Hello all, I have a track wired up through “fixed 1”, problem is I have a spur track with cars that light up. Track I am using is Lionel tubular. Is there any way to wire up my layout so that I could kill that track and not get power? I need specifics as I am new to this whole DCS thing. Thanks in advance!

Original Post

just install isolated center pin in the area where you want to control power and then use a toggle switch which you can connect from power to the isolated center rail and can power up the Spur only when you want to then your car lights on that track wont be powered up unless you want to!

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Alan Mancus posted:

just install isolated center pin in the area where you want to control power and then use a toggle switch which you can connect from power to the isolated center rail and can power up the Spur only when you want to then your car lights on that track wont be powered up unless you want to!

Guessing I can buy the isolated pin somewhere...as for the wiring and toggle switch is there something that is sold already pre-made? Have zero clue how to do that, thanks.

Maverick, you can buy those white insulating pins, but, all you have to do is take out the center steel pin where you want power to stop/start.  You can even use a toothpick to use as an insulating pin.  Just make sure the center rails do not touch.  You'll need to connect a wire to the insulated center rail to restore power.  Then, all you need is a simple on/off switch to control the spur.  If you don't have one, just Google it or go to Lowes or Home Depot.  They are very inexpensive and don't have to be in any model train section of the store.

Jerry

Yes, any garden-variety spst toggle switch will work. Any hardware store has them in blister-packs in the electrical department. Ask an employee. They'll be marked "120VAC" but will work fine. Get the kind with pigtail wires already attached and the correct wire nuts (employee will help), plus either a roll of #18 wire or even a piece of "lamp cord" off the bulk roll. Lamp cord is either #16 or #18 and either is fine. Use a standard Lionel Lockon to attach the wire to the track, making sure it is attached to the center rail.

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Go to library and read a book on track wiring basics.  Plenty of early books on Lionel layouy building will fill you in.  DCS has nothing to do with how you want to control power on sections of track.

Any LHS would have insulating pins for Lionel tubular track.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

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Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

GGG posted:

Go to library and read a book on track wiring basics.  Plenty of early books on Lionel layouy building will fill you in.  DCS has nothing to do with how you want to control power on sections of track.

Any LHS would have insulating pins for Lionel tubular track.  G

K, got it..also forgot to mention all the accessories stay lit as well with fixed power connected...whats the workaround for that? Thanks so much for your help!

Everything else will work as before.

All you are doing is electrically isolating your spur section of track from the rest of the track/layout by putting a non-conductive insulating pin in the center rail between two sections of track where you want the power to stop/start. That will keep the spur from being powered.

You will then run power to one side of a switch you will buy and then run a wire from the other side of the switch to the center rail of the track at the start of the spur where you want power to be restored. So with the switch off, the spur has no power and when you flip the switch, it now has power. The negative side of the track does not have to be touched at all.

You can mount the switch wherever you want.

For a finishing touch, you could use a lighted 12v switch which will light up when power is on to the spur, but you would have to solder in a diode or resistor to bring the voltage down that lights the switch, not the track. 

With your accessories, do you want to be able to turn them all off or on, or do you want control over which one is on at a given time?

If you simply want to have them off or on, it is pretty simple. Run a wire from the fixed post on the transformer to a switch (as others mentioned with track power). Then take the power wires for the accessories, and connect them to the other side of the switch (I like the idea someone else had, buy a switch that has wires already on it, so with the wires coming from the accessories use connect them with the wire on the switch via a wire nut, really easy). At this point, if you flip the switch on, all the accessories will be on, if you flip it off, they will be off.

 

If you want to control them separately, you would need to buy a switch for each accessory you have. Again, probably easiest to buy a switch that has wires on it already, and here is how you would wire it:

1)On the transformer, put a wire on the fixed output.

2)Have sections of wire, where the number=# of switches you will be wiring.

3)Connect one end of each wire in step 2 to the wire in step one, using a wire nut to tie them together (you will end up with a single wire off the fixed post "fanned out" to wires on the switches)

4)Connect the power wire from each accessory to the other side of one of the switches in step 3.

 

So if you had 4 accessories, you would end up with 4 switches, where one side of each switch goes to the fixed lead on the transformer, the other side to one of the accessories, and you end up where your accessories are able to be powered up individually. 

