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Making a Layout work with Lenz DCC

Using the new Hornby Layouts Made Easy R7277 Large Corner Layout Complete Track as an example we show how Lenz DCC products can make this plan work.
(Quick disclaimer - we do not stock R7277 but this plan provided us an interesting challenge - we have not seen the instructions provided with R7277 but we are sure that Hornby will cover the wiring and operation of this layout for both DC and digital operation.)

Track plan:
Hornby R7277 plan
This plan is an excellent use of a small space to achieve a model railway with entertaining options for operation.  Sold as an easy starter the layout has a couple of features that will challenge a customer in both DC and DCC Digital operation.  I wanted to show how Lenz DCC can make this layout really easy for you to enjoy in digital operation.  (In DC set up the challenge for smooth continuous operation is harder to solve and I will leave that for you all to discuss)

Why Lenz DCC?
The Lenz Set101 provides a reliable control system that is 100% compliant with the DCC standard as set down by the NMRA (not just compatible).
With five amps available the is more than enough power to run trains comfortably on this layout.  The track output provides a very clean DCC signal that will produce the best quality running, especially for sound and smoke fitted locos.  The control is intuitive and not reliant on a third party application.

The elephant in the room - The reverse loops

Track plan - Key areas marked in red will cause a short circuit if not addressed:
Hornby R7277 Short circuit problems
The red areas show where you will have a short circuit in this plan where the left rail loops around and becomes the right rail - It creates a configuration known as a reverse loop (see the Lenz LK200 Reverse loop module section at the bottom of the page).
Hornby R7277 Lenz LK200 Reverse loop modules
To easily solve the short circuit issue and allow seamless running the plan shows where to install the three sections controlled by Lenz LK200 Reverse loop modules (marked in Green, Blue and Light Blue).  The important factor is that the sections supplied through the reverse loop modules are insulated at both ends using plastic rail joiners.  The isolated sections must be longer than your longest train so that a train cannot 'bridge' both ends at the same time.  The Lenz LK200 will automatically detect short circuits in the monitored sections and flip the polarity as necessary - Any train passing through the section will continue on as if nothing had happened.

The Hornby R070 Turntable - (marked in red and purple)
This is an item that was not designed with DCC in mind and will need modification. 

One option is to remove the brass contacts on the turntable bridge rails - you will still need to separate the track supply to the turntable bridge and connect it through a reverse loop module. See the notes on the Hornby website .  With these contacts removed you will have to put track power feeds on each road that comes of the turntable The loco decoder shown is an option - the Lenz 10231 Standard decoder will give a smooth control to the turntable motor.

To be continued....

The cheats option - a fix for both DC and DCC

"A good compromise leaves everyone mad" - Bill Watterson

By removing the to points that cause the shorts, the wiring of the layout is greatly simplified.  A small reduction in the number of routes available brings a great simplification in how the layout needs to be wired.  As a plus the layout will work with DC and DCC without any need for control of reverse loops!

The compromise plan - easy for both DC and DCC:

With DCC the wiring can be as below:
This is a simple wiring bus to get power into the layout.  You can always add more power feeds if area have poor coverage.  A suggestion is to put a feed on the end of each siding to take the pressure from the points to transfer power.
Lenz LK200 Reverse loop moduleLenz LK200 Reverse loop module
Help section for the Lenz LK200 Reverse loop module (Polarity switcher)
Lenz LS150 Accessory DecoderLenz LS150 Accessory Decoder
Help section

60101 Set 101 Startset with hand controller LH101
LENZ6010160101 Set 101 Startset with hand controller LH101

Lenz  60101 Set 101 Startset with hand controller LH101

Help Section

English manual for LH101 Handset (Manual - German, English French)

English manual for LZV200 PDF download  (Manual - German, English French )

For large model railway layouts where many motor vehicles, points and signals are used.

  • for up to 9999 digital motor vehicles and 1 analog locomotive
  • setting of 4-digit locomotive addresses
  • 14, 27, 28 or 128 speed steps
  • 28 functions for each locomotive
  • double- and multiple-traction
  • the setting of automatic control is optional
  • Separate Programming track outputs
  • CV programming from CV1 to CV1024
  • higher requirements are met by adding (an infinite number of) additional amplifiers - LV103
  • connect up to 31 input devices to our universal input bus XpressNet.
  • programming in operational mode (PoM)
  • up to 2048 points, signals and other magnetic articles can be switched, depending on the control device used.
  • feedback bus to connect feedback modules and switch decoders that support the feedback function.
  • The LZV200 can generate the RailCom Signal (Global RailCom from LH101 V2.0)
  • Model Clock (LH101 V2.0)
  • Integrated USB PC Interface
  • Future updates can be applied using a memory stick

Each set comes with a LZV200 device (which is an amplifier plus command station) and an LH101 hand-held control device.

This set needs an additional Transformer.  There is the choice of the TR100 (3 Amp) or the TR150 (5 Amp)

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