This has been the heaviest use of the DCC since it's installation as there were several trains/engines moving at once.
One problem that occurred was when one train was shorting, then the entire GNRW was shorted. I thought it would be easy just to turn off block toggles to locate it but the engineer usually knew if it was his train but it was annoying that the entire layout was shut down. Usually, only for a matter of 15-60 seconds but still annoying.
I'm looking at getting circuit breakers for the layout.
I found a video saying auto bulbs 1156 in series will act as a circuit breaker.
I put one in series for one block and it didn't work for me. The video claimed he's been using them for 15 years with no problems. I'm guessing my latest digitrax isn't compatible with the 'bulb' method.
Initially, I thought it would be expensive, over 500 bucks, to put a circuit breaker at each of the 22 blocks on the GNRW.
Instead, it appears I can group blocks together and route a circuit breaker for each group of blocks.
This means for DC operation, if one block is thrown, then a group of blocks are all active but, since it appears I'll hardly be using DC,
except to run some lone one or two trains, it academic.
It appears that the circuit breakers require both ground and hot wires be isolated with the simple setup with 2 wires input and 2 output.
This circuit breaker is the cheapest and appears to 'fit the bill':
I'm figuring 8 'districts':
B-1,3,4: Seattle's yard and the double track (DT) leading out of the yard.
B-5,6: Cascade tunnel
B-7,8,9,10: Tye to Hillyard DT
B-22: Canyon area with trestles.
B-11,12: Glacier,Shelby DT
B-13,14: Glasgow, Wilmar
B-16: St Paul yard
B-15,17,18,19,20,21: leads to and the interchange/staging 3 track loop.
When I ordered my reverser for the return loop, the tech man said I can use the 'onguard' auto reversers for my turntables. I got two of them but I found the walther's TT don't need them.
The instructions say they are also circuit breakers.
I decided to test it with B-1,2,3,4.
I installed the circuit board and another terminal strip. Ran all 4 block hot wires to one connection, ran an opposing hot wire into the circuit board and then routed the hot to the outgoing terminal strip for B-1,2,3,4.
The instructions for the more fancy PSX shows both the hot and ground side of the track as separate. I figured this wasn't necessary for the circuit breaker (CB) so the ground just routes from the DCC station through the circuit board and to the 12 gauge bare wire that runs around the entire layout.
With just one CB, it worked with no problems.
I shorted out the B-1 and the red LED that I have connected to the CB board went off and blinked every 2 seconds as the instructions said it would in trying to restore power.
I had other DCC engines sitting on the rest of the layout and they were unaware of any short in the B-1 district.
Next, I'll connect the 2nd CB board I have and see how they work together and whether there's any interference having a common ground.
If all works well, I'll order 6 more of the onguard CB's.
Additional terminal strip to route B-1,2,3,4 through the CB and then to the terminal strips leading to the tracks on the layout.