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How do I wire a reverse section on my new layout?

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  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 4 posts
How do I wire a reverse section on my new layout?
Posted by nscaleman on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 5:16 AM

Hi everyone.  This is my first post and I'm fairly new to DCC.  I just decided to get into the hobby and I want to do a N scale Manning Oaks layout with KATO Unitrack.  I have bought all the track and turnouts already but I would like to make a small modification to the original layout by adding a return loop that runs up and over the middle part of the layout.  The original has a dead-end track that I would like to curve up and over the middle and join back up on the other end of the layout.  I have attached a photo with my proposed change as the blue line.  Sorry it's not curved right as I did it in Powerpoint with my finger!  You get he idea. I will eliminate the switch (203) at the bottom just make that track run straight through and then join up the new piece to the existing curved section that will be elevated. 

Now the question is where to put the auto reversing controller???  I purchase a digitrax AR1 and I'm just not sure where to out it.  I think I have to isolate the new section from the main run at both ends, but what to do from there.  I see the instructions for the AR1 and I can wire it up to one end of the loop, is that all I need to do?  Thanks so much for any help.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 1:36 PM

The actual location of the auto-reverse unit does not matter.  I usually put mine close to the reversing track section to minimize wire runs.

I would use insulated rail joiners or simple gaps immediately to left of the new turnout, on both rails of either route.  I'd add a track bus coming off the auto-reverser and running around the new reverse loop so you can run sufficient feeders.  Make sure to disconnect any existing feeders on that loop from the original track bus or you'll have shorts galore.

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

  • Member since
    December, 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:13 PM

MisterBeasley
I would use insulated rail joiners or simple gaps immediately to left of the new turnout

I'm reading your post a little differently than Mr B.  I don't see a new turnout unless the dead end track will still exist.

You want a reversing loop to be as long as your longest train.  It looks like you have plenty of room for that. 

Coming off the outside mainline, I would gap the rails beyond upper switch 202 and before lower switch 202 on the reversing loop.  I don't see a need for gaps on the mainline at those turnouts.  If I am wrong about that, someone will set us straight shortly.

I'm not an N scale guy so I don't know how much vertical clearance, and therefore how much grade you will need to do what you propose.  If Cuyama comments, he will  know instantly if this is feasible. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 4 posts
Posted by nscaleman on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:10 PM

Yes, that piece of dead end track won't be there.  I just didn't erase it in my drawing.  I will just continue that outer loop.  I put some track down (just loosely) following the intended new section and it seems it will fit.  I got some Kato 1/2" to 2" posts and three single track bridges to span the center part with 2 inch supports and then down the other side the same way.  I can see the need for the two sets of insulators exactly where you said.  I just wasn't sure where to connect the AR1 unit.  I guess it doesn't make a difference which end of the loop....correct?
After looking at my design change, the only bad thing I can foresee is that after my train enters either end of the reverse part, it will be forever on that loop in that one direction only. No way to turn it back the other direction unless I get a turntable somewhere. 

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    December, 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:31 PM

nscaleman
I just wasn't sure where to connect the AR1 unit. I guess it doesn't make a difference which end of the loop....correct?

Correct.  I have no solution for your directional problem.  You could post your dilemma in the Layout Section and someone may come up with a redesign that works for you, before you nail things down.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Sebring FL
  • 646 posts
Posted by floridaflyer on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 5:45 PM

You could add a reversing section on the inner loop from the turnout marked 202,( maybe add a turnout so as to keep your sidings) on the lower left on the inner loop and the area marked 010 on the upper right of the inner loop. this would give you  reversing sections in both directions.

  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 4 posts
Posted by nscaleman on Thursday, November 09, 2017 4:47 AM

floridaflyer

You could add a reversing section on the inner loop from the turnout marked 202,( maybe add a turnout so as to keep your sidings) on the lower left on the inner loop and the area marked 010 on the upper right of the inner loop. this would give you  reversing sections in both directions.

 

That is an excellent idea....I didn't see that possibility.  I will have to explore that and see how the track lays out.  

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Staten Island NY
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Posted by joe323 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:27 PM

I have a silly question if I have two reversing loops do I need a seperate auto reverser for each loop?

Joe Staten Island West 

  • Member since
    December, 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, November 09, 2017 2:43 PM

joe323
I have a silly question if I have two reversing loops do I need a seperate auto reverser for each loop?

Not if you promise never to have two trains in each loop or entering each loop.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 16,598 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, November 09, 2017 2:51 PM

joe323

I have a silly question if I have two reversing loops do I need a seperate auto reverser for each loop? 

Not a silly question at all. One auto reverser can control two reverse loops, but you have to be careful not to let two trains simultaneously enter and/or exit both reverse loops at the same time.

Rich

Alton Junction

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