Im so confused DCC new modeler

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DaveBowman

New Member
Im over 50 and my mother sent me my old HO Scale system, with Covid I have decided to build a rail road in DCC but I am so confused. Looking for some guidance. I think I have figured out what I need and how to wire, but have a couple questions and looking for validation if this would work.

I believe I need to double gap after each switch, and I believe I have 2 auto reversing sections (Blue and Green) not sure if the Red unit is needed or not since the cross overs are DCC onboard. The Zephyr controller will control the section North of this section which is pretty straight forward but my main run is a double loop with some cross overs. I thought for expansion reasons and simplification I should have block detector so I purchased one, probably over kill but gives me the ability to grow and possibly automate some switching in the future, most of the units are DigiTrax and will be locoNeted together. I do have an NCE controller for the turnouts that will be connected to pushbutton control box and LocoNet.

1597262036255.png
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Yes ! The only reverse loop you have is in the blue wye. A wye is visually to many not a reverse loop, but it is a polarity reverse loop just the same..
If you are going to power it via an auto-reverser such as a HexFrogJuicer then no need here to give you a how-to...IF you wish to operate it manually with a simple SPST toggle I will explain it....
But I ask: What does the track look like which would continue north of the drawing coming from the top leg of the wye ?? And what do you need block detection for if you can see the entire thing ? Or, will most of it be submerged in a tunnel ?
Finally: You don't need the red and green reversers. And, all you needed was an NCE throttle (PowerCab) which is also capable throwing powered switches and signals...IE. Trains, switches, signals, all controlled from the palm of your hand...🛤☀
 
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Selector

Well-Known Member
I saw it immediately. If you follow all that is NOT BLUE, you can see it's just a double tracked loop with two appendages as lower left. However, the blue is a 'turning wye' configuration, and at the one of the three apexes you will have a conflict in "phase" (not in polarity, that's DC talk).

When you follow with two fingers along a turning wye, you'll find a conflict, but it depends on at which of the three apexes you enter the wye. It matters. But a wye only needs one side of it gapped and reversed, whether with a DPDT toggle switch or with an auto reverser. You can:

a. gap and reverse the tail, or the longest segment if that helps to get your trains through; or
b. gap and reverse one of the two remaining 'sides' of the wye.

Wait, there's more. If you go the DCC Specialties website and read the instructions for the PSX series of reversers, they point out that you don't technically need a gapped and reversible length of track sufficiently long to encompass the entire train....or you don't have to only run trains into that gapped length of track that fit between the two gaps. You can both stagger gaps, AND you can double them, separated by about the length of the longest truck in the consist. IOW, you make TWO gaps in each rail, but any one truck picking up power for lighting in a passenger car, for example, must be fully contained at the wheelbase between the two gaps. This makes for a longer 'dead' section of track, unfortunately, but it works for larger engines, most/all diesels except small switchers, and passenger cars with lighting.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Wait, there's more. If you go the DCC Specialties website and read the instructions for the PSX series of reversers, they point out that you don't technically need a gapped and reversible length of track sufficiently long to encompass the entire train....or you don't have to only run trains into that gapped length of track that fit between the two gaps. You can both stagger gaps, AND you can double them, separated by about the length of the longest truck in the consist. IOW, you make TWO gaps in each rail, but any one truck picking up power for lighting in a passenger car, for example, must be fully contained at the wheelbase between the two gaps. This makes for a longer 'dead' section of track, unfortunately, but it works for larger engines, most/all diesels except small switchers, and passenger cars with lighting.
Many DCC sites tell the reader that the gapped section must be as long as the longest train. Not true as Selector pointed out above, but don't make the mistake I did by keeping the gapped too short so now I can't run a consist through this section.

Greg
 

DaveBowman

New Member
Yes ! The only reverse loop you have is in the blue wye. A wye is visually to many not a reverse loop, but it is a polarity reverse loop just the same..
If you are going to power it via an auto-reverser such as a HexFrogJuicer then no need here to give you a how-to...IF you wish to operate it manually with a simple SPST toggle I will explain it....
But I ask: What does the track look like which would continue north of the drawing coming from the top leg of the wye ?? And what do you need block detection for if you can see the entire thing ? Or, will most of it be submerged in a tunnel ?
Finally: You don't need the red and green reversers. And, all you needed was an NCE throttle (PowerCab) which is also capable throwing powered switches and signals...IE. Trains, switches, signals, all controlled from the palm of your hand...🛤☀
Im building it on a wood/foam base im using peco track with Peco pl-11side mount motors runnig to an NCE control block for manual control and wired to loco net back to the zephyr command module. I figured in the future I may automate some of the switching and thought it would be best to break out the districts now. North of the Y goes into a yard but that is pretty simple setup a couple of turn outs and some crossovers. I have 2 tunnels on the lower right corner but everything else is above and visible. Its easy to see 5x8 so I dont have a walk around Power Cab just the Zephyr I may expand to a walk around but also have the WIFI connecter so I should be able to control via phone too (I have not got that far along yet) Thank you for all your help
 

DaveBowman

New Member
I saw it immediately. If you follow all that is NOT BLUE, you can see it's just a double tracked loop with two appendages as lower left. However, the blue is a 'turning wye' configuration, and at the one of the three apexes you will have a conflict in "phase" (not in polarity, that's DC talk).

