Date   
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

Re: Correct switch and wiring

Thomas Johnson (60/M)
 

Thank You for the info Blair. That rotary looks pretty darn close to what I was contemplating. Not sure what your thoughts were on the relay exactly though. I suspect your thought might have been that the rotary switch activates the relay somehow. I think that just a rotary should work if I can find one like you referenced that can handle the 5 amp load from the booster.

I "think" that I will need a stacked rotary that makes/breaks the connection on both sides of the RRAmpMeter for each specific wiring route. I can hopefully make this as simple and foolproof as possible.

Tom Johnson

Re: Correct switch and wiring

Jon Holmes
 

Tom
Something else you should think about when researching your rotary switch is that there are two types,  a "make before break" (shorting) and "break before make" non-shorting switch - or at least there used to be. I would think that you would want a non-shorting type rotary switch. Just my old school thoughts.

Jon

Switch machine auxilary contacts

Lee Hanna
 

I have heard that it is not good to use the auxiliary contacts on a Tortoise type switch machine to power a section of track.  I have a section of track that can be powered from two sources depending upon turnout position. (A hold over from DC)  This is on a club layout where DC is still occasionally used, so complete conversion to DCC is out of the question.
So, if it is not good to use the contacts on the Tortoise, what can be used? Please remember that the track in question can not be converted to only DCC.
Thanks in advance.
Lee

Re: Switch machine auxilary contacts

Dale Gloer
 

The Tortoise contacts are rated at 4 amps when stationary and 1 amp when switching a load.  That means that  you can have at least a couple of locomotives on the switched track and still not overload the contacts during switching.  A short on DC probably won't overload the contacts even during switching and is most unlikely to over load the contacts when stationary. 

The same can be true for DCC depending on the whether you have circuit breakers set at less than 4 amps for short circuit protection.

If you are determined to not use the contacts to switch the track power directly then use one set of contacts to operate a relay with contacts rated higher than you ever expect to need.

I have had about 100 Tortoises in service for almost 10 years, all routing frog power, with no failures.  Running a switch is the most common cause of shorts on my layout and that means the Tortoise contacts carry the short circuit power.  I also have circuit breakers on all my track and all are set for 3 amps max.

Dale Gloer

Re: Correct switch and wiring

Blair & Rasa
 

Tom
Please understand, I'm not being condescending - your comments make me think you're electrical background is minimal so I'll lay it out step by step.

Start by considering your booster - what is it's maximum current output? I said I assumed 5A, because you hadn't mentioned a current or a model number. Since two of your contact sets on the rotary must switch this current if you are to put the RRAmpMeter in the primary feed from the booster, that defines your current rating for the rotary.

Sketching out your needed circuit, I think you need to switch a lot more circuit points than you realize - up to 10, I think. So you need a 10P6T rotary, 5A rated. If you find one, I'll bet it's straight off the ark or some form of military special. I've never seen one in action, in 35 years in the electronics business.

That being said, one is still "available" at Digi-key, though not in stock:
http://www.digikey.ca/product-search/en?pv832=6&pv833=2&
FV=fff40011%2Cfff80062%2C1080770%2C10807ad%2C108080d%2C1080814%2C1080818%2C108085c%2C108086b%2C1080e37%2C1080e39%2C1080e3a%2C1080e44%2Cd140002%2Cd140006%2Cd140007%2Cd140009%2Cd14000a%2Cd140019%2Cd140020%2Cd140022%2Cd140023%2C1c240002&mnonly=0&newproducts=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=500

$829 - neat. Chump change for sure.

If you want a thousand, Electroswitch might must make them for you, but otherwise I would not expect to be able to order this with a predictable delivery date, so start looking for someone who has one.

To re-explain my relay solution - a single-pole 100 ma 6-position rotary energizes one DPDT relay in each position, except for the "no RRAmpMeter" position, which simply ignores the RRAmpMeter. Each DPDT relay switches the RRAmpMeter into the circuit it selects. Otherwise, the circuit for that position is in its normal configuration. Since the rotary is break-before-make, only one relay is ever energized, ensuring no shorts occur. Easy, simple to wire, maintain, and understand.

Total relay cost (ignoring sockets) on the surplus market is around $5 ea, for a total of $25 plus the rotary at around $5, for a total outlay of $30 to do what you want. Socket the relays, and the price might jump to $100. Still a whack of a lot less than "unobtainium", which is what I would call the Electroswitch offering.

