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Author Topic: HO Scale loop problem  (Read 9628 times)
treno


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« on: December 12, 2008, 08:27:15 PM »

I am a total rookie.  I have set up my HO layout and have made an inside  loop that shorts out.  I was told to pick up some auto reversing track to cure the problem.  This has done nothing.  How do you cure this??? Signed, Treno
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Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 09:23:16 PM »

Is it a reverse loop (loop that causes the train to switch direction)? If so, you'll have to do some complex wiring to change that.

Can you show us the track plan of your layout?
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SteamGene

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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 09:33:42 PM »

Is this DC or DCC?  In any event you need to isolate the reverse loop if such be the case.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
treno


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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 09:41:01 PM »

It's DCC.
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Paul M.

T&P Railway in the 1950s


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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 10:10:26 PM »

Any word on the reverse loop?
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taz-of-boyds

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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 12:02:55 AM »

Treno,

Not having seen a diagram of your track makes it hard to work with directly.  But if you spend some time here:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm#c4

You should find this material very useful.  Allan Gartner has a tremendous amount of material well documented for DCC.  Please let us know how it turns out!

Charles
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grumpy

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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 01:22:52 AM »

Treno
If you are using a reverse loop purchase a Digitrax AR1  . It doesn't matter if it is DC or DCC it will work in both cases . From EXperience.
Don
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 10:35:08 AM »

According to digitrax, it's DCC only. Here's why according to them.
It is a common misconception that the AR1 will work with an analog controlled ("DC") locomotive; it will not. The AR1 is meant to be used only in a DCC environment. This is because the AR1 coordinates the electrical phase of the reversing segment with that of the mainline segment. Because DCC is a square wave AC power, track polarity is not an issue as it is with DC powered railroads.
Well. Who's right?
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grumpy

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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 01:35:24 AM »

There was no direction in the package when I purchased it and so I tried it and it seemed to work . I now have it installed on my DCC section and it is great .
Don
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 07:14:10 AM »

Their site was not very specific about it until I found the above.
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grumpy

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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 01:46:39 AM »

I was running a DCC loco on the DC circuit. That may make a difference ?
Don
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 12:28:05 PM »

Dear All,

An educated guess if you'll bear with me....

Yes, a DCC reversing module may work with DC but only under these four (4) specific conditions:

1.) The main line is the "block" or "power district" that is "reversed" or "flopped" by the output of the reverse module.  The DC power pack directly feeds the reverse loop track and the input of the reverse module. 

2.) A DC train approaching the reverse loop turnout must take only one direction: the direction that causes the rails to match the loop's (unchanging) polarity, that of the power pack. 

(I will leave it as a mental exercise to figure out what would happen if the wrong turnout direction were taken.)

Taking the correct turnout direction, the train crosses over the first pair of insulating rail joiners (without event) and proceeds around the loop.

When the front wheels cross over the second pair of insulating rail joiners, they short to the mismatched polarity of the main line power district, causing the reverse module to "flop" and switch the mainline to the other polarity.

3.) The speed of the train (voltage of the power pack) must be high enough to allow the reverse module electronics to operate properly.

4.) The short curcuit "impulse" (=extremely small time) current of the power pack (probably related to the speed of the train) must be high enough to be detected as a short by the reverse module, allowing its output to flop to the other polarity.

You may wake up now. 

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik       
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 01:48:04 PM »

Good explaination Joe, and all those "musts" are good reasons NOT to use an auto reverser with DC.

There are lots of better ways to handle reverse loops on DC powered layouts - wiring books for model trains are full of the various choices.

Sheldon
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treno


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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 08:20:11 PM »

Sorry for the delay in responding. Out of town.  I have pretty much have a loop back on to itself.  I was told to pick up Backmann Auto Reversing Track, to no avail. Should I get a insulated gap track instead or will this even help? Treno
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 10:00:20 PM »

If you are running DCC an auto reverser will help. If your running regular DC or analog, you need a DPDT switch to reverse the current to the section before the reverse loop which may be the rest of the layout, depending on the track arrangement. Not a problem with the right equipment
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