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Short on a wye

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Short on a wye
Posted by IAFlyer on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:31 PM

Hello all - I'm probably 80% complete building my layout. It's the John Armstrong Ho-29 (Central Midland) with just minor modifications and I'm using DCC. I do not have many of the track insulators that are in the original layout plan, as I'm not using DC cab control - just DCC. Here's a link to the full layout plan: Central Midland track plan.jpg The track leading to the yard area and engine servicing is electrically isolated from the mainline. It is powered via Onguard OG-AR auto reverser. 

Here is a link to a close-up of the problem area: 

The problem I'm having is a short when a train exits the Wye on the right hand side of the images. I have track insulators on both rails at the locations with the yellow markings. The red markings are where there is one insulator, just on the right side of the track. 

Here's the odd part - the engine will use the "south" side of the Wye and enter/exit the mainline just fine.

But on the northern side of the Wye as soon as the engine bridges the insulators, it causes a short circuit, and track power is cut. IF I reverse the leads coming from the auto reverser, the engine will exit the NORTH side just fine, but cause a short when it attempts to exit the south side of the Wye. 

Any ideas on what I need to insulate/modify to allow the engine to exit both legs of the Wye?

Just for grins, here are two pictures of the layout, just to add some color to how it looks. 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:25 PM

Atlas turnouts?  If they are a power routing turnout, I think you need one more gap at 6L on the other frog rail.   If they are Atlas, no and I don't know why that would only be a problem on the north end of the why.

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 21, 2020 6:19 AM

When you say "wye", are you referring to the 19-degree crossing?

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, February 21, 2020 7:45 AM

richhotrain

When you say "wye", are you referring to the 19-degree crossing?

Rich

I assumed he meant that both tracks have a shorting issue, but maybe I should not.

After rereading his post, I believe everything running left of the yellow marks and near or including that 19 degree crossing are controlled by the reverser.

The fact that his problem reverses N & S when he switches the leads is an important clue.  Unfortunately my deer stalker hat is not to be found.

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 21, 2020 8:03 AM

BigDaddy
 
richhotrain

When you say "wye", are you referring to the 19-degree crossing?

Rich 

I assumed he meant that both tracks have a shorting issue, but maybe I should not.

After rereading his post, I believe everything running left of the yellow marks and near or including that 19 degree crossing are controlled by the reverser.

The fact that his problem reverses N & S when he switches the leads is an important clue.  Unfortunately my deer stalker hat is not to be found. 

If he is referring to the crossing, I think it is a gapping problem, not a wiring problem. I drew up a couple of possibilities for effective gapping, but we need to hear from him first.

Rich

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Posted by IAFlyer on Friday, February 21, 2020 12:56 PM

Thanks for the replies - I am refering to both "north" tracks as having the issue, the short occurs when the engine crosses the insulators (yellow in the track plan). 

Yes, everything left of the yellow marks is a seperate power district, powered from the reverser. Although it's not evident in the diagram, there is no "out" to that power district. The only connect to the mainline is through this wye that is in the track diagram above. 

The turnouts are Atlas, each frog seems isolated, and not has a small plastic gap between the frog and the rails it leads to. I don't have any wiritng to the frogs. 

My confusion lies here - shouldn't the auto-reverser be solving this? 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, February 21, 2020 9:51 PM

IAFlyer
My confusion lies here - shouldn't the auto-reverser be solving this?

I believe it should and your gaps look like they are in the right place to me.  However the problem shouldn't switch from North to South, when you reverse the leads.  Yet it does.  Sad

Are there any other circuit breakers?

One pathway through the northern crossing is isolated on both ends.  I suppose that means there are jumpers in the crossing to supply power.  If there weren't or if they were bad, the loco would still stall there when you reversed the reverser leads.

Henry

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 21, 2020 10:28 PM

I took a look at the entire track plan. Those four turnouts coming off the mainline, to form a wye at the 19 degree crossing, lead to a stub end yard. So, the divergent end of each of those four turnouts needs to be gapped to isolate the entire stub end yard from the double track mainline. No other gaps are necessary. Everything to the left of those four pairs of gaps becomes the reversing section. Those other gaps (red and yellow) should not be there. The two wires coming from the output side of the OG-AR should connect to any and all feeders inside the reversing section. No feeders from the output side of the OG-AR should be connected outside of the reversing section.

Rich 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:06 AM

Rich, I've following along, as you seem to figure this kind of stuff out, so it looked like a complicated enough of a layout for me to learn something.

I see the 2 turnouts and the 19 degree crossing, that make the "Y", and to the left of that are 4 turn outs that make a cross over, is that where your talking?

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:20 AM

mbinsewi

I see the 2 turnouts and the 19 degree crossing, that make the "Y", and to the left of that are 4 turn outs that make a cross over, is that where your talking?

