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Old 11-13-2011, 11:05 PM   #11
Brakeman Jake
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OK...what I'm going to say here is just an opinion,others may differ and I'd be glad to hear their comments.

I'm actually building my layout and I have no plan to install any stationary decoder at all.I am the "hands on" type operator so will never have computer control on my layout,so I don't feel there's a need for these decoders.My biggest reason though is price...if you have a fair amount of turnouts on the layout (wich is my case),having a bundle of stationary decoders does indeed increase the costs too fast to my taste.
Another point I'd like to hear other modelers on is that I believe that you have to set specific adresses to all these decoders.Now having to remember all these adresses to dial them into your handheld,sometimes in a hurry to avoid derailments,doesn't seem like much fun to me.Flicking a switch is simple and fast.On the other hand,remembering these adresses is no more of a problem if you go the computer control route.
Something I don't know,do the handhelds(DT400R for one) have to be tethered to dial stationary decoders just like when dialing locos.If such is the case,then the stationary decoders aren't worthed anything to me.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:56 PM   #12
scanssystems
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakeman Jake View Post
You got it right.There are in fact three ways to throw a turnout,just to reduce the possible confusion.The most simple one is throwing the turnout manually,no motor or solenoids,by reaching the turnout with your hand and simply move the turnout.
The second one is having it remotely thrown (the TO has some powering device) by manually moving a distant switch that can be anywhere along the layout or on an organized turnout control panel so you don't have to move to do so.

Then there's the high tech way where your handheld throttle can also control your turnouts on top of controlling your trains.With these,you can even have the layout computer controlled with the appropriate software.Hope this is clear enough.
Thank you, Jake! Just on time! But I really like the way #2.
Also I wonder about one waltr's moment:
Quote:
it is not even necessary to have a motor on a turn-out...
so how can I switch powered turnout w/o motor?
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:14 PM   #13
xrunner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakeman Jake View Post
My biggest reason though is price...if you have a fair amount of turnouts on the layout (wich is my case),having a bundle of stationary decoders does indeed increase the costs too fast to my taste.
You don't have to have a separate decoder for every turnout, if some of your turnouts are always operated together. You can wire several up to a single decoder output if needed, at least on the model I have you can (Digitrax DS52). It can fire off 4 Kato coils at a time, I have one output hooked up to my Double Crossover (which has 4 coils inside) and it works just fine.

Quote:
Another point I'd like to hear other modelers on is that I believe that you have to set specific adresses to all these decoders.Now having to remember all these adresses to dial them into your handheld,sometimes in a hurry to avoid derailments,doesn't seem like much fun to me.Flicking a switch is simple and fast.On the other hand,remembering these adresses is no more of a problem if you go the computer control route.
A computer screen is the way I'm going to go, but you could still just make a picture of your layout with addresses for reference. Nobody would want to remember all the addresses.

Quote:
Something I don't know,do the handhelds(DT400R for one) have to be tethered to dial stationary decoders just like when dialing locos.
No, it can control the turnouts untethered.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
waltr
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Originally Posted by scanssystems View Post
Thank you, Jake! Just on time! But I really like the way #2.
Also I wonder about one waltr's moment: so how can I switch powered turnout w/o motor?
The way Jake explained:
Quote:
The most simple one is throwing the turnout manually,no motor or solenoids,by reaching the turnout with your hand and simply move the turnout.
This is how I do most of my turn-outs. Simple and cheap, no motors, no wiring.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:20 PM   #15
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Aaa.. got a catch. Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #16
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Another question is... Insulfrog or electrofrog? There are so a lot of topics about them but I want to hear your thoughts, my friends. I'm going to buy insul, but people says plastic frog makes short and loco loose power. Is it true?
I don't really want to deal with tons of wires for electrofrog.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:43 PM   #17
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For any turnouts that you can easily reach - I use caboose industries manual ground throws. They are about $3-4 each - they do a great job of keeping the points flush on the correct rails in the direction thrown.

http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?...&Submit=Search

Turnout control can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Anything from manual control with your finger to touch screen interface via a laptop computer is possible these days. All depends on how you want to run your layout and how much of a budget you have to work with.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #18
Brakeman Jake
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Insulfrog turnouts definitely WILL NOT create shorts.The drawback of Insulfrog turnouts is that having a plastic frog means that there is a short length of track that has no power in it.This will only show with either very short locos or locos that have poor power pickup.Other than this Insulfrog turnouts will do the job just fine without the complexity of "frog powering",wich is the "bullet proof" way to install turnouts.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #19
scanssystems
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Look here:
http://railwaybobsmodulebuildingtips...insulfrog.html

Do we have to do it?
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #20
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Personally....no - you don't have to do it, but doing it does reduce the possibility of a short occurring. (Seems like a remote possibility in an insulfrog turnout.) I run Atlas Mark IV turnouts and don't have this issue - the Pecos are supposed to be even better.
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