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Offline PierreGILLARD  
#1 Posted : 02 May 2007 16:01:48(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Hello,

With the never ending problem of limited North American models produced by Märklin (see discussion here, for instance) and seeing dual AC and DC operations on Ulf's C-Track modular layout, I am more and more (almost already !) tempted to have both AC and DC rolling stock as well on my future American K-Track layout.

Hence the question : Does someone here has experience with DC on K-Tracks ? What about turnouts and signal wiring to be able to work both with AC and DC ?

One of the options is to have a mainline that can be switched from AC to DC, and specific AC or DC sidings, branches and yards.

The other option is to have distinct AC and DC mainlines, branches, etc, and some exchange yards or siding tracks between both.

Let me know your comments.

Pierre.
Offline Hemmerich  
#2 Posted : 02 May 2007 18:50:20(UTC)
Hemmerich


Joined: 15/04/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,734
Location: ,
Hi Pierre,

Since they have electric separated rails, you can use K-tracks for both AC/DC as long as you don't connect them at switches, crossings, etc or power connection tracks (i.e. #2290). For the latter ones you need to isolate and provide separate power for the rails individually; which is possible.

Offline hmsfix  
#3 Posted : 02 May 2007 20:09:51(UTC)
hmsfix


Joined: 06/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 1,383
Location: Darmstadt,
Hi Pierre,

I had the same idea a few years ago, and tested K-tracks for 2-rail operation. Generally, the rails are isolated for straight and curved tracks, as well as for the slim turnouts (2272, 2273, 2275, 22715 etc) and the curved turnouts (2267). However, not for the standard turnouts (2263, 2260). Thus, electrically it seems possible to deal with DC and K-track, with a few restrictions which I think I could handle. And, of course, no slider triggered contact tracks can be used, but IMHO using red relays and car magnets is the better way to do.

One nasty problem is that RP25 wheel sets have difficulties with the K rail profiles and even with the slim turnouts. So I think they must be replaced with NEM wheel sets.

As I am in the US stuff as well I originally had been thinking about a US layout compatible with 2R. However, that would have meant an enormous effort with the semaphore system, polarising the turnouts, controlling the reversion loops. So I have constructed my yards and side tracks for 3-rail only. However, the main line almost conforms with 2R, only a few solderings and Drehmel cuts needed. Who knows what it is good for. biggrin

Hans Martin

Offline ulf999  
#4 Posted : 02 May 2007 20:32:16(UTC)
ulf999


Joined: 12/05/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,025
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
I've been nursing the idea to use Peco track + their center studs (or Erbert(Herei)-Pukos, http://www.modelleisenbahn.com/listen/erbert.htm) instead of k-track for my modules with turnouts. Perhaps easier?
Ulf, American HO. www.goldenvalleyroute.com/
Offline Mats P  
#5 Posted : 02 May 2007 21:58:38(UTC)
Mats P

Sweden   
Joined: 28/04/2002(UTC)
Posts: 80
Location: Västra Frölunda
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by hmsfix
<br />Hi Pierre,

I had the same idea a few years ago, and tested K-tracks for 2-rail operation. Generally, the rails are isolated for straight and curved tracks, as well as for the slim turnouts (2272, 2273, 2275, 22715 etc) and the curved turnouts (2267).

Hans Martin




I don´t think that all the curved turnouts(2267) and the new slim turnouts(22715-16) have isolated rails,at least mine doesn´t.But my old slim turnouts(2273-73) have it.I guess that M have made an update to the K-track turnouts.To the worse in this case.[:(]

Mats
Offline TTRExpress  
#6 Posted : 02 May 2007 23:31:18(UTC)
TTRExpress

United States   
Joined: 06/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 655
Hello Pierre,

The problem of running both AC and DC on K-track is as Hans and Martin have pointed out. K-track has a higher rail profile height than C-track so if you have RP25 wheel sets you will need to convert them to NEM.

You could also use TRIX Express(TE)nickel-silver track and turnouts. You would need to purchase the Anschluss gleise TE-4372. One can easily operate both AC and DC on this track system and use any wheel sets. The rail profile of this track is 3.3 mm which is higher than K-track so you may still have to convert RP25 wheels to NEM. I use TE track but only run Euorpean locos and rolling stock so I have no problems with wheels. Even though TRIX does not make this track system any longer lots of it comes up for sale on E-bay.

You also have the option, as you mentioned, to operate two independent layouts. If that is the case you can purchase regular 2-rail track (Code 83 or Code 100), again any manufacturer will suffice, and running RP25 wheel sets will not be an issue.

Hope this helps a little.

Regards (a Scot in Wisconsin)


Regards (a Scot in Wisconsin),

Maurice [ETE, TTRCA, IG-TRIX Express, Maerklin-Insider & TRIX Profi-Club]
Offline hmsfix  
#7 Posted : 02 May 2007 23:54:34(UTC)
hmsfix


Joined: 06/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 1,383
Location: Darmstadt,
Hi Mats,

That's bad news.I checked my slim turnouts (2272/3 and 22715/6), and they have isolated rails, but they are all a little dated (i.e. from 2nd hand). Maybe the newer versions are different.

