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Author Topic: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring  (Read 8263 times)

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Offline splinter

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Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« on: March 01, 2012, 04:34:48 PM »
Hi

I wish to install Twin Cab Control on my layout, but am unsure about the wiring. I understand that the live feed will require an insulated joint between sections. However not sure about the common return feed. Do you have to insulate each of those feeds or are they continous using metal rail joiners.
Advice would be appreciated

Thanks Cliff (splinter )

Offline Jerry Howlett

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 04:45:48 PM »
I didn't understand common return wiring but have used it and IT WORKS !. If using live frogs you still have to insulate but other than that ALL the common wires are wired together. I am using 2 different twin controllers across 3 different loops and a shunting yard.
Some days its just not worth gnawing through the straps.

Offline splinter

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 04:46:58 PM »
Hi

thanks for the info

Offline kenbury

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 09:35:49 PM »
if useing common return must use separate transformer tappings

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 10:15:42 PM »
Quite right. There has to be separate windings on the controller(s).
My Gaugemaster is fine for this :thumbsup:

Offline scotsoft

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 10:26:50 PM »
Would someone be able to explain the benefits of this system to me please?

Bearing in mind what I have read so far might as well have been in hyroglyphics  ???

I use Kato Unitrack and have a few controllers so would this system work with that?

Thank you for anyone willing to take this challenge on  :thumbsup:

Offline Jellicoe

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 01:31:31 PM »
Cab control and common returns are two different things and are mutually exclusive.  Cab control is more commonly used on large layouts with more than one operator; one might have control of the station whilst another might be responsible for a fiddle yard or goods yard.  Two track controllers would be used and track sections will be switchable between them so that control of a train can be passed from one operator to another.

Common return can be used on a layout of any size with only one operator and track controller.  All the electrical sections are connected by a single return wire jumped between them.  It will reduce the amount of wiring by a third.

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 04:46:58 PM »
IMHO if you go down the DC route then cab control is a must. It is so much easier to have switchable sections and use one controller than, for example, to drive a train from one oval to another by balancing the controls of 2 controllers. Having got one of my first books on railway modelling and reading dear old Cecil Freezers explanation of cab control, there was no other way for me :thumbsup:

Offline Pete Mc

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 08:19:23 PM »
How long did it take to understand all that Mike?
I still don't understand it now except that when you forget to throw a switch the train running stops.I did have cab control explained to me but it never sunk in.And,all the wiring in of switches and isolating sections and additional feeds kind of made progress on my layout stall.That is,until I bought a Digitrax DCS51 Zephyr Extra.
Now,my old dc controller is disconnected from the layout and dcc wiring is progressing,slowly.
Put a chip in one of my loco's last night and didn't pop it,which was nice.
I also built a nifty little,or should that be quite long dcc programming track and running track until wiring is completed and also so I can run in new loco's etc before chipping em.

Pete
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Its my train set and I'll run worra want!

Pete sadly passed away on the 27th November 2013 - http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=17988.msg179976#msg179976

Offline alfie

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 06:51:20 PM »
I have studied cab control and feel able to have a go
However, my ability to plan a layout to include cab control
with sections is very poor, and would appreciate any help
on this

Many thanks

Offline DCCDave

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 07:09:01 PM »
I have studied cab control and feel able to have a go
However, my ability to plan a layout to include cab control
with sections is very poor, and would appreciate any help
on this

Do you have a track plan? If so post it and we can advise....

Cheers
Dave

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 09:40:36 PM »
Hi Alfie, and welcome to the forum :wave:

As Dave says, please post your track plan so we can see what can be done for you. A description of your controller(s) would also help along with an idea of what you want to do on your layout.
If you need help with posting pics, just have a read of the FAQ section :thumbsup:

Offline alfie

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 09:37:57 AM »
Hi Dave,
Many thanks for your reply. The trouble is that I do not have a plan
I am a new boy on the block and have simply been fiddlinq around
with a  very simple oval. This is not to my satisfaction and began reading
about creating sections and using cab control. I have a background of
electronics and so it has become very interesting to me.

