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October 26, 2021, 01:23:20 am


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Short Circuits on my Kato n gauge layout

Started by drbob01, September 15, 2021, 12:32:45 am

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I have designed a layout I really like on my 3 1/2 by 9 foot table, but after install it, with 12 turnouts, I continually get shorts when running a loco or if switching a turnout.  I know there needs to be some insulators placed but I cannot figure out how to get this done...I know there is a reversing loop but hoping it could work with properly placed insulators, etc.  Really need help to get this done... Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
( I cannot upload pdf, etc, since the directory for upload is full...please let me know when it's available...thanks!


You should be able to upload your plan or a pdf as an attachment to your post.

If you have a return loop, you need to have a way to switch the polarity in the loop.
So you need to create a section in it that's fully isolated, so both rails, at either end.

Next, you need to make sure that when a train enters this section, the rails at the isolation have the same polarity as the wheels go over it.

Once the train is fully in the section, you need to switch the polarity of the section to ensure it matches the rails at the exit of the section.

You also may need to swap the train direction if the driving direction depends on the polarity. For DCC this is not needed as the direction is in the decoder.

The whole process can be automated. There are several commercial solutions that either depend on incoming train detection or quickly reversing polarity when a short is detected.
David Hoogvorst. Founder and Owner of DRail Software. Creator of AnyRail.


David's comment about "reverse" loops is good start. This is anywhere where you switch and eventually end up traveling in the other direction.

Another thing to look at is wiring.

If you have multiple wires feeding power, make sure positive and negative wires always connect to the same rail.

Don't think of the rails as right or left. Look at them as inside or outside. Right/left can change with the side of the layout you are viewing.

I'm an IT-guy and don't believe there is anything on this website that would prevent you from attaching a file to your post, besides the file format (PDF, ANY, JPG should all be allowed). I've seen this error. Possibly there might be something preventing uploads if you are not "registered" with the site?

It will be difficult to provide feedback without a visual. Viewing the plan, even a cocktail napkin drawing, really helps.