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Offline BenP  
#1 Posted : 27 April 2022 15:47:03(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 78
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
I have started to automate my M track layout with CS3+ and focused on use of contact tracks instead of (finnicky) toggle tracks. The latter sometimes get stuck and wagons with lighting sliders complicate the trigger. I have not tried reed switches on my layout.
I discovered after many crashes that the standard m track contact rail (5105 and 5104) has an isolated length that is less than the wheel distance of my modern trains (like ICE). Sometimes it senses occupancy, sometimes not. I can use a contact extension track and two 1/2 railroad crossing trigger tracks, but that is a lot of specialty track for one sensing segment (and hard to find, and expensive).
Is there a clever way to make one's own contact segments with M rail? I experimented with cutting rail, but it remains grounded to the metal base regardless.
Some cutting and soldering is fine. Thoughts, Marklin peeps?
contact rail.jpg
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Offline marklinist5999  
#2 Posted : 27 April 2022 16:56:05(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,610
Location: Michigan, Troy
M track tends to do that on certain wagons, and it isn't really reccomended for new digital contact track use because of potential shorting, but they don't condemn using it either.
Offline BenP  
#3 Posted : 27 April 2022 17:16:03(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 78
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: BenP Go to Quoted Post
I have started to automate my M track layout with CS3+ and focused on use of contact tracks instead of (finnicky) toggle tracks. The latter sometimes get stuck and wagons with lighting sliders complicate the trigger. I have not tried reed switches on my layout.
I discovered after many crashes that the standard m track contact rail (5105 and 5104) has an isolated length that is less than the wheel distance of my modern trains (like ICE). Sometimes it senses occupancy, sometimes not. I can use a contact extension track and two 1/2 railroad crossing trigger tracks, but that is a lot of specialty track for one sensing segment (and hard to find, and expensive).
Is there a clever way to make one's own contact segments with M rail? I experimented with cutting rail, but it remains grounded to the metal base regardless.
Some cutting and soldering is fine. Thoughts, Marklin peeps?


One crazy approach is to use two M-to-C tracks and interrupt the rail on one side. Downside is giving in to plastic. Upside is no shorts from metal base. Pricewise about the same $15-20 solution.
(yup, answering my own query as my 'research' continues)

s-l1600.jpg
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Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#4 Posted : 27 April 2022 17:19:53(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 300
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
I have made a couple dozen contact tracks using the method reported on Stummiforum with a couple of modifications. This approach has the benefit that I now have also parallel radius contact tracks (5200) which Märklin never offered.

However, the length of the isolated part of the track still remains short, so the issue you note is still in place. In my case, this does not matter because Rocrail works correctly even with very short isolated sections.

I have noted that keeping the wheels of the cars clean helps in registering the occupancy.

I think I wrote a short piece on this topic on this forum, but I cannot locate it any longer. My comments on Stummiforum mention the changes I adopted.
- 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 BenP  
#5 Posted : 27 April 2022 18:39:16(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 78
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: Martti Mäntylä Go to Quoted Post
I have made a couple dozen contact tracks using the method reported on Stummiforum with a couple of modifications. This approach has the benefit that I now have also parallel radius contact tracks (5200) which Märklin never offered.

However, the length of the isolated part of the track still remains short, so the issue you note is still in place. In my case, this does not matter because Rocrail works correctly even with very short isolated sections.

I have noted that keeping the wheels of the cars clean helps in registering the occupancy.

I think I wrote a short piece on this topic on this forum, but I cannot locate it any longer. My comments on Stummiforum mention the changes I adopted.


Went straight to the shop to try this.
Wow, shrink tube for isolation works great; see pics. I can make the sensing track any length with this method. I just added marklin stock interrupt for testing, but will modify 2 straights to make my own.
Great solution, Martti!
20220427_122738.jpg20220427_114514.jpg
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 27 April 2022 23:38:39(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,018
Location: Paris, France
Hi Martti
Originally Posted by: Martti Mäntylä Go to Quoted Post
However, the length of the isolated part of the track still remains short, so the issue you note is still in place. In my case, this does not matter because Rocrail works correctly even with very short isolated sections.

Thanks a lot for this information. I find this trick simply genial.

