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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After many years of planning I have arrived at the track laying and feel I need some help .I believe I am quite accomplished at the scenic side of the hobby but nothing puts the fear of God in me more than the electrics.
I have decided to go DCC and understand the benefits of this and fitting decoders into locos ( Mainly by reading this super Forum) My need is advice on wiring the layout i.e. points ,buses,etc. I have chosen peco Code75 live frogs ( I hope I have made the right choice).
Are there any books available which would have clear easy to understand diagrams detailing all aspects of wiring for DCC for a beginner.
I hope one of you "Expert" can help me ?
 

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It's quite simple wiring for DCC
Make sure the circuit is continuous, with NO breaks
Place insulating joiners on the frogs of the electrofrog points

I have compared using a BUS and without using a BUS, and can see no difference
I have a main power source from the control unit into each baseboard which is then distributed to each track (four in all, giving a total of eight per baseboard)

I do plan to add these details to my model railway website later this year, as this forms part two of the construction (upgrading from Controller DCC to Computer Control)
 

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QUOTE (Chirkwood @ 7 Feb 2007, 06:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>After many years of planning I have arrived at the track laying and feel I need some help .I believe I am quite accomplished at the scenic side of the hobby but nothing puts the fear of God in me more than the electrics.
I have decided to go DCC and understand the benefits of this and fitting decoders into locos ( Mainly by reading this super Forum) My need is advice on wiring the layout i.e. points ,buses,etc. I have chosen peco Code75 live frogs ( I hope I have made the right choice).
Are there any books available which would have clear easy to understand diagrams detailing all aspects of wiring for DCC for a beginner.
I hope one of you "Expert" can help me ?

This article covers wiring code 75 turnouts: http://mrol.gppsoftware.com/livefrogwiring.asp

The use of a bus is good practice in DC and DCC as it means you don't have to rely on fishplates as carriers of current. On a large layout, fishplates can cause significant voltage drops in the ares remote from the controller.

My advice would be to always use a bus unless you building a 4x8 trainset.

Graham Plowman
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks very much for your advice- very helpful especially Brian's link.
One last question Which Peco points motor is more suited to using with DCC -The standard type PL-10 or PL-10W for low amperage applications ?
 

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If you are using DCC accessory decoders you MUST use the PL-10W
However, if you are continuing to use a handheld controller you may find it cheaper and more practical to use a visual control panel and DC wiring
If you intend to upgrade to computer control in the future then you can either install PL-10W in readiness, or do what I am doing and using PL-10 / PL-10E and a relay controller
 

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QUOTE (M8 INTERNET @ 8 Feb 2007, 17:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The DC supplied from the DCC accessory decoder isn't enough to operate the PL-10 Peco Point Motors
Refer to the Manuals
Good advice, I had thought you might have known the answer yourself though. I had actually read the manuals prior to asking the question. They say nothing about using low power point motors which was why i asked the question, but what they do say is not to use DC power. Here's a quote from the Lenz manual.

QUOTE Warning: AC voltage must be used to supply power to
the LS150. Do not use a DC supply as this can damage
the LS150.
Where does DC come into it?
 

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The output from most DCC accessory decoders is DC, the source is AC
I have performed some tests on my Lenz setup (Lenz Set 100, with BT DECT, LS150, and all three types of PECO point motors)

The PL-10 point motors are hit and miss when used directly with the LS150
I found that putting a relay inbetween improved performance and reliability
Sadly, the PL-10E is not available with an extended pin, so I am using the above method to operate the point motors
 

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The output from a Lenz LS150 is AC - and in theory suitable for solenoids.

If you want to use motor driven popint motors - like a Tortoise - you need to convert the output supply to DC - the easy way is a doide wired in each side of the output, facing opposite ways (half an old fashioned diode rectifier)
 

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QUOTE (M8 INTERNET @ 7 Feb 2007, 21:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you are using DCC accessory decoders you MUST use the PL-10W
Nonsense. All you must do is choose an accessory decoder type which CAN provide the current. There is no 'must' about it, it's all down to choosing suitably rated components.

QUOTE The output from a Lenz LS150 is AC - and in theory suitable for solenoids.
Does this mean it uses a triac in its output stage? Otherwise I can't see any reason why a DC power source could not be used. Most accessory decoder designs I have seen use FETs or bipolar transistors for the output drive, with the decoder processor performing the timing. I find it hard to believe that a design would be produced today that relied on the zero-crossing switch off characteristic of a triac to terminate a drive pulse.
 

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I agree there is no "must" about it. However if you already have, as I do, Lenz LS100/Ls110/LS150 units and have found that PL-10 are unreliable. I asked Mackays who said use PL-10W. I switched and have had no further problems.

I do not know the technicalities but believe it is because continental units do not deliver the same punch as ours. I guess that it is a concern if using continental DC; again I do not know.
 

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QUOTE (Gordon H @ 9 Feb 2007, 22:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does this mean it uses a triac in its output stage? Otherwise I can't see any reason why a DC power source could not be used. Most accessory decoder designs I have seen use FETs or bipolar transistors for the output drive, with the decoder processor performing the timing. I find it hard to believe that a design would be produced today that relied on the zero-crossing switch off characteristic of a triac to terminate a drive pulse.

That was my thought as well. I'd like to know out of curiosity :^)
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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You might be able to explain why we are limited to what we can and can't use with this decoder.

I too have found the standard point motors are hit and miss when using the LS150.

I would like to try the lower power peco ones but they dont have the extended pin.

It would work out expensive to fit that 'MASTERswitch to each output, and then not only would you need the AC power supply to power the LS150, but also a DC power supply to operate the point!!

Using a different type of decoder(SMD82) now which has a built in CDU and the difference is amazing, just takes a while between each output firing as it's waiting to 'charge' the capacitor.

Ian
 

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Yes, as surmised by Gordon H those are indeed triacs :^)

Do Seep point motors use less power?

My thought behind using the masterswitch is that you can use one output to drive two point motors at crossovers which would save you an output on the decoder but you're right about the power requirement (allthough there are cheap ways around that) and it wouldn't solve the hit and miss on the other outputs unless you had a masterswitch on each one.

I guess the conclusion here is that the LS150 isn't very good VFM. It might be cheap off the shelf but you need more expensive point motors (unless the seeps work better) or some other assistance (like relays or Masterswitches) to get them working.

How did the cost compare for the SMD82 on a per-output basis?
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Hi Rob,

Doesn't really matter which point motor is used all seem to be hit or miss.

They all work perfect with that SMD82 though, just goes to show that a CDU is the best bet!

It works out at about £5 per point using the LS150 and £8 per point using the SMD82.

Not really worth the effort may just as well spend the extra £3 per point and use the SMD82, it's a very sophisticated decoder, and if you have a system that can't do routes then you can prgram this decoder to do them for you!!
Just takes about 1 sec between each point firing for the capacitor to recharge.

Highly recommended

Ian

P.S.

Another point, the SMD82 decoder just connects to the track 'power-bus' so no need for another power supply!!
 
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