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Constructive Criticism Wanted

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Constructive Criticism Wanted
Posted by rayzum on Friday, May 05, 2017 11:10 AM

Hi All,

Disclaimer.... I am new to the forum and this is my first post!

I am a long time fan of the hobby and had standard HO sets when I was a kid.  Now I am getting back into the hobby legitimately.  I am working on an HO L-shape layout roughing 8ftx10ft with each leg 4-5ft wide.

I have included a few images for reference.

 

rayzum wiring diagram

I have a 3.5 year old that enjoys running trains with me, so I took that into account when designing my layout.. which is why i have more of a toy train look to my layout vs. prototypical.

As you can see, i am trying to set this up to use as either a DC layout or DCC layout... NEVER BOTH!  I will always have all 4 DPDT switches thrown to either DC or DCC.

Mostly, i am looking for some constructive criticism on my wiring diagram to get some thoughts on it.  Looking forward to seeing what the experts can add for this novice modeler!

Thanks in advance!

Ray

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, May 05, 2017 5:12 PM

Welcome to the forum.  A better title in the Electronics section might get you the right eyeballs looking at this post  Maybe the moderator will move this post.

Meanwhile I can only see one pic.  While your link works, not everyone will click on a link, a picture in the post is somehow differerent

There are instructions to post a photo to the forum posted as a sticky in this form.  You can't improvise.   Dropbox and google photos don't work. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by gregc on Friday, May 05, 2017 5:33 PM

more conventional cab control has a switch for each block selecting the cab that controls that block.   From your diagram, it looks like you have 4 DPDT switches that choose between a specific DC cab or a connection to the NCE CP5 (i don't know what a CP 5 is)

while the following diagram use common rail, DPDT switches can be used as well and will be needed  to switch between DC and DCC

I believe a more conventional way of switching between DC and DCC would be to have a switch selecting between one DC cab and DCC.    In the above diagram, there would be another DPDT switch  (S) between one of the cabs (A) and the bus to the block switches and DCC connected to the other side of the switch

In DCC, the switch selecting the DC cab or DCC (S) would be thrown to select DCC and all the block select switches would be thrown to select  cab A.

 

 

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, May 05, 2017 6:12 PM

I guess I could have been more helpful with the pic, but I couldn't get dropbox to work either.   The NCE CP-6 is a circuit breaker.

Posting photos is more my skill set, but it seems to me if these blocks are only separated by gaps or insullated rail joiners, you could have an engine travel from DC to DCC block or visa versa.   In theory this wouldn't happen if all the DPDT switches were correctly set.  In practice if we did everything correctly there would never be any accidents of any kind.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by floridaflyer on Friday, May 05, 2017 7:17 PM

Relying on having four switches aligned to go from DC to DCC or visa versa is a weakness in your plan. To have absolute control of which system you use one switch with one side DC and the other side DCC located before your wiring to the blocks would insure that either DC is in use or DCC is in use but never both. 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:16 PM

Why are you trying to build a DC/DCC layout instead of one or the other?  I think you will quickly find that your son picks up DCC very quickly.  You won't be far behind.

It's not difficult to convert an old DC engine to DCC, by the way, so if you've only got a handful of them, you can save some duplication of effort by simply upgrading the engines and going with DCC.

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

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 06, 2017 10:58 AM

 The NCE CP6 is just light bulbs, so it will work as well with DC as it does with DCC. As drawn, the layout uses DPDT switches to toggle each individual block between a DC cab or the DCC system. This is, as was stated, a huge weakness - just one block toggle left set the wrong way and something won;t be happy when a loco crosses the gap between the systems. To make it bulletproof, there must be no way for DC or DCC to be connected and come in contact. That's going to get a little complicated with 3 DC cabs. If there was only one DC cab, there could be a master switch that connect either the DCC output or the DC output to the rest of the block toggles. Going all DCC is definitely an options - you can add a simple cab like the Cab06 for the youngster - if I can use the DC power pack, he can use the Cab06, at least once you select his loco for him. Nice thing is you can then also program his loco so that at full throttle it doesn't go too fast for the layout.

