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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of switches, currently just manual. But I would like to automate them using my DCC system, that is use DCC to throw the switch one way or the other. What do I need to do this? Are the LGB 12010 EPL Switches all I need to add to my manual switches? Do they include a decoder?

What options would you recommend?
 

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Super Modulator
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First select the accessory decoder that you want to use to control them. I used the Digitrax DS-64, because it works with impulse type and stall type motors and has 4 turnout controls.

The Digitrax can be set up to work with virtually anything, not just one type or the other.

I power mine right off the rails, no problems.

I run air operated switches, so I connected the air solenoids right to the DS-64.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Greg!

I know you run air, but first I want to see how just DCC works.

So a DS-64 in conjunction with an LGB 12010 EPL switch is all that is needed? Is it easy to figure out how to wire them together? You program the DS-64 with your DCC system? I guess all that would be needed to program is the address? Once you have this installed and the address set how do you trigger the switch motor to set the direction of the switch?
 

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Hi Jim-

There are a number of DCC switch decoders that can control an LGB EPL solenoid drive or "switch motor." Here is a list in no particular order. In addition to driving EPL turnout motors, many of these decoder offer extra functions. Download the manuals for more information.

Lenz #LS150 (Drives 6 EPL turnout motors)
http://www.lenz.com/products/decoders/accessory/ls150.html

LGB #55025 (4)-Output Switch Decoder (Drives 4 EPL turnout motors)
http://products.lgb.de/produkt.nsf/WebSucheIE/E24A3EA6F1DFD9F4C1256936003D163A?OpenDocument

LGB #55024 Single Turnout Decoder (Drives one EPL turnout motor)
http://products.lgb.de/produkt.nsf/WebSucheIE/3FDAB57B99516AF1852570FF006367B1?OpenDocument

Massoth #8156001 (Drives three EPL turnout motors)
http://www.massoth.com/en/produkte/8156001.en.php

Heller HS2 (Drives 2 EPL turnout motors) and HS4 (Drives 4 EPL turnout motors)
http://www.heller-modellbahn.de/heller-pro.htm

Littfinski Daten Technik #1-DEC-DC
http://www.ldt-infocenter.com/english/1dec02e.htm
I use these on my basement layout. I bought them years ago when the exchange rate was about $0.78USD/euro and I paid less than $25 per decoder. They are "no nonsense" switch decoders that do not offer a pile of extra features. They do efficently control LGB turnout motors and they have the added benefit of allowing the user to power switches from an external AC power supply. The decoder still receives its DCC instruction from the rail bus. This provides two nice benefits:
1. Saves expensive DCC current for running trains
2. When the switch motor is powered, there is no power drop on the rails.

Dietz DWD 01 (Drives one EPL turnout motor) and DWD 06 (drives 6 EPL turnout motors)
http://www.d-i-e-t-z.de/3_1.htm

Zimo MX8 (requires CAN Bus)
http://www.zimo.at/web2007/content/mx8E.htm

Zimo MX82 (Controls one EPL Turnout Motor)
http://www.zimo.at/web2007/content/mx81E.htm

Digitrax (Already mentioned above)

NCE Switch Kat
http://www.ncedcc.com/nce2_023.htm

Of course there are probably others, but this list should keep you busy for a while!

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Super Modulator
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To answer your last question, they can be programmed from DCC or by the 2 pushbuttons on the unit, a plus in my eyes.

The advantage of being able to run solenoid type and stall type allows you to use them on any type switch motor.

They have a number of additional functions.

I would advise against getting decoders that don't have strong US support, if you run into trouble and just have a manual translated from German, it can be a pain.

I would stick with NCE or Digitrax or Massoth (since Massoth is very familar with LGB motors and they have a US office in Georgia).

Lenz is good quality, but in my opinon the support is somewhat lacking in the US (German made, or is it Austria?)

D.I.E.T.Z. (that's the way they like to spell it is great in Germany, support here is poor)

Zimo is good stuff, but again offshore is best support in another language.

Heller is great stuff, but hard to find any English anything (and I want to buy one of their monster boosters).

These are just my opinions.

Regards, Greg
 

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Hi Greg-

Regarding your comments:

>>>Lenz is good quality, but in my opinon the support is somewhat lacking in the US (German made, or is it Austria?)

Lenz is located in Giessen, Germany. The manuals are in English and US support comes from the Lenz Agency of North America:
http://www.lenz.com/contacts/index.htm


>>>D.I.E.T.Z. (that's the way they like to spell it is great in Germany, support here is poor)
Gee, I did not know that Herr Dietz spells his name with the extra punctuation! Perhaps you are confusing the website address spelling with the formal name of the company?

www.d-i-e-t-z.de
vs.
DIETZ MODELLBAHNTECHNIK


>>>>Zimo is good stuff, but again offshore is best support in another language.
While Zimo is based in Vienna, Austria, there are two NA bi-lingual (English/German speaking) contacts for technical support, plus an English language Yahoo! Zimo forum. The manuals are translated by Art Luescher from MRS in Kelowna, BC, Canada. I have received excellent technical service from Art.


