Date   
Address management for DCC device addresses

Gregory Latiak
 

I am just finishing up the physical wiring of my small Digitrax layout and am in the process of design/build for a control panel and signalling scheme. It hit me, while contemplating the rules for the signal addresses, that my layout is starting to look very much like a primitive network, like the early days of the Internet when one maintained and edited name/network address lists. Only with DCC there appears to be no management layer for the addresses or any logical name scheme either. But plenty of vendor-specific rules about address blocks and relationships.


While I recognize that for something like JMRI or Trainmaster to function all the addresses must be collected and embedded in its configuration. I refer of course to locos, stationary decoders for turnouts and other device control, signal systems and so forth.


Any software tools out there to help beyond yet another spreadsheet?


Thanks,


Greg Latiak

Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Greg,

Like the original railroads, it is up to the builder/user to keep it all straight. Organized documentation becomes more important with growth and changes. Since my personal RR has outlasted several versions of PCs, program apps and decoders I still use a master layout drawing showing all turnout and signal locations with their assigned addresses. Then there is also a master list of turnout, loco and signaling equipment addresses on an Excel spreadsheet with a back-up e-file and paper copy secured away for redundancy. Each turnout, loco and signaling device must have a unique address. Simply checking and updating the listings avoids duplication when changes or additions are made. Unfortunately all manufacturers seem to have their own way to make things work.

I use DecoderPro to manipulate and hold all decoder programming, including macros for an NCE command station.

I also use a spiral notebook or two to document ideas, sketches and notes in chronological order so that I can refer to them later. Having it all together in a notebook keeps key information together and organized. Pencils and pens still work.

 

DonV   

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:58 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Address management for DCC device addresses

 




I am just finishing up the physical wiring of my small Digitrax layout and am in the process of design/build for a control panel and signalling scheme. It hit me, while contemplating the rules for the signal addresses, that my layout is starting to look very much like a primitive network, like the early days of the Internet when one maintained and edited name/network address lists. Only with DCC there appears to be no management layer for the addresses or any logical name scheme either. But plenty of vendor-specific rules about address blocks and relationships.

 

While I recognize that for something like JMRI or Trainmaster to function all the addresses must be collected and embedded in its configuration. I refer of course to locos, stationary decoders for turnouts and other device control, signal systems and so forth.

 

Any software tools out there to help beyond yet another spreadsheet?

 

Thanks,

 

Greg Latiak




Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

jazzmanlj
 

It would be nice to see some examples from a beginners standpoint. This would save much time and effort is the learning curves to organize a fairly complex layout.


Len Jaskiewicz

Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

asychis@...
 

It would be nice to see some examples from a beginners standpoint. This would save much time and effort is the learning curves to organize a fairly complex layout.


Len Jaskiewicz
 
Len, what sort of examples are you looking for?  Over the last two years I seem to have been through almost every oddity and glitch that can happen when wiring a large layout.  It all comes together eventually, and it isn't a bad experience per se, but there is a lot of learning.
 
Jerry Michels
Amarillo Railroad Museum

Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

jazzmanlj
 

Hi Jerry,

It would be of benefit as to see how some people correlate physical names of stationery devices such as turnouts, signals and other devices to numeric addresses. I have a few ideas as to simplify it so one doesn't have to have pages of printed sheets in hand.

Seeing printed examples of other peoples could be of benefit.


Len Jaskiewicz

programing a decoder thats not in a loco

ksuwildcats2004@...
 

Can I use the two wires that would normally go to the programing track ,and hook them up  directly to pins 4 and 8 on a decoder to program a address? Thanks in advance Roger

Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

Gregory Latiak
 

Thanks, but I was well aware of the traditional solutions to these kinds of problems. That wasn't the question. The question was 'has anyone come up with a better solution to the management of device addresses on a DCC network?'. The answer clearly seems to be no and then some.

Having a background in facilities engineering and computer technology it seemed to be a logical question. Guess if there is to be an answer beyond paper and spreadsheets I will have to write it...

