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Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks

Bob Miller
 

I have two 8 track staging yards at either end of my point to point layout. The main line run between the 2 yards is approximately 90 to 100 feet. Each staging yard is its own block and the main line is dividing into 6 blocks.

Question 1: Is it advisable to wire each track in staging yards so that power can be switched on and off, e.g. to permit arrival or departure of train, but eliminate the electrical draw while the track is empty or a train has completed its run.

Question 2: If this approach is advisable, what is the best way to wire the tracks? and could SPST toggles be used?

Paul O
 

Bob, for every track (or group of tracks), isolate one rail on both ends of the track you want to control; insert a SPST switch in series with the isolated track(s) and the proper  bus leg for that rail.

Paul O

On Aug 3, 2019, at 6:17 PM, Bob Miller <cajonpass1995@...> wrote:

I have two 8 track staging yards at either end of my point to point layout. The main line run between the 2 yards is approximately 90 to 100 feet. Each staging yard is its own block and the main line is dividing into 6 blocks.

Question 1: Is it advisable to wire each track in staging yards so that power can be switched on and off, e.g. to permit arrival or departure of train, but eliminate the electrical draw while the track is empty or a train has completed its run.

Question 2: If this approach is advisable, what is the best way to wire the tracks? and could SPST toggles be used?

Jerry Michels
 

Bob,

We have an 8-track staging yard, and simply built a panel with 8 DPDT switches and brought a buss from the switches that runs under each track to provide connection to drops.  An LED installed on the switch illuminates when the track is powered.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

--

Clark Propst
 

I’ve seen it done with both toggles and rotatory switches. I used power routing switches on my 4 track staging, but one track is always powered.
 
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa

Don Vollrath
 

Advisable? Yes. At least add the isolating gaps to do so. A toggle switch per track is the easy way. Most rotary switches don't have the amp rating for track power and may become unreliable. 
Necessary? Maybe. DCC locos (even ones with sound) don't really consume that much track power when idle. But lighted passenger cars can/do. Turnning power off makes the sometimes annoying sound go off and positively prevents any unwanted/mistaken locomotion.

DonV 

george hohon3
 

You can find almost any amp rating you need for a rotary switch at any good electronics parts store.  Mine have been in service for over ten years and they have been perfectly reliable in all those years.

George


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Don Vollrath <donevol43@...>
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 9:25 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks
 
Advisable? Yes. At least add the isolating gaps to do so. A toggle switch per track is the easy way. Most rotary switches don't have the amp rating for track power and may become unreliable. 
Necessary? Maybe. DCC locos (even ones with sound) don't really consume that much track power when idle. But lighted passenger cars can/do. Turnning power off makes the sometimes annoying sound go off and positively prevents any unwanted/mistaken locomotion.

DonV 

Max Maginness
 

More than you may want to know but the message is that the switching capacity of a simple rotary may be only 0.25 or 0.5 amps, but once closed the contacts can take several amps.  Might be a slight problem with high inrush current sound and /or lights when selecting a track.  

http://www.electro-nc.com/rotaryswitchbasics.pps

Max

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of george hohon3
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 4:14 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks

 

You can find almost any amp rating you need for a rotary switch at any good electronics parts store.  Mine have been in service for over ten years and they have been perfectly reliable in all those years.

 

George

 


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Don Vollrath <donevol43@...>
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2019 9:25 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks

 

Advisable? Yes. At least add the isolating gaps to do so. A toggle switch per track is the easy way. Most rotary switches don't have the amp rating for track power and may become unreliable. 
Necessary? Maybe. DCC locos (even ones with sound) don't really consume that much track power when idle. But lighted passenger cars can/do. Turnning power off makes the sometimes annoying sound go off and positively prevents any unwanted/mistaken locomotion.

DonV 

Jerry Michels
 

Wouldn't a problem with rotary switches be that  you can only turn on one track at a time? That wouldn't work for us considering a train may be entering the yard as another is leaving.  We need individual switches.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


Gary Chudzinski
 

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm finding it difficult to understand why one would prefer to use a rotary switch vs toggle switches besides fascia space.  Unless I'm missing something, a rotary switch would allow power to only one staging track at a time.  Is this a small, one operator layout?  Eight to ten mini switches can be compacted in a relatively small space extended below a fascia.  I can understand using a rotary switch in a roundhouse.
Gary Chudzinsk

george hohon3
 

Jerry, you're right based on your railroad's operations.  I'm a single operator on a home based layout, and while I do run multiple trains at the same time . . . . yard operations are usually one train at a time.  So for me, the rotary switches were the perfect answer.

George


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...>
Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 9:34 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks
 
Wouldn't a problem with rotary switches be that  you can only turn on one track at a time? That wouldn't work for us considering a train may be entering the yard as another is leaving.  We need individual switches.

Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum


george hohon3
 

Gary, you hit the nail on the head with this comment,  "Is this a small, one operator layout?"  The answer to your question is "Yes" . . . . that's exactly what it is.

George


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...>
Sent: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 8:27 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Controlling power (0n/Off) in Staging Yard Tracks
 
Excuse my ignorance, but I'm finding it difficult to understand why one would prefer to use a rotary switch vs toggle switches besides fascia space.  Unless I'm missing something, a rotary switch would allow power to only one staging track at a time.  Is this a small, one operator layout?  Eight to ten mini switches can be compacted in a relatively small space extended below a fascia.  I can understand using a rotary switch in a roundhouse.
Gary Chudzinsk

Flash Gordon
 

You can use one toggle switch to turn off the whole yard.

Ed S