DC Blocks

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by SAL Comet, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

  2. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    I would divide the layout into 4, with the gaps in the middle of the walls. So from your bed, there would be a block to the left and right corners and then 2 more on the other corners. Hooked to 2 transformers and DPDT switches, you can have 2 trains running at the same time. Have the switches through in the direction you want the train to go.

    TrainClown :)
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I've got a good book (albeit an old one), that gives a good explanation of how to "block wire" a layout. Where to put the wiring, and where to insulate as well. I'll need to scan it and post it... somehow. Don't have the book with me ATM, but if I remember it tomorrow, I'll see what I can do.

    Basically, you start at a particular point on your layout, and follow the track around. On diverging turnouts, you continue along, however, should you encounter a converging turnout, you insulate, Then, if using electrofrog turnouts, switching the turnout will turn that particular section of track "on" or "off". If you wish to use multiple controllers, then where you attach the wiring, you also include a switch, to switch from one controller to the other, or "off". i.e. use a "centre off" switch for each "block". Repeat this process from your originating point, (in both directions) to follow all possible paths through turnouts. If you encounter a need to insulate, and have already done so on that section of track between turnouts, then no need to insualte "again". WIth this method, you will also need to power the track at apoint prior to entering "diverging" turnouts.

    A simple example.

    A "mainline passing loop". You power the track on the mainline. follow along the turnout (diverging) and when you reach the turnout (converging), you insulate, and power the track on the OTHER side of the turnout. Repeat this sort of exercise for EVERY path your trains can take.

    So now you have one block to the "left" of the passing loop, and another block to the "right" of the passing loop. (insulated once (both rails, for each track) at the "convering end" of the passing loop.

    as your train moves along the mainline, the direction of the turnout will power the appropriate leg of the passing loop. as it exits the passing loop, the next "block" takes over the powering of the train. If you wish to park the train on the loop, just switch the turnouts to the "other loop", and where the parked train is, becomes "dead track", and the power is automatically applied to the other loop, allowing an additional train to pass.

    It may sound complex the way I've written all that, but the concept is quite simple once understood.

    Are you :confused: yet? do you wanna :cry: or has my oratory put you to :sleeping: or is it all a bit :eek: :eek:
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Sorry to report, I've hunted high and low for that book tonight and can't find it. I don't recall seeing it since I moved house, and I've looked in the boxes of unpacked books, and it ain't there. It must be SOMEWHERE!! :mad:

    I probably put it in one of those places that "ah!! put it there and I won't forget where it is when I want it" sorta places.
  5. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Woodie, I'm not TC, but to answer your questions, YES,YES,NO,YES :confused: :eek: :confused: :eek: :confused: :eek:
  6. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Thanks for lookin' Woodie, I usually find such things as soon as I don't need them anymore or have bought a new one. :curse:

    Anyone know of a website with DC info, All I can find is DCC stuff????
  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Yep, Shamus. That looks about right, using the "theory" that I mumbled out! :thumb:

    But I think you missed an insulation point. It's a bit hard to see on the track plan, but it looks like there is a set of oppossing turnouts just to the left, under the "saw mill" from the mainline to the siding, that will need insulating between the "crossover" joint of those opposing turnouts. It's a bit hard to tell if it's a set of oppossing turnouts, or just a "blotch" on the layout plan.

    Wadda ya reckon?
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Just had another close look too, Shamus. With that insulation point on the passing loop at the "slate quarry", there is no way of powering the "slate quarry" sidings. I would insulate between the opossing turnouts just above the "slate quarry sidings, keep your insulating point on the passing loop, and apply power to the passing loop, between your insulating point, and the turnout to the left on that passing loop. As it is, with your insulating point on the passing loop, should the turnout from the mainline (at the left) be switched to the passing loop, and the turnout from the passing loop be switched to the "slate quarry", you will get a short.

    Also, at the saw mill, I would move the power to the other end of the siding, and, again, insulate between the opposing turnouts that connect the top swamill siding to the passing loop.

    The rules I dicerned from that book, is to always insulate (and never power) when encountering converging turnouts (to the left and right of a particular point on the track), and only apply power on the diverging (single track) side of turnouts.

    Again, wadda ya reckon?
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think there's a crossover just under the words "hidden track" and the insulated joint should be moved there (square A5).
  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    True 60103. That would work. I think the location you are referring to is the opposing turnouts (crossover) that I was referring to as "just above the slate quarry". Insulating there, will power that entire section (passing loop and slate quarry) only when the turnout at the far right of the passing loop is switched to the passing loop. I would move where Shamus insulated to the far right end of the passing loop, and power the passing loop. This would allow for some switching activity on the loop and siding, while the mainline trains can still run. It would require 2 controllers, of course, and have each block power connection switchable between the two. Not sure if SAL wants to run with two controllers, and hence allow multiple train operation at the same time. But what you suggest would be fine for single controller/train operation.

    Do you wish to run more than one train at once SAL? Say, a mainline "thru" train, and do some yard switching?
  11. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Oh derrrr.. **smack self around head** :mad: :curse: and takes another anti-stupid pill.

    Brainwave today.... "I think that book is under a pile of styrene sheet, sticks, and a trinket junk container just at the end of my workbench table"....... And guess what!! It was right where I put the thing last time I had it!

    Yep... it was there!!

    Won't have access to a scanner til Monday now, but I'll scan the stuff then.... (If I don't forget where I put it prominently, to remember to take it with me!!)
  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    If I'm not mistaken (and I may be) you've moved the "power to tracks" on the sawmill siding to the other end. (and reposted your diagram). If my reckoning is correct, then should the turnout from the mainline be switched to the sawmill passing loop (at the right hand end of the loop), and then the passing loop be switched through to the sawmill siding, and the sawmill siding turnout be switched to straight though, along the entire siding, then you will get a short. If I've missed something here, can you help me out with where I've gone wrong?

    Thanks. :confused:

    Also, I think, (again, may be mistkaen) you've applied a "power to tracks" at the slate quarry as well. Should the turnout between that, and the insulation point you've suggested (just to the right of that) be switched to the mainline, you'll get a short there as well. Again, If I've missed something here, can you help me out with where I've gone wrong? :confused:

    If my understanding is correct, you cannot apply power to a diverging leg of an electrfrog turnout, and not get a short, when it is switched to the other leg. :confused:
  13. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Guys, Thanks for your efforts but, the plan I'm using is at the end(post #17) of the thread. I'd repost it here, but the software won't let me. It also won't let me post it any larger. Sorry for the confussion.
  14. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Wrong plan anyway
  15. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Just save and rename it SAL. Here it is.

    Attached Files:

    • sal.jpg
      File size:
      40.1 KB
  16. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    That's the one! Thanks Fred- I tried renaming the file, but it still wouldn't post, I must have done something wrong. :curse: computers.
  17. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Sometimes the gauge reconizes it even if you rename it. You have to open it with your imaging software, alter it, (ie make it 1 pixek smaller) and save it. Fred
  18. Heres a rough blocking guide.

    the blue marks represent blocks

    major blocks: each passing siding is a block to itself, each yard track is a block, the Southern is a block, and the long connecting sills are each a block.

    Attached Files:

  19. petey

    petey Member

    Lost Book

    When you find that place you put your book, would you look in there for my two power packs. They must be in there, I haven't been able to find them in two years.
  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I would add to SS's plan a gap in the siding behind the cotton gin. Probably between the two switches at the Southern interchange. And maybe one at the other end of the siding.

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