Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Update #2 - Shorting Out Problem

3571 views
28 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Update #2 - Shorting Out Problem
Posted by BNENGR on Friday, February 22, 2008 1:08 AM

Hello Group, Here's another update on the continuing saga of "Paulie's shorting out problem".

Today I took the advice of someone who posted a diagram of my layout showing where to put the PSX-AR. I also took several group members suggestion to lower the trip current of the PSX-AR. After resetting the trip current to a lower value, I connected the PSX-AR to the top section of the loop in the old original section of track in the former block #8. I ran a loco from the left side of the layout from the new section into the old. When the loco crossed the gaps, the loco continued on and the PSX-AR's (short/polarity change) L.E.D. began flashing signalling me that the polarity had changed! It worked! I ran the loco all around the loop with no problems except when it hit the gaps on the right side of the layout going from old to new sections at the right hand turnout. The loco stopped suddenly and then reversed direction. I stopped the loco, shut down the power using the DT400 and reset the PSX-AR and the loco passed the gaps and continued on into the new section of track. Okay, then when I went around again from the new section into the old section on the left side of the layout the loco stopped when it hit the gaps and the PSX-AR's short/polarity change L.E.D. came on solid and the PSX-AR shut down the power. Go figure!!! Worked great and then stopped working...........The only good thing is that the PSX-AR is working right and shutting things down instead of the DCS-100. What happened?

Thanks, Paulie Sigh [sigh]

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
  • 1,987 posts
Posted by jbinkley60 on Friday, February 22, 2008 4:31 AM
 BNENGR wrote:

Hello Group, Here's another update on the continuing saga of "Paulie's shorting out problem".

Today I took the advice of someone who posted a diagram of my layout showing where to put the PSX-AR. I also took several group members suggestion to lower the trip current of the PSX-AR. After resetting the trip current to a lower value, I connected the PSX-AR to the top section of the loop in the old original section of track in the former block #8. I ran a loco from the left side of the layout from the new section into the old. When the loco crossed the gaps, the loco continued on and the PSX-AR's (short/polarity change) L.E.D. began flashing signalling me that the polarity had changed! It worked! I ran the loco all around the loop with no problems except when it hit the gaps on the right side of the layout going from old to new sections at the right hand turnout. The loco stopped suddenly and then reversed direction. I stopped the loco, shut down the power using the DT400 and reset the PSX-AR and the loco passed the gaps and continued on into the new section of track. Okay, then when I went around again from the new section into the old section on the left side of the layout the loco stopped when it hit the gaps and the PSX-AR's short/polarity change L.E.D. came on solid and the PSX-AR shut down the power. Go figure!!! Worked great and then stopped working...........The only good thing is that the PSX-AR is working right and shutting things down instead of the DCS-100. What happened?

Thanks, Paulie Sigh [sigh]

I am scratching my head a little on this one.  My gut tells me that there is a wiring problem somewhere.  But having said that, another thought is still some type of mismatch between the DCS-100 and the PSX-AR.  One thing to keep in mind is that typical over current protectors only work on one rail whereas reversing units work on both rails.  With that thought in mind one option is to take your second PSX-AR and use it to protect the old portion of your layout instead of just the DCS-100.  Leave the PSX-AR you already have installed as is.  Set the trip curents on both the same annd see what happens.  It should be a real easy test.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Friday, February 22, 2008 5:25 AM

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!  Let's back up to the very beginning and as some fundamental questions.  I've seen the happen before, but a few questions first.

1.  What specific DCC system are you using?

2. The locomotive you are using, what is it?  Make?  Is it always the same loco you're using to test with?

3. What decoder is inside it?  Did you install it or was it factory installed?

I have a feeling I know what's going on, but the answers to these question will help confirm it.

jktrains

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Friday, February 22, 2008 5:46 AM
 BNENGR wrote:


... The loco stopped suddenly and then reversed direction...



Are you running an analog loco on address 0? If so, it should not cause the shorting out problem, but it would cause the loco to reverse when leaving the reversing section into a section with opposite phase.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Friday, February 22, 2008 6:15 AM

 CSX Robert wrote:
 BNENGR wrote:


... The loco stopped suddenly and then reversed direction...



Are you running an analog loco on address 0? If so, it should not cause the shorting out problem, but it would cause the loco to reverse when leaving the reversing section into a section with opposite phase.

