Re: How to set up locomotive

wirefordcc

Lloyd,

Do you have a Zephyr or a Chief?  (I assume since you had your system for a while, you don’t have an Evolution.)

You said you don’t know how to set up a locomotive on your system.  Do you know how to power up your system and use it?

Do you still have the manual?

Allan Gartner

Re: DCC Meters

Mark Gurries

On larger layout without a load, you will see the track voltage go up the further you get away from the DCC system or booster powering the track.

The is voltage ringing (spike) on the DCC waveform created by the layout wiring that confuses the meter into reading a higher voltage than what is actually there.

The use a of a ten scope is good in that one can visually ignore the leading edge voltage ringing (Spike) and focus on the flat portion of the DCC waveform for the reading.

To check for voltage drops in the wiring, you will need a large lamp load such as offered by an 12V automotive lamp.

On May 22, 2019, at 1:09 PM, Richard Gagnon via Groups.Io <richg_1998@...> wrote:

When I connected my Harbor Freight meters to the output of the Power Cab
Had a loco on the track running. They all showed close to 13.6 vac. My Tek scope verified. I did the math conversion.
I figured whatever reading I got would be a bench mark as the loco was running fine and the system was.new
Rich

On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 1:41 PM, Rop Honnor <robbie.honnor@...> wrote:

The accuracy of an AC volts reading when monitoring a DCC potential depends largely upon the sampling rate of your meter.

As stated DCC waveform is square format bi-polar not sinusoidal which is what an AC volts meter uses as its algorithm, therefore the higher the sampling frequency the more chance there is of an accurate DCC reading.

My three (cheapish) meters show a scatter of around +/- 5 volts measuring DCC on the AC volts scale as compared to the reading I see on my PicoScope set up for DCC.

Best Regards,

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

Controlling HO DCC system

Lee Phillips

Can anyone tell me if you can control HO DCC using MTH PCS ?

Re: Controlling HO DCC system

wirefordcc

The MTH DCS system cannot control DCC locomotives.

Some MTH locomotives can be controlled either by MTH's DCS or DCC systems.  All the MTH locomotives I own are like that.

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC

Re: Controlling MTH DCS system

Gary Chudzinski

I have an S gauge MTH F-3A/B set. It has the latest DCS version The DCS system leaves a lot to be desired in terms of operating on my NCE DCC system Layout! Many of the functions operate differently and often the locos do not move when first turned on until I reinitiate the consist function, even though the audio and lights operate. There is a significant incompatibility that I doubt will ever be resolved. Some friends have stripped the DCS decoders, in favor of DCC decoders, from their HO and S locos. MTH detailing, however, is very nice in both scales!
Gary Chudzinski

Re: Controlling MTH DCS system

Richard Gagnon

That has been a common discussinion for some time in the Trains.com forums. Not very compatible.

Rich

On Monday, May 27, 2019, 7:43 PM, Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:

I have an S gauge MTH F-3A/B set.  It has the latest DCS version The DCS system leaves a lot to be desired in terms of operating on my NCE DCC system Layout!  Many of the functions operate differently and often the locos do not move when first turned on  until I reinitiate the consist function, even though the audio and lights operate.  There is a significant incompatibility that I doubt will ever be resolved.  Some friends have stripped the DCS decoders, in favor of DCC decoders, from their HO and S locos.  MTH detailing, however, is very nice in both scales!
Gary Chudzinski

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

Mark Cartwright

No
Apparently however - it is the other way around, with the ESU ECoS.

I discovered that some DCC Decoders will not fully function even on their own brand (Digitrax to Digitrax Zephyr vs Chief) as some CV's are interpreted differently, but could work effectively that is equally with the ESU ECoS.
====
Now it's  time to tell me this can't possibly be, as all DCC Systems created under the Banner of the NMRA were created equally so.
Q' Pla !
:)) Mark

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

Don Vollrath

The 'banner' of the NMRA governs only the DCC signaling interchange to the track and a few particular CVs for normal but minimal operation. From there each manufacturer is free to invent and define what the plethora of other possible CVs actually do and how. So it is not surprising that one needs to carefully read and understand the manual for each brand and type of decoder to determine how to get it to function like you want. Ditto with the variety of DCC control systems. Some are more versatile or limited than others. But your command station and programming method still needs to work in concert with the design of the decoder. DecoderPro exists to help make it somewhat convenient and sense of it all.

