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Offline IBtrain  
#1 Posted : 22 November 2021 20:23:43(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Hello
I am in the process of building a K-track layout.
It will be a digital layout using an Esu Ecos controller and RocRail on Windows.

I would like to plan ahead and prepare the layout for the possibility of using a booster or two as needed.
With that in mind I have divide my shadow station into two power consumers, the "entry loops" six tracks and the "exit loops" also 6 tracks.

At this point, circled in red is where the power division is.
joining outer and inner loops.jpg


I have been doing some research and found in this form some old posts about adding power boosters.
This one from 2014
Rocker insulators needed for Booster

Here Tom says;
"Good evening,
You do not normally need centre rail rockers for homogeneous configurations. You don't need them between 6021 and 6017 or between CS2 and 60173 or between ECoS and ECoSBoost.
You do need them between analogue and digital and you also may need them with heterogeneous configurations (boosters from different suppliers).
And the ECoSBoost manual confirms this.
In general you will have less trouble without centre rail rockers."


That is good to hear, I didn't like the idea of having to install these rockers.
Therefore after reading this, it seems that it is best to get an ESU booster to keep the power "a homogeneous configuration".

Is this still the advice today and best operating practice?

In this old post,
No common ground with ESU booster
Diesel wrote;
"With ECoS - contrary to Older Marklin systems- there is no "common" (ground). This is a major warning from ESU in the manual.
The manual says that when using boosters the boosted areas must be totally electrically isolated. ie center rail and outer tracks.
The boosters are connected to one point on the Ecos."


I find this difficult to believe, mainly because almost all Marklin rolling stock is made of metal and as the wheels pass over the junction there will be a period of time that there is a common ground.Confused Confused

Is there any experience with this?
Do you isolate the the track rails "O" along with the center rail "B", at the point of power division?

Cheers,
Kai

Edited by user 05 December 2021 05:39:18(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 22 November 2021 20:31:02(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,343
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
In this old post,
No common ground with ESU booster
Diesel wrote;
"With ECoS - contrary to Older Marklin systems- there is no "common" (ground). This is a major warning from ESU in the manual.
The manual says that when using boosters the boosted areas must be totally electrically isolated. ie center rail and outer tracks.
The boosters are connected to one point on the Ecos."
That thread is about the 6015/6017 boosters.

The ECoSboost manual indicates that you only have to insulate the centre-rail.

I would make the outer rail a booster section and the inner rail a different booster section.
Trains running around in circles will not pass from one booster to another.

I didn't find the warning Diesel refers to in the latest ECoS manual. ESU write that a centre-rail rocker is needed when using 6017 boosters, but they do not mention that insulating the outer rails was required.
Maybe Diesel misunderstood something.
Both poles must be insulated for the programming track. Both poles must be insulated for two-rail operation.

Edit: The other thread is locked. Either Diesel misunderstood something, or something got lost in translation, or the manual was updated between 2007 and 2009.
The German text (2009 edition) is like this:
"Die Central Station verwendet eine H4-Brücke (Vollbrücke) zur
Ansteuerung des Gleises. Daher gibt es bei der Central Station
im Gegensatz zu älteren Märklin® Anlagen nicht zwingend
eine gemeinsame Masse.
Dennoch wird es gerade bei bereits bestehenden 3-Leiteranlage
mit mehreren Stromabschnitten (Boosterabschnitten) sinnvoll
sein, eine gemeinsame Masse (normalerweise der Außenleiter)
zu verwenden."
It says: Due to the H4 bridge the common ground is not given by design, but it can be useful to have common ground - which usually is the outer rail for three-rail layouts. So where's the problem?
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline xxup  
#3 Posted : 22 November 2021 22:32:53(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 9,275
Location: Australia
The problem is less about centre rail isolation only ( I use m-track so this is my only option and it does work without the rockers) vs full isolation, than ensuring that the transition points are well away from where a slider might stop in normal operation. A slider in the wrong position across the isolated connection between two boosted circuits will cause current to flow between the circuits. Effectively negating any attempts at isolating the middle rail.

This was the logic behind the rockers - if a slider was on the rocker only one side of the slider could touch a booster circuit. In practice, most sliders would meet the rocker (at least the m-track rockers ) and the train would stop unless you were running the train flat out.

The other risk is railcars with two sliders that do not have the slider-direction swap enabled (or perhaps is faulty for some reason). The front slider might be fully on one circuit and the rear is parked on another circuit.

So, the usual way (and I think that this is the way that you are planning to go) is to separate circuits by levels (top, middle and bottom) and not by outer and inner tracks as this avoids the complexities of isolating switches/turnouts in booster fed layouts.

