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Best book about wiring a layout?

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, March 20, 2021 7:40 AM

What I meant is if you have a return loop in DC mode, then convert to DCC (or run in DCC), a DCC engine will probably be damaged if you go through the gapped section, but forget to flip the switch to reverse the polarity. The engine will be "trapped" between sections of different polarities. I guess it would just short.

Simon

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Posted by gregc on Saturday, March 20, 2021 7:52 AM

snjroy
 a DCC engine will probably be damaged if you go through the gapped section, but forget to flip the switch to reverse the polarity. The engine will be "trapped" between sections of different polarities. I guess it would just short.

i don't see why a DCC engine would be damaged

yes, there will be  short across the gaps.    and the short causes the current to flow thru the metal frame of the loco instead of thru the decoder ... just like with DC.

as i said, a DCC auto-reverser relies on this short to reverse the track polarity of the reversing section

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, March 20, 2021 8:36 AM

snjroy

What I meant is if you have a return loop in DC mode, then convert to DCC (or run in DCC), a DCC engine will probably be damaged if you go through the gapped section, but forget to flip the switch to reverse the polarity. The engine will be "trapped" between sections of different polarities. I guess it would just short.

Simon

 

Remember what a "short" means: short circuit.

The current created by the rail gap short won't even make it to the locomotive frame. It passes right across the rail gap through the locomotive wheel. It is also instantaneous, really short, har har in time that is.  The automatic reverser needs to trigger even faster than the circuit breaker in the power booster. Blink of an eye fast, actually much faster than that.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, March 20, 2021 9:23 AM

Folks, I am referring to a situation where a DC layout is used in DCC, so without a DCC auto-reverser and where a return loop is managed through manual polarity switching. This was mentioned in the context of differences between DC wiring and DCC wiring.

Simon

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Posted by gregc on Saturday, March 20, 2021 12:24 PM

are you still suggesting that flipping the mainline polarity while a DCC loco is in the reversing section can damage the loco?

with a DCC loco you could manually flip the reversing section polarity

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, March 20, 2021 1:20 PM

snjroy

Folks, I am referring to a situation where a DC layout is used in DCC, so without a DCC auto-reverser and where a return loop is managed through manual polarity switching. This was mentioned in the context of differences between DC wiring and DCC wiring.

Simon

 

 That works fine, too. You cna reverse a DCC layout using a toggle wired the same as a DC layout. The flipping of a toggle will probably cause an interruption in a soudn decoder though as it takes too long for the contacts to switch (relative to an automatic DCC reverser).

 If you forget to flip the switch, you will get a short when the loco crosses the gaps, sam as a DC reverse loop if you forget to flip the switch.

 But flipping the 'polarity' under a running DCC loco does absolutely nothing. The loco continues on its way. You take a whole layout, with a dozen runnign trains, and change the polarity of the wires right at the DCC booster and nothing will happen to those running trains. Forward in DCC is towards the front of the loco, the direction does not depend one whit on the signal on the rails (other than the contents of said signal is what instructs the loco to move). 

 The reason DCC tends to switch the reverse section itself rather than flip the main is because a) not all autoreverse can handle the current load of an entire layout and b) if the layout is sufficiently large, there won't be "a main" as it will be divided into multiple power districts which makes it impractical to switch all that simultaneously. 

                                  --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 snjroy on Saturday, March 20, 2021 3:31 PM

rrinker

 

 (...)

 If you forget to flip the switch, you will get a short when the loco crosses the gaps, sam as a DC reverse loop if you forget to flip the switch. (...)

 

 

Yes, that is what I am referring to. That risk is adressed by the auto-reverser. So wiring something in DCC will have that and other differences with DC. That's why I am saying that if the OP is thinking of going DCC sooner than later, then he could skip reading the books that cover DC, IMHO.

Simon

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, March 21, 2021 12:58 PM

snjroy

 

 
rrinker

 

 (...)

 If you forget to flip the switch, you will get a short when the loco crosses the gaps, sam as a DC reverse loop if you forget to flip the switch. (...)

 

 

 

 

Yes, that is what I am referring to. That risk is adressed by the auto-reverser. So wiring something in DCC will have that and other differences with DC. That's why I am saying that if the OP is thinking of going DCC sooner than later, then he could skip reading the books that cover DC, IMHO.

 

Simon

 

Understanding the DC wiring does help understanding DCC differences. You can easily connect DCC to the vast majority of DC only layouts and have the electrics work basically the same. The reverse situation  is not necessarily the case.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by crossthedog on Sunday, March 21, 2021 8:08 PM

I'm still reading these responses, by the way. Thanks all.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by MarkTO on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 5:38 PM

Your observations on writing clarity are well put. I find the "experts" really hard to follow most times as they to skip over the most basic questions a newbee might ask and therefore it's often more like going down an understanding deficit rat-hole trying to make their topic leaps.

Poor and incomplete manufacture product documention are equally to be called out and have cost me no end of grief. like for instance, not explaining what electronic LEDS on model railroad electronic boards mean. I thought a red LED light was bad in worldly principle, but apparently not to model railroad electronics. The basic question "what are lights telling me" seems to be umportant To manufactures!

manufacture documentation contradictions pop up every. Does nobody proof read?

Still what a hobby and the hobbyists and family manufactures that step up to give us the tools to make our dream worlds become a reality are to be commended. I thank them for it. MARKTO. 

Tags: Wiring , books
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 1, 2021 6:11 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Paul Mallery's Electrical Handbook vol 1 & 2, enough theory so you can advance, without boring you silly. Covers the basics, and starts you on the advanced path if you are interested.

I bought both of these books based on your description. 

While everything you said about them is absolutely true, I think they are a bit much for someone just wanting to learn basic DC wiring.

They are way beyond what the OP said he was looking for.

crossthedog
My question is which book about wiring a layout you would consider the EASIEST TO UNDERSTAND, like an idiot's guide. Not the most complete, not the one with the sweetest schematics, and not the one that goes into the most detail about outlying scenarios that I probably won't be pursuing... but the one you would consider most easy to grasp for someone electronically challenged but that still covers essentials for basic wiring of a DC layout.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, April 1, 2021 6:25 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Paul Mallery's Electrical Handbook vol 1 & 2, enough theory so you can advance, without boring you silly. Covers the basics, and starts you on the advanced path if you are interested.

 

I bought both of these books based on your description. 

While everything you said about them is absolutely true, I think they are a bit much for someone just wanting to learn basic DC wiring.

They are way beyond what the OP said he was looking for.

 

 
crossthedog
My question is which book about wiring a layout you would consider the EASIEST TO UNDERSTAND, like an idiot's guide. Not the most complete, not the one with the sweetest schematics, and not the one that goes into the most detail about outlying scenarios that I probably won't be pursuing... but the one you would consider most easy to grasp for someone electronically challenged but that still covers essentials for basic wiring of a DC layout.

 

-Kevin

 

Agreed, but that conversation was all over the map by the time I replied. I just think Mallery was one of the great thinkers in this hobby and his work does not get enough attention.

Sheldon

    

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