June 22nd, 2008

During mid June, I did some research on block detection, and which products would be good to use for the layout. Up till this point, I hadn't thought much about it, and had started wiring the layout as one big "block". After looking at my layout plans, I figured I needed a total of 16 blocks. Digitrax makes a 16 block detection unit. I thought "great, that would work super" but after reading more about it, there were some things I didn't like about it, and I also realized that since all the blocks were in one unit, that meant ALOT of wires running thru the layout room to one central point. So after some more looking around the net and asking questions on some forums, I came across Team Digitals DBD22 block detection unit. It's 2 detectors in one, which is great for placement around the layout, and unlike some of the competition, it will work by its self, but also can be integrated into other products.. With 2 detectors together, I can place them right under main/passing sideings, and for my single track areas, I can put one between the upper and lower levels, since most of my single track areas are next to each other on both levels. I already had a bus wire running around the lower level, so branching off that to a block detector wouldn't be too hard. So after rerouting some feeder wires and running a few more bus wires, I now have all the present track wired for block detection.

After doing wiring for almost 2 weeks straight, it was time to dig out the saw and cut out some more subroadbed. I'm still not 100% sure of how I want the track to go at North Bishop, and I haven't even thought about the track at Mammoth, so I started on the upper level, at the end of the helix. Since the upper level is primarily to get more running room out of my layout, it would be easy to put the subroadbed down without much thought to placement. There is only one town on the upper level, Bridgeport, and there will only be 1 or 2 sidings there for switching. The most thinking I had to put in on the upper level is where to place the passing sidings. Once that was done, I began cutting out the subroadbed.



Here is Team Digitals DBD22 block detection unit. It's 2 detectors in one. The red wire is one side of the power bus wire for a block of track.



Here is the block detector of the main and siding under Bishop yard. The red and black wires are the track power wires, the brown wire is the 12 volt power wire, the orange wire is for both LED lights that runs to the dispatch panel.



Here is the block detectors for the first block of the main line, the branchline, and the 2 staging tracks at the end of the branch line.



Here is the connection board for all the wires that will run into the laundry room. The track bus wire is connected right now. Eventually this will fill up with switch motor wires, block detection LED wires and 12 volt power wires.



Another view of the placement of the connection board.



So far I have 6 blocks installed, and these are the LEDs temporarily set up. Eventually they will be installed in the dispatch panel in the other room.



Main Block 1 is working great!



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