Or, you can buy 5 RRAmpMeters and be done with it; again, cheaper than unobtanium, but more expensive than the relay solution. Depends on how you value your time.
I am sure someone can identify some surplus outlet or obscure supplier with a 10P6T 5A rotary in stock for peanuts - but that's not my point.
Blair

On 14/12/28 07:41, Blair & Rasa wrote:
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



Re: Switch machine auxilary contacts

Steve Haas
 



<<I have heard that it is not good to use the auxiliary contacts on a Tortoise type switch machine to power a section of track.  I have a section of track that can be powered from two sources depending upon turnout position. (A hold over from DC)  This is on a club layout where DC is still occasionally used, so complete conversion to DCC is out of the question.

So, if it is not good to use the contacts on the Tortoise, what can be used? Please remember that the track in question can not be converted to only DCC.

Thanks in advance.

Lee>>

 

Lee,

 

The contacts on a Tortoise are totally capable of powering a section of track.  If you read the fine print here:

http://www.circuitron.com/index_files/ins/800-6000ins.pdf, you’ll see that the Tortoise contacts are rated for one amp of switching current, and can carry a load of 4 amps continuous once switched.

 

Unless your club layout has a unique set of circumstances, you should not have any problems using Tortoise units to control power to a section of track.

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

Re: Switch machine auxilary contacts

rg <richg_1998@...>
 

Our club is using the contacts with Tortoise and older PFM machines with a NCE Power cab 5 amp system. no problems. When someone tells you something like this, ask them for documentation.
They Say and I Heard are two groups that do this.

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

Re: Switch machine auxilary contacts

Mark Gurries
 

My thoughts.

I have seen Tortoise fail where the contacts have been burned when handling track power.  The Tortoise applications involving track power are:

A) Polarity for a metal Frog on a DCC Friendly turnout.  (Frog only. Point rails not included.)
B) Polarity for both the metal Frog and the Point Rail on a NON DCC Friendly turnout. (Note 1)
C) ON-OFF power stub section of track. This may or may not include the polarity of the frog and point rails.  Depends on the turnout.

If you want to know what a DCC Friendly turnout is, go here:

Some have been used on DC and some on DCC.    

1) I have encountered layout with DC throttles that are, shall we say, generous on the current and slow to shutdown.
2) I have encounter HO layouts which are using very high current DCC boosters (>5A) without any DCC circuit breakers to shutdown at lower currents (5A).
3) I have seen tortoise where the contacts themselves were damaged during installation by someone pressing down on the black cam.  This results deformation of the spring portion of the contact resulting in a reduction in spring pressure.pressure which in turn raises the contact resistance reducing reliability.  Stated another way, it technically reduces the current rating of the contacts compared to new from the factory.  (Note 2)
4) There is debatable evidence of tortoise shipping with defective contacts.  Although Circuitron is not perfect, I think the majority of this damage is caused by the process of #3 above but falsely blamed on Circuitron. 

The damage to contacts starts to occur when the current exceeds the "switching current rating” of 1 Amp.    This will happen when the contacts switch into a:

a) short circuit at the track level.  In that event, the full booster current will pass through the contacts until a DCC circuit breaker or booster shuts down.
b) load involving a sound decoder(s).  This presents a "high inrush current" situation who's peak value will be the same as the booster current rating.

Damage comes in the form of:

i) Metal displacement/migration.  Arcing transfers/moves metal between the two opposing contact surfaces.  You see it as pitting of the contacts surfaces.  Pitting has the side effect of raising the contact resistance since the surface area has been reduced. (Note 3)
ii) Thermal Damage.  Contact resistance has increased to the point signficant heat is being generated.  All you need to do is soften the plastic holding the contacts in place and the spring tension on the plastic will allow the contact to lose contact pressure.  If the resulting contact resistance is high enough to prevent a DCC circuit breaker or booster from shutting down, the contacts will burn up.

This is not to say the contacts will be destroyed instantly.  What it means that over time, the destruction will accumulate to the point of failure.  Translated, it a time bomb with a very long fuse depending on both the frequency and level of the over current fault.  Given every layout is different, there will naturally will be a wide range of results.

My point is that if the power source can supply more current than the switching contact rating of the switch allows, you open yourself to damaging the contacts.  With DCC, that almost a forgone conclusion because booster's put out more current by definition in order to run multiple trains at the same time.

