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Auto Reverser PSX-AR

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Auto Reverser PSX-AR
Posted by Denver on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 9:09 PM

Can you use a DCC Spec Auto Reverser PSX-AR to control TWO return loops. It seems to me that it might work ok provided two trains are not running on the two loops at the same time!

Dennis

 

 

 

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:38 AM

Yes, done that. It works so long as you never cross the gaps on one at the same time a train is passing over the gaps on the other, which will confuse the board's logic. I eventually upgraded to a PSX-AR for each reversing section, so it was a temp solution that worked until my budget covered the expense.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:52 AM

Denver

Can you use a DCC Spec Auto Reverser PSX-AR to control TWO return loops. It seems to me that it might work ok provided two trains are not running on the two loops at the same time!

Dennis

Sure, that will work.

Rich

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Posted by Tophias on Thursday, December 8, 2016 10:15 AM

Great timing for this post; we will be adding a short, seldom to be used reverse loop shortly.  We already have a reverse loop servicing our staging yard controlled by a PSX-AR.  My question - how do you wire the second loop?  I assume just connect rail A and rail B feeds to the output of the PSX-AR?  Any concerns regarding matching the second loops A and B feeds to the feeds to existing loop?  I assume not.  Thnx.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 2:21 PM

Tophias

Great timing for this post; we will be adding a short, seldom to be used reverse loop shortly.  We already have a reverse loop servicing our staging yard controlled by a PSX-AR.  My question - how do you wire the second loop?  I assume just connect rail A and rail B feeds to the output of the PSX-AR?  Any concerns regarding matching the second loops A and B feeds to the feeds to existing loop?  I assume not.  Thnx. 

As Mike cautioned, one PSX-AR can be used to control two reverse loops, but only if trains are not entering and exiting both reverse loops at the same time.

The input side of the PSX-AR is wired to the main bus for the layout. The output side of the PSX-AR sends feeders to both reverse loops.

Rich

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Posted by Tophias on Thursday, December 8, 2016 2:57 PM

Thnx Rich.  Given there's only myself and my brother-in-law who operate, and usually just me, and the fact that the second loop will hardly ever be used (just to turn a couple of passenger train now and then), I can't image there would ever be an issue of two trains entering both loops at the same time.  But you never say never!  So, what would happen if it did happen?  Both trains jerking back and forth?  PSX-AR just shut down?  Something else?  Any permanent damage to the PSX-AR or loco decoders?  Thnx.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:08 PM

Tophias

So, what would happen if it did happen?  Both trains jerking back and forth? PSX-AR just shut down?  Something else?  Any permanent damage to the PSX-AR or loco decoders?  Thnx.

I cannot say for sure exactly what would happen.  Since the conflict would cause a short, I believe that the circuit breaker portion of the PSX-AR would shut down both reverse loops until the operator resolved the short.
 
Personally, I would not use a single auto-reverser to control two reverse loops. On my layout, I have four reversing sections, and each is controlled by its own PSX-AR.
 
Rich

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Posted by CentralGulf on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:08 PM

If the need for the one loop is all that infrequent, just run the output of the reverser through a double pole loop selection switch so that only one loop can be powered at a time. Problem (and worries) solved.

CG

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:10 PM

CentralGulf

If the need for the one loop is all that infrequent, just run the output of the reverser through a double pole loop selection switch so that only one loop can be powered at a time. Problem (and worries) solved.

That sort of defeats the benefit of an auto-reverser if you set up a manual control like a DPDT switch.

Rich

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Posted by Tophias on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:19 PM

Thnx CG, good suggestion. Because this would be so infrequently used, in my case it wouldn't really be defeating the purpose.  If it was used regularly I'd just spend the $55 And do things properly.  I'll consider your Idea.  Or maybe just spend the $$ 

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:28 PM

There must be a way to automate such an arrangement so you wouldn't need to manually throw a DPDT switch.  Maybe an occupancy detector to stop a train from entering one reverse loop if there is a train in the other reverse loop.  Where is Randy when we need him?

Rich

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Posted by CentralGulf on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:45 PM

Buying a second autoreverser would be simpler, possibly cheaper than home brewing an automated occupancy detector solution.

But the OP said said the one loop will be used only on rare occasions, hence the manual switch simply to ease concerns if two trains tried to use both loops at the same time.

Edit:

If using the second loop involves a turnout contol with spare contacts, those could be used to control a relay in lieu of the switch, or just directly depending on the rating of the contacts.

CG

 

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Posted by SouthPenn on Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:51 PM

Do both reversing switches operate even if only one loop is being used?

