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  • Resistance Wheelsets

    Is anyone here using resistance wheelsets with a current detection system for signals?

    I am using The NCE detectors and Block Watchers.

    The issue that I am having is this - how many wheelsets do I need to make this work properly?

    All I have is 20 ohm Jay-bee wheel sets. Would you recommend that I go to 10 ohm?

    As it stands right now, using 20 ohm sets and it takes 4 wheel sets to even get it to work just a little bit.

    Or, do I just need to equip more cars with the Jay-bee wheel sets? Thanks!

  • #2
    When the HUB Division Modular Layout installed signals, they wanted everyone to use 5K ohm resistor wheelsets. Most of their detectors are NCE BD-20s. I bought some inexpensive 5K wheelsets via the HUB in 33" and 36". The 36" resistances varied from 5K up to 20K, the 33" had much better quality control. JayBee 36" also had good Q/C but I'd bought 20K before I started on my signals.

    I installed a few of both diameters and found they didn't detect reliably on my home layout (mix of Chubb DCOD and Olin's DCC Depot detectors). My main problem seems to be intermittent contact. Four 20K resistors make 5K total when everything is perfect, but one dirty wheel and resistance is up to 6.6K. Likewise, a single 5K only detects when it and the rail are clean. A secondary problem is varying axle lengths, particularly with passenger cars.

    My layout still has some carpentry and a lot of scenery and structures to do. My signal system works off both occupancy and turnout position; both power and hand-throw turnouts are sensed. I decided it wasn't worthwhile to make every car detectable. Instead, I've been installing markers in cabooses and lighting in passenger cars. If the lights are on, I know it will occupy.

    Do you know what resistance your NCE detectors will sense? You could test with clip leads and either a potentiometer (variable resistor) and multimeter, or individual resistors from an assortment pack. I get the idea that one wrap through a BD-20 gives about 5K sensitivity, but someone with direct experience might know better.
    Last edited by jbvb; 09-28-2021, 11:21 AM.
    James

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