DonV

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

PennsyNut

Back in the dark ages, our USGovt chose to force the auto mfgrs to standadise the shift quadrant on auto trans to put neutral between drive and reverse. Do you remember that? Well, the NMRA made a feeble attempt to standardize DCC. But the mfgrs apparently think they have better ways of doing things. IMHO I don't see why they do! What is wrong with setting reasonable standards so that we, the poor people (and I refer to the majority of modellers) can purchase a command station and a decoder and expect them to work together. It's bad enough that the decoders are different, but now we have DCS from MTH and it is sole proprietary. Heck even the 3-railers have Lionel and MTH also. And all we have to do is: Refuse to buy MTH. And they will get the message. If their sales drop, who know what they might do? Maybe go away! This business of forcing us to purchase additional equipment to change CV's? Need a booster to change some. Sorry for my rant.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

Lee Phillips

I agree 100%
Shame the computer people don't get it either
Lee

On Thu, May 30, 2019 at 11:25 AM PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:
Back in the dark ages, our USGovt chose to force the auto mfgrs to standadise the shift quadrant on auto trans to put neutral between drive and reverse. Do you remember that? Well, the NMRA made a feeble attempt to standardize DCC. But the mfgrs apparently think they have better ways of doing things. IMHO I don't see why they do! What is wrong with setting reasonable standards so that we, the poor people (and I refer to the majority of modellers) can purchase a command station and a decoder and expect them to work together. It's bad enough that the decoders are different, but now we have DCS from MTH and it is sole proprietary. Heck even the 3-railers have Lionel and MTH also. And all we have to do is: Refuse to buy MTH. And they will get the message. If their sales drop, who know what they might do? Maybe go away! This business of forcing us to purchase additional equipment to change CV's? Need a booster to change some. Sorry for my rant.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

whmvd

THing is, development doesn't happen in a way that helps your view of it. There isn't a standards body that sets standards, after which everyone starts building the same stuff. What happens is that stuff gets developed, and the standards body comes in afterwards looking at raising the best and most consistent practices to a standard, but: the non-standard stuff already exists, ie being sold, and can be very good. Just not compatible.

You are very right in manufacturers getting the message whenb people vote with their wallet. Problem is, a lot of those votes come in before the customers are well enough informed to buy what's best for them.

Ah, economics. You can't beat economics, but sometimes you might want to.
Wouter

On Thu, 30 May 2019 at 16:25, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:
Back in the dark ages, our USGovt chose to force the auto mfgrs to standadise the shift quadrant on auto trans to put neutral between drive and reverse. Do you remember that? Well, the NMRA made a feeble attempt to standardize DCC. But the mfgrs apparently think they have better ways of doing things. IMHO I don't see why they do! What is wrong with setting reasonable standards so that we, the poor people (and I refer to the majority of modellers) can purchase a command station and a decoder and expect them to work together. It's bad enough that the decoders are different, but now we have DCS from MTH and it is sole proprietary. Heck even the 3-railers have Lionel and MTH also. And all we have to do is: Refuse to buy MTH. And they will get the message. If their sales drop, who know what they might do? Maybe go away! This business of forcing us to purchase additional equipment to change CV's? Need a booster to change some. Sorry for my rant.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Controlling HO DCC system MTH ?

Mark Cartwright

Morgan and all....

Listen to this carefully about people going off in many directions.
and NOT being Focused.
====
Apple was like this circa 1997 with Open Doc...a program which was NEEDED for a Macintosh 9500 computer to get onto the internet... but it didn't work. I know > I stupidly took a On Line History Class which I could not complete....Cause of Open Doc not being compatible with JAVA.
But I digress...
What the NMRA essentially did with DCC is Non Sequitur.
Yes, a Volunteer Organization which did set BASE Standards of Handshaking Code.
Then by allowing the many manufacturers to develop their own proprietary codes...put the DCC (American) Market in disarray...