A simple SPST (single pole single throw switch) is all you need (basically, a standard light switch is a SPST), Home Depot or Lowes will have various toggle or rocker switches that will work, a 120v rated switch will be fine (any switch you use should be rated well above the 18v a typical transformer puts out).

 

One thing I don't see anyone mentioning, if you isolate that section via a fiber pin or gap in middle rail, you will need to connect a DCS control wire to that spur track (if it doesn't have one), since the DCS signals go over the middle rail and if you isolate the spur the signal cannot get through. 

 

 

 

 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Yep. 

One other thing, you don't say what type of transformer you have.  Like me, most folks have their accessories wired to auxiliary posts on their transformers.  For instance, if you have a ZW, you could simply use one of the sliders to increase or even shut off the power.  This way, you don't need any switches.

20191113_151114

Jerry

 

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bigkid posted:

With your accessories, do you want to be able to turn them all off or on, or do you want control over which one is on at a given time?

If you simply want to have them off or on, it is pretty simple. Run a wire from the fixed post on the transformer to a switch (as others mentioned with track power). Then take the power wires for the accessories, and connect them to the other side of the switch (I like the idea someone else had, buy a switch that has wires already on it, so with the wires coming from the accessories use connect them with the wire on the switch via a wire nut, really easy). At this point, if you flip the switch on, all the accessories will be on, if you flip it off, they will be off.

 

If you want to control them separately, you would need to buy a switch for each accessory you have. Again, probably easiest to buy a switch that has wires on it already, and here is how you would wire it:

1)On the transformer, put a wire on the fixed output.

2)Have sections of wire, where the number=# of switches you will be wiring.

3)Connect one end of each wire in step 2 to the wire in step one, using a wire nut to tie them together (you will end up with a single wire off the fixed post "fanned out" to wires on the switches)

4)Connect the power wire from each accessory to the other side of one of the switches in step 3.

 

So if you had 4 accessories, you would end up with 4 switches, where one side of each switch goes to the fixed lead on the transformer, the other side to one of the accessories, and you end up where your accessories are able to be powered up individually. 

A simple SPST (single pole single throw switch) is all you need (basically, a standard light switch is a SPST), Home Depot or Lowes will have various toggle or rocker switches that will work, a 120v rated switch will be fine (any switch you use should be rated well above the 18v a typical transformer puts out).

 

One thing I don't see anyone mentioning, if you isolate that section via a fiber pin or gap in middle rail, you will need to connect a DCS control wire to that spur track (if it doesn't have one), since the DCS signals go over the middle rail and if you isolate the spur the signal cannot get through. 

 

 

 

 

Good point … I didn't mention it because the OP said he had his track " wired up through “fixed 1” which I assumed meant his track power was going through Fixed 1 on the TIU and then out to the track or a distribution panel. Assuming he feeds power to the switch via the distribution panel or Fixed 1 Out, then the DCS signal should flow through the switch to the spur.

Word of caution, IF you put an MTH engine on this spur with the power off and power up DCS, then flip the power on to this spur, the engine will react immediately because it is operating in conventional mode and take off at speed, usually not the desire response.  This is because when DCS is powered up, it send a watchdog signal that MTH engines received and then go into Command mode.  How non MTH engines respond will depend on if they are conventional or if they have a different command system.  There are a number of threads that have previously discussed this topic and as I am not the expert, others can provide more details information if you ask.  Powering the spur through the TUI variable channel/Variable power from your transforming will send the watchdog signal to the Spur enabling you to park MTH engines on the spur. Again, Lionel engines or other mfg engines may act differently based on command or conventional operations.

Best wishes.

Ironhorseman posted:

Word of caution, IF you put an MTH engine on this spur with the power off and power up DCS, then flip the power on to this spur, the engine will react immediately because it is operating in conventional mode and take off at speed, usually not the desire response.  This is because when DCS is powered up, it send a watchdog signal that MTH engines received and then go into Command mode.  How non MTH engines respond will depend on if they are conventional or if they have a different command system.  There are a number of threads that have previously discussed this topic and as I am not the expert, others can provide more details information if you ask.  Powering the spur through the TUI variable channel/Variable power from your transforming will send the watchdog signal to the Spur enabling you to park MTH engines on the spur. Again, Lionel engines or other mfg engines may act differently based on command or conventional operations.

