Rokuhan track Survey

Garth-H May 30, 2011

  1. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    Rokuhan has received several requests for three wire control from
    various sources for their turnouts.

    1. is this because some are resisting change?
    2. is it because new users are not familiar with the control system?
    Would a DCC turnout control module be desirable?
    3. Would a tutorial on how to put to-gether discreet components to
    allow one to build your own custom control panel be useful?
    4. Would you be happy with external switch machines like on Marlin and
    Micro Trains to get three wire control and twin coil turnout motors?
    5.Is their resistance to using the components of a plug and play track system?
    6. is this because you want to do you own wiring?
    7.Do you want a blind track feed point from below the road bed like
    those found on Kato unitrack?
    8.Do you need insulated rail joiners so you can do block wiring?
    9. with the new turnout controller which can be feed from AC auxiliary
    power from your existing power pack is there still a need to go to 3
    wire control?( going to wire control could mean no under the road bed
    turnout motors)
    please e-mail me direct until there is a request to see the answers
    on line. It will help me tabulate the answers if you answer in point
    form using the same numbers as I have.
    10. is there a need to document how to use slow motion acutators to
    control these switches?

    cheerz Garth
  2. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

    What the heck is 3 wire control?
  3. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    That is the way all turnouts with twin coil motors are controlled, Marklin, Microtrains, in N- Scale and HOscale Atlas and many others it is probably the most common form of control for turnouts in North America. You have 3 wires from your tournout motor to your to your turnout controller which is hooked up to 16 vac power to control the turnout.
  4. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

    Ah thanks. I haven't had a coil powered switch since I was about 14 years old.

    Thought it was some newer fangled DCC system...

    I say 2 is better than 3.
  5. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

    In my case, definitly NO. In my opinion undertable switch machines are the only way to go.:tb-wink:

  6. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

    1. Probably. Change costs money, and sometimes requires learning new stuff.
    2. A: Yes. B: Yes, unless existing DCC controllers will work.
    3. Yes. For both DC and DCC. What parts from radio shack do I need to buy to make it work, and build it into a control panel?
    4. That is the worst thing you could do.
    5. Yes and no. We would like to keep using out existing snail speed controllers and electronic track cleaners. Turnout control should be separate from rail power.
    6. No. Its because I run DC, and will need a simple switch to mount into a control panel, similar to what Atlas makes for their switches. Your controller has space for 2 turnouts, and I will want more than that.
    7. This wouldn't affect my buying decision.
    8. I would want them for a reversing loop, but yeah, I would like those.
    9. 3 wire control isn't necessary. People only want it because you haven't made it clear on how to use 2 wire control without buying your control equipment.

    10. If I were going that route I would just buy Wright turnouts. Whats the point of buying automatic turnouts and then hooking them up to an external turnout motor?

    I think the main problem is that information on how to operate 2 wire turnouts isn't widespread, and most people don't even know if you operate it with DC or AC. Also people with DCC want to control them with a decoder. Is that possible?

    David Smith wrote a good tutorial on how to control these turnouts with DC and AC. Rokuhan should make similar information available on their website.

    Thanks to David K. Smith for making that information available.
  7. drken

    drken TrainBoard Member

    1. A bit, but I don't think anybody really likes anything commercially available in z enough not to be willing to change.
    2. A proprietary stationary decoder would be nice, especially if it accepted the plug from your switch. Of course, the more switches it works on the better.
    3. Not really, I use DCC, so no need for control panel.
    4. Not really. External mechs would be a step back. It's what really separates you from the other turnouts.
    5. The proprietary plug is a bit off-putting, especially for those with other stuff already set up. Especially since there's no DCC decoder that accepts it. In general, the proprietary plug-n-play component concept only works for me if I can find everything I need within that system.
    6. I'd rather not do any wiring I don't have to and the plug requires more work as I'll have to cut it off to use it with DCC.
    7. Yes, that would be very good to have.
    8. Yes, also very useful.
    9. No, see #4.
    10. Of course there is. There's always a need to document how to use any of your products with just about anything somebody would normally use it with, in any situation you can think of. For me, the more information I can get on how to install/use/fix something, the more likely I'd buy it.
  8. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    While the Rokuhan train controllers have two turnout control swiches mountedin the train controller or throttle case Rokuhan has an auxiliary turnout control switch that snaps onto the side of either of their train controllers to provide a means to control any number of switches on your layout. The auxilary turnout controller can also power a string of these modules as they snap together so a Rokuhan Train controller is not required to control your turnouts so this is DCC friendly for those who do not want a decoder on every switch. As for creating your own control panel David K smith in his blog shows what is required component wise to do you own control panel. I am sure we can expand on that to allow for switch position indication using LEDs as well there is interest.
  9. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    On Sun, May 29, 2011 at 10:20 PM, Garth Hamilton
    <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
    > Rokuhan has received several requests for three wire control from
    > various sources for their turnouts.