They created Committees which don't actually talk to one another.
This is NOT the first time the NMRA has done this.
Read down to Question #5 .....
http://www.railwayeng.com/rrhints.htm

Two Committees which for political reasons were allowed bad management.
Here's the video...Trying to speed match a train while being shackled to two other guys.
======
Which has been good for me ...Cause I buy defunct/failed layouts often at 10 cents to the MSRP+ Dollar.
Instead use for example BNSF or UP specifications and give a look see to the European World of DCC.
My apologies, if this seems like a Discussion...but I felt an answer to all these woes should be spoken.
:)) Mark

================================
I created a NOMAD Headquarters Building for my N Scale Layout....Based on this Model
The National Organization of Modelers and Ardained Designers. (NOMAD)
Cause...The way you guys write about some of these guys, you would think they are ordained by God.
Are you Ordained (Ardained)?
But I know for a fact some John Armstrong designs maybe good at O Scale but they don't work in the confines of N Scale.,
There are some decoders in this world...Which simply do not work on any DCC System even their own to the praises their Advertising Department bestowed upon them.
But i no longer care...I standardized with ESU.

Betwixt and Between Layout - I have seen the Elephant

Mark Cartwright

Hello all...
I uploaded my Combination Layouts which together I have named the Betwixt And Between for I am also in an attempt to join them, using two Lionel Bascule Bridges, re-detailed to N Scale.
The Twin Bridges I have named the 23 Skidoo Street Bridge, as each one is approximately 23 inches long (and as it is an exit to two layouts which join together)
23 skidoo (sometimes 23 skiddoo) is an American slang phrase popularized during the early 20th century. It generally refers to leaving quickly, being forced to leave quickly by someone else, or taking advantage of a propitious opportunity to leave, that is, "getting [out] while the getting's good."
====
No, I am not sure how to wire them for DCC...???

Probably two simple Districts, joined at the operating twin Bridges which do lower and raise.

