Author Topic: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop  (Read 1605 times)

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GM50 4164

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Hello all, as the subject reads, I'm interested in automating the turnout or crossover for a return loop for continuous running. I do not know anything about arduino. I am planning a point to point layout but would like the possibility of having a train run its course and back again while working on layout. What options are out there that do not require babysitting the turnout button? I've read a little about the PSX-AR and it appears to be a option but what about detection? Also, I would like to de-activate this automatic turnout feature for when I am having operations. Could a kill switch be included that powers the PSX-AR?


Benjamin H

jagged ben

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2021, 02:26:58 AM »
+1
There are many ways to skin this cat.

What I would probably do myself is put a couple detections sections at each end of the reverse loop, and connect them to a computer running JMRI.  The sections would have to be long enough that a train traveling at planned speed wouldn't traverse the whole section faster than the turnout can tjrow.  I would also power the turnout through a decoder.  There are a number of different products that provide detection and turnout control for DCC.  I'm somewhat partial to RR-Cirkits.

Then I would program logix in JMRI such that whenever one end of the loop was occupied by the train and the ogher wasn't, the turnout would be thrown toward the end that was occupied.

For the kill switch, you could put a togglle button on the screen in the JMRI panel,, or just turn off the computer if you weren't using it for anything else.

I would do it it this way since I already have familiarity with the components and method.   There are many other ways that might appeal more to you.

Maletrain

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2021, 09:58:46 AM »
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Jagged Ben's approach is certainly more complex than using the switch control feature of the PSX-AR, but it is also the most flexible way to do what you want to do.

One thing to think about in more detail is why do you want to disable the PSX switch throwing feature for an op session?  I have not used the PSX switch control capability, so I am not very familiar with it.  I understand that it comes in different models for different types of turnout control mechanisms.  So, some may need "disabling" to allow manual control of the turnout, and others might not.  What turnout control device do you plan to use?  Twin-coil, single coil, stall-motor, servo?

peteski

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2021, 10:34:17 AM »
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Is this a DC or DCC layout?  Yes, I know it is implied. I just want to verify.
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Chinapig

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 01:56:22 PM »
+1
We use the PSX-ARSC on our club modular layout which is basically to oNeTrak standards.  The PSX-ARSC lets us run a train around continually from loop-end to loop-end along a single track scenic section in between if we wish and it's great.  I'm sure a DPDT switch could be incorporated so that the critical loop turnout could be controlled manually if that's what's required but I can't see why one would wish to.
I think the PSX-ARSC is a wonderful device :).
Cheers, Ted
Ted

Member of Gosport Model Railroad Club, England: www.gosportrailroadgroup.org.uk
modeling oNeTrak modules.

Chinapig

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2021, 02:50:39 PM »
+1
Thinking about this a little further, we have got our PSX-AR wired up to be both Automatic and Manual.
If a train is approaching the loop we can, by using one of two push-button switches divert the train to go clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop.  Obviously, on exiting the loop it must be fully automatic and it is.
This is all explained at the rear of the manual and it is achieved by the push-button switches causing a short much the same as a loco approaching a turnout set against it would.
Cheers, Ted
Ted

Member of Gosport Model Railroad Club, England: www.gosportrailroadgroup.org.uk
modeling oNeTrak modules.

CRL

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2021, 02:55:17 PM »
+1

greenwizard88

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 11:42:10 PM »
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It's admittedly overkill, but it works reliably for me:

I have a reversing loop with 3 blocks in it, and a signal before the switch. I have it wired up so that the top signal head is for the straight route, and the bottom is for the curved route. Due to the track plan, only the middle block is protected by an auto-reverse unit, and trains can enter towards the reversing loop from the 1st and 3rd block.

When the signal turns to yellow over red, it means that the train has made its way into the last block, and is about to exit the reversing loop, and the switch should align the appropriate way. Likewise, red over yellow means the train is exiting the other way and needs the switch to be set straight.

This works well with my LCC setup, and has the benefit of not needing to follow any sort of tracking or JMRI, it simply accepts that if a train is going in one direction, the switch needs to be set for it. I can put a train on the track in the middle of the reverse loop, going either direction, without having to worry about the switch.

With LCC, you can easily connect a control button for ops, and a toggle to enable/disable the automagic parts.
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GM50 4164

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 01:53:36 PM »
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We use the PSX-ARSC on our club modular layout which is basically to oNeTrak standards.  The PSX-ARSC lets us run a train around continually from loop-end to loop-end along a single track scenic section in between if we wish and it's great.  I'm sure a DPDT switch could be incorporated so that the critical loop turnout could be controlled manually if that's what's required but I can't see why one would wish to.
I think the PSX-ARSC is a wonderful device :).
Cheers, Ted
I'm looking at the PSX-AR but am not sure if it needs to be this one or the PSX-ARSC. I am currently using servos to throw my turnouts. I feel like the straight PSX-AR would be the correct one but am just unsure.