    The consensus so far is Rokuhan is on the right track with what they
    are doing and no one wants to return to twin coil 3 wire switch
    control. There were some wants that filtered through
    1. hidden track feed from below road bed so no wires on layout surface.
    replacement metal rail joiners, replacement roadbed joiners, Insulated
    rail joiners.
    bridges and piers
    I did find some answers to switch control using other than what
    Rokuhan is supplying.

    for DCC from Digitrax the DS51K1 MSRP $14.99 DS51K1 Stationary Decoder there are other options
    for boards that will control more than one switch at DSIgitrax.
    Manuals are available on line for download in PDF format.
    You could use the switch extension cable to provide a socket and pig
    tails to get a plug in connection to this module from the turnout and
    a track feed cable to get a connection to the track to connect to
    this module.

    For those wanting to build a custom control panel Stapleton
    Electronics supplies parts kits and completely assemble modules to
    control bipolar single coil switch motors for about $8.00 for fully
    assembled module plus shipping. Here you just need to cut off the
    modular plug and solder the wire leads to the board. This board also
    includes drive for LED position indicators for the turnouts.

    Ken Stapleton Electronics also build a module that can be mounted in a
    control panel which allows for control of a bi-polar single coil
    switch machine with indicating LEDs at $8.00 per unit. igitrax

    cheers Garth
  10. tknarr58

    tknarr58 TrainBoard Member

    Rokuhan Track

    Any idea when the track will hit retailers? June?
  11. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    It depends on when the dealers placed their orders as the first shipment has already arrived and the orders that were on hand have been filled and shipped by end of May. The second shipment is not due until July towards the end of the month.
  12. InterMountain

    InterMountain TrainBoard Member

    The first shipment of track is shipping now to dealers. Many items sold out but have no fear more is on the way. We have another shipment arriving in July with some of the new items as well.
  13. OntarioTodd

    OntarioTodd TrainBoard Member

    We have placed our order with InterMountain and expect we'll see it arrive in about 3 weeks (barring any further Postal disruptions here in Canada!).
  14. dave45train

    dave45train TrainBoard Member

    Hi I am very new to this site so not sure how to work it but I have a question. My son and I are building a nscale layout with kato track and we do not like the kato switches they look to cheep and plastic. I want to use toggle switches I have dpdt with off in the niddle and have spdt momentary contact push button. My question is how do you wire them up for a 2 wire turn out from kato. I get it to work but not properly the make noise like they want to turn but don't. Does anyone have a wire schematic of how to hook it up
  15. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    YOu have asked the question on a Z scale site. but we happen to have Rokuhan track that uses two wire control and so there is a blog that shows who to wire a center off momentary contract toggle switch to control the switch. The control voltage will be different though it will be 12vdc not 3-6 voltsDC. The switch has to be momentary contact type because full on will burn out the coil on the switch. I have used Kato Unitrack on my n-scale layout.

    cheers Garth

    1:220: The Rokuhan Switch This blog by David K Smith shows how to do it.
  16. TechRepJapan

    TechRepJapan Permanently dispatched

    Maybe this link will help you. It's not the KATO turn-out, but about ROKUHAN. Credit goes to David K. Smith...
  17. Cleantex

    Cleantex TrainBoard Member

    There seems to be another problem, that in less than 30 seconds it burns down the gambling house....:thunder: so anyway some pulse stuff must be between the turnouts and the switches, whatever that means. From origins there is no protection and children can press a pushbutton very long time :)
  18. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

    If there's any chance of "operator error" (that is, someone pressing a momentary-contact switch too long), then the solution is to use a Kato or Rokuhan controller. They're designed to prevent this from happening.

    In all likelihood, the Rokuhan controllers will operate Kato switches. However, if you want to use Rokuhan controllers, you'll have to wait some months, because they've not yet been released.

    You can see the Rokuhan stand-alone switch controller in this video:
  19. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    If 12volts DC is all that is available and you want the 'ideal' 3-6 volts, you can do one of two solutions:

    Add a Zener Diode in series with the 12v positive lead, to the switch controls. This will drop the voltage by the zener amount. The banded end of the Zener diode goes to the + terminal and the non-banded end goes to the switch controls. The other side of the turnout selector switches/push buttons goes back to the power supply minus, - , negative lead as usual.

    Radio Shack part number:
    Model: 1N4733A | Catalog #: 276-565 (use any 9, 6, 5 volt or other similar voltage from the supplier of your choice).

    Or, use a 6 volt light bulb. Must be a smaller one, like a flashlight, not the big automotive tail light ones. Such as:
    Model: 272-1140 | Catalog #: 272-1140
    Model: 1847 | Catalog #: 272-1115

    The advantage of the bulb is it gives the full 12 volts initially and then very quickly reduces the voltage as the bulb heats up (glows). The first bulb above will likely work best as it is a 25milliamp rated bulb. The second bulb is 250ma so will allow more current to flow continuously into the turnout's coil, even with the bulb glowing. I have not tried this particular solution and do not have the track to do it but it is a long running principle.

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