Getting them to line up however...?
Well, I m working on it by adding a second motor/drive gear assembly to each bridge.
====
The wire for now is 12 Gauge Copper Stranded, twisted by me of two separate wires to match Kato Color Coding.
White with a Blue Spiral / Blue with a White Spiral.
The Stockton N Articulated Freight and Urban (SNAFU aka SNAP-Fooey) is being constructed with Soldered Kato Unitrack to 30" Long Sections, each section has a soldered in drop down lead to the main buss line.
====
The Freight Urban Basic Articulated Railway (FUBAR) is beyond the recognition of most N Scalers as for how it only has in it's design two #9 or larger turnouts (Maybe as large as #15's) as its not based on any recognizable layout design... Except in Feet rather than Inches. Instead of a N Scale Layout of 25 x 35 inches, this one is to fit in a space of 25 x 35 feet; where many an O Scaler would set a layout
> . I spent 10 years in an attempt to create a 30/40+ x 50/60+ inch Coffee Table Layout, based on a John Armstrong Design #209
He may have been a hell of an O Scaler but as for N Scale ?
Those things equal to themselves and to each other.... Euclid.
His Layout did NOT work for Passenger Service, even the venerable Con Cor Kato PA-1's.
His Design ? with a lot of tweaking And Re-Design could I get it to work for two axle switchers.
Then I began again and yet again...
Two years ago....I bought yet again another Failed Layout for \$300 which had receipts totally over \$3000. And in the box....The old N Scale Layout Design book from 1971 with Design #209 clearly dog eared and marked.
=======
Then nearly to that same time....
My last layout would NOT work for Long (Articulated) Steam Locomotives.
=======
So..excuse the Rebellion but these new to me layouts are not based on ....
Recognizable Attributes or Specifications of the many or any Model Railroad Groups, Societies, Associations or Clubs.
They are beyond the recognition and mindset of most model railroaders of today.
=====
1959?
My first successful layout was at the age of 6 years old...Cause I had the help of a Western Pacific Brakeman. My parents, my Father a Longshoreman, also had many friends who were employed by the Southern Pacific or Santa Fe. They would make their Martini's and come down to the basement to watch my Trains Run. This was an HO Scale Layout on a 5x9 Table. After Drinks...they together would lift my Layout to expose the Ping Pong Table below. That layout was moved in 1963, (to a dusty bat ridden garage) and I can't rightfully say I have had a 100% Successful Layout since.
===========
Voltage?
I am no sure...The ESU ECoS is adjustable upwards of 21 volts.
The Distance of the overall track? > Hundreds of feet.
Amperage ?
Again I do not know.
The ESU ECoS as I have come to believe begins at 5 amps but is highly adjustable with boosters and even augmented Other DCC Systems. So a District can be individually powered and Controlled? Again I am not 100% sure
====
With each Bridge Raised...
Can I control each District (FUBAR/SNAFU) Separately with two separate ESU ECoS Main Controllers or two lesser controllers such as a Dynamis and Navigator and leave overall command to the Color ECoS ?
Though I have Two Digitrax Systems and Two MRC DCC Controllers, I do not plan on using either one. I am also standardizing all my DCC Decoders with a Zero Tolerance Play Well Together (with ECoS) or Get Expelled from School addendum to my layout.
(Yes, I have been a Teacher in these modern days.)
So.....
> I no longer care to invite anyone who may have their own MRC or Digitrax Hand Held to my layout.
Instead I will be writing in the controls from he ESU Navigator and Bachmann Dynamis eventually via the ESU Sniffer
I also own two ESU ECoS..one Color and One Black and White.
Using them for now as separate controllers as I construct each layout towards the 23 Skidoo Street Bridge.
When the Twin Bridges are lowered....?
I may not need for them to connect; but rather have the bridge shunted. as a Betwixt and Between in an Active Y circuit.
I may need to refer to my Electrical Engineering friends in Aeronautics for this one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topology_(electrical_circuits)
===========
There are many more ...
Basically articulated but beyond the recognition of most model railroaders concepts/issues withe this combined layout.
However...I have been wanting to run a Cab Forwards on My Layout since 1955, when I was 2 years old.
Yes, I have seen the Elephant.
I am going to recreate that memory in N Scale.
I plan on detailing one of my Nakamura's with not only DCC and Sound but also with smoke and steam; yet successfully run it upon my layout without a
Glitch, Bitch,  or Ditch...
(I nearly went HO when I bought such a model in BLI - but I don't have the room for an HO Scale Twin Bascule Bridge.)
====================
No Decoder Resets, No stalling or having to crawl upon the table to push my trains along and NEVER have it Derail.
:)) Mark

You are never given a wish without the power to also make it true...You may have to work for it however.
== Book of Illusions/Messiah's Handbook - Richard Bach

PS....Lighted Fire Box too with a light which flickers. I have a reworked Bachmann which has one now.
I am bona fide... I got hit by a train
http://explore.museumca.org/goldrush/fever11.html
I don't care for I have seen a Cab Forwards in operation.

Re: Betwixt and Between Layout - I have seen the Elephant

Don Vollrath

Mark,
Are the two bascule bridges joined together when closed at a center pier?  If so that would be an ideal place to use a centering pin on one side and a V shaped mating part on the other to ensure mechanical rail alignment as the bridges close. Make the V shape mechanism alignment adjustable as a precision and tight fitting is required, particularly for N scale.

Either way... If a train is wanted to traverse the boundaries between two supposedly separate layouts without any DCC electrical interference or interruption, both layouts and the bridge tracks themselves between layouts must be running in DCC sync. This means that somehow the DCC control signaling on both layout halves must be the same whenever the bridge(s) are closed. You could use ONE central DCC controller to operate both layout halves. Each layout then simply becomes a separate 'booster district'. No electrical issues at all. You can use relays or switches to temporarily turn DCC power boosters to one layout side or the other OFF when wanted for servicing. Take your pick of controller brands and models.

As discussed earlier if you insist on using two separate DCC controllers, with separate boosters,  it may be possible to use a relay to flip the DCC layout power source to the bridge tracks from one DCC layout side to the other as a loco travels over the bridge. [Requires which-way direction logic info] But remember to coordinate the loco address and speed setting between to the two DCC controllers to prevent loss of loco control. However, all instantaneous settings must be the same on each layout for a smooth transition. A central computer (or a single DCC controller operating both layout sides) can be used to do that. Re-read the simple solution above.

