through one diode and resistor with one polarity and through the other diode and resistor with the other polarity. You can vary the resistance for the desired brightness.

Tom

 


From: "daphilli@... [WiringForDCC]" <WiringForDCC@...>
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2014 7:31 PM
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

 

 

I am using two-lead bi-color LEDs to indicate the position of Tortoise switch machines. The LEDs are in series with the Tortoise switch motor. But the red and green indications do not appear equally bright to me. I can see no way to adjust the brightness of one color of two-lead LEDs, but it appears possible with three-lead LEDs by using different resistors in the green and red legs of the LED. The three-lead LED circuits I've seen are wired to the Tortoise auxiliary contacts, but I really like the simplicity of the LEDs in series with the switch motor.

I have seen a circuit by Don Vollrath that simulates a two-lead bi-color LED by connecting the anodes of two external diodes to the common cathode of a three-lead LED, and connecting the cathodes of the external diodes to the red and green leads of the three lead LED. Those two leads are then connected in the same way as a two lead bi-color LED in series with the switch motor.

If I do that, can I place a small trimming resistor in series with one of the external diodes to lower the brightness of the brighter color? I'm thinking that a resistor value that would drop the current 5 ma or so in the brighter color leg should do the trick. Also, is the voltage to the Tortoise reduced by the forward voltage drop of both the bi-color LED and one external diode, i.e., approximately dropping the voltage across the switch motor by about 4 Volts, for each simulated two-lead LED? This drop would need to be compensated for by increasing the voltage of the DC power supply.

I'm hoping this approach will work as I would really like to avoid wiring the LEDs to the auxiliary contacts on the Tortoise.

Thanks in advance.

Dave


 

 

 




Re: Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

rg <richg_1998@...>
 

When our club installed some Tortoise, I put a 20 ma red/green LED in series with one lead. No resistor needed. they draw about 15 ma.
Green, straight through.
Red diverging.

Rich

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

 
 
 







STEPHEN LAMB

Stephen Lamb
 

Re: STEPHEN LAMB

colinseggie@...
 

Do NOT OPEN  Spam!! 
DocColin

Re: Tortoise Position Indication with Bi-color LEDs

Dave Phillips
 

Don, Tom,


Thanks for the information. It’s all very helpful. Tom, your solution is slick. I can’t wait to try it!


Dave

Lighting control in a railcar.

Cameron Davis
 

OK. New to DCC knowledge.
I have acquired 3 HO Passenger Rail cars. These are older and have had the couplers updated, not the issue for this discussion.

I noticed, by accident today, that these cars in question actually do have working lights.

I noticed this when I was re-railing them and shorted out, lacking the correct terminology here, and then the light went off when correctly railed.

What is a correct wiring schematic for a rail car with interior lighting?

The car seems to pick up from both rails off of the front and rear trucks.

Trucks are 6 wheels with the center set metal for electrical pick up.

Is there a kit that will convert a DC rail-car lighting to DCC?

Cameron D

NE Florida



Re: Lighting control in a railcar.

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Cameron,

Most likely the passenger car has only a simple incandescent bulb connected to the power pick-up from the trucks. It would be typical to pick power from only the left rail at one truck and the right rail from the other truck. It will work as-is with DC or DCC. An incandescent bulb won’t care. However, since DCC essentially has ~14+ constant volts on the rails the (probably) 10-12V rated bulb simply burned out. For operation on DCC it should be replaced with a 14-16 volt rated bulb.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:26 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Lighting control in a railcar.

 



OK. New to DCC knowledge.
I have acquired 3 HO Passenger Rail cars. These are older and have had the couplers updated, not the issue for this discussion.

I noticed, by accident today, that these cars in question actually do have working lights.

I noticed this when I was re-railing them and shorted out, lacking the correct terminology here, and then the light went off when correctly railed.

What is a correct wiring schematic for a rail car with interior lighting?

The car seems to pick up from both rails off of the front and rear trucks.

Trucks are 6 wheels with the center set metal for electrical pick up.

Is there a kit that will convert a DC rail-car lighting to DCC?

Cameron D

NE Florida

 

 




Re: Lighting control in a railcar.

Glenn
 

Typically on older cars when looking down “through the roof” the top or front truck usually picks up from the right rail and the other truck from the left rail.

 

You probably have newer older cars as stated, each truck picks up from both rails. If you have not opened the car body, check inside as there may be some wiring inside.

 

I just remodeled a Bachmann On30 combine. I did not care for the brightness of the interior light, one bulb. I soldered a 220 ohm resistor in one of the leads to dim the light.

 

If you only have one light inside the car consider wiring a second bulb in series. And space them apart.

 

Glenn

 


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 14:22
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Lighting control in a railcar.

