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Carrera DualUse plug in switchbox

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  • Carrera DualUse plug in switchbox

    I had read about running Carrera as dualuse for analog and digital on and wanted to give it a try after thinking about it a bit I felt that this could be done as either a plug in switchbox with all the connections switches and chips in a case and just input wires from the CU and output wires to the lanes to plug in or just simple 8 wirenut connections.
    I will try to document my attempt in this thread either succesful or not. I need to start out by sayin I know squat about electronics and just enough to be dangerous about wiring so I probably will make alot of mistakes.
    these are some of the parts I bought

    here's how I installed the switches, LED and disconnect buttons in my case. I thought it would be cool to have LED's to tell which mode the switches are set, I think this will work but only when both lanes are set as analog or digital, when 1 lane is digital and one is analog I don't think the LED's will be lit. I think?

    and the terminal block I plan to use to connect to the CU and lanes. This may not be the best idea, I'm not sure how well these clamp type contacts will carry the proper power to the lanes but thought it would be good to be able to be able to remove the switchbox easily if I wasn't going to run analog anymore and not hack up my CU or track any more than needed

    Last edited by Burtonbr; 05-30-2011, 08:29 PM.

  • #2
    This is how I plan to wire this up. hopefully I have it right, looks right in my mind......

    Last edited by Burtonbr; 06-06-2011, 05:27 AM. Reason: Image changed showing analog polarity reverse


    • #3
      For someone who claims he doesn't know squat about electronics, your diagrams looks impressive. Can you describe in words what's going on to someone (me) who apparently needs to learn a lot to get to the point where I can not no squat


      • #4
        Looks right. The BB output goes to the input of the chip, and to one side of the switch. The chip output goes to the other side of the switch. The center of the switch goes to the track.

        I see you also included the push button so you can change the controller assignment.


        • #5
          Thanks b.yingling, I think in theory it should work. I originally had it all wrong with the switch in the wrong place.

          Dferry, I'm probably worse at explaining than actually doing it, since I'm not sure I totally understand it myself, but I'll try to put it in words, this is the way I understand it should work. For 1 lane it goes like this ,then just duplicate it for the other lane.
          Split the power coming from the BB/CU to lane 1, to 2 sets, one set of wires goes to one end of a DPDT center off type switch, the other set to the D132 chip on the input or braid side of the chip (I added a momentary disconnect button to the positive lead to act as the disconnect, like lifting the car off the track to program a car) then the wires that usually attach to the motor go to the opposite end of the DPDT switch and the center post of the switch will be the power feed to the lane.
          I believe that the polarity on the Digital side should be maintained but I think the analog the polarity is supposed to be reversed to run the same direction. ( as I type this I realized my wiring sketch does not show the polatiry reversed on the analog wires feeding the lane, I will fix it so that it is correct)

          Clear as mud, ... RIGHT........
          Last edited by Burtonbr; 05-31-2011, 12:16 PM.


          • #6
            Last edited by b.yingling; 05-31-2011, 12:31 PM.


            • #7
              I saw that, before you deleted it, using the switch on the chip to reverse the polarity would be better for me to keep it all straight. if that will work.


              • #8
                Can't wait to see this work. By having the chips in the box, and the programming button on the box, how does that affect the number of cars running on the track? Excuse my ignorance please.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by redsn8k View Post
                  Can't wait to see this work. By having the chips in the box, and the programming button on the box, how does that affect the number of cars running on the track? Excuse my ignorance please.
                  When in analog it will be 1 car per lane and no lane changing or pits. flip the switches and it will be back to full D132 features, as I understand it.


                  • #10
                    It's an analog track if you throw the switch to the side with the digital chips on it. One car per lane. The digital chip output is generally sent to the motor of a slot car. Here it is being sent to the rails of the track lane. One chip controls one lane, just as (if used in a digital car) one chip controls one motor in one car.

