sparking/electrical problem with Peco points

Greg,
Basically anywhere where there is no protection from back feeding being prevented.
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware
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Greg,
You will if you run out-of-gauge wheels or wheels with large treads or you get a derailment.
insulated fishplates because I consider it to be a positive function.
In that case, you live frogs will never be correctly wired and you will have a potential short situation which should be corrected.
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware
This is just not so Graham, use of the frog switching to give self isolation of sidings is normal DC practice that I followed for 30+ years with no problems, largely eliminates the need for section isolators except for platform ends and loco yards. With the points wired correctly as you and I recommend the siding isolation feature still works perfectly well using whatever switch you use for the frog switching. I have variously used point motor auxiliary contacts, relays, microswitches and extra contacts on the panel switch, all with equal success. My present layout has examples of the first 3 of these. Keith
Reply to
Keith
This just shows bad planning, why set up the route into a siding you don't intend to run into? If you do intend to run into it then the loco will 'spring to life' when you switch the section on, so you have still the problem. Tracks where multiple locos need access need subdividing in DC setups whether the primary isolation is by the point switching or by section switches.And, as you identified, eliminating this situation is one of the joys of DCC. I eliminated the entire 20 switch panel for my small loco yard. Keith
Reply to
Keith
Keith,
isolation of sidings is normal DC practice that I followed for 30+ years with no problems, largely eliminates the need for section isolators except for platform ends and loco yards. With the points wired correctly as you and I recommend the siding isolation feature still works perfectly well using whatever switch you use for the frog switching. I have variously used point motor auxiliary contacts, relays, microswitches and extra contacts on the panel switch, all with equal success. My present layout has examples of the first 3 of these.
Absolutely agree with you on all points. However, if one has more than one loco and one is operating DC, then self isolation of sidings via their turnouts presents a problem: you cannot store any other locos in them. That is why I said one should use isolating sections within sidings otherwise you are into an operational pattern which is compromised by the control system needing to keep locos away from each other.
Graham
Reply to
gppsoftware
Keith,
don't intend to run into?
This is a simplistic view. If one has a number of sidings splaying out, in order to set the route to the required sidings, you will go through a process of selecting all the turnouts one by one to set your route. This means that it is possible to liven up sidings accidentally while setting the required route since most people will not be able to set all turnouts at exactly the same time unless they have an advanced control system. If there is no isolation, then locos can spring to life accidentally.
loco will 'spring to life' when you switch the section on, so you have still the problem.
The general rule should be to switch everything off and only switch it on when it is required. Then the changing of turnouts has no affect on activiating locos accidentally.
whether the primary isolation is by the point switching or by section switches.And, as you identified, eliminating this situation is one of the joys of DCC. I eliminated the entire 20 switch panel for my small loco yard.
Absolutely. I eliminated the need for a panel and 40 relays under DCC.
Graham
Reply to
gppsoftware
OK, so you are overlooking the obvious in your supositions as to Elliot's problem.
It will do exactly the same thing if you turn on the isolating switch!
Sure, but I was asking why you would want to convert to DCC! ;-)
I've already stated i've gone thirty years without that problem - when does it start?
That surely is the whole point of changing the turnout! (or do you randomly change turnouts just for the hell of it?)
Sure, and I've had a number (5-6) Peco turnouts fail because the overcenter spring cut it's way through the adjacent sleeper. Should I be retrofitting cast iron sleepers???
I don't break the switchrail bonders and I don't have an electrical problem - what am I doing wrong??? =8^O
That is the exception to my 'no switches' block wiring. It's an awful lot cheaper than buying a DCC controller and a hundred decoders!!!
Greg.P.
Reply to
Greg Procter
Exactly what of that combination doesn't work for me?
Reply to
Greg Procter
Sure, but I place the isolating fishplates where-ever they should logically go, which is not neccessarily on the turnout.
Greg.P.
Reply to
Greg Procter
Well, I don't get any shorts and so far the points carry the current as required. Thanks to your advice, I will investigate the switching however.
Reply to
Greg Procter
If we have a throat track with sidings running off it then the turnout settings must lead to one of the sidings. The "No siding" setting occurs when the 'main line to sidings' turnout is set for the main line. One doesn't change _that_ turnout until the rest of the route is set!!! No problem!
I eliminated around 40 block switches by using the turnout track switching function.
Reply to
Greg Procter
Greg,
No, I am always aware of it as an issue.
No! If a loco is parked somewhere, you switch off the isolating section. That way, if any turnouts are changed while another loco is moving, there is no risk of other locos springing to life.
