Date   
Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Mark Gurries
 

The first DCC system (Command 2000) used a old versions of DCC programming and did not have a programming track output.  All the others are OK.  

There have had some bugs but all brands of DCC system have that from time to time.  They are fixable.

Most of the issue seen are related to the MRC decoders themselves rather than the MRC DCC systems.

The only well known programming issue with MRC system is they do not support the free and popular Decoder Pro programming program that support all decoders of very brand and make.  You must use MRC proprietary software which is much more limited.


On Dec 29