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Hi all,

I have a layout which is basically 2 loops, although it looks a little more complex. Both loops are electrically separate, and I use switches when crossing from one loop to another. My father-in-law, bless 'im, dropped over and was casting an all knowing eye over my work. He then asked me, if I was using Peco insulfrog points, which are self isolating, and I am, why was I using isolating joiners and switches. Why couldn't i simply use the isolating feature in Peco points, and metal joiners. Then when I wanted to move from one loop to the next, I just had to ensure one controller was OFF.

I couldn't answer him.

Is there a reason I cant do this? Have I been creating a lot of unnecessary work for myself? Your thoughts are appreciated.

Shane
 

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QUOTE (ozcyclops @ 16 Jul 2008, 11:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi all,

I have a layout which is basically 2 loops, although it looks a little more complex. Both loops are electrically separate, and I use switches when crossing from one loop to another. My father-in-law, bless 'im, dropped over and was casting an all knowing eye over my work. He then asked me, if I was using Peco insulfrog points, which are self isolating, and I am, why was I using isolating joiners and switches. Why couldn't i simply use the isolating feature in Peco points, and metal joiners. Then when I wanted to move from one loop to the next, I just had to ensure one controller was OFF.

I couldn't answer him.

Is there a reason I cant do this? Have I been creating a lot of unnecessary work for myself? Your thoughts are appreciated.

Shane

*** In theory he is correct however the primary purpose of insulated frogs is to simplify turnout wiring not create sectionalisation for multi train control.

If you left out the isolation then in that case "off" would have to mean off, or conflicts could occur as the outputs of the two controllers would then effectively be to the same bit of track. The result could be death of one controller or the other as then you have two outputs and possibly two reversing switches conflicting.

Personally I would break the layout into convenient isolated sections for operation (ie loop 1, loop 2, engine facility, station area) and have each supplied via a DPDT switch so that either controller can control any part of the layout you choose. Its not clear from your post but you may already be doing this.

ie - each section wired as follows via the DPDT switch....

left terminals connect to controller 1
centre/common terminals to track
right terminals to connect to controller 2

Of course the best option would be to go to DCC, then one set of power bus connections can be common for the whole layout and there would be no conflicts at all....

regards

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I use points for isolating sections, but it is not fool proof, and occasionally I have to switch a seemingly unrelated point to avoid accidents! Because they are not strictly designed for isolation, there is the possibility odd contact is made between lines which could cause an issue, but you can do it.
 
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