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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I'm very new to model railways and it's my first time posting here. Over lockdown I invested in a Fleischmann DCC starter set and acquired additional track with the intention of expanding the standard loop setup.

Given available space, I'm now looking to go with a shunting/switching layout below, but my question is where I place my track feeders, how many and what do I need to be mindful of when it comes to short circuits.

Proposed Layout:
Slope Electricity Parallel Rectangle Overhead power line


Sorry if I'm asking in the wrong place, but would appreciate the help of those more experienced than I.
 

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The best way to do it is to have bus wires from the controller going round underneath the layout with thinner short wires dropped to them from every individual piece of track. However, you may be able to get away with connections at the end of every siding.

I'm not familiar with Fleischmann points so I don't know whether they need any alteration for best practice. Does the Fleischmann controller have short circuit protection? It ought to say so in the instructions.

Good luck with the project and I hope that you get as much pleasure from the hobby as I have had over many years.
 

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And welcome to this forum, and you are asking in the right place.

There is a good HO contingent on this site, and someone along them is likely to advise on any Fleischmann specific aspects. Typically the German manufacturers have everything 'well sorted' out of the box, so it is unlikely there is anything to worry about. It's more a matter of picking up the little wrinkles and tips to get the best from the kit you own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for taking the time to come back to me. It's running of the Z21 Start which does have short circuit cut out.

I think that going the bus route might be a bit beyond me at this point so will try the siding option.

The points themseves have a small metal clip in them at the frog which I'll try and show you below:

Wood Font Wind instrument Road surface Metal


Regarding the insulation, would this be left in or removed. Also, where on this would you insulate? Are you able to mark them on the plan above? Don't worry if too much trouble!

I've tested the layout with just 1 feeder and the loco is able to navigate a few of the points without too much trouble. Would hope this improves further once the track is fixed in place and well cleaned.

I'm assuming one feeder in the middle of the layout won't be sufficient?

Thanks again
 

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Ok so you are running Z21 which means everything has to be live as nothing will move until it gets a signal from the Z21 box.
The best way of doing these is place feeds at the point noses, (the single track end) and then the feeds should feed either of the split directions above is ok but second track down move the feed to the right of the right point, third short track should not be needed fourth down not needed except where the green one goes right of the siding and the fifth track down feed not needed - ish. Everthing should be live, you do not need isolators you need the whole system live, from this I suppose your points are not insulated? as someone says above we need to know this to give a correct answer.
You do not need isolated track joiners as your locos do not moved unless set on your ipad/tablet.
Now my layout with about 125 points are all mixed, some electros and some not but if a track is in use the point switching makes it live so this is mainly the shunting yards but you have gone for headshunts which is a waste of track and points as these will have to be kept clear so the train can be moved back and forth.
Personally I would come off at the bend to the right of the cross over then work from there (get more for the buck that way.
 

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Let me clarify my previous answer. When I said "at the ends of the sidings" that was just for simplicity. Anywhere along the siding past the last point (turnout) involved will do just as well. Your red marks seem to be in the right positions although you need two more on the top left sidings.

Electrofrog points have metal rails joining in the middle with no plastic involved. In this case you need insulated track joiners on the two rails. The lower blue marks are in the right places but not the top one. You need insulated track joiners on the two rails which join on every one of your points. If I've counted correctly you have seven points so 14 insulted joiners.

If there is any plastic where the rails join on a point then it is an insulfrog ones and doesn't need insulated track joiners. I can't see your picture clearly enough to see which type it is.
 

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Oh just to be specific, never mix non dcc locos with dcc - ever, ever EVER!, ensure on Z21 all have a chip suitable for the loco, give each loco a specific number on the PROG function and on a seperate prog track otherwise everything will also prog the same, all DCC chips come as No3 and you can either give then a short number - up to 128 - or a long 4 digist one this is best, Z21 makes this easy, you go to the prog section once the loco is entered into that section, add in the number you want - say 2025 then on prog put this number in and press prog, it should hiccup a bit then come back as that number but this is also split, it will tell you the split number say 218 and 165 but ignore this as long as the main box shows 2025 in this case you are good to go.
 

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Hi there Millipro, welcome to the forum.

When I saw you had Fleischmann and Z21, I went looking for more information on the Fleischmann website and found this instruction sheet for a point - https://www.fleischmann.de/doc/an/2/de/BA_9170_201432.pdf. Despite what it says at the top, there is some English a few pages down. Look for 'current conducting frog'. This suggests that as shipped, your points will always feed power through the other side regardless of the point setting, which is exactly what you want for DCC.

I went looking for the instruction sheet because I have a small HO scale layout with Roco 'embedded' track and a Z21. Fleischmann were bought by the owners of Roco a few years ago and they have been rationalising the product lines. For example Fleischmann is now 'n' only and the digital control system is now Z21.

On the Roco embedded track, the lines through points are always live so I only need 2 wires to feed the whole layout, regardless of how the points are set. This picture shows the track plan:



The track feed is in the diagonal track just above the BR 363 shunter. Because the points do not switch the power, all tracks are live. If the points did not feed the power, virtually nothing would work because that diagonal is about the most isolated piece of track on the layout!

My cunning plan will fail if the rail joiners stop making good contact but for now it's all good and so much less complicated than my OO scale loft layout where every rail has a soldered connection.

With power switched points, which my reading of the Fleischmann leaflet says you've got, I think you're good to go with just two wires and no additional isolation.

David
 
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As above if they are all modern points then just one place for the feeder wires will suffice. I have a whole circuit, Station area and sidings using current Trix-C track (not the stud contact type Trix) and have just one feed to a convenient place near the DCC controller, works perfectly.
 
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