Kato Double crossover Stutters ONLY on one Route or Path

Mark Ricci Apr 24, 2021

  1. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    The maximum frequency for the DCC signal is a little under 10 khz, with an average usually around 7-8 khz, which puts the skin depth for copper wire a little over 0.025 in., so it has practically no effect on 16 gauge wire or smaller.

    There are two main reasons for the emphasis on wiring when it comes to DCC. The first is voltage drop when you have several locos or consists running off of one power supply. As an example, let's say you have a double track mainline running by a yard, and you have a loco working the yard and two trains passing by on the mainline at the same time. In DC, you would have to have separate blocks with separate power supplies each feeding the block they are controlling with a set of wires. Each loco or consist is running off its own set of wires which can be done with relatively small gauge wire. With DCC, all of these locos will be running off of one power supply (unless you have it divided into booster districts) - if you are feeding the area with one set of wires they are likely going to need to be a larger gauge than what was required for DC to prevent too much voltage drop.

    The other main reason is for protection against short circuits. With DC, it generally does not take as much current to trip the circuit breaker in the power pack (if it has one) and, in my opinion more critical, you pretty much know if you have a short - one train, one power pack, if the train you are running causes a short, it stops, and you generally know about it right away. With DCC, it generally takes a lot more current to trip the circuit breaker - a short that draws 1.5 amps may trip the circuit breaker on a DC power pack, but won't in a 5 amp DCC system. Poor wiring causes extra resistance which decreases the amount of current a short will draw. You can actually have a short occur in one area and still be able to run trains elsewhere, and that short can be drawing quite a bit of current, possibly melting something.

    On smaller home layouts, these two issues are not nearly as critical as they are on large "club size" layouts.

    Many people seem to think the emphasis on wiring has to do with making sure the signal gets to the loco, but that simply isn't the case. With the signal being the full amplitude of the power, if the loco is getting power, it's getting the signal.

    Well, one of the biggest complaints about DCC is still that it is more expensive than DC, add wireless and batteries to all of the locomotives and that will only get to be more so. Even if it didn't, I still would have no desire to have batteries in my locos.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  2. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the input.. I was already there with you on importance of wiring, just added that regardless of how well designed the wiring is, a bad loco still will be bad and will run poorly... and believe I mentioned difference in approach for small home layouts.

    Your reference to voltage drop or IIr loss. I would concur and don't think disputed anything your saying. Its kinda of funny you bring up the DC 1.5A vs 5A dcc as it reminds me on how some confuse power. To elaborate, Power in purely AC resistive circuits is measured in watts, power in purely reactive circuits is measured in VAR (volt amps reactive) and power in ac circuits which consist of both resistive and reactive components is measured in VA. Power factor, the COS-1 of R/Z is the true power. Bring in the fact that although the DCC wave does not change in amplitude it does change polarity or phase. So the only time DCC would approach the same "heating effect" and that gap 1.5 to 5 would be closed is if the duty cycle of the DCC wave approaches 100. Again, not disputing supplementing..

    Probably the only thing here is self powered locos where I'd disagree but that's what makes the world go round..... Look, I love wires. Been wiring things for 55 years.

    I'm talking future where the economies far outweigh any wired system I'm not a pure battery fan, like maybe Tesla owners and won't allow a new tech to cost substantially more but. And believe from at least a financial perspective, and that over time and as Tech and batteries get even better. Yes, if you added a battery to a car 50 years ago, all would laugh, today, no more. Back then, it would take a fortune, today its much less.. Actually in decades a loco like I'm dreaming about will be cheaper and better than any DCC. Another example is why smart ISPs like Verizon have sold off FIOS(except in higher profitable areas like the Northeast) because they know the future is 5G. They prefer rather than pulling and maintaining fiber or copper.

    Yeah, I have to take the loco and put it in a charger for an hour, but I'll always have a few charged ready. My first PC XT was $2200 but I computerized anyway. Now a Pi, more powerful is $35 so in long run, self powered locos will be cheaper..

    Again, thank you for the perspective...
     
  3. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    No but I'm envious that you have the CNJ marker as an avatar... lol :) Avatar for caboose?? just kidding....
     
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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I once tried an LV avatar, but its rectangular shape didn't fill the square area very well here at TrainBoard. This is a photo of an LV Coal Co. logo a friend hand painted on a full size outdoor coal box. It looked fantastic.

    LV Avatar - Mikes Coal Box.gif.jpg
     
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  5. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    He or she did a terrific job on the logo!!
     
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  6. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Speaking of 55 years, a few of my locos are just about that old. Many others are several decades old.
    Yet, I can still put them on the track and run them with a DC power pack.

    What are the chances that a 55-year-old battery - or even one half that age - will still be able to accept and hold a charge?
    If not, will I be able to readily find a compatible replacement battery and what might it cost?
    Even worse, might an old battery leak and thereby ruin an irreplaceable loco?
     
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  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Right now the tech for rechargeable batteries is not that great with either catching fire or only lasting a few recharges. And the cost of button batteries is too high. I had a few of the passenger cars that had interior lights by way of batteries. They became history because of poor life span and replacement costs.
     
