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Trouble with Walthers HO 90' DCC turntable wiring

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  • Trouble with Walthers HO 90' DCC turntable wiring

    Hello,

    I am having trouble with the Walther's 90 ft. HO turntable radial track wiring. This is the second incarnation of the turntable that is DCC with indexing controller. I have read the thread from 2011 on the MOdel Railroader forum where some say that an auto reverser is needed and some say not. I am in the DCC camp that it does need one because of the following scenerio.

    Here's the issue. All of my radial tracks are wired to the same bus the same way on its own DCC Specialties circuit breaker. This means all of the radial tracks are wired the same all the way around. The Walthers turntable receives power from another bus. I have 17 powered stall tracks. From position 1 on the controller which is stall track 1 on the DCC controller to stall track 11 all works fine. Both ends of the turntable work just fine. These are all on one side of the Walthers split rail DCC design ring located on the bottom of the bridge. The lead in tracks, of which there are three, are on the same side of the split rail. When I get to track 12, which is on the other side of the split rail design the, ALL of the remaining tracks short when an engine attemps to go on these powered tracks 12-17 (six tracks) when either end of the bridge is aligned with these tracks. Why would this happen? Wiring has been quadrouple checked and I am pretty DCC savy but I can't figure this one out. The turntable has been in service for a couple years with no powered radial track and was used just to turn engines. I have now added the powered radial tracks because I am at the punch list area to work on my engine facility.

    It is not advisable to put the Auto Reverer on the radial tracks. It is more advisable to put it on the bridge. Would it be better (and I think I just may have solved my issue with this) power the turntable from the same bus? Or install an auto reverser on the existing wiring to power the turntable from the bus?

    Is the DCC issue that I have the turntable powered from one bus, and the radial tracks powered from another? It would take 5 minutes to change it I think. Opinions?

    Bill Shanaman

    Sugar City, CO.
    Bill Shanaman

    New Haven RR

    Hartford Division

    in Colorado.

  • #2
    I wired the turntable into the same DCC specialties circuit as the radial tracks. Same results. So the issue is not being wired into two different bus power lines. The same tracks short the turntable and controller shuts down until the engine is moved off of those tracks and it resets. I think the problem lies with the other half of the split ring design of the Walther's turntable. So I think I need to get an auto reveser module and put it on the turntable bridge power.
    Bill Shanaman

    New Haven RR

    Hartford Division

    in Colorado.

    Comment


    • #3
      Reading this before elswhere folks just turned the wires around on turntable. The wire polarity does not change but does it not need tobe in phase either end to start with. Power is stationary the power to rails only changes end to end as it turns.Dont forget the no mans land sections. You could be too close to it.Other than that the issue is well documented on google search.Steve

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't find much on a Google search for this specific issue where half the radil tracks work the the other half short. That will not work because ALL the radial tracks are wired to the same bus line. The problem is when the bridge crosses the "dead zone' and flips polarity it causes a short from the bridge tracks to the radial tracks even now that I connected the turntable to the same bus line as the radial tracks. The design of the split ring turntable circuit is the issue. It is working as designed I guess. But it turns out not to be a good design for the radial tracks beyond the split ring on either side of the breaks. One side will work while the other side shorts. It makes more sense to put a AR on the tunrtable bridge track then on all of the other tracks. Sometimes just talking it over with someone else helps figure things out. I think the design of the split rail, even though it works in theory, doesnt work in practice with a large number of radial tracks. Bill
        Bill Shanaman

        New Haven RR

        Hartford Division

        in Colorado.

        Comment


        • #5
          From what's been said, it seems like it would work to wire the tracks on one side of the ring gap North-left and those on the other side North-right. Auto-reversers don't cost a lot, but if it works it would be one less piece of electronics...
          James

          Comment


          • #6
            I guess that would work James. But the whole point was to put all the radial tracks on a separate bus and circuit breaker independent of the rest of the tracks in the area or railroad. Its own power district ironically now for short protection. It does work for one half of the tracks and keeps the short from shutting down the rest of the railroad. It is either add another circuit breaker to the other half of the circuit for the ones that short OR change the polarity of the bridge as far as I can figure out. So the Walthers turntable design has a flaw in design. I guess it would be easy to find the "breaking point" of the split rail as the track next to the 'dead zone' is next to one of the radial tracks that works correctly. Working from right to left Track 11 is on one side of the 'dead zone' that works. Track 12, to the left, starts the 6 tracks to the left of the dead zone that short. Neither track encroaches on the 'Dead Zone' tracks. I do have another circuit breaker I could use and I would have to run another bus line. THAT is what I am trying to avoid. But I guess I may just have to do what you suggest James.
            Bill Shanaman

