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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I would post this for informational purpose.

For the past 2 years I was running a TamValleyDepot train shuttle that would control DCC turnouts. The long and short of is that mine stopped working and TamValley discontinued their shuttle for their own reasons. TamValley is awesome, and I am sorry they discontinued this item, but check them out for their frogjuicers and other stuff.

I switched over to an Azatrax display controller for my needs. It runs the analog part of the display, i.e. the turnout controllers using IR detection. For the DCC control I am still using a partially functional TamValley shuttle controller, but have also tried a DCC controller from http://www.blocksignalling.co.uk/index.php/dcc-shuttle-sdcc1 and it works fine, except it's current limited and may not handle anything above HO scale.

I will post more info and show pics of what I did later.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The Azatrax exhibit controller has 2 functions. 1 part detects the trains location and throws the turnouts, and the other part controls the DC power and moves the trains from end to end based on the detected location.

http://www.azatrax.com/exhibit/index.html

You can use it in various track configurations (straight back and forth, 1 fork, or 2 forks). This picture is from the Azatrax doc showing dual fork.

pfrr-3train.jpg

Below is my trolley layout... Christmas tree goes in the middle.

Trolley.jpg

I put the IR block detectors from the exhibit controller at the track ends at the top, red for west, blue for east. When the train is detected at either end the controller throws the corresponding turnout so the train is sent down the opposite fork on the next trip around. It will also control a DC train... or up to 3 trains. I'm not using it for train control.

I am using a DCC shuttle controller. As I mentioned I'm using a Tam Valley shuttle (discontinued), but I have also used the one from Blocksignaling in the UK... you can get it on ebay. http://www.blocksignalling.co.uk/index.php/dcc-shuttle-sdcc1

Shuttle.jpg

The shuttle controllers have inputs for the end points and a mid point station stop if you want. (This pic is from the Tam Valley doc, but the one from blocksignaling has the same inputs.) When the train reaches the end points it stops for the duration you select and then starts back the other direction. At the mid station point it stops, then proceeds in the same direction.

It uses rail gaps to detect where the train is. On my track there are end gaps in the red and blue boxes at the top, and gaps for station stops in the purple blocks.

I'll try to post a video once I get it running this year around the tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here's a video of our holiday layout for 2019.


Below is a thread I started to ask questions about a sound module for a railbus, and eventually has the information about what I did. By the way, in the video above the town architect decided to build a temporary stage for singers in the road crossing at the turnouts. I voted against it, but was overruled in committee. :)

https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=112186
 

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What great fun...beautiful layout...

and THANK YOU for running the trolley and the train
at a realistic and sensible speed...SLOW.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ha, and thank you. One reason I run it slow is because we don't sit there all the time and any derailment would send stuff flying off the table (The outside train never derails, but the trolley has been known to sometimes in the turnouts, though not often) Not to mention we have cats!

The main reason though, besides the sensory overload is that if I ran them any faster the signals would stay on all the time. :) And, yeah, it's more realistic running slow.

I also have the volumes of everything pretty low so it's not a wall of sound.
 
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