Best wishes.

That only happens if the locomotive is locked in a direction conventionally (i.e. when running conventional it was locked in forward). None of my PS2 or PS3 locomotives take off at speed when they are powered up on a siding. If they miss the watchdog signal they come up in neutral, just like they do in conventional. All I have to do is select the locomotive on the remote and press start up. Then it's under DCS control.  

Santa Fe, All the Way

I haven't read a lot in this thread so pardon me if this has been mentioned. 

I'll assume you only have one power source.

To me, this is an easier, and FREE, option.  Since you talked about using Fixed 1, obviously you're using DCS and have a TIU.  You could run 2 wires from the input (+ and -) of the FIXED 1 to the input posts of either of the VAR channels keeping it set as VARIABLE (versus changing them to fixed output).  Then run wires from the VAR output to the spur.

Then when you want to power the spur, just turn up the voltage on the VAR channel.  It would act as such as an on/off toggle or switch.

- walt

walt rapp posted:

I haven't read a lot in this thread so pardon me if this has been mentioned. 

I'll assume you only have one power source.

To me, this is an easier, and FREE, option.  Since you talked about using Fixed 1, obviously you're using DCS and have a TIU.  You could run 2 wires from the input (+ and -) of the FIXED 1 to the input posts of either of the VAR channels keeping it set as VARIABLE (versus changing them to fixed output).  Then run wires from the VAR output to the spur.

Then when you want to power the spur, just turn up the voltage on the VAR channel.  It would act as such as an on/off toggle or switch.

- walt

I like this idea...will give it a go....thanks

Mav: you don't have an email address in your profile so I'll say it here.  If you're not sure what to do, email me and I'll try my best to get you thru it.  It really is easy. 

Fixed 1 Input + to Var 1 Input + (or2)

Fixed 1 Input - to Var 1 Input - (or 2)

Var OUTPUT to spur.

- walt

 

Lou1985 posted:
Ironhorseman posted:

Word of caution, IF you put an MTH engine on this spur with the power off and power up DCS, then flip the power on to this spur, the engine will react immediately because it is operating in conventional mode and take off at speed, usually not the desire response.  This is because when DCS is powered up, it send a watchdog signal that MTH engines received and then go into Command mode.  How non MTH engines respond will depend on if they are conventional or if they have a different command system.  There are a number of threads that have previously discussed this topic and as I am not the expert, others can provide more details information if you ask.  Powering the spur through the TUI variable channel/Variable power from your transforming will send the watchdog signal to the Spur enabling you to park MTH engines on the spur. Again, Lionel engines or other mfg engines may act differently based on command or conventional operations.

Best wishes.

That only happens if the locomotive is locked in a direction conventionally (i.e. when running conventional it was locked in forward). None of my PS2 or PS3 locomotives take off at speed when they are powered up on a siding. If they miss the watchdog signal they come up in neutral, just like they do in conventional. All I have to do is select the locomotive on the remote and press start up. Then it's under DCS control.  

I have had PS3 locomotives miss watch dog signal and take off at full speed, only way to stop them is kill the power.

I'm with Clem on this one. Also, with 2 PS3s in an MU, one misses the watchdog about a third of the time, requiring turning off power as the only way to get in sync. Startup or Shutdown on the  remote won't do it like in PS2.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

walt rapp posted:

Mav: you don't have an email address in your profile so I'll say it here.  If you're not sure what to do, email me and I'll try my best to get you thru it.  It really is easy. 

Fixed 1 Input + to Var 1 Input + (or2)

Fixed 1 Input - to Var 1 Input - (or 2)

Var OUTPUT to spur.

- walt

 

Thanks Walt, you have been very helpful in your explanantions.

My idea of using the VAR channel of the TIU to power the siding eliminates the 'taking off wildly' problem since the power will be gradually applied using the remote thumbwheel, akin to applying power from the transformer by slowly increasing the power.

- walt

I run DCS PS3 SW1500s with a Z-1000 brick, no throttle, so 14VAC is instantly supplied to the track. I have never had an engine run-away when powering on.

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

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