I think you mean't 'wasn't'. But since you write the above, where do you want me to start ? In DC you drive the track and anything which is on it, moves. In DCC, you drive an individual loco, that loco and no other loco, irrespective of what else is on the track. This in itself is a huge benefit. All the time you are relying on turnouts to isolate locos, you have to compromise your operation in order to keep locos away from each other. Personally, I prefer a much more reallistic operation where the control system does not impose such limitations and that is one of the many reasons I use DCC. Isolation of sidings in DCC is really not recommended because loco/train lights go off as does sound (accptable in a fiddle yard, but not on the scenic section of a layout) - DCC has a constant track voltage present.
Well you are lucky. I've seen it on numerous club layouts and my very early attempts - it is fairly common.
(or do you randomly change turnouts just for the hell of it?)
Yes, you do want the siding to liven up, but what about the loco sitting at the far end of the siding - a very common operating practice ? Using your approach that loco will always spring to life...but then of course, you don't put a loco at the end of the siding in the first place because your control system compromises your operating methods so you don't do it. But this issue is resolvable in DC by using an isolating section. That way you can have two locos in the same siding and at the same time, it can stop locos springing to life when turnouts are changed. No, I don't change turnouts randomly - I use a fully computer controlled and fully interlocked system with IECC panel route setting:
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don't forget, while you and I might have high standards of operation, a lot of people/clubs do not - have a look at any exhibition. Because they don't have isolating sections, they change turnouts one by one until they get the route the want. In the mean time, the odd loco may have sprung to life.
problem - what am I doing wrong??? =8^O
Well let's put it this way, your wiring isn't properly protecting from shorts. It would only need one out-of-gauge wheel set or wide wheel tread to cause shorts all round your layout on every live frog turnout.
lot cheaper than buying a DCC controller and a hundred decoders!!!
So what is 'no switches block wiring' ? Complete areas wired to one controller ? Personally, I prefer the simplicity of wiring and far more reallistic operation afforded by DCC. To my mind, all the time I spent originally wiring my layout for DC, together with all the switch gear and wire was dead money. Now the layout is wired for DCC all of the switchgear has disappeared as has 2/3 of the wiring - the cost of all the gear should have been invested in something useful like decoders in the first place and cost-wise, I would have been level!
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware
And yet you offered advice towards a fix that have no positive effect on that situation.
It's not a problem to me as my turnouts are switched from end-point to mainline in sequence.
Anywhere you like, but I think we had better change the subject line :-)
Great - just like British and European prototypes!
In DCC,
It's also slotcar toy like.
All the
Podssibly, but it's not a huge compromise and certainly not as great as some of the DCC compromises. (in specific circumstances)
It's the reason I don't use DCC.
Yes, I know that - so does PWM DC.
Incompetency! It would be even worse with Code 75 track!
That's one of my DC system limitations - if I want to park a loco I need to be able to isolate it in a loco sized (switchable) block. Block switches are cheaper than decoders and have a longer lifespan.
Only if I'm stupid enough to link an in use controller that specific track block.
with but then
Huhh??? Of course I place locos on the track - it's specially designed to be electrified on a system compatible with my locos!
But this issue is resolvable in DC by using an
Sure, and on a short siding the electrical switching is done through the facility inherent in the Peco turnouts, the facility you claim must be eliminated!
That way you can have two locos in the same siding
Do you always leave your controllers set at full speed when you're not using them??? My circuitry is arranged so that only the route required is connected to whichever controller is linked to it. There is the point of the Peco turnout switching system, only the route selected is electrified.
As do I - with the exception of "IECC" which is an unknown abreviation to me.
Please!
The image of chimpanzees banging at typewriters to imitate Shakespeare spring to mind!
Why would I have out of gauge wheelsets??? My wheels have coned treads - I remember puzzling over a Kleinbahn brand shunter that did activate parked locos as it crossed live frogs - my standards aren't high, but they are standards! ;-)
My aim was to eliminate ALL block switches and controller selection switches from my control panel - I can't quite get there but I'm close. No, each controller is linked only to it's required route.
Sure, but realisim in operation was why I reverted to DC block control.
Certainly but instead you spend vastly more on DCC componentry - I'm poor so I have to live with my own system.
The maths didn't work for me - layout wise, and the DCC loco control didn't work for me in regard to signalling and staging yard wise.
Those are the breaks!
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Greg Procter
Nope - only BNFL ..... :>)
Just trying to reinject some humour.
I notice the OP has vanished and not answered any of the questions put to him ????
Reply to
Dave Skipsey
I'm sure we scared him off!
