How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or DCC cab

How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or DCC cab

Postby Rich1853 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:25 am

How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or in your DCC throttle control cab.
Is it a set of prefixes for example (M=main, S=spur, Y=yard), (N,S,E,W compass points), (than a number in the order of normal travel, starting from where?), maybe the face of a clock.
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Re: How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or DCC ca

Postby dileTTante » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:53 am

There are lots of places on the internet about turnout control. I'm no expert but also don't like to see your question neglected.

With DCC you can control your turnouts as with DC by using a separate power supply. You can use manual electrical switches to throw the turnouts and name the switches anything you want. This can be done also if you are powering the turnout mechanisms from the track on DCC, but this needs rectifying diodes to the mechanisms because DCC is virtually alternating current. Either way would be practical on your small layout. Voytek uses a wall wart to power the turnouts on his TT Tracks modules. It must be plugged into regular electrical outlet. Some of Tibi's modules take power for the turnouts from the track which is DCC.

Controlling turnouts by DCC controllers is done through stationary decoders which operate the turnout mechanisms. They can use power from the track or perhaps from a separate DCC booster. Like the locomotive decoders the turnout decoder has to be selected by its address to tell it what to do. The turnouts are given numbers not names. With hand throttles like Digitrax or Multimaus the turnout is thrown by selecting turnout option instead of loco, selecting the number of the turnout, and then actuating it.

Some controllers - perhaps ESU, VIessmann, and Marklin have display screens on which the layout is shown. The turnouts may be actuated by touching the screen, maybe not, and the position of the turnout may be shown.

The Roco Z21 being used with TT Tracks was designed to work with tablets and smartphones. These show the turnouts on the screen and the turnouts are actuated by touching the screen. The images can be just grouped in a convenient arrangement, which might be fine for a small layout. They can also be arranged in their proper positions on a picture of the layout. Control is done by touching the image of the turnout. This is how the DCC on the GuiTTar Case is operated.

Computer systems such as the free ones from JMRI and Rocrail have the means of making an on screen image of the layout and placing the turnouts on the image. I haven't tried those methods but I imagine the turnouts can be controlled by a mouse, or by touch if the display is on a touch screen. Both systems mentioned allow internet connection to a tablet or phone throttles.

I hope this helps and doesn't contain misinformation.

-Terry C
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How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or DCC cab

Postby CFRiad » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:53 pm

If you are modelling European, the turnouts are generally numbered. Numbering systems vary between railway administrations.

Generally, the switches are given odd numbers at the "up" end of the station and even numbers at the "down" end (I am using British terms here, some railways call them odd/even, X/Y ends). Also generally the turnouts are numbered starting from the outermost one inwards. This can be simple for a small station but can become very complicated very quickly for larger, more intricate stations.

Thus "down" trains, which are generally odd numbered, encounter odd numbered turnouts in increasing order as they enter the station and even numbered ones in decreasing order as they leave. The opposite would be true for "up" (even numbered) trains.

Generally turnout positions are indicated as "+" for the through position and "-" for the diverging position.

TurnoutNumbers.jpg
TurnoutNumbers.jpg (18.82 KiB) Viewed 128 times


Please note the word "generally" repeated in this post. There are many variations from one railway to another and many exceptions from these rules on any railway.
Last edited by CFRiad on Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:24 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: How do you identify turnouts on a switch panel or DCC ca

Postby CFRiad » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:57 am

One more thing: When two turnouts face each other, like 1 and 5 on the diagram in my previous post, they always operate together.

In this case, these are two physical turnouts in the yard but they are one logical turnout for the interlocking system. On a prototypical control interface these would have only one control element (lever, switch, button, whatever) and it would be labelled "1/5".
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