Yeah, for awhile I was confused because there is a "wye" track inside that bottom loop. But, I now believe that the OP is referring to the 19 degree crossing and the two turnouts to the left of it that form a "wye". I circled that area in red. Everything to the left of the red circle is part of a stub end yard.

Rich

wye.jpg

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:29 AM

Here is the full track plan. If I am understanding the OP correctly, the red circle essentially incorporates the entire reversing section.

Rich

wye-2.jpg

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:49 AM

richhotrain
Those four turnouts coming off the mainline, to form a wye at the 19 degree crossing, lead to a stub end yard. So, the divergent end of each of those four turnouts needs to be gapped to isolate the entire stub end yard from the double track mainline. No other gaps are necessary. Everything to the left of those four pairs of gaps becomes the reversing section. Those other gaps (red and yellow) should not be there.

Rich I'm lost too with all the crossings and double track.  The turnouts all have numbers, and the routes through them labeled N&R

Are the crossings what is causing his problems?  Otherwise, the diverging routes are gapped....eventurally.

Starting at the bottom right, 5 & 6 are gapped after the crossing.  Are you saying gap them before the crossing?

Then on the north sided are turnuouts 2 & 3  #2 is gapped before and after the crossover #3 the diverging route is gapped after the crossing which is in contact with the straight route.

Again, I don't understand crossings.  Does that upper crossing, as drawn, get power for the diverging route off #2 from the connection to the straight #3  If the gaps are moved to the turnouts, isn't there a short at the inner mainline, between 3 & 6?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, February 22, 2020 7:51 AM

Rich, you wrote that while I was writing mine, let me look at that and think for a minute or longerBig Smile

Henry

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:04 AM

Ok I thought about it and I am still confused. I had the correct wye, but that's as far as I could take it.

I don't understand the purpose of the red gaps, nor the gap closest to 2R.  The remaining 4 yellow gaps should do what you propose, if the reverser is connected to the reversing section and the OP said it was.  Unless there the electrical connection in the mainline is so poor and those extra gaps are causing loss of power.  But that still wouldn't change N & S with flip flopping the reverser wires.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:27 AM

Henry, let me try to answer your questions this way. The OP says that he is using Atlas turnouts, so dead frogs, not power routing. I am making an educated guess that he is also using Atlas crossings, so the crossings are not part of the problem since they are, so to speak, DCC friendly.

It seems to me that if he simply keeps those four pairs of gaps at the divergent ends of the four turnouts coming off the mainline, the reversing section should work.

Like you, I see no reason for the rest of the gaps marked red and yellow. That is likely the problem because he may have feeders outside of the actual reversing section.

I have a bunch of PSX-ARs on my layout, but I do not have any OG-ARs. When I look at a diagram of the OG-AR circuit board, the inputs and outputs are marked as 1 and 2. So, unlike the PSX-AR where the two output wires may be flipped without causing a short, that apparently is not so with the OG-AR. So, flipping the output wires with too many gaps and misplaced feeders may well highlight the problem.

So, my conclusion is that the divergent end of each of those four mainline turnouts leading to the stub end yard needs to be gapped to isolate the entire stub end yard from the double track mainline. No other gaps are necessary. Everything to the left of those four pairs of gaps becomes the reversing section. Those other gaps on the manline (red and yellow) should not be there. The two wires coming from the output side of the OG-AR should connect to any and all feeders inside the reversing section. No feeders from the output side of the OG-AR should be connected outside of the reversing section.

Rich

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Posted by floridaflyer on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:45 AM

I would simply eliminate the insulators on the south leg, and install insulators on the north leg where the diagram has arrows and the numbers 15 and 16. The phase from the south leg would flow into the yard and the isolated north leg would be controlled by the reverser. There could be a question about the length of the isolated north leg however.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8:56 AM

richhotrain
That is likely the problem because he may have feeders outside of the actual reversing section.

Thanks for taking the time to explain.

If those feeders are coming from the OG-AR, that would explain it.  Otherwise everyone has feeders outside their reversing section.

I'm a little more skeptical that the output of the OG can only be connected only way.  It's a reversing section, rail 1 & 2 change constantly.

One more question, a crossing X is joined by connectors to adjacent track but only the track running from the top right to the bottom left is connected to the bus.     

                X

Does the track running from bottom right to top left have power?

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 9:29 AM

BigDaddy

One more question, a crossing X is joined by connectors to adjacent track but only the track running from the top right to the bottom left is connected to the bus.     

                X

Does the track running from bottom right to top left have power? 

Atlas crossings are jumpered so that power flows across the rails. Each of the four rails in an Atlas crossing is composed of three rail segments. If you apply power to any of the three segments, the entire rail will be powered. Each rail must be separately powered though, so at least four feeders will be required. I always power all four ends of every crossing, so a total of 8 feeders. Overkill, but why not.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 9:39 AM

BigDaddy

If those feeders are coming from the OG-AR, that would explain it.  Otherwise everyone has feeders outside their reversing section.

