Date   
Re: DCC Meters

Richard Gagnon
 

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.

How to set up locomotive

Lloyd Earnest
 

I have had my DCC set up for a couple of years. For the past year I I have been unable to do anything with it because of a health problem. I have the engines set up but can not remember how to put the numbers in the controller to run the train ūüöā. ¬†Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank yo

Re: How to set up locomotive

wirefordcc
 

LLoyd,

Who's DCC system do you have?

Allan

Re: How to set up locomotive

Lloyd Earnest
 

I have Digitrax

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  WiringForDCC.com 

        

 

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.

The advantage of having a resistive or locomotive head lamp load is it consumes the voltage ringing/spike by absorbing it.  Your presented with a much cleaner 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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDefT8Udck

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....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udyy2gQyNso
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

and Yes the answer.
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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okl8ESz01SY
======
If you follow NMRA specifications at 100%....Your layout will fail.
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

================================
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_R5fK73Eaw
I created a NOMAD Headquarters Building for my N Scale Layout....Based on this Model 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6214TMDJf4
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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psq_klf0kBo
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.

Please keep your not DCC related topic rants to a minimum.

DonV, co-moderator.