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Offline Harvey  
#1 Posted : 15 December 2020 01:19:00(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 17/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 546
Location: Glen Oaks, N.Y.
For several years I have read about contact tracks but not tried. My M track, CS2 layout uses reeds and circuit tracks. I recently installed an LED strip in my two track helix and initially set up with reed tracks to turn on/off as trains enter/leave the helix. The reeds also control block sections. This works fine with 1 train running but with 2 trains, the timing of trains entering/leaving the helix can result with a wrong setting for the lights. I decided to experiment and install contact tracts on each path, understanding that as long as 1 train is within the 'contact' section the LEDs will be on. Questions I have are how to build the contact section.

M-Track. To create the isolated section I need to 'break' the connection on one of the two rails (going to O) at a beginning and end point of the isolated section. How best to create this isolated section?
- Somehow pull off the small piece at the end of the M-track, that is used to join two sections of track. Then, grind away a very small piece of rail. I tried prying off one clip - not that easy.
- Use a dremel and slice the rail - Seems this could result in a rough surface.
- Other ideas?

Once the isolated section is completed, solder a wire to the isolated rail and connect to the S-88.

S-88. Based on page 64 of the Marklin 'Running Trains Digitally with the Central Station 3' a wire from the uncut rail would be connected to the inverted T on the S88. While the track is already grounded (to the O of the transformer) I assume there is no electrical conflict in running another ground wire to the S88. The isolated section is connected to 1 of the 16 slots on the S88. That slot would have the instruction (in my case) 'Turn current on at the M84 address'. So, when a train is in this isolated section, a pulse is sent to the S88 and the M84 leaves the current on. The pulse is continually set while a wheel set is in the isolated section. Once there is no wheel set present, no pulse is sent and the light turns off. Correct?

If I connect both Sets of isolated track (the lines going up/down the helix) to the same S-88 slot, then as long as one isolated section has a wheel set present, the LED is lit. Correct? Or, do I need to use 2 connection points of the M84?

Appreciate suggestions

Offline clapcott  
#2 Posted : 15 December 2020 05:52:46(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 12/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,418
Location: Wellington, New_Zealand
What you describe is, to me, a path of last resort.

Given that you already have operational reeds and S88, as well as a m84, I would just configure these to hold the "occupied state" of the two helix lines, and make use of the conditional controls for a Memory route when the exit sensor is triggered to ignore the turning off of the lights if the state of the "other" line is occupied.

Alternatively, you might consider a 60882 S88 (I refuse to call it -DC) in order to monitor the current draw when a train is on either helix track.
Offline Harvey  
#3 Posted : 18 December 2020 15:29:22(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 17/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 546
Location: Glen Oaks, N.Y.

Thanks for the response. I came to realize that M-track can not be converted in the way C-track can be. A special (contack) track is needed for M and K and C track can be converted. I am staying with my use of reeds.

Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#4 Posted : 18 December 2020 21:47:02(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 238
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
Just for the record, it is quite possible to make M-Gleis contact tracks yourself; it just takes a bit more effort. I made about 20 of them last year as a part of my digital M-gleis experiment.
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Martti Mäntylä
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