            New Haven RR

            Hartford Division

            in Colorado.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it turns out that swapping the rail polarity between radial tracks on the two sides of the ring rail gap does the job, I don't think that affects your original plan to use a separate buss/breaker for all the house tracks. Same buss, just wire the two sides differently. You can check by swapping leads on one track that presently shorts. If the new configuration doesn't short, I think you're good to go. But I'm a thousand miles away and don't own that kind of turntable, so proceed with care, voltmeter in hand.
              James

              Comment


              • #8
                Bill, I have one of the Walther's DCC turntables and I do NOT have an auto-reverser and 23 tracks all the way around the turntable and have no shorting issues. The turntable has an auto-reverse built into it. I have a funny feeling that your problem may be with the separate power sources. In my situation, I have the entire engine facility powered off the same buss and on it's on circuit breaker. The only problem I had with this arrangement is that the turntable motor itself appeared to by tripping the breaker, no matter what I did. As a last result, I bypassed the circuit breaker with the feed for the turntable and all works fine.

                All of my tracks off the turntable are wired the same way, with the common on the right rail, all the way around the turntable. I did NOT switch common rails half way around or add any auto-reverser's as you suggest above.

                You might want to try using the same power source for the entire facility, including the turntable controller and see if that solves your problem. If it does not, I suspect the reverser in the controller is bad.
                Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mark, I made a pig tail to power both the tracks and for the controller power. Both are powered off the DCC bus. While I thought the problem might have been that the all the radial tracks were powered off of one DCC bus and the controller powered from another that was the issue. That was not the case. While watching the track short the controller also turns off and when the short is removed the HELJAN scrolls across the screen and it goes back the the last track slot indicated. In this case TK31. (I have 36 track positions, one for each end of the bridge track per the instructions) It may be the reverser in the controller. I didn't know the reverser is in the controller. In my instructions it doesn't say anything about there being one in the first place. I have the second version part 933-2849. Nothing in there about a reverser. In the "troubleshooting" section there is no mention of tracks shorting and a cure. To answer your suggestion,the stall radial tracks, bridge track and controller are all on the same circuit breaker protected bus line/power district. I have not heard back from Walthers and I will call them Monday if I don't get an email back. Bill
                  Bill Shanaman

                  New Haven RR

                  Hartford Division

                  in Colorado.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I should clarify that I'm not sure if the reverser is in the controller or in the bridge itself, but I'm certain that there is a reverser someplace! I did not install one and do not have the problem you are having.

                    I assume yours is the same as mine (I have the 130' turntable) in that you supply the DCC power to the four terminals labeled '1,2,3,4', and then there is a cable that goes directly to the turntable itself, leaving no place to put a reverser in even if you wanted to. The cable carries track power and motor power/commands.

                    You are correct in that there is no mention of a reverser that I could find in the instructions. (I think their instructions stink, but that's a whole different conversation).

                    Good luck. Let us know how you make out.
                    Mark

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      James, Mark and all. Not sure where the reverser is either. Anyway, After the Bronco/Chiefs game I went down and cut, moved and put in wires. The turntable, controller and stall/radial tracks 1-11 and the lead tracks on the 'north side of the split rail are on one bus circuit with protection (PSX). The other radial tracks 12-17 are on another bus circuit with the bus wires changed opposite of the rest. It works now with both ends of the bridge and no shorting. I will still have to put another circuit breaker on that bus but I'll do that tomorrow as I have to solder the wires to the circuit breaker before I install it. Thanks guys for all the suggestions and comments. It is working like it should now. I will talk with Walthers about it and see if I have to send my controller in, but if it works, why mess with it?
                      Bill Shanaman

                      New Haven RR

                      Hartford Division

                      in Colorado.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:


                        Originally posted by MarkF


                        I should clarify that I'm not sure if the reverser is in the controller or in the bridge itself, but I'm certain that there is a reverser someplace! I did not install one and do not have the problem you are having.

                        I assume yours is the same as mine (I have the 130' turntable) in that you supply the DCC power to the four terminals labeled '1,2,3,4', and then there is a cable that goes directly to the turntable itself, leaving no place to put a reverser in even if you wanted to. The cable carries track power and motor power/commands.

