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Wiring help needed

Tim Lee
 

Hello 
I have built the atlas Ho-16 layout from the atlas book 11 atlas ho layouts for every space. I have purchased a Digitrax Zephyr XTra. Being new to model railroads, and Dcc, I’m looking for advice as how to wire this. Do I need the plastic track joiners. If so where should they be placed. Also do I need any other dcc electronic devices .
Any advice is greatly appreciated

Tim

Jay
 
Edited

Tim,
Generally you won't need to isolate most places.
Reverser loops are different animal.
That layout looks like there are no reverser sections.
On a layout that size, you might want to consider a Digitrax PM42 Quad Power Manager.
This would split up the layout, for electrical short protection.

Jay

Al Silverstein
 

Tim,
 
Should you determine that you need to divide your layout into power districts with the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra as the command station then I have four suggestions of value:
 
1) Be sure to set the trip current of the PM42 to 1.5 amps,
2) Be sure to set the trip speed of the PM42 to the fastest setting,
3) Be sure to set the command station to the slowest trip setting of 1/2 second,
4) and if you can afford it use the DCC Specialties PM42 breakout board which makes wiring the PM42 easier.
 
Note here that there are other circuit breakers available but should you choose one of those other circuit breakers you will still need to set the current to below that of the command station capabilities, set the circuit breaker to be as fast as possible, and set the command station to respond slower than the external circuit breaker.
 
Also make sure that the wiring between the command station and the circuit breaker and the circuit breaker and the rail bus is at least the same size as the rail bus.
 
Al Silverstein
 

Tim Lee
 

Please be patient as I’m new to this. Are you saying that I need a digitrax pm42 ? I can purchase one.  Do I then wire from zephyr to pm 42 then to track bus ? Or 4 power lines to 4 different areas of track from pm 42 


On Jan 19, 2019, at 7:59 PM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Tim,
Generally you won't need to isolate most places.
Reverser loops are different animal.
That layout looks like there are no reverser sections.
On a layout that size, you might want to consider a Digitrax PM42 Quad Power Manager.
This would split up the layout, for electrical short protection.

Jay

Al Silverstein
 

Tim,
 
Using a circuit breaker like the PM42 is not generally necessary with a Digitrax Zephyr command station. The Zephyr was designed for smaller layouts with one or two operators in mind. The current output of the Zephyr is only 3 amps.
 
External circuit breakers are generally used to protect a layout where multiple operators are operating multiple trains where a short in one area would drastically effect a second or third operator operating trains in other areas of the layout.
 
Al

From: Tim Lee
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2019 9:25 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Wiring help needed
 
Please be patient as I’m new to this. Are you saying that I need a digitrax pm42 ? I can purchase one.  Do I then wire from zephyr to pm 42 then to track bus ? Or 4 power lines to 4 different areas of track from pm 42


On Jan 19, 2019, at 7:59 PM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Tim,
Generally you won't need to isolate most places.
Reverser loops are different animal.
That layout looks like there are no reverser sections.
On a layout that size, you might want to consider a Digitrax PM42 Quad Power Manager.
This would split up the layout, for electrical short protection.

Jay

Jerry Michels
 

Tim,

You got the basic idea, the PM42 would be wired after the Zephyr, and then out to the layout.  The PM42 provides short circuit protection, but also gives you the ability to divide the layout into four separate blocks, each with its own short-circuit protection.  So if a train derails in one of the blocks, trains keep running in the other three.  The block with the short circuit will automatically reset itself once the short is removed.

One note, if you do decide to buy a PM42, also buy the PM42 breakout board offered by Accu-Lites.  It make installation very, very easy.  If not, you are looking a using a 44-pin connector which you need to wire yourself.
 
Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Chuck Stiles
 

Tim

I don't have access to the Atlas layout design you refereed to so I don't want to comment on the specifics of the layout or if it would require a PM42.
I do know this from experience. You can wire and Run your layout with the Zephyr. Wiring provision for a future PM42 might be advised. If you can Post a copy of your layout to the Group may make things easier.
Placement of the plastic insulation joiners is critical. Now is the time to decide what you want to do with your layout in the future, and install your buss wiring accordingly. Take into consideration if you want to create blocks, and possibly future automated signaling, operating crossing gates etc. Trying to create blocks at a later date can be more difficult.

Good Luck
Chuck
Brick NJ 

Jay
 

Don Vollrath
 

Tim, If the layout is indeed that of https://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/PROD/150-HO16 as Jay has suggested then...
1. There are no reversing loops so no DCC polarity reverser is needed.
2, You might want to isolate one or more sections for either electronic circuit breaker or track occupancy detectors for signaling, etc. Passing sidings are a good location for this.
3. The easiest way to do #2 is to provide plastic isolating joiners on all 4 rails of the frog end of mainline turnouts/track switches.
4. Doing #3 forces you to provide individual DCC power feeders to all isolated sections of track. Drop these feeders down under the layout to connect to either a common DCC bus following the general flow of track... OR as each track section is fed through individual occupancy sensors or circuit breakers added now or later to suit your plans.
5. Put your DCC command station/booster near the middle of the layout "L" and fan out the DCC track power bus in both directions to flow under the layout, but do not connect it up into a continuous loop. Use #18 or larger wire for the DCC main bus... in twisted pair or 'zip' cord.
6. If you plan on using accessory decoders make provisions for a separate DCC feeder sub-bus to power those units. In that case provide an electronic CB (PSX is the suggested brand) for the main DCC bus feeding the track and wire up the accessory sub-bus directly from the booster output.  

DonV

Carl
 

Hello Tim:

The isolated track can also be wired as a program track. Then once programmed you can switch to DCC and test run the locomotive without picking it up.

Carl.

On 1/22/2019 11:52 AM, Don Vollrath wrote:
Tim, If the layout is indeed that of https://www.trainsetsonly.com/page/TSO/PROD/150-HO16 as Jay has suggested then...
1. There are no reversing loops so no DCC polarity reverser is needed.
2, You might want to isolate one or more sections for either electronic circuit breaker or track occupancy detectors for signaling, etc. Passing sidings are a good location for this.
3. The easiest way to do #2 is to provide plastic isolating joiners on all 4 rails of the frog end of mainline turnouts/track switches.
4. Doing #3 forces you to provide individual DCC power feeders to all isolated sections of track. Drop these feeders down under the layout to connect to either a common DCC bus following the general flow of track... OR as each track section is fed through individual occupancy sensors or circuit breakers added now or later to suit your plans.
5. Put your DCC command station/booster near the middle of the layout "L" and fan out the DCC track power bus in both directions to flow under the layout, but do not connect it up into a continuous loop. Use #18 or larger wire for the DCC main bus... in twisted pair or 'zip' cord.
6. If you plan on using accessory decoders make provisions for a separate DCC feeder sub-bus to power those units. In that case provide an electronic CB (PSX is the suggested brand) for the main DCC bus feeding the track and wire up the accessory sub-bus directly from the booster output.  

DonV

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