The other power-saver is to ensure that all the signals and turnout motors are powered by a separate booster.
Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
Offline H0  
#4 Posted : 22 November 2021 22:47:44(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,343
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: xxup Go to Quoted Post
A slider in the wrong position across the isolated connection between two boosted circuits will cause current to flow between the circuits.
Current will only flow if the voltages are different. Normally this is no issue if all boosters are of the same type using the same voltages.
The resistance of the track also helps to limit the load.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by H0
Offline IBtrain  
#5 Posted : 23 November 2021 07:33:32(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC

Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Hi!
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
In this old post,
No common ground with ESU booster
Diesel wrote;
"With ECoS - contrary to Older Marklin systems- there is no "common" (ground). This is a major warning from ESU in the manual.
The manual says that when using boosters the boosted areas must be totally electrically isolated. ie center rail and outer tracks.
The boosters are connected to one point on the Ecos."
That thread is about the 6015/6017 boosters.

The ECoSboost manual indicates that you only have to insulate the centre-rail.

I would make the outer rail a booster section and the inner rail a different booster section.
Trains running around in circles will not pass from one booster to another.

I didn't find the warning Diesel refers to in the latest ECoS manual. ESU write that a centre-rail rocker is needed when using 6017 boosters, but they do not mention that insulating the outer rails was required.
Maybe Diesel misunderstood something.
Both poles must be insulated for the programming track. Both poles must be insulated for two-rail operation.

Edit: The other thread is locked. Either Diesel misunderstood something, or something got lost in translation, or the manual was updated between 2007 and 2009.
The German text (2009 edition) is like this:
"Die Central Station verwendet eine H4-Brücke (Vollbrücke) zur
Ansteuerung des Gleises. Daher gibt es bei der Central Station
im Gegensatz zu älteren Märklin® Anlagen nicht zwingend
eine gemeinsame Masse.
Dennoch wird es gerade bei bereits bestehenden 3-Leiteranlage
mit mehreren Stromabschnitten (Boosterabschnitten) sinnvoll
sein, eine gemeinsame Masse (normalerweise der Außenleiter)
zu verwenden."
It says: Due to the H4 bridge the common ground is not given by design, but it can be useful to have common ground - which usually is the outer rail for three-rail layouts. So where's the problem?



Thanks Tom for your reply.

Sorry that my picture was a bit misleading.
I have six "runs" in the shadow station that are made-up of six tracks that come from the helix and then run around the lower level returning to the helix back up to the main level.
Here is a picture of the track plan
Lower Shadow station v2.0.jpg
Here is a picture of the completed section (that I just finished this evening) hopefully it is clearer now.
power sections.jpg

OK that is good to know that a common ground is acceptable using the ECoS controller and a booster.
So there is no problem now ThumpUp.

Cheers,
Kai
Offline H0  
#6 Posted : 23 November 2021 07:47:49(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,343
Location: DE-NW
You do it as you want it.

My remark was about "load balancing". And about reducing transitions from one circuit to the other.

If you have six trains running, then in an ideal world three will be in circuit 1 and three in circuit 2. If it is six versus null then all power will come from a single booster.

When the rails are not yet finally fixed, then maybe consider making four or more circuits. You can still run them from one booster, but have more flexibility when that single booster reaches its limits.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline IBtrain  
#7 Posted : 23 November 2021 07:54:19(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: xxup Go to Quoted Post
The problem is less about centre rail isolation only ( I use m-track so this is my only option and it does work without the rockers) vs full isolation, than ensuring that the transition points are well away from where a slider might stop in normal operation. A slider in the wrong position across the isolated connection between two boosted circuits will cause current to flow between the circuits. Effectively negating any attempts at isolating the middle rail.

This was the logic behind the rockers - if a slider was on the rocker only one side of the slider could touch a booster circuit. In practice, most sliders would meet the rocker (at least the m-track rockers ) and the train would stop unless you were running the train flat out.

The other risk is railcars with two sliders that do not have the slider-direction swap enabled (or perhaps is faulty for some reason). The front slider might be fully on one circuit and the rear is parked on another circuit.

So, the usual way (and I think that this is the way that you are planning to go) is to separate circuits by levels (top, middle and bottom) and not by outer and inner tracks as this avoids the complexities of isolating switches/turnouts in booster fed layouts.

The other power-saver is to ensure that all the signals and turnout motors are powered by a separate booster.


Thanks Adrian.
So no rockers needed and a common ground works for you. Great.ThumpUp
Using M track there is no way around not having a common ground, I guess?

Yes I am planning on separating the power consumption areas by levels, but I think that in my shadow station I will need to separate it into 2 power areas also.
Yes I am planning on having the turnout motors on their own power supply.

Cheers,
Kai

Offline IBtrain  
#8 Posted : 23 November 2021 08:02:57(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
You do it as you want it.

My remark was about "load balancing". And about reducing transitions from one circuit to the other.

If you have six trains running, then in an ideal world three will be in circuit 1 and three in circuit 2. If it is six versus null then all power will come from a single booster.

When the rails are not yet finally fixed, then maybe consider making four or more circuits. You can still run them from one booster, but have more flexibility when that single booster reaches its limits.




Good point Tom, about load balancing.
I will think on that, how many trains could be moving from one parking position to the next at any one time and in which areas?
And then see if I should break the shadow station into even more power circuits as you suggested.
Thanks again.

Kai
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