Large scale DCC point wiring

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m8internet
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Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby m8internet » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:43 am

I have pondering over whether to wire up my point motors for DC or DCC
The points in use are Peco PL-10E (2 amp) and just about all 60 are in place ready for wiring

If I go for DC, the wire is going to cost £400, the switches a further £50

If I go for DCC, the wire costs £100, plus the cost of decoders (effectively giving me a budget of £350)
So I need to know which will work reliably with the Peco PL-10E
These decoders will be on their own power supply, NOT connected to the track

Here are the choices :
Digitrax DS52, 2 points per module (ie 30 ), £567, £9.45 per point motor
Digitrax DS64, 4 points per module (ie 15 ), £678, £11.31 per point motor
Lenz LS150, 6 points per module (ie 10 ), £444, £7.40 per point motor
LDT S-DEC-4-DC-K, 4 points per module (ie 15 ), £276, £4.60 per point motor
Team Digital SMD82, 8 points per module (ie 8 ), £543, £8.48 per point motor
Team Digital SRC8, 8 points per module (ie 8 ), £270, £4.22 per point motor

The Team Digital SRC8 wins on price, however the manual states it works with stall motors
The LDT would be next

One final consideration is that I would prefer addresses to be used that can throw up to 8 points (as this will be required for the middle fiddle yard)
I am concerned that using modules that only connect up to 6 point motors would not be able to do this
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

bigbob
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby bigbob » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:58 am

I went for DC opperation based on ease of use. It`s hard enough controling a number of trains at once without having to put addresses in for moving points aswell!. Wire for them isn`t expensive, i use car audio speaker cable (£15.00/100m roll) which works fine and not had a problem with a point not switching. Use a 19v power supply through a CDU, even if you lose 3v over length 16v will be plenty to throw a PL-10 motor. Switches are about 50p each unless you want something flash!!

Bob
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Flashbang
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby Flashbang » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:49 am

Hi
Unless you want computer control at some stage I would use conventional analogue point operation.

I feel you might need to revisit your costings?
16/0.2mm wire is the recommended minimum to use and this is sold by for example by Rapid in 100Mtr reels for £6.93/100Mtr.
Example of 16/0.2mm wire On longer wire runs use 24/0.2mm wire Example of 24/0.2mm wire

Consider using a "Common Return" for all point motors. This can be one wire of 2.5mm solid size or 32/0.2mm flexible wire if wished.

For switches - a non locking toggle switch is ideal - SPDT sprung to centre off type Part number 75-0086 is just £0.58 each when 25 plus are purchased together. Example of toggle switches Or cheaper still is Stud and Probe selection!

You will also need a Capacitor Discharge Unit (one for the whole layout normally) Approx price from £8 to £11 ish Example of Heavy duty CDU

A power supply is needed too. Ideally an ex laptop PSU offering 18 to 20 volts dc is great to use. Check out ebay sellers where normally these sell new for around £8 to £10 each.
ebay examples of Laptop PSUs

Add some diodes for making up route setting matrix - average cost per diode is £0.10p.
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klaatu
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby klaatu » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Have you considered the MERG DCC decoder kits, which work out at £2.50 per point?

Steve
Just playing trains - not a "proper modeller"

m8internet
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby m8internet » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:31 pm

The layout is eventually going to be computer controlled, as I have mentioned elsewhere
Therefore the wiring being put in at present, if DC, has to take into account converting from DC to DCC in the future

Even on DC, the 32/0.2 wire from Maplin is £0.89 per metre, and that is what my calculations are based on
What I have noticed is that if I order 99 metres it is £88.06, and 100 metres is £45.47
No details on their website why!
Therefore the wire cost changes from £400 to £210

The switches I plan to use are miniature push to make, at 25p each, and I would need 200 of them in order to complete the track wiring
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

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Flashbang
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby Flashbang » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:35 pm

m8internet wrote:The layout is eventually going to be computer controlled, as I have mentioned elsewhere
Therefore the wiring being put in at present, if DC, has to take into account converting from DC to DCC in the future

Even on DC, the 32/0.2 wire from Maplin is £0.89 per metre, and that is what my calculations are based on
What I have noticed is that if I order 99 metres it is £88.06, and 100 metres is £45.47
No details on their website why!
Therefore the wire cost changes from £400 to £210

The switches I plan to use are miniature push to make, at 25p each, and I would need 200 of them in order to complete the track wiring

