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Author Topic: Wiring switch tracks  (Read 2603 times)
buchanan25

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« on: January 14, 2009, 02:04:08 AM »

I know this may sound dumb but I am wiring an indoor G scale Christmas layout for set up each year. I am not sure how to wire the 2 switch tracks so it does not short. I have insulated rail joiners and I thought I knew how to do it but I guess I am doing it wrong. I know this is simple for many but I am new at it and wondered if anyone had some wisdom for me.  Thanks!!
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 02:19:35 AM »

Dear B.,

I'm guessing that you have a single main line with turn-around loops at each end. 

If that is the case, you need 4 insulated gaps per loop, or 8 total. 

Your train can not be longer than the loop track between the insulators on the shortest loop.

When they are in place, let us know, and we'll walk you through the wiring.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik 

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buchanan25

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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 03:47:03 AM »

Joe,

You are correct.  I have 1 main line with 2 loops on either end.  I have the 8 insulators in place. They are large loops and the train is way shorter than each loop.

Steve
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 02:06:54 PM »

Dear B.,

Hey, good job so far.  Understanding the isolation and having it in place is 75% of the project.   

Regular DC power pack or DCC control?

How much "hands on" do you want?  Spring loaded turnouts with unpowered frogs would make operations much simpler. 

Adding DCC control and a DCC reverser would make it a hands off operation (once set running).

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.
buchanan25

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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 05:15:44 PM »

Well this set up will just be a display at Christmas in our living room.  A little larger scale display, granted, but a display nonetheless. It will be elevated off the floor to keep the dog away and I am adding a couple of bridges, buildings and a minor amount of scenery.  I hope to turn it on and let it run.  I agree with you that spring loaded turnouts would be the ticket. If they were not spring loaded wouldn't that let the trains path alternate? I mean when the train passed the turnout it would switch the points to the direction the train is coming from and then on the return trip the train would take the opposite path around the loop. 

I don't mind being mostly hands off.  I hope to get a layout going that would be my hobby to play and enjoy, more hands on. That will be later. I will most likely use a single DC power pack.  I can't get to crazy or my wife will freak.

Steve
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 03:18:47 AM »

Dear Steve,

The simplest means of wiring/running it for DC is spring loaded turnouts (with unpowered frogs) and 1 DPDT electrical switch.  You would manually flip the DPDT twice a lap.  (Build and operation instructions below.)

The wiring gets more complicated for manual choice of loop direction. 
More complicated detectors, wiring and relays would be needed for "hands off" DC operation with choice of loop direction.

Spring load the turnouts to take the counter-clockwise direction around both loops.  (Loco should always take the right turn to enter the loop.)

Connect the power pack up to the track and DPDT switch as follows:

Power pack outputs = PP+, PP-

West Loop Inside Rail = WLIR
West Loop Outside Rail = WLOR

East Loop Inside Rail = ELIR
East Loop Outside Rail = ELOR

Main North Rail = N
Main South Rail = S

Back of DPDT Switch pins 1 thru 6:

1 2
3 4
5 6

Wire as follows:
PP+ to 1 to 6 to WLIR to ELIR
PP- to 2 to 5 to WLOR to ELOR
3 to N
4 to S

Make sure there are no terminals shorting to each other on the back of the DPDT switch. 

Mount the DPDT switch on your panel so the "flip" action is left to right. 

Place your engine on west loop in the counter-clockwise direction. 
Turn up the power pack just enough to see which direction it will go, then off.    We want it in the forward direction.
If it goes backwards, change the direction switch on the power pack (ONLY). 

Next, place your engine on the main facing east.  Toggle the DPDT to the right (east).
Turn up the power pack just enough to see which direction it will go, then off.  We want it in the forward direction.  If it is, we're ready to go. 

If it is not, do one (and only one) of the following choices:
a.)  Rotate the DPDT on the panel 180 degrees.
b.)  Swap the wires feeding N and S (Main Rails).

You should now be ready to run. 

The DPDT switch should be moved in the direction the engine is going to go on the main line next. 
You may flip the switch after the caboose clears the first set of insulators in the turn-around loop.
You must flip the switch before the engine hits the second set of insulators in the turn-around loop.

Hope this helps.

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.
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 10:40:38 AM »

Steve,

You could put a safety "Duh" light in the system.

Replace the PP+ wiring line above with the following 2 lines:

PP+ to 1156 automotive tail lamp tip

1156 lamp outer case to 1 to 6 to WLIR to ELIR

Label the lamp on your panel "You forgot to flip the switch !"

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.
buchanan25

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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 07:24:39 PM »

Cool.  Thanks Joe.  I will work with this a bit. My only concern is having to throw the switch each time. If I want it to just run it may have to be more automated. I think you asked me this early on. If I want it to be hands off  I have to purchase a DCC unit and DCC reverser as you said.  Any words of wisdom or can you point me to what you think would best fit this situation.  I just don't want to dump a ton of money into this as I will only mess with it around the holidays.   Sorry to change directions a bit!!!

Thanks,
Steve
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 09:22:09 AM »

Dear Steve,

We recently had an HO discussion of running a DCC reversing module on straight DC.  I thought it might be able to work, but only in certain conditions.

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,7495.0.html

(Scroll down.)

You would still have to buy the reversing module, though.

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.
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