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Offline Ewillis  
#1 Posted : 26 June 2020 05:04:16(UTC)
Ewillis

Australia   
Joined: 19/06/2017(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: Tasmania, Hobart
Hello Everyone,
I'm about to start the construction of my first permanent layout and want to get the track laid and wired correctly to allow for future expansion into the world of multi-train digital operation, signals etc.

Are there any good resources, rules, etc. about where to put the isolation points on tracks? I was going to just wire it all up as one section (basically a dogbone type layout) but thought I'd better include some sections (blocks) to avoid having to rip up ballast etc later on when I expand control to a CS. I'm also wondering if I need to put any contact/detection tracks in as I go?

Regards,

Eddy
Offline applor  
#2 Posted : 26 June 2020 06:51:21(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,494
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Well a block in rail terms is just a section of track that a train can occupy and its presence detectable.

With Marklin the best way to do detection is by isolating one of the two rails electrically and then wiring that rail to an S88 module input.
When a train drives over the track its wheels bridge the earthed rail with the detection rail, triggering the input.

You don't have to do your isolation's now but it does make it easier as you can use plastic rail joiners rather than doing it later which would involve cutting the rail.

I would suggest two sections for each stopping block, with the second section starting 30cm from where it needs to stop.
Anywhere a train is simply driving, just make the entire length one section.
If you have tunnels or crossings where a train would activate a sound function (such as whistle), have a separate section 30cm before it so you can trigger the sound when it triggers that next section.

You can make all your isolations now and not connect them if you want but if its a permanent layout I would recommend wiring it up as well so you can also test as you go.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#3 Posted : 26 June 2020 14:24:21(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,403
it depends on the software that you use. I suggest you find out how your software works on a test oval first. Once you understand how your software works you will know where to isolate tracks.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#4 Posted : 26 June 2020 22:48:37(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 951
Location: Paris, France
Hi Eddy
Dale is absolutely right you must consider what type of operation you wish. Here are some possibilities:
- a traditional approach is to have a sensor (short rail section) to trigger the block occupancy and another one when the train is departing

- a CS2 / CS3 more modern approach with a signal; the block length is a sensor and depending on the signal edge the block will change: when occupancy is detected the protecting signal is set to red / occupied, when occupancy is not any more, the protecting signal is set free

- a Train software approach (Rocrail) for one way: the entire block except the very end (20 last cm) triggers a reduced speed (ENTER) and the last 20 cm trigger the stopping (IN)

- a Train software approach (Rocrail) for bidirectional operation: the first 20 cm trigger a reduced speed (ENTER in the direction, IN for the reverse direction), the central section (entire length except the 20 cm at begin and the 20 cm at the end of block) trigger the PR2IN stop for short trains, the last 20 cm section to stop the train (IN in one direction and ENTER for the reverse direction)

Why 20 cm?: IMO it is the stopping length for a train already slowed when entering the platform zone.
All this is a matter of opinion and choices. The names may vary with other train control software
Cheers
Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline Ewillis  
#5 Posted : 29 June 2020 02:24:04(UTC)
Ewillis

Australia   
Joined: 19/06/2017(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: Tasmania, Hobart
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm going to go with a CS2 or CS3 when I can get one at a good price. Currently only have a Mobile Stn, but wanted to plan ahead with the wiring. I gather that the best option is somewhere between the "make each C track piece a block" and the "make the whole layout one block" but wanted to try and use the expertise here to determine when on that continuum the best point actually is.
If I split the track plan into obvious sections and make each section either one or two "blocks" would that be best? or would I go for three "blocks" in each section so there is an "entry", the main section where a train is just running, and an "exit"? I figure the more blocks the better as easier isolate blocks as I go now and join block together afterwards (if I need to), but harder to isolate a track and then somehow add feeder wires etc after it's laid.

Eddy
Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#6 Posted : 29 June 2020 16:34:14(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 145
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
Do you plan to run several trains simultaneously? If you plan to run, say, three trains at the same time, you need at least four blocks so that at least one train can move to a free block. For this, blocks should be long enough that all trains fit into them.
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
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Offline applor  
#7 Posted : 29 June 2020 23:59:06(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,494
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Ewillis Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm going to go with a CS2 or CS3 when I can get one at a good price. Currently only have a Mobile Stn, but wanted to plan ahead with the wiring. I gather that the best option is somewhere between the "make each C track piece a block" and the "make the whole layout one block" but wanted to try and use the expertise here to determine when on that continuum the best point actually is.
If I split the track plan into obvious sections and make each section either one or two "blocks" would that be best? or would I go for three "blocks" in each section so there is an "entry", the main section where a train is just running, and an "exit"? I figure the more blocks the better as easier isolate blocks as I go now and join block together afterwards (if I need to), but harder to isolate a track and then somehow add feeder wires etc after it's laid.

Eddy



No you can't make the whole layout a block, that doesn't even make sense, nor would you make each track piece a block that would be totally unnecessary and cost a fortune in sensor modules.
Also as mentioned they are not blocks but isolated track sections connected to sensors.

I think at this stage perhaps its best you read this explanation for Rocrail on blocks. Even if you don't use Rocrail the same principle applies to whatever software you choose.

https://wiki.rocrail.net/doku.php?id=block-en
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#8 Posted : 30 June 2020 00:32:51(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,403
In addition to reading software manuals, You may also find this of use:

https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2006/11/computer-control.html
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
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