Is there a maximum length of track that can be used with a shuttle unit?

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
516
70
The Cotswolds
Hi all,
Like it says in the title, Is there a maximum length of track that can be used with a shuttle unit?
The reason I ask is, I am looking at a shuttle track from the front to the rear garden, a distance of aprox 20 M.
Very basic track: Ie; terminal station at each end. No points within the shuttle controlled distance. The one point will at one end in an isolated section with its own controller. (Two road shed.)
I was just wondering if the length of the shuttle controlled track has any impact on its operation.
Cheers,
Paul.
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
783
350
Ann Arbor, Michigan
It should not be a problem as long as you have good conductivity at all the track joints.
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,406
2,828
Tamworth, Staffs.
Theoretically, no..
Practically, it depends..

We need to know which shuttle you are intending to use, as they do not all work in the same way.

Most, the electronics is at one end, or the other, and you will require at least one wire from the far end.
There is a chance that the length of this cable may cause intermittent detection?
But it would depend on how robust the system is to interference.

The Massoth decoders had a shuttle facility built-in to the software.. No wiring end-to-end, but you do need to work a little DCC / CV magic to make it work.

The Deltang :))) system has a facility to do this as well. - Both back and forth shuttle, or stop and continue (station stop). Again, requires a little programming to make it work.

The beauty of the Massoth and Deltang systems, is there is no switching of power to the track.
A simple switch on the loco, can disable the feature, allowing the loco to be used as normal.

You pays your money, and makes your choice..

PhilP
 

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
516
70
The Cotswolds
The Massoth decoders had a shuttle facility built-in to the software.. No wiring end-to-end, but you do need to work a little DCC / CV magic to make it work.

The Deltang :))) system has a facility to do this as well. - Both back and forth shuttle, or stop and continue (station stop). Again, requires a little programming to make it work.

The beauty of the Massoth and Deltang systems, is there is no switching of power to the track.
A simple switch on the loco, can disable the feature, allowing the loco to be used as normal.

You pays your money, and makes your choice..

PhilP
Thanks Phil, but it's an analogue set up.
It's a Mr Rails BST MK2. See BASIC SHUTTLE.
This system connects to the track at any point between the two breaks / diodes, so all continuity is through the track. All track joints will have jumper wires fitted.

IT USES THE TRADITIONAL TIMED BASE SYSTEM THAT IS ADJUSTABLE FROM ABOUT 5 SECONDS UP TO 30 SECONDS THIS IS ADJUSTABLE.

AFTER THE TIME HAS ELAPSED THE RELAY CHANGES THE POLITY OF THE POWER RAILS AND THE LOCO WILL GO BACK THE OTHER WAY THIS IS REPEATED UNTIL YOU STOP IT.
If I'm reading the info on the site correctly 30 seconds travel time does not seem very long, it would have to be traveling at an unrealistic speed to cover the distance I require (1.5 seconds per metre.) Any Ideas how this time could be extended?
Paul.
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,406
2,828
Tamworth, Staffs.
Paul,
The time referred to, is the 'wait-time' at each end, and not the transit time between, the two stations.

You should be fine..

PhilP.

PS>Both the Massoth and the Deltang solutions should work on an analogue DC track. The Deltang being independent of track power as well.
 

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
516
70
The Cotswolds
Paul,
The time referred to, is the 'wait-time' at each end, and not the transit time between, the two stations.

You should be fine..

PhilP.
I was hoping that was the case.
The statement 'THE LOCO DOES NOT FULLY TRAVEL TO EACH END : ADJUST THE ADJUSTER FOR MORE TIME THIS WILL ALLOW THE LOCO TO TRAVEL FURTHER IT MAY HELP TO SLOW THE LOCO DOWN A BIT BY REDUCING THE SPEED' on the website caused my concern.
The manufacturer has got back to me with the following info:

Thanks for your email. The minimum period would be 30 seconds. The maximum time period would be based on a realistic speed to do 10 metres half-way and wait at the station would about 3 minutes so if it took a minute to travel you would have 2 minutes wait at each station.
If you where looking for longer we do have s couple of other models coming out one that is like above but a longer waiting time. And one that has its own independent waiting time at each end and the track length does not use up the station time.


Looks like I'll just have to try it and see if it can be adjusted to suit, before considering buying a new one.
Thanks,
Paul.
 
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ntpntpntp

Registered
24 Oct 2009
7,352
261
58
UK
If the shuttle unit has no feedback of when the loco reaches one end or the other then it must rely on a single timer for the actual "live" time, plus diodes to stop the loco at the ends until the polarity changes. If Mr Rails have said it's a minimum of 30 seconds and adjustable upwards to 3 minutes then it should be ok.
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,406
2,828
Tamworth, Staffs.
If the shuttle unit has no feedback of when the loco reaches one end or the other then it must rely on a single timer for the actual "live" time, plus diodes to stop the loco at the ends until the polarity changes. If that timer only goes up to 30 seconds that's a bit short. It may be possible to change a component on the board - maybe Mr Rails can advise you?
Having had a 'niggle' at the back of my mind..
I went to the instructions..
It does indeed run from a single timer, and the instructions say you can change a resistor to give you a different delay (range).

This means your trackbreaks will be offset from each other as well :
Loco heading the train, will stop as soon as the loco crosses the diode break - break can be close to end of the track,.
Timer 'flips' and loco reverses..
At other end, the diode break must be further from the end of the line, to allow the stock to pass, before the loco comes to a stop.

This also means that the speed of the loco is fairly critical. To slow, and it will shuttle back and forth, without ever reaching the ends.
 

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
375
33
Eastern MA
There are many different shuttle controls on hte market. I have the old Aristocraft one and it has an adjustable timer and I found the engine speed made a diffference as if the time was too short, I just made the train go faster in order for it to traverse the whole shuttle distance. The LGB unit mounts in a bumper, but the output feeds between the diodes, not the end of the track and there are 2 different adjustments. One its the timer, the other is a X10 which gives one 10 times more time.