Wiring a Wye with DCC

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N

NP2626

Guest
I'm building a branch line and want to incorporate a wye at it's end. I have a Digitrax Zephyr DCC system. What do I need and what do I need to know about wiring up a wye with DCC?
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I'm building a branch line and want to incorporate a wye at it's end. I have a Digitrax Zephyr DCC system. What do I need and what do I need to know about wiring up a wye with DCC?
All you have to do is isolate one of the stub ends of the wye with insulated rail joiners or gaps on both rails of both exiting tracks (frog side) of the turnout for that leg. Get a DCC auto reverse unit and connect the input side to the DCC bus and the output side to the newly isolated track. Basically replacing the DPDT switch that one would use for a DC set up.

There are many brands and types of auto reverse units. Any brand will work with the Zephyr as they depend on the standard DCC to the track not any throttle bus. Some have physical relays (like MRC) others are 100% solid state (like DCC Specialties). They all seem to work fine, it is a matter of cost and longevity. There is a write up about them on Tony's Train Exchange here - https://tonystrains.com/dcc-auto-reversers/
 
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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Mark:

The folks at Digitrax in past has located the best spots for the gaps for you if you provide them with the track diagram.

Thanks.

Greg
 
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Selector

Well-Known Member
You may...may...gap in one of three places on a turning wye. Either 'side', or the tail itself. Take your pick, make sure to provide a gap between your reversing segment and any turnouts to which it would otherwise connect (you don't really need insulating joiners unless your tracks routinely squirm and misalign for some reason) and then wire your switch or reverser to power the isolated segment. It's a good idea to stagger the gaps by a few mm, according to the nice guys at Digital Specialties who made my PSX-AR.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
Yes you can get an auto reverser for $25-30 or you can just put a DPDT electrical switch connected to the throwbar to the track switch on the tail of the wye for $2-5.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Mark:

Slightly staggering the gaps is a good idea. I used ACC in the gaps to keep them from connecting, a piece of styrene fitted in and secured or rail jointers.

Thanks.

Greg
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Mark:

The folks at Digitrax in past has located the best spots for the gaps for you if you provide them with the track diagram.

Thanks.

Greg


The very first thing I did was contact Digitrax and Digitrax was far less than helpful! Have you used their help desk lately? Confusing, sparse information and they told me my email was spam and they don't email you back, you have to go back to them and check your "Ticket". They told me their customers are pleased with this system!

Anyway, don't need to know how to put in gaps; or, what to make them out of. I only need to know where I should put them. Below is a drawing of what I'm doing: "Click to make bigger"

FiddleYards.png
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
The green area needs to be long enought for the longest (engine consist or train wth lighted cars or lighted caboose.
wye_short_reverse.jpg
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
Holy moly! You mean I haven't done it right by NOT using a DCC wye-controller? I run both DC and some DCC on my layout. I have the layout isolated into blocks, and the wye is gapped to isolate the Y-shaped leg that leads off the main line to a pair of stub spurs. I use a DPDT toggle on my control panel, and determine which legs are connected to which using signals on the layout that have 12-16v bulbs, so they can handle the DCC track voltage. Should I tear down the whole thing and start over? ;)
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Why are there so many options for a Wye? A loop is simple, two gaps where the loop starts and your done.

Per Trailrider: Holy moly! You mean I haven't done it right by NOT using a DCC wye-controller? I run both DC and some DCC on my layout. I have the layout isolated into blocks, and the wye is gapped to isolate the Y-shaped leg that leads off the main line to a pair of stub spurs. I use a DPDT toggle on my control panel, and determine which legs are connected to which using signals on the layout that have 12-16v bulbs, so they can handle the DCC track voltage. Should I tear down the whole thing and start over?

Trailrider, I'm not an electronics guy, so can use any help someone is willing to give. However, yes, you should tear down the whole thing and start over; but, do it right this time!
 
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Why are there so many options for a Wye?..

Well, there are many different track arrangements that incorporate a wye, but with just a simple single track wye, there really aren't that many options, you can either gap one leg of the wye or you can gap one tail of the wye. In most situations you want to do a tail because then you don't have to worry about the length of the reversing section.

Here is what I would do on yours (the fiddle yards are the reversing section):

FiddleYards.png

Personally, I would consider not using an auto-reverser. Since the phase (AC "polarity") of the yard tracks can be determined from the direction of the #6 turnout, I might use that to control it. For example, if the turnout is thrown manually, you could rig a DPDT toggle switch to throw the turnout and use the switch to also flip the phase of the yard tracks.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Not to be contrary; but, before I ever started down this trail of discussing my project here on the Model Railroad Forum, I ordered a Digitrax AR-1. I paid $23.95 from Micro Mark, so I didn't break the bank, paying for it. These conversations on doing my wye with out an Auto Reverse device, just ain't going to happen! If I find that I have problems with it; or, it doesn't work as I've been lead to believe, I might look into operating the wye with a DPDT switch.

CSX Robert, thanks for your suggestion on where to place the gaps!


 
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N

NP2626

Guest
So in the end, Greg's suggestion below is what I decided to do. Note that the left and right tail tracks are the Storage tracks shown in my drawing and the bottom one comes from my existing layout.

I did not find posing this question to be particularly helpful to my process of selecting a method to wire up my Wye. There were simply to many options! Had this been a return loop, I think the answer about where to put the double gaps would have been far more easy and clear. Because of my confusion, two days ago, I started wondering why I was even considering building a Wye. The reality is that I simply wanted to build storage tracks for trains. The option of turning a train; or, a locomotive was maybe not even a secondary need, as I don't see this being necessary to my original intent. This placing the Wye as a minor need for the layout, allowed me to make the decision I came to.

Thank you to everyone who tried to help me make my decision!


The green area needs to be long enought for the longest (engine consist or train wth lighted cars or lighted caboose.
wye_short_reverse.jpg
 
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