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!

Ready to Start Wiring My Layout - Need Help

2738 views
57 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Ready to Start Wiring My Layout - Need Help
Posted by starman on Friday, July 3, 2020 8:37 AM
Hi All
My track is laid and I am ready to start wiring.  I am using a Digitrax DCS100 Command Station with a DT402 Throttle that has been converted to a DT402D.  My scale is HO.  I am looking for someone who would be willing to look at a copy of my layout and advise me on reversing loops.  I believe I have 2, perhaps 3, reversing loops.  I have a PM42 and I have not divided my layout into districts. Advice on connecting my PM42 would also be appreciated.  I can email a copy of my layout, which will be much clearer than when I have tried to add a copy of my layout to a post in the past.  Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks,
Jack F
  • Member since
    April 2013
  • 46 posts
Posted by chenxue on Friday, July 3, 2020 3:42 PM

Jack, do see if you can't find a way to post your layout here. Try using imgur to host the image(s). I feel you may get much better response. Thumbs Up

Cid    (Memphis, Tennessee)

  • Member since
    April 2013
  • 46 posts
Posted by chenxue on Friday, July 3, 2020 3:53 PM

Is this the same layout you posted about in March?  Did you get it into a layout drawing program?

Cid    (Memphis, Tennessee)

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,232 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 3, 2020 3:55 PM

Edit, just looked at the old thread.  If it's the same plan, you could have just continued that thread and this diagram.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 7:43 AM
Hi All
I did make a small change to my layout that I believe may result in an additional reverse loop, but I am not totally sure.  I tried to find a drawing program to redraw my layout, but I just didn’t want to pay the price for just doing one layout and take the time I would need to master the program.  I did redraw my layout in Word and when I added it to a post, it was just too fuzzy, when enlarged, to see the details.  I will try again to add my latest drawing to a post using the program Cid suggested.  Perhaps I will have better luck.  Thanks for your comments.
Jack
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,768 posts
Posted by dehusman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 8:20 AM

I don't see any reversing loops on the track plan posted other than the one that says "polarity problems".  You can connect the red and green lines all you want and it won't cause a problem.

On the other hand if you connect red to red or green to green, then you have a reversing loop.  For example the "polarity problem" location connects red to red.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,433 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, July 4, 2020 11:43 AM

 If you don't want ot buy a CAD program, try just drawing it NEATLY by hand, on large paper (not a piece of regular letter size) and take a photo. For purposes of figuring reverse loops, the turnouts and curves don't have to be drawn accurately like they would to actual make a plan to fit a space, it's more important that the locations of the tracks be clear and accurately placed. Use good solid colors if there are multiple mainline loops. That will make it possible to trace around the various lines and see if you end up coming back on yourself going the opposite direction, indicating a reverse loop.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 738 posts
Posted by davidmurray on Saturday, July 4, 2020 3:17 PM

You state that your track is laid.

If this the case, figuring them will be easy.

Take a boxcar, put red tape on one side and green on the other.

Push it through the area you think forms a reverse loop.  If it comes back on the same track, with the other colour towards you, it went through a reverse loop.

Then figure that out, and go on to the next.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 3:51 PM

Cid

I have uploaded an image of my layout to Imgur.  How do I add it to my reply?

Jack

  • Member since
    April 2013
  • 46 posts
Posted by chenxue on Saturday, July 4, 2020 4:16 PM

Open your image in imgur. There is an Image Link button to copy the url (link adress). Then use Insert/Link to add it to your post.

https://imgur.com/QaWRCDV

Cid    (Memphis, Tennessee)

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,232 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, July 4, 2020 5:48 PM

starman
I have uploaded an image of my layout to Imgur. How do I add it to my reply?

If you don't see a list of links on the right side of your picture, hover your mouse over the upper right corner.  You will see Get Share Links.  Click on that.

The easiest link to use in BBCodes (Forums)  Copy that.  Paste it directly in your message.  Do not use any picture or link icons.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • 2,385 posts
Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, July 4, 2020 6:32 PM

This link

https://dccwiki.com/Reverse_Sections

also provides information similar to the red-on-one-side boxcar to show reverse loops, if any.  In DCC, there is a gadget you can purchase to wire to the reverse-loop portion of your layout to to take care of the "phase mismatch" in either entering or leaving the reverse loop.  The article explains that a PM42 is indeed the required gadget, and the article shows how to wire it.

