Double Crossover with Hare

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by mentor63, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. mentor63

    mentor63 Member

    I have a double crossover on my layout and have installed a tortoise machine for each of the 4 turnouts in the crossover. I learned in another thread that a good way to control it would be to to wire all the Tortoises together so that when one is changed they all change from straight to thrown or visa versa.

    My question now is could I put a Hare (DCC) on one of the Tortoise machines to control all four by DCC? That would permit the use of the Hare features for all the Tortoises. Does anyone know of any technical reason what that would not work?

    Thanks, Gary
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    You could probably use a wabbit instead. This way you can wire two turnouts together, and then connect those to the wabbit onboard connectors.


    The Wabbit™ Dual Output Stationary Decoder | Tech News at Tony's Train Exchange.

    The wabbit is 2 hare cards basically. So one switch to throw 2 of 4 crossover turnouts, and 1 switch for the other two. Unless you're ok throwing all 4 turnouts when only 2 are needed.
  3. mentor63

    mentor63 Member


    Thanks for your reply.

    As I noted from another thread, it appears that there is really no case where changing all 4 turnouts to straight or thrown would be a problem operationally (if all are thrown a train can cross and another train cannot go straight anyway, and if all are straight, trains can go straight on both tracks), so I am okay with that. The Wabbit idea (using 2 Wabbits to control 4 Tortoises) is probably more elagant way to do it, but it looks like it would cost 4X as much as a single Rabbit, if it would do the job by "gang loading" all 4 Tortoises together and not overload something. Just trying to save some money if it will work.

  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

  5. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    You wouldn't need 2 wabbits, only 1.

    You would gang wire two turnouts together that complete a route, and then wire them to the "Turnout #1"

    You would then gang wire the other two turnouts to complete the other route and wire that to "Turnout out #2"

    The wabbit is a dual decoder, so you'll have 2 DCC address (one for each turnout control) and can even control them using toggle switches at a local panel.

    And as mentioned is actually a couple bucks cheaper than a single hare.
  6. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I would think you could use a hare because the amps generally aren't a problem. My case is a little different but I wired 2 turnouts to go to one address on a DS64 and it's worked fine.
  7. VanBee

    VanBee New Member

    "Be Vewy Vewy Qwuiet"

    Gawy is hunting Wabbits!


    Sorry! I couldn't resist :rolleyes:
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I am going to have to wire up one of these beasts in the near furture. This sounds like one option however there is also the problem of wiring up the isolated sections so that they are the correct polarity when the wheels cross the different sections of track. Maybe not a problem for RTR stuff, however for handlaid its a whole different ball of wax. Some of the suggestions I've read discuss using a reversing unit to switch the polarity for the different frog points in order to allow the loco to roll through without causing a dead short. Based on what I've read here, the wabbit is not a reversing unit, so it only solves half of my problem. Although I do like the idea of using it to gang wire two tortoise machines to one switch. That said...since so far all I've done is wire my machines to a DC power supply, I just gang wire them together without the wabbit and get the same results...hmmm...

    Here's a good discussion on the polarity issues I was talking about. There are also some useful electrical diagrams for DC and DCC wiring which I'm sure anyone here could print off to save to use later.

    Fast Tracks :: View topic - Double Crossover wiring
  9. mentor63

    mentor63 Member


    Thanks for all the inputs!

    I finally bit the bullet and called one of Tony's "techies" (they make the Hare/wabbit). He says one Hare would be overloaded by 4 Tortoises. I did not go into the technical details, but he suggests 4 Hares or 2 Wabbits, as several of you have done. He also said they are thinking about a version which would control 4 Tortoise machines, but did not seem to think it would be out in the near future.

    I see NCE has a Switch-It (for 1 Tortoise) and a Switch-8 (for 8 Tortoise), but they don't have all the Hare features, especially the Auto-Throw feature. However, their controllers are about half the cost of the Hare/Wabbit. They (NCE) do indicate that they have controlled 2 Tortoises with one Switch-It, but indicate they are not sure it is a good idea.(?)

    I think I will have to think it over a bit. I can always just control them manually for now. Thanks again, Gary
  10. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    DCC Specialties is the maker of the hare and wabbit not tonys, tonys just sells them. So you could look around and find a better price. How ever Tonys is a very good place and thats where I got mine from.

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