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco IMHO

Glenn
 

It would be better to acquire a wiring harness with an 8-pin female socket. The pre-wired socket makes for a safer connection that to try and keep (assuming) alligator clips from shorting to other pins on the decoder. Pre-wired socket are available, but buy what your DCC source has available. An 8-pin socket attached to a 9-pin plug can have the 9-pin plug cut off.

 

Baring that purchase an 8-pin socket and wire it yourself. http://www.ulrichmodels.biz/servlet/the-452/8-Pin-DCC-Plug/Detail

 

Attach the track wires to pins 4 (Black Wire) and 8 (Red Wire).

 

You will also need a load on Pins 1 (Orange Wire) and 5 (Gray Wire). For a load I use and old can motor with a spoked wheel attached to the shaft. The spokes wheel allows me to see if the motor is running.

 

You can also use the remaining wires with LED’s / Lamps attached to test those functions.

 

Glenn

 


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014 18:27
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] programing a decoder thats not in a loco

 



Can I use the two wires that would normally go to the programing track ,and hook them up  directly to pins 4 and 8 on a decoder to program a address? Thanks in advance Roger

Re: Address management for DCC device addresses

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Glen,
I don't see any "problem ". You need to explain what you mean by "management ". It doesn't take a sophisticated app to record what addresses are already in use so that the next guy can avoid duplication.

DonV

On Nov 16, 2014, at 12:00 PM, glatiak@...<mailto:glatiak@...> [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...<mailto:WiringForDCC@...>> wrote:



Thanks, but I was well aware of the traditional solutions to these kinds of problems. That wasn't the question. The question was 'has anyone come up with a better solution to the management of device addresses on a DCC network?'. The answer clearly seems to be no and then some.

Having a background in facilities engineering and computer technology it seemed to be a logical question. Guess if there is to be an answer beyond paper and spreadsheets I will have to write it...

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco IMHO

rog wro <ksuwildcats2004@...>
 

Thanks Glenn You kind of hit on what I was wondering about. Not sure if I needed some kind of load (motor) on the decoder for my sprog to be able to talk to the decoder. I am trying to program decoders that I have laying around.  I could open up a loco and put the decoder in it  but that  would take some time . I have a old kato circuit board that has the 8 pin socket on it. I cut away what I did not need and just left the traces on the board I needed. I just think it would be nice to be able to just plug in a decoder and program on the fly.Thanks Glenn



From: "'Glenn' ghazel@... [WiringForDCC]"
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2014 11:44 AM
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] programing a decoder thats not in a loco IMHO

 
It would be better to acquire a wiring harness with an 8-pin female socket. The pre-wired socket makes for a safer connection that to try and keep (assuming) alligator clips from shorting to other pins on the decoder. Pre-wired socket are available, but buy what your DCC source has available. An 8-pin socket attached to a 9-pin plug can have the 9-pin plug cut off.
 
Baring that purchase an 8-pin socket and wire it yourself. http://www.ulrichmodels.biz/servlet/the-452/8-Pin-DCC-Plug/Detail
 
Attach the track wires to pins 4 (Black Wire) and 8 (Red Wire).
 
You will also need a load on Pins 1 (Orange Wire) and 5 (Gray Wire). For a load I use and old can motor with a spoked wheel attached to the shaft. The spokes wheel allows me to see if the motor is running.
 
You can also use the remaining wires with LED’s / Lamps attached to test those functions.
 
Glenn
 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto: WiringForDCC@... ]
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014 18:27
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] programing a decoder thats not in a loco
 


Can I use the two wires that would normally go to the programing track ,and hook them up  directly to pins 4 and 8 on a decoder to program a address? Thanks in advance Roger


Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco IMHO

Richard Gagnon
 

I use a 100 ohm, 1/2 watt resistor.
You might like the below site.
Look at all his links. He is very active in DCC on the MRH site. He use to own Litchfield Station, a very good online DCC company.