                        You are correct in that there is no mention of a reverser that I could find in the instructions. (I think their instructions stink, but that's a whole different conversation).

                        Good luck. Let us know how you make out.


                        Yes it is the same controller. The blue one with more buttons than the gray one.
                        Bill Shanaman

                        New Haven RR

                        Hartford Division

                        in Colorado.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Its good to hear you got it working Bill. What ever works, works, right?

                          So now that you have it working, I'll be curious how it works for you during an op session. I've had numerous issues with mine, but only during op sessions. After numerous sessions, I am still not sure if it is the turntable, or 'user errors'! It seems that during the session, the turntable loses its memory, or requires to be re-calibrated. Some of my operators tend to be 'button happy' and have deleted a programmed stop, or just don't know how to operate it no matter how much I explain it! So keep me posted. I hope you have better luck with it than I'm having.
                          Mark

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:


                            Originally posted by MarkF


                            Its good to hear you got it working Bill. What ever works, works, right?

                            So now that you have it working, I'll be curious how it works for you during an op session. I've had numerous issues with mine, but only during op sessions. After numerous sessions, I am still not sure if it is the turntable, or 'user errors'! It seems that during the session, the turntable loses its memory, or requires to be re-calibrated. Some of my operators tend to be 'button happy' and have deleted a programmed stop, or just don't know how to operate it no matter how much I explain it! So keep me posted. I hope you have better luck with it than I'm having.


                            I will Mark. One thing I have noticed. During a session, any session, if someone shorted when it was powered from one of the loops busses, it would jump to a track address I didn't have programmed in. Now that I have it all programmed and on it's own circuit protected power district with half the stall tracks we shall see if it acts the same. I have written instructions on how it operates, what buttons to push and when and at the time just the lead track so they could turn engines. Now that it is all ready to use I am curious to see what happens.

                            I have to come up with easy to understand instructions, label the stalls and tracks and give them the track position address for the track. I will call them addresses because I think they will understand that easier. (I may be wrong) Here is a photo of my roundhouse.



                            The bridge is selected to the roundhouse lead track , address/position 31/32. Because of the way I installed the turntable my tracks have to be numbered right to left. Track 1 is the first stall of the 9 stalls in the roundhouse. Track 2 is the next stall to the left all the way around until track 18. For instance, Roundhouse Track/stall 1 is address/position 1 and 2. Track 2 is address/position 3/4, track 3 is address/position 5/6 and so on.

                            What I have found out is that if you select a track, say Track 3, and the address position is 5/6 for that track you don't necessarily have to select position 5 for one end of the bridge and 6 to get it to turn the engine 180 degrees. All you have to do is press "GO SET" button the number it is on TWICE and it will turn the engine 180 degrees. So If I select position 5 for track 3 and it doesn't turn the engine 180 degrees, pressing "5" again turns it 180. I found this out by accident but it works. You don't have to press 6 like it says in the instructions. You DO have to program the other end of the bridge with 6 but you don't necessarily have to use the number. You can use either 5 or 6 to select track 3 but you don't have to use the opposite number to turn the engine around.

                            So the in instructions might read: On the BLUE controller, Press the "GO SET" button once until the display flashes. Use the UP or DOWN buttons to select the track position number. Press the "GO SET" button again and the engine will go to the track number. If the engine does not turn around 180 degrees, press the "GO SET" button TWICE to turn the engine.

                            Or something like that. I will have to give a class on terminology and a demonstration before the session and help them when it comes time to for them to put an engine away.

                            I will also have a chart for them to see the position numbers for each track.

                            Since they are used to the lead track being 31/32 they may catch on easier than I expect. Eventually this will be part of the HOSTLER job for New Haven.

                            Sometimes I found the darn thing just turning during a session. It will do that if there is no position number programmed into the controller and someone had been trying to turn an engine without know what to do or as you describe just started pushing buttons. Bill
                            Bill Shanaman

                            New Haven RR

                            Hartford Division

                            in Colorado.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For all of you that have a Walthers turntable for DCC/DC Walthers just sent a PDF file to me this morning. I was not included with any prior turntable products but is included with the newest version of the turntable. Sure would have been nice to have BEFORE I started this thread. For some reason I can't load the pdf file into the library. To get this document you can eother send me an email or go to the Walthers site, click on the NEW Cornerstone 110' turntable and download the manual. It is located in the instructions. Bill
                              Bill Shanaman

                              New Haven RR

                              Hartford Division

                              in Colorado.

                              Comment

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