Fundamental advice on train controllers please

stonesfan
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Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#1

Post by stonesfan »

Hi all

Planning on building a 3 circuit layout. I do have an existing Tasma twin controller (grey unit with overload LEDs). Can I simply add another single controller? Not sure if there are any electrical issues that would arise by doing this? Just thinking about what happens when you switch a train from one track to another etc.

I realise there is DCC tech now of which appears to be similar to the old Zero One setup. Not looking to switch to that just yet.

Has anything come onto the scene as far as DC control goes? Ie smaller units (than 30 years ago) that would sit nicely on a portable layout? Also, if I go with electric points, the old Hornby system was a black switching device that you could run in multiple with others. Anything a bit more compact or up to date so to speak. Or do most stick with tried and trusted.

Cheers
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Brian
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#2

Post by Brian »

Your new second controller will normally be feed from its own mains power source which then in this case there is no problems at all using it with the existing twin controller.

When moving from one controller to the other (line to line) set both controllers to roughly the same speed and direction of travel and the loco should pass from one controller to the other seamlessly. :D Don't forget to turn off the exiting controller once the loco or train has passed onto the new controller.

Solenoid point motors are IMO best operated from a 16 volt AC power supply feed into a single Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU). The positive output of the CDU is taken to momentary toggle switches of the (On)-Off-(On) sprung to centre Off type. i.e. the switches lever springs to the central Off position once released. Each end tab of the switch goes to the motors operation feeds. The motor returns are all connected together under the layout and one wire is taken back to the CDU output negative terminal. Use at least 16/0.2mm equipment wire for all feeds and returns. Note the Hornby R044 Black lever does not work well with a CDU due to its very old internal design. All other means of operating points do usually work well.
On no account use locking switches as a solenoid must only ever have a brief momentary pulse of power to their coils.

Much of this can be read about here.... https://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electri ... otorwiring
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stonesfan
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#3

Post by stonesfan »

Brian wrote: Sat May 25, 2024 10:53 am Your new second controller will normally be feed from its own mains power source which then in this case there is no problems at all using it with the existing twin controller.

When moving from one controller to the other (line to line) set both controllers to roughly the same speed and direction of travel and the loco should pass from one controller to the other seamlessly. :D Don't forget to turn off the exiting controller once the loco or train has passed onto the new controller.

Solenoid point motors are IMO best operated from a 16 volt AC power supply feed into a single Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU). The positive output of the CDU is taken to momentary toggle switches of the (On)-Off-(On) sprung to centre Off type. i.e. the switches lever springs to the central Off position once released. Each end tab of the switch goes to the motors operation feeds. The motor returns are all connected together under the layout and one wire is taken back to the CDU output negative terminal. Use at least 16/0.2mm equipment wire for all feeds and returns. Note the Hornby R044 Black lever does not work well with a CDU due to its very old internal design. All other means of operating points do usually work well.
On no account use locking switches as a solenoid must only ever have a brief momentary pulse of power to their coils.

Much of this can be read about here.... https://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electri ... otorwiring
Thanks Brian.

Yes....learned about switching the hard way when I was 10. Used a green on off switch...and yes I created some smoke!
stonesfan
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#4

Post by stonesfan »

Opinions on the Hornby HM 2000? Thinking of getting a master twin control unit and adding a slave. Keeps things uniform and tidy.

Failing that...could get a Gaugemaster twin and single unit.

Looking at second hand for both.
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#5

Post by Walkingthedog »

Gaugemaster have a lifetime guarantee, so if you buy one second hand and it develops a fault they will repair it as long as it hasn’t been opened. I have always used Gaugemaster and think they are the best.
Just my opinion.
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IanS
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#6

Post by IanS »

stonesfan wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:25 pm Opinions on the Hornby HM 2000? Thinking of getting a master twin control unit and adding a slave. Keeps things uniform and tidy.

Failing that...could get a Gaugemaster twin and single unit.

Looking at second hand for both.
Consider a Gaugemaster Quad unit to allow for future expansion or sidings used as an Inglenook shunting puzzle that can be isolated from the main layout. Second hand ones are available.
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Brian
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#7

Post by Brian »

Hornby HM2000 twin track controller has a maximum current to track per output of 550 milliamps (just a little over 1/2 Amp). No guarantee other than when new.

Gaugemaster DC controllers cased versions. e.g. Model D offer 1.0Amp per output to track minimum.

Both offer uncontrolled 12 volt DC and 16 volt AC outputs too. However, neither of these makes can the uncontrolled outputs be used with Common return wiring.

There are only two makes of DC train controller I recommend, these are any from Gaugemaster range or the excellent Morley range
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brian1951
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#8

Post by brian1951 »

I to have used a Tasma twin for years, also twin and single Gaugemaster models, if i were you i would just add a Gaugemaster Combi for your third circuit.
stonesfan
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#9

Post by stonesfan »

Cheers again. Definitely going for a Gaugemaster. Like the idea of having everything in one unit to be honest. Theres 3 and 4 track versions presently going on Ebay.

Like the idea of a lifetime warranty providing there's no tinkering!
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Fundamental advice on train controllers please

#10

Post by Walkingthedog »

I have a four track (OO) version that I use on my O gauge layout. Bought it on eBay years ago.
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