Eventually one can cut the connection strips on the underside of the turnout. The strips are situated under the ties and usually hidden by the metal base plate of the turnout. The strips are fixed to the rails with small rivets or metal braces. The base plates have small holes here, from the assembly process. The rivets can easily be removed with a small drill. Not so easy for the standard turnouts, unfortunately.

Hans Martin


Offline PierreGILLARD  
#8 Posted : 03 May 2007 05:58:11(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Thanks for your inputs.

<u>Turnout Compatibility</u>

I already have tested American locomotives with RP25 wheels (USRA 0-8-0 and BUDD RDC) on various kinds of Märklin turnouts. The less problems are encountered with slim turnouts both C and K tracks. The worst are curved turnouts.

So I can certainly design a main line only with slim turnouts; it is not a problem.

But are K-Track # 22715 and 22716 turnouts compatible with DC ?

UserPostedImage

I have checked with my ohmmeter and compared with turnout descriptions in Rick Selby's book "Basic Wiring for Model Railroaders".

The conclusion is that # 22715 and # 22716 are "standard" or "insulated-frog" turnouts and should be compatible with DC (the other type is "selective").

<u>RP25 Wheels Issue</u>

It is no longer a problem; I just have to put NEM DC wheels equivalent to NEM AC wheels that I have used for my previous car conversions (some examples here).

<u>Conclusion</u>

So I am now 99 % sure that I will go for a dual system layout. But with my current production rythm, this will still take years !

Once again, thanks for your excellent advices.

Pierre.
Offline jonquinn  
#9 Posted : 06 May 2007 19:56:47(UTC)
jonquinn


Joined: 15/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,591
Location: Pennsylvania
I think the ETE modules I have seen at the euro-east meets can be run in DC and AC, but not simulataneously. I know they do have dedicated DC modules, but I swear one of the club members said they do run some DCC (besides converted locos of course).
Offline stwspoon  
#10 Posted : 10 May 2007 23:33:24(UTC)
stwspoon

United States   
Joined: 12/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 1
Location: ,
The ETE Module spec defines how to set things up for AC 3 rail and DC 2 rail on both of the main line tracks on their modules. Check out http://www.ete.org/modspecs2.htm They specifically call out for K track and the slim switches:

"Maerklin#8217;s new series, 22715 and 22716 don#8217;t have the moving frog, and are already wired in such a way as to not need additional wiring for AC/DC operation. Their use, and/or retrofitting to existing modules is recommended. If you are building a new module, don#8217;t use the 2272/73 series switches."

Also note the section on signaling and how to stop both 2 and 3 rail trains.

Stan
stwspoon at speakeasy dot net
Offline steventrain  
#11 Posted : 10 May 2007 23:50:37(UTC)
steventrain

United Kingdom   
Joined: 21/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 32,764
Welcome to the forum,Stan.Smile
Large Marklinist 3- Rails Layout with CS2/MS2/Boosters/C-track/favorites Electric class E03/BR103, E18/E118, E94, Crocodiles/Steam BR01, BR03, BR05, BR23, BR44, BR50, Big Boy.
Offline PierreGILLARD  
#12 Posted : 11 May 2007 01:49:23(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Thanks for the information, Stan !

And welcome to the forum.

Pierre.
Offline ulf999  
#13 Posted : 11 May 2007 16:14:47(UTC)
ulf999


Joined: 12/05/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,025
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Welcome to the Forum. Good info, Thanks!
Ulf, American HO. www.goldenvalleyroute.com/
Offline PierreGILLARD  
#14 Posted : 15 May 2007 04:36:11(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
I have bought the Digitrax Super Empire Builder starter set today. My first impression is that it looks very professional. Two thick manuals explain how the system and decoders work. Packing is better than some aircraft avionics installation kits that I have seen ! And for the green touch, everything is RoHS compliant.

I have ordered an Atlas True-Track Starter Set for a carpet layout in order to test my DC locomotives. I should also buy three DCC decoders to equip my three Proto 2000 engines one of these days.

So, that's true, now : I should very soon start DCC operations as well. Smile

Pierre.
Offline ulf999  
#15 Posted : 15 May 2007 21:45:36(UTC)
ulf999


Joined: 12/05/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,025
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Congrats Pierre! I assume we'll get more feedback from this kit [:p]
Ulf, American HO. www.goldenvalleyroute.com/
Offline PierreGILLARD  
#16 Posted : 15 May 2007 21:54:37(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by ulf999
<br />Congrats Pierre! I assume we'll get more feedback from this kit [:p]


Of course ! Cool

Pierre.
Offline john black  
#17 Posted : 16 May 2007 00:15:29(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Coolness, Pierre Cool ... Guess you're not in business for an CS, anymore biggrin
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline PierreGILLARD  
#18 Posted : 16 May 2007 00:23:00(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by john black
<br />Coolness, Pierre Cool ... Guess you're not in business for an CS, anymore biggrin



Not immediately can I say because I still have the project of a European layout that will be 100 % AC-Three Rail ... to be completed in 2148 ! biggrin

Pierre.
Offline nevw  
#19 Posted : 16 May 2007 02:14:20(UTC)
nevw

Australia   
Joined: 27/08/2005(UTC)
Posts: 11,004
Location: Murrumba Downs QLD
Not immediately can I say because I still have the project of a European layout that will be 100 % AC-Three Rail ... to be completed in 2148 ! biggrin

Pierre.

