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Switching from DCC to DC

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, February 24, 2020 5:22 PM

It would help if you would post a drawing showing the problem area.
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 24, 2020 7:59 PM

OK, so you make the runaround track the switchable track.  I guess that answers my question.  

John-NYBW
A dead section is not going to get rid of that requirement.

I get that, but you will be using the runaround track, so there is your "dead" section, and "switchable" track, in one.

Mike.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:06 AM

mbinsewi

OK, so you make the runaround track the switchable track.  I guess that answers my question.  

 

 
John-NYBW
A dead section is not going to get rid of that requirement.

 

I get that, but you will be using the runaround track, so there is your "dead" section, and "switchable" track, in one.

Mike.

 

You can't have a dead section on

mbinsewi

OK, so you make the runaround track the switchable track.  I guess that answers my question.  

 

 
John-NYBW
A dead section is not going to get rid of that requirement.

 

I get that, but you will be using the runaround track, so there is your "dead" section, and "switchable" track, in one.

Mike.

 

 

You can't have a dead section on a runaround track.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:14 AM

RR_Mel

It would help if you would post a drawing showing the problem area.
 
 
 

It wouldn't help me and there is no problem area. It is a simple interchange yard that requires a runaround move by locos on both the branch and the main. I started the thread to ask whether or not it would be feasible to use a switchable section of track rather than convert an older loco to DCC. Those are the only two options I am considering. I'm not interested in rearranging track or changing the operating scheme. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:23 AM

One track, or the other, or both the main and runaround, are going to need to be switchable.

Where is the change from one to the other supposed the take place?  Use a section of track that's already there.

Nobodies talking about rearanging anything, we are just interested in what you have, and what you want to do.

Overhaul answer to your original question..YES you can.  figure out where you can put.

Mike.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:27 AM

 The only other option then would seem to be to make the approaches to the yard at each end the dead sections, when the switch is flipped to DC, then the yard and the approach from the lumber side with the Heisler is powered by DC, the approach from the rest of the layout would be dead, and beyond that the rest of the layout would be DCC. When flipped to DCC, the layout side approach and the yard would be powered by DCC, and the approach from the lumber side would be dead.

 This just all seems WAY more complicated than just putting a decoder in the loco. The referenced issue of MRH shows the install in pictures, it's free to get. There's a lot of misinformation out there about older Rivarossi locos. The late 70's/early 80's ones were much improved over the early/mid 60's ones when it comes to the motor. They may not be Kato good but they are at least as good as anything Athearn was making at the time and far beyond the typical Tyco/Life Like/Bachmann of the era it isn't funny. Some have issues with the accuracy of the model, saying they are horribly oversized, but it looks the part and generally runs fine.

                                          --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 John-NYBW on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 12:18 PM

rrinker

 The only other option then would seem to be to make the approaches to the yard at each end the dead sections, when the switch is flipped to DC, then the yard and the approach from the lumber side with the Heisler is powered by DC, the approach from the rest of the layout would be dead, and beyond that the rest of the layout would be DCC. When flipped to DCC, the layout side approach and the yard would be powered by DCC, and the approach from the lumber side would be dead.

 This just all seems WAY more complicated than just putting a decoder in the loco. The referenced issue of MRH shows the install in pictures, it's free to get. There's a lot of misinformation out there about older Rivarossi locos. The late 70's/early 80's ones were much improved over the early/mid 60's ones when it comes to the motor. They may not be Kato good but they are at least as good as anything Athearn was making at the time and far beyond the typical Tyco/Life Like/Bachmann of the era it isn't funny. Some have issues with the accuracy of the model, saying they are horribly oversized, but it looks the part and generally runs fine.

                                          --Randy

 

Perhaps we are arguing over the semantics of what a "dead section" is. To me it is a section of track that is not powered at all. It sounds to me as if some are using "dead section" to indicate a section of track that is switchable from DC to DCC with a center off position on the switch to make it dead. If that is the definition, that is what I had in mind. The interchange yard and runaround tracks could be switched from either DC or DCC depending on which loco was using them. 

The suggestion that there be a dead section of track that isn't wired isn't feasible with my track arrangement. Some seem to be suggesting is the DC loco push cars onto an unpowered interchange track and a DCC loco pull them off the other end of the unpowered track. That won't work for me. The DC loco is going to be on the lead entering the interchange section so it can't shove cars. DCC locos will make pick ups traveling in either direction. The interchange is nothing more than the main, the runaround track, and a spur track for the cars to be interchanged. It will sometimes require facing point pick ups and setouts which is why the runaround track is needed. If I choose not to put in a decoder, all three of these tracks will have to be switchable from DC to DCC.