My problem has begun about creating a layout which would incorparate
the above and thought that the Peco 'n gauge planbook' would fit the bill.
Alas no, although the book is full of plans it does not include any info on
rail-breaks,sections or any electronic control.

I already have bought the required electronic bits and pieces from Gaugemaster etc
and now ready to go. As I do not have much knowledge about real-life trains some
 layout suggestions would be most welcome.

Thank you once more for your offer to help

Regards  ALFIE

Offline Belated

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 12:51:10 PM »
I am not an expert.  My understanding of 'Cab Control' is more or less as follows.  (Very simple because I am.) :)

Cab Control is independent of the track plan.  :wave:

There is little point in Cab Control on a layout with only 'one engine in steam' and one controller.  :wave:

If you want to have more than one loco on your layout - and especially if you want to run more than one loco at a time - then you need section breaks or all locos will move together.  Section breaks can be either by isolating points (insulfrog) or by making breaks in the track and wiring them separately back to the controller(s).  These breaks can be in both rails together (i.e. two wires from each section to controller) or by one break in the same rail all the way round,.  Most people will install switches between the track sections and the controller.  Section breaks alone do not make Cab Control but you can not have Cab Control without section breaks.  :D

Now let's move on.  The easiest way I can describe it, is by an example.  Imagine a simple double track oval, with say a siding off the inner track.  There is a cross-over (a pair of points) connecting the two ovals.  The siding can be fed by the point giving access to it or by wiring a separate power feed to it.

Place two locos on the track - one the outer loop, the other on the inner loop.  If there is one controller, flicking both the switches on will have both locos move and, depending which way the tracks are fed with positive and negative electricity, determines if they both go the same way or in opposite directions.  The importance of this may become clearer as we progress.  If you want to use common return wiring, to save wire or what other reason, then both tracks are better wired the same way round. It's simpler as locos crossing from one track to the other can cause a short. :o  :(

With me so far?  :confused1:  Or probably bored and gone down the pub - I would have, lol.
 :beers:  I think you're doing well.

Right. now your child, wife, friend, who-ever, comes along and wants to play too.  So you connect in another controller.  You can just have one controller to each loop of your oval and never the twain shall meet, but it might get boring after a while.  So you want to be able to drive your trains on the other loop or into the siding.  8)

This is where your section switches need to be different.  One controller only needs a straight ON-OFF switch to each section of track.  More than one controller will require a switch that can take a feed from either controller and supply power to the track section.  These are usually Double Pole switches. 
(Brief aside, just in case anyone isn't clear, switches can be
SPST - Single Pole Single Throw, - straight ON-OFF.
SPDT - Single Pole Double Throw - probably used in common return wiring
DPST - Double Pole Single Throw - two wire version of SPST
DPDT - Double Pole Double Throw)
Using a SPDT or DPDT switch, supply from each controller is connected to the two outside connections of the switch and the track feed is taken from the centre connections.  This means the arrangement is capable of feeding power from either of the controllers to the section of track - but not both at the same time.  Hope that is clear?   :thumbsup:

Now, by setting the switches and points, you can drive either of your locos onto the other loop or into the siding as you wish - just as if you were actually in the cab of the loco.  Or at least that is the theory.  (In our example if more than one loco is on the same loop of track you may need more sections or both locos will move again.)  :claphappy:   DCC takes this a stage further as it replaces changing the switches for calling up the loco number (it adds a lot more as well but for what we are talking about that is what is relevant).  How many sections and where the breaks are will depend on the track layout and the method of operation of the layout.  :)

Hope this long and boring treatise helps.  Sorry if it's a bit simplistic but it's the best way I can describe it.  If someone could add some little sketches it could help.  :wave:  Please ask if I haven't made anything clear.  There is a lot more to it than this but this is an introduction.

Someone mentioned the Peco 'How To Books' - the 'Wiring the Layout' probably explains it better than me.

John
Sorry Tank, you can have your Forum back now.
 :NGF:
John

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Twin Cab Control Common Return Wiring
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 12:53:47 PM »
Thanks very much for that, John.
Couldn't have done better myself :thumbsup:

 

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