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Author Topic: New to DCC questions  (Read 124 times)

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Offline Muppetman

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New to DCC questions
« on: March 23, 2020, 11:19:01 AM »
Hello all

I have decided to dip my toe into the DCC world and have a few questions for the experts.....

1) Power supply for points? I have opted for the Gaugemaster Prodigy advance 2, I have noticed that it only has 1 output which is for the bus wire, is recommended to tap into the bus for points or use a different supply and if so would I need a separate power source?

2) Type of point motors, my last layout was DC and using a mimic board for operation of points with standard PECO motors, Iam using code 55 electrofrog points which have no dropper wires, are seep motors the best without using the frog switch or do I opt for tortoise etc?

3) I have a fitted a long crossing which has 4 dropper wires fitted, I believe 2 wires go to the bus and the other to can go to frog changer which is where I get lost.

Stupid questions I know but little things are starting to baffle me!

cheers


Offline dannyboy

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Re: New to DCC questions
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 12:37:12 PM »
I can not really help in answering your questions, (someone will though  :)), as I use an NCE Powercab with Kato Unitrack. However, all my points are on two separate 12v DC power supplies, so they are completely independent of the track wiring.
David.
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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: New to DCC questions
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 12:55:49 PM »
Hello all

I have decided to dip my toe into the DCC world and have a few questions for the experts.....

1) Power supply for points? I have opted for the Gaugemaster Prodigy advance 2, I have noticed that it only has 1 output which is for the bus wire, is recommended to tap into the bus for points or use a different supply and if so would I need a separate power source?
Depends whether you really want to operate your points via DCC or are happy to continue to run them with traditional AC or DC powered point motors?  You don't have to run them on DCC, and to be honest if you like a traditional mimic panel for points then stick with that unless you want to get into computer control etc.

If you do want the pints under DCC control then you will need accessory decoders to drive the point motors under DCC. Most of these will connect to the track bus to receive their commands, some can connect to the DCC control bus. Best practice is considered to be to run a separate DCC bus for accessory decoders, powered from a separate power district (booster) in case of track shorts/derailments - but it's not mandatory.  Some decoders allow for a separate power supply feed to actually drive the motor (avoids loading the DCC bus).

Quote
2) Type of point motors, my last layout was DC and using a mimic board for operation of points with standard PECO motors, Iam using code 55 electrofrog points which have no dropper wires, are seep motors the best without using the frog switch or do I opt for tortoise etc?
Solder your own droppers to the electrofrog points if you plan to power the frog by a polarity changeover or a frog juicer (better than relying on blade contact).  I run DC and I always power the frog via a changeover switch. Watch out for the new Unifrog points which will require the frog to be powered if you want to avoid a dead spot.
You'll get lots of different opinions on which motors to use. I always use good old Peco solenoids with their slide switches for frog changeover. I found Seep didn't have enough throw for N gauge points to ensure the built-in changeover switch worked reliably.  Some folk get on ok with SEEP (often by fitting them with a bit of slack or extra distance below the baseboard), others prefer stall motor types or simple servos, and of course some more recent motors come with DCC decoder built in.
The model of accessory decoder you choose depends on the type of motor you use.

Quote
3) I have a fitted a long crossing which has 4 dropper wires fitted, I believe 2 wires go to the bus and the other to can go to frog changer which is where I get lost.

Do you mean the scissors crossover?   I've not used one but usually it's obvious from following the dropper wires which are rail feeds and which are frog feeds which need to be fed via polarity changeover.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 01:02:14 PM by ntpntpntp »
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Offline jpendle

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Re: New to DCC questions
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 01:28:52 PM »

1) Power supply for points? I have opted for the Gaugemaster Prodigy advance 2, I have noticed that it only has 1 output which is for the bus wire, is recommended to tap into the bus for points or use a different supply and if so would I need a separate power source?

2) Type of point motors, my last layout was DC and using a mimic board for operation of points with standard PECO motors, Iam using code 55 electrofrog points which have no dropper wires, are seep motors the best without using the frog switch or do I opt for tortoise etc?

3) I have a fitted a long crossing which has 4 dropper wires fitted, I believe 2 wires go to the bus and the other to can go to frog changer which is where I get lost.


1) The DCC bus on any system is meant to feed the track AND any DCC controlled points as well. It is good practice to separate the track and points by using either a booster or a short circuit detector to create a separate accessory bus for the points, but this is NOT mandatory.

2) As far as which motor, you can use anything you like, there are suitable accessory/stationary decoders to control every type, and some, such as Cobalts, can come with built in decoders. I prefer Tortoises which are readily available here in the US because I find them easier to mount, I control them with DCC using NCE Switch 8 decoders.

3) The two wires connected to the middle of the outer rails should be connected to the track bus, the other two are for frog switching. They should either be interlocked to he relevant points on your layout to control frog polarity, or hooked up to switches to control the polarity, or, as you are using DCC, hooked up to Frog Juicers. I would recommend solid state juicers over relay versions as they act faster, I used a Tam Valley juicer on my old layout.

Regards,

John P
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https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: New to DCC questions
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2020, 02:25:17 PM »
1) Power supply for points? I have opted for the Gaugemaster Prodigy advance 2, I have noticed that it only has 1 output which is for the bus wire, is recommended to tap into the bus for points or use a different supply and if so would I need a separate power source?

Depends on the number of points and how fast you throw them. Some of the DCC accessory decoders for the old clunky solenoid motors support a choice of track power (with built in CDU) or a seperate AC feed.


Quote
2) Type of point motors, my last layout was DC and using a mimic board for operation of points with standard PECO motors, Iam using code 55 electrofrog points which have no dropper wires, are seep motors the best without using the frog switch or do I opt for tortoise etc?

I've generally moved to frog juicers and similar because I found it such a pain to get the seep frog switching working reliably in N due to the limited movement of the blades and tricky alignment. For the motors it doesn't really matter too much. There are different options for the various types of motor and many decoders have jumpers or switches to do both (and often to do colour light signals if they can do stall motors).

Quote
3) I have a fitted a long crossing which has 4 dropper wires fitted, I believe 2 wires go to the bus and the other to can go to frog changer which is where I get lost.

Another reason I use frog juicers is that you no longer need a degree in advanced electronics to wire things like double slips and 3 way pointers.

You can also of course run motors old style and trains DCC (or vice versa).

Alan
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

 

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