Bingo! It may not be a shorting problem! But instead an issue of using an analog locomotive.  Hence, the questions asked above.  I didn't want to jump to that conclusion without a response from the OP to those questions.  I have seen exactly this type of thing occur in that situation.

Obviously he's using a Digitrax system since he's using a DT400.  Since Digitrax allows a user to run an analog loco using address 0, this possibility has never been eliminated, nor has the OP stated exactly what he using.  One of the problems with using an analog loco in a DCC environment is that they can't handle reversing sections.  This limitation is often overlooked and never mentioned when some people tout as one of Digitrax's benefits the ability to run an analog locomotive.  It's a great option if all you have is a simple loop, but once you throw in a reversing section, that all goes out the window.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Friday, February 22, 2008 11:00 AM
Yeah, I can't think of any reason a DCC loco would change direction, no matter what the polarity did.  But when the autoreverser changed polarity on an anaolog loco, that's just what would happen.

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Friday, February 22, 2008 11:15 AM
When you go back and re-read the original post in the original thread it sounds like an analog loco is being used.  It takes a little reading between the lines.  The original post describes the layout as "newly converted" to DCC from DC block control.  Also, the section of track was newly added.  The OP makes no mention as to whether or not he had used it with DC before or not.  But, considering that it is newly converted to DCC and if you extrapolate that the OP, being new to DCC, may not have installed a decoder in one of his locos, instead opting to use the address 0 feature on his Digitrax system.  If such, then this is exactly what would happen to a DC loco being run thru a reversing section on DCC.  The loco will enter just fine, but when it hits the gaps to leave the reversing section hit will reverse direction.  if you stop the loco and change direction on the throttle it will now be able to exit the section going the proper direction.
  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Friday, February 22, 2008 3:12 PM

Hello Guys, jktrains, csx Robert, bluehills cpr and others who responded to my problem.

Yes! I have been running a loco that's DCC equipped but never put the decoder in yet so it's still DC! I have a Digitrax Super Chief System with the DCS-100 booster/command and the DT400 throttle. I don't have any other boosters. I have 2 PSX-AR's from DCC Specialties Co. that are auto-reversers/circuit breakers and have a stall motor stationary decoder.

For those of you who have seen the drawing of my layout and have been following this nightmare of a thread I'll keep you updated on things I have done from suggestions in this group and the Digitrax Group. So far, I've taken off all the feeders on the new section I just built with the exception of 2 feeders on the mainline. The yard is completely disconnected. I've tried to just power the new section with the PSX-AR and that did'nt work. Then I placed the PSX-AR on the original old section (over and under) Block # 8, and it's also completely disconnected from the old block panel, hooked it up to the new DCC bus wires and ran the output to the track and also had 2 feeders on the mainline of the new section hooked up to the new bus also. Last night I ran the DC loco (not knowing any better-dumb *** me) and it worked okay on the left side of the layout crossing the gaps etc. then on the other side of the layout it did the stop/start/reverse thing. Had to shut it down and played with the DT400 a bit and finally it crossed the gaps into the new section. Ran the loco again to the left side of the layout and when the DC loco crossed the gaps, the same old thing happened----short out.

F.Y.I. I also lowered the trip current on the PSX-AR from the default setting of 3.81 amps to 2.54 amps. I don't know if I needed to do that or not. Should I leave it there or move it back to the default setting?

I also reversed the input and output wires on the PSX-AR last night in order to get it to work the one time.

Please advise, I'm dyin' here!! Just started in DCC after xmas so I'm a dummy! Operated in DC for 30+ years.

Thanks alot, PaulieSigh [sigh]

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that my bus wires are 12ga. solid copper, feeders are 20ga. stranded copper wire and the wires I've been using on the PSX-AR are 20 ga. stranded copper. I wonder if this is causing any trouble? Should I be using bigger wire?

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Central Georgia
  • 921 posts
Posted by Johnnny_reb on Friday, February 22, 2008 3:44 PM

Paulie please try installing a DCC decoder in the offending locomotive and see what happens. From reading the replies it would seem that you have been running a DC loco on a DCC system and that fact alone will make the loco do exactly what you are describing. If you have a DCC loco with decoder already installed run it over the same section and see what happens.

From what I'm reading here, your problem is because the offending loco does not have a decoder installed. If this is true the only problem is the lack of the installed decoder. Your control system is fine. The loco is fine. You just need to install and program a decoder in the loco.

