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blocks on a layout

3711 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Don Chovanec
what are blocks?:confused:
also how would you wire them?

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Old fashion DCC. Two isolated sections of track each with a transformer or power switch .You can run more than one train. For Example, Two rail has to block a reverse loop(engine goes from positive negative to negative positive on the return track) but three rail do not.
This may help.

To expand on this, isolated sections are handy. With two turnoffs you can have two trains waiting. Just power the track and run the train.
Two isolated loops, two transformers inphase. Go to one from the other run two trains. Instead of going cold to the other section itis reccomended to have an intermediate section. This section is run by both and controlled by a toggle switch.It is best to match transformer speed when done this way.

The reverse loop is nice because you switch the track the train was on when it goes into the loop so it matches when it comes out.This applies to two rail.

FInd some prewired layouts and you will see some of these practices.
You can use the search feature and read more on block and phase.
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That is a nice layout. Do you have one transformer? Southern has a good description but let us take another step back. One transformer will power the layout. It runs the engine on DC When you hit the reverse button the current is switched on the rails, not a problem if everything is connected.
When the engine is at the max distance from the transformer feed it may slow down due to the resistance of the track. You can place another set of wires to that area from the transformer and connected the same way as the first set. This will give more current for the train. So you may need more feed wired to the layout. At this point nothing is isolated.
Those sidings can be isolated from the main line by using plastic joiners they each have a power feed from the transformer with a three position switch foward revese off. When you get to this point you never use the transformer switch again always use a separate switch to a portion of track. The transformer switch would switch your switch too.( Try to keep it simple)The mainline would also have it's own switch. Mainline, 4 turmouts, you can have four engines waiting on the layout with one running the mainline. How much control do you want. More switiches and blocks more options. BUT the direction has to be the same when travelling from one block to the other.

So Make it up and power it with one set of feed wires and see how it goes.Blocking can come later. It would be best to look at a layout that shows the wiring. Maybe that would help.
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Southern I like your style.
Do you have to islolate the inner switches. I would link them with the outside switch. Why isolate a single switch?
Ron, now we are getting someplace.
One thing you want to know is how to wire that atlas piece.Southern gave the explanation but it would help to see it wire up or find the instruction.Keep in mind that they are a three way switch.

Have fun get 4 pieces of track.Attach one transformer. Run the train back and forth. Then place a pair of insulators in the midddle. Run the train.Notice what happens. Then attach a second pair of wires from the track to the transformer on the other side of the insulators with each lead the same as the first set.RUn the train and notice what happens. This is all optional. Now the next step run the train to one side stop it. the reverse the wires to that side. What happens. Warning!!! Stay on that sidewith the engine.
You just created a block and reversed the current.
The engine will not run on the other side because one side is reversed the engine will go in reverse when it crosses over. THIS is NOT GOOD. You can break the motor. It is like shifting a car in reverse when you are still going forward it just doesn't work.

Next step is to show you how to use that atlas piece and wire it to your four pieces of track

Any Questions???

This is a general diagram the 3 way swiches (DPDT)are in the middle, track on top, and transformer on the bottom.
Atlas? I need a book on how to wire. Many switches selectors and controllers available. Hopefully they come with a diagram. Feel free to modify my attempt.
Ron showes an atlas 215 selector.
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Last ditch effort

This is a good online book. It is copyrighted so it should not be copied to this forum. You may want to buy it. The atlas equipment is discussed in detail.
Remember all you have to do is wire the track and not block a thing.You do fancy stuff when you use two transformers and operate more than one train.
Ask for explainations. If you got those atlas accessories with the used train set,it is on the advanced wiring side. That is why I suggested looking at a prewired layout It would be easier to just copy it.

page 49 it gets interesting.
page 39 has the reverse loop I wrote about earlier.
You have to buy the book to read before page 31:eek:hwell:
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