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> Fiddle yard switches and control panel wiring tips/advice
eddscott
post 11 Nov 2009, 10:48
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I'm at the stage of wiring the control panel for my fiddle yard.

This is how my fiddle yard looks with the numbers corresponding to the switch number - Those numbers that appear twice indicate where one switch operates both points (8 should appear twice not 9 I made a mistake!) and those numbers that are linked to opposing points show where one switch will operate both points.



Can anyone see how the switches can be streamlined? I've tried and can't see any way of reducing the number of switches.


Also, I haven't wired a control panel before. I've seen some people use D connectors to link the panel to the layout circuitry. I have alarm cable with 6 small wires inside (3 for the switch, 3 for the 2 colour LED) and was planning to wire the alarm cable directly from the MS CDUs to the switches on the panel. Is there any way I can reduce the amount of wires by using common negative wires?

The Panel that I've mounted the MS to will have a -ve and +ve bus wire at the bottom which the power wires from each MS will be soldered to and the power supply bus wire for all the MS will tap into those bus wires (so I can disconnet whole sections if faults occur)

Many thanks


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John Webb
post 11 Nov 2009, 11:30
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Your best bet is a 'Diode Matrix', I would think. You then have a single push-button switch on each line - when pressed the CDU output passes through diodes to the appropriate coils of the point motors to switch just the points you need.

I'm not clear from your diagram exactly what are the entrance/exit roads to your fiddle yard, so I can't give a specific example.

You may find the alarm cable is too lightweight for point operation - point coils take several amps very briefly - if the cable is too light the voltage drop along the cable, even with a CDU, may be enough to prevent the point operating properly. Best bet is to try the cable out on the point furthest from the control panel and see if it works OK.

If you do connect things up with a common negative wire, then this needs to be at least 0.5 square mm cross-sectional area; I actually use 1 square mm cable on my relatively small layout - this ensures that if several points or other accessories are operated at the same time the voltage drop along the common wire is kept small.

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John Webb
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Brian
post 11 Nov 2009, 12:10
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Hi Edd,
I have always used either Stid & Probe or minimum 5Amp rated push buttons for all the route setting yard panels I have built.
All have used a diode matrix and one heavy duty CDU feeding the lot. Fed by a 24 volt ac transformer.
I can't comment on MS units as I have never used them nor really seen any need to, but I do know people who do use them are happy with there perfomance.
I use point motor operated change over switches - PL13 or PL15 if frog switching is also to be used.
As John has said the 6 core alarm wire is on the light duty side for point motors. I assume it has 6 flexible core wires inside? As if they are solid conductors it is phone wire, which isnt any use at all for points.
However, if it is 6 flexible wires inside then I feel it may still possibly be used! Consider using four of the wires doubled up into two pairs. These then become one point motors Normal and Reverse operation feeds. The other two wires can be used to bring back the indication Normal and Reverse states to the panel. You would need to run a separate (ideally 12 volt) dc positive feed around the layouts yard area and tap off this feed to provide the point switches with a positive supply which would connect onto the common tag of the change-over point switch. The 12 volt negative remains in the panel to provide the LEDs return connection. In addition a common return wire of at least 1.0mm should be run around the layouts yard area to proved a return path for all the point motors. This connects back to the panel mounted CDUs negative output terminal. The positive CDUs output terminal connecting to the probe or the first of the push buttons and on to all other PBs.

CDU construction and Diode Matrix planning are all shown on my web site, if its any help?
Diode Matrix CDUs

Sub D connectors are ideal for panel to layout connections. Though I would avoid the 15 way three row version as they are quite hard to solder the wires onto! Typically 25 way sub D connectors are used and simply reverse any two adjacent ones so as they are male and female connectors, then is impossible to accidental plug the wrong cable into the wrong connector. smile.gif


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eddscott
post 11 Nov 2009, 13:17
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Thanks for the replies chaps. As far as I know, the switch side of the MS is low amps so the alarm cable, I believe, should be OK. The wiring from the MS output to the motors is much thicker (I forget what buts its more that required)

At the points with the numbers 12 and 6, they are the entrance up and exit down lines and 1 and 6 at the top are exit up and entrance down.

