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Author Topic: DCC reverse loop wiring  (Read 7580 times)

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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2010, 06:38:23 PM »

Oh my aching head.

Allan Gartner's
DCC site says do not attach the reverse loop to the main buss; only to the AR unit. He doesn't mention additional feeders or a sub-buss coming off a terminal strip. I am soldering the flextrack (Atlas code 83) because it will be under a mountain. Also, I have a power hoist to raise and lower the set from the garage ceiling, which stops somewhat abruptly so the set must be solidly built.

So, even though not mentioned, I can power the reverse loop with a sub-buss and feeders soldered to every section of flextrack? (using 12 g busswire, if it matters, with suitcase joiners to feeders).

Also, a british model railroad site says use SIX insulators for a single crossover and reverse loop ( on Wednesday Jan 14 2009), one set of insulators on the throughway, one set where the diverging ways join, and one set on the throughway of the parallel track.

I had the impression that I only needed FOUR, one set on crossover diverging track, and one set on the throughway at the end of the loop.

Sure wish an old linguist or an old techy initialed "JB" would set me straight.


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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2010, 07:41:00 PM »

If you need to, you can run a sub-bus off the AR unit, but you probably don't need more than one set of connectors for the reversing section.  The number of insulated rail joiners you need for the crossover depends on whether or not the turnouts are live frog or insulated frog.  For insulated frog turnouts like Atlas Custom Line, for example, you don't need ANY insulated joiners for a crossover, as  long as all the track is in the same block and the crossover does not create a reversing section.

Your requirement for two sets of insulated rail joiners is only for isolating the reverse section which is powered via the AR unit.

If you are using live frog turnouts, like Shinohara (not the Walthers-Shinohara DCC "friendly" pieces), all bets are off.  Send me your track plan.


Just workin' on the railroad.

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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2010, 08:02:24 PM »


Thanks for helping me. I have Walthers DCC friendly turnouts (#6) which appear to have insulated frogs.

I don't have technical skill to email the track plan. Can you give me a fax #?

My email is if you want to email a fax #.

Thank you so much.


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« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2010, 08:29:55 PM »

To Jim Banner,

       You are correct - you cannot have one train coming into the reverse loop while another is leaving,  but......that is assuming that the entire loop is the reversing section.    By having a reversing section smaller than the loop,  you can then have multiple trains in the loop regardless of what direction you are running the trains.

Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2010, 09:06:15 PM »

Bob, I think we are both correct.  I like making my reversing sections as long as possible because from time to time I get the urge to run long trains.  I mean four or five locomotives and forty or fifty cars long.  I know they look ridiculous, the locomotives pulling into one station even before the caboose has left the previous station.  But I enjoy practicing the skill it takes to keep everything shinny side up and dirty side down while navigating my twisting, turning layout with its 4% grades and 18 inch curves.  I like cresting a summit at full power and having to throttle back, way back, to keep things under control on the downhill trip, only to slowly open up again when the locomotives nears bottom and the train has to be stretched out to keep it from bunching up and derailing at an awkward spot where the grade and curvature both change at the same time.  Doing the whole trip at dead slow is easy but this is a railroad and there are schedules to keep.


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.

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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2010, 12:01:32 AM »

Throughout the years, ingenious railroaders devised all sorts of tactics to accomplish this.  But every one of those methods revolved around something called “block wiring.”  In this technique, the railroad layout is divided up into separate electrical blocks, each of which controls only one locomotive.  Called “cab control,” a cab -- or throttle -- was then used to control each individual train.  Arrays of various selector switches connect the blocks.

The best form of this method is called “progressive” cab control.  One of the trains runs on the layout.  The connection between the cab and the block is automatically changed from one block to the next using relays.  The first block is then free for another train to use.

Each individual has compelling reasons to love model railroading. But beneath these varied reasons are common threads that make it an awesome hobby everyone.

The Australian Model Train Guide
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