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

My Train Page   My Photobucket Page   My YouTube Channel

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Friday, February 22, 2008 3:47 PM

BNENGR,

Your answer to my questions confirms what I was thinking is the problem - you're using a DC locomotive and running it using address 0. That is problem #1

The first thing you need is a decoder equipped loco.  Nothing else you do will matter until you have a decoder in that loco.  What you are experiencing is exactly what happens when a DC loco goes through a reversing section. It will stop and reverse direction.  If you stop the engine, change its direction with the throttle and go forward again you should be able to exit the reversing section.  Can you do that currently?  Have you tried?

As I said earlier, people think its a great feature to be able to run a DC loco on Digitrax, except you can't go through a reversing section such as a reverse loop, wye or a turntable.  On anything other than a basic loop, that feature becomes pretty much useless.

If it were me, I would reset the trip current on the PSX-AR to the default settings.  There should be no reason why the factory defaults should cause the problem you're experiencing.  Then wire the PSX-AR according to the instructions.  Make certain that the reversing section is double gapped at each end and that power to it is only fed through the PSX-AR.

You answer convinces me that its not a problem with the PSX-AR, but it is because you're using an analog loco.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Friday, February 22, 2008 9:40 PM

Yep, the fact that the loco changed directions says the autoreverser was working!  Put in the decoder, put the PSX-AR back to it's default setting, and I expect that you'll be good to go.

 

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Saturday, February 23, 2008 1:01 PM
 jktrains wrote:


..

As I said earlier, people think its a great feature to be able to run a DC loco on Digitrax, except you can't go through a reversing section such as a reverse loop, wye or a turntable. On anything other than a basic loop, that feature becomes pretty much useless.

...



Actually, you can go through a reversing section when running a DC loco on Digitrax. Put a DPDT switch in the power for the main section of the layout so that you can reverse the phase of the main section. After you run the engine into the reversing section, you just have to flip the switch to reverse the phase of the rest of the layout before leaving the other end of the reversing section.
  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • 1,089 posts
Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Saturday, February 23, 2008 3:45 PM

 jktrains wrote:
When you go back and re-read the original post in the original thread it sounds like an analog loco is being used.  It takes a little reading between the lines.  The original post describes the layout as "newly converted" to DCC from DC block control.  Also, the section of track was newly added.

I can't help thinking that this problem has been more difficult to resolve because it has ended up being spread out over... four? different threads now.  It has to be easier for those trying to help if they have the entire history of the problem at their disposal.  Just my My 2 cents [2c]

The non DCC loco sounds like it could be the root of the problem but I am a DCC wannabe so what do I really know. Big Smile [:D]

Hope you get to the bottom of this soon BNENGR! Thumbs Up [tup]

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:34 PM
I'd agree with that thought, and said as such in the 4th thread on this problem.  One problem = one thread.
  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:19 PM

Good afternoon Group, Here's another update on my "shorting out" problems and what I've been trying. I apologize for starting so many posts on this thread. I should've just posted to the one thread. Sorry.

Okay, yesterday I tried hooking up the PSX-AR to the section on the old part of the layout which is illustrated on the pics I'm including. It worked briefly, the PSX-AR's L.E.D. blinked showing polarity change, ran a DCC loco around into the new section of the layout on the left side. Ran the loco back to where it started and the PSX-AR stopped working. I reset the trip current to the default setting of 3.81 amps and tried it again. No workie. I replaced the PSX-AR with a second unit set at 3.81 amps and it worked! I ran the loco all around and it appeared to be working properly. At this point I did'nt try crossing the gaps at the rt.hand turnout on the right side of the layout going into the new section of track. I figured the problem was solved. It appeared to me that I did'nt even need the PSX-AR hooked up to where I had it so I disconnected it and just ran feeders to that spot and it still worked! Buttttt, when I got to the rt.hand turnout, the short again! The DCS-100 beeped 4 times and shut down. So, I hooked up the PSX-AR again to the same spot and tried it. Again.....the DCS-100 beeped and shut down. The PSX-AR did'nt do it's job. So, I hooked it up to the new section figuring that it was needed there and the same thing happened. DCS-100 beeped and shut down the system. At this point I am ready to tear out the whole layout and throw it out the window. My patience (which generally I have alot of) is growing very thin!!! Please look at the diagrams and see if you can figure out what the HE_ _ is going on. Thanks so much!!! Paulie

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
  • 1,987 posts
Posted by jbinkley60 on Sunday, February 24, 2008 4:52 PM
 BNENGR wrote:

Good afternoon Group, Here's another update on my "shorting out" problems and what I've been trying. I apologize for starting so many posts on this thread. I should've just posted to the one thread. Sorry.

