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Single to twin controller


idris

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I think we'd need a little more information to give a reasoned response.

 

For example, what's the current track plan? How's the layout wired at present. Would you want either controller to control some or all of what the other controller can also control?

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(Appologies for asking an excessively open question. In some respects I'm at the stage of not even knowing what questions to ask!)

 

As far as I can tell at the moment, most of the track is directly connected to the controller's output, with some branches and sidings isolated when the points are set accordingly. (I could produce a more detailed electrial circuit diagram, but as most of it works well enough for the short term, I ain't tryin' to fix it.)

 

The elevated section will have a hopper wagon bridge reinstated over the siding in the top right corner, and the inner branch, which currently stops at the join in the board, will be continued into something like a goods yard. It would be nice to be able to have stomething circulating whilst some shunting goes on.

 

(My 5yr old is well own the road with planning the scenery.)

 

I haven't given any thought to what I want to the controllers to do. What options are likely to be open to me?

 

gallery_21888_3120_34274.jpg

 

I know it would be relatively simple to start again from scratch, but for historical reasons, that's not going to happen.

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It would be nice to be able to shunt with one loco while another loco circulates, but the track plan precludes that. It is a typical 'train set track plan' - most likely taken from a Triang track plans book - and is effectively one circuit with sidings off. So any attempt to shunt a siding means going onto the continuous circuit. There is a way round this on that track plan, but it would involve sectioning the track, and then very careful operation because the shunt moves inevitably foul the continuous run. Not so good for the young who tend to like belting the train along - I did!

 

Modify the track plan; for example make the inner loop a complete independent circuit where a loco can run continuously (needs an extra point and track pieces to make up) and then a second loco could shunt around the sidings. The points 'self isolate', but for robust operation insulated joiners to 'section' the layout such that the inner loop is on one controller, the outer sidings circuit on another would be better.

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Yep, if the diamond crossing was a slip you could do a bit of shunting around the run-round loop at the bottom of the picture while a train circulated inside, but as things stand it's definitely "one engine in steam (i.e. under power)" I'm afraid.

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It won't help you shunt while the express is careering around the main line, but you could divide the layout up to allow two engines to shunt while it's having a rest. I've coloured the two sections red and blue and the (sadly unvarying) sequence is as follows:

 

The red shunter starts at A with a cut of full wagons; it pushes them up to the top of the incline, where they are unloaded via the hopper bridge into a cut of empties positioned by the blue shunter. When loading is finished, the blue shunter takes its now full wagons and shunts them to B. Meanwhile, the red shunter takes its now empty wagons back to A and runs round them; it then swaps them for the fulls at B, which it returns to A and runs round. The blue shunter takes the empties and positions them under the bridge. Repeat until bored then connect the two sections together and play with the express again.

 

post-6813-0-10390300-1393286563_thumb.jpg

 

A slight rearrangement of the track as shown below increases the distance the blue shunter has to run to swap its wagons, at the expense of shortening the main line run considerably (and I'm not sure whether your diamond will permit it - some are "handed").

 

post-6813-0-46380700-1393286576_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for all the input (and especially the pictorial suggestions!)

 

I confess I can't quite get my head round the way you can have trains moving from a loop on one controller to a second loop on a second and I'm struggling to find any web resources that shed any light.

 

Would it be possible to leave a train running around the the red loop and do some shunting with another on the blue? (Given the right breaks.) 

 

Am I right in assuming that the green sections can have engines parked on them whilst something else is circulation on the red, as they should be isolated by the points?

 

gallery_21888_3120_128881.jpg

 

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If you want two train running continuously and simultaneously then you need to have two distinct loops for them to do so unless you get into some reasonably complex wiring to enable two trains to follow each other around the some circuit(s).

 

You can have sidings off either loop and provided the power feeds are correctly positioned you will be able to both shunt trains in those sidings and isolate trains - i.e. engines - by setting the relevant points against the siding or sidings concerned. Coaches (except dmus) and wagons don't generally need isolation tracks.

 

You will of course recognise that you can't have a train continuously circulating the loop that you're also trying to shunt the trains on.

 

The easiest way to cross trains from one loop to the other without changeover switches is to simply set each controller to the same approximate speed (in the same direction), set the points so the train can use the crossover that links the two loops and the train will move from one loop to the other and from one controller to the other (possibly with a slight jerk).

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I confess I can't quite get my head round the way you can have trains moving from a loop on one controller to a second loop on a second and I'm struggling to find any web resources that shed any light.

They don't - each shunter stays on its own colour and they swap wagons between them by parking them across the section break at B.
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Thanks for all the input (and especially the pictorial suggestions!)

 

I confess I can't quite get my head round the way you can have trains moving from a loop on one controller to a second loop on a second and I'm struggling to find any web resources that shed any light.

 

Would it be possible to leave a train running around the the red loop and do some shunting with another on the blue? (Given the right breaks.) 

 

Am I right in assuming that the green sections can have engines parked on them whilst something else is circulation on the red, as they should be isolated by the points?

 

 

 

To answer your questions directly - yes, and yes.

 

The minimum electrics would be to feed the blue circuit somewhere near the baseboard joint on the innermost blue curve on the left hand side, and the red loop at two places, again near the joint on both sides of the layout.  The only break you need is in both rails where blue runs into red.

 

To move a train from red to blue: if you have one controller dedicated to red/green and one to blue, set the controllers to the same settings, as previously described.  Alternatively, you need to do a little simple electrickery using two double-pole double-throw (DPDT) centre-off switches so that either section can be switched to either controller (or none if the switch is left in the central position).

 

PM me if you want me to send you a diagram .

 

Best of luck .....

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After some thought and a whole load of reading, this is what I've come up with.

 

I've still got to check the inner shunting sections will work with points sizes, but any obvious problems or pitfalls that may form a stumbling block for a young'n?

 

gallery_21888_3120_365320.jpg

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