Topics

Digest Number 2652

monty cunningham
 

This thread causes concern on my part.  I am in the building state of my layout.  I have purchased code 83 and code 70 track but no switches yet.  I have yet to purchase any switches yet.
What switcher/company should I be looking at?
Thanks
Monty


On Tuesday, March 20, 2018 6:03 AM, "WiringForDCC@..." wrote:


2 Messages

Digest #2652

Messages

1a

Modify KATO #4 HO Turnout, Wiring For DCC #2 19a

Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:42 am (PDT) . Posted by:

"Stephen Collie" stephencollie@...

I’m just starting to set up a KATO HO Unitrack layout after a relocation and this is a good time to migrate to DCC.

While I understand the basics of DCC wiring, there are issues with Turnouts and specifically those not-DCC friendly. The KATO #4 HO is
one of these with a powered frog and selectable power routing as discussed in Turnouts #19a. (A KATO #4 HO Turnout operates like the KATO #6 N
and vice versa, the KATO #6 HO Turnout operates like the KATO #4 N) With DCC being as prevalent as it is today, I ‘m surpirsed KATO still supplies
the #4 HO Turnout in boxed HO Layout Plan Sets. I have the KATO HO Black River Junction layout with 2 #6 Turnouts and 11 #4 Turnouts.

While in my DC layout I insert Insulating Unijoiners on the ends of the track leading from the Vee, the same functionality can be accomplished by
inserting a thin piece of insulating tape (Kapton, even clear Scotch Tape) under the wiper inside the switch, furthest from the heel.

The Big Issue is Short Circuits and in the event a locomotive enters a #4 HO Turnout that isn't properly positioned. While careful layout operation should
reduce this, the potential exists.

In DC this is a brief pain, often the turnout can be properly activated with the locomotive over it. However, as I have no experience yet with DCC
and the higher operating currents, I believe a short could have damaging consequences. I do have KATO #6 HO turnouts which are Selectable
for Power or Non-Power Routing by simply removing an angular section of roadbed on the side of the turnout and then changing the two jumper pins.
The Frog on the #6 HO is insulated and even if a loco enters an improperly activated #6 Turnout, the loco’s wheels simply push the point rails aside and
no short occurs (at least in DC operation).

The simple solution is swapping any #4 HO KATO Turnouts with #6 HO Turnouts, but at $60 each plus curve geometry differences and a 2 inch longer
turnout track, this requires consideration.

MY QUESTION IS: Has anyone attempted to physically Modify a KATO #4 HO Turnout to make it DCC friendly?

Thanks,

Stephen

1b

Re: Modify KATO #4 HO Turnout, Wiring For DCC #2 19a

Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:19 am (PDT) . Posted by:

"Vollrath, Don"

Be sure to see http://wiringfordcc.com/switches_kato.htm.
I fully understand the issue of having the frog rails at the wrong polarity as a loco pulls into frog end of the switch. Yes there can be a short circuit and the amps from that short may indeed pass through relatively small gauge wires inside your loco connecting front and rear trucks... possibly cause damage if not interrupted fairly quickly. You can either isolate the switch at all rails and power it via a separate electronic CB, OR current limiting light bulbs on each rail, OR butcher the rails inside the switch and make it more DCC friendly. Even adding a frog power polarity selector switch or juicer will not solve all the issues of the engineer running into a switch thrown the wrong way.

DonV

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, March 19, 2018 9:34 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Modify KATO #4 HO Turnout, Wiring For DCC #2 19a

I’m just starting to set up a KATO HO Unitrack layout after a relocation and this is a good time to migrate to DCC.

While I understand the basics of DCC wiring, there are issues with Turnouts and specifically those not-DCC friendly. The KATO #4 HO is one of these with a powered frog and selectable power routing as discussed in Turnouts #19a. (A KATO #4 HO Turnout operates like the KATO #6 N and vice versa, the KATO #6 HO Turnout operates like the KATO #4 N) With DCC being as prevalent as it is today, I ‘m surpirsed KATO still supplies
the #4 HO Turnout in boxed HO Layout Plan Sets. I have the KATO HO Black River Junction layout with 2 #6 Turnouts and 11 #4 Turnouts.

While in my DC layout I insert Insulating Unijoiners on the ends of the track leading from the Vee, the same functionality can be accomplished by inserting a thin piece of insulating tape (Kapton, even clear Scotch Tape) under the wiper inside the switch, furthest from the heel.

The Big Issue is Short Circuits and in the event a locomotive enters a #4 HO Turnout that isn't properly positioned. While careful layout operation should reduce this, the potential exists.

In DC this is a brief pain, often the turnout can be properly activated with the locomotive over it. However, as I have no experience yet with DCC
and the higher operating currents, I believe a short could have damaging consequences. I do have KATO #6 HO turnouts which are Selectable
for Power or Non-Power Routing by simply removing an angular section of roadbed on the side of the turnout and then changing the two jumper pins.
The Frog on the #6 HO is insulated and even if a loco enters an improperly activated #6 Turnout, the loco’s wheels simply push the point rails aside and no short occurs (at least in DC operation).

The simple solution is swapping any #4 HO KATO Turnouts with #6 HO Turnouts, but at $60 each plus curve geometry differences and a 2 inch longer turnout track, this requires consideration.

MY QUESTION IS: Has anyone attempted to physically Modify a KATO #4 HO Turnout to make it DCC friendly?

Thanks,

Stephen


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Posted by: Stephen Collie
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