Arcing tolerances in DCC

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by UKSteam, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. UKSteam

    UKSteam Member

    Hi there all.
    I wondered if anyone could give me some advice please on arcing occurring on some of my points and crossovers. It is not all of them, just one or two of them in a particularly congested switching area and not all of the time and only some of the locos. The points are all Peco 100, they are a mix of double slips and long radii turnouts in insulfrog. I have tried a temporary fix by additon of a small length of sticky tape and this stops the problem. However this is in the construction of the first modular section of what will grow to be a pretty large layout (please see my next post on DCC selection)
    My question is basically will manufactuer A's DCC system be a little less tolerant than a DCC system from manufacturer B ? I am currnetly using a regular old DC controller to check for track alignment smooth running and electrical conductivity of the first few yards of track, and it was during this phase that I noticed the occassional flash of an arc.
    My previous experience with DCC was the old Hornby zero one system many years ago. I seem to remember it had some tolerance to transient arcs at points, but a longer exposure, for instance an absent minded setting down or dropping of a screwdriver,(gimme a break I was 10 and learning :oops:) caused the overload /short protection to kick in. With that in mind and definitely being about to go down the DCC road once again, is any one system a little bit more forgiving of short shorts (pardon the pun) than any of the others, or is it instant and no tolerance? I'd hate to think that I have to experiment with the sticky tape, then make it more permanent with a thin smear of epoxy or nail varnish for a large number of affected slips, or a final solution would be to rewheel all the affected large flange/ wide wheel locos. I guess another fix would be to remove some of the outer rail material where the N and S tracks come closest together in the 'V'.
    Thanks in advance :)
  2. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    You can set the trip time to 500ms on the Digitrax system, and then use tail light bulbs to protect farther like Joe Fugate does.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There are a couple of paces where Peco points have shorting potential.
    At the frogs, the two metal rails come quite close together. If they are powered from beyond the frog (instead of just at the points end) there is a chance for a wide wheel to contact both and cause a short. This can be enough to cause a DCC system to shut down. I suggest an insulated joiner just byond the frogs. I'm not sure what to do about the crossings.
    The all-rail points often have contacy between the back of the points and a wheel. This requires a bit more work and wiring.

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