Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

> DCC forum sponsored by:

5 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Beginner questions on DCC point control
oitoitoi
post 1 Jan 2009, 00:29
Post #1


Ticket Collector
**

Group: Members
Posts: 45
Joined: 7-December 08
From: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Member No.: 4,365



Hi guys I'm currently constructing my first layout and am looking to use DCC. I reckon I understand how to wire the DCC bus but I'm pretty much at a loss when it comes to wiring the point motors. I'll be using seep point motors (PM1 or PM2, I'm not sure which I need?) with 26 hornby points and a yet unknown number of signals. I understand that I'll need to fit electroclips to the points and that the motors shouldn't be fed from the DCC bus. I'll be using the NCE powercab. Should I use an alternate power source? I'm also really keen on creating a visual panel (like with DC control) where I can see which way each point is thrown (LED's), toggle switch control would be nice but not necessary, eventually I'll move to computer control but that will have to wait a bit. I had a look at the Lenz LS150 point module that can support 6 point motors, it looks pretty good value for money, any thoughts on this? Also the Hornby point decoder looked fairly cheap (cheap is good in my case!). I saw the master switch recommended on another post, what exactly does it do?

Basically I need a step by step how-to guide and a list of the components I need to get, what I lack in understanding I try to make up for in enthusiasm and ambition! Cheers!

p.s. I really want to use an electric track cleaner, can they be used with DCC? Also if someone could recommend one that would be great!
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Richard Johnson
post 1 Jan 2009, 04:48
Post #2


Minister of Transport
Group Icon


Group: Plus+
Posts: 8,535
Joined: 19-May 06
From: Perth, Australia
Member No.: 703



**** Simple answers:

(1) Yes, you MUST use a separate power supply. You will need a supply caable of delivering enough power for the point motors. If you power them directly from switches it will can be either DC or AC, if yu power via the LS150 it must be AC which is what the LS150 needs.

(2) Wiring the points themselves for DCC control is simple - left/right/common of point motor connect to left/right/common terminals on the LS150 etc...

(3) You must use heavy-ish wire. 32/.2 is good for point motors. Any less and you will definately have voltage drop and the LS150 will have trouble with changing them.

(4) If you want a visual panel then you will need another item between LS150 and Point motor, that is MASTERswitch. MASTERswitch will add extra throwing power to the LS150 to improve reliability and will give you the ability to have panel lights / signal control via points as well etc... Look for EXPAT's thread on using these (he may aso post and show you with luck). Note that Expat is not using DCC control with them - If you want to use it with a DCC decoder then you should say so when you order and you will be provided with the DCC installation kit to go with it. E Mail me off list if you need more detail)

(5) You cannot use an electronic track cleaner with DCC.

Regards

Richard


--------------------

Direct honest advice from DCC & Modelling experts
Ph +61 8 9437 2470 or
sales@dccconcepts.com
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Chinahand
post 1 Jan 2009, 12:45
Post #3


Railways Czar
Group Icon



Group: Plus+
Posts: 4,702
Joined: 26-January 08
From: Daventry, UK
Member No.: 2,410



Hi oitoitoi. A Happy New Year to you and welcome to the MRF.

Following on from Richard's reply I thought you might find the attached wiring diagram useful.

As Richard says you need one power supply for the DCC Bus which is fed from your controller plus a separate power supply for the point motors (I use a 16v Gaugemaster transformer).

My wiring sizes are 32/0.2mm for the DCC Bus and 16/0.2mm for the 16v Point Motor Bus with 7/0.2mm droppers to the Masterswitches.

The Masterswitches, DPDT switches and bi-colour LEDs are all available from Richard at DCC Concepts.




I have also shown the electrical modifications which it is necessary to make to the points themselves. Assuming you are using Peco track and points be sure to buy Electrofrog points NOT Insulfrog.

I thought you might also like to see the Control panel I have built using the above wiring diagram.



If you want to see more photos of the panel have a look in my Workbench Album or look for my Chipping and Much Binding thread.

If you need more info. please feel free to ask away.




--------------------
Regards,
Trevor



See my
Market Havering Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+
oitoitoi
post 1 Jan 2009, 14:47
Post #4


Ticket Collector
**

Group: Members
Posts: 45
Joined: 7-December 08
From: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Member No.: 4,365



Hi guys, thanks for all the help and hope you're having a Happy New Year! That control panel's fantastic.

