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Offline pmgsr  
#1 Posted : 13 February 2013 23:46:12(UTC)

Joined: 01/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 168
Location: Lisbon, Lisbon
Hi there,

I'm starting to make contact tracks from my C-Tracks but i have a great doubt about the size of the blocks for train detection.
This is my layout (like you can see here):


You can see an example of two blocks i can make (green and yellow).

For detecting trains in this blocks i must have one or two areas on the block (two is best for computer controlled - first for train detection and the second one for train stopping slowly).

My main question is if it's best for detection isolating a large number os tracks (this way detection is more reliable and i can see in real-time on the computer if a train is there) or to make a block a single piece of track (no matter what number os "sensors" i'll have in each block).
Isolating a large number of tracks can result on a less reliable layout? (because of track isolation).

I want to run trains with computer controlled software and in manual.

Best Regards,
Pedro Rosa.
Pedro Rosa.
Linda-a-Velha / Lisbon, Portugal.
My Layout (Marklin, C-Track, Digital)
Offline michelvr  
#2 Posted : 14 February 2013 02:45:45(UTC)

Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,198
Hello Pedro,

The best advise I can give you concerning block detection is to have your block as long as the longest train that you will run. Sounds simple but I know it's not!

Best if you check out Railroad & Co, Model Railroad Computer Control with TrainController™. Check out: http://www.freiwald.com/


Offline Danlake  
#3 Posted : 14 February 2013 05:33:39(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,546
Hi Pedro,

I am not in favour of isolating lots of tracks, as I lose the benefit of a 3 rail system. It’s of course beneficial if you want to detect e.g. a uncoupled car that has been left behind on a fully automatic (unsupervised) layout.

This is what I have done in my layout Greenwood Forest (note I am using Train controller):

1. The blocks should be as long as your longest train. Each block can contain one or more sensors.

2. In general I have 2 or 3 sensors (contact tracks) in each block. One for entry – start slowing down and one for stop. If I have a very long block e.g. in the shadow yard I put one contact track in the middle, so the block will remain occupied as long as there is a train in the block. Note in Traincontroller you can put timers delay into each sensors (in this way you avoid flickering and the block will remain occupied even though a short train has left the first contact track).

3. Remember if you install contact tracks in curves to isolate the inside rail (less likely then to lose your ground connection).

Brgds - Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline French_Fabrice  
#4 Posted : 14 February 2013 08:29:13(UTC)

Joined: 16/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,357
Location: Lyon, France
Hi Pedro,

Same advice as Lasse.

When driving with the software, the length of the detecting sections doesn't need to be equal to the block length. The software memorizes the triggering event and that's enough.

Also, you can put power (O & B) between detecting sections to allow better electrical flow.

Offline pmgsr  
#5 Posted : 14 February 2013 12:05:41(UTC)

Joined: 01/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 168
Location: Lisbon, Lisbon
Michel, Lasse and Fabrice,

Thanks for your advices.

I think i was in the right direction on each one:
- having two sensors in each block;
- in my layout, isolated tracks should be almost as long as the block, because blocks are almost the size of my longest train;

Lasse wrote that is not in favor of isolating lots of tracks exactly for the same reason as I am not also, but i sincerely have to say that in the hidden yard i have all blocks almost as long as the track itself without any problem... so i think that i will try to have a compromised solution.

I made the following image marked with two isolation tracks in each of the two blocks:


Any remarks?

I never thought that, in curves, the inside rail should be isolated and not the outside rail! Thanks :-)
I already prepared to feed every block/intervals with (O & B) like Fabrice suggests, running a feeder wire below the track (below the baseboard) andmaking 5 circuits (for using booster in the future, if needed).

Best Regards,
Pedro Rosa.

Pedro Rosa.
Linda-a-Velha / Lisbon, Portugal.
My Layout (Marklin, C-Track, Digital)
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