I'm a little more skeptical that the output of the OG can only be connected only way.  It's a reversing section, rail 1 & 2 change constantly.

Yeah, I'm not sure that it makes any difference how the output side of the OG-AR is wired. I only mentioned it because of the 1 & 2 designations on the circuit board. On my PSX-ARs, there is no such designation. That said, it is curious that different results occur when the OP flips the two output wires on his OG-AR.

Rich

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Posted by Mark R. on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:02 AM

Everyone's replies are assuming the AR module is actually functioning correctly. It sounds to me like it's not .... especially the comment about switching the wires and the other leg works correctly. I'd be looking at the AR module and verifying it's actually doing what it's supposed to be doing first. The original description of the problem tells me it isn't.

Mark.

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Posted by IAFlyer on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:06 AM

floridaflyer

I would simply eliminate the insulators on the south leg, and install insulators on the north leg where the diagram has arrows and the numbers 15 and 16. The phase from the south leg would flow into the yard and the isolated north leg would be controlled by the reverser. There could be a question about the length of the isolated north leg however.

OK, great answers. I looked at the area west of the yellow marked insulators as one big "reversing section." I am using Atlas crossings as well. 

Rich, when you are talking about "the divergent ends of each of those four mainline turnouts" are you talking about the turnouts marked 17N and 17R? 

FloridaFlyer, you are talking about creating a small reversing section, like the image below? (R being the new short reversing section). The red insulators in this image, I think are needed to prevent a "frog on frog" short. 

(I don't have a lot of posts, so my posts are delayed)

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:08 AM

Mark R.

Everyone's replies are assuming the AR module is actually functioning correctly. It sounds to me like it's not .... especially the comment about switching the wires and the other leg works correctly. I'd be looking at the AR module and verifying it's actually doing what it's supposed to be doing first. The original description of the problem tells me it isn't.

Mark. 

That's a valid point, Mark. I also notice on Tony's Trains website in bold red letters that the OG-AR is not to be used with NCE Power Cab or Digitrax Zephyr. No idea which DCC system the OP is using.

Rich

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Posted by floridaflyer on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:09 AM

Good point Mark

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Posted by IAFlyer on Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:43 AM

I'm using the OG-AR with a DCC++ controller (connected to JMRI). I have the power coming into the OG-AR from the main power bus, and it goes out to a power district that is powering everything "west" of the yellow insulators. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 23, 2020 5:46 AM

While we are waiting to hear back from IAFlyer, I suppose that the OG-AR could be faulty as Mark suggests, but I keep looking at those mainline gaps which serve no purpose and shouldn't be there. And, why are there single rail gaps (shown in red on the track diagram) on the mailine right above the south leg of the wye?

I would be interested in tracing all of the feeders that connect to the output side of the OG-AR. Are any feeders connected to the mainline rails? All of the feeders from the output side of the OG-AR should be inside the reversing section, that is, to the left of the gaps (shown in yellow on the track diagram) on the north and south legs of the wye.

Rich

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:04 AM

Before Mark's comment, I considered whether one side of the OG-AR might not be functioning to detect shorts and rejected it for no good reasons.  I found several comments on the Internet about it not working with the Power Cab but I'm not clear on why.  One pundit said it was faster than most reversers.

I suppose one could built a short section of gapped track and test it.  If the OP has a Power Cab or Zephyr, he's up the creek.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:15 AM

I've been following along, dumb question....for DCC AR function, don't both rails have to be gapped?

Mike.

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:43 AM

Both need to be gapped and most of what I read recommends staggering the gaps 1/8"

The OP's single gaps seem to be outside the reversing section.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:58 AM

OK, thanks, I figured so, just had to ask.  I don't have any reversing sections on this layout, on my previous DC I did.

After looking at his plan, I see the little boxes at some of the joints must be the locations for gaps for using DC cab control, as the plan was drawn for.

I'll shut up and keep watching.  Waiting for the OP's reply.

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:12 AM

BigDaddy

Before Mark's comment, I considered whether one side of the OG-AR might not be functioning to detect shorts and rejected it for no good reasons.  I found several comments on the Internet about it not working with the Power Cab but I'm not clear on why.  One pundit said it was faster than most reversers.

I suppose one could built a short section of gapped track and test it.  If the OP has a Power Cab or Zephyr, he's up the creek. 

If I were to go out on a limb, I would guess that the OG-AR is not defective. My best guess is that feeders are connected from the output side of the OG-AR to somewhere on the mainline which would result in a conflict.

Presumably, the OG-AR is incompatible with the Power Cab because the Power Cab has a 2 amp booster and the OG-AR is a 4 amp circuit breaker, so the Power Cab booster trips before the OG-AR. Whereas the PSX-AR has a trip setting adjustment down to 1.27 amps, making it ideal for the Power Cab, I don't believe that the OG-AR has a trip setting adjustment. Of course, this all assumes that the OP is operating with a low amp DCC system. We need to hear back from him.

Rich

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