4x8 figure 8 crossing

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by YmeBP, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. jesso

    jesso Member

    I brought up the find short circuits in the rts file and the red arrows say that is where the problems are. Unfortunately, I have never wired a reversing loop. However, when you put insulated connectors at the points of the short circuits, the short circuit arrow goes away in the RTS program. That is all I can offer on this. I hope someone else can jump in and tell you the right thing to do.

    Attached Files:

  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Yes that feature is a life saver!! I put insulating rail joiners on each rail of all 4 turnout frogs leading to the "x" section of the figure 8. I wiired the inside rail (going from top down) together on my wiring block under the layout as the common rail. I have a selector switch that switches power from cab a to cab b. I think i also need something other than the direction switch on the cab to change the polarity of the track. Like an atlas twin or selector.

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I was wondering if you'd provided for this.
    Both legs of the X make a reversing section (2 reversing sections, actually).
    Steps: you need to make 2 blocks that are insulated from the switch to the other switch. You don't need to insulate the crossing (I assume it's all plastic frogs; these are already fully separated).
    You need 2 reversing switches -- one for the main line and one for the reverse loop; ignore the reversing switch on the power pack except for switching. Wire the two reversing sections together so that one setting of the reverse switch has trains coming towards you. (Atlas has a device that does it but I forget what it's called.)
    So now your operation becomes: Train circles the loop CW. It enters the X at the top left; reverse sections are set for downward. While train is in the reverse, the main line direction is changed. Train exits the reversing section going CCW.
    OK? this is why half the world went to DCC.
    If you want the figure 8 to be the main operation (!) instead of the X being the reverse section, it is the little straight sections joining the two loops (where the crossovers are).
    I'm not sure it can be made any simpler.
  4. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I think i understand ;) the switches are called twins i think i bought an atlas wiring book.

    Funny you metnion dcc, i bought a digitraz zephyr for the older son, the younger one LOVEs the crank on the mrc throttles hahah.

    I'd ave to get 2 auto reversing things for the x in the middle if i went full dcc correct?
    This is more a dcc question but could i use the jump port on the back of the zephyr to control the dc portion of the rails?

    Thanks for the response!! ;) What do you think of my work? Next project is an n scale layout on the same 4x8 sheet. i just have to come up w/ a layout that the kids can step up to. form this one. I think i made this one more for me .. the center xing is a little complex for them

    OOOOOh which leads me to another question :oops: now that i have everything glued down how would i expand this layout? Would i cut the railjoiners and then drop in a turnout to the other module, how would i reattach railjoiners to glued track? Don't railjoiners help keep the rails even as well as conduct electricity?

    Sorry for all the q's :) this is the second layout i've done and the first time i've used glue and actually had to really think about what i was doing.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Unless you had plans to have 2 trains in the X at once, one reversing module should work. I don't see how you could run anything more than that unless you went for trolley cars or single RDC trains.
    To expand, you need to pry up the track; depends on how you put it down. When you get the track up the sections should just pull apart unless you soldered them together. Oh, did you mean pulling a piece of track out of the middle?
    Railjoiners do a moderate job of keeping rails in line. Some modellers don't bother with them.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    If you use Atlas devices, the one for reversing sections is called the Controller. Directions are in the Atlas wiring book.

    2nd point: The train must fit completely within the reversing section of track, or sparks will fly when you flip the main direction switch. If you need to run longer trains, you may have to go to 2 reversing sections to include more of the reversing loop in the section.

    yours in wiring
  7. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I have plastic wheels on my rolling stock, do they have to be in the reversing section too? The atlas twin also reverses polarity to a set of rails.

  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You'll get away with it if you use plastic wheels, but eventually you'll have something with metal wheels!
    I saw another possibility: Make one reversing section that consists of the whole left side of the figure 8 (start at the crossing) plus the two turnouts that are there (gaps between the turnout and the crossover turnout). Then you can have the reverse loop switch set either for figure-8 or for oval. Is this still clear as mud?
  9. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Yup just about hahha :) could you elaborate a little? If i understand you correctly that was my intention was to have the oval be a loop and the figure 8 be a loop. Currently i'd only have to gap two sections of track to make the left side right side and "cross bars" be separate blocks. I think i'd have to drop only one new set of feeders too.

    I like that idea :).

    Also thank you all for your help, from the track plan all the way up. My kids are going to run their thomas train around the loops today for the first time on their own ;). I'll take som ephoto's and post!! Thanks again !!

