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Discussion Starter #1
Since I am new to DCC, my question is about auto reversers. I just got an NCE 10 amp system for a layout I am about to build, so I want to plan this carefully, with loops and wyes in mind, so I won't have to redo something later! I have read the operators manual a few times and I have a pile of questions, so bear with me! Hopefully it won't be too painful!

First, will an autoreverser allow me to run through a loop and back out without stopping my train?
Once inside the loop, can I have spurs or yards and perform switching duties? If so, will they reguire any special wiring?
Will the booster power the reverser?
If so do I need a seperate booster to control the reversers?
I am guessing I will need one reverser to control each loop or wye?
What brand of reverser will work with the NCE system? I asked the NCE company and it sounds like the make the DCCS reversers, so I assume they will workfor me. I have seen DCCS, MRC, Digitrax, and Lenz.
What do you guys use?
Where did you buy them?
What size in amps will be best for me?

Ok, hopefully that is all that I need to ask for now! Any help you can provide me with will be appreciated.

Kris
 

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First, will an autoreverser allow me to run through a loop and back out without stopping my train?

Yes . in dcc the polarity on the track does not control the direction of travel


Once inside the loop, can I have spurs or yards and perform switching duties? If so, will they reguire any special wiring?
Yes it all just needs to be wired from the power that feeds the loop


Will the booster power the reverser?
Yes



If so do I need a seperate booster to control the reversers?
No but some boosters have auto reverser built in


I am guessing I will need one reverser to control each loop or wye?
Yes but depending on how you setup the layout you may not need as many as you might think
I.e. a single track with a reverse loop at each end only needs one auto reverser feed to the center track



What brand of reverser will work with the NCE system?
All of them

I asked the NCE company and it sounds like the make the DCCS reversers, so I assume they will workfor me. I have seen DCCS, MRC, Digitrax, and Lenz.
What do you guys use?
Digitrax


Where did you buy them?
Trains West as I work there


What size in amps will be best for me?
What does your biggest train draw?
 

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I use the PSX-Ar series auto reverser and rated to work with the 10amp NCE system which I use. Use one for each reverse loop. simple to wire and also you can add a alarm so you no when a short occurs. No need for additional wiring if stay within your reverse loop to oerate other tracks. Later RJD
 

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The PSX-AR is from Digital Specialists (or Specialties) and it includes a reverser good for 17 amps and a settable circuit breaker. For the simplest installation, separate your reversing section with double gaps. Tap some power from the booster track output to feed the reverser. Wire the reverser output to the reversing section. You are in business.

These things work great and are hassle free. You won't notice it's operation at all.

That module costs about $50, you can get one from Litchfield Station, DCC Roundhouse or many other on line retailers.

If ONLY ONE train is crossing the boundary between several reversing sections and the unreversed main line at one time, then one reverser can deal with all the reversing sections. This includes the tail end of a train, the reversing section should be longer than your longest train. If you have multiple trains running, then one reverser per reversing section is a better bet. Once inside the reversing section, you can do anything that you want.
 

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I use the same product, it has settable amperage levels as George said, and higher than many others which just seem to be overgrown HO units. You can also fit a sonalert alarm to beep when you trip the breaker circuit. It also has other customizable functions, either by DCC command or jumper.

Here's the stock unit:




Here's the unit with the optional alarm and heat sinks added (for operation over 9 amps)



Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the fast response time guys! That clears up a lot of questions! Sounds like the reversers take the headache out of wiring and make playing with, wait, I mean operating trains hassle free and more fun!
George, Are you saying the tail end of a train will cause problems if it is not inside the reverse loop before the head end crosses the next insulated gap in the rail? Thus the reason for the reverse loop to be longer than the train, I assume? (I hope that makes sense!) I looked at Litchfield; they are out of stock, so I will have to try DCC Roundhouse next.

Greg, you mention a sonalert alarm for tripped breakers. What is that and is it necessary, or just nice to have? Will I need one for each reverser? Where do you get one? Does it "plug in" or require soldering to the board? Also you mention customizable functions. Like what?

Thanks,
Kris
 

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If I set up a reverser how do I control the switches so they are thrown properly for a layout with a loop at each end?
So for example, suppose I have a layout that looks like:

O--O

I'm not too great at describing this but I'll give it a go. Suppose I have 2 switches, one at each end of the layout, one for each loop. As a train approaches a switch while in the loop it would be coming in at one side of the switch, like the top of a Y. If I leave the switch free then it can swing the points however they need to go, so for this reason I don't care which way the points are currently, the train moving through the switch will move the points if needed.

Will this work with the auto reverser? If so is it okay to leave the points floating or do I need something that will throw the points?
 

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Jimtyp: You can use as you mentioned but I would be a little Leary of letting the switch points flop. There is always the possibilities of the points moving under the train which can cause a derailment. One could use a light spring to over come this problem The tension would have to be so that the point would return back to its previous setting once the train has passed through the switch. Much like a spring switch. If to much tension is on the spring the loco may move the points but the cars would not ending up with cars derailing. Later RJD
 

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the problem is with cars metal wheels at the end of the train, a wheel can bridge the rail gap when those rails have just been set to reverse by the loco on the train. There are ways to work around it, but it is safer just to make the reversing section longer than your longest train.
 

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The sonalert is just to alert you that you have tripped the solid state "breaker", it's just a convenience, but sometimes people are doing all kinds of stuff and ignore one train, which might be derailed or shorted.

For the extra 4-5 bucks (I forget) I added it. If you look at the first picture, you see where it goes, it has 2 leads that solder to the board. It's a solid state kind of speaker, like the beeper trucks have when they back up.

On the functions, go to Tony's Train Exchange, they are the manufacturer, and you can download manuals. There are also variations of this unit that are circuit breakers only, and ones that include turnout control.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Greg. So the alarm sounds like a nice addition to have. Is the cool little box it is inside of weather proof? Now I am wondering where to locate the reverser. Does it have to be near the reverse loop, or just put it near my power supply or whatever? Where do you guys put them?
Kris
 

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The board is designed to fit a stock Radio Shack enclosure as mentioned in the documentation with it, which you can download (and please do).

I have all of my feeders home run back to my power supply, so it's convenient to put it there.

R.J. has his located in a building near the reverse loop, less wiring and shorter leads.

Regards, Greg
 

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You will have to do a little grinding of the ribs of the Radio Shack box to let the reverser fit into the box. I would install the alarm as it's a nice feature and I have done mine that way. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok guys, all good info. It sounds like I need to start shopping for one. I did forget to ask if an auto reverser will work with a turn table or if that will require something else?
Kris
 
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