Brian - I'll have a good read of your site after work - much to take in!!

Many thanks.


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Richard Johnson
post 11 Nov 2009, 16:10
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*** Brian, John, that is actually not good advice as you did not read the original post....

Edd is using MASTERswitch and there is no place in the wiring for a CDU and no need for one! Each has its own power supply need and power amplification.

All the switching and LED wiring is low level. There is no need for any Peco switches as MS has all switching that could possibly be needed onboard (4x SPDT connections + already ballasted common + LED connections).

The alarm wire is perfect for MS switching and LEDS - very tidy with the right number of wires already colour coded and more than heavy enough for switch communication and LEDs.

The power wires are a totally separate set of connections between Power supply and MS, MS and point motor. There is no place for the sort of arrangement you are suggesting as switching and point motor powerering are totally separated. Yes - THAT wire should be heavy.

There is no need for common wires for LEDS - not only does each MS have its own LED supply already in place but it is common + NOT common - as you mention.

You can wire two together just by parrallel connection of the switching terminals. You can use a diode matrix if you want but it has to be simply a set of diodes which set up a continuity path - there should be no active power to the switching terminals.

I don't see a need to reduce switches apart from common loop ends... the prototype would not do it, and its not many anyway!

Richard

regards

Richard


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eddscott
post 11 Nov 2009, 16:58
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I think the confusion stems from me calling the MS a CDU in my first post.

Many thanks smile.gif


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ebaykal
post 11 Nov 2009, 17:17
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As Richard rightfully puts, the MS has been very helpful to my humble layout. 26 turnouts all coupled with Peco motors along with route indication with LEDS on my control panel and not mentioning the control of 9 semaphores all done as simple as it gets as in the below pictures:

Proceed


Stop


All powered by 2 Fleischmanns analog controllers.

Erkut





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Brian
post 12 Nov 2009, 12:50
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Hi
Yes sorry, I missed the part that Edd said he had already obtained the MS switches! ohmy.gif
Richard, while I appreciate these are your products and you of course want to promote them, they are not the only means of operating a model railways solenoid point motor, nor do they provide any real indication of whether or not the motor has actually moved. Hence my detailed initial reply of using PL13/PL15 switches etc.
There have been many times in the past, especially at exhibitions, where I have seen remote points lose their PL13/15 fed indication because the point motor hasn't moved over fully. Leading the operator to either re operate the point to regain the indication or actually go to the far end and look to see what has (or hasn't) happened. The MS unit will provide an indication regardless of the actual point motor moving!

Incidentally, the real railways do of course use route selection via only two panel buttons (ok not via a diode matrix but via route setting relays or SSI etc but the fundamental idea is the same). Any BR NX panel will use just one 'entrance' button and one 'exit' button to call a specific route, often moving many sets of points over to their required position on the ground. So reduced operating switches or studs etc on the model panel in conjunction with a diode matrix is very prototypical on the route section side! But actually reducing the number of switches or studs wasn't the issue. Its was being able to operate one or two buttons or touching a couple of studs etc to call a route through several points, which is exactly what was asked about.

Hope you see now where I was coming from? unsure.gif



QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 11 Nov 2009, 16:10) *
*** Brian, John, that is actually not good advice as you did not read the original post....

Edd is using MASTERswitch and there is no place in the wiring for a CDU and no need for one! Each has its own power supply need and power amplification.

All the switching and LED wiring is low level. There is no need for any Peco switches as MS has all switching that could possibly be needed onboard (4x SPDT connections + already ballasted common + LED connections).

The alarm wire is perfect for MS switching and LEDS - very tidy with the right number of wires already colour coded and more than heavy enough for switch communication and LEDs.

The power wires are a totally separate set of connections between Power supply and MS, MS and point motor. There is no place for the sort of arrangement you are suggesting as switching and point motor powerering are totally separated. Yes - THAT wire should be heavy.

There is no need for common wires for LEDS - not only does each MS have its own LED supply already in place but it is common + NOT common - as you mention.

You can wire two together just by parrallel connection of the switching terminals. You can use a diode matrix if you want but it has to be simply a set of diodes which set up a continuity path - there should be no active power to the switching terminals.