On the other hand, I suppose you can do this on a complete rail section (without cutting the rail). This will allow you to have a long detection section just like with C or K track.
The rest of the trick is unchanged. Simply 1 recommend to install a narrow adhésive tape under the joiner to avoid accidental contact with the metal ballast.
Also in this case the ballst drilling and wire soldering may be skipped on all rails except one

I must confess I have not tried it (I use C track) but I really believe this is easy to make.
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline xxup  
#7 Posted : 28 April 2022 00:00:31(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 9,335
Location: Australia
The alternative to cutting 5200 series track is to use current sensing s88 units link the Viessmann 5233 (see https://viessmann-modell.com/en/product-range/electronics/digital-electronics/117/feedback-decoder-with-track-occupancy-detector?c=242 ). Instead of using one of the outer rails for occupancy detection, it uses the center rail. I have used this solution for decades.

Other manufacturers include LDT -> https://www.ldt-infocenter.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=en:ab_rm_88_n_o_3lg . This one has the later style connectors for CS3.

In both cases, you just have to isolate the middle rail at each end of the section and attach a feeder to the s88 unit from somewhere in the middle of the section. I will look for the marklin number shortly, but it is a single red wire with a middle rail tongue tab.
Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
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Offline Gregor  
#8 Posted : 28 April 2022 11:13:56(UTC)
Gregor

Netherlands   
Joined: 17/04/2003(UTC)
Posts: 975
Location: Netherlands
I use current detection exclusively now, but in earlier days I made contact track by cutting the rail segment including the base, seethis post.

Best regards,
Gregor
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#9 Posted : 28 April 2022 13:12:19(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,018
Location: Paris, France
Hi Adrian
Originally Posted by: xxup Go to Quoted Post
The alternative to cutting 5200 series track is to use current sensing s88 units link the Viessmann 5233


Current sensing is OK for 2 rails operation (you have no choice AND you may have resistive axles - graphite allowing you to detect ALL cars).

In 3 rails, it is a disaster: the system sees ONLY the current consuming cars (With a slider). How many cars / wagons have a slider, not to mention the noise all these make. This means that in 3 rails, detecting cars with an extra rail makes hell a lot of difference I think. Any car is detected unlike with with current sensing.
Just my opinion.
Cheers
Jean

My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline xxup  
#10 Posted : 28 April 2022 13:49:04(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 9,335
Location: Australia
That is very true, but we are talking about sensing the position of a complete train and not indivdual wagons for the purpose of things like switching routes. The other thing is that the current sensing is only needed on 5200 curves, the straight sections that attach to those curves can and do still use contact tracks and conventional s88 units.
Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
Offline PeFu  
#11 Posted : 28 April 2022 18:54:33(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 966
Originally Posted by: xxup Go to Quoted Post
That is very true, but we are talking about sensing the position of a complete train and not indivdual wagons for the purpose of things like switching routes. The other thing is that the current sensing is only needed on 5200 curves, the straight sections that attach to those curves can and do still use contact tracks and conventional s88 units.


I used current sensing using an LDT s88 unit, on my previous M track layout. It worked very well. Now, Märklin has an s88 unit at a reasonable price:

https://www.maerklin.de/...ts/details/article/60882
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
Offline amartinezv  
#12 Posted : 28 April 2022 20:15:45(UTC)
amartinezv

Spain   
Joined: 25/08/2004(UTC)
Posts: 303
Location: Madrid,
Hi all,
I use the Train Controller, with this program os posible to configure a memora in a contact detector to avoid flickering ro to maintain the contact detector in on for a certain time. I supposse that is posible algo in other programs.
Best regards
Antonio Martínez
marklin, IB, era 3, Train controller
www.raildigital.es/davidruso
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Offline BenP  
#13 Posted : 02 May 2022 13:13:04(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 78
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: xxup Go to Quoted Post
The alternative to cutting 5200 series track is to use current sensing s88 units link the Viessmann 5233 (see https://viessmann-modell.com/en/product-range/electronics/digital-electronics/117/feedback-decoder-with-track-occupancy-detector?c=242 ). Instead of using one of the outer rails for occupancy detection, it uses the center rail. I have used this solution for decades.

Other manufacturers include LDT -> https://www.ldt-infocenter.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=en:ab_rm_88_n_o_3lg . This one has the later style connectors for CS3.

In both cases, you just have to isolate the middle rail at each end of the section and attach a feeder to the s88 unit from somewhere in the middle of the section. I will look for the marklin number shortly, but it is a single red wire with a middle rail tongue tab.


Thx for the alternative suggestion of using current instead if mass sensing. However, I believe this requires s88 DC modules, whereas i have l88+s88 ac modules on my M track layout.

Making my own contact tracks has solved the length limit. Connecting two homemade contact tracks does take soldering of a feedback wire and cutting a small space below one connector to avoid metal base contact (just like stock m contact tracks have).

I'll eventually try computer based automation (rocrail?), but for now stick with CS3 software control.
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