Converting Kato automatic crossing gate to dccgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread
I own an N gauge Kato automato crossing gate. I recently converted to DCC. The gate no longer operates. It is made for DC. Can I convert it to DCC?
-- Sam Puich (email@example.com), August 07, 1999
I'm not in N gage and I'm NOT familiar with the Kato crossing gate. How is the control to the gate set up under DC? Usually with DCC, you'll need to install some form of current sensing on track sections (simple and very inexpensive circuits) either side of the gate and use the DCC sensing circuit to actuate the gate crossing system. If the gate uses some diodes for sensing control now, then the control will need to be changed for sure since the DCC is effectively an AC like power.
-- Ed McCamey (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 1999.
I can provide some answers but (at least not yet) the main one - I've just bought one of these to try and convert!
The crossing uses a single solenoid to operate the gates - this makes it a quite noisy unit but a double spring mechanism makes the gates move slowly and very convincingly.
The sensing is done by proximity switches built into two short lengths of track and the main crossing section. A 'microcontroller' box controls the action of the crossing with quite sophisticated rules which re-open the gates when a train reverses or stops (probably combining the prox switches with power sensing).
In practice, I think that the only bit that can be used with DCC is the crossing track section and everything else will have to be dumped. In addition the crossing section will need modifying significantly as it seems to have DC direction sensing.
The solenoid and lights could easily be controlled with a stationery decoder (after chopping up the innards of the crossing section) but there are a number of DCC compatible electronic controllers which I think might be better suited. Anyone out there tried any of these controllers and can recommend one?
To put this in context, I have done some experiments with 'muscle wire' and have looked at making a crossing from scratch with NJ International gates but the Kato option does seem easier...
Hope this helps Martin
-- Martin Gibson (email@example.com), May 12, 2004.