Pierre, What an Optimist. Layout completed !!!!![:p]
A Layout is never Completed. biggrinbiggrinbiggrin
wearing the Pink Pinny, which is hard to see and now have 2 new shiny tin Hips that is badly in Need of Repair matching tin shoulders
and a hose pipe on the aorta
Junior member of the Banana Club, a reformist and an old Goat with a Bad memory, loafing around
Offline PierreGILLARD  
#20 Posted : 17 May 2007 00:02:48(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
You're right, Nev ! biggrin

Pierre.
Offline john black  
#21 Posted : 17 May 2007 01:12:30(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by PierreGILLARD
<br />... to be completed in 2148 ! biggrin

You guys are way too fast. Mine will be finished in the year 2525 ... [xx(]
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline PierreGILLARD  
#22 Posted : 17 May 2007 02:19:37(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by john black
<br />
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by PierreGILLARD
<br />... to be completed in 2148 ! biggrin

You guys are way too fast. Mine will be finished in the year 2525 ... [xx(]



... When the 124th level will be completed after you demolished the floors of the 9 apartments above yours ! biggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Here is now a picture of the Digitrax Super Empire Builder Starter Set :

UserPostedImage

Pierre.
Offline john black  
#23 Posted : 18 May 2007 10:36:42(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
biggrinbiggrinbiggrin
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline PierreGILLARD  
#24 Posted : 01 June 2007 02:48:00(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
My first step into the DCC world ...

UserPostedImage

A used HAM radio 13.8 VDC 15-20A power supply has been bought to feed the Digitrax Super Empire Builder system as well as a cheap Atlas True-Track starter set.

Meanwhile, I have converted a Proto 2000 Alco FA1 locomotive to DCC with a Digitrax DH123 decoder.

When came the time of the test, everything worked correctly even if first operation of DT400 throttle control was found not so easy.

Pierre.
Offline intruder  
#25 Posted : 01 June 2007 02:51:39(UTC)
intruder

Norway   
Joined: 16/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 5,532
Location: Akershus, Norway
Keep up the good work, Pierre.

Please do not spill any oil on the carpet.
Best regards Svein, Norway
grumpy old sod
Offline john black  
#26 Posted : 01 June 2007 12:30:12(UTC)
john black

United States   
Joined: 22/04/2004(UTC)
Posts: 12,139
Location: New York, NY
Coolness, Pierre CoolCoolCool

BTW, ya surely know ya can push those 13.8V power supplies up to 18 Volts if wanted ... biggrin
(we do such on a regular basis with our transceivers for getting more range)
I hope no one visits a poor Southener's layout in Brooklyn. Intruders beware of Gators.
AT&SF, D&RGW, T&P, SP, WP, UP, BN, NYC, ARR, epI-III - analog & digital Marklin Classics only.
CU#6021 FX-MOTOROLA DIGITAL SYSTEM. Fast as lightning and no trouble. What else ...
Outlaw Member of BIG JUHAN's OUTSIDER CLUB. With the most members, worldwide

Offline PierreGILLARD  
#27 Posted : 02 June 2007 03:19:06(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Svein : Louise would not appreciate ... If I want to put my carpet layout next Christmas, I must be careful ! wink

John : Thanks for the tip, John. But the DB150 Booster/Command is in any case power limited. The advantage of that Digitrax Booster/Command is that it can be feeded by either AC or DC. As I had the opportunity to buy that second hand power supply for 50 CDN$ (about US$ 180.00 for an equivalent Digitrax power supply !), I opted for a DC feeding.

Pierre.
Offline steventrain  
#28 Posted : 02 June 2007 12:45:06(UTC)
steventrain

United Kingdom   
Joined: 21/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 32,764
Very good DCC.

Spend long time to read the booklet.
Large Marklinist 3- Rails Layout with CS2/MS2/Boosters/C-track/favorites Electric class E03/BR103, E18/E118, E94, Crocodiles/Steam BR01, BR03, BR05, BR23, BR44, BR50, Big Boy.
Offline PierreGILLARD  
#29 Posted : 02 June 2007 17:27:11(UTC)
PierreGILLARD


Joined: 09/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,346
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Quote:
[size=1" face="Verdana" id="quote]quote:Originally posted by steventrain
<br />Very good DCC.

Spend long time to read the booklet.


biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

I also think that you must own a degree in Mathematics to operate the DT400 Throttle Control, which looks more like a calculator !

Pierre.
Offline ulf999  
#30 Posted : 09 June 2007 20:56:46(UTC)
ulf999


Joined: 12/05/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,025
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Looks great Pierre!
/Ulf, in the process of going "Peco code 83"...
Ulf, American HO. www.goldenvalleyroute.com/
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