Reply to
Greg Procter
Greg,
What is that supposed to mean ? Are you telling me I don't know what I am talking about ? Believe it or not, some people choose to observe and learn from the mistakes of others and implement a solution that resolves all of those issues. Yes, I made those mistakes in my early days. I don't have them on my layout now because I wire things up properly. Just because I don't have them on my layout doesn't mean I don't know what I am talking about or have never seen the problems being discussed!
mainline in sequence.
And so are mine, but don't forget, other people don't necessary have this kind of setup. And also don't forget that it is possible to get intermittent shorts while all those turnouts are changing in one go if they are not wired correctly. While a DC controller may tollerate it, the proper protection a DCC unit affords wouldn't tollerate it. That is another subject which I don't propose to go into here, but you are probably not aware of it if it does exist and I am not proposing that we investigate the possibility either.
No! If you put multiple slot cars on the track, they all go together because the track is being driven, not the individual cars.
some of the DCC compromises. (in specific circumstances)
Some of us happen to believe that the above is a huge compromise which we are not prepared to accept. Some of us also believe that the 'bowl of pasta' wiring under a DC layout is also a compromise we are not prepared to accept. I am not aware of DCC 'compromises'. What are they ?
So you don't want a more realistic level of operation ? How odd!
No! PWM DC (AFAIK) is only present on the track when the throttle is powering a loco. When the loco is stationary, there is no power on the track. In DCC the power is on the track at all times at full voltage, regardless of whether any locos are running. It's not the same thing.
Ah! Now were are getting somewhere! Yes, your DC system has a limitation and that is compromising the way you operate the layout. Point proven!
Anti-DCC scaremongering nonsense!
Point proven again! Your operating method is compromised by the traction control system.
to be electrified on a system compatible with my locos!
I think you have misunderstood. The example I provided was that you have a siding into which you are driving a train. I stated that you would have a problem if there was already a loco sitting at the end of that siding - that it would spring to life once the turnout was changed. What I then said was that without an isolating section, this is an activity you wouldn't do because it doesn't work - your operation is compromised by the control system.
I think we have a misunderstanding here. Yes, Peco turnouts can isolate sidings but that is not what an isolating section is. An isolating section is a separate length of track which is switched on/off using a switch (or relay) on a control panel. It is independent of the switching of a turnout. If a turnout livens up a siding, it does not (normally) affect the isolating section.
entirely on sidings being switched by turnouts and has no isolating sections. I cannot understand how any DC layout can provide any level of reallistic or practical operation without isolating sections. The facility you understand as me claiming to eliminate is that I believe that sidings should have isolating sections in them. This means that the switching of the turnout has no effect on the siding itself which is under the control of the isolating switch. It is really difficult to operate a layout at an exhibition without this functionality! Where I say it can all be eliminated is under DCC control because in that system, all running lines are live at all times and are not switched by turnouts, well they can be, but they don't need to be.
No, of course not, but consider shunting in sidings. A loco is on the move and you change turnouts. There is a risk that any loco already in one of the sidings can spring to life if those sidings do not have isolating sections. This means that the operation is being compromised by the control system.
whichever controller is linked to it.
This is what my computer control did in my DC days but I still had numerous isolating sections to enable some for of reallistic operation. Have a look at
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for pictures of my layout. So if you don't break switch rails on live frogs, how do you prevent unexpected feeds leaking around the layout ?
selected is electrified.
Yes, but as I keep saying, is does not resolve the issues of locos already sitting at the end of a siding - which you conceded above is a limitation of your system. It's not a limitation that I am personally prepared to accept.
IECC is 'Integrated Electronic Control Centre'. The software I use replicates the British prototype RailTrack IECC standards for computer control panels.
I have certainly seen it happen on other people's layouts!
shunter that did activate parked locos as it crossed live frogs - my standards aren't high, but they are standards! ;-)
That really depends on what standards you are using and how strongly you implement them. Many Hornby locos for example, of their older products, have very wide wheel treads which can cause shorts between switch blades and stock rails. Not only that, they are out-of-gauge as well, compounding the problem. The only way to really resolve this issue is to replace the wheels, whch for a lot of people, is no mean task. Usually what happens is that they attach plastic shims to the turnouts to stop the sparking, but it is really a band-aid solution. In fact your statement of a loco activiating parked locos as it crossed live frogs is a classic clue. This is one of the many problems which can occur if switch rails are not electrically broken. The link I provided solves that problem.
switches from my control panel - I can't quite get there but I'm close.
No, each controller is linked only to it's required route.
This sounds a little bit like how my original DC setup was wired. The computer controlled relays to connect controllers to blocks where locos were running - cab control. This is OK on a running line, but it is inadequate in sidings where isolating sections are required. I really cannot see how a DC layout can get away with no isolating sections at all. The operation must be seriously compromised in some way.
