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Thread: basic DC wiring questions...

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    Default basic DC wiring questions...

    I have started to build one end of my layout, It will contain my 'yard' which I have coming off the inner main then through a curved switch to make two yard tracks that eventually re-join the main using another curved switch. I'm planning to insulate the inner main and each yard track and I am planning a short stub track off each of the yard tracks plus a pair of switches to allow run around moves.

    I just ordered Caboose N code 55 throws w/ the contacts to power the frogs.

    Do I need to insulate between the two switches?

    I'm planning on keeping my switchers on the stub track and intend to isolate the road units on the main while I power the yard to make up my local freights and I'm not sure if the two powered frogs would present a problem.
    Grandson of a LV RR conductor

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    Yes, the yard tracks need to be insulated. A general good practice: if you are facing the turnout so that you can go either way, i.e. facing the points, both tracks should be insulated just behind the frog of the switch at both ends. This will allow you to enter either track from either end, without worrying about how the switches are set at the other end.

    You will need separate feeders for the yard tracks, and while you're doing that, I'd suggest that you go ahead and put on-off switches in these leads. It's not much trouble and then you can leave a loco on any of the yard tracks and turn it off while you're running something else.

    You may be tempted just to put an insulator in the middle of the yard track, but I recommend against this. I about guarantee that that you will start down that track, forget to set the switch at the other end, and get a short circuit when you hit that gap. Using power routing to shut off a track is fine so long as the track is only connected at one end and is very short. When the track is connected at both ends, or is long enough that you might want to move a loco on the track without throwing the switch, it needs to insulated at both ends right behind the turnout frogs. This is the same in either DC or DCC.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Yeah, I figured that was necessary. I already figured on adding on-off switches for each of the yard tracks and the part of the main. Now i'm glad ordered more insulated connectors...

    At least the two stub tracks can be controlled w/ the turnout.

    thanks
    Grandson of a LV RR conductor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim R View Post
    Yes, the yard tracks need to be insulated...
    Not necessarily. What kind of turnouts are you using? Because that will have an effect on the answer. Since you are using code 55 ground throws, and are talking about using curved turnouts, I'm going to take a guess that you are using Atlas code 55 turnouts. If that is the case, then no, they do not have to be insulated. If you want to insulate them so that you can cut power to one track or the other, then that is certainly a good idea, but they do not have to be insulated and will not cause a short if they are not .

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    Quote Originally Posted by CSXRobert View Post
    Not necessarily. What kind of turnouts are you using? Because that will have an effect on the answer. Since you are using code 55 ground throws, and are talking about using curved turnouts, I'm going to take a guess that you are using Atlas code 55 turnouts. If that is the case, then no, they do not have to be insulated. If you want to insulate them so that you can cut power to one track or the other, then that is certainly a good idea, but they do not have to be insulated and will not cause a short if they are not .
    I am using the curved turnouts to make two long yard tracks that mimic the two main lines going around the short side of a 6 x 7 layout. I have two #5 turnouts to make a run around and I want to make sure. The main will be insulated after the #7 that feeds into the curved turnout and each leg off the curved turnout to allow three separate areas though I'm not planning on operating more than one engine in the yard.
    Grandson of a LV RR conductor

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    What you should really do is create blocks anywhere you might want a loco to operate independently of others and use double throw switches so you aren't limited to a single power pack. You can then have a train running on the main and another switching in the yard or stubs.

    Doug
    Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
    www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

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