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(video was updated 12/9/2020)

* This Video #829 shows 3 (THREE) MTH Protosound 3, 3-Rail O ga. diesels -- automatically running back & forth "point-to-point" -- on a single 16'-8" long track.
* A single detector is used. There are NO blocks in the track.
* An NCE DCC Power Cab & an NCE Mini Panel are used.

* HOW IT WORKS: The NCE Mini Panel (programmable DCC train controller) uses the detector as a reference point, and uses "time delay" from the moment the train passes the detector, to position the train at the correct point on the track.


* When a person pushes the "Start" button, the 3 locos will automatically move (one at a time) from the west end of the track to the East end, pause briefly, then move back to the west end where they started, and PARK themselves.

* However, if the "Keep Running" switch is "closed" then when the "Start" button is pushed, the system will keep operating continuously until "Keep Running" switch is opened again.


Google Drive Album #829: .

Last edited by James Ingram
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Thanks for the feedback.


Actually, IMHO, to just UNDERSTAND how this 3-train system works, you do NOT really need to know ANY electronics.

  1. Just visualize Loco A (the 1st loco) running Eastbound until it crosses the detector, then continuing for 20 seconds further, and then stopping.
  2. Then visualize Loco B running Eastbound until it crosses the detector, then continuing for 15 seconds further, and then stopping.
  3. Then visualize Loco C running Eastbound until it crosses the detector, then continuing for 10 seconds further, and then stopping.


Westbound: Next, they just do the same thing all over, but going in the opposite direction.

Said Another Way: You can just use TIME delay -- beginning your time delay from the moment a loco activates (crosses) the detector, to stop the loco wherever you want it to stop.

Setting Up This Operation:

To actually DO this operation, one needs to know just a little more:

  1. How to hook up a Z-Stuff detector (or similar),
  2. How to connect the detector to the DCC programmable train controller (hook up 2 wires)
  3. How to program the controller.

But its not "rocket science"; probably no more difficult than learning how to use the DCS or Legacy systems.

(I don't know electronics either.  I just follow the Z-Stuff wiring diagram,

and then hook the 2 relay output wires to the Mini-Panel.  The rest is handled by the programming.)



You could do a similar operation for 3 DC trains.

You would probably want 3 blocks at each end (6 blocks total), then use an Arduino or Raspberry Pi or Picaxe or some sort of programmable controller -- and use that controller to turn the appropriate blocks ON and OFF and control the track polarity, to shuttle the 3 trains back and forth.

You wouldn't need any detector, because the BLOCKS would stop the trains at the correct location.

Last edited by James Ingram

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