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Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:17 am
by Brett
Hi,ive done a search but came up with little.
My question please.Ive built a dc layout with blocks or cabs whatever they call them.Im planning to convert DCC,and have in my mind to make it simple.I.E i have all my feeders going to one big plastic terminal/s and the blocks being isolated with a on/off switch/s.What i like is to have the locos stop at certain places with a sensor and relay.Now im hoping just to plug in the Dcc (probably a NCE)but keep the blocks,but now the main point>>>is it alright to isolate the power to a dcc loco?or does it like its power turned off via the controller,digitally?im a bit concerned that when a loco enters a isolated section it may hurt the board,does this make sense,or is my DCC understanding need attention.Thanks Brett.

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:06 am
by sishades
The whole point of DCC is that all of the track is live at the same time. There is no need whatsoever for isolated sections. DCC is all about loco control and not track control. With DCC locos can move right up to each other on the same tracks and then move off at the same time, even in opposite directions. You can stop a loco at any position on the track even if there are 10 locos already there. You will hover need to put decoders into your locos as it these that make the system work like a real railway.

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:56 am
by Brett
thanks for the reply, i know what your saying,but im looking to stop the train automatically(using sensors)but not using a computer or to do it.okay problably just work it out when i get the dcc.

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:55 am
by Roger (RJ)
You should be OK to have an isolated section to stop a DCC loco but there are special capabilities built into the DCC system which could allow you to achieve the same result in a more elegant way.

Some (better quality) decoders have an "asymmetrical braking" function which can bring a loco to a stop as you describe, but the loco will slow down gently rather than coming to a sudden stop.

See this link

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:03 pm
by Essex2Visuvesi
theres a way to use dc sections to slow a dcc loco at signals, Im not sure how it works but I'm sure someone more learned can explain etter than I ever could

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:06 pm
by m8internet
sishades wrote:There is no need whatsoever for isolated sections

It depends on how large the layout and the plans of operation
My layout has loads of isolated sections, each fiddle yard is it's own section, the scenic area is then split further
This then allows for detection and signalling to be installed

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:47 pm
by Brett
yes ,i like the idea of "elegantly" bringing the loco to a stop,and i figured there would be modules(digital)to achieve this,i just hoping to use what i have.thanks for the other info and links cheers.

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:03 am
by Silver Surfer
Brett

Just to clear up your point about will it work - yes it will. I have two hidden loops each with two tracks and my trains go into these and stop on a switched isolated section. When I want them back out, I just flick the switch and off they go. Doesn't appear to have had any detremental affect on the decoders and I know they'll go into the hidden section and stay there until I want them out again. Not elegant but functional.

To run dcc on your current dc layout just make sure you have all your isolated switched on - no probs.

Mike

PS I'm NCE Powerpro + TCS decoders

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:31 am
by Brett
Beauty Mike,thanks for that.Brett

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:20 am
by BananaRepublic
For the "more elegant" method of slowing down and stopping locos, there are a number of choices, but some depend on specific makes of decoder and in some cases, specific types of DCC system or add-on modules.

The most common methods used are "asymmetric braking" and "Brake on DC".
Asymmetic, as in Lenz's ABC method is the better of the two, but requires ABC equipped decoders for it to work. These are available from Lenz, ESU and Zimo, all top makes.

The only switched "isolated section" on my layout is a section of the fiddle/storage yard; used to store locos that are not used and therefore won't be a drain on the track power whilst standing idle.
I have sectioned the whole layout for the later installation of track block detection and signalling, but that's completely different to isolated sections in DC because the whole layout will still be "live" and fully powered at all times under DCC.

cheers

Re: Dcc and Isolation

Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:59 am
by Brett
I have sectioned the whole layout for the later installation of track block detection and signalling, but that's completely different to isolated sections in DC because the whole layout will still be "live" and fully powered at all times under DCC.

Yep thats what i want too.