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Tortoise and DCC

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Tortoise and DCC
Posted by dpk22 on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:11 PM

  I am at a loss with the concept that to install a switch machine is so difficult when you can program an engine to run by itself without being an EE but you can't install a turnout without a degree in wiring. The wiring is what takes the fun of this hobby away.

 Could someone please show me a simple way to install and wire a tortoise to an insulated turnout with a DPDT and LED so I can move on with my layout. Pictures or a diagram would help.

 I am so glad this new forum has emerged as I am electrically challanged.

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:59 AM

Ok, I'll start by posting a couple of links to diagrams that may help clear some confusion.  Then lets see where we can go from there.

http://www.amhobby.com/products/tech/circuitron/wiring-leds.htm 

The circuit shown at the link above puts the LED's in series with the tortise, using the tortise as the limiting resistor.  This means the LED's would reduce the voltage to the motor slightly.

http://www.amhobby.com/products/tech/circuitron/signal-wiring.htm 

Here is my take on the switching circuit with LED's.  Maybe someone else could check it and verify if it is correct. This circuit puts the LED's in parallel with the motor so everything gets the same voltage, requiring the use of the resistor. I think the the value of the limiting resistor should be around 500-600 ohm's rated @ 1/4 OR 1/2 watt.  Somebody check my work please.

DPDT Switch with LED indicators for Tortise 

 

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Posted by dpk22 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:32 AM
 Thanks for the response. It would help if someone had pictures of the wiring on their layouts. Thanks for the info
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Posted by jbinkley60 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:43 AM

 dpk22 wrote:
 Thanks for the response. It would help if someone had pictures of the wiring on their layouts. Thanks for the info

Can you be a little more specific ?  Are you looking for wiring the Tortoise itself, bringing the wires back to a wiring distribution point or a control panel, using terminal strips ? 

 

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

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:56 AM

 dpk22 wrote:
 Thanks for the response. It would help if someone had pictures of the wiring on their layouts. Thanks for the info

Ok.  Maybe someone can help you out with pictures of their layout.  I'm at the cookie cutter/riser stage on the new layout in this house so I can't help with that yet. Sorry. Sigh [sigh]

Guys? 

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:22 AM

With the double pole, double throw it's real simple

Flip your switch over.  We're going to label the points on the back like this

1  2

3  4

5  6

  1. Connect 3 and 4 to the first and last pin on your tortoise
  2. Connect 5 and 6 to the + and - leads on your DC power supply (12V+).
  3. Connect 5 to 2 with a short piece of wire
  4. Connect 1 to 6 with another short piece of wire

If the switch moves the points (turnout rails) in the opposite direction you expect it to, just reverse the wires to the tortoise.  That's it.  You're done!

Now the next question is, what brand turnout are you using?  And do you want to use panel lights to indicate which direction the switch is in?

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by dpk22 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:01 AM

  Thanks for the response,Jeff. I'm looking for the wiring from the tortoise to a control board with a DPDT.and a green and red led. Also How to wire an independant DC power source in parallel to multiple torti.

 Thanks in advance to all for your help.

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Posted by dpk22 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:04 AM
 I'm using Atlas insulafrog turnouts and I do want the panel leds to indicate the turnout position.
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:50 PM

 dpk22 wrote:

and a green and red led.

Take a look at your LEDs.  They have two legs.  One positive, one negative (or sometimes called common/ground).  The longer one is the positive lead.  LEDs only light 1 way.  So if you wire them up backwards, they won't light.

So take the green led and hook the long leg up to terminal 3.  Take the red LED and hook the long leg up to terminal 4 (backwards of the green).  On the short leg you'll need a resistor in series.   If you are using a 12Volt supply, a 500 -> 550 Ohm resistor should do the job nicely.  So connect a 550 ohm resistor to the short leg of each led.  Then hook the resister to the opposite leg from which the resistor is connected.

This graphic is easier to look at than an actual picture because tracing wires in a picture can be "difficult".  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Note: If the red and green lights are reversed (For example: It's green when thrown, red when straight) , just reverse the wiring to the LED legs.

If you are using a bi-color 3 prong/leg LED let me know, and I'll draw another graphic.

 dpk22 wrote:
  

Also How to wire an independant DC power source in parallel to multiple torti.

