As part of my AP Civil Engineering, I need to wire a few tracks to turn off for motor storage power. It’s an old DC requirement but is normally redundant with DCC. However, when you have loads of sound locos, I do worry about leaving them all on, all the time.
So, I have been thinking about how to turn off stall tracks using a DCC accessory decoder. I love my clean fascias and have no intention of putting loads of lights and switches on it.
I have been looking at accessory decoders and finally chose these as they have the most bang for your buck at £22.95 for 16 addressed on/off switches:
The blurb says:
Manufacturer : Digirails
The DIGISWITCH decoder is a programmable multi-protocol switch decoder. Configured as standard to operate 8 switches and equipped with various presets allowing, for example, for 16 permanent on/off switches, 8 two-light signals or 4 three-light signals. A combination of presets is, of course, also possible. 8 switch control for motor drives 16 outputs with or without fluorescent light effect 8 Ahobs4 AKIs 4 Dutch signals Presets for Dutch, Belgian and German signal aspects. Multiprotocol DCC / Motorola Programmable via POM Maximum load of 2.5 Amps All outputs on one side of the module.
So that’s the decoder sorted.
Then, how do I turn an on/off 12v switch into track power? I think the answer is a relay.
You can buy them cheaply from China although they are normally over £1. I would then need something to mount them on… I’m trying these relay boards instead. There are 16 relays on a board but it will need some hacking as it is set up for a computer interface. At £13 it seemed worth it for the parts alone.
Everything is in the post (the boards from Hong Kong) so it’s a wait and see moment.