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Hi All,

This evening i wired in a digitrax AR1 reversing module to a long electrofrog code 83 Peco crossing on my layout ....... testing the loco into the crossing at point A it came to a halt and shut down the display on the powercab .... moved the loco back and the display came back and i had control of the loco in reverse ...... after the crossing it picks up i tried it a few more times and the same thing happened i tried a final time and it sailed through no problems forward and reverse.
On the other side of the crossing the loco ran fine first time (point
left to right as in the diagram ......... does the Digtrax module need adjustment as in the manual .... as mention is made if the booster is shut down ... in my case the powercab ? the current is set too high.

 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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It will need a tweak to ensure that the AR-1 shut off current and duration is aligned with the Command Station to ensure the AR-1 does its job before the command stationsees the short circuit. Often it will be the timing set in the command station. leave it as is and adjust the timing in the AR-1.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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Sorry, don't seem to have edit after a certain time. I re-read the AR1 manual I have and it is clear from the trip current setting that the current is the determining factor and not time as I incorrectly mentioned as this is how the auto reverse function on thePM42 works and NOT the AR1. Sorry for the confusion.

Recap. Upnick you are correct. You need to adjust down the current trip setting of the AR1 by turning the trim, pot on the AR1 board. If you go too far it will trip too often and will need to be adjusted up. I would check what the trip current of your command station is set to aswell though as you don't want to have that set too low either otherwise the AR1 will not get a chance to do its job.
 

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Just another modeller
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***The problem with the AR1 is that it is, like the original Lenz autoreverser and the MRC one, not very good. It is a slow relay based system and as I have often mentioned, not a reliable product for many purposes.

Next time, you should buy a fully electronic reverser - they are faster and more reliable - and the same sort of price!

Also.... next time you use an electrofroog diamond, instead of a reverser, its better to wire the changeover to be controlled by the point that controls entry to the diamond, then the polarity will be aligned correctly before the train gets to it. MASTERswitch PLUS can do this for you very easily at less than half the cost of a reverser.

Richard
 

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Hi
There are several ways of feeding an Electrofrog diamond on DCC
Three of the basic methods are shown on my web site. One uses two point operated switches, another two manual toggle switches and a third shows a Reverse Loop Module.
Of all, I prefer the point operated method as is cheap and uses the actual points to switch the frog of the diamond and no worries then about any external switching operations!
The three are shown here Electrofrog diamond on DCC
 

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Hi Lancs/Richard/Brian,

Many thanks for your replies i will try the adjustment on the reverser though i do have a master switch V2 would this be suitable Richard ? a better option the crossing is not ballasted and can be lifted if needs be to alter any wiring using the masterswitch ..... i would prefer to utilise the masterswitch to be honest and hadnt thought of using it ..... being electronially challenged could you draw up a wiring diagram for me please if i can use the V2.

Also whats the best way to find the trip point on the powercab please ?
 

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I have used an AR1 on a long crossing without any problems but I am fully Digitrax anyway. I have heard that auto reversers can cause problems with some command stations but the AR1 is the only one that has adjustable cut off AFAIK. As such, it is the best available.

Although Richard's suggestion is OK it does require thought as to the point position for any approaching train unless interlocking is used whereas a successful auto reverser will do the job automatically.

Both arrangements can result in collisions on the crossover.
 

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This is my drawing for wiring an Electrofrog crossing. It shows single pole double throw switches for wiring the frogs. Where you source these switches is up to you. I use the points which direct the track over the crossing.



David
 

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Just another modeller
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***Nick, Yes, but the MS Plus is a better unit for the job.

If U want to use MS V2, you can use the spare toggle switch contacts - the approach point and the diamond can share them with the point as the polarities should match.

If MASTERswitch PLUS is used, apart from spare spst contacts on the switch and dedicated led control ouputs, it also has 4 separate spdt switches onboard so if collision avoidance on the diamond is wanted, it can simultaneously change frog polarities AND also cut power to/activate isolating sections on all the other tracks to prevent collision ....and at the same time still handle full signalling / panel LEDs to show right of way.... all for 1/2 the cost of a reverser which only changes polarity.

David W - Re the AR1 having adjustment, the lenz also has adjustment, but all the relay based reversers are slow to act by a factor of 100 compared to electronics, and the contacts will eventually fail as they are switching under a full track load every time. That makes them problemmatic compared to the faster and more reliable electronic reversers.

The slowness of relay based reversers also has another unseen but real problem. They trip based on a short and being slow, the short has time to propagate a large back EMF pulse which is in effect a voltage spike at nearly 3 times track voltage. Not good for decoders, and visible as a very slight hesitation of the loco in many cases. The electronic reversers act before this pulse peaks, minimising it, so there is NO negative effect.

Re switching of diamonds via related turnouts, there is no need for added interlocking - its already done as changing the point changes the diamond too. Re "thought for point position" the diamond cannot be used unless its related point is switched! The related point is the one that controls access to the diamond.

This has been the standard method of control for hand made diamonds for a generation... well before DCC ever existed, and it still works well

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 3 Mar 2009, 09:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***The problem with the AR1 is that it is, like the original Lenz autoreverser and the MRC one, not very good. It is a slow relay based system and as I have often mentioned, not a reliable product for many purposes.

Next time, you should buy a fully electronic reverser - they are faster and more reliable - and the same sort of price!

Also.... next time you use an electrofroog diamond, instead of a reverser, its better to wire the changeover to be controlled by the point that controls entry to the diamond, then the polarity will be aligned correctly before the train gets to it. MASTERswitch PLUS can do this for you very easily at less than half the cost of a reverser.

Richard

Hi!

I agree completely! The AR1 is not very good. I just could not get it to stop tripping when one of my locos entered the reverse loop, while it was fine with all the others! I never found out why, but the loco's power consumption was normal. I finally settled for a PSRev from Tonys Train Exchange, and that did the trick! It actually hurts me to admit this, because I have a Digitrax Zephyr system and many of their loco decoders and two stationary decoders and all are fine.

Best Wishes,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi All,

Many thanks for your input on the subject of the auto reverser unit .... this evening i have decided to take out the crossing and run the two lines into it to the left and upper lines as my plan on Novahill ..... thus preventing the risk of any collisions on the crossing and providing a point for a double grade crossing.
 
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