                    If you throw the switch to the side being fed by the digital control unit it's a Carrera digital track. Run as many digital cars as your power supply can handle (only six can be under human control).


                    • #11
                      Ok, so you're chipping the lanes. I think I'm going more basic and just putting in a switch to control whether the CU or the analog connecting bar is connected to the track. I'm not sure my brain is capable of anything more complicated at this time


                      • #12
                        Little more accomplished tonight, my wiring always comes out sloppy but seems to be going well, a few test all came out positive.

                        LED test

                        The connecting block

                        Connecting block mounted in cover

                        the cutout and terminals

                        Some sloppy wiring

                        I think the plug on terminals might have to come off or be cut down they stick out too far and may not leave room for the chip as I plan to mount them behind it attached to the cover, we'll see when the chips come in
                        Last edited by Burtonbr; 05-31-2011, 06:57 PM.


                        • #13
                          I like were your going with this! If that box is too can get a pvc 6 x 6 box with a removable cover at you local Home Depot in the electrical dept. Mount your switches on top and your terminals on the side. That should give you plenty of room to make connections to the chips and switches. Being an electrician...I never like to cut the wires too short. Good luck and I hope it works. Got a lot of analog cars just sitting in cases just ichin to run!!


                          • #14
                            I was able to get everything wired up wed. night and first tests with a battery and a test light, everything was perfect on lane 1, but lane 2 would not work switched to analog, so after a few test I concluded that I had done something wrong an messed up the chip, on the digital side it worked fine, so had to be the chip.
                            Took some time earlier and changed the chip and everything tested correctly. Even had both lanes going in the right direction so the polarity was right, which I figured somewhere I would cross that up.

                            Put some cars on my spare BB and wired it in. One thing that suprised me that I didn't know is that on the digital BB both lanes are fed through only 2 wires not 4 so I could have only used 2 lead in connectors and split them in the box but I'll just jump them from my CU to feed both lanes.

                            I'll probably get some time this weekend to get it mounted under my table and wired in to my CU and test some laps.

                            My motivation for wiring up this way is that I would like to be able to buy other MFG slot cars and at least run a few laps to see how well the cars performs or not, before chipping a car permently or chipping it then finding out it doesn't run as well as I'd like and wasting time or a $25 chip on a crappy car. I think this will work good for that since I want to run only digital mostly but being able to slap a analog car down and run a few laps will be cool. being able to easily install this switch box or remove it easily was important to me so I think I accomplished that by putting all the wiring in a box.

                            One drawback is that I think other MFG cars are made to run counterclockwise and Carrera digital runs clockwise and I did not leave the Carrera chip switch to reverse polarity exposed which they would have not been easy to reach where I plan on mounting the box at anyway and if I switch it permently the carrera cars will run backwards I'm still trying to figure the best way to do this but I will probably will swap the braids or motor wires non-carrera analog cars to run, that should be easier than soldering a chip in every one. I think b.yingling was trying to point that out to me in an earlier post but not sure I have all that sorted out in my head yet ...
                            If you were thinking about chipping your carrera digital track as Slotbaer explains at his website I'd say go for it looks complicated first but really isn't once you get into it. I think I will really like being able to easily switch over to analog and should thank Slotbaer and all his hard work making this more fun for me.

                            If I had to do it over again I think I would have used 22ga. wire rather than 18ga. and possibly used different connecting block on the back, maybe even RCA type plugs or even 3.5 mm jacks would be cool. hopefully I'll post a last pic of the box mounted to my table this weekend and run some analog cars too.
                            Last edited by Burtonbr; 06-03-2011, 01:21 PM.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dferrey View Post
                              Ok, so you're chipping the lanes. I think I'm going more basic and just putting in a switch to control whether the CU or the analog connecting bar is connected to the track. I'm not sure my brain is capable of anything more complicated at this time
                              This is the way I did it, It works great. But Chipping the lanes does have its perks, like using the same controllers.