Date   
Re: New to DCC

Paul O
 

OK Jeff, start asking.

Re: New to DCC

Mark Cartwright
 

Jeff, 
For many of us it's a combination of Musical Chairs and a Journey into the unknown.
Which exact DCC Controller along with it's various components (Mostly Decoder - Sound and Non Sound) you will land on ?
May depend on when the music stops....as in what your local train store pushes on you.
Or which Bible on DCC is being read at your local Model Railroading Society/Club.
====
In my Journey, With purchasing only second-hand units via Wannabe and Discontinued Layouts; I have purchased nearly a dozen different DCC Controllers and well over one hundred Decoders via many various locomotives in N and HO Scales. (These purchases often near 10 cents to the MSRP $ reflected the many Train Store Shelves of Northern California.)
Oops!
I went off on tangents Testing various Decoders with different DCC Controllers and even began a Notebook. I nearly lost it, as I was considered creating an Encyclopedia on just the Interactions of DCC.
Double Oops!
=====
I eventually Forest Gumped my way in the ownership of an ESU ECoS, for which; I am very pleased.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApxjEciFr40
=====
Before the ECoS Discovery and then some even after that moment in time of Epiphany ! - 
I was nearly a prisoner to my own layout....and had lost sight on why I chose to create a layout in the first place.
For it comes down to Scenery...
When will  I ever set my first Tree ? and seriously begin to enjoy just watching my trains !!!!
(The phase just after making your track operational.)
So much more to learn...I told myself.
Can't I just learn to program, have the program hold and be done with DCC?
Good Luck with a that ! at least not on a Paragon Decoder...
Result? Good Bye Paragon Decoders.
I even questioned the amperage and volts being sent to my track.
I spent far too much time on DCC ...
Just one example....
My First DCC Controller though very simple to program and operate only has a range of say 20 feet and won't catch a signal, through the Long Bearing Wall which goes down the center of my basement....I fought it's limitations for too long...
Dis -Track -Ting me from my original intentions.
Then I discovered Long Steam Locomotives which have their own set of parameters and needs...
More wasted time, as I was trying to get them to operate on curves of 19" or less in radius and over #6 Switches.
Then it was on to switches...and how do I get the front pilot and the rear wheels of the tender to all align in DCC +/- as I go over Turnouts.
Simple...
Make them longer; along actual ARA specifications and solder near on everything with it's own drop down leads.
==============================================
I am not trying to dissuade you, in fact on the contrary....
Just tell us your overall dimensions of your intended layout, location (Corner of Den, Family Room, Attic, Basement but just say No to a Garage Location in the Central Valley of California - Dust), scale, type of locomotive, length of train, and whither you ever intend to include sound on your layout.
We can then begin this discussion again; which might resemble a Religious/Political Argument.
:)) Mark

PS and note this well...
A Clean Well Lighted Place....
I strongly suggest a location for your layout which is basically clean and can be kept that way.
DCC abhors dirty track (especially sound); and you might want to rethink even the % of your grades along with the use of Traction Tires.

Re: New to DCC

Glenn
 

Jeff,

Like Mark, I bounced around DCC.

My first purchase was a box of an antique MRC Command 2000 stuff. I like it still, unfortunately it was not compatible with modern-er decoders.

Then I acquired a Bachmann EZ Command system which I still use at the workbench.

I do a lot of decoder installs for friends and eventually purchased a used NCE power cab (tethered), as you can do more with that system than the others.

I recently purchased a Ring Engineering RailPro system. It is basically radio control. It makes it easy to visit other layouts since I do not need to reprogram decoders.

My recommendation is try to operate AND program, set CV's, etc, on several systems/layouts. Also read the manuals. Some are so vague. I read one that seemed to think you are a expert on DCC. On one system I tried, programming was done in sequential steps, but you could only do one step at a time and stop, you could not make more than one change at a time. The manual did not mention that.

See what is in stock in your area. It's frustrating when you need a part for brand ABC, and your LHS does not stock that brand. But if you really like one system go with that one.

Glenn

Re: New to DCC

Mark Gurries
 

I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.



On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

Thanks!

