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Reversing section(s) using PSX-ARSC >> SUCCESSFUL!!

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  • Member since
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  • From: Seattle, WA
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Reversing section(s) using PSX-ARSC >> SUCCESSFUL!!
Posted by Frisco-kid on Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:38 AM

 I just received my PSX-ARSC auto reverser. This is my first foray into DCC, auto reversing and turnout contol - all rolled into one slightly daunting project. The single unit will be centrally located to monitor and control the 2 reversing loops on the layout.

For the sake of argument, the drawing above is reference. On the west leg, the topmost turnout creates the reversing loop. On the east side, the turnout I will automate is at the tip of the 'teardrop' - the 3rd one down from the top.

The isolated reversing sections are powered from the reverser, which also has outputs for activating the two Peco PL-10 switch machines.

Has anyone used this type of equipment/setup or have any pointers? The reverser has circuit breakers and the wiring instructions seem clear for the most part.

 Not sure which of the 4 leads goes to which terminal on the 2-coil switch machines - 2 are marked 'common' and the other are 'control'.

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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:24 AM

Have you gone back to your original placement of the insulators, Gort, or is this just for the sake of illustration?  As I recall, we spent some time re-positioning the insulators to give you longer loops for the reversers.  In your case, the location of the insulators might be important, since you're going to automate the turnouts.

David's statement, in general, is right.  You really should use a separate reverser for each loop.  That way, you don't have to worry about having two trains in different loops "fighting" each other for control.  (In theory, of course, you can run any number of loops from a single reverser, as long as you're only running one train, and the loops aren't "nested" inside of each other.)  But, practical experience has shown that Murphy is not only right, but also that he was an optimist.  So, do your best to create bulletproof trackwork and circuitry, and you'll be close.  Never perfect, of course, but close.

Here, you are going to be throwing both turnouts every time the auto-reverser kicks over, not just the one you want to throw.  Are you sure you want to do that?  Frankly, I wouldn't, and neither would Mr. Murphy, I suspect.  For one thing, throwing a Peco takes more energy than throwing an Atlas.  If you're going to kick two of them over at the same time, you will need a capacitive discharge system.  (Get one of these anyway, particularly if you're using Peco machines elsewhere.  Really.  You will not regret it.)

As for the Peco switch machines, wire the contacts on the same long side together.  Those will be your "common" lead back to the reverser.  The other two control which way the turnout will be set, and will go to the remaining two leads on the reverser.  (I don't actually have one of these reversers, by the way, so I'm assuming it has three wires for this.)

In the end, though, remember that these reversers are designed for a simple loop, and you don't have that on either side of your layout.  I would personally go with manual control of the turnouts, and add some turnout-position indicator signals to remind you to set everything correctly.

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Seattle, WA
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Posted by Frisco-kid on Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:47 AM

Mister B - I was hoping you might "check in" ..

Yes, I am using this drawing for illustration only - thanks again for your input on the best way to actually gap these sections.

Both DCC Specialties and Tony's; the mfg and distributor of the PSX modules - tell me the AR unit can handle multiple reversing loops - with the caveat of not having simultaneous reversing duties. The unit has 3 pair of output track connections.

I guess I need to provide more details about what I'm trying to do with this configuration. My automation goal is for a single train running on the main unattended while I take care of switching or other ops. If I have need to take control for multiple mainline trains, I can do so (taking care to avoid simultaneous reversing) and position the loop turnouts manually.

On the east side, the top-most and bottom-most turnouts are entry/exit to a staging yard, less frequently used and having the turnouts set for the mainline most of the time. The same applies to the staging on the far west leg.

The other pair of turnouts in the east are a sawmill complex work siding; manually controlled by the operator as the train is worked locally. 

The SC unit has a capacitive discharge and power supply for dual-coil turnout control.

Thx for the Peco-wiring tips. You also aswered a nagging question from the back of my mind - the fact that the pair of automated turnouts will flip each time a reversing action is initiated. Not a such a big deal for a single train traversing back and forth, but something to consider in other circumstances. As things shake out during the actual operation of the layout down the line, as second reversing unit and 'maualizing' the turnouts may prove to be the answer.

I'm hoping the single reverser in this configuration will serve my needs currently.

  • Member since
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  • From: Seattle, WA
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Posted by Frisco-kid on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 2:39 PM

I just wanted to report that I have the 2 reversing loops successfully automated with the PSX-AR now.

I had to 'futz' a little with trip current and 'inrush booster' settings to pair with my NCE Powercab system. That was nothing more than soldering 2 jumpers in place on the reverser circuit board. EZ breezy - the instructions were very clear how to do it.

The loop throat turnout machines (Peco) flip when the reverser kicks in - so it's a hand-off drive-thru operation when I want to loop the mainline. Both loops are controlled by the single auto reverser - so far so good. With the single-track mainline, the hands-free will take care of a single train no sweat.

I can also swith the turnout points manually or use DCC commands if I want to take control.

I'm pleased with the results.

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Posted by locoworks on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 3:59 PM
 davidmbedard wrote:

2 reversing sections require 2 reversing controllers.

David B 

usually.   but if your operations don't have a loco on both loops at the same time it doesn't matter what the unused loops polarity/phase is.  so if you were $ shy you  could get away with one AR unit switching both loops together if you were careful.   not the recommended option, but an option none the less.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 5:19 PM

Glad to hear that it's working.  (I love it when a plan comes together.)

When I look at your layout, though, I really want to take that long straight right in the middle and put a long passing siding on one side of it.  Since you do have turnouts there, you may already have thought of this.  A passing siding in the middle like that, combined with the two reversing loops, would allow you to run two trains, with the only co-ordination being the turnouts for the passing siding and the timing of the trains for the "meet."  That would be an interesting automation project

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

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Seattle, WA
  • 96 posts
Posted by Frisco-kid on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 5:42 PM

Mister B - 

Above is the full trackplan - haven't drawn in the harbor or any of the bridges.The town tracks (peninsula loop) and building placement still in flux.

 The town work/passing siding (and even the A/D track if unoccupied) on the peninsula would allow for 'meets in the middle' just as you mentioned.

 As for automating those meets, that kettle of fish is "out of scope" as us IT geeks like to say.

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