South Penn
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Posted by Denver on Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:09 PM

mlehman

Yes, done that. It works so long as you never cross the gaps on one at the same time a train is passing over the gaps on the other, which will confuse the board's logic. I eventually upgraded to a PSX-AR for each reversing section, so it was a temp solution that worked until my budget covered the expense.

 

Thank you all for replying to my original post and especially Rich.

mlehman's post above sums up my situation. I have two reverse loops, one permanent and the other a temporary one which is in a "holding"  position pending the expansion of my track. I have a DCC Specialties OnGuard! OG-AR Auto Reverser & Circuit Breaker on order (which  will not arrive [in Australia] for a few weeks). When received I will use that for the temporary reverse loop as the PSX-AR is an overkill. 

Next question: I want to use the PSX-AR [SC version] on the permanent reverse loop to not only change the polarity but also to automatically switch the Peco point motor. The documentation explains the electrical connections to make this work but not the logic of how it works. Has anyone done that or can comment on how and why and with what success? Thanks.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:12 PM

richhotrain

There must be a way to automate such an arrangement so you wouldn't need to manually throw a DPDT switch.  Maybe an occupancy detector to stop a train from entering one reverse loop if there is a train in the other reverse loop.  Where is Randy when we need him?

Rich

 

 

 At work Big Smile

It wouldn;t be super easy to implement that, unless you didn't care that the train would screech to an instant halt (it, loop 1 occupied, loop 2 has power disconnected, so if a loco tried to go into loop 2 while loop 1 was occupied, it would come to a sudden stop. Would not be good if the power were multiple powered diesels, as the lead unit would stop but the trailing ones would keep trying to push it. You'd end up with one just grinding away pushing against the dead ones until loop 1 cleared and the power was restored.

Probbaly not worth the trouble, til you get block detectors for both loops and wire up some relays to kill the loops, you could just buy a second PSX-AR. If the upstream track is controlled by somethign other than a PSX breaker or the On-Guard one, you can use a cheaper AR like the DIgitrax AR-1, too.

                                 --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 peahrens on Thursday, December 8, 2016 5:27 PM

I have two of the OG-ARs on my layout (used with NCE PowerPro 5A system). That have worked great for me.  They are currently $32 plus shipping. 

I'm not aware of how to automate turnout control.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by Denver on Thursday, December 8, 2016 6:46 PM

peahrens

I have two of the OG-ARs on my layout (used with NCE PowerPro 5A system). That have worked great for me.  They are currently $32 plus shipping. 

I'm not aware of how to automate turnout control.

 

Thanks for that. I too have a NCE PowerPro 5A Radio sysytem which works great. I am sure that the OG-ARs will work fine and as you point bout they are a lot cheaper at $32.

However the PSX-AR also has contacts to switch point motors, which i guess is one of the reasons it is more expensive at $69.95.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 8, 2016 8:11 PM

Denver

Next question: I want to use the PSX-AR [SC version] on the permanent reverse loop to not only change the polarity but also to automatically switch the Peco point motor. The documentation explains the electrical connections to make this work but not the logic of how it works. Has anyone done that or can comment on how and why and with what success? 

When the PSX-ARSC is wired to the Peco switch motor, the points are thrown on the Peco turnout when the polarity is reversed.  To avoid a derailment on the turnout as the train exits the reverse loop, the train must be completely inside the reverse loop when the point rails are thrown.

So, the reverse loop must be longer than the longest train using the loop, and there must be enough distance between the gaps and the turnout to permit the points to complete their move before the locomotive reaches the turnout.

Since the Peco switch motor is a dual coil actuator, the PSX-ARSC will move the points more quickly than a stall motor such as a Tortoise. So, the distance between the gaps and the turnout need not be that great.

Rich

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Posted by Denver on Friday, December 9, 2016 3:18 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Denver

Next question: I want to use the PSX-AR [SC version] on the permanent reverse loop to not only change the polarity but also to automatically switch the Peco point motor. The documentation explains the electrical connections to make this work but not the logic of how it works. Has anyone done that or can comment on how and why and with what success? 

 

 

When the PSX-ARSC is wired to the Peco switch motor, the points are thrown on the Peco turnout when the polarity is reversed.  To avoid a derailment on the turnout as the train exits the reverse loop, the train must be completely inside the reverse loop when the point rails are thrown.

 

So, the reverse loop must be longer than the longest train using the loop, and there must be enough distance between the gaps and the turnout to permit the points to complete their move before the locomotive reaches the turnout.

Since the Peco switch motor is a dual coil actuator, the PSX-ARSC will move the points more quickly than a stall motor such as a Tortoise. So, the distance between the gaps and the turnout need not be that great.

