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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good evening,

New to the forum. Just purchased a train set for my daughter (age 6came from Santa). I’m pretty clueless with all this!

I’ve decided to make a set with a plywood 8x4 (6mm).

i have attached some photographs (please excuse the mess). I want to run as an Analogue system what will be the best way to run a couple of trains?

thanks
Rich
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8' x 4', two loops of track - that's how I started ...

With analogue you need:
  • One controller per independently controlled train.
  • Each circuit electrically isolated.
  • The track connections the same for each circuit.
  • No 'reverse' loops.

The layout in your photo can have up to three controllers.
  • One for the inside loop.
  • One for the outer loop.
  • One for the long siding down the outside edge.

The points will isolate the circuits from each other so long as the direction set keeps the train on its designated circuit.
For example if the three points on the inner loop are set to 'straight', the train will go round and round and no power from that controller will go into the outer tracks.

The placement of the points determines the best place for a power connector. Place the connector so that the power is feeding into the single end of a point. That way both exits can have power. The exit which gets the power is selected by the way the point is set.
For the inner loop I would place the power connector between the two points on the side opposite the station platform. From there the power can flow into the single end of all three points in the loop.

For the outer loop I would place it on the large curve at the 'dartboard' end. There is one point which won't always get power but as it's a crossover onto the inner loop, the loco can get power from there.

When you set the points to cross from one circuit to another, the rails of the two circuits will be connected together. This is why you must make the same connections for each controller. For example, you could decide that the left hand wire of each controller goes to the outer rail on each circuit and the right hand wire to the inner rail. This will avoid short circuits.

To cross the trains from one circuit to another
  • Turn the controllers off
  • Set the points
  • Choose one controller to drive the train from one circuit to the other
  • Reset the points.
  • Resume train running.

And finally ...
'reverse' loops. This describes a situation where the left and right rails are connected. For an electric train set this creates a short circuit and doesn't work. If you were tempted to connect the top right corner of the layout to the bottom left using a diagonal track, the left and right rails would become connected. It's not the easiest thing to describe.. and you haven't done it ... yet ;)

Hope this helps

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your comprehensive reply.
Could it be run by just using one controller? And accepting the train on the inner most track behaves with the main section (outer loops)?
 

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The only things you need to avoid are
  • Short circuits where the two outputs from the controller are directly connected.
  • Overloading the controller / transformer with too many locos.

When I returned to model railways in the mid 2000s partly lured by the 'freedom' offered by DCC, I measured the current consumption of the models then available and found most were 100mA or lower. This was in contrast the 500mA plus of the models of my youth where you definitely only ran one loco per controller.

The power brick which comes with your controller will probably say 'so and so mA' at 12v DC. So anything over 250mA will probably be ok with two locos but monitor how hot it gets.

With enough power available you can run two trains at once. They will not necessarily run at the same speed as that will depend on whether the gearing of the locos is the same. There may also be some small differences due to the resistance of the motors.

David
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The only things you need to avoid are
  • Short circuits where the two outputs from the controller are directly connected.
  • Overloading the controller / transformer with too many locos.

When I returned to model railways in the mid 2000s partly lured by the 'freedom' offered by DCC, I measured the current consumption of the models then available and found most were 100mA or lower. This was in contrast the 500mA plus of the models of my youth where you definitely only ran one loco per controller.

The power brick which comes with your controller will probably say 'so and so mA' at 12v DC. So anything over 250mA will probably be ok with two locos but monitor how hot it gets.

With enough power available you can run two trains at once. They will not necessarily run at the same speed as that will depend on whether the gearing of the locos is the same. There may also be some small differences due to the resistance of the motors.

David
Hi David,

thanks again for you input, I took your earlier advice I decided to make it three power lines. I managed to buy a second hand Gaugemaster Model DF twin controller (for loops 1&2) and I will use the OEM Hornby controller (for long siding).
I’ve also made a few mods to the final layout with track mods in the fiddle yard part - as per attached photos.
I need to get some wood lengths to brace the plywood as it has so nice flex action going on whilst sat on the pool table beneath.
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Enjoy!

David
 
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