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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a first layout using Plan No SP48 in The Railway Modeller Book of Plans - 60 Plans for Small Locations (August 2007 7th impression) and wiring fpr DCC control.

The plan is for DC control and includes three rail breaks. I have not been able to establish the need for these when using DCC. Can anyone advise me on this please? Should I include the breaks or can I safely omit them? The plan also shows two isolators which I think can be omitted.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Mike Pendleton
 

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Hi Mike and welcome to the MRF.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with that particular plan but rail breaks do need to occur, even on DCC. in some particular situations. If you have a reverse loop or a 'Y' configuration somewhere then breaks are essential to prevent a short circuit. It is also considered good practice to create a rail break at the open end of points.

Perhaps if you could give us a bit more information about that particular plan, maybe even a drawing, I'm sure someone will be along with advice which is specific to your situation.

Enjoy your modelling.
 

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*** Mike, as Expat says there are circumstances where gaps are needed due to special case trackage such as reversing loops. As to "isolated sections" or breaks between running loops, they MAY be required for some kinds of pointwork configuration but not for isolating or stopping trains etc as with DC.

Whilst is simple gaps for isolation they are probably not required operationally, its still good practice to have some form of section isolation ability or gapping anyway, as if you have a layout problem, being able to break the layout into isolated sections (ie yard, station, main line, loco facility) will allow you to turn off various parts to identify where the problem actually is - otherwise its a"whole layout" guessing game.

Rather than worry about it, build it as if it was DC wired, and then feed each section with power.

Use good quality wire (not too light) and feed power at a few points around the layout.

regards

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Trevor and Richard

Many thanks for this very helpful and rapid response. The plan is for a fiddle yard leading to a branch line terminus with several sidings. There are no reverse loops but two of the breaks do occur next to points. The other is at the end of the station. I'll build it as you say - per the plan. I had not thought of the fault identification point.

Much obliged

Mike
 

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Gaps can be used later to split up your layout into sections or districts each with it's own booster. This will prevent the whole layout shutting down when a short occurs in one district. Only that district will shut down.

Gaps can also be used for feedback. If you detect a train in a gapped area, you can display where it is on a control panel or PC interface. I actually put isolating gaps between every piece of flex-track. I run feeders down from each track piece to the main DCC BUS. One day I may set up feedback, but for now the DCC BUS supplies the current and DCC signal to all parts of the layout.
 

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QUOTE I actually put isolating gaps between every piece of flex-track. I run feeders down from each track piece to the main DCC BUS. One day I may set up feedback, but for now the DCC BUS supplies the current and DCC signal to all parts of the layout.

I do the same. The first application will be for track occupancy detectors which will operate by sensing the DCC current in the wires.

David
 
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