Rewiring of the HO Layout
Aims and Aspirations
by Bill Hoye
DCC Shelf Layout
· Re-lay all track and replace all points with DCC friendly Peco Electrofrogs
· Rewire the layout to current best practice with suitable buses and droppers for pieces of rail longer than 150mm and to a standard that can be easily fault found and be able to be easily traced in years to come by new members. Pieces of rail shorter than 150mm shall have the rail joiners soldered to the next piece of rail. If a problem develops then a dropper may be added to the rail. The droppers ensure that no rail joiners are used for electricity and signal conduction.
· Replace Solenoid point motors with RC servos.
· Control point motors by DCC via an accessory bus by either local control push buttons or mimic control or CTC.
· Install an operating detector and prototypical signal system
All but the replacement of point motors, signalling and local push buttons has been done.
· Rewire the main layout so that either DC or DCC can be run in a safe manner where a key switch will be used for changeover). This has to be done in a manner that doesn’t affect current DC running. All present wiring will be removed as the layout is successfully switched over to the new wiring. Wire the layout to current best practice with suitable buses and droppers for pieces of rail longer than 150mm and to a standard that can be easily fault found and be able to be easily traced in years to come by new members. Pieces of rail shorter than 150mm shall have the rail joiners soldered to the next piece of rail. The droppers ensure that no rail joiners are used for electricity and signal conduction.
· Wire all passing loops and sidings so they can be used with DCC and with isolating switches so they can be used for DC to allow proper Railroad operation to be able to take place. Stub sidings will be similarly wired but without occupancy detectors.
· Replace all points with DCC friendly Peco Electrofrogs and relay any track with new track if required.
· Install 2 crossovers at each end of both yards and in the vicinity of the industrial areas on the peninsula section of the layout.
· Replace the point motors with RC servos and control them with DCC. This way they can be operated in local or by computerised CTC.
· Run buses (thick wires under the layout) for each main line (joined into a single bus for DCC running by relay control), accessory bus which allows control of point motors and possible animation by DCC control and a 12V DC bus for powering of point motors, signals, etc.
· Divide the layout into isolated sections suitable for signalling. Install sub buses for these sections and connect these sub buses to the main buses via isolating switches to allow isolation of sections for DC operation. Similarly stub sidings to receive power via their own bus, but without occupancy detectors. (see below).
· Install occupancy detectors (current transformers) to sense current flow (i.e. rolling stock in the section) between the sub buses and the main buses. Unfortunately, the detectors only detect DCC and wont sense DC current flow.
· Build and install 2 and 3 colour signals and install where appropriate (as in the prototype). These will display route and block indication when running for DCC. It is not automatic control so trains can be driven through a red signal just as on the prototype!!!! Because of the current detectors, when running in DC all signals will display green regardless of occupancy!!! The signals will be installed at a prototypical distance from the track. This will prohibit the running of On30, etc. except in the areas s between signals
· DCC locomotives can be run by wireless throttles and by wireless throttle apps on iPhone and Androids as well as by walk around wired throttles connected RJ45 sockets on the layout facia board.
A committee of Peter Scouler, Barrie Whittaker, Steve Magee and Bill Hoye have taken on the implantation. Any questions or concerns you have should be directed to them.
Wireless walk around throttles for DC and cab control is beyond the scope of the group doing this project and would have to be taken up by those dedicated to DC.
DCC on the main layout will be operational by June 2015 and the signal system by December 2015.