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  • Topic: Couple more questions

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    • January 23, 2020 11:29 AM EST
      • South Dartmouth , Massachusetts
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      Couple more questions

      While I’ve had my trains for years and have set up an automated circuit using 1203 contacts on my switch motors and pencil reed switches, I’m not that savvy with all the best ways to do things basing my electrical skills off my equipment electronics knowledge. I am currently running DC voltage through those reeds because the switcm motors require that. I do realize that AC voltage is easier on the reeds and was curious if there is a way to change that. I’m not sure if I understand the LGB 1700 track contact either. Looking at an old LGB wiring diagram, it looks like they are powered up by the AC side of the transformer yet are controlling the switch motors so I assume the 1700 (and the new version) have a rectifier built into them. If that is the case, should I switch my DC system over to the LGB contacts and AC? While my  current set up works well, I’ll have a reed occasionally give up the ghost on me and I assume it’s the DC frying the contacts. What is the minimum DC voltage I should be running through my system to ensure proper operation of my switch motors?

      One last question for now,LOL, can I get by with 6” CTC tracks running on a double trestle at about 1/4 of a 10’ radius? I believe the normal recommendation is 7”. I can, as the two rails leave my basement, spread them slightly up to the 7” if needed on the trestle but prefer not to just for a better continuity of look. There will virtually never be two trains passing each other on the tres but I do know never to say never!

      Sorry for all the questions but I figure it’s better to learn the right way the first time rather than waste time with the wrong way. Many of us have learned by doing things on our own and doing things wrong until we finally get it right. That's the best thing about good forums, you can learn a ton and often skip a lot of the mistakes.

    • January 23, 2020 11:50 AM EST
      • Vail, Az
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      You can run a Gauntlet track through the wall...

      The tracks over lap without touching.




      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.



    • January 23, 2020 7:37 PM EST
      • Chaco, Paraguay
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      well, the current LGB "epl" system feeds on AC, cuts the AC waves in half, that a kind of stuttering DC reaches the switch motors.

      that gives two advantages:

      1) less cables needed

      2) less burned switch motors


      smaller LGB transformers have an AC output of 15 V, 7 VA - so that does the trick. others use up to 20 V.  the longer and the thinner your cables are, the higher the AC output should be.

      the AC goes to the pushbutton-switchbox or the reed. there it gets sorted by diodes into "forward" or "backward" halfwaves. (the switchboxes have two push-buttons for that, the reeds are sorted out by connection to the different outputs) then the cable goes to the switchmotor. (and depending on wich "half" of the AC reaches it, it turns left or right.)

      (the cable- saving comes from the fact, that behind the push-buttons or the reeds the "right" and the "left" cable can be united, so that just two cables run to the switchmotor, instead of three cables in the old system)

      this is the point, where i always recommend to read the LGB manual, chapter "taking control"

      you can read or download the .pdf from here:


      about the "gauntlet", John mentions...

      i made one once. using LGB crossings and R1 curved rails.

      (from experience, i strongly recommend, to implement some kind of control, (reeds and signal-track) to evade collisions)




      This post was edited by Korm Kormsen at January 25, 2020 7:08 AM EST


      My Chaosplace ->  

    • January 23, 2020 8:31 PM EST
      • Southern Oregon
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      Very clever, the way you did that Korm, using the pre made ties

    • January 24, 2020 7:04 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
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      I was able to find the LGB kit with the A/C transformer, 3 epl drives and switch box for $60.

      I added the LGB booster and use telephone cable (read multiple wires) and run 30 feet to my epl drives.

      Never have an issue with the epl drive not working even with the added DPDT add-on accessory (I use the 1203).

      I did switch to DCC and DC control but left my RR with the Aristo 27 mhz controls for switches, why change what is working.


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