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: New to DCC

Jeff Nielsen
 

Thanks for all the great advice and information. I run G scale and my layout will be outside. I don't have it built yet as I moved a few years ago and everything is still in boxes. I'm ready to get it going again and have always wanted to try DCC. My layout will be pretty simple. Probably 10' X 20' with one main line and one or two sidings/branch runs but will expand it later. I'd like to run 2 or 3 trains for now. I haven't decided on DCC equipment yet. I've read about a lot of them. Massoth looks interesting to me but seems pricey. Since I'm still in the planning stages I thought this would be a good time to start exploring DCC but I'm finding there is a lot to learn. Thanks again for the advice and info. I will be looking at the presentations and continue researching but I have a feeling I will need to just jump in at some point...


On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:
I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.



On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

Thanks!

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: New to DCC

wirefordcc
 

Jeff,

 

Check out my website, WiringForDCC.com, and look for the section on DCC in the Garden.  http://www.wiringfordcc.com/garden.htm

 

 

Allan Gartner

Wiring For DCC

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Nielsen
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2019 3:27 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] New to DCC

 

Thanks for all the great advice and information. I run G scale and my layout will be outside. I don't have it built yet as I moved a few years ago and everything is still in boxes. I'm ready to get it going again and have always wanted to try DCC. My layout will be pretty simple. Probably 10' X 20' with one main line and one or two sidings/branch runs but will expand it later. I'd like to run 2 or 3 trains for now. I haven't decided on DCC equipment yet. I've read about a lot of them. Massoth looks interesting to me but seems pricey. Since I'm still in the planning stages I thought this would be a good time to start exploring DCC but I'm finding there is a lot to learn. Thanks again for the advice and info. I will be looking at the presentations and continue researching but I have a feeling I will need to just jump in at some point...

 

On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:

I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.

 

 

 

On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

 

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

 

Thanks!

 

Best Regards,

 

Mark Gurries

Electrical Engineer

DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com

 

 

 

Re: New to DCC

Glenn
 

I am going out on a tree limb, and Mark is at the trunk with a saw.

Since you are at ground level you might consider using radio control with battery power.

Check out:
AirWire 900 from CVP http://www.cvpusa.com/airwire_system.php  << they have been in business since 1974

There is also the Dead Rail Society  https://www.deadrailsociety.com/  << Very informative.

Glenn



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Nielsen
Sent: Jan 14, 2019 3:26 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] New to DCC

Thanks for all the great advice and information. I run G scale and my layout will be outside. I don't have it built yet as I moved a few years ago and everything is still in boxes. I'm ready to get it going again and have always wanted to try DCC. My layout will be pretty simple. Probably 10' X 20' with one main line and one or two sidings/branch runs but will expand it later. I'd like to run 2 or 3 trains for now. I haven't decided on DCC equipment yet. I've read about a lot of them. Massoth looks interesting to me but seems pricey. Since I'm still in the planning stages I thought this would be a good time to start exploring DCC but I'm finding there is a lot to learn. Thanks again for the advice and info. I will be looking at the presentations and continue researching but I have a feeling I will need to just jump in at some point...

On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:
I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.



On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

Thanks!

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: New to DCC

Jeff Nielsen
 

Thanks. I hadn’t considered it. I will take a look.

On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 16:27 Glenn <ghazel@...> wrote:
I am going out on a tree limb, and Mark is at the trunk with a saw.

Since you are at ground level you might consider using radio control with battery power.

Check out:
AirWire 900 from CVP http://www.cvpusa.com/airwire_system.php  << they have been in business since 1974

There is also the Dead Rail Society  https://www.deadrailsociety.com/  << Very informative.

Glenn



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Nielsen
Sent: Jan 14, 2019 3:26 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] New to DCC

Thanks for all the great advice and information. I run G scale and my layout will be outside. I don't have it built yet as I moved a few years ago and everything is still in boxes. I'm ready to get it going again and have always wanted to try DCC. My layout will be pretty simple. Probably 10' X 20' with one main line and one or two sidings/branch runs but will expand it later. I'd like to run 2 or 3 trains for now. I haven't decided on DCC equipment yet. I've read about a lot of them. Massoth looks interesting to me but seems pricey. Since I'm still in the planning stages I thought this would be a good time to start exploring DCC but I'm finding there is a lot to learn. Thanks again for the advice and info. I will be looking at the presentations and continue researching but I have a feeling I will need to just jump in at some point...

On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:
I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.