  8. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    This was just a dream.. Possibly caused by the loco issues. My first love was electronics. Always fascinated by it as kid.

    When I first started in MRR, was playing with electronics equip. with vacuum tubes, selenium rectifiers and wax or paper capacitors. If one told me one day a computer will be running my MRR with little circuit boards, no way... I certainly wasn't smart enough to predict.. Now, we have DCC, Pis Arduinos running many railroads. Stuff I could only dream about back then with no reference.

    While waiting for loco repair parts back in April, went ahead and bought the Mega Ultimate kit. Wow, I said to myself, if this was only around when I was a kid... Did all the labs and the wheels started turning. The servo project, maybe make a gate for the layout. Stepper motor projects.

    As stated earlier, my thoughts are completely futuristic and certainly my dream wasn't necessarily even based on current technologies. And definitely not limiting to present technologies and related battery issues.

    Sure some day there will be those who will continue with gas autos because although parts not available individual skill levels can make. There have been replies from many here whom I'm sure have skills and equip to mill replacement parts. Will gas even be available? Would think those like yourself have the knowledge and skills to continue with traditional and/or model railroading loco, rebuilding motors, milling, and certainly, I love seeing pics from members who have older locos and can do such great repairs and mods.. I'm very impressed that you can maintain an old loco and say, as long as you want to run DC, go ahead. I Love that too. I guess my dream, being an electronics nut, focuses more on electronics aspect than the other model railroading skills.
     
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  9. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    For certain. Lionel modelers are well familiar with the resulting ruin of postwar locomotives from leaking horn batteries. My F-3s were victims of that. :(
     
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  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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  12. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those cars and locos are made by Bandai a Japanese firm. Some of them I call my mini RDCs and are only 34 N scale feet in length. My layout can best be described as N scale with a narrow gauge flavor. My maximum curvature is 8.5 inch on the mainline and 6 to 7.5 inch in the port area. These cars run well on that. I have a mix of electric locos and diesel locos with a small roster of steam locos. I do run container service using short Bandai container cars that carry 2 containers of 14 feet in length.

    The Bandai cars come in kit form less running trucks and I put Kato trucks under them with Kato couplers. Both Kato and Bandai have mechanisms that fit under the passenger cars and locos although they are becoming hard to find due to covid impacts on manufacture.

    My layout features only cars with a 40 foot length max.
     
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  13. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    They are short and wonderful! John.
    All but the SD35 and unlettered combine are 40' or less. 60' passenger at the time was the shortest I saw.
     
  14. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    N E W S F L A S H

    Date 8/16 2222

    Major model railroad manufacturers announce new technologies for model railroading. These new NON-battery individually powered locomotives feature the new Z-Power. Z Power is a non-chemical, non-explosive energy source. It is the size of a micro SD card and does not need recharging. The Z Power energy source will last 100 years at 20 hours a week of run time. It can be easily replaced if full discharge occurs before the 100 year expiration. It will power a new motor design, the size of a sugar cube that can move even the largest scales. Also new, an all in one combo single chip size 256 function decoder speaker capable of producing audiophile quality sound. These locomotives will be called the dreamer series available on line and at local hobby stores for the upcoming holiday season.

    Gee, never thought my dream would get beat up so much. Any way its been fun and want to thank all who have replied as it has been a great diversion in preparation for what will probably be a somewhat stressful call on a locomotive later today.
     
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  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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  16. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    They really look great! Other reason besides DCC++EX that took 24" round xtree layout to permanent was a YouTube video of a Winter Layout. He used very short cars, added seating and figures for Christmas Tree buyers and then put the trees in like cars. Can't identify brand and/or type cars. I liked the theme so much, trying to capture similar setting.



    About 7 min into it you will see the cars. Know that this is HOe. Afterwards, searched for small cars and saw the n scale Bachmann Thomas series with the face and the car length and look similar in scale to the video. Went to hobby shop and although the sales guy was willing to see if faces were removable, I didn't want him to potentially damage car. Then found these Atlas red gondolas for the trees, (sans the containers). The color red will fit nicely with the green trees and seasonal theme.. Not sure if I'm going to do figure cars like in the video since adding passenger train but would great to get a couple of smaller cars like you have. Checked out the Bandai site but it appears to be under maintenance and Walthers don't carry brand.. Thank you for the info.
     

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  17. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    There are a few short two and four axled cars offered by Fleischmann and trix. They are European styled with the buffers and all though.

    [​IMG]

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    Even a stake car could work.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks so much. Very nice detail... They look perfect especially the car in the 3rd pic. Just visited Fleishmann site, really like those short conversion coaches and ballast wagons too..
     
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  19. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The answer may be in the Kato Pocket Line series. Rather than the engine the cars are motorized. Set comes with engine and two cars with one car motorized and can pull up to five cars.
    The two short boxcars I got from Kato and the roofs on those could be removed to make gons.
     
  20. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I saw that loco set at a train show yesterday. $52 for the set. And since the motor is inside the coach, it *should* be easy peasey for a DCC conversion. It was very tempting but like everyone, I have too many projects outstanding! :cool:
     
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