I'm using Hornby Insulfrog points with electroclips (I already had the points from before so didn't want to get all new peco ones), will I still be able to use the master switch? If so how many seep point motors will I be able to connect to one (I'm really trying to save the pennies), If I connect more than one pair will I still be able to use the LED's for each point?

I'm modelling my station (loosely) on Newcastle Central Station (pretty much all of the points will be on this board), it's a junction as well a through station, do I need to isolate part of it?

Here's a link to the track plan:

Newcastle Central Station

Also I wanted to include a hidden holding section on the mainline (using bitswitches for partial automation), it is ok to have a holding section on an incline? Bear in mind this is for passenger trains with 6-8 coaches.
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Chinahand
post 1 Jan 2009, 19:15
Post #5


Railways Czar
Group Icon



Group: Plus+
Posts: 4,702
Joined: 26-January 08
From: Daventry, UK
Member No.: 2,410



Hi again.

I realise it may seem like money wasted but I would urge you to seriously reconsider using those insulfrog points. The problem with them is the quite large area of the frog which is plastic and therefore carries no current. Unless your locos are able to pick up power from both before and after the frog you will be plagued by locos continually stalling on the points. Maybe you could use the Hornby ones just in the hidden holding loops.

As regards the Masterswitches there are 2 types. Masterswitch V2 and Masterswitch Plus. Both types will operate 2 sets of points simultaneously but if, as seems likely from your track plan, you are using a mixture of double slips, single slips and scissor crossings, you will need 2 of the MS Pluses to control the 4 Seep motors attached to each of them. I'm sure Richard will be along shortly to extoll their uses and virtues so I will not steal his thunder by going into too much detail.

Looking at your layout design I would also suggest you get hold of a model railway track design programme as it is all too easy to under-estimate the space each turnout takes up and end up with over-tight curves at both ends in an attempt to get a quart into a pint pot. You don't say how much space you have available but I would estimate that you are going to need a space at least 20 to 25 ft (6.5 to 8 metres) long to get all of that in.

My personal maxim is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN before actually DOING anything, Even to the point of building a scale replica of the model - (See my "Model of the Model" album.) I work on the basis that, only when I am 100% sure that what I am planning will actually work do I start construction. I can't stress it too much that the more planning you do the less nasty surprises will come hurtling out of the woodwork at you.

Cheers for now.


--------------------
Regards,
Trevor



See my
Market Havering Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+
oitoitoi
post 1 Jan 2009, 23:21
Post #6


Ticket Collector
**

Group: Members
Posts: 45
Joined: 7-December 08
From: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Member No.: 4,365



Hey,

I'm really REALLY reluctant to change points basically due to the cost (I got a really good deal on the hornby points, 10 for 45 brand new [twice!]), I was in the understanding that if you added hornby electroclips to the points it would de-insulate them and they'd be fine for DCC? I figure they shouldn't be too tricky to conceal with a bit of weathering.

Actually there are no double/single slips etc. on this layout, I considered using them but I'd read they're tricky to wire properly and didn't really think I needed them. I've actually designed it (that image was a screenshot edited with paint) using XtrkCAD, it fits in a 15ft wide space (it was designed with that as a parameter) and the station board is just over 4ft deep.

There are also no small S-bends because I've used crossings to lengthen the points (I love crossings), there was one s-bend but I've used express points there to reduce derailment. The very smallest curves are hornby 2nd radius but there are few of those, most are bigger than 3rd radius. The curved nature of the station allows for fairly long platforms (I want 8 coach passenger trains to be standard) and some interesting modelling oppoprtunities. Knowing nothing about real railways I've no idea where to put the signal box(es?) or what signals to even use (it's an LNER steam era layout).

Any thoughts on holding loops on an incline?
Go to the top of the page
 
+
dwb
post 1 Jan 2009, 23:26
Post #7


Station cat
Group Icon



Group: Moderators
Posts: 8,319
Joined: 17-January 06
From: Central southern England
Member No.: 507



QUOTE
Any thoughts on holding loops on an incline?


With good couplings I don't see why not but depending on how steep the inclines are, you might have trouble restarting an 8 coach train without a lot of wheel slip. My loco drive Hornby A4 starts to slip as the sixth coach reaches the start of a 1:48 incline when run at slow speed. Admittedly the incline is on a three foot radius curve, but you get the general idea.

