Model Train Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The HO #4 Unitrack turnouts are power-routing only. I am setting up a DCC system and trying to decide how to power the track. I've currently got my layout up and running with no modifications and a single train works as expected. Of course, if I add a second one the power gets shut off to the yard. Should I just use the insulated joiners at the turnout for the yard and re-power after? This seems the simplest solution.

Fifer youtube channel says to insulate ALL power-routing Kato turnouts, but that seems like a bunch of extra power connections to the track.

As an alternative, has anyone done this?
https://jamestrainparts.com/2018/04/02/improving-kato-unitrack-ho-points-for-dcc-operation/

Feedback on what's worked for you would be appreciated.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
I use Kato Unitrack (on a modified version of the "Black River Jct." plan).

Most (not all) of my switches are the #4 powered (with the metal frogs).

I have some with insulated Unijoiners "behind the frog", and others that don't use insulation behind the frog (most of the latter are in my yard).

They seem to work fine either way, although you may have to experiment if you find that the power-routing feature "shuts off" a stretch of track that you want to "keep live". In that cause, you'll probably have to install insulated Unijoiners and add a power feeder to that particular section of track.

I've actually come to prefer the "power-routing shut-off", because it allows me to "deaden" some tracks that I park engines on.

One thing about the Kato #4's with metal frogs:
If you run an engine "against the points" without throwing the switch, it WILL cause a short circuit.

I use a Roco z21 DCC system, and the z21 just shuts off the power to the whole layout. But I have to line the switch properly and liven it up again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,508 Posts
All of my turnouts are HO PECO Insulfrog which are
power routing.

If you want a track connected to a power routing turnout to
always be 'hot' you must add track drops from the
frog rails to your DCC bus. Then no matter which way
the points are set your tracks will always have power.

Don
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top