When you follow with two fingers along a turning wye, you'll find a conflict, but it depends on at which of the three apexes you enter the wye. It matters. But a wye only needs one side of it gapped and reversed, whether with a DPDT toggle switch or with an auto reverser. You can:

a. gap and reverse the tail, or the longest segment if that helps to get your trains through; or
b. gap and reverse one of the two remaining 'sides' of the wye.

Wait, there's more. If you go the DCC Specialties website and read the instructions for the PSX series of reversers, they point out that you don't technically need a gapped and reversible length of track sufficiently long to encompass the entire train....or you don't have to only run trains into that gapped length of track that fit between the two gaps. You can both stagger gaps, AND you can double them, separated by about the length of the longest truck in the consist. IOW, you make TWO gaps in each rail, but any one truck picking up power for lighting in a passenger car, for example, must be fully contained at the wheelbase between the two gaps. This makes for a longer 'dead' section of track, unfortunately, but it works for larger engines, most/all diesels except small switchers, and passenger cars with lighting.
Thank you, I had not thought about the long train or lighted cars I will take a look at the DCC Specialties site
 

DaveBowman

New Member
So if I choose not to build in the districts the only double gap I need is on the WYE? I would not need any on the Grey cut over? or Where the Black and Orange connect?
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
I don't have the proper software to do this function, but it maybe helpful to Dave, if someone could do a clean track plan with the correct gaps shown.

Just a thought.

Greg
 
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M

MHinLA

Guest
My final input: This is a very very simple MRR..I think you're making it too complex for yourself... You have 1 wye which is treated same as a loop far as polarity (or 'phasing' as some like to label it)...This whole jobby could be run with one DCC throttle and manual ground throws (or powered and thrown via throttle's category for such) for switches... Also, standing in one place running it is potentially going to catch up to you and make you regret that decision..Today's walk around control via daisy-chained plug-in panels or radio control makes it all so simple.
Lastly: If the bench isn't free standing you'll have a murderous time reaching across 5' or more to do anything such as rescue a stalled/derailed train, do scenic work et al... So, if, IF I am right and not too late, a track plan like this would make a great shelf/around the walls layout... 🛤🏜
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Yeah, you're over-thinking/complicating this very simple little layout.

With the exception of the wye at top left, everything is parallel, there are no reversing tracks, and the entire layout except for the wye can be run as a single block. No need to pairs of double gaps all over the place unless you want to break it into sections for power management and troubleshooting (if you have a short circuit being able to turn off parts of the layout until the short goes away helps to narrow down problem areas).

The block detector you don't need at all unless you plan to use it for a signalling/control system. The blocks you've laid out do not really make any sense for pretty much any system of signalling. This does get VERY complicated much faster.

I'm not sure what's "north" of your wye as the diagram kinda cuts out there... does it go anywhere or is it just a "tail" track for turning equipment? If so, just double gap both tracks just "south" of the "north" switch on the wye and turn the tail into the reversing section.
 

DaveBowman

New Member
My final input: This is a very very simple MRR..I think you're making it too complex for yourself... You have 1 wye which is treated same as a loop far as polarity (or 'phasing' as some like to label it)...This whole jobby could be run with one DCC throttle and manual ground throws (or powered and thrown via throttle's category for such) for switches... Also, standing in one place running it is potentially going to catch up to you and make you regret that decision..Today's walk around control via daisy-chained plug-in panels or radio control makes it all so simple.
Lastly: If the bench isn't free standing you'll have a murderous time reaching across 5' or more to do anything such as rescue a stalled/derailed train, do scenic work et al... So, if, IF I am right and not too late, a track plan like this would make a great shelf/around the walls layout... 🛤🏜
I made the original mistake of making it 8x12 and cut it down, my room is square but I don't have the ability to streach it around the room so it grew and shrunk to this, the table is built with wiring set under it so Im a bit stuck to this plan, plus the parts not shown have a slot car track imbedded to the plan. I do have the plug in for wifi so I can control from my phone as a walk around. I do have room around the lay out (although slim) to get to all sides (not all that comfortable and I probably cant gain weight :) ) but its doable for building the scenery. My thought was to move it to the wall once mostly complete. You guys have been a lot of help!!! I have spent too much time talking to people in the area and getting over technical direction! I should have started here
 

DaveBowman

New Member
Yeah, you're over-thinking/complicating this very simple little layout.

With the exception of the wye at top left, everything is parallel, there are no reversing tracks, and the entire layout except for the wye can be run as a single block. No need to pairs of double gaps all over the place unless you want to break it into sections for power management and troubleshooting (if you have a short circuit being able to turn off parts of the layout until the short goes away helps to narrow down problem areas).

The block detector you don't need at all unless you plan to use it for a signalling/control system. The blocks you've laid out do not really make any sense for pretty much any system of signalling. This does get VERY complicated much faster.

I'm not sure what's "north" of your wye as the diagram kinda cuts out there... does it go anywhere or is it just a "tail" track for turning equipment? If so, just double gap both tracks just "south" of the "north" switch on the wye and turn the tail into the reversing section.
Thank you, that makes a lot of sense, I will do that. The section to the North is a simple rail yard that to me seemed pretty basic for setup since there is no reverse or turn table just single turnouts and track lines.
 

DaveBowman

New Member
Ok I believe I under stand everybody's advice, from my understanding with DCC you don't want the signal to loop so you should only have power one direction so you would need a double gap on each circle, I have removed the block detector and set the one reversing section on the WYE. Do you believe this should be the simpler design?
1597441808453.png
 




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