One alternative is to jump to direct radio controls with DCC power on the rails. See RailPro by RingEngineering. https://www.ringengineering.com/RailProVideosPage.htm These units steal loco operating power from the rails and can be used simultaneously with DCC. However each RailPro loco moving over and between separate DCC layouts is essentially radio controlled by 'their' operating box. Somewhat impressive but of course works with only their equipment. An interesting way to swap cars between layouts. Not sure how to power bridge tracks and not cause interference with DCC power boosters on each end. Re-read the self imposed complications above. Not sure how RailPro receiver/decoders will fit into N scale.

Another alternative would be to skip DCC altogether and use DC. But again the adjustable DC voltage on each side as well as that on the bridge tracks must be the same voltage and polarity for a smooth transition. All of the older DC layout track district/section and controller/throttle issues will still be there.

DonV

Re: Betwixt and Between Layout - I have seen the Elephant

Mark Cartwright

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 01:21 PM, Don Vollrath wrote:
Don,
Thank you for responding....

Are the two bascule bridges joined together when closed at a center pier?

No not yet > But I have considered it; as I believe it may have once been a possibility in Northern California due to the way current were on our many inland rivers prior to 1932, when they began in earnest to dig them deeper for Sea Going International Shipping. As I understand mud would swing from one side of a river to the other side...So having a Pier in the middle with two Bascule Bridges to either side...Depending on how the mud moved?
Yes a possibility.
===
To wit a Swing Bridge was installed by the Central Pacific in Sacramento, as they built up their peer there. The location is very near the California Railroad Museum of Today.
====
So...
Another possibility and actual probability is to also have a Lionel Swing Bridge on a interchangeable plank which is to swing out of the cabinetry. A variation on the 23 Skidoo Street Bridge.
A railway line is to come off a tall Helix, cross under a stairway and then meet at 23 Skidoo.
======================
Not sure you noticed but the trackage for each layout is basically a simple single oval which with no turnouts. Then the Tracks simply meet over The Bridge with double track and continues to the next single oval.
The whole array is simply one large circular track.
I am basically in a State of Rebellion over our whole hobby as Toy Like, Blithe and Un-Operational...
Plus, there are moments when I feel either guilty or saddened even anxious that I have purchased so many defunct/Failed layouts. I am determined that this one functions at 100% even without a single Double Crossover.

:)) Mark

Eventually I will do a Bunker/Hitler Parody/Rant about  Specifications and toy trains with plastic wheels.  Everybody who still crawls over the top of their layouts to push their toy trains along...Please leave the Room !
http://www.secretcitytravel.com/berlin-march-2014/albert-speer-nazi-architect-berlin.shtml
Their model of Germania has always seemed to me to be N or perhaps Z Scale.'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germania_(city)

Re: Betwixt and Between Layout - I have seen the Elephant

Don Vollrath

Mark,
If "the trackage for each layout is basically a simple single oval which with no turnouts. Then the Tracks simply meet over The Bridge with double track and continues to the next single oval.  The whole array is simply one large circular track" as you say... It makes more sense than ever to take the simple route of using ONE command station and two separate booster districts, or even a single booster and several circuit breaker power districts. Use twisted pair feeder bus wiring and RC filter/snubbers along the way (every 30 ft or so) to minimize long run issues.

DonV, co-moderator.

Re: Betwixt and Between Layout - I have seen the Elephant

Mark Cartwright

On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 02:20 PM, Don Vollrath wrote:
RC filter/snubbers?

Thanks Don...

