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Offline asp1880  
#1 Posted : 05 September 2017 20:01:05(UTC)
asp1880

Denmark   
Joined: 04/09/2017(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Lyngby
Hi all.

I've read somewhere or other on the 'net that you should take care not to switch more than 2 solenoid devices (turnouts, signals etc) per contact track. In the classic, analog style of doing control logic. Otherwise the high current might damage the contact patches in the contact track, was the reasoning.

How much truth does this narrative contain? I've driven four turnouts per contact track, have I worn or ruined something now? Everything seems so still work ok though.

Assume that power is plentiful. That's another potential problem with driving several solenoids at once, for another discussion.

Regards,
--Anders.
Offline clapcott  
#2 Posted : 06 September 2017 00:42:07(UTC)
clapcott

New Zealand   
Joined: 12/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,418
Location: Wellington, New_Zealand
Originally Posted by: asp1880 Go to Quoted Post
Hi all.

I've read somewhere or other on the 'net that you should take care not to switch more than 2 solenoid devices (turnouts, signals etc) per contact track. In the classic, analog style of doing control logic. Otherwise the high current might damage the contact patches in the contact track, was the reasoning.

How much truth does this narrative contain? I've driven four turnouts per contact track, have I worn or ruined something now? Everything seems so still work ok though.

Assume that power is plentiful. That's another potential problem with driving several solenoids at once, for another discussion.

Regards,
--Anders.

It is important to be aware of the "plentiful power" but not for the activating (energising) of the solenoid devices.

It is the switching off where this power PLUS the energy (power) stored in the solenoid coil will attempt to maintain a circuit as the switch disengages - this becomes evident in an arcing accros the contacts gap as they moves apart. It is this arcing that will burn to cause a residual buildup on the contacts (resulting in insulation and no circuit) or may weld the contacts together (short circuit).

So impacting aspects are ...
- primarily - how fast (snappy) the contact disengages
- followed by the solenoid type (efficiency at storing - releasing energy)

If you do mean "Contact Track" , like the 24995 which uses the rails and wagon wheels as a switch then there is little or no issue of the arcing causing a problem. However this solution does mean your accessories may be energised for a longer period of time
If you mean more of a "Circuit Track" like the 5146 , or a small reed switch, then the concern is real.

While the C-track 24994 Circuit track operates similar to the 5146, it uses an additional microswitch which is more "snappy" than the direct "slowish" rocker of the 5146 ,so it may be quite a bit more tolerant.

While not being your actual question, I would suggest any more than two related device (Home & Distant signal or Turnout plus one Signal) would mean that you are looking at more versatility than hard wiring can provide.
Peter
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by clapcott
Offline asp1880  
#3 Posted : 06 September 2017 19:48:33(UTC)
asp1880

Denmark   
Joined: 04/09/2017(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Lyngby
Originally Posted by: clapcott Go to Quoted Post

If you mean more of a "Circuit Track" like the 5146 , or a small reed switch, then the concern is real.
(... snip ...)
While not being your actual question, I would suggest any more than two related device (Home & Distant signal or Turnout plus one Signal) would mean that you are looking at more versatility than hard wiring can provide.


Thanks for your reply. I understand the inductive power buildup in coils and realise now that's the effect that'll kill my 5146 tracks.
You're probably right on that last concern about the versatility. However, so far I only build temporary layouts that exist a couple of weeks at most. I find hardwiring fun for that purpose so far.

Regards,
--Anders.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by asp1880
MrB32  
#4 Posted : 14 September 2017 19:01:44(UTC)
Guest


Joined: 06/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 262
Hi Anders,

Thanks for doing these good videos about the use of the catenary ports on signals. I am doing the same type of layouts as you do. I must confess I am not that excited about digital despite being the owner of a central station and all sorts of mfx based equipment. I find if more interesting to play with good old analog kit, get my fingers full of graphite, pull meters of cables etc etc..., so I find myself taking out the M-track and blue transformers very regularly and embark on impossible carpet layout missions from time to time...

I have no background in electromechanical engineering, so everything I write below is based on empirically accumulated knowledge.

Good old 5146s (and 5147s or 5213s)! Beside the fact that most of them, even new old stock, need adjusting, I have tried quite a few permutations and found I could control up to 8 items.

For 8 items, the precondition was:

- properly maintained solenoid devices (clean guiding tracks in side the coils, no discolouration on the coils indicating a likely burnout, clean contacts, no wobbly signal masts etc etc...)
- distance less than one meter away.
- separate transformer dedicated to switching
- Clean and properly adjusted 5146... (this is the most difficult bit...)

As soon as the distance was increased over 1m, I got a reliable response from only 6 out of 8 solenoid devices, in random distribution.

Whilst I am aware the 5146 and other switching tracks were not meant for more than 2 or 3 devices, I found it is possible to double the figure to 6 in a temporary setup.

Did i damage any switching track in the process? No....

Cheers,

Nic
Offline asp1880  
#5 Posted : 18 September 2017 20:41:40(UTC)
asp1880

Denmark   
Joined: 04/09/2017(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Lyngby
Originally Posted by: MrB32 Go to Quoted Post

As soon as the distance was increased over 1m, I got a reliable response from only 6 out of 8 solenoid devices, in random distribution.

Whilst I am aware the 5146 and other switching tracks were not meant for more than 2 or 3 devices, I found it is possible to double the figure to 6 in a temporary setup.

Did i damage any switching track in the process? No....


Hi Nic.
This is very reassuring to me. I've never tried to push the envelope like you describe, but have veered away from more than 4 devices per switching track. I might go a bit higher next time, if the need arises. OTOH, many of my signals and turnouts are quite worn and have lost their "snap", so to speak, so maybe I won't be able to go any higher. Laugh

Regards,
--Anders.
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