DCC switch for Programming Track

Got a quick DCC question. Most controllers (some) have a seperate output for DCC programming track, so allow you to actually program the DCC decoder in the locomotive, normally (hopefully) this is a one time instance, however what I have done, is put a seperate siding the size of the largest loco off the main track with electric points etc. The track the loco is coded up on, is isolated on both rails - although in practice only one rail needs to be isolated. Is there any way/DCC component or part that will allow me to wire both wires from the contoller programming track output to the isolated track section, then when I have done this, I can issue a DCC command to drop power from outside the isolated section into the isolated section, then drive the loco out the siding onto the main track? I know I could use a manual lever (on/off) to do the bridging of one or two wires and this would work, but can something like that be done in DCC without the manual level intervention. For example, some sort of bridging switch that will carry the current from 1 rail outside the isolation into the isolated section, then all I need to do is tell my controller to switch it on/off? Can this be done with a points accessory? or something similar? or maybe a pulse points motor that pulls/pushes a small micro-switch on/off? or is there something already made/built/sold that does this already?

Reply to
Chris King
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No idea, I use a DPDT switch as this was free in my spares box, it is only dome rarely, and my programming track is in easy reach. Guy

Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?

Why not use switch machine contacts to do it for you?

When the turnout is aligned so a train can enter the programming track, the contacts feed the regular track bus to the programming track and you can operate the locomotive right onto the track. Once there, throw the turnout (through your DCC system, or however your turnouts are powered), and the programming track is fed from the "programming track" output of your DCC system.

This is exactly how I do this on my layout, with one exception: when the turnout is aligned away from the programming track, the feed for that track comes from a manual switch that allows me to choose between the DCC system's "programming output" and a DC power pack. That way, when I need to do some tests on a locomotive before installing a decoder, the track can serve as a ready-to-use DC test track.

Reply to
Calvin Henry-Cotnam

The nearest thing is the NCE Auto switch

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This detects service mode programming packets and cuts signal to the main layout so that you only program the loco on the programming track.


Reply to

I would solve this problem with a relay (old-fashioned, I know). A suitable two-pole changeover relay could connect the siding either to the main supply or the programming supply.

I'm not sure how to control the relay though. Do shop-bought DCC controllers[1] have a way to drive relays or other similar kinds of simple on/off DC output ?

I guess you could wire up a relay to a suitable accessory decoder...

[1] I built my own. I use commercially available loco decoders, but the trackside electronics is all custom. Naturally I have a facility for simple on/off outputs for things like relays...
Reply to
Ian Jackson

An accessory decoder would be the way to go if you want to pop a relay. Use a latching-type relay so you don't have to apply continuous power. *

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