Rich

 

Thanks Rich, that fills in the bit i was was missing - 'when' the switch motor is changed. Will wire up and test shortly.

Dennis

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 9, 2016 5:00 PM

Dennis, the best of luck.  Keep us posted.

Rich

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Posted by Denver on Monday, December 12, 2016 10:44 PM

richhotrain

Dennis, the best of luck.  Keep us posted.

Rich

 

I was hoping to post a success story but I am afraid the end game - of moving the Peco switch motor from side to side - has been a failure. First I decided to take everyone’s advice and use a second device for the second reverse loop. As it does not need to move a Peco switch motor I was able to use two of the outputs on a Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicer. It worked 100% ok and works out at only $26 per reversing unit.

I then installed the PSX-ARSC on the other return loop as a reversing unit it worked 100% ok. But then I wired it to the Peco switch motor and at first it just did not work. So I tested the motor directly with a CDU unit and it fired with no problems. Then I tried switching wires (just in case pin 1 was in fact pin 4). But no that did not help, but I did verify that pins 2 & 4 are linked and so go to the common side of the motor. I swapped over the wires from pins 1 & 3 but that made no difference so I then wondered if it was the distance of the gaps from the turnout. One set of gaps was right up at the frogs and the other was about 9" away. So I rewired so that they were both about 6" away from the turnout. No change.

I am only running a single locomotive to do the test although the return loop itself is about 184" and will hold about 46 N Scale 40' boxcars. When the front wheels of the Loco goes over the gap - and the turnout is against that track - a hard short occurs and remains until the turnout is manually changed. Then the reversing circuit kicks in the Loco continues on its way. I have tested the Loco entering the Reverse Loop on both tracks and the same thing happens, regardless of whether the turnout was "normal" or not when the Loco entered the Return Loop.

The PSX-ARSC however does appear to be correctly wired because from time to time the Peco switch motor will flip, but not when a train approaches it. I think it happens sometimes when the Loco moves into the reversing section and away from the turnout. That would be a disaster if it was pulling a train!

I have to say that the DCC Specialties documentation leaves a lot to be desired. The manual is great for explaining what a wonderful product it is and what features it has but does tell you how to install the device or give you any troubleshooting suggestions if things do not work. And they try to make one manual work for every combination that the device is sold for. I suspect most people use the device with a Tortoise switch motor and they may not have done a lot of testing with Peco snap coil motors. Their diagrams are also not clear and the size of the print is too small.

I am interested in buying 3 Jack Wabbit Quad devices to automate 12 Peco Turnouts on my 7 stagging tracks. However on YouTube there is just one video of the Jack Wabbit and the guy has bought the Peco snap coil version. However apparently the manual does not explain how to wire Peco switch motors at all! Consequently he has had to install relays to make them work. Weird. However if I cannot make a single Peco switch machine work with the PSX-ARSC I am certainly not going to be buying any Jack Wabbits.

Clearly I am doing something wrong but I have run out of ideas and feel that I have tested everything. Any ideas????

 

Dennis

 
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Posted by bavrail on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 5:28 PM

Which DCC system are you using ?   

Could you include a diagram of how you are using the PSX-ARSC's. 

We are using two of them with Peco turnouts and have no problems. It did take a few tries to figure out how they worked. 

 

WS

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 5:33 PM

bavrail

Which DCC system are you using ?   

Could you include a diagram of how you are using the PSX-ARSC's. 

We are using two of them with Peco turnouts and have no problems. It did take a few tries to figure out how they worked. 

Also, are the Peco turnouts Electofrogs or Insulfrogs?

Rich

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Posted by Denver on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 6:09 PM

richhotrain

 

 
bavrail

Which DCC system are you using ?   

Could you include a diagram of how you are using the PSX-ARSC's. 

We are using two of them with Peco turnouts and have no problems. It did take a few tries to figure out how they worked. 

 

 

Also, are the Peco turnouts Electofrogs or Insulfrogs?

 

Rich

 

Rich: I am using Peco Electofrogs. Bavrail: I have an NCE 5amp ProCab Radio system. The layout is the same as the diagram in the manual - a simple reverse loop with one turnout.

Shortly after my last post I had a win of sorts in that when the Loco approached the turnout the switch motor moved in the WRONG direction. At which point I decided to contact Tony's Train Exchange for support.