Solutions:

Since I only deal with DCC, my recommendations are as follows for layout which are using DCC boosters with a 3amps or more rating.

1) Eliminate all Power Routing that uses the tortoise contacts.  With DCC there is no electrical need for it.

2) Eliminate all NON DCC friendly turnouts if possible. Do not use NON DCC friendly turnouts when installing new turnouts. This eliminates the problem associated with item B a the top.

3) Install a low power ~10W 12V lamp who’s current rating is less than 1amp (HO) in series with the frog power.  This will reduce both the duration and peak amplitude of the excessive current.   It works because the current needed by the frog only has to support ONE ENGINE for a very brief period of time.  The wheel of the engine rolling over the frog.  It will also be compatible with DCC circuit breakers.  A short on the frog will not trip the DCC circuit breaker.


NOTES
-----------------
1) This setup often result in a momentary short circuit when the turnout is thrown one way or the other.  This happens if the tortoise is not aligned correctly and/or the friction of the throw bar and point rails requires significant spring pressure to move.  This typically happens after ballasting has taken place.  (It is completely avoidable but that is another topic).  The end result if the point rails motion are not in sync with Tortoise contacts.  A complete discussion about this problem is found here. 


2) The tortoise has two sets of SPDT switches.   Each single switch consist of two sets of double sprung contacts that slide over PCB trace.  The same PCB that you see coming out the bottom of the machine.  Look at the 3rd picture of this website”


Look at the black cam above the PCB board.  You can see the sets of contacts are attached to the black cam with plastic bosses.  Pressing down on the black moving cam is applying direct deformation pressure to the spring function built into the contacts. The spring metal can take a "new set" reducing the pressure on the contacts.  This same pressure can also deform the plastic bosses resulting in the same problem.    So you can have a 1, 2 punch in damage by crushing the contacts.  

3) Electrical Trivia...Assuming the current levels are identical, this is more pronounced on DC than DCC.  DC only allows metal migration in one direction as in one contact to the other.  DCC is a form of AC and AC can take away and give it back depending on the polarity at the time of the metal transfer.  In the long run it would result in a net zero transfer but that does not mean the metal is put back where is started from.  So with DCC, there is damage but at a slower rate. Again this all assumes identical current levels but with DCC, the current is much higher offsetting the effect negatively.



Best Regards,

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



Re: Switch machine auxilary contacts

William E. Davies <wedavies@...>
 

Greetings Lee,
I have been using small inexpensive DPDT relays to handle higher current loads.  Their coils draw a few mils which is easily handled by a Tortoise.  Check MPJA.com





On 30-Dec-14 15:36, Lee Hanna lee.hanna60@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
I have heard that it is not good to use the auxiliary contacts on a Tortoise type switch machine to power a section of track.  I have a section of track that can be powered from two sources depending upon turnout position. (A hold over from DC)  This is on a club layout where DC is still occasionally used, so complete conversion to DCC is out of the question.
So, if it is not good to use the contacts on the Tortoise, what can be used? Please remember that the track in question can not be converted to only DCC.
Thanks in advance.
Lee


Looking ForSimple LED Panel Display for Double Slip Switch

Tom Jones
 

Good Morning Group.  I have been searching for information on wiring LEDs through tortoise contacts for proper route information for several Peco Double Slip Switches I have installed. I thought there was a discussion and diagram several years ago but only can find vague references in old blogs. I use 1 amp/12 volt wall warts to control groups of about 20 tortoises and there status LEDs and would like to use a wall wart for the double slip status panels.  I did find a partial reference to using a 12v+/12v-/ Common power supply but not sure what it is or how it is wired. Any information or directions to published information is appreciated. - tj

Re: Looking ForSimple LED Panel Display for Double Slip Switch

Mark Gurries
 

Did you consider the diagram that cam with the Tortoise?

On Dec 31, 2014, at 8:12 AM, tomjones4884@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

Good Morning Group.  I have been searching for information on wiring LEDs through tortoise contacts for proper route information for several Peco Double Slip Switches I have installed. I thought there was a discussion and diagram several years ago but only can find vague references in old blogs. I use 1 amp/12 volt wall warts to control groups of about 20 tortoises and there status LEDs and would like to use a wall wart for the double slip status panels.  I did find a partial reference to using a 12v+/12v-/ Common power supply but not sure what it is or how it is wired. Any information or directions to published information is appreciated. - tj


Best Regards,

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