>>>>Heller is great stuff, but hard to find any English anything (and I want to buy one of their monster boosters).
The Heller boosters are indeed very nice. I have three HV4 2x7.5A boosters which I purchased in 2001 for about $160US each. By far, they were the least expensive option for adding additional power to my layout. There is no english manual, but the instructions can be easily translated via Google, Babblefish, etc.

While technical support is not readily available in English, I haven't needed any help since they were installed in 2001.

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Greg, the push buttons does sound easy.

Bob, thanks for all the info, yes this will keep me busy for a while :) Question, you said something that I hadn't thought of. If I power the LGB Switch and Decoder via the rail, then I will see a power drop while running trains? Like how much of a drop, will it be noticeable?
 

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Hi Jim-

You wrote:
>>>If I power the LGB Switch and Decoder via the rail, then I will see a power drop while running trains? Like how much of a drop, will it be noticeable?

LGB EPL motors can momentarily draw >1.0A. If you power the switch decoder from the rails, you will probably see your locomotive and passenger car lights dim for a fraction of a second when the solenoid motor is tripped.

There are a few options:
1. Use a separate DCC booster to power your turnout decoders.
2. Use a turnout (accessory) decoder that has separate signal and power inputs. The signal input would come from the DCC track bus, the power input would come from an inexpensive 14-18V AC supply.
3. Blink your eyes every time the switch is thrown. You won't notice the momentary voltage sag on the rails.
4. Use compressed air to drive turnouts (like Greg!). The switching current is much less.

To be honest, the lighting response is actually minimal. However, since I know it exists, it drives me nuts.

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By rwbrashear on 04/30/2008 11:16 AM

3. Blink your eyes every time the switch is thrown. You won't notice the momentary voltage sag on the

To be honest, the lighting response is actually minimal. However, since I know it exists, it drives me nuts.




LOL! Okay, I'll try to power the switch off the rails first. The main reason I went with DCC was I don't like wires running everywhere. If the power sag annoys me enough I'll get more advanced and use a separate power supply or use the air method Greg uses.

So you all think that using an LGB EPL Switch motor is the way to go? Any other reasonable options on that particular aspect?
 

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Hi Jim-

If you are opposed to the EPL solenoid drive solution, there are some other drive mechanisms on the market. In addition to the air cylinder drive Greg uses, Boehler makes replacement switch drives for LGB turnouts. The drives use motors to move the points. As a result, the points move in a realistic fashion.

Here is a view of the motor drive with the cover removed:
http://www.beathis.ch/lgb/20390/IMG_0910.jpg

The prices aren't for the faint of heart.

http://train-li-usa.com/store/index.php?cPath=54_21_86

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm definitely not opposed to the LGB switch motors, it seems like most recommend them. I just wanted to know of any other options.

Question on the Boehler drives, since they are not momentary like the LGB do they require a special decoder or will any DCC accessory decoder work? Seems like they need power for a longer period of time?
 

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Hi Jim-

The Boehler drives can be driven from accessory decoders that provide a momentary pulse for twin coil switch machines. The decoder pulse changes the bi-stable relay position. There is a separate power feed for the turnout motor. Limit switches stop the motor at each end position.

There is a bit more information in English at:
http://atw.huebsch.at/Tipps_Tricks/Boehler.htm

Boehler instructions in German, including a schematic:
http://www.waschzettel.at/diverses/Boehler.pdf

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Zimo has support in this country - me. Boehler switch drives are available and serviced over here as well. And we just added the TrainLine45 line of track, switches, swiotch motors with and without DCC.
So all is peachy./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Mine are working fine George, and they run from the track and power solenoids. What kind of problem did you have when trying to make them run from the track?

Regards, Greg
 
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they appear to power up but refuse to do anything like accept a command. As soon as I powered them from DC, they worked just fine.

This is the tech note on the Digitrax site that keyed me into trying DC power

http://digitrax.com/kb/index.php?a=619

It is possible that my 22 volt system was too much for them, they are rated to 16 VAC

- gws
 

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Hmmm.... I had my NCE boosters modified to put out a max of 24 volts. My RampMeter says that there are 23.2 volts dcc to the rails... I have 2 DS-64's running and they seem happy, powered from the rails, and running 28v solenoids, although with one diode drop between the decoder and the solenoid.

Regards, Greg
 
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