Wiring for DCC

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Hey Gang, Im going to run DCC on this little layout of mine.. I dont have the $$ for the NCE setup yet, but Im doing the trackwork now and would like to get it finished.

How do I need to wire the track for DCC? The same as regular DC thw two wires one to each rail? Its all new Atlas custom line turnouts so they should be DCC compatible. REALLY wanna get this track glued down and ready so HELP!!!
 

B_Kosanda

Member
Nothing special is required One wire to each rail. If it's a small layout it will be one "block". I assume there are no reversing sections, like loops that will require special reversing wiring.

On larger layouts, the wiring starts to get a little more complicated. Usually you would use a power bus consisting of larger gauge wire with feeders coming from that power bus to the track sections every 5-10 feet. I would recommend soldering the sections together if you want to get good conductivity between track sections, but that may not be required if the layout is small.

Bill
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi Scott. I'm glad your layout seems to be progressing so well. Bill gave you some great info. I would suggest that you have a terminal block to connect your DCC system into. From there, it's easy to come off the terminal block and add feeders to a small layout. You might want to consider color codes for the feeder wires. Example, Rail A/Red, Rail B/Black.

You've probably heard of the DCC "quarter trick". If not, it's a test using a coin to be certain that all track is properly powered by shorting across the track. If the command station doesn't detect the short for a given section of track, another feeder needs to be added. I'd suggest that you have everything powered, tested and running smoothly before you weather rails (if you paint them) or ballast the track.
 
Yep Yep. Thanks for the info guys.. Hopefully I'll get my NCE setup in the next few weeks. For now I guess im stuck with DC. Ah well theres worse things.
 

rhoward

S.L.O.&W. Trainman
Scott, one of the best places on the internet for getting information about DCC is here: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/ Alan Gartner's site can answer any and all questions on the subject. About the only thing I don't do his way is the light bulb trick. I want the breaker to trip if there is a short. I use Digitrax but hear that NCE is a great system.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
I'll go along with Ray that Dave Gartners site is pretty good. However, forget all the mess about modifying turnouts. Just buy turnouts that are rated as "DCC Friendly". I tried his method of modifying some old turnouts and man what a pain it was. But, when he wrote that, there wasn't much of a choice. Same goes for the light bulb thingy that Ray mentioned.

Try this link to Tony's Train Exchange. This is a good intro to DCC.
http://tonystrains.com/tonystips/dccprimer/index.htm
 
someone help me... I am nearing readiness to dive into dcc, but this whole turnout thing has me sketched... I have over 20 turnouts now, and don't want to budget the 15 a piece to replace them... insulated frog good, powered bad? basically, if I have no short then I am kosher, right?
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
From what I have experienced with non-dcc friendly turnouts usage, you can use them as long as your wheels are to NMRA standard (most are) and your wiring is adjusted to use them, i.e. take into consideration power routing, insulate at rail joiners (hot frog) where needed as when on a mainline, feed power to insulated sections. If you have an insulated frog, then you have it made.
 
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B_Kosanda

Member
Insulated frog is good. Make power connections to all sections of the track, don't count on the turnout to route power through it.

When my trains run over my Peco turnouts (insul-frog type), I can sometimes hear wheels "singing" as they provide momentary shorts across opposite polarity rails. This is only a nuisance and does not cause the booster to drop off line.

Bill
 

Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
Insulated frog is good. Make power connections to all sections of the track, don't count on the turnout to route power through it.

When my trains run over my Peco turnouts (insul-frog type), I can sometimes hear wheels "singing" as they provide momentary shorts across opposite polarity rails. This is only a nuisance and does not cause the booster to drop off line.

Bill
What Bill said!

Joe
 
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ajroland

Guest
book

Along these lines which book or website would you suggest for someone to obtain detailed step by step wiring dcc information?
 
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ajroland

Guest
Website

I checked out Allan Gartners DCC website. Very good information on this site. Thank you for giving me the information.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
DCC & Turn Outs

I'll go along with Ray that Dave Gartners site is pretty good. However, forget all the mess about modifying turnouts. Just buy turnouts that are rated as "DCC Friendly". I tried his method of modifying some old turnouts and man what a pain it was. But, when he wrote that, there wasn't much of a choice. Same goes for the light bulb thingy that Ray mentioned.

Try this link to Tony's Train Exchange. This is a good intro to DCC.
http://tonystrains.com/tonystips/dccprimer/index.htm
There is another way if your using old Walthers Shinohara turn outs. You insulate the frog with plastic rail insulators and solder the out side rails to the in coming and out going rails. This means that the points will be the only thing conducting current to one of the rails either Red or Black. That's not good. But what I did was solder a third green wire some were along the frog. Run that wire to one of the tortoise's internal switches say pin out #4 and then solder either a red or black lead to pin out 2 or 3 of the tortoise. It has to be black or red to pin out 2 or black or red to pin out 3. I say a red or black lead because it could be either. This internal switch is rated at 1 amp. Now the frog will be powered by the points and the tortoise's internal switch. If there's a 1/2 a second short it's because the the internal switch changed the power before the points left the rail. You would need to adjust the wire that throws the switch. I guess the 1 amp load is enough I'm not sure, but it does work. It's hard to see if it's working because you don't know if the frog is drawing power from the points or the green lead. I have about 8 of these switches so this is what I come up with.

NYC_George

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ajroland

Guest
Insulfrog Peco

I have started laying track and wiring my dcc layout. This is my first layout. I bought Peco Insulfrog turnouts. I am having a problem. When you throw one turnout it kills power to other sections of the layout. I am a novice at this for sure. Should the position of the switch kill power to other sections? I've noticed that certain turnouts have to match in order for the power to work. The layout so far is a loop with one crossover and two stub tracks. Can you help me.
 

B_Kosanda

Member
Power is not routed through the frog. You need to have power feeder wires to the track on both sides of the turnout. Obviously power on the outside rails will be continuous, but the ones that pass through the frog will be interrupted when the turnout is flipped. It is a good practice to put power feeders on both sides of turnouts anyway.

Bill
 
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ajroland

Guest
Feeders

Thanks, I will put feeders on both sides of every turnout. I have a hard time visualizing the electrical circuits. I will try this in the next day or two when I get a chance to work on the layout again.
 




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