                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:25 PM

You need one DPDT switch which chooses between DC or DCC. After that point it should be wired for conventional DC blocks using SPDT switches for each block which select  Cab 1 or Cab 2. For DCC make sure you turn on every block.
If you want a seperate DPDT switch to add a 3rd cab then those switches should switch the blocks between the 3rd cab and the other block wiring. I do this on my layout but only in the yard. So, on only one of my blocks can I use the 3rd cab, the yard. You may have to gap both rails to make the 3rd cab work right.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:34 PM

p.s. Your design only allows you to operate one block with any cab. You should be able to choose which cab you want to assign to which block. Your way you can only choose between DC or DCC for each block. 

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, May 07, 2017 7:12 AM

BigDaddy
The NCE CP-6 is a circuit breaker.

The CP6 is not a Circuit Breaker, rather a current limiter that uses light bulbs.  It is the only product that provides overcurrent protection from NCE that works with PowerCab.  The EB1 offering from NCE has a minimum setpoint of 2.5 amp (the internal Power Cab CB is set at 2amp).  

DCC Specialties makes a circuit breaker called PowerShieldX (PSX) that can be set as low as 1.27amp.   They are a bit pricy.  

The difference is that the circuit breaker will shut off power to the layout, where as the lightbulb protection does not.   

The lightbulbs work with DC.  DCC circuit breakers do not.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, May 07, 2017 12:02 PM

 

I would avoid running DC with DCC. A club I belonged to did a fourteen block layout with four throttles in tthe 1980's.

When we switched to DCC we use to run DC and DCC using one throttle socket in some blocks. Gabbing one night a loco crossed a DCC, DC gap and fried the NCE Five amp booster. After that, no more DC and DCC.

 

Our DIY DC throttles were capable of 2.5 amps.

 

Rich

 

 

 

N

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, May 07, 2017 7:16 PM

My solution was to start with DC.  Later, I bought a DCC system and installed a simple decoder.  I disconnected the DC power supply and hooked up my Lenz DCC system.

I ran a single subway car up and down the track, not even a loop yet.  Then I took the DC supply and put it away on a shelf, never to run a train again.  For me, DCC is so much better that I could never go back.

Not being one to waste, the DC system now drives a turntable.

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

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, May 07, 2017 9:03 PM

MisterBeasley

My solution was to start with DC.  Later, I bought a DCC system and installed a simple decoder.  I disconnected the DC power supply and hooked up my Lenz DCC system.

I ran a single subway car up and down the track, not even a loop yet.  Then I took the DC supply and put it away on a shelf, never to run a train again.  For me, DCC is so much better that I could never go back.

Not being one to waste, the DC system now drives a turntable.

 

I started in HO with DCC, then found that I needed a quality power pack to test locomotives prior to installation of a decoder, so I recently invested in a MRC Tech 2.  

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Sunday, May 07, 2017 10:17 PM

Respectfully, I suggest you abandon the idea of a mixed DC/DCC layout.  To quote Rocky the Flying Squirrel, "That trick never works!"

Basic DCC is dead easy to use, and there are totally acceptable locomotives with DCC available in HO for a street price under $100.

Just go DCC.  You will be so glad in the long run.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 5:54 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway

Respectfully, I suggest you abandon the idea of a mixed DC/DCC layout.  To quote Rocky the Flying Squirrel, "That trick never works!"

Basic DCC is dead easy to use, and there are totally acceptable locomotives with DCC available in HO for a street price under $100.

Just go DCC.  You will be so glad in the long run.

 

 

If you already have a bunch of DC equipment I can understand wanting to use DC. Running both systems can work but it is complicated. Before you try to mix the two separate types of systems, DC and DCC you need to fully understand how each work individually first.
One problem is that you don't seem to grasp the DC cab and block concept. With a DC block system you should be able to control any track with one of two cabs (transformers). Your plan uses three cabs and they can only control the one single track they are hardwired too. They can't control any other section of track. In other words you have three separate railroads on the same layout. Maybe that is what you want. I don't know but it is unusual.

 

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad

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