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Auto-Reverse a staging area (3 track)

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Stratford Ontario Canada
  • 8 posts
Auto-Reverse a staging area (3 track)
Posted by bhawk on Thursday, July 17, 2008 3:16 PM

Hi All,

Would it be ok from a DCC operating point of view to have a 3 track staging area in one power district controlled by an auto-reverser? If I run a train into staging and there are2 trains waiting to come out,will the poarity switch adversely affect them? Any issues with sound?

I have a 3 track staging yard that enters the layout through a track wye (triangle) with each branch (leg) going to the mainline so trains can go either east or west from staging. The mainline is a loop around the walls. HO scale, staging tracks are 6, 7 and 8 feet long. Only one entry track to the staging area, I expect 1 to 4 operators with 2 of those being kids.

I will be running lighted passenger cars (CN late 50's), 4 or 5 cars per train.

I have a second wye which I can have the auto-reverser on a leg that runs just over 86 inces in length so it should not be a problem.

Thanks in Advance,

Brian

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Stratford Ontario Canada
  • 8 posts
Posted by bhawk on Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:04 PM
Oops. Yes the staging yard is the entire reversing section. One way in to staging from the wye so only one train move in or out at a time. I am just concerned about impact to trains already in staging but not moving.
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,688 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, July 18, 2008 9:06 AM

I've got a Tony's PS-REV, the predecessor to Tony's current reversing unit.  My reversing section includes my yard, and all of this works just fine.  As a bonus, this reverser also includes a circuit breaker, so if you're "fiddling" cars on staging and happen to short out the track, the rest of the layout won't be affected.

This auto-reverser has a 2-amp capacity.  That's plenty for me.  You might want to check on those illuminated passenger cars, though.  If you have multiple incandescent bulbs, you could be drawing close to an amp just for that train, before you even add an engine.  You might consider adding a cutoff switch to kill power to the sidings individually, so you can turn off the lighted cars when not in use.

For sound engines, there are two things to think about.  First, they draw more power than regular engines, and they draw power even if they are idling with sound.  So, regardless of where they are on your layout, think about their power draw.  Also, a sound engine will "recycle" its sound after a power interruption.  With a solid-state reverser like Tony makes, the power interruption during a polarity flip is short enough that the engines don't notice it.  However, some older relay-based units may cause the engines to reset on a flip.  Stick with solid state to avoid this.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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