Hi
Unless your motors are some considerable distance from the supply (DCC decoder or analogue switch etc) then 16/0.2mm or 24/0.2mm wire will be fine. 32/0.2mm would only be required on wire runs in excess of some 30 to 40 plus feet (10 to 15 mtrs)! Which is a long way!
This sort of distance on DCC isnt necessary, as the accessory decoder should be located reasonable close to the points its controlling. :D
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Free_at_last
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby Free_at_last » Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:34 pm

m8internet wrote:Even on DC, the 32/0.2 wire from Maplin is £0.89 per metre, and that is what my calculations are based on
What I have noticed is that if I order 99 metres it is £88.06, and 100 metres is £45.47
No details on their website why!
Therefore the wire cost changes from £400 to £210


Maplin is expensive, there are other places... http://uk.farnell.com/pro-power/3788064 ... dp/1735209
Pete.
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RFS
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby RFS » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:09 pm

Free_at_last wrote:
m8internet wrote:Even on DC, the 32/0.2 wire from Maplin is £0.89 per metre, and that is what my calculations are based on
What I have noticed is that if I order 99 metres it is £88.06, and 100 metres is £45.47
No details on their website why!
Therefore the wire cost changes from £400 to £210


Maplin is expensive, there are other places... http://uk.farnell.com/pro-power/3788064 ... dp/1735209


Even Farnell are expensive: £22.01 per 100m for this whereas Rapid Online are £15.19 including VAT. That's 15p per metre compared to 89p at Maplins.

http://www.rapidonline.com/productinfo.aspx?tier1URL=Cables-Connectors&tier2URL=Equipment-Wire&tier3URL=Equipment-Wire&tier4URL=32-0.2mm-Equipment-wire-1500V-6A&moduleno=62325
Robert Smith

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Free_at_last
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby Free_at_last » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:27 pm

RFS wrote:
Free_at_last wrote:
m8internet wrote:Even on DC, the 32/0.2 wire from Maplin is £0.89 per metre, and that is what my calculations are based on
What I have noticed is that if I order 99 metres it is £88.06, and 100 metres is £45.47
No details on their website why!
Therefore the wire cost changes from £400 to £210


Maplin is expensive, there are other places... http://uk.farnell.com/pro-power/3788064 ... dp/1735209


Even Farnell are expensive: £22.01 per 100m for this whereas Rapid Online are £15.19 including VAT. That's 15p per metre compared to 89p at Maplins.

Thats a good price, could you give me a link please, my search for 32/0.2 is only turning up single core.
Pete.
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When you buy something, you have bought it, not brought it.
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RFS
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby RFS » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:10 pm

Go to http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Equipment-Wire/Equipment-Wire and make your choice. In my view 32x0.2mm is a bit heavy for point motors (literally so - you'll have to thread it all). I'm using 16x0.2 but then I'm using DCC with Lenz LS150 decoders which means most points are only 2-3ft at most from the LS150 box. Even so I had a couple of 25ft runs due to the need to use spare LS150 interfaces on the other side of the layout, and for these 16x0.2mm worked fine. All my points are Peco PL-10E.
Robert Smith

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Free_at_last
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby Free_at_last » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:51 pm

RFS wrote:Go to http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Equipment-Wire/Equipment-Wire and make your choice. In my view 32x0.2mm is a bit heavy for point motors (literally so - you'll have to thread it all). I'm using 16x0.2 but then I'm using DCC with Lenz LS150 decoders which means most points are only 2-3ft at most from the LS150 box. Even so I had a couple of 25ft runs due to the need to use spare LS150 interfaces on the other side of the layout, and for these 16x0.2mm worked fine. All my points are Peco PL-10E.


Ok, thanks for that but I still couldn't find the 2 core 32/0.2 as per the Farnell link, my bad I suppose.
I could find single core for £15.19, but that would then work out over £30 for 2 reels.
Pete.
Gauge is not spelt guage. Remember to put another "m" in remeber. Manufacturers has two "r"s in.
When you buy something, you have bought it, not brought it.
Before you post, are you really LOL and do you NEED to tell us?

bigbob
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby bigbob » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:13 pm

m8internet wrote:
The switches I plan to use are miniature push to make, at 25p each, and I would need 200 of them in order to complete the track wiring


They are only rated at something like 250ma, if you want to move a few points at once look at something heavier. I use 3A rated ones for moving 4 points at once.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-C ... ches/71435

Bob
Growing old is compulsary, growing up is optional!


