Switch Machines Pt. 2…

Having installed the switch machines, it was now time to add power and control. As I had mentioned before, on the last layout I only used the DCC system for locomotive control. When I started  this layout I was determined to use more of is capabilities.  That means the switch machines will be controlled from the throttles as you walk around.

So to do that meant the installation of Digitrax’s (digitrax.com) DS 64 stationary decoders. Not a big deal, as I was collecting switch machines I was also collecting DS 64s. They are mounted in the electrical cabinet (if it’s electronic , it’s in the electrical cabinets), the initial question was how. If I mounted them on the back or side wall, access for wiring, programming and maintenance would be a hassle.

The solution (and my original plan that I wasn’t sure would work) was slide out panels. That way I could pull the panel out and sit in the aisle to wire or whatever.

I cut the panels  (I made two) to size. Using templates of the DS 64s I laid out placement. Then added in where the wire runs would be and added in cable holders.

Laying out the panel.
Laying out the panel with decoder location and wire looms in place.
Panel for the switch stationary decoders ready for the DS 64’s. All mounting holes for the decoders and wiring looms are drilled, with the decoders numbered for switches controlled.

I then mounted the DS 64s and the wire looms and they were ready to slide into place.

First set of DS 64’s mounted on panel and ready for the layout.

Once in place it was a matter of pulling the wires and then the long process of hooking them up.

DS 64’s mounted and panels slid into place.
The DS 64’s mounted with the wires pulled and ready to be hooked up.
First set of DS 64’s in and wired, ready to be powered up and programmed.

With that done it was it was time to start programming the decoders. I had watched the video from Digitrax several times. Though it looked straight forward, I figured that meant that it wasn’t. Turns out it actually is as simple as Digitrax says it is.  With the switch motors wired and programmed I went around to make sure they all worked properly. A couple of them were working opposite of what they were supposed to be doing. It was a simple matter of reversing the wires to set that straight.

Now, you would think that this was the end of this story. Turns out there is more.

Next time the saga continues, till then… Happy Modeling…






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