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Will this create a problem for DCC on my test track?

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  • Member since
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Will this create a problem for DCC on my test track?
Posted by robkoz on Friday, June 01, 2018 1:31 PM

I have a 6 foot shelf test track for programming, cleaning, etc. I have 2 lighted bumpers I was going to put on either end just so nothing flies off accidentally. Will having lighted bumpers on either end cause problems for DCC? An uneccessary short perhaps? I use the NCE Power cab for the test track. Thanks

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Posted by bearman on Friday, June 01, 2018 1:47 PM

As long as the bumpers are nonconductive, doesnt sound like there is much of a issue.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by robkoz on Friday, June 01, 2018 2:26 PM

bearman

As long as the bumpers are nonconductive, doesnt sound like there is much of a issue.

 

 
So the incandescent lights on both ends of the track should pose no problems? I figured this was the conductive parts of the bumpers.
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Friday, June 01, 2018 2:57 PM

Shoudln't be an issue at all.  But if they are LEDs make sure to use a 1K resistor.  If they are lightbulbs, besure to use 4 diodes and a resistor if a 1.5V, or a 14 Volt bulb, or a 12 volt bulb with a 1/2 watt resistor (That can go as low as 8 ohms, but the actual ohmage will depend on the bulb's internal resistence or current when hot)

You can put any resistive electrical load between the tracks just as long as it's not inductive or capacitive in nature (which would alter how the DCC signals appear)  Just mind your voltage limits on the bulb.

However if you are using it as a direct program track I would think twice.  There is a low power supply and adding a resistive load would mess up the reply from the decoder to the command station.

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 tstage on Friday, June 01, 2018 4:04 PM

robkoz

I have a 6 foot shelf test track for programming, cleaning, etc. I have 2 lighted bumpers I was going to put on either end just so nothing flies off accidentally. Will having lighted bumpers on either end cause problems for DCC? An uneccessary short perhaps? I use the NCE Power cab for the test track. Thanks

Rob,

Since lighted anything will draw current and you specifically are using the track for programming purposes, I wouldn't do it.

If you happen to have any plastic Walthers Hayes track bumpers laying around and 10 x 10 scale lumber, here's a how-to I put together for turning them into actual "working" versions:

They are removable and they work surprisingly well.

If you don't have any track bumper then you can probably accomplish the same thing with a small block of wood that fits in between the rails.  I would make the block length a minimum of 1".

Hope that helps...

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, June 01, 2018 4:11 PM

I'm guessing there are no DCC lighted bumpers. 

Now you have to mess with resistors and maybe diodes and wonder if it affects the programming mode.  Not the end of the world, but why bother for a test track?  If you want cool factor, put some LED's in one of your buildings.

If I was worried about a runaway loco, on a test track, I'd glue piece of scrap foam whittled into some shape and paint black so it wouldn't be noticeable. 

https://www.gooddealsdcc.com/   makes a test track.  No offense to the company selling these, but it's not where I would spend my money.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, June 01, 2018 4:15 PM

 I just glues Kadee coupler height gauges to each end of my program/test track, Mine are the old metal ones so I had to cut a gap in one rail right in front of it. That way it serves multiple purposes - I also marked off lines in 1/4" increments with the NMRA recommended weight on the label, measured from a car coupled to one kadee gauge. So it's a program track, a coupler test track, and a weight check, when combined with a small postal scale.

 I wouldn;t have a pair of light bulbs across the track for use as a program track, it will almost certainly interfere with decoder programming.

                        --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 gregc on Saturday, June 02, 2018 5:28 AM

robkoz
I have 2 lighted bumpers I was going to put on either end just so nothing flies off accidentally.

since the track is 6' long, why not cut some gaps so that the ends are unpowered?    would only be a problem with a keep alive

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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