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I need assistance choosing what occupancy detectors, servo switch motors and related systems to use,


Q1. should i gap both rails, per block = 4 sets of double gaps, per section in the ''stop, slow stop' long track sections, so much conflicting info online, my head is a mess, it would really suit me to gap both rails, and not just one side...i laid 100 plus metres of track n designed the layout in winter over two years, totally stuck now,  even after running trains big long trains...

Q2. if i do gap both sides of the track do the current sensors go on the incoming positive + side wire or the return negative (dare i mention 'common') to me 'common' is so divisive i know only refer to 'common' it as something that i can walk and play and relax in, in London.

q3.    Location detection - whether a train is located at a specific point on the layout.    Proximity detection - whether a train is located at or near a point on the layout.  which work best, ???  i mean which is easy peasy to install, run, maintain and dont need the brains of the 'team who priced the childrens hospital,'  esp to send proper commands to turnout motors via the accessory bus, which systems actually suffer from proximity to main power bus?  i know light effects light sensors, but does current effect the hardware attached to the light sensors as most hardware needs to be in close proximity, this is so confusing,

LDR, PT and IR pairs,  hall sensors, proximity sensors, Rfid if you had a choice which one to go for???? which to totally avoid.

personally I think rice size rfid are fab, but they are reported not to work well if 12 inches near a bus wire..



Edited by WaYSidE
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might as well talk to my self

this was on Noels topic, wrong place, so i moved it here

there are heaps of cheap secondhand android phones with good batteries available,  get two, have one plugged in n turned off for fast charge, use the other.

there is lots of DCC control systems , each will suit different users requirements ,  my techie son tells me the technology is 20 years old,

watch out for amps 3 v 5  v 8amp, it seems in many cases the boosters need to be same amps as controller, some controllers have built in booster, others dont

i reckon that in a few years all new locos will be battery operated, so for newbees voltage may not be an issue. nor wiring, even household electrical items such as wall switches and lights etc have chips in them these days.  they use tech similar to DCC signal .

ifs its any consolation, i am stuck on track occupancy , having wired the main layout bus in power blocks , then to find for the occupancy blocks the bus - power blocks need to be broken down into many sub blocks, which are different to the usual circuit blocks for preventing turnout shorting,  so this newbes advice for any uninvested newbe is do not wire the entire layout on every track, just get the power flowing to each main block and then when everything is right about the track,drive trains and see where you will need the detectors and occupancy blocks ,,

then start adding track occupancy blocks, in-advance of buying them, as there is so much to consider and so much choice, in some systems its gaps on one rail for others two rails are gapped, in other sysems the detectors aint track dependent although they send dcc signals to controllers to control lights, track sections, turnout and signals and more, 

as my layout grew i started gapping every turnout on all rails, using 6 insulated joiners, 8 for cross overs, why, cos it a pain lifting everything again and since track 'occult-paction' is expensive you may only do a wee bit at a time, so the price of a few rail joiners dosent hurt, and you can paint the insulated joiners to hide them if they upset you, or melt them to have one one rail re-gapped by soldering the tracks at that point, surprisingly the hornby black rail joiners are very strong and work best for me. the only hornby product i recommend ;) not that a recommendation from this  newbe is worth ballast.

ah Ballast, i now use washed dried play sand under all my tracks not underlay, as all my wires are above board, unlike my self', this allows the wires flexibility,

Long live DCC until battery operated locos rule on un-wired tracks with blue tooth enabled infra red detectors..

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