Overnight I received a reply from Larry Maier, their Technical Support Specialist (and the designer of the PSX-AR series) who wrote:

"The PSX-ARSC is correctly installed when the reverse loop gaps in the active point route are in phase. For example, if the engine path through the switch is in the Clear (straight) direction, when it gets to the reverse loop gaps, the normal and the reverse section track should be in phase. I suggest you align the switch clear (using the PSX-AR switch address 2044), and then check track polarity all the way into the reverse loop. Do the same for the Throw direction. I suspect that you have a wiring error. The second configuration (Pin 1 of J9 to the "Normal" route and Pin 3 to the Reverse) should work correctly. The fact that the engine stalls indicates there is a short that the PSX can't fix by reversing. The hint is that it works OK if you move the switch points. Any power routing you are doing to the switch should be normal power, and your reverse loop insulators should be at least your longest engine away from any track in the switch that changes polarity when you move the points."

This is a helpful response (at least I now know which pins go to which route) and the manual also makes reference to three (3) Accessory Addresses and the following paragraph:

"(3) The Third address (2044 default) controls the output to the stall motor or dual coil switch machine outputs by using a normal DCC accessory commands for a switch, throw(off) or clear(on) command."

However I have no idea what either Larry or the manual are trying to tell me to do with switch address 2044. There is very little literature (I have all five of MR’s DCC books) on how and what to do with accessory decoders and until I received Larry’s email I did not realise that the PSX-AR was even an accessory decoder. Is 2044 like a Loco address? How do you access it? The NCE ProCab system wants CV values. How do I know what they are? As far as the wiring goes I have tried every permutation I can think of.

I have a second PSX-ARSC and I plan to swap that one over and see if it makes a difference.

 

Dennis

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Posted by bavrail on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 6:38 PM

Denver

On your controller press the SEL ACCY key.

Enter 2044 for the address. 

Press ENTER

You should see something like this:

ACC: 2044 02:00PM

1=N(ON) 2=R(OFF) 

Press 1 and the turnout should align for the straight route.

Press 2 and the turnout should throw for the diverging route. 

If the turnout does not get set correctly reverse the connections (J9-1 and J9-3). 

Also when the PSX-ARSC powers up it will always set the turnout to the N (or normal route) and the loop will be the same polarity as the mainline. 

Our connections are J9-2 to both contacts on one side of the peco motor. J9-2 and J9-4 are connected internally. You only need one common wire.  

J9-1 to one contact on the other side and J9-3 to the other contact.

The way ours operate is:

When the PSX-AR powers up the turnout is set to straight and the reverser is in normal state. (Mainline and loop are same polarity). As the train comes in it goes through the turnout and across the first gap. Since mainline and loop are same polarity nothing happens.

As the train hits the second set of gaps to exit the loop a short is detected. The turnout throws and polarity in the loop is reversed. It now matches the mainline and the train can exit. Led on PSX should be blinking. 

When the train comes back it will take the diverging route, polarity of mainline and loop matches so nothing happens. As train gets to second set of gaps it again detects the short, throws the turnout and goes back to normal state. Led on PSX should go out. 

We are having a show for the next four days and our PSX's will get a good workout. 

 

WS

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 10:00 PM

Where are your gaps, and where are the power feeds for the reverse section, and for the area outside the reverse section? With Electrofrogs, you cna have no power applied to the rails that join together at the point of the frog (the two inside rails on the diverging end). Reverse loop or not, these rails (at least) need gaps. Those gaps can be right at the turnout, with insulated joiners or cut rails, or they can be several inches (or even feet) beyond the turnout - however the only power to feed those diverging rails comes from whatever you power the frog with. If you have robust frog power, such as with switch machine contacts or a Frog Juicer, it's fine for the gaps to be set way from the turnout.

 Now here's apossible interesting problem. If you use a Frog Juicer to power the frogs, and the gaps on the frog rails are also the gaps that isolate the reverse loop powered byt he PSX-AR, you now have back to back reverse loops (the Frog Juicer is effectively an autoreverser for the frog polarity and automatically matches the frog polarity to the route the train is taking through the turnout, vs using switch machine contacts which could be wired backwards, meanining instant short until you get the feeders right). Both products use fast acting electronic detection and switching for the short circuit condition, and this is a possible source of trouble.

                      --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 richhotrain on Thursday, December 15, 2016 10:44 AM

Denver

I then installed the PSX-ARSC on the other return loop as a reversing unit it worked 100% ok. But then I wired it to the Peco switch motor and at first it just did not work................ When the front wheels of the Loco goes over the gap - and the turnout is against that track - a hard short occurs and remains until the turnout is manually changed. Then the reversing circuit kicks in and the Loco continues on its way. I have tested the Loco entering the Reverse Loop on both tracks and the same thing happens, regardless of whether the turnout was "normal" or not when the Loco entered the Return Loop. 