On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

Thanks!

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: New to DCC

Greg Elmassian
 

DCC works great outdoors too, very happy with it, and saved a lot of money over battery. www.elmassian.com

Re: New to DCC

whmvd
 

Hi Jeff,

Massoth has had good reviews here and there. For me, the deal breaker was that it is not a system that is supported by JMRI. If you plan to add a computer in the mix, cutting off that avenue before you even start seems a pity. Although JMRI is much used for train control, it is even more widely present (and as far as I know unparallelled) for decoder programming.

Most important of all: have fun!
Wouter


On Mon, 14 Jan 2019 at 22:07, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:

Jeff,

 

Check out my website, WiringForDCC.com, and look for the section on DCC in the Garden.  http://www.wiringfordcc.com/garden.htm

 

 

Allan Gartner

Wiring For DCC

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jeff Nielsen
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2019 3:27 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] New to DCC

 

Thanks for all the great advice and information. I run G scale and my layout will be outside. I don't have it built yet as I moved a few years ago and everything is still in boxes. I'm ready to get it going again and have always wanted to try DCC. My layout will be pretty simple. Probably 10' X 20' with one main line and one or two sidings/branch runs but will expand it later. I'd like to run 2 or 3 trains for now. I haven't decided on DCC equipment yet. I've read about a lot of them. Massoth looks interesting to me but seems pricey. Since I'm still in the planning stages I thought this would be a good time to start exploring DCC but I'm finding there is a lot to learn. Thanks again for the advice and info. I will be looking at the presentations and continue researching but I have a feeling I will need to just jump in at some point...

 

On Mon, Jan 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:

I have a series of DCC presentations that I have given around the country over the years at NMRA events.  There are 4 clinics at the bottom.  Basic DCC info, Wiring, Decoder Wiring and Decoder Programming.

 

 

 

On Jan 13, 2019, at 9:17 AM, Jeff Nielsen <jln319@...> wrote:

 

I’m new to DCC and need all the help I can get....

 

Thanks!

 

Best Regards,

 

Mark Gurries

Electrical Engineer

DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com

 

 

 

Re: New to DCC

PennsyNut
 

Tis funny. I started model railroading in 1958 or thereabouts. Joined a club. DC only. Had built a 4' x 6' layout - a loop with a switchback siding. Played a bit. Since I was familiar with PRR, that became my rr or choice. Then, I got drafted and disassembled the layout. Never did get back to building one, the club was sufficient for me.
Here I am, now 80 yrs old. Put priority to my bucket list to build a layout. A few years ago, while I was still working, etc. Bought a Digitrax Zephyr and started a collection of BLI engines. All DCC. Now, here I am: Got the shelf brackets up. Got the 2" thick pink foam, cut to 12" width. Have shelf 24' long by that 12" depth. Used AnyRail to design several layouts from which to choose. But let me say this: Learning model rr is a very long way from 1958. And DCC has a learning curve that is almost ridiculous. The NMRA had standards and RP's. But all the systems don't match. MTH has DCS. And other Proprietary stuff. Makes you kind of wonder. Remember Mantua couplers? Well I started with them and had to change to Kadee's. Why? Because that's what one did for a club, etc. Now, if you start with a simple DCC system like Digitrax, you get sidetracked by all the other choices. And if battery power gets going, what do we do with all our DCC? Ouch. Get ready to re-mortgage your house. All IMHO and thanks for letting me vent. But we can be newbies even if 80 yrs old. 
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC, modeling PRR 1952.

Re: A question on DCC track wiring using yard point triple turnouts

George Galyon
 

F YI..our club uses a Shinohara C100 (old version with double crossbars on the point rails) three-way in our passenger yard..unmodified for DCC.  It works just fine with all of our rolling stock.  We feed power at the point end using just point-stock rail contacts (a real no-no..but it works).  And, so far, nothing shorts out at that "trouble spot" adjacent to the point-closure rail connection.  I did jumper wire the point-closure rails because the rail joiner connection that came with the Shinohara 3-way was useless as an electrical connection.  Depending on what vintage you have, there may be another little short prone spot adjacent to one of the frog wing rails.  Just trim back the wing rail and/or put a little dab of JB weld on the tip of the wing rail and you'll be good to go.

