DCC and Kato turnouts

salamander34 Feb 14, 2020 at 9:02 AM

  1. salamander34

    salamander34 New Member

    Hello all again,
    I got alot of help on my last post so i figured i would ask here first.

    I had a 2x4 layout and now i have a 2x5 and a 2x5 in an L shape. Im currently in the "laying out track to see what i like phase" and had a question about kato turnouts

    I use number 4 turnouts mostly because thats what i had already and of course i have them set to non power routing for my DCC(an NCE powercab). since i have alot of these turnouts i noticed that when a locomotive comes into contact with a turnout thats switched the wrong way it shorts. For explanation, like when a train is coming from the curved side but the switch is thrown straight. Is this just how it is, as in it MUST be switched properly or else there will be a short, or am i missing something. Should i not power the frog to prevent this? if i dont power the frog will my locos lose power while going over them?

    thank you guys in advance, before i start permanently laying track i wanna make sure theyre set correctly.
  2. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

    If the switch is not aligned for the route the loco is traveling, YES it will short out. It has to be thrown to the correct direction, otherwise your loco will derail.

    Frogs should always be powered, IMHO. I'm not familiar with Kato methodology, but I use switch machines (Blue Point, in fact) that take care of the electrical requirements.
    Hardcoaler and MK like this.
  3. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

    I agree with MP333, I use Kato turnouts and they must be thrown to avoid a short if not power routed. I use power routing on my DCC layout, it will turn the power off on the diverging track and the loco will just stop without a short circuit. If the diverging section is a siding, in order to operate a loco with the turnout closed you need to supply separate power to it.
    mtntrainman likes this.
  4. salamander34

    salamander34 New Member

    Oh alright, thanks guys. Very new to DCC. My last layout was DC so I’m just working out the kinks right now haha
    MP333 likes this.
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    On a Kato N-scale #4, there is a way to not have the frog powered, preventing the short. On the underside of the side of the switch, there are 3 openings with small screws in them; 1 for power routing the through track, 1 for power routing the diverging track, and one (which opens "vertically" across the piece) for powering the frog. If you want to run through the frog without shorting, move the screw to "off".

    While this works, you may find, with shorter wheel based locos, that you cannot make it through the switch, and it is very poor practice to run a switch with the points against you, anyway.
    Hardcoaler, MP333 and mtntrainman like this.

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