Benjamin H

Chinapig

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2021, 04:20:37 PM »
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From what I can see the PSX-AR will not throw the loop turnout at all.  It will only reverse the polarity on the loop track.

The PSX-ARSC can also throw the loop turnout if it's a dual coil point motor.

The PSX-ARFB can also throw a stall motor on the loop turnout.

I don't think there is a specific PSX that can automate throwing a servo.  Maybe it can be done by using a dual coil point motor to throw a switch to operate the device running the servo - I don't know.  Maybe it's worth putting a Tortoise on the loop turnout to achieve your end?

Cheers, Ted
Ted

Member of Gosport Model Railroad Club, England: www.gosportrailroadgroup.org.uk
modeling oNeTrak modules.

cbroughton67

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 08:06:11 PM »
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Actually, ALL PSX-AR's will automate throwing the reverse loop turnout. It can be automated, done manually with push-button inputs, or both. I use them on my layout (two reverse loops), and I use the PSX-AR to automate the Tortoise-operated turnouts on each reverse loop. The other variants of PSX-AR's are for other non-stall-motor types of switch motors (snap coil, etc). A PSX (no "AR") is just a circuit breaker, not an auto-reverser.


I'm not familiar with servos. If they remain energized at the end of their movement, I would think the stall-motor version (PSX-AR) would work for you. I bet a quick email to DCC Specialties (the manufacturer) or someplace like Tony's Trains would get you a quick and accurate answer.


Here are descriptions of the various PSX-AR models from Tony's Trains:
  • [size=78%]PSX-AR DCC Solid State Auto Reverser-Circuit Breaker w/integrated (Stall Motor) Stationary Decoder. Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts. [/size]
  • [/size][size=78%]PSX-ARFB DCC Solid State Auto Reverser-Circuit Breaker w/integrated (Stall Motor) Stationary Decoder and network Feedback. Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts. [/size]
  • [/size][size=78%]PSX-ARSC DCC Solid State Auto Reverser-Circuit Breaker w/integrated (Snap Coil) Stationary Decoder. Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts. [/size]
  • [/size][size=78%]PSX-ARSCFB DCC Solid State Auto Reverser-Circuit Breaker w/integrated (Snap Coil) Stationary Decoder and network Feedback. Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts.[/size]
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davefoxx

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 08:59:00 PM »
+1
Don’t forget the simplicity of a spring switch.

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Maletrain

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2021, 12:00:24 PM »
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We use servos with Tam Valley controllers at our club, but do not try to automate turnouts from the autoreversers (PSX and Tam Valley).  I was considering trying to make the PSX-ARs control servos on my home layout, but have not figured out how.  Is somebody here has done that or knows how to do it, please post it  here for all of us to use.

The servo controllers we use from Tam Valley basically just have either momentary or non-momentary manual switch controls, selected by a jumper.  The momentary contact simply changes the position of the turnout from whatever it is to the opposite, so I would not think that is the useable setting for making sure that the turnout is aligned to the proper position whenever the PSX-AR reverses, especially if there is also a manual switch available on a control panel for the same turnout.  I don't see an output from a PSX-AR that can be used for the always on or off manual switch setting for the Tam Valley controller, but maybe somebody else does.

glakedylan

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2021, 05:32:22 PM »
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OK...question for those of us who power our MR with DC and DCC, controlled by a DPTT switch.


what happens to the DCC equipment (as in those AR, TO throw, and frog control devices) when switched to DC?


i know the AR will not work in DC mode, so all that return loop and TO control, frog power, etc. will need to be supplied by devices designed for DC use.


but, are they compatible (as in DC mode devices and DCC mode devices not interfering or causing any problems when the other power supply is engaged)?


is there need to disconnect anything when in one mode or the other to keep it from being part of the equation in providing the desired effects?


thanks, beforehand, for any replies


sincerely
Gary
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jagged ben

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2021, 09:53:32 PM »
+1
OK...question for those of us who power our MR with DC and DCC, controlled by a DPTT switch.


what happens to the DCC equipment (as in those AR, TO throw, and frog control devices) when switched to DC?


i know the AR will not work in DC mode, so all that return loop and TO control, frog power, etc. will need to be supplied by devices designed for DC use.


but, are they compatible (as in DC mode devices and DCC mode devices not interfering or causing any problems when the other power supply is engaged)?


is there need to disconnect anything when in one mode or the other to keep it from being part of the equation in providing the desired effects?


thanks, beforehand, for any replies


sincerely
Gary

The simplest solution would be separate DPDT switches for reversing sections.