I have never yet used a RC Filter/snubber
and with a single ECoS eventually taking all over command....?
I am not sure even two districts are necessary but Yes, that is how they will be wired as they meet.
===
Eventually, I do plan on adding an ESU Booster directly to the primary ECoS Controller.
One to each district ?
I don't know yet.
===
For now...each ECoS is only controlling the trackage as I move towards the middle or 23 Skidoo Street Bridge.
However...and let me see if I can explain this without going off the rails...
but I am actually enjoying the use of two ECoS at the same time for a total of 4 Locomotives ON SCREEN at the same time.
When the track is joined....?
I may wish to continue such an array; with the ESU Sniffer.
:)) Mark

==========
But there is something else...
And ah...?
I am not so sure I should even mention it today....but I have been slowing moving at the Gallop of a horse in a Cavalry Charge towards a Clean, Well Lighted and Very Operational Layout.
That is the nice way to put it...
Before I seemingly go off on another rant...this time even against myself....I better shut up for now; but I am also considieing simply eliminating the 23 Skidoo Street Bridge, till I complete the entire loop and have it working 100% BEFORE I begin to allow myself to add any possible trouble spots.

Re: K.I.S.S.

PennsyNut

I sincerely want to thank each and everyone that responds. Just so we all enjoy this wonderful hobby. As for CV's, I always advise to stick with the basics. Why bother with CV29 until you actually need it. I program 4 digit loco numbers all the time with the simple method. And I firmly believe that newbies need only CV 3,4,5,6 to get a loco running the way they want. CV 2 is optional. As are most of the other CV's. IMHO. And this may not be the last word. LOL
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Divide or not

andymsa2

hi all,

last night i installed my dcs240 after some initial issues it's working ok now. The issues was it was shutting down imeadiatly with 4 beeps indicating a short. There was no short the shutdown was caused by inrush current. I was surprised at this considering its able to provide at 8 amps, and the current demand is at half of the 8 amps available, I increased the short circuit shutdown time which resolved this, the supply power is the ps2012 so this is up to the job and the current draw is around 4.5 amps which will increase. I should add the dcs240 only powers my signals which are digital and als provides power for the electronics of the accessory decoders. A DC supply provides power for attached accessories.

now I have given an explanation of how I got to this question, I am wondering should I drive the dcs240 to near to at least 3/4 of its full power output, I have wondered if to divided this power with my old dcs100 in booster mode of course.

i look forward to your thoughts

andy

Re: Divide or not

Mark Gurries

Inrush current has no numerical value because there are a lot of variables..  But in all cases, it will exceed the current draw of just about any booster made.  The question is how long does it draw this current.  If it exceeds the rating of the booster longer than it shutdown timer will allow, the booster will shutdown.

This problem is no new.  This same EXACT problem happened when sound decoders made their appearance.  The more sound decoder were added to the layout, the worse the inrush current go until the booster could not support it and shutdown.

Today most DCC circuit breakers are design to deal with the high inrush current problem when there is a short circuit.  Recovery problem solved.

To your question, should you drive the DC240 harder.   I understand that changing shutdown increased the inrush capability, but Digitrax has no specification.  This is the same question as “ How many more sound locomotive can I add to my layout".   Every time you add another signal controller, the inrush will go up some amount as you need to charge the capacitors on each additional signal board.  As you keep adding more, at some point your problem that you just solved will reappear.  So it is not how much steady state current draw you can you push, it how much inrush current can the booster support.  There is no valid answer because there is no specification nor DCC standard for inrush in which one can use figure the answer out.

On Jun 9, 2019, at 11:51 AM, andymsa2 via Groups.Io <Andymsa2@...> wrote:

hi all,

last night i installed my dcs240 after some initial issues it's working ok now. The issues was it was shutting down imeadiatly with 4 beeps indicating a short. There was no short the shutdown was caused by inrush current. I was surprised at this considering its able to provide at 8 amps, and the current demand is at half of the 8 amps available, I increased the short circuit shutdown time which resolved this, the supply power is the ps2012 so this is up to the job and the current draw is around 4.5 amps which will increase. I should add the dcs240 only powers my signals which are digital and als provides power for the electronics of the accessory decoders. A DC supply provides power for attached accessories.

now I have given an explanation of how I got to this question, I am wondering should I drive the dcs240 to near to at least 3/4 of its full power output, I have wondered if to divided this power with my old dcs100 in booster mode of course.

i look forward to your thoughts

andy

Best Regards,

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