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Old 05-06-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
jackpresley
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Question Occupancy detection, etc. hardware recommendations

Gentlemen,

I wasn't sure how to get your attention other than a quote, so that's why I included a blank quote blocks below. Hope that's not a foul.

I'm interested in your recommendations (and everyone else's recommendations) for hardware to us with TC for block occupancy/detection, transponding, etc. I have a test layout I want to experiment with that has a three crossings and two merging turnouts.

It is pretty simple but I'm not sure what hardware I need and the books and TCG manual are pretty generic.

Thanks for the help.
-Jack

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Old 05-06-2018, 11:14 PM   #2
jackpresley
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Test Layout

Here is the test layout with the blocks/sections color coded and labeled. (Ignore the 29/38/45 text, that's just so I knew the size of the Unitrack)

So there are two main lines, the two ovals -- and the trains run counter-rotating on these. A train can move from the outer main line to the inner, by turning out in the SW corner. It crosses the inner and the 90* crossing in the middle, and then merges with the inner main line at the turnout.

There are FIVE conflict points: Center 90* crossing, 2 main line crossings, and 2 merging turnouts on each main line.

What hardware do I need to detect satisfactorily for TC when trains are in each of the preceding blocks to these conflict points?

Thanks again. Hope this clarifies my original request.
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:58 AM   #3
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I'm using TC Silver and am using the Digitrax BDL168 for block detection and the SE8C for signal control. You will need a reversing system in there for the cross over area.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #4
JerryH
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I use BDL168s for occupancy detection with TC.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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Also, each piece of rolling stock has a 10K 1/8 watt resistor across one axel between wheels.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:42 AM   #6
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Bxp88 and its reverse loop mate the bxpa1, both detection and transponding. Simple to connect and you get circuit breaker protection. No coils, needed! These are fairly new and replace an assortment of cards.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:45 PM   #7
Mark VerMurlen
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Hi Jack. Sorry to be slow to reply. I've been out of the country for a couple of weeks.

First a comment on your test layout. You've currently drawn the layout with 12 blocks. However, the two parallel passing tracks at the top of the outside track need to be broken up into at least 2 separate blocks in order for them to work well with TrainController. I've looked closer at your layout and I don't think you need to have any auto reversers. But this does mean you need to wire the polarity of the inner loop opposite of the outer loop. If you were to need auto reversers, the explanation below would be more complicated.

On my system, I'm using two Digitrax PM42s for power management for 8 zones (4 zones per PM42). I'm using two Digitrax BDL168s for occupancy detection (16 blocks each), which gives me the ability to detect 32 blocks. The interesting thing about the BDL168 is that its 16 blocks are grouped as 4 zones of 4 blocks each (zone A feeds blocks 1 - 4, zone B feeds blocks 5-8, etc.). This would be important if you needed auto reversing, which I don't think you do.

If I were to wire this, I'd buy one PM42 and one BDL168. The PM42 would feed the BDL168 to provide circuit breaker protection. You could skip the PM42, but then a short in one place on the layout would bring down power to all blocks.

As Lemonhawk suggested, Digitrax does have new hardware boards for detection. You would need two BXP88s.

Mark

Last edited by Mark VerMurlen; 05-08-2018 at 03:01 PM.. Reason: Realized no auto reverser is necessary
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark VerMurlen View Post
Hi Jack. Sorry to be slow to reply. I've been out of the country for a couple of weeks.

First a comment on your test layout. You've currently drawn the layout with 12 blocks. However, the two parallel passing tracks at the top of the outside track need to be broken up into at least 2 separate blocks in order for them to work well with TrainController. I've looked closer at your layout and I don't think you need to have any auto reversers. But this does mean you need to wire the polarity of the inner loop opposite of the outer loop. If you were to need auto reversers, the explanation below would be more complicated.

On my system, I'm using two Digitrax PM42s for power management for 8 zones (4 zones per PM42). I'm using two Digitrax BDL168s for occupancy detection (16 blocks each), which gives me the ability to detect 32 blocks. The interesting thing about the BDL168 is that its 16 blocks are grouped as 4 zones of 4 blocks each (zone A feeds blocks 1 - 4, zone B feeds blocks 5-8, etc.). This would be important if you needed auto reversing, which I don't think you do.

If I were to wire this, I'd buy one PM42 and one BDL168. The PM42 would feed the BDL168 to provide circuit breaker protection. You could skip the PM42, but then a short in one place on the layout would bring down power to all blocks.

As Lemonhawk suggested, Digitrax does have new hardware boards for detection. You would need two BXP88s.

Mark
Yes, I made the drawing too quickly. You are right, there are no reverse loops, and I need more blocks. (I intentionally made it similar to the GGN, as that design will be the basis for the final layout.)

I'm going to have to absorb everyone's responses. Although I'm on vacation now until early June, I'm afraid my time is dominated by the graduation/family reunion/graduation trip so I might not get to tackle this until mid-June.

Last edited by jackpresley; 05-09-2018 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:36 AM   #9
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Simplified Diagram

Dang, I bought TWO PR4's instead of a PR4 and a PM42. Oops.

Here is a simplified diagram. After I do some reading, I'll be back with more questions on physical wiring and connections.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:05 PM   #10
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BXPA1 vs BXP88

Does the BXP88 do eight times what the BXPA1 does, less reversing? Is the PM42 required if I use the BXP88 or BXPA1?

Confusing documentation (I am easily confused).

If the BXPA1 does everything needed, I can see the simplicity but otherwise why would I pay $50 for one block vs. $150 for 8 blocks?

Thank you for the help.
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