Dual track control.

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OOLee
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Dual track control.

#1

Post by OOLee »

Hi all,

Hopefully this is the most appropriate place for this topic? If not I do apologise.
I briefly touched on this question over in my introduction thread but now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty :)
Image

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Shown above is my proposed track plan albeit a little simplified, it will be a little larger and I will be adding a couple more sidings once I've dealt with the main layout but this is the basic shape.
I will be using a gaugemaster model d twin controller as also shown above and would like/hope to use it in the way that I'll try to explain.
I've read some information about cab control but all seem to cover controlling multiple blocks which is not really what I'm looking to do, I will be the only person running the layout so no bother about who controls what. I would very much like to treat the outer oval including the branch off section as one block and the inner oval as a second block, is this possible? Basically I would like to run each oval independently of each other using the 'track 1' and 'track 2' sides of my controller so two trains can run on the separate ovals but then if I choose to park one of the locos into an isolated siding I would then like the 'track 1' side of my controller to take over the running of the whole layout so I can run just one loco over greater distances, I hope my ramblings make some sense? This may be easily achievable by the experienced here but I would very much appreciate any help especially with how and where to connect both sets of output wires from my controller and where to place the switch in all this to be able to choose which side of the gaugemaster controller will do what.
Easy to follow instructions or better still an easy to understand diagram or pictures ( I like pictures :D ) that hopefully I can decipher and follow, any and all help will be gratefully received,

Cheers,Lee.
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Brian
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Re: Dual track control.

#2

Post by Brian »

Hi Lee
You have a reverse loops created by the Y pointwork. This will need for DC operation some means of reversing the rails polarity in an isolated section of track that's longer than the longest train Usually a DPDT Centre Off switch is used but can also be done by point motor operated Double Pole Double Throw switching.
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OOLee
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Re: Dual track control.

#3

Post by OOLee »

Ah right thank you Brian. If I remove the y point for now and just have two separate lines will that eliminate the reverse loop? I can always revisit it when I sort the main layout and get a bit more experience, I can concentrate on how to achieve my main question above then :D

Cheers,Lee.
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Brian
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Re: Dual track control.

#4

Post by Brian »

OOLee wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 2:27 pm Ah right thank you Brian. If I remove the y point for now and just have two separate lines will that eliminate the reverse loop? I can always revisit it when I sort the main layout and get a bit more experience, I can concentrate on how to achieve my main question above then :D

Cheers,Lee.
Hi Yes the Y point and its associated track work is the problem. Removing it means that the two controllers operate the loops independently. One powering the inner loop the other the outer loop.

Its also wise to replace the metal rail joiners on the two cross-over points and use nylon insulated joiners instead (called IRJs)only two per cross-over pair are needed and are only fitted to the rails of the cross-over direction.
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OOLee
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Re: Dual track control.

#5

Post by OOLee »

So thanks to an observation by the watchful eye of Brian I've avoided a small crisis that I did not foresee on the layout :o so a little amendment has now been made to my plan ( hopefully ) which is shown below and it's not all bad news I think as it's now allowed me to add another small section of track so there's a silver lining :D
Next I still need to figure out the wiring of the dual controller and switch to do as I wish as I've described in my original post of the thread, please help :!: :D

Cheers,Lee.


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Brian
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Re: Dual track control.

#6

Post by Brian »

Hi

I have used your revised track plan and shown the very minimum of rail feeds required. All points provide power routing to their set direction. Place feeds (arrows) to as near to the places shown and the layout will work with two separate controllers. Note the two IRJs in the two cross over points rails shown by a red line cutting across the rails.
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Re: Dual track control.

#7

Post by OOLee »

Thank you for your replies and patience Brian :D maybe I should have mentioned that I'm also colour blind :( I've worked out now though that the arrows you've shown coming from the controller diagram that you put in your last post are red-black-green-black? Just wondering as I thought that both outputs from the controller would have the same colour wires coming from it ie both red and black? From that diagram would 1 side of the controller ie track 1 side only operate 1 of the ovals or would both sides ie track 1 and track 2 on the controller be able to operate any of the ovals, sorry if I'm not getting this but I knew this is where I would fall down with the layout as my train-brain is only electrically programmed at beginner mode at the moment :roll: :D

Cheers,Lee.
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Brian
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Re: Dual track control.

#8

Post by Brian »

Hi
The colours I've used - Red/Black and Green/Black are purely for identification, they do not necessarily mean you have to use wires of those colours. They could all be the same, all red, all green etc but that can easily lead to incorrect wiring, so it's best to use separate insulation colours to keep things simple. What colours are used is up to the person wiring the layout. The dual Gaugemaster controller has two pairs of track output terminals One pair for Controller 1 and the other pair for controller 2. These are electrically separate feeds.

If you want to add a means of switching Controller 1 to work track 2 and Controller 2 to work track 1 then you will need to add some switching into each controllers feeds. You need to arrange the switching so as both controllers cannot be connected to the same track. i.e. switching Controller 2 to operate track 1 has a means to turning Off controller 1 feed.

TBH normally you allow Track 1 / Controller 1 to do its own thing and the same for Track 2 / Controller 2. Then if you want to pass from one controller/loop to the other, set both controllers direction of travel switches to the same direction and turn both speed knobs to roughly the same speed and set the cross-over points to crossing over. The loco will travel from one loop to the other, once its inside the area of the second controller turn off No 1 controller and once clear of the points return them to straight running. :D
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OOLee
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Re: Dual track control.

#9

Post by OOLee »

Thank you very much Brian, your explanation seems simple enough even for myself to understand :D I can usually work out cable coordination even with being colour blind, it's normally red/green that I have trouble with but I don't usually use green cable so all the other colours are fairly easy for me to distinguish between, yellow, black, white, red etc I only questioned the arrow colours as I thought the difference may have been more significant that what your reply was :lol: Thank you once again for your help,

Cheers, Lee.
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Re: Dual track control.

#10

Post by RAF96 »

Is colour perception the reason red/black mains cables went to blue/brown, although I would have thought that was retrograde action.
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