I'm not sure what you mean by "and the turnout is against that track", but if a dead short occurs as the locomotive crosses the gaps, it is almost certainly a wiring problem.  You need to re-check your feeders as the first step. My suggestion would be to disconnect the J9 wiring on the PSX-AR and operate the turnout manually to confirm that the reverse loop is wired correctly and that the PSX-AR is operating correctly.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 15, 2016 10:54 AM

Denver
 

Rich: I am using Peco Electofrogs. Bavrail: I have an NCE 5amp ProCab Radio system. The layout is the same as the diagram in the manual - a simple reverse loop with one turnout.

Shortly after my last post I had a win of sorts in that when the Loco approached the turnout the switch motor moved in the WRONG direction. At which point I decided to contact Tony's Train Exchange for support.

Overnight I received a reply from Larry Maier, their Technical Support Specialist (and the designer of the PSX-AR series) who wrote:

"The PSX-ARSC is correctly installed when the reverse loop gaps in the active point route are in phase. For example, if the engine path through the switch is in the Clear (straight) direction, when it gets to the reverse loop gaps, the normal and the reverse section track should be in phase. I suggest you align the switch clear (using the PSX-AR switch address 2044), and then check track polarity all the way into the reverse loop. Do the same for the Throw direction. I suspect that you have a wiring error. The second configuration (Pin 1 of J9 to the "Normal" route and Pin 3 to the Reverse) should work correctly. The fact that the engine stalls indicates there is a short that the PSX can't fix by reversing. The hint is that it works OK if you move the switch points. Any power routing you are doing to the switch should be normal power, and your reverse loop insulators should be at least your longest engine away from any track in the switch that changes polarity when you move the points."

This is a helpful response (at least I now know which pins go to which route) and the manual also makes reference to three (3) Accessory Addresses and the following paragraph:

"(3) The Third address (2044 default) controls the output to the stall motor or dual coil switch machine outputs by using a normal DCC accessory commands for a switch, throw(off) or clear(on) command."

However I have no idea what either Larry or the manual are trying to tell me to do with switch address 2044. There is very little literature (I have all five of MR’s DCC books) on how and what to do with accessory decoders and until I received Larry’s email I did not realise that the PSX-AR was even an accessory decoder. Is 2044 like a Loco address? How do you access it? The NCE ProCab system wants CV values. How do I know what they are? As far as the wiring goes I have tried every permutation I can think of.

I have a second PSX-ARSC and I plan to swap that one over and see if it makes a difference.

 

Dennis

 

The PSX-AR is both a circuit breaker and an auto-reverser. It isn't really an accessory decoder, but it does have three accessory addresses for (1) controlling track power, (2) arming the photo cell circuit, and (3) accessing turnout switch motors. 2044 is the default address on the PSX-AR for accessing the turnout switch motor.

You should be able to simultaneously use the PSX-AR to reverse polarities inside the reverse loop and alternate the route of the point rails so that the train will not derail as it exits the loop. The key is to gap the reverse section properly so that it is fully isolated from the rest of the layout and to wire the reverse section properly. Larry Meier is suggesting that the reverse loop be wired to match the polarities of the Electrofrog in the straight through position.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, December 15, 2016 10:59 AM

rrinker

If you use a Frog Juicer to power the frogs, and the gaps on the frog rails are also the gaps that isolate the reverse loop powered byt he PSX-AR, you now have back to back reverse loops (the Frog Juicer is effectively an autoreverser for the frog polarity and automatically matches the frog polarity to the route the train is taking through the turnout, vs using switch machine contacts which could be wired backwards, meanining instant short until you get the feeders right). Both products use fast acting electronic detection and switching for the short circuit condition, and this is a possible source of trouble.

Since you are using a Peco Electrofrog, the frog is already powered so there is no need for a Frog Juicer. But, recall, the Peco Electrofrog is a power routing turnout. Depending upon the route selected, both rails beyond the frog will be powered with the same polarity. So, the two inner frog rails need to gapped. These same gaps can be used to isolate the reverse loop.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 15, 2016 5:05 PM

What I am implying is that the gaps required for the turnout (even if no reverse loop is involved) shouldn't be the ones isolating the reverse loop if the PSX is controlling the turnout. What I think would happen is the loco crosses the gaps, the PSX detects the short and flips the loop polarity, clearing the short. Then it throws the turnout, changing the polarity of the diverging frog rails. Which causes a short again, so the PSX reverse the loop polarity, and then throws the turnout.......

                                         --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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