I don't see a need to reduce switches apart from common loop ends... the prototype would not do it, and its not many anyway!

Richard

regards

Richard


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Chinahand
post 12 Nov 2009, 14:56
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Hi Edd,

I am also using Richards Masterswitches to control the points on my layout and to provide LED indication of when points are close or open. I am also using the 6 core alarm wire with 6 pin chassis plugs and sockets (Maplins) to connect the points to my control panel and so far, touch wood, everything seems to be fine. I am attaching a copy of my wiring diagram plus a couple of shots of my control panel to show how it goes together







I'm using DPDT switches for most of the points but the push-buttons are needed to control crossings. Hence the mix.

Hope this helps




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Richard Johnson
post 12 Nov 2009, 15:16
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Hi Brian

Its wasn't an issue of promotion at all - simply that the advice was contrary to the subjects needs, and if followed could have created damage in fact. I have a very open mind to types of control.

I always smile when I see "I have seen" type comments. Yes, it can happen but its very rare, and equally often the switch on the point can change when the point itself has a bit of balalst between stock rail and closure rail.

No matter how it happens, when it does, its almost never noticed by the average user on the average layout until the train has already derailed - no matter how the leds are wired.

I'd rate the placing of those switches as an emotional need not a real issue at all.... and its outweighed by the quite negative effect they have on point reliability for the many that use them with imperfect installation.

regards

Richard


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Brian
post 12 Nov 2009, 16:46
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Richard
I'm finding your replies becoming most offensive!
Your comments like "I always Smile" and picking up my words of "I have seen" are virtually at the point of say I'm lying!

I answered the OP question with what I considered, at the time of writing the reply, to be advice on how to route set points by using a diode matrix and stand alone CDU. I also answered the question on multipin plugs.
I suggested the 6 core cable could probably be used even with conventional point operation.

What I missed and later apologised for, was that the OP was using MS units.

The above has been rewritten from text I intended to post, but decided for forum etiquette, not to do so!


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Richard Johnson
post 12 Nov 2009, 17:25
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*** Brian, no they are not. I apologise if you interpreted it in a way that was not intended - However do please read what I actually said not what you think I said. I have never and will never attempt to give offense like that, especially to someone who I respect. I simply say things as I see them, no more, no less, and I don't write in shades of grey.

The simple fact is that I do often smile at such things - not because they are true or untrue but because yes, I do see and hear them every day in one way or another in many MRR areas, both on forums and face to face at club meets and during business hours.

Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't - it depends on the subject and the circumstances.

Generally those things that raise an eyebrow are issues which have a solution that is 100% technically correct but in application, fail to validate the theory or give value for the added cost or effort most of the time. The hobby is full of such issues. They are a cause of much frustration to man modellers.

The simple truth in this case is that peco point switches do work fine if the overall install is perfect but often create more problems than they solve when it is not. Because peco point motors are quite violent when used with a CDR, its inevitable that they will eventually go out of alignment. A good idea imperfectly executed.

Correcting such issues is one of my prime motivations in developing items - I'd not have bothered with MS at all if the peco point motor system wasn't initially flawed, but it has many small issues that needn't be there given better design.

For example using simple methods the Peco throw is actually destructively violent. MS throw is every bit as strong as a CDU but its energy is controlled in such a way that it doesn't create the abrupt thump that creates damage. putting the switching on the device removes the need to add an imprecise mechanical load to the point improving reliability again - etc etc.

Anyway, none of this Helps Edd. so I'll leave it there.

As always, kind regards

Richard





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Anthony James
post 15 Nov 2009, 00:18
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I have a twin main line that will be computer operated and a small yard with 9 points that I want to operate manually using DPDT switches bye coloured led's and tortoise or tillig point motors, why would I need a Master switch? I thought that they all just connected together without using a decoder? am I missing something? I am using ROCO powered points and a LENZ system.
Anthony J


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Manfred Ebinger
post 15 Nov 2009, 01:01
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Hi Anthony
If you are using a tortoise or other motor driven device to change your points you won't need the 'masterswitch' as it is designed to be used with solenoid type point motors.


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Anthony James
post 15 Nov 2009, 06:40
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Thank you Manfred, I didn't think I needed one, good to know though.

Regards

Anthony


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