Proposed Layout Control : Digitrax

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Gary S., Jan 10, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    HO scale. This is what I am thinking... Super Empire Builder and added components. Is it overkill? Would the Zephyr and added components accomplish the same thing?

    Four engines with sound.
    Possible switch machine control.
    Signaling? Who knows, maybe in the future.

    Attached Files:

  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    If there are no walls blocking the view from left to right, try just one receiver in the center and just point the throttles in that general direction. You can add additional receivers if you need them later. I haven't use the PM42 so shouldn't bad mouth it, my recollections from a couple years ago tell me it requires programming and is a bit finicky. I like Tonys power shields. However, I will say that I still run my entire layout (19 x25 double decked) as one power district. I've never had a short it took more than a couple minutes to find. Usually a tool left across some siding! Yes, if someone forgets to throw a turnout or derails, the entire layout stops. That is why I bought the power shields, just been too lazy to install them!

    For the reason of readback of cvs, I like either the Zephyr or the Chief. I bought the Chief 5 or 6 years ago, no regrets.

    Throttle wise, I've liked the size of the DT300 and 100, but with the sound decoders now using so many functions, the 400 is a great choice, I'll have to get used to its larger size. Installed my first Tsunami recently, need funtion11 (I think!) to get brake squeal.

    Hope my rambling is somewhat helpful.
  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you sir. It makes sense to try the set-up with just the one IR receiver. I can always add more later. If the PM42 requires programing, I should probably look into an alternative, or maybe just run the whole layout as one district as you mention.

    I'm open to any other suggestions or comments.

    Also, is the way I drew it the way it would be wired up? I also recall that the IR receivers need a power supply?
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    To add to that, Gary, I'd consider powering each district in the middle of each section with quality wiring, not at the insulated central points on your diagram. That way, you'll get minimal voltage loss along the track to the furtherest point of the district, as it won't be as far. That way, also, you may, at some stage, wish to use stationary decoders around your layout, and the bus will already be close by.

    But looks good. :):)
  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thank you for the thoughts. One of the reasons I posted the diagram was to get yall to help me correct whatever mistakes are in my thinking. I did a lot of reading and researching in the past few days.

    Coming out of the PM42 (or whatever other brand of short circuit divider I use), I'll run a #12 feeder bus under the benchwork for each district. I'll run a #14 or #16 wire up to the track every 3 feet or so.

    Does that sound appropriate?
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Heavier than needed Gary. The #12 bus is fine, you could use 14. The drops need only be 22. They are only a couple inches long and they will not drop your voltage. This size is much easier to hide when soldered to your rails.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Now that you mention it, I realize the jumpers up to the track will only be a couple inches long. Next project is to practice soldering technique.

    Anyone see any other problems with my control layout? The infrared receivers need power supplies? The PS12 cheap ones?

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