David


--------------------
New Blog entry - 30th August - "Slovenian Railway Action" - link
Want to post pictures in your posts but don't know how? Instructions can be found in this topic
Almost all the photos I post can be found in my albums. There are 900+ at present. Click the Gallery button to the left of this post.
Go to the top of the page
 
+
oitoitoi
post 1 Jan 2009, 23:45
Post #8


Ticket Collector
**

Group: Members
Posts: 45
Joined: 7-December 08
From: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Member No.: 4,365



There would be 4 locos using them and they'd all have 5-pole motors (if that helps??), I think the incline would be 1:45 so a bit steep...
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Chinahand
post 2 Jan 2009, 07:00
Post #9


Railways Czar
Group Icon



Group: Plus+
Posts: 4,702
Joined: 26-January 08
From: Daventry, UK
Member No.: 2,410



Hi again.

I'm not conversant with the Hornby points + clips but accept that, having bought them, you don't want to waste them. Also not sure if it is possible to do the same frog isolation as I have shown for Peco points. Perhaps someone else can advise on this.

Glad to hear that you have, inded, used a CAD package to design the layout, but can you really get an 8 coach + loco train into the platforms ? It will be almost 10ft long and if your overall width is 15ft that only leaves 2 ft at either end.


--------------------
Regards,
Trevor



See my
Market Havering Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Edwin
post 2 Jan 2009, 08:33
Post #10


Station Master
******

Group: Members
Posts: 1,630
Joined: 11-January 06
Member No.: 492



If your train is able to climb the inclines then it will also be able to stand still on them without rolling back, provided of course your couplings don't break away.

Newcastle was re-signalled with colour lights quite early - I think it was post-war but no doubt somebody with more knowledge will be along soon. It used "searchlight" signals where the same lens could show red, yellow or green, and there were lots of signals at very close spacings. This was not replaced until the late 80s so there should be lots of photos around. Before that I'd guess large numbers of lower quadrant semaphore signals of types that you will need to build yourself!
Go to the top of the page
 
+
dwb
post 2 Jan 2009, 09:42
Post #11


Station cat
Group Icon



Group: Moderators
Posts: 8,319
Joined: 17-January 06
From: Central southern England
Member No.: 507



QUOTE
There would be 4 locos using them and they'd all have 5-pole motors (if that helps??), I think the incline would be 1:45 so a bit steep...

I would do a few tests to see if the trains you plan to hold in the loops were able to restart ok before committing to your plan. There's no point in doing something that will eventually drive you mad and detract from your enjoyment.

David


--------------------
New Blog entry - 30th August - "Slovenian Railway Action" - link
Want to post pictures in your posts but don't know how? Instructions can be found in this topic
Almost all the photos I post can be found in my albums. There are 900+ at present. Click the Gallery button to the left of this post.
Go to the top of the page
 
+
oitoitoi
post 2 Jan 2009, 13:27
Post #12


Ticket Collector
**

Group: Members
Posts: 45
Joined: 7-December 08
From: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Member No.: 4,365



QUOTE (Expat @ 2 Jan 2009, 07:00) *
Glad to hear that you have, inded, used a CAD package to design the layout, but can you really get an 8 coach + loco train into the platforms ? It will be almost 10ft long and if your overall width is 15ft that only leaves 2 ft at either end.


Well the curved platforms give me 2 advantages;
- i can fit longer platforms in the same space,
- at the end of the platforms I only have to turn through about 45 degrees rather than 90 which also allows me longer platforms

With the gresley corridor coaches (r448..) I'm using I had the train length just shy of 8ft, the shortest platform is just over 8 foot. Are there different LNER coaches available that are longer that I should be using to portray the flying scotsman route (later I will add the silver jubilee and coronation trains)? I have some coaches with an intercity set that I got years ago which are considerably longer, I just figured modern era coaches are longer, have I made a huge mistake?

According to xtrkcad I'll have 3-3 1/2 ft either side depending on the platform. I actually have 16 ft rather than 15ft to play with but I gave myself the parameter of 15ft to make sure it would fit and to give myself some leeway.

QUOTE (dwb @ 2 Jan 2009, 09:42) *
I would do a few tests to see if the trains you plan to hold in the loops were able to restart ok before committing to your plan. There's no point in doing something that will eventually drive you mad and detract from your enjoyment.


I certainly will do, I'm a little way off that just yet though. I've worked out a way to use a bit more space in that area of the loft and I reckon I could get that gradient down to 1:50 or even 1:55 which should help.