 




Cameron,

Most likely the passenger car has only a simple incandescent bulb connected to the power pick-up from the trucks. It would be typical to pick power from only the left rail at one truck and the right rail from the other truck. It will work as-is with DC or DCC. An incandescent bulb won’t care. However, since DCC essentially has ~14+ constant volts on the rails the (probably) 10-12V rated bulb simply burned out. For operation on DCC it should be replaced with a 14-16 volt rated bulb.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:26 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Lighting control in a railcar.

 



OK. New to DCC knowledge.
I have acquired 3 HO Passenger Rail cars. These are older and have had the couplers updated, not the issue for this discussion.

I noticed, by accident today, that these cars in question actually do have working lights.

I noticed this when I was re-railing them and shorted out, lacking the correct terminology here, and then the light went off when correctly railed.

What is a correct wiring schematic for a rail car with interior lighting?

The car seems to pick up from both rails off of the front and rear trucks.

Trucks are 6 wheels with the center set metal for electrical pick up.

Is there a kit that will convert a DC rail-car lighting to DCC?

Cameron D

NE Florida

 

 



 


Re: Lighting control in a railcar.

Cameron Davis
 

Thank you for the information.
I will tear into a car when I return home and see how the wheels are actually wired.


On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM, 'Vollrath, Don' dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

Cameron,

Most likely the passenger car has only a simple incandescent bulb connected to the power pick-up from the trucks. It would be typical to pick power from only the left rail at one truck and the right rail from the other truck. It will work as-is with DC or DCC. An incandescent bulb won’t care. However, since DCC essentially has ~14+ constant volts on the rails the (probably) 10-12V rated bulb simply burned out. For operation on DCC it should be replaced with a 14-16 volt rated bulb.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 12:26 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Lighting control in a railcar.

 



OK. New to DCC knowledge.
I have acquired 3 HO Passenger Rail cars. These are older and have had the couplers updated, not the issue for this discussion.

I noticed, by accident today, that these cars in question actually do have working lights.

I noticed this when I was re-railing them and shorted out, lacking the correct terminology here, and then the light went off when correctly railed.

What is a correct wiring schematic for a rail car with interior lighting?

The car seems to pick up from both rails off of the front and rear trucks.

Trucks are 6 wheels with the center set metal for electrical pick up.

Is there a kit that will convert a DC rail-car lighting to DCC?

Cameron D

NE Florida

 

 




Correct switch and wiring

Thomas Johnson (60/M)
 

Well, I have been researching for the "right" switch and wiring setup for a friends railroad. He has a single command station/booster that expands out into 4 districts (currently through a PM42 that is going to be replaced by a PSX4). I want to wire in a RRAmpMeter that can be switched to read either the reading between the booster & PSX4 or any one of the PSX sections to the rail sections, and a total bypass of the RRAmpMeter as a last position. I was thinking of an old fashioned rotary but a priority lighted push button setup would look so much better.


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you in advanced.


Tom Johnson


Re: Correct switch and wiring

Blair & Rasa
 

Tom
A lot will depend on the current capability of the booster; assuming 5A maximum output, then your switch must be capable of at least that current, especially since the wiring will be quite involved, and therefore replacement of the switch should be a "rare event". Thinking about what you're asking for, I expect you may even need a 6-pole switch. A 5A, 6-pole multi-position switch is asking a lot; not sure if there's one out there, and I'd sit down before I looked at the price; it would likely be direct-solder, so you're going to have some fun there, too. Your second option is better, but still requires 5A contacts. Additionally, the ones I'm familiar with are PCB or soldered wire connections, which will be quite challenging unless you're a soldering pro. Personally, I'd be leaning towards a lighter-duty rotary switch for controlling multiple socketed 5A or 10A DPDT relays. This also offers the advantage of modular replacement of worn-out contacts, though that shouldn't be a common occurrence. Although the multiple-relay concept is more complex, you'll find that wiring it becomes quite straightforward. From what you've described, you'll need 5 DPDT 12VDC coil relays, and a 6-position non-shorting rotary. The bypass is achieved by not powering any relay. You must ensure that you purchase a break-before-make, aka non-shorting, rotary, to ensure that only one relay is ever energized at one time.

I've chosen Jameco as a representative supplier, you may have your own sources:
non-shorting switch: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2184456_-1
socket: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_141145_-1
relay: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_139766_-1
Or, if you prefer to direct wire the relays, then use these: http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_2093079_-1

You could also somewhat optimize your costs by using lower cost, lower current relays for the 4 districts - but your relay for switching in/out the RRAmpMeter will have to be capable of switching the full booster output.

This whole setup may or may not work for you, but I throw it out there for consideration. It is certainly how I would do what you are proposing. Whether one should or should not be switching any of this in this manner when powered up I will leave to others. I expect it wouldn't be good for the RRAmpMeter, and possibly not for the PSX4/PM42, but I don't know that for sure.

Blair Smith