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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning People

I'm after a bit of advice regarding power and control for a new layout we are building. In basic terms the layout is a large oval with a 14 road fiddle yard, 7 allocated to each of the up and down mainlines on the front, there will also be a bit of a yard and stuff on the front but i believe the details can be ignored for the purpose of this question. DCC will be used but initially points and accessories will use traditional non DCC control and seperate power.

The main controller for the layout will be an ecos but we also have available a digitrax superchief and zephyr and a couple of dynamis sets.

With regard to control the current plan is to use the superchief through the ecos sniffer to allow use of the associated hand throttles and when the dynamis pro module becomes available hook it up with ecos link to give further hand throttles.

With regard to power the plan is to have three power districts of approximately 4A each, the front being one and the two 7 road fiddle yards also being one each. This should be enough to cover the loco power requirements we foresee in any district at any one time. Currently i intend to purchase an 8A esu 50011 ecosbooster and split it through some sort of distribution switch to provide 4A to each of the fiddle yard districts and use the internal 4A booster of the ecos to power the front. Alternatively i could use two ESU 50010 4A boosters, which may be slightly cheaper as no switch would be required.

I guess i'm after advice on whether this setup will work or is there a better way of doing it ? we'd also like to have some flexibility so that the layout can still be operated effectively should any one of the dcc controllers fail or not be available for some reason.

All suggestions and advice gratefully accepted.

Kind Regards

Mark
 

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Sounds good to me. I'm not yet convinced about powering accessories, point motors etc from the track volts and the disparity in feed back mechanisms from those accessories is a real draw back for me.

I'd go with two 4 amp boosters rather than split the 8 amp. There will be less risk of a "fry up" if something goes wrong. I suspect the 8 amp booster is targeted at larger scales such as Gauge 1 or G (LGB size).

David (ECoS owner)
 

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QUOTE (markw @ 1 Mar 2008, 20:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Morning People

I'm after a bit of advice regarding power and control for a new layout we are building.
<Snip>
All suggestions and advice gratefully accepted. Kind Regards

Mark

***Hello Mark

ECOS is a great unit but I presume it'll be the "main brain & fiddle yard controller only" leaving the handset on the super chief for train driving on the running lines - I comment on this as for a large layout the static nature of ECOS is sometimes a frustration. Are you sure DYNAMIS will marry to ECOSlink? This is not yet properly confirmed AFAIK.

Sniffer port links have some small limitations so I think I would limit cross-brand use to minimise potential hassles... If you already have it then perhaps Digitrax + Ecos or even better ECOS + mobile control as the most efficient operational setup.

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

Back to your question.

Basic: don't use the 8 amp - use 2x smaller boosters.

Overall power wise its not a big task in DCC terms.... average loco = 150mA at train operating levels and average sound loco is 200~250Ma depending on decoder brand. Average lit carriage is <75mA. Even on the busyest large oval more than 20 active and moving trains at once in one single area of the layout is a really remote possibility

I think that absolute worst case in real terms the main operating system power plus one 4mp booster will be more than enough unles you have lots of high current loco's and an excess of lit carriages.... 2 boosters will be a little overkill but if that makes the operators feel more secure and the budget is there then no problem.

Most important things are:
(1) VERY good quality power supplies - one for each booster. (2) ALL power supplies really should be the same so the output from boosters is the same. (3) put all accessories on thir own BUS& booster. This is the only really good reason to buy the third booster really. (4) is to divide the layout into areas for troubleshooting and to localise shut down inder short circuit conditions.

Choosing Breakers:
Use high quality electronic DCC circuit breakers. Choose them carefully as ECOS is very sensitive and may shut down ahead of your breaker if the right one is not chosen. The OG-CB (made by DCCspecialties in USA) is a good choice usually. Reconfirm from your supplier that they will DEFINATELY be OK with ECOS.

Equally if you intend lots of lit carriages and sound, then choose one with good recovery under load as the "static load" of lit carriages and several sound loco's can look like a partial short to an over-sensitive breaker or booster making re-starting a pain.

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

If its for exhibition then I'd break it down as follows (as an example only). The idea is to localise shorts to one area and keep trains running...

Alternative #1
(layout mainly for exhibition use)

All Up line fiddle tracks section 1
All Down line Fiddle tracks Section 2
Up line including turnouts on fiddle yard thru line section 3
Down line including turnouts on fiddle yard thru line section 4
Station area section 5
engine facility if present section 6
any shuntable goods yard if present section 7

(if its not for exhibition when keeping things running is important, then instead of up and down line, you could make section 3 and 4 east and west of station area as it is easier for troubleshooting)

Alternative #2:
(layout mainly for club and private use)

Make each separate layout board which includes any turnouts a separate section for short circuit protection. (no need to separate main line only boards really)

Regards

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 2 Mar 2008, 04:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are you sure DYNAMIS will marry to ECOSlink? This is not yet properly confirmed AFAIK.

Sniffer port links have some small limitations so I think I would limit cross-brand use to minimise potential hassles... If you already have it then perhaps Digitrax + Ecos or even better ECOS + mobile control as the most efficient operational setup.

Hi Richard

I Spoke to a guy at Bachmann that told me that the dynamis pro module would include an EcosLink port so i've based stuff on that information.

We do already have the digitrax and indeed the throttles from that will be the primary driving throttles, hopefully we'll supplement that with dynamis handsets as secondary throtlles. Ideally i would love to use just ESU but the budget isn't there at the moment so The ecos will indeed sit in the background being the brains and in the short term not being used an awful lot. Longer term it will be used for route control and possibly shuttling and also an amount of automation through RR&Co but that's all a way down the line just yet.

Thank's for all your other comments, at first glance they all make perfect sense but i need to digest them in a little more detail and may well come back with a few questions.

Kind Regards

Mark
 
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