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 7:26 PM

Thanks! I'll give it a try.

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 8:00 PM

 

 

This is a drawing of my layout,  https://imgur.com/YeoQOFU , I hope!  Basically, my interpretation of the N&W Portlock Yard and the N&W Lamberts Point Yard are represented by the following areas: 

The Red Track represents the track my passenger train will use between Norfolk, VA and Western VA.

The Blue Track represents the track my coal train will use between Norfolk, VA and Western, VA.

Tracks B and C, and E and F represent the Portlock Yard. 

Tracks J through N represent the Lamberts Point maintenance yard.

Tracks R through JJ represent the Lamberts Point Classification yard.

Tracks MM through OO represent the Lamberts Point Gravity Yard.

Tracks PP through RR represent the Lamberts Point Empties Yard.

The letters are used to talk about certain areas of my layout.  The numbers represent switches.

One other person pointed out two reversing loops, but I made a few final changes when actually laying the track. 

I do not plan on diving my layout into districts unless it is necessary.  I have purchased a PM42 to control my reversing loops.

 

Any help with reversing loops and the installation of my PM42 will be appreciated.

Jack

 

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Great Plains
  • 1,954 posts
Posted by York1 on Saturday, July 4, 2020 8:15 PM

starman
This is a drawing of my layout,  https://imgur.com/YeoQOFU , I hope! 

On imgur, click on the image.  A set of links will appear on the right side.  Click on the copy BBCode, then paste it on this forum.  It won't appear until you post it.

 

Here it is:

York1 John       

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Saturday, July 4, 2020 8:24 PM

Thanks, I see what you are talking about.  I'll be sure to use that next time.

Jack

  • Member since
    October 2005
  • 855 posts
Posted by betamax on Sunday, July 5, 2020 4:33 AM

One thing to keep in mind: It is not recommended to use the PM42's auto reverse feature with a power district on the same card. Timing between the breaker and the autoreverse may be an issue.  So use a seperate device for the auto reverse.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • 1,932 posts
Posted by Stevert on Sunday, July 5, 2020 8:00 AM

You can configure both types of sections on the same PM42, but you may encounter issues if you power an AR section from a breaker section on the same PM42.

See KB478, KB479, and KB480.

(Personally, I switched from PM42's and AR1's to BXP88's and BXPA1's. Although the PM42/AR1 combination worked fine for me, you get more bang for your buck with the newer solid-state devices.)

 

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,232 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, July 5, 2020 8:32 AM

I like all these letters and numbers, makes it easier to comment.

The reversing loop I see is 21-32-35-10  vs 21-46-45-16-10

I don't see 3-4 as a reversing loop. I might add another crossover between A & C so both lines could change direction.  Once they make the crossing, they can't return unless they back into the other track.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Sebring FL
  • 819 posts
Posted by floridaflyer on Sunday, July 5, 2020 10:34 AM

I just see 24-46. As the traffic will be just a loco and tender coming to/ from the TT, 24-46 should be long enough.   

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,232 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, July 5, 2020 12:03 PM

floridaflyer
I just see 24-46

I think in a practical sense, you are correct.  But we know the pic is not to scale, so N could be a lot longer than it appears.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,433 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, July 5, 2020 1:28 PM

 That wouldn't make any difference, really. If the length is a concern, it's not difficult to just extend it to 21, and insulate the diverging legs of 22, 23, and 24, making the reverse section 21-46.

 I see there is only one connection between red and blue, at 3-4. I think for operational reasons, there should be another connection angled the opposite way - otherwise a train can get from blue to red but not back to blue unless it backs through 3-4. Wire the main loops of blue and red correctly and neither of those are a reverse section.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Sebring FL
  • 819 posts
Posted by floridaflyer on Sunday, July 5, 2020 8:20 PM

Agree with Randy on a second crossover in the opposite direction between between red and blue

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Monday, July 6, 2020 6:39 PM

 

Thank you all for your comments.  To help clarify things, switches 21 through 24 are all connected end to end.  Switches 45 and 46 are connected end to end.  The distance between switch 24 to switch 46 is 25”.  The distance between switch 46 and the turntable is 24”.  The total layout measures about 12.5 feet by about 19 feet.  FYI, I am modeling the late 1940s through the early 1960s.  A period of about 12 years.
 
