Best practices for using Rokuhan turnouts with DCC

Ajayrav Jul 6, 2021

  1. Ajayrav

    Ajayrav TrainBoard Member

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    Hello folks,

    I'm thinking of building a small layout using Rokuhan turnouts and DCC (NCE power cab). What would be the best way wire the layout up for DCC? Non power-routing is the way to go for DCC, but would I need to also use insulated rain joiners on the frog rails with Rokuhan? I'm looking for best practices to avoid hassles in the long run.

    Thanks,
    Ajay
     
  2. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes to non-power-routing. The only reason you would want to use insulated joiners is if you were doing power districts and/or current-sensing detection.

    You may also want to get some type of turnout decoder for the Rokuhan turnouts to control them. I'm planning to use the new DS74 from Digitrax due to its smaller form factor. (plus a couple of the individual Kato controllers Digitrax makes, just because I had them laying around.)

    Another best practice I recommend...make sure you have feeders on all adjacent tracks connected to the turnouts. It's tricky to run feeders to the turnouts--so I don't--but I make sure there is good power from the adjacent tracks if at all possible. (another good reason not to use insulated joiners)
     
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    As Doug says, non-power routed (you must insert the screws under the turnout).

    Essentially, you only need the same 2 wires to the track. However, in case of shorts, the instantaneous current is the full wall-wart current and the Power Cab needs to detect it. Dozens of rail joiners, those tiny spring contacts in the turnouts plus that ‘floating frog’ add up to losses, along with the rail itself.
    So you need several feeders, #22 is MORE than enough, spaced around the layout (2, 4 or whatever) to assure short detection.
    And remember, while the Power Cab will detect the short and turn off the power, it will keep turning the power on again (and off, again, and again), each time pulsing that full power supply current each time it turns back on.
    Mantra: always watch your trains ! It doesn’t take long to heat up a wheel with 15-20 Watts.

    as for running, the pleasure of running anywhere, any direction and different speeds on different locos. Priceless!
     
  4. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    when wiring power to main line in front of turnouts remember there is polarity in dcc wiring make sure you get that right too. on small layouts you can do one single power to the rail eliminates the need to figure out polarity for multiple feeds. You can still get a short running into a closed turnout.
     
  5. Ajayrav

    Ajayrav TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you, Doug, Jeff and Garth. Just as I thought.... truly plug and play. I will wire up a bulb in series to help with shorts and watch my trains at all times. Other than that, just run trains.

    Ajay
     

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