Newbie question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by slcpunk21, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. slcpunk21

    slcpunk21 New Member

    Hey guys! Great forum! I've been searchin around here for a bit checkin things out. So I've of course got tons of questions. But I thought first I'd ask if you have any sites to go to that can help with with how to's or tips on some stuff.

    Next.... here's what's holding up my whole project. I have my layout setup in basically a circle, then I have a turnout that conects to another turnout on the other side of the table, essencially cutting across the table from one side of the circle to the other. Well this causes a problem when the track meets, because the current is different on the rails( once it the engine gets past the halfway point it then crosses and changes direction because of the current on the two rails is flipped. (I hope that makes sense to you all...wasn't sure how to describe it) Is there anything I can do to fix this problem?

  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi slcpunk21
    First of welcome to the gauge.
    What you describe is basically a dead short due to the fact you have a train in a reversing loop. Can you can draw out your plan please and post it. I will show you what is wrong.


  3. slcpunk21

    slcpunk21 New Member's a cheesy image that I made. It's all that I have at my disposal right now..hahaha. Well I marked where I'm having my problem, and yes I'm pretty sure it's some kind of short. Let me know if this helps at all, and if there is anything I can do about it. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    It does sound like you have created a "reversing loop", and this would require an "east-west" switch, a double pole double throw toggle switch to reverse the polarity. It also sounds like you have gaps at the point where the loco changes direction.
    Somebody out there should be able to post a wiring diagram for a reversing loop, I don't have one on hand to scan and post.

    It's hard to tell from your diagram, though. the upper turnout is drawn almost at right angles to the main line. If that turnout actuall curves to the right from the main line, then it would form a smaller circle within the larger. If it curves to the left from the mainline, it forms a reversing loop.
    In the case of a smaller circle, you may just have to relocate gaps, and add a new feeder., to the inner line.
  5. slcpunk21

    slcpunk21 New Member

    You guys are are right it's creating a reversing loop. The turn outs aren't 90%...just my bad drawing ;) Yes I do have gaps where it changes direction, I just started laying track, and haven't set anything permentant just incase I ran into problems that I didn't forsee...that way I could changed it.(cause when I had the tracks wouldn't work at all) When it crosses the gap in the track...say if the engine is running forward...then once across the gap it wants to run in reverse, but then of course it makes it go back once again across that gap and it wants to go forward(never ending) does that make sense?

    "east-west" switch I'm kinda confused about that something that I'd have to switch every time it got to that point on the track? cause if I time is just right now, and I change the direction on the controller i can keep it going..but it has to be timed just right.

    Thanks for the help guys...I'll try and make a better drawing in a you can see the angles better on my layout.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    It's Doin Da Dreaded DC Double Dance :(

    Welcome aboard. A good place to start is here. Check out the archives at the bottom of the front page. Another great sorce of information would be Shamus's book on CD, which you can PM or e-mail him about, and read about it in the Buy and Sell section. Yet another sorce should be the NMRA Main Web Page and their Beginners Pages.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Kalmbach publishes a book titled "How To Wire Your Model Railroad." I think Carstens probably publishes something similar, and finally Atlas has a booklet out on how to wire model railroads. The Atlas book is the cheapest, but realize that they tell you how to wire using their products, rather than generic electrical parts. Any of these books would help you. I would suggest that what would help you get trains running right away and give you some fun with switching is to eliminate the track going diagonally accross the layout, and rather use the switches to make a passing siding on either side of the layout. That will provide you a "run around" to get your locomotive on the right end of the train to service the industrial sidings you have.
  8. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    dead short

    I personally never cared for reverse loops. If you DON'T want one, where the line comes off the top, and turns out to the right, when it comes to the bottom , have it turnt to the right also, which basically makes a small circle as part of a larger one. The turnout at the bottom is a left turnout, but a right turn onto the main. That eliminates any shorts or reversing.

  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Yes, you do have to throw the reverse switch every time you go through the revese loop. In fact, you need a length of track in the middle that's hooked up to a separate reverse switch, and a reverse switch for the main line. You can't use the one on the power pack for this, but you could use it for switching.
    Only think about that reverse loop is that you only have one. Once you get the train going clockwise, you have to back through to sent it counter-clockwise again.
    The block in the middle ideally should be longer than your longest train -- metal wheels on a car will cause more shorts if it comes into a block that's been changed. The minimum length is the length of your longest loco+tender or combination of (powered) locos.
  10. slcpunk21

    slcpunk21 New Member

    Thanks jon-monon! Those links helped alot!!! I understand it all now! ANd 60103 good point never thought about the cars causing shorts if they aren't on the insulated section of track! I guess I might just change the layout a bit, or figure something else out. Once again thanks guys! This forum is really really helpfull!

  11. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Hi slcpunk21, Welcome to the Gauge.

    One way that you could solve your problem is to make the entire center section a seperate block with a double pole double throw reversing switch that would control the direction of travel for that whole section. Isolate both rails at both turnouts and then just flip the switch in the direction you want to go.
  12. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Reverse loop wires.


    Attached Files:

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