Okay, yesterday I tried hooking up the PSX-AR to the section on the old part of the layout which is illustrated on the pics I'm including. It worked briefly, the PSX-AR's L.E.D. blinked showing polarity change, ran a DCC loco around into the new section of the layout on the left side. Ran the loco back to where it started and the PSX-AR stopped working. I reset the trip current to the default setting of 3.81 amps and tried it again. No workie. I replaced the PSX-AR with a second unit set at 3.81 amps and it worked! I ran the loco all around and it appeared to be working properly. At this point I did'nt try crossing the gaps at the rt.hand turnout on the right side of the layout going into the new section of track. I figured the problem was solved. It appeared to me that I did'nt even need the PSX-AR hooked up to where I had it so I disconnected it and just ran feeders to that spot and it still worked! Buttttt, when I got to the rt.hand turnout, the short again! The DCS-100 beeped 4 times and shut down. So, I hooked up the PSX-AR again to the same spot and tried it. Again.....the DCS-100 beeped and shut down. The PSX-AR did'nt do it's job. So, I hooked it up to the new section figuring that it was needed there and the same thing happened. DCS-100 beeped and shut down the system. At this point I am ready to tear out the whole layout and throw it out the window. My patience (which generally I have alot of) is growing very thin!!! Please look at the diagrams and see if you can figure out what the HE_ _ is going on. Thanks so much!!! Paulie

I think we may be fighting two problems here.  The one which stands out first is the DCS-100 shutting down.  The problem is that when the DCS-100 shuts down before the PSX-AR, there is no way for the PSX -AR to do its job nor is there a way to tell what the real issue is because power is lost to the layout.  One thing we haven't checked is Option 18 on the DCS-100.  If it is not thrown then the trip detect time is 1/8th of a second.  If it is thrown then it is 1/2 second.  The default is thrown but I suspect you were changing the options because Option 20 is thrown by default, which disables running analog locomotives on address 0 but you were in an earlier thread.  I highly suggest checking option 18.  Section 28, page 115 starts the option section for the DCS-100 in the manual.  If option 18 is not thrown then change it to thrown and try things again. 

If it is thrown then I would go back to a suggestion I made the other day.  First set both of your PSX-ARs to a lower current setting that will allow them to trip before the DCS-100.  Then hook the old and the new sections up each with a PSX-AR feeding them.  Then try running the locomotive through the double gaps and report back what happens. 

 

 

 

 

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:50 PM

Hello Group, After reading some of the answers to my latest post I'll try running 2 PSX-AR's. One in the new and one in the old sections. I'll set both trip currents to a lower amperage. I'll also look into "Option 18" of the DCS-100. I hav'nt changed anything there however. Answer to Doug's question: Yes, the mainline / yard and track leading to the rt.hand turnout are powered by the same bus wires as the track leading into the points of the turnout. The PSX-AR is only powering the section that's newly double gapped (over & under) in the old section.

Question: What would happen if I take out the gaps in the rt.hand turnout and make it "live"?

Have no gaps at all in the turnout and run more feeders?

Thanks, Paulie Sigh [sigh]

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Sunday, February 24, 2008 8:22 PM
If you have the yard area and the points side of the turnout wired from the same buss wires and the layout shorts out when crossing a gap between these two sections, then it sounds like you have the phase swapped between the two sections.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Sunday, February 24, 2008 8:37 PM

If you got the LED on the PSX-AR flashing, after being off, it works, and the trip point is ok, and the Command station is ok, too.

Easiest way I can see, and can describe:

Wire everything between the double gaps to the PSX-AR, wire everything else to the command station.  That's it!  All done!  When you tet, run all the way around.  If the LED starts flashing when you enter the section, it should stop when you exit the opposite end.  IF you enter the section, and the LED does not flash, then it should strt to flash when you exit the opposite end.  Keep it simple, I feel like everytime you've gotten close, you have thrown in an extra variable!  You are running a DCC loco nw, right?

 If you get a short anywhere else, check the wiring that doesn't involve the reverser!