I know that many will advocate converting the Shinoharas to be DCC friendly by removing the crossbars on the point rails.  Run it first to see if you have any shorting problems caused by those crossbars.  Chances are you will not..and you can save yourself a bit of tedious work.    It's a particularly difficult conversion on the old, double-crossbar Shinoharas...not so bad on the single crossbar versions. 

Sprog Pi-Sprog-One

Jay
 

Hi!
Has any one used this system for their layouts yet?
It definitely looks intriguing, especially if you already have some Raspberry Pi' 3's laying around.
It is here: http://www.sprog.us.com/pisprog.html
They also offer a 3D Printed case for it.

Jay

Re: Sprog Pi-Sprog-One

Joseph Melhorn
 

I just recently bought one with the 3D printed case, but have not had a chance to hook it up and try it. My to-do list keeps getting longer and longer…

Joe Melhorn

Sahuarita, AZ

 

Re: Sprog Pi-Sprog-One

Rob Toler
 

Hi Jay, I have not used it so far but have considered it. Model Railroader recently did a review on this and found it to work pretty well using either Android or Apple throttle apps. I am currently using a Lenz DCC system so I might not need the Sprog part but using the Lenz computer interface, which I already have, I should be able to interface to the Raspberry Pi to use cell phone throttles and JMRI for programming etc. 

Re: Sprog Pi-Sprog-One

John M Wallis
 

Hi Folks:

 

Our club used the Pi-SPROG 1 as the command station/booster for a T-TRAK layout we set up last October. It worked very well with one exception.

 

A normal DCC Booster attempts to restart automatically after shutting down due to a short. The Pi-SOROG 1 shuts down, but requires a manual turn track power back on.

 

Regards,

 

 

John Wallis

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Rob Toler
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:10 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Sprog Pi-Sprog-One

 

Hi Jay, I have not used it so far but have considered it. Model Railroader recently did a review on this and found it to work pretty well using either Android or Apple throttle apps. I am currently using a Lenz DCC system so I might not need the Sprog part but using the Lenz computer interface, which I already have, I should be able to interface to the Raspberry Pi to use cell phone throttles and JMRI for programming etc. 

Wiring help needed

Tim Lee
 

Hello 
I have built the atlas Ho-16 layout from the atlas book 11 atlas ho layouts for every space. I have purchased a Digitrax Zephyr XTra. Being new to model railroads, and Dcc, I’m looking for advice as how to wire this. Do I need the plastic track joiners. If so where should they be placed. Also do I need any other dcc electronic devices .
Any advice is greatly appreciated

Tim

Re: Wiring help needed

Jay
 
Edited

Tim,
Generally you won't need to isolate most places.
Reverser loops are different animal.
That layout looks like there are no reverser sections.
On a layout that size, you might want to consider a Digitrax PM42 Quad Power Manager.
This would split up the layout, for electrical short protection.

Jay

Re: Wiring help needed

Al Silverstein
 

Tim,
 
Should you determine that you need to divide your layout into power districts with the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra as the command station then I have four suggestions of value:
 
1) Be sure to set the trip current of the PM42 to 1.5 amps,
2) Be sure to set the trip speed of the PM42 to the fastest setting,
3) Be sure to set the command station to the slowest trip setting of 1/2 second,
4) and if you can afford it use the DCC Specialties PM42 breakout board which makes wiring the PM42 easier.
 
Note here that there are other circuit breakers available but should you choose one of those other circuit breakers you will still need to set the current to below that of the command station capabilities, set the circuit breaker to be as fast as possible, and set the command station to respond slower than the external circuit breaker.
 
Also make sure that the wiring between the command station and the circuit breaker and the circuit breaker and the rail bus is at least the same size as the rail bus.
 
Al Silverstein
 

Re: Wiring help needed

Tim Lee
 

Please be patient as I’m new to this. Are you saying that I need a digitrax pm42 ? I can purchase one.  Do I then wire from zephyr to pm 42 then to track bus ? Or 4 power lines to 4 different areas of track from pm 42 


On Jan 19, 2019, at 7:59 PM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Tim,
Generally you won't need to isolate most places.
Reverser loops are different animal.
That layout looks like there are no reverser sections.
On a layout that size, you might want to consider a Digitrax PM42 Quad Power Manager.
This would split up the layout, for electrical short protection.

Jay