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    What I would do, after much thinking and turning the box inside out, is separate the left side of the inner loop.You need to put in 4 sets of double gaps -- in both straight tracks and both cross tracks. It doesn't matter much where in these tracks they're placed, but someplace to the right of the turnouts, before the next turnout.
    I would set the loop uo with two reverse switches -- right side and left side. The switches would be mounted on a panel and would give the direction on the end curves of the figure 8 (assume the power pack switch is set "forward"). You could mount them on a track diagram to make it clearer. Then for the loop one would be up, the other down. For the figure 8, both up or both down.
    I'd also probably go for nice toggle switches rather than slide switches, both for strength and ease of use.
    And another one for the outer loop.
  11. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    How would i deal w/ the crossing? It is wired to bring power from one side to the other in a straight line not a dog leg.

    Edit 3/30/07
    I went downstairs and looked at it: Silly question :) i was thinking perfect world where i would have the two corn kernel looking things separate at the x, i can gap it just past the x and achieve the same result. I will be gapping dropping some feeders and taking pictures later tonight.

    Edit 3/30/07
    Didn't make it downstairs :) family time infront of the boobtube hahaha but i'm really excited to try this out!!!

  12. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Ran the feeders soldered them gapping the track in a few minutes. I even got the led's figured out and will be installing those at the same time.

    One thing i've gotta say out loud: DCC is the way to go!!! While i'm having fun wiring this up dc, dcc is soooooooo much easier!!
  13. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    The finished (kinda) product. Any suggestions on what to do about the vast pink openness :). My sons and their cousin put the scenery, signs, people and cars down.


  14. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    What sort of scenery do the kids want to see?

    If you want something quick, I'd start with a base coat of some earth paint, then hit the track with some dark brown from a spray can...rails, ties, all of it. Clean the railheads and off you go running again.

    Personally, I'm fond of scenery tricks that hide one area of the layout from another...but in this case, it may be simpler to focus on obstructions that hide the train from view momentarily. Whatever you do, unless you really really want one, Puh-leaze don't build the overused double tunnel in the corner through a tiny little mountain. Just my opinion!

    What are you considering?
  15. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I think they aren't really that picky, and the two year old did already ask for a tunnel hahahaha. He saw it on thomas and friends ;0.

    Not sure, i was thinking i'd put a road in it somewhere w/ a building and parking lot so they could put their cars and they could rearrange the signs from time to time. Then maybe a small hamlet so we could string some telephone poles up at the other side of the figure 8.

    The earth brown is a great plan, my older son wants to lay grass shubs and trees not sure where or what type but i'm sure he just wants to poke things into the layout.

    They've since added a batman and an incredibles car hahaa.
  16. jesso

    jesso Member

    Looks great! On my layout, I put a lake and forest scene in one circle and I am putting a subdivision and little park in the other one. You have some good industries to go to, so maybe you can do the scenery to fit in with the buildings. Tunnels are always fun, and you have enough room on yours to do it, I recommend it as when I built my first layout, my girls where always making hand tunnels over the track.:)
  17. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I've also been toying w/ the idea of adding a suspended/raised track somwhere around the layout that decends into the siding and runs off to anohter module.
  18. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I've added the raised section of the bridge, i've also redrawn the layout schematics. I'm running into a couple of planning snafu's though:

    1) The control panel: I was going to use atlas momentary switches but i don't know how i would keep track of which switch operated what turnout, I remembered seeing on a post here at the gauge momentary pushbuttons. So i went off in search and found some for a decent price. They should be here tuesday i also bought some red, yellow and green led's for the panel. The problem is w/ the schematic of the layout on the control panel? Should i paint it black? I kinda like the wood look ;0. I have a 4'x12" panel to work w/ but i'd like at least 8-12" at each end for the boys to sit and the schematic of the layout in between them. Any suggestions? Here are some photo's of the space.



    2) The next issue is the pinkness, what do i paint it w/ ? I have a ton of woodland scenics grass and some material to make a couple roads etc (need a suggestion on road crossings too hehehe) but i don't know if i should paint the foam base first then put the grass down or just put the grass down? Then ... what color do i paint the base? does it matter? Decisions decisions hehehe. One loop is going to be a little town the other is a passenger station and a barrel loader thingy.

    Here are some photo's of my little sidings and how crazy the wiring has gotten haha.





  19. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I took yoru advice and gapped the tracks this way. i put .015" to .30" (my crappy track laying skills hehe) styrene in between the little gaps in the track to prevent them from touching. is .015" wide enough to prevent a short?
  20. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    for base paint most people use a brown/tan latex paint right over the foam.then glue grass right on top.its simple as that :D.road crossings can be painted styrene to scribed wood planks,they all work pretty well.but id say just search road crossings on here and youll come up with something eventually :thumb: --josh

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