end of track loop and DCC?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by witeagle, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. witeagle

    witeagle New Member


    How do I setup an end of track loop without ending up with a short and to keep the train moving in the same direction <forward> when it goes back onto the single line that sent the train to the loop?

    I saw a picture of this on the net someplace - is it something I can only do if I run DCC.

    Thinking about DCC, I am planning out my layout and does it make more sense to go with DCC right off the bat or can I upgrade to this later?

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    This is called a reverse loop (or reversing loop). Try a search on these terms.
    Whatever you choose, you need two sets of gaps (insulated rail joiners) in your reverse loop, with as long a section as possible in between.
    DCC has a little black box that does the job. If you're going to get DCC, do it while you only have a couple of engines to convert.
    You can set up a reverse loop in DC. You need two more reversing switches (electrical), one for the reversing section and one for the main line.
  3. dr.5euss

    dr.5euss Member

    I would go with DCC 'from the bat'. It would be easier than to rewire it all. 60103 is right. You need a reversing loop module: $40 for the Prodigy DCC system, $48 for Lenz, $50 for Bachmann EZ Command.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The only problem with the automatic reversing loops for dcc, is that I've heard they work fine for diesel engines with one side of the truck positive and the other side negative; but some of the older steam engines that ran the locomotive drivers as positive on one side and the tender wheels on the other side for the negative will have difficulty. The reversing boxes don't seem to understand what they are dealing with.
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Russ, I don't think that's correct. The reversing module senses if a short occurs when a train enters or leaves the reverse loop (wye, or whatever..). If there's a short, the module automatically "aligns" the polarity to remove the short. As long as the isolated section is longer than the engine or equipment that can trip the module, there should be no problem.

    Gus (LC&P).
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Actually, the problem Russ mentions is all too real. The MRC reversing units often failed to throw for any of my steam, while working 95% of the time for diesels. When I tried using a screwdriver instead of wheelsets to make the polarity flip (by bridging the gap between one of the rails with the screwdriver) the module would not change the polarity, just sit there shorted. Yet bridges by loco wheels which conducted power to a motor, they worked. I concluded, somewhat unscientifically, that the MRC units require sensing a current draw of some type. If this makes sense or not I don't know. I do know that Tony's reversing units work well with my steam, various plastic and brass. I've replaced all mine with Tony's, a total of twelve.

Share This Page