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Wiring Kato turnouts and double crossover for DCC, occupancy detection and automatic control


williamv

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williamv

While I wait for my Unitrack to arrive, I've started planning the wiring. I'm hoping someone can help with the turnouts. Please forgive me, I'm new to the hobby and I'm still learning.

 

I'm wiring it for DCC, and I'll be using Digitrax. I'll be using occupancy detection, also Digitrax. In my track plan, each coloured section is a detection block. The purple lines show where I intend to power the tracks with terminal unijoiners (power to each detection block not shown). I intend to control the layout with TrainController.

 

My understanding is that I do not need to isolate my turnouts (Kato #4), as long as I set them to non-power routing, with the frog set to insulated. There seems to be some confusion online about power-routing vs. non-power routing labels but I'd be setting so them so that all rails are powered, regardless of switch position. I've isolated my turnout sections, only for the purpose of occupancy detection, with a block on either side of the turnout. I'm slightly unsure about where to connect the track power for the turnout. At each end of the turnout, I have a separate detection block, which I need to isolate from the turnout.

Q. If all rails are live, and the frog insulated, could I connect the power at any end of the turnout?

 

Then I come to the double crossover, which is what has me confused. I believe that I need to power each of the 4 ends of the crossover. However, I have blocks on either side of the crossover, so I would need to isolate the double crossover from the adjacent blocks, so where would I connect the power to the crossover? I suppose I could add a short Unitrack piece (S62) on either side, then I could connect the power at the joins between the crossover and the S62, then insulate at the join between the S62 and the next piece. Unfortunately, I'm already at the edge of the layout, so I can't afford to extend the track plan.

Q. Have I understood this correctly? Do I have any other options? Is it best to keep the crossover and turnouts between blocks, or can they be in the blocks?

 

Thanks for any advice!

Layout Plan 2020.4.jpg

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Madsing

Hello William,

Please refer to this excellent post about how to position detection zones within blocks: 

In your track plan, I don't really get where the blocks are. Could you explain? Don't mix blocks with detection zones, these are two different things. Each block should have at least two detection zones.

 

Very important: Always keep turnouts and crossovers out of blocks/detection zones. Period. 

 

You don't want power routing with DCC. When detection zones are too close to turnouts, you have to find a way to power the turnout or the crossover. This can be by adding the S62 piece that you mention on one side of the turnout. On my layout I had to resort to soldering wires directly to the tracks of some turnouts.

 

Marc

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williamv
2 hours ago, Madsing said:

Hello William,

Please refer to this excellent post about how to position detection zones within blocks: 

In your track plan, I don't really get where the blocks are. Could you explain? Don't mix blocks with detection zones, these are two different things. Each block should have at least two detection zones.

 

Very important: Always keep turnouts and crossovers out of blocks/detection zones. Period. 

 

You don't want power routing with DCC. When detection zones are too close to turnouts, you have to find a way to power the turnout or the crossover. This can be by adding the S62 piece that you mention on one side of the turnout. On my layout I had to resort to soldering wires directly to the tracks of some turnouts.

 

Marc

Thanks Marc. That helps clarify.

 

I was using wrongly using block to refer to a detection section. The coloured sections in my plan are detection zones.

 

I’ll have to take a closer at my plan and find a way to better separate detection zones, maybe by having less of them.

 

Thanks again!

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williamv

NB: I misleading used the same colour more than once, for different detection sections.

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