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gandy dancer#1
starting on my second childhod!!!!


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« on: February 15, 2012, 06:27:22 PM »

Heres  one of my famous questions: Does any one make a track crossing device 30, 60, ect where i can cross a dcc trrack with a dc track??? have both and to save space in routing of tracks would like to be able to run the dcc and cross the dc track while it is in motion elsewhere on the board moving. Is this possible ?? Thanks.
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phillyreading

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 06:55:01 PM »

If anyone would make a crossover track like what you want, the rails that crossover would have to be insulated from each other electrically. It would take some fancy work to make it useable, if you were to custom build it yourself. At the center the track pieces would have to be seperated from each other electrically, some kind of plastic and then powered seperately in between on the center piece.

Lee F.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 07:02:34 PM »

Recently I had the occasion to replace the Peco Code 75 Insulfrog crossing on my layout. I happened to notice that there were connecting wires running under the crossing rails (they ran in a 'slot' in the ties). Since Insulfrog devices are...well insulated it would seem possible that one could cut some of these connecting wires and isolate the sections of the crossing...just an idea.

Ray
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Desertdweller

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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 07:25:20 PM »

Back when I was in HO, I had a layout with an Atlas 90 degree crossing.  The two routes through it were insulated from each other.  Both routes were in different blocks.

There should be no problem doing what you propose, if you are talking about a DC layout laid over a DCC layout.  All crossings need to have insulated frogs, so the two sets of running rails (the diamond) can be controlled independently of each other.

When track switches are involved, creating a section of track that has to be alternately DC/DCC, you will need to be able to isolate that section.  Common rail DC wiring won't work for that section, it would have to be wired (for DC operation) like a DC reverse loop.  By using an electrical selector switch, that section can be powered by either system, but never by both simultaneously.

Les
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 07:39:05 PM »

Most (all?) manufactured crossings have the east-west route insulated from the north-south route.  To do this, they use plastic in all four frogs.   Hand laid, all metal ones have to be gapped both inside the crossing and outside the crossing to prevent shorting.  They then require switching with either a toggle switch or an auto reverse module to set which route is live.  You can check the internal connections of a crossing with a low cost meter.

Having said that, using dc on one route and DCC on the other route could lead to some undesirable results.  I would expect no problems as long as nothing derailed on the crossing.  But in case of a derailment, you might destroy a decoder from over voltage or you might damage either the DCC command station/booster or the dc power pack. Burning up a decoder is not a major loss in these days of low cost decoders as long as you can replace it yourself.  Damage to the command station, booster or power pack is generally more serious (and expensive.)  At the very least, isolate both routes through the crossing by gapping all rails, eight in total.  Then feed the power to the respective routes through small, fast blow fuses (1/2 amp or 1 amp.)  Make sure there are no connections between the command station/booster and the power pack, even accidental ones.  I would not even use the ac output of the power pack to operate remote control turnouts on the DCC powered track.  And if at all possible, use a 90 degree crossing to minimize the chance of a derailment in the first place.



If anyone would make a crossover track like what you want, the rails that crossover would have to be insulated from each other electrically. It would take some fancy work to make it useable, if you were to custom build it yourself. At the center the track pieces would have to be seperated from each other electrically, some kind of plastic and then powered seperately in between on the center piece.
Lee F.

Lee, I suspect you are confusing a crossing with a crossover.  A crossover allows a train to move from one track to another, parallel track.  A crossing, also known as a "diamond," allows one track to cross another but does not allow a train to move from one track to the other.  It would indeed be difficult or maybe impossible to build a crossover from both dc and DCC at the same time.

Jim
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 08:40:07 PM »

Just my 2 cents
 
This is separate from the crossing issue but may help you with running all your locos from your dcc control.

If your layout is really big this may not work.

Now I'll get to it, I had a couple Z scale locomotives that did not run as slow as I wanted them to, they are little switchers. so a light bulb went of in my pea brain and I grabbed a silent drive decoder that I had waiting for another project, I connected the motor wires to the track and the pick up wires to a EZ command and presto bango the little loco ran Beautiful, on the small layout the motor was able to take advantage of the decoders drive system, then I connected it to a larger layout and ran a Bachmann standard line loco and it ran better as well.

I realize this is not how decoders were intended to be used but if you have a cheap decoder give it a try, you would be running everything from the DCC control and you don't have to worry about grabbing another controller if they're going to collide Emergency stop will stop them all, and selecting an address on the controller will run the train as if the decoder was in side of it.

NM-Jeff

« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 11:16:13 PM by NarrowMinded » Logged
gandy dancer#1
starting on my second childhod!!!!


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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 09:35:31 PM »

 I want to thank all of you for your timely responses, i knew i would gain valuable info here, even though i realize i was attempting to push the envelope a little Grin so abck to layout drawing board Wink I may just go the route of linking all 3 tracks and running he 3 locos on dcc, even though one of them is dc, it is my understanding it can be run on the controller on position 8 or 10?? supposedly without harm to the loco?? I will be running the basic digital commander controller.
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 09:48:04 PM »

gandy

Running a DC loco may not harm it, just don't park a DC loco on the DCC track as it will cook the DC loco's motor. I park the only DC loco I have on a siding that I can toggle power to it when I am ready to operate that loco.
I am sure you remember this just wanted to keep it fresh in your mind as not to burn up your DC loco.

Jerry

Jeff I love your idea too!!! what a unique way of getting DCC to your DC train
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 09:51:16 PM by Jerrys HO » Logged
Rockdweller

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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2012, 02:53:20 AM »

I find Jeff's idea of using a decoder in a reverse way (so to speak), to power a DC engine intriguing. However since it in essence would be a DC powered circuit, would it still not have exactly the same issue if the crossing DCC lines get shorted?  The results would be worse? or better?

Any thoughts?

One downside I see of using the DCC controller to run both circuits is of course the single controller is powering everything instead of two sharing the load.  The upside as Jeff says is the emergency all stop button.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 06:36:45 PM by Rockdweller » Logged
NarrowMinded


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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 07:56:29 PM »

The shorting issue is one I didn't think about... in that case I would recommend just placing a inline fuse between the track and decoder.

use a cheap decoder since you can't use the other funcions unless you use them for accessory lighting Etc. on your layout. I have a four function decoder in one of my shacks and the motor leads run a smoke generator for the chimney.

NM-Jeff
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gandy dancer#1
starting on my second childhod!!!!


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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 01:07:01 AM »

Hey: I have one loco on dc i think i will either lay seperate track for it, or get basic decoder from bachmann as it is one of theirs, and then can run it dcc. It was bought 2 x mases ago and has maybe 2 hrs on it, see some decoders for 25 bucks if they will fit inside its a santa fe diesel. probably best thing to do if can do it on cheap!! already have 2 others with digital commander set up . I do want to say thanks once again for every body's knowledgeable and quick response, and hope every body has great week end coming up!!
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M.R.BURNS
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