The way I envision the trains to travel, on the two main tracks, is to the LEFT on track A (arriving passenger service), to the RIGHT on track G (departing passenger service), to the LEFT on track D (arriving coal trains), and to the RIGHT on track C (departing empty coal trains).  Does this change anything?
 
The crossover from track A to track C is for passenger engines to be able to get to the maintenance yard and roundhouse.  I agree there needs to be a way to cross over from track C to track A without having to back from the roundhouse.  This is a slipup on my part.  Oops - Sign  I’ll have to fix this, but space is limited and I will have to work on it. 
 
Now, if I have a departing coal train on track C (traveling to the RIGHT), and I want the arriving passenger engine to cross over from track A to track C, traveling to the LEFT, doesn’t this create some sort of reversing loop?  How would I handle this?
 
Someone, a few months ago, suggested I put a break in tracks B and C where the letter V is located.  They also suggested I break track P right after switch 20, break track O between switch 24 and switch 18, and break track W just before switch 35.  I have not been able to talk with this individual since.  What do you think of this plan?
 
Also, shouldn’t track N be reversing  so an engine can enter the turntable/roundhouse going forward and exit the same going forward?
 
I value, and look forward to, your comments!  Without your help, I would never get my layout wired and working properly.
 
Jack

 

  • Member since
    April 2013
  • 46 posts
Posted by chenxue on Monday, July 6, 2020 7:45 PM

Hello Jack, well, you certainly got it going on now!!   I'm in total sync with the 24-46 reversing section.  Another crossover would definitely help you out!   As a tidbit:  a double crossover, say at V, set to crossover, would allow a single loco to traverse the entire inner and outer loops unattended.  I see that would not be in your operational plan at this time, but just a point of interest, say for a track-cleaning car, for example.

Cid    (Memphis, Tennessee)

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:11 PM

 

Hi Cid
 
So, I would break the track just to the right of switch 24 and just to the left on switch 46?  I don’t need to make track N a reversing section?
 
Jack

 

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,232 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:44 PM

starman
I agree there needs to be a way to cross over from track C to track A

It doesn't have to be on A to C  it can be EE to XX or TT to WW

starman
Now, if I have a departing coal train on track C (traveling to the RIGHT), and I want the arriving passenger engine to cross over from track A to track C, traveling to the LEFT, doesn’t this create some sort of reversing loop?

If you wire the track where in the diagram, the top most A, B and C rail is red and the bottom rail is black.  DCC will tell the engine to go forward, no matter which way it points. 

starman
Also, shouldn’t track N be reversing so an engine can enter the turntable/roundhouse going forward and exit the same going forward?

Because turntables spin 360 degrees, they are a reversing situation.  I'm not up to speed on how Walthers handles that.  My wag is that it is handled in the turntable, but someone will know. Otherwise all the tracks off the turntable are reversing issues.

starman
a break in tracks B and C where the letter V is located.

I don't see why.

 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    April 2013
  • 46 posts
Posted by chenxue on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:49 PM

I believe that is all you need! All the rest of the bus is consistent, including track N,  only conflicts at that point. 

And yes, per Henry, you will have to deal with the roundhouse tracks.  But I think the split ring may handle it, not really sure. Google "wiring turntable for DCC".

Cid    (Memphis, Tennessee)

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 28,433 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 7:37 AM

 If it is the Walthers motorized turntable with the index control box, that handles the turntable reversing for you. There is a place marked on the rin where you are not supposed to put any stall or lead tracks, this is where the gaps are in the split ring.

                               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • 199 posts
Posted by starman on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 7:39 AM
I have the Walthers turntable I am going to use.  I guess it is time to unpack it and see what the instructions have to say about wiring. 
 
I have an AR1 that I acquired sometime in the past.  I can use that for the one reversing section.  I guess I don’t need the PM42 I purchased unless I decide to divide my layout into districts.  I’ll deal with that later.
 
If I have additional questions as I wire my layout, I will return to the group.  Thanks to everyone who replied!!  I would be in a hard place without your help.
 
Jack

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

There are no community member 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!