Mr. DCC's University | Bruce Petrarca

Rich

 

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco

jazzmanlj
 

Using a resistor as a motor load is not a good idea and a no-no with some manufacturer. Best to use an old clunker chassis turned into a decoder test station.

Len Jaskiewicz

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco

Richard Gagnon
 

Many do it.
Give us the links you mention so we can all verify this data.

Rich

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco

dvollrath@...
 

Rich, If all you want to do is re-program the decoder address all you need to do is hook up pins 4 and 8 of the NMRA plug to the programming track (normally the black and red power pick-up wires). However, you cannot read the decoder without having a motor (or resistor load) also attached. You do not need to read the decoder in order to blindly program CVs on the programming track.

DonV.

Re: programing a decoder thats not in a loco

jazzmanlj
 

I use mostly ZIMO decoders and the no-no was through their USA distributor. A lot has to do with speed testing and back EMF that the decoder is looking for.  A resistor can't provide back EMF. I use an old chassis and have it set on test rollers. Since adjusting speed is part of the decoder programming why use a resistor? My logic.


Len Jaskiewicz

Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

PAUL RISELL
 

I am building a new layout that will be raised and lowered by using a hoist system in my garage. To lower the weight of the benchwork I used metal studs. Can I drill holes in the metal studs and run the buss wires through the studs. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

Re: Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

There should be no real issues as long as you use twisted pairs for the DCC busses and feeders and always run the wire pairs through the same hole in the metallic studs.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 3:23 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

 




I am building a new layout that will be raised and lowered by using a hoist system in my garage. To lower the weight of the benchwork I used metal studs. Can I drill holes in the metal studs and run the buss wires through the studs. Any help would greatly be appreciated.




Re: Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

Bob H <rehandjr@...>
 

Take care where the wire passes through the hole in the metal studs that the insulation does not wear off.  A grommet of some sort would be advised.

---- Original Message ----
From: "banjopaul2@... [WiringForDCC]" <WiringForDCC@...>
Sent: 11/17/2014 5:25:05 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

 

I am building a new layout that will be raised and lowered by using a hoist system in my garage. To lower the weight of the benchwork I used metal studs. Can I drill holes in the metal studs and run the buss wires through the studs. Any help would greatly be appreciated.


NOTE: This message was trained as non-spam. If this is wrong, please correct the training as soon as possible.
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Forget previous vote

Re: Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

john
 

Metal studs,
   I have never considered using metal studs. They have a wonderful strength / weight ratio and warpage shouldn't be a problem if it is braced. You may want to use the insulators and grommets that are commercially available because the cut out holes are usually sharp enough to cut meat, including fingers.
   How about keeping us informed on your progress, problems, and successes you have.


On Monday, November 17, 2014 5:27 PM, "'Vollrath, Don' dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC]" wrote:




There should be no real issues as long as you use twisted pairs for the DCC busses and feeders and always run the wire pairs through the same hole in the metallic studs.
DonV
 
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 3:23 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs
 



I am building a new layout that will be raised and lowered by using a hoist system in my garage. To lower the weight of the benchwork I used metal studs. Can I drill holes in the metal studs and run the buss wires through the studs. Any help would greatly be appreciated.







Re: Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

Glenn
 

I don’t know why, but an electrician was drilling holes through metal studs then inserting grommets even when running other wires through pre-punched holes. The wires he was running were small gauge, probably a sound system.

 

I had to ask. He said the pre-punched holes were “clean” while the drilled holes were ragged and could cut the insulation.

 

Glenn


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 17:28
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

 




There should be no real issues as long as you use twisted pairs for the DCC busses and feeders and always run the wire pairs through the same hole in the metallic studs.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 3:23 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Buss Wiring Through Metal Studs

 



I am building a new layout that will be raised and lowered by using a hoist system in my garage. To lower the weight of the benchwork I used metal studs. Can I drill holes in the metal studs and run the buss wires through the studs. Any help would greatly be appreciated.