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Thread: automated reverse loop?

  1. #1
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    Default automated reverse loop?

    I have (actually WILL have) a lower level staging yard. It will be a mainline, plus 5 sidings in a loop . The loop is approximately 36 feet. Because it is a reversing loop (the trains will enter and exit on the same track from the main layout) the trains will always move in the same direction on the loop (probably clockwise). I'm looking for a way to automate the main turnout on the loop, so if I simply send a train down to the yard to give it a longer run, the train would pass thru without me having to intervene. I'm building the lower level with track from my old layout, which is code 80, so all the turnouts are Atlas remote type. The run down to the yard runs down a ramp along a 40 foot wall. I'm assuming I could do this by putting a detector at the top of the ramp, which would set the turnout to an "incoming" position, and then a second detector near the end of the loop to move the turnout to an "outgoing" position. I'm just uncertain what circuitry I need to accomplish this, especially with the Atlas momentary contact turnout........I'm not opposed to changing that one turnout , but I would need whatever replaces it to throw the turnout fast enough so it's aligned in time. My plan is that there would be 2 staged train on each 36 ft siding........the front one would leave, the rear one would move up, and then the next incoming train would take the rear spot (not looking to automate that). May not work in practice, but that's the plan. So it would be nice if I could place the detector where it would also align the turnout for trains coming off the sidings, which may mean it would be within 1 to 2 feet of the turnout. Is there an autoreverser out there that would do this? Looking for any suggestions for the best way to do this.

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    I'm not sure if it will work for you but on Mike Fifer's Youtube channel if you go to ACTRR 3 Update #89 he does exactly what you want to do but using Kato switches.

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    I have a similar setup on a dumper kickback track controlling a Peco solenoid switch machine via an Azatrax D2T-3W. It has two sensors to throw the turnout one way or the other, auxiliary contacts for track polarity, and does the pulse thing for solenoids. http://www.azatrax.com/reverse-loop-system-1.html
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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    There was an article a long time ago about fixed blades in a turnout, no moving parts....Just can't find the thing....
    Cheers,
    Russ

    CEO Moss Lake Lumber Co.

    Pennsylvania logging circa 1890s

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    Azatrax has good stuff and John is glad to help with any questions.

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    The Azatrax thing looks like what I need to control the switch. Am I correct that this also works as an auto reverser for track power in DCC?

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    Technically no. An auto reverser works by detecting a short circuit and fixes it by reversing polarity. Maybe someone knows of one that will also throw a solenoid turnout, otherwise you have to throw it manually to avoid a derail.

    The Azatrax unit avoids creating the short in the first place by throwing the turnout and reversing polarity at the same time. I installed it because my reaction times on the kickback were sometimes lacking. It lets you be brainless.

    It doesn't matter if the track power is DC, DCC, or AC, but on a DC system any engine running on the reversed track will change direction.

    For example, I have balloon loops but use DPDT slide switches instead of electronics to both throw the turnout and reverse the power to the loop. When running DC I have to stop the engine, throw the turnout, then reverse the engine direction before proceeding. When running DCC I just let the engine keep going; sometimes it hesitates for a fraction of a second when I throw the switch.
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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    So using the Azatrax unit, when the train hit the detector, the power would be reversed AND the switch would be thrown? That's what I thought I was reading on the Azatrax site. I have no problem with using an auto reverser for power and an Azatrax for turnout control, I just don't want to buy both and then find out I only needed the Azatrax.

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    The Azatrax aux SPDTs are 3 amp, no need to buy anything else to power the rails. You should be able to understand ahead of time from the installation instructions pdf for the 3W. They have good documentation but covering a dozen scenarios in addition to reverse loops makes it look complicated. http://www.azatrax.com/reverse-loop-system-1.html
    Moving coal the old way: https://youtu.be/RWJVt4r_pgc
    Moving coal the new way: https://youtu.be/QzmBQ4As_mc

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