I am new to the OGR forum and building a ceiling / shelf layout that spans 2 rooms - about 50 ft. of single loop with passing sidings on opposite sides of the loop.  The plan is to run 2 trains simultaneously in opposite directions using stop and control blocks.  Locomotives are older (2003-2005) conventional Williams and Lionel.  1) Are there track power options that provide a remote control capability so that train operations could be controlled from either room preferably wireless but cabled if necessary?  2) I've read about block control with and without the use of relays, is the choice just personal preference or is one better and why?

Lastly, any recommendations on a good general reference book on AC layout wiring?  

Thanks! 

Original Post

Track/turnout # & brand ?

The use of a relay is usually best. It only requires a small power draw thru an isolated rail to activate a relay vs passing a motor's load across the same circuit. End result is less damage to the rails used as contacts. (over time contact/isolation rails does pit more from more electrical current, sparking, etc.)  A relay keeps that wear at a minimum.  

A relay is also useful for circuit isolation and or creating a better, maybe shorter path of delivery, etc.

The only downside is the relays aren't free.

What you want to do isn't hard and besides;it's hard to say "no way to do that" anyhow. Consider a station(s) and timers for off and on times too.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





One issue with the start/stops is "jackrabbiting" of restarting from a stop and wait. The inrush of power can be slowed or the voltage to the "dead track" lowered slightly at it's drop wire by paired opposing diodes, inrush limiters/ resistors, etc.

There are command control options for "recordable actions". Both cabled and wireless. Most command systems offer some version of it. Basically the track gets full power all the time. Then a system sends a throttle or sound, etc signal to each engine/item and the engine/item obeys.  The systems use the rails, and/or "radio"(of numerous types) to send the signal(s).  The more you invest in the system 'brain'; the more you and it can do.

 

 

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





IMO block control is about all a shelf layout needs. But with two rooms to cover on foot, a remote throttle would be nice even if blocks control the action.

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





BUTCH! GREAT TO SEE YA BACK MY MAN!

Agree with @Adriatic if you're spanning 2 rooms, it's a ceiling layout and there's 50ft of track- that creates distance. The more distance means more time, more time means an increase in the interval that somethingbad happens to which you cannot get to and fix. I'd say, at the least, a remote control would be ideal. If you're just running conventional and don't plan on upgrading, I suggest doing what I did until I got my first TMCC engine. Find yourself a used Lionel TMCC Cab-1 http://www.lionel.com/products...ote-control-6-12868/ and a TMCC powermaster http://www.lionel.com/products...powermaster-6-24130/

If your loops are totally separate, you'll need two of the powermasters but they can be had for $30 to $40. From there, you'll essentially be able to do what Butch said- crank up that voltage to 16-18 on your transformer and nothing will move until you grab the extremely simple to use cab-1 remote.The powermaster also provide fantastic circuit protection. The big advantage of having the remote is the ability to quickly shutdown the tracks quickly without having to run to a powerstrip andrip the plugs out or shut down your transformer.

 

 

StevefromPA posted:

BUTCH! GREAT TO SEE YA BACK MY MAN!

Agree with @Adriatic if you're spanning 2 rooms, it's a ceiling layout and there's 50ft of track- that creates distance. The more distance means more time, more time means an increase in the interval that somethingbad happens to which you cannot get to and fix. I'd say, at the least, a remote control would be ideal. If you're just running conventional and don't plan on upgrading, I suggest doing what I did until I got my first TMCC engine. Find yourself a used Lionel TMCC Cab-1 http://www.lionel.com/products...ote-control-6-12868/ and a TMCC powermaster http://www.lionel.com/products...powermaster-6-24130/

If your loops are totally separate, you'll need two of the powermasters but they can be had for $30 to $40. From there, you'll essentially be able to do what Butch said- crank up that voltage to 16-18 on your transformer and nothing will move until you grab the extremely simple to use cab-1 remote.The powermaster also provide fantastic circuit protection. The big advantage of having the remote is the ability to quickly shutdown the tracks quickly without having to run to a powerstrip andrip the plugs out or shut down your transformer.

 

 

Thanks,  I wasn't up on Lionel Cab and Powermaster track control.  I've been away from model railroading a long time and Lionel since I was a small boy marveling at the pre-war setup my father and grandfather put together.  This looks like a perfect solution I can also avoid a conventional transformer buy and go straight to a power house 18VAC power supply.  Given the remote nature of the layout (large and up high) the circuit protection and track shut down features are also a great plus.

Adriatic posted:

Track/turnout # & brand ?

The use of a relay is usually best. It only requires a small power draw thru an isolated rail to activate a relay vs passing a motor's load across the same circuit. End result is less damage to the rails used as contacts. (over time contact/isolation rails does pit more from more electrical current, sparking, etc.)  A relay keeps that wear at a minimum.  

A relay is also useful for circuit isolation and or creating a better, maybe shorter path of delivery, etc.

The only downside is the relays aren't free.

What you want to do isn't hard and besides;it's hard to say "no way to do that" anyhow. Consider a station(s) and timers for off and on times too.

Adriatic posted:

One issue with the start/stops is "jackrabbiting" of restarting from a stop and wait. The inrush of power can be slowed or the voltage to the "dead track" lowered slightly at it's drop wire by paired opposing diodes, inrush limiters/ resistors, etc.

There are command control options for "recordable actions". Both cabled and wireless. Most command systems offer some version of it. Basically the track gets full power all the time. Then a system sends a throttle or sound, etc signal to each engine/item and the engine/item obeys.  The systems use the rails, and/or "radio"(of numerous types) to send the signal(s).  The more you invest in the system 'brain'; the more you and it can do.

 

 

 

I appreciate your insight on a relay approach also your thoughts on start-up current limiters - it all makes good sense.  I'm comfortable with electrical circuit basics but short on circuit design and component sizing.  Any recommendations on a good book to serve as a reference source for building the block control circuits and electrical layout design in general?  

Thanks!

Wiring Your Toy Train Layout by Peter Riddle is a pretty good all around wiring book for 3 rail AC trains. 

I enjoyed reading it, but it's been a few years. I don't recall exactly how much was covered on blocks? But, there is a lot of good and helpful info in the book for a good understanding of wiring most things. 

rtr12 posted:

Wiring Your Toy Train Layout by Peter Riddle is a pretty good all around wiring book for 3 rail AC trains. 

I enjoyed reading it, but it's been a few years. I don't recall exactly how much was covered on blocks? But, there is a lot of good and helpful info in the book for a good understanding of wiring most things. 

Thanks!  I had seen that book listed with good reviews and wondered what folks in the OGR forum thought.

Hi, you could try Greenberg`s Wiring your Lionel Train Layout, they cover things from connecting a simple lockon to using relays and making block sections, there are 3 versions, volume 1,2,and 3, you want  volume 1 as that is the one that has what you mare looking for, good luck, Phil

Dallee electronics has all type of stop and go equipment plus automatic turnout control.  His web site also has a fair amount of information.

He is a strong innovator in the model RR field.  Usually at York.  Business in Leola just East of Lancaster PA.

Dallas is a very detail oriented person and patient in explaining how to use his product.  He has helped me on different occasions awhile ago.  Five stars.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

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