ALL CLASS 50`S SHOULD BE CUT UP INTO SMALL PIECES AND USED FOR SOMETHING MORE USEFUL LIKE A PAPER-WEIGHT

RFS
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby RFS » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:14 pm

Free_at_last wrote:
RFS wrote:Go to http://www.rapidonline.com/Cables-Connectors/Equipment-Wire/Equipment-Wire and make your choice. In my view 32x0.2mm is a bit heavy for point motors (literally so - you'll have to thread it all). I'm using 16x0.2 but then I'm using DCC with Lenz LS150 decoders which means most points are only 2-3ft at most from the LS150 box. Even so I had a couple of 25ft runs due to the need to use spare LS150 interfaces on the other side of the layout, and for these 16x0.2mm worked fine. All my points are Peco PL-10E.


Ok, thanks for that but I still couldn't find the 2 core 32/0.2 as per the Farnell link, my bad I suppose.
I could find single core for £15.19, but that would then work out over £30 for 2 reels.


Sorry - my mistake. Just realized the Farnell wire was 2-core and the Rapid one single core. :roll:

But I still don't think you need such heavy wire for points: 24/0.2 will cost £9.93 for single core and 16/0.2 will cost £6.93. All prices including VAT.
Robert Smith

m8internet
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby m8internet » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:27 pm

bigbob wrote:They are only rated at something like 250ma, if you want to move a few points at once look at something heavier. I use 3A rated ones for moving 4 points at once

The miniature push to make switches I have are rated for 1A, took me a while to find ones rated that high
60 point motors would only need 120 such switches (position open - closed), however I thought you might have noticed I need 200
This cost calculation takes into account using four Roger Murray switching panels, as I already have these, and these will be used for the fiddle yards to set routes rather than operate individual points; common return is not permitted in the wiring for this
The switches are only going to be on the points on the scenic area, there are 40 of these

As above, I need 32/0,2 wire as the wiring is going to be converted to DCC use, either in the future or from the outset
Only the wires between the point motors and the accessory decoders would need to be 16/0.2, the bus has to be 32/0.2
I have therefore costed it on using 32/0.2 throughout, although buying 16/0.2 will save some money

Anyway, back to the decoders, which look the best option?
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

RFS
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Re: Large scale DCC point wiring

Postby RFS » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:39 pm

I'm using Lenz LS150 decoders with Peco PL-10E point motors. These decoders require a separate power supply - 16 volts AC at 3 amps for which I use a Lenz TR100 transformer. This supplies all my LS150s in series, the only restriction being not to change two point motors simultaneously. I use computer control via RR&Co TrainController and this manages all the routing, ensuring point motors are switched one at a time.

It's generally better to use an accessory decoder that does support using a separate power supply, rather than using power from the DCC bus. The LS150 does not support routing itself, but there are other accessory decoders that do.

For wiring you firstly need the power supply cable. The requirement in my case is 3 amps so 24/0.2 is sufficient as it's rated at 4.5 amps. The LS150s are connected to the DCC bus (for receiving commands) via short droppers, and the points are connected to the LS150s via 16/0.2 wires. As the LS150s are placed close to the points round the layout, most of the connectors are quite short - majority of mine are no more than 2-3 ft.

It's also recommended to use a separate bus wire for the points. The wiring for this need not be substantial as it's only used for receiving and sending commands. I use 1.5mm solid wire from twin-and-earth for the main DCC bus, and 1.0mm for the accessory bus. I use a PSX circuit breaker for the main DCC bus, but the points bus does not pass through this being directly connected to the Lenz command station. The reason for this is you get "operator errors" from time to time caused by driving a train towards a point set the wrong way. This causes a DCC short, but to correct this you need to change the points. This will not be possible if the accessory decoders are connected to the main DCC bus as that has been shorted out. The PSX circuit breaker trips the main DCC bus, but as this is transparent to the command station the points bus remains live and hence you can still change points.

I would also think about computer control. One of the principle requirements of operating is knowing which way the points are set. With standard control you build a control panel which can include LEDs to show the setting of the points. But switch to DCC control with 60+ points and you no longer have visibility. My computer display shows a track diagram which indicates the setting of the points, and I couldn't imagine operating points without that visibility.
Robert Smith


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