I'm sure there are lots of modelers who are skilled with a soldering iron who think it is no big deal to open up a loco and solder the connections for a loco. To me and I'd bet other, soldering is a skill I just have never been very good at and when I open up a loco, there is a real chance I am going to do some damage. I destroyed one decoder when I broke off a terminal tab. I recently broke off a tiny receptacle on a Bachmann Consolidation. It had nothing to to with soldering but it is a reason I don't like to open up a loco and mess with the electronics. A number of locos I have converted had plug in decoders and I am OK with that. If I have to solder connections, that is a real task.  

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 12:33 PM

John-NYBW
Perhaps we are arguing over the semantics of what a "dead section" is. To me it is a section of track that is not powered at all. It sounds to me as if some are using "dead section" to indicate a section of track that is switchable from DC to DCC with a center off position on the switch to make it dead. If that is the definition, that is what I had in mind. The interchange yard and runaround tracks could be switched from either DC or DCC depending on which loco was using them. 

Yep!  That's what most of us are talking about.  A section of track that can be switched either way, or OFF.

John-NYBW
Some seem to be suggesting is the DC loco push cars onto an unpowered interchange track and a DCC loco pull them off the other end of the unpowered track.

Yes, that has been mentioned by some, because of the misunderstanding on just EXACTLY you want to do, and to caution against DC meeting DCC and visa-versa.

So, that clears up the confussion once and for all ?  Yes?   

So isolate track joints, and install controls ( DPDT's or whatever) how ever you need to make what you want work.

One thing we ALL had a concern about is the co-mingling of DC/DCC.  That's all, just trying to make sure we were clear on that, and that you understood.

Good luck with your project John, let us know how things work out! Yes

Mike

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:06 PM

What you don't want is ==DCC====|====DC== anywhere. Toggle switch or no toggle switch, it's too easy to overrun the gaps, and with cars with metal wheels, or a loco, this will connect the two systems and SOMETHING will fry.

A dead section in this case means that when the interchange is switched to DC< it looks somethign like this:

==DCC===|<no power>|===DC==|====DC=======

So that even if you do run past the gap, it won; link DC and DCC.

ANd when you finish with the DC loco and switch the interchange back to DCC, it looks liek this:

=====DCC====|==DCC==|===<dead>==|===DC===

where the | are gaps in both rails.

                                     --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 John-NYBW on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 5:31 PM

rrinker

What you don't want is ==DCC====|====DC== anywhere. Toggle switch or no toggle switch, it's too easy to overrun the gaps, and with cars with metal wheels, or a loco, this will connect the two systems and SOMETHING will fry.

A dead section in this case means that when the interchange is switched to DC< it looks somethign like this:

==DCC===|<no power>|===DC==|====DC=======

So that even if you do run past the gap, it won; link DC and DCC.

ANd when you finish with the DC loco and switch the interchange back to DCC, it looks liek this:

=====DCC====|==DCC==|===<dead>==|===DC===

where the | are gaps in both rails.

                                     --Randy

 

 

OK, if I am understanding you, you are saying when the interchange yard is operating in DC mode, there should be an unpowered gap between the interchange yard and the DCC section of the layout which would require a dead section at both ends. When the interchange yard is switched to DCC mode, those dead sections would then be powered onto the DCC system and at the same time there would be a dead section between the interchange yard and the DC portion of the layout. Both the switchable DCC and DC sections could not be powered at the same time. That would certainly be the safer way to go but sounds like a lot more complex wiring set up then the simple DPDT switch I envisioned. I think I'd prefer to just go with the simple set up knowing the danger involved. The DC Heisler is only going to make one entry into the interchange yard each operating session and it would require me to flip the switch each time it did and then flip it back once it exits. I still haven't decided on whether to go with this or bite the bullet and try to solder a decoder into the Heisler. 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:57 PM

I revised my original drawing to make it easier to see the wiring.
 
 Click to enlarge
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:38 PM

 Right, it's not exactly straightforward wiring to get two dead section on either side of the switchable section. You need 6 poles, so it would probably end up being a rotary switch, 2 position, 6 pole. The dead section on the DCC side switches between DCC or dead, the dead section on the DC side switches between dead and DC, and the interchange yard switches between DCC and DC.

Or you could just install the decoder and call it a day. Big Smile  Plus then the Heisler could make a tour of the rest of the layout once in a while.

                                  --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 Bayfield Transfer Railway on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:59 PM

Decoders don't cost that much, especially if you don't need lots of fancy lights and sound.  As in, probably less than $25.

And it would be a LOT less farting around.

 

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

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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