New user-- isolated sections

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by enolcmelca, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. enolcmelca

    enolcmelca New Member

    Hi there. I am a new RR enthusiast. I am disabled, so I am looking for work arounds that cut down on the amount of physical assembly. I have some Power-Loc track and some EZ track with adapter track.

    Here ar my questions, if someone is able to help:

    --Can I easily make two isolated sectons with plastic rail joiners and the EZ track? Do I use common rail wiring for this, or is ther a better way if I want to simply use two controllers? If I do common rail, how do I wire the common when Power loc is a plug in affair? Would I need to solder to a joiner on the EZ track section? Should I get a controller for EZ track and/or the Life-like track that is not plug in to make thnigs easier? If I did that, how would I attach it to the Life-like track? Can I cut off two sections and use joiners or the joiners with leads attached that I've seen? Any suggestions? I really appreciate the time anyone take in rely!
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hello, I am also handicapped and building a layout. The best thing I can recomend to you is to use dcc instead of dc. With dcc, you won't need all the block wiring, since you control each loco seperetly through the controller, not through on and off switches. It is an added expense, but I think it is well worth it.
    I have never used ez track, so I can't help you there. I use all Atlas components.


    P.S. Welcome to the The Gauge and model railroading:thumb:
  3. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Avoid EZ-Track if you are able. If Not, use DCC. Use DCC anyways. The Digitrax Zpehyr is an awesome system, it is only $160, it is expandable, and you can avoid all the hassles of block wiring.
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I don't reccoment EZ track, it is not DCC friendly, and its a pain in the butt to wire certain sections even for DC block wiring. its more frustration. DCC is better for the kind of operations you want, but the roadbed track is bad for it.
  5. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    enolcmelca -

    I appreciate your screen name. Am I correct that it is a very obtuse reference to Firesign Theatre's "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus"?

    As for block wiring, I was advised in another thread here that I should abandon attempts at DC and go DCC. But - geez, the expense! $200 for a controller (nevermind two of them), plus $25 or so for each loco (of whach I have about 8). We're pushing $400-600 there -- an expense I was not counting on.

    I agree the wiring would be a whole lot easier, though. I'm wrestling with at least 11 blocks, inclusing a double crossover that looks tricky, and four powerpack controllers. It's daunting.

    NYNH&H - a poor choice of words, there: "if you are able", since he is self-described as "disabled". :)

    - John
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Common rail wiring doesn't have anything to do with what type of track you use.
    You chose one of the rails, let's say the inner one, to be the common rail. Now the make all your block divisions with plastic rail joiners in the outer rail. All the wires to the outer rail will go to the on-off and cab selector switches before they go to the power packs; the inner rail wires will go direct to the power packs (or they may all be joined together and then go to the power packs).
    I think the EZ track should take plastic joiners.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    And if it doesn't, use a cut-off disc in a Dremel tool to cut a gap in the rail where you need it, then ca a piece of styrene or abs in the gap (to keep it from closing). Solder a wire to the "hot" side of the gap, run it through an on/off switch, then back to the isolated rail.

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Bread clips from the bags that bread comes in inthe grocery store are a great source of free styrene for insulated rail gaps.
  9. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    The usual code 100 plastic joiners work with the EZ track.

    BTW, I have used my Zephyr DCC with EZ track with no problems at all.
  10. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    EZ track not DCC friendly? Who told you that! All EZ track components are DCC friendly, it's all I use and I have no problems with it with DCC. As for wiring it, no trouble there either. I'm 46 and severely disabled. If I can use it with ease, so can others. Don't diss it just because you had a bad experience with it. It's like all other types of track, if you don't put it down properly in the first place, you'll have problems. That goes for any brand of track. I have mine blocked as well for regular DC operation, so all the blocks are wired separately. If you try using common rail blocking with a DCC system, chances are it won't work properly. I cut both rails and control the blocks through DPDT switches.
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    lol, its interesting you mention this, i was on Bachmann asking for adcvise on the situation. Apperently, my #6 crossover has a defect in them, where it will continue to give me shorts without some sort of major rebuilding. I interpreted this as not being dcc friendly.

    My EZ track isn't blocked, because i never meant for it to be a full layout. its just stuff i put down. Its unusual because it only happens with the one crossover ( this previously did not happen).

    Also, my actaul established layout has block controls, with DCC. If i decide to go back to DC, i just remove the DCC from the DPDT switches. other wise i have the DCC connected to cab A, with all blocks opened.

    I still however maintain that EZ track is not a good idea as a permanent layout's track. It might be working for you, but i know people have been complaining about the same problems i have been expieriencing for the past 4 years with my EZ track. I think normal old atlas track is still the best most reliable way to add track to a layout.
  12. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    If you need to use a sectional roadbed based track system, Kato is much better, although pricey. They have insulating and feeding rail joiners. The best system is flex track. There are various brands, Atlas, Peco, Walthers/ Shinohara, etc.

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