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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen I am in need of help in wiring a two rail American Flyer layout for some reverse loops. I have purchased a pair of DCC Specialties PSX-AR-AC 2 Rail boards, but am uncertain of where to place the boards and make the gaps. I have attached a track layout diagram. I am using a new Lionel ZW transformer. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the MTF! I need to draw it out and test some alternatives. The issue to be solved is that one of the "obvious" two reverse loops is too short to hold the entire train. There is usually a solution for that.
 

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The track plan will need both rails gapped in five places. Put a gap in the mainline to the right of Turnout #2, between Turnouts #1 and#3, and between Turnouts #1 and #6. That isolates the undrawn mainline on the right of your drawing, connect that track through one of the PSX-AR-AC boards.
Put a gap in the diverging leg just to the left of Turnout #4, then one in the diverging leg just to the left of Turnout #5. Connect the isolated loop of track section between Turnouts #4 and #5 to the second PSX-AR-AC. Power the remaining track directly from the transformer.
With this arrangement each segment of track that will be reversed is long enough to hold the complete train so the reverser boards will function correctly. I am pretty sure I have this optimized to work with the track plan, these things can be tricky.
 

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I would put a gap between switches 1 and 6, gap both tracks right at the frog end of switch 5 and the last gaps in both tracks at the frog end of switch 2. The large U shape on the left of your drawing between switch 1 and the frog end of switch 2, including switches 5 and 6, is now the reversing section. Assuming no reverse loops in the undrawn area on the right, you can get by with one reverser.
Paul
 

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I'm following this cause I know I'll learn something. Curious.
I like your user name 'Still got hair', funny.
Welcome!
 

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The gaps splitting the layout into two sections and using one reverser board works well for this layout. I am assuming the plan is to power the track with just one output channel of the ZW. If two channels are used they need to match up with the layout segmentation. I also assume this layout is conventional operation, not Legacy. If Legacy is used the signal must be put on both rails using the small capacitors as described elsewhere.
I try to make the reverse loop track its own block and power just that track section through the Board. On this layout that is hard to do. The reasons for powering just the reverse loop segment through the PSX-AR-AC is current draw and use of multiple output channels in Legacy operation. With S gauge trains one train can easily draw 4A, two can be 8A or even slightly more. While the boards are rated for that current (that is the reason for the big heat sinks on the AC boards) I do not like to continuously load them and then trigger them with an 8A load. That would be the case if the main lines were powered through the reverser boards.
You did not specify which new ZW you are using. The ZW-L has fast acting current limiting features but when the pilot wheels on my engine cross a reverse loop gap with the full output voltage and 10A/channel available on the track you will be surprised how big that spark is.
Enjoy your layout when you get it wired and operational. The track plan looks interesting and it will work fine with one board.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the responses. In answer to some questions, I have a ZW model 6-32930. It came with two 180 watt power supplies and I picked up a 3rd one just in case I needed it. The ZW has no gauges so I think it might be an older model. I do have a legacy remote as well as a Cab-1L remote. I have both conventional engines and a legacy engine. The entire layout is 17 by 9. Since landscaping work is just now beginning, there is time to change the layout if necessary. I think there are 3 routes for reversal. First, going from switch 1 and though switches 4 then 3 and finally 2. Second, going in the opposite direction from switch 2 then through 4, 3 and finally 1. Third, from switch 6 go left at switch 5, then go to switch 4 then right at switch 3 then through switch 5 and completing the loop at switch 6.
 

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Since you have three 180W bricks you can power the layout using one, two or three of them. Were it always Legacy operation I would use two, one for a power district connected through the reverser board and one for a power district direct from a brick. You can subdivide each power district into as many "on-off" blocks as you want for parking engines.
To run conventional engines the Cab2 is used to vary the voltage to the track. If there are multiple channels used to power the track each has to be addressed separately from the Cab2 (or 1L) to vary its output voltage. That becomes a nuisance when the engine crosses the boundary between the two power districts. There may be a way to treat all the channels as one with your ZW to simplify conventional operation. It would be in the transformer setup and programming instructions.
In order to put the Legacy signal on both rails connect a .1microfarad, 50V ceramic disc capacitor across each track power connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the additional response. I have ordered the capacitors from EBAY. I am also attaching a diagram that includes the entire layout as currently planned. Such plans can be modified if necessary.
 

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