Bearing in mind I would need to buy 13 masterswitches just for the station board is it worth it? I have a computer available, would it be better to use computer control with a program such as panelpro?
Go to the top of the page
 
+
dwb
post 2 Jan 2009, 14:30
Post #13


Station cat
Group Icon



Group: Moderators
Posts: 8,319
Joined: 17-January 06
From: Central southern England
Member No.: 507



QUOTE
Bearing in mind I would need to buy 13 masterswitches just for the station board is it worth it? I have a computer available, would it be better to use computer control with a program such as panelpro?


I don't think you can beat the convenience of just walking up and flicking the switch. The alternative is to power up the computer, start the program, scroll to the right part of the screen, get the mouse onto the point you want.....

that's not to say you shouldn't go for computer control later of course.

David


--------------------
New Blog entry - 30th August - "Slovenian Railway Action" - link
Want to post pictures in your posts but don't know how? Instructions can be found in this topic
Almost all the photos I post can be found in my albums. There are 900+ at present. Click the Gallery button to the left of this post.
Go to the top of the page
 
+
RFS
post 2 Jan 2009, 19:02
Post #14


Station Master
******

Group: Members
Posts: 1,148
Joined: 28-April 07
From: Derbyshire, UK
Member No.: 1,748



Using DCC to change points is not for everyone: it's a bit of a faff to change from a hand-held controller (select function, select point number (you need to know them all), then plus/minus to change). It can be useful if you like to go walkabout as you can change points as well as control locos from the same controller. It can also be useful when wiring up/diagnosing faults etc. as you can take the controller underneath the baseboard, for example.

But the main advantage of using DCC for accessories in when you use a computer. This gives you a visual display of how the points are set, and you can change with a simple mouse click. You can also set up routes which change not only points but also signals. I have a large layout (64 points to date) and now wouldn't be without the PC. I don't have a control panel - just a screen and a mouse. I dread to think how much wiring up would be needed for conventional control. Masterswitches also need a lot of wiring too. I use Lenz control equipment (set 100) plus LS150s for the point motors. These have their own power supply (a single Lenz TR100 for them all - OK as long as you only change one point at a time) and their own command bus so that I can still change points even though the track bus has a short ciruit (eg operator error, such as driving a loco towards a set of points set against it). I used a PSX-1 circuit breaker from DCC supplies for the track bus, but connect the accessory bus directly to the command station. Software is Traincontroller 5.8.

The LS150 also allows you to set up push buttons for the points - eg you could have a loco shed or goods yard you want to be close to, so you could have a mini control panel locally for this. Changing the points this way, or via the handheld, will be picked up by the PC and its track plan updated accordingly.

I use Peco PL10 point motors throughout. All points are Electrofrog - modified as described earlier in this thread - with PL13 switches on top for the the frog polarity. The LS150s give 3 amps AC power to the motors and I don't have a problem with them sticking: I find a quick squirt of WD-40 is all that's needed if a motor becomes stiff. No point is more than 2-3 ft from its LS150.

There is a problem with Insulfrog points as you can get momentary short circuits when wheels either touch the blades on the other side or both rails on the frog. It can happen on the curved road especially with long-wheelbase locos. Not a problem normally with DC, but DCC controllers are very sensitive to short circuits and can cut the power when this happens. The PSX can help here as it will automatically reset after 1 second but really electrofrog points, suitably modified, are the best solution.

See also Wiring for DCC here - http://www.wiringfordcc.com/


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+
Chinahand
post 2 Jan 2009, 20:03
Post #15


Railways Czar
Group Icon



Group: Plus+
Posts: 4,702
Joined: 26-January 08
From: Daventry, UK
Member No.: 2,410



Hi RFS and welcome to the MRF.

While I would agree with most of your comments there are a couple of points with which I must disagree.

Firstly

QUOTE (RFS @ 2 Jan 2009, 23:02) *
Masterswitches also need a lot of wiring too.


If you use 6 core alarm wire it is just a single run of wire to each Masterswitch.

Secondly

QUOTE
I don't have a problem with them sticking: I find a quick squirt of WD-40 is all that's needed if a motor becomes stiff.


Please, please please throw that WD40 away. WD40 IS NOT A LUBRICANT. It is a water-repellant solvent which has electrically conductive properties. It evaporates and leaves behind a residue which will, eventually, gunge up your point motors. If it gets anywhere near your locos it will kill them. It is far better to use a good quality, very light machine oil such as is used for fishing reels or, better still, a silicon grease.


--------------------
Regards,
Trevor



See my
Market Havering Blog
Go to the top of the page
 
+

5 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS    Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 2nd September 2014 - 09:06