But if you use DCC you can still operate a block controlled system and your wiring is very much simpler in the process. Don't get caught up in the urban myth that block control requires DC wiring!
No, only in decoders for locos. I don't power turnouts via the DCC.
didn't work for me in regard to signalling and staging yard wise.
I understand the maths but I don't understand why signalling would be a problem under DCC - it certainly isn't for me.
Regards
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware
If you use route powering wiring methods like Peco turnouts have built in, (insulfrog or electrofrog) and provide power to the first turnout, and then power the next turnout from the frog (where appropriate) of the preceding turnout only one siding can be powered at a time, the one selected, irrespective of the position of individual switches.
There is no problem you describe because the power routing method described above only allows power to the selected track route. One reason we often see DC layouts with more than necessary switches is because popular low cost Atlas turnouts are not wired for electrical route selection and this less than ideal method is describes in many US publications about layout wiring.
If I converted my layout to DCC It would not have eliminated any relays. However all of the relays could be replaced with alternative technologies, using DCC or DC.
Terry Flynn
formatting link
HO wagon weight and locomotive tractive effort estimates
DC control circuit diagrams
HO scale track and wheel standards
Any scale track standard and wheel spread sheet
Reply to
NSWGR
I have never needed a panel with 20 switches on any of my DC layouts purely dedicated to switching power. Using route power selection, the way Peco wire their turnouts out of the box is one way of doing this which simplifies control panels. However as many have indicated in this thread under gauge wheels can cause a momentary short between the point and stock rail on electrofrog turnouts. The other problem with the out of the box wiring is it is possible to get a momentary short circuit if you feed power into the frog with a switch separate from the point motor. Usually this is not a problem if you use point motors with mechanically linked change over electrical contacts. There are 2 solutions, correctly gauge your wheels, or rewiring the turnout often described as DCC friendly wiring, though this wiring method has been around since DC 2 rail has been used. I have been wiring turnouts this way for over 20 years. It allows the point blade location and throw to be closer to scale without electrical shorting problems. I have visited and operated a number of layouts that have used Peco turnouts. Some use Peco point motors and accessory switches, others use Tortoise stall motors. No modification to the Peco turnout wiring was done on these layouts and no shorting was observed indicating Peco out of the box does not need electrical modification.
Terry Flynn
formatting link
HO wagon weight and locomotive tractive effort estimates
DC control circuit diagrams
HO scale track and wheel standards
Any scale track standard and wheel spread sheet
Reply to
NSWGR
Terry,
in, (insulfrog or electrofrog) and provide power to the first turnout, and then power the next turnout from the frog (where appropriate) of the preceding turnout only one siding can be powered at a time, the one
selected, irrespective of the position of individual switches.
Yes, that is true. But as I keep repeating myself, if one has a splay of sidings and some have locos in them, without isolating sections you are going to have a problem. There is going to be a time when turnouts are being changed and during that process, something springs to life when it shouldn't.
I can't put it any simpler for you guys to understand!
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware
Terry,
way Peco wire their turnouts out of the box is one way of doing this which simplifies control panels.
Yes, ONE way, but it isn't without its problems and it compromises the operation of a layout.
thread under gauge wheels can cause a momentary short between the point
and stock rail on electrofrog turnouts.
So now that we acknowledge the problem, why don't we wire to avoid it ? When there is so much information available on how to resolve this problem properly, why do people continue to deny the problem and repeatedly fill groups like this with messages about the problem ?
of the box wiring is it is possible to get a momentary short circuit if
you feed power into the frog with a switch separate from the point motor. Usually this is not a problem if you use point motors with mechanically linked change over electrical contacts. There are 2 solutions, correctly gauge your wheels, or
Agreed.
described as DCC friendly wiring, though this wiring method has been around since DC 2 rail has been used. I have been wiring turnouts this way for over 20 years. It allows the point blade location and throw to be closer to scale without electrical shorting problems.
Absolutely. There is no such thing as 'DCC friendly'. It is simply the proper way to wire a turnout and is the way anyone who has been hand building track has been doing it for several decades. It avoids all possible problems of shorting, out-of-gauge wheels etc using sound electrical wiring principals.
turnouts. Some use Peco point motors and accessory switches, others use
Tortoise stall motors. No modification to the Peco turnout wiring was done on these layouts and no shorting was observed indicating Peco out of the box does not need electrical modification.
That may well be because they are dead-frog turnouts. I don't think I have ever seen a layout with live frog turnouts incorrectly wired which hasn't had some kind of electrical shorting problem.
With DCC you simply can't get away with dodgy wiring methods: it forces you to solve the problems and wire properly otherwise the cut out keeps cutting out.
Graham Plowman
Reply to
gppsoftware

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