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Sunday, February 24, 2008 11:42 PM
The more I look at it, the more I am convinced that you have the yard area and the section off the points end of the turnout wired to where they are of opposite phases(in case you don't know what I mean by phase, if it was DC, they would be opposite polarity), which is causing the short when you cross the gap by the turnout. I think part of the problem may be trying to change too many things at a time and it's making things more complicated than they need to be.

Here is how I would do it. First of all, you only have one reversing loop, so you only need one automatic reverser and two sets of insulating gaps(I see three in one picture and 4 in another). One suggestion was to shorten the reversing section to make it less likely that you would have two trains crossing the gaps at the same time, but you can't have two trains going through the two legs of a turnout at the same time, so I would put the gaps as close to the turnout as I could. Now you've got two layout sections, one between legs of the turnout and one on the points side of the turnout. Hook up one section(does not matter which one) using an Auto-reverser and ONE set of feeder wires. DO NOT use an auto-reverser on the other section(it might work if you did, but you could get into a situation where when you cross a gap, both reversers trigger trying to clear the short so that it doesn't work) and hook it up using only one set of feeder wires. At this point, you should only have four wires going to the track, two in the reversing section and two in the non-reversing section. Test this with a DCC loco, and if you get it working, then start adding more feeders, testing again after each step.

If you get this to work and you still want to be able to run a DC loco through the loop, I can tell you how to do that.

  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Central Georgia
  • 921 posts
Posted by Johnnny_reb on Monday, February 25, 2008 2:14 AM
Sigh [sigh]

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

My Train Page   My Photobucket Page   My YouTube Channel

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Monday, February 25, 2008 6:09 PM

Hello Group, Today is 2/25/08 and here's another update. I've tried all the suggestions from the group and all failed. So, at this time I have no PSX-AR hooked up. I have all the sections that I've been playing with hooked up to the main bus wires from the DCS-100. I've checked to see that there were no wires out of "phase" and found 2 coming from the rt. leg of the rt.hand turnout on the right side of the layout. These tracks run into the new block I created for the PSX-AR on the old section overpass track. I figured the PSX-AR should handle that. It did'nt when I had it hooked up there. So, with out the PSX-AR and all tracks running from the main bus, the loco will run all around each and everyway except when coming into (gaps) the new block on the overpass track from the rt.leg of the rt.hand turnout on the left side of the layout!(whew!) Then the DCS-100 beeps and shuts things down. I tried hooking the PSX-AR to the problem area and no go. Tried it in the mainline on the new section (where the yard is) and no go! I'm out of ideas fellas! Should I go and find some dynamite????Pirate [oX)]

Paulie

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Monday, February 25, 2008 6:32 PM

You could try swapping the phase of the output of the reverser, that should help you make suer that you new section is really isolated.  It sounds to me like there is a feeder form teh old section somehow connected to the new, when the reverser tries to change, it causes a short.

How about this, just set up two pieces of track, connect one to the Command station output, the other to the AR output.  Tack a wire to each rail on the command station's track.  Take one of those wires, and touch it to one of the rails on the AR track.  The AR will flash, if it had to change phase, and won't if it didn't.  Then touch the wire to the other rail, the behavior of the AR should be the opposite.  Now we know if the AR is working.

 

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Monday, February 25, 2008 6:45 PM

OK, here we go!  This is going to sound drastic, but now is the time drastic actions.  Stay with me on this.

First, disconnect ALL the feeder wires from the main bus to every section of track.  Either unsolder them from the rail, cut them unsolder them from the bus, but remove them all.  It will be like re-wiring your layout.

Second, connect one set, and one set only, of feeders from the bus to rail of the non-reversing section.  Your layout is small enough that it can be run by one set of feeders for the time being.

Third connect the input of the PSX-AR to the main bus.  Connect the output to reversing section.  The reversing section must be double gapped on both ends of the section.

I don't recall exactly what type of turnout your using.  Make sure the frog is isolated and dead. or even better power routed.

See the revised drawing.

Now, if you've done this you only have four wires going to the layout - 2 main feeders and 2 going to the reversing section.  Forget about feeders to the yard/storage tracks; forget about installing more feeders.  You want to simplify everything and get it to work.  The layout should now work.  The reversing section should operate and be seamless.  Post back the results.

Once you have this simple wiring done and the layout operating you can go back and add more feeders.  This way you'll know that it worked and that if after adding some feeders it doesn't you'll have an easier time finder where the mess up is.