Connect a wire from terminal 5 on the DPDT to the next terminal 5 on the DPDT.  Connect a wire from terminal 6 on the DPDT to the next terminal 6 on the DPDT. 

It's that simple.

 

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:20 PM

 dpk22 wrote:
 I'm using Atlas insulafrog turnouts and I do want the panel leds to indicate the turnout position.

Since you are using insulated frogs, you don't have to worry about routing power from the tortoise.  You have the option of wiring the points to the rails for improved power contact.  But it shouldn't be necessary unless your locos are stalling over the turnout.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:32 PM
 dpk22 wrote:

  Thanks for the response,Jeff. I'm looking for the wiring from the tortoise to a control board with a DPDT.and a green and red led. Also How to wire an independant DC power source in parallel to multiple torti.

 Thanks in advance to all for your help. 

Sorry I can't offer pictures but here is a diagram courtesy of Allan Gartner's "Wiring For DCC" that describes the multi tortise wiring.

Double Crossover Circuit 

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Posted by handcar45 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 2:24 PM
 DigitalGriffin wrote:

If you are using a bi-color 3 prong/leg LED let me know, and I'll draw another graphic.

I would be interested in the bi-color LED diagram.  Also, when do you use 3 legs and when 2 legs (I see both types offered)

-Erik

Erik
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:03 PM

 handcar45 wrote:
I would be interested in the bi-color LED diagram.  Also, when do you use 3 legs and when 2 legs (I see both types offered)

Here's a common 3 leg type

You hook the center in series with a 330Ohm/500 Ohm resistor then to the power supply +.  If you ground terminal 3 then the red lights, if you ground terminal 1 the green lights, if you ground terminal 1 and 3, then both red and green will light producing a shade of amber to yellow.  I believe if you connect leg 1 to point 3 on the DPDT and leg 3 to point 4 on the DPDT and leg 2 to the resistor-power supply, you'll accomplish what you need.  Important disclaimer: I haven't tried this circuit.  So it might not work as I think it will.  It will not however damage your electronics with a short.  So you should be safe

A two prong leg bi-color led will only allow either the red of the green to be lit, but not both.  You need to connect the 330 Ohm (5 Volt source) or 500 Ohm (12 volt source) in series with just one of the legs and connect it to points 3 and 4 on the DPDT.

 

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:51 PM
 DigitalGriffin wrote:

 dpk22 wrote:

and a green and red led.

Take a look at your LEDs.  They have two legs.  One positive, one negative (or sometimes called common/ground).  The longer one is the positive lead.  LEDs only light 1 way.  So if you wire them up backwards, they won't light.

So take the green led and hook the long leg up to terminal 3.  Take the red LED and hook the long leg up to terminal 4 (backwards of the green).  On the short leg you'll need a resistor in series.   If you are using a 12Volt supply, a 500 -> 550 Ohm resistor should do the job nicely.  So connect a 550 ohm resistor to the short leg of each led.  Then hook the resister to the opposite leg from which the resistor is connected.

This graphic is easier to look at than an actual picture because tracing wires in a picture can be "difficult".  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Note: If the red and green lights are reversed (For example: It's green when thrown, red when straight) , just reverse the wiring to the LED legs.

If you are using a bi-color 3 prong/leg LED let me know, and I'll draw another graphic.

 dpk22 wrote:
  

Also How to wire an independant DC power source in parallel to multiple torti.

Connect a wire from terminal 5 on the DPDT to the next terminal 5 on the DPDT.  Connect a wire from terminal 6 on the DPDT to the next terminal 6 on the DPDT. 

It's that simple.

 

I generally just wire the LEDs in parallel (with the polarity flipped) and then wire them in series with pin 1 or 8 on the Tortoise.  The 15ma coil limit of the Tortoise makes for good current limiting for the LEDs.  I don't need any resistors with this option.  If I am using a stationary decoder output instead of a DPDT switch, I do the same thing.  It works fine.

 

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

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Posted by dpk22 on Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:18 PM
 Many thanks to all that responded to  my post. This forum is a Godsend to anyone who shares this hobby. I have found for the past two years that people in this forum are most generous with sharing their knowledge. This is refreshing in a society that usually enamors a me first mentality. Again, thanks to all.

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