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Monday, February 25, 2008 7:26 PM
How many insulating gaps do you have and how many feeders do you have connected to the layout now? Like I said before, you need to get it down to 2 gaps and 2 sets of feeders.
  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
  • 1,987 posts
Posted by jbinkley60 on Monday, February 25, 2008 7:41 PM
 BNENGR wrote:

Hello Group, Today is 2/25/08 and here's another update. I've tried all the suggestions from the group and all failed. So, at this time I have no PSX-AR hooked up. I have all the sections that I've been playing with hooked up to the main bus wires from the DCS-100. I've checked to see that there were no wires out of "phase" and found 2 coming from the rt. leg of the rt.hand turnout on the right side of the layout. These tracks run into the new block I created for the PSX-AR on the old section overpass track. I figured the PSX-AR should handle that. It did'nt when I had it hooked up there. So, with out the PSX-AR and all tracks running from the main bus, the loco will run all around each and everyway except when coming into (gaps) the new block on the overpass track from the rt.leg of the rt.hand turnout on the left side of the layout!(whew!) Then the DCS-100 beeps and shuts things down. I tried hooking the PSX-AR to the problem area and no go. Tried it in the mainline on the new section (where the yard is) and no go! I'm out of ideas fellas! Should I go and find some dynamite????Pirate [oX)]

Paulie

Did you check option 18 on the DCS-100 ?  It should be thrown.  I didn't see a response to this.  We need to keep focused on the fundamental problem, the DCS-100 shutting down.  If you had a PSX-AR on each section of the layout then under no circumstance should the DCS-100 have tripped out, even if you shorted the track.  The fact that it did means we need to focus here first.  Put the PSX-ARs back on each section of the layout.  Then start shorting the track in various spots and ensure that the PSX-AR that is powering the section of track that is shorted shuts down.  The other PSX-AR should do nothing and the DCS-100 should not beep or shut off.  I would try shorting the track on each side of the double gapped sections. 

Once you've done this report back your findings and we can determine the next steps.  If when you are testing above you have the DCS-100 shutting off, then lower the current setting on the PSX-AR so that the DCS-100 does not shut off.   This will ensure that the PSX-ARs are shutting down before the DCS-100. 

  

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 2:22 AM

Hello Group, It's 3:15 am here in Northern Michigan and I'm going thru all the posts.

CSX Robert, I have 4 sets (8) insulated gaps right now with 8 sets of feeders (this is without using the PSX-AR. JKTrains, my layout is much bigger than the pics you've seen. I've only showed the problem area. I'm using the Atlas Code 100 Snap Switch (coil type).

Later today (after I get some sleep) I'll try some of your suggestions. I've gotten a whole bunch of ideas from this forum and the Digitrax forum so I've got enough to keep me busy for awhile!!!

I'll keep you posted. Thanks to all!!

PaulieBow [bow]

The Burlington Northern Lives On!
  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: SW Wisconsin
  • 157 posts
Posted by 60YOKID on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:36 AM

There has been excellent advice and a lot of thought put into the answers on this thread.  Most of the following may be redundant, but I get the feeling the OP has possibly missed a couple of critical points of advice.

1st. You should only have two gap locations on the layout, and both rails must be gapped.

2nd. Use only one reverser.

3rd. Get rid of the gaps below the right turnout. (Why do you have gaps there at all?) If a short develops after removing this gap, check for a fault or something wrong in the turnout.

4th. Do your inital testing with only a single locomotive on the track and no cars.

5th. If there really is more to this layout than you have drawn, and you have power going to it, you should tell us.  It should probably be fed as part of the main section.  

6th. As previously mentioned, the DCS100 should define option sw 18 to t.

7th. Your reversing section, (as well as the main section), must always be longer than your longest train, if your cars use metal wheels.

8th. You should also be aware that certain locomotives (very few) have been known to cause a short when going through some turnouts. There are various methods to correct this.  

Try to keep things simple and re-check the obvious.

-Bill 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • From: Northern Michigan
  • 100 posts
Posted by BNENGR on Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:46 AM

Hello Guys, I hav'nt posted lately because I've been working on the problem with a couple of my friends who know quite a bit about DCC and wiring. So, you're off the hook for awhile! Yeah!! [yeah]

I'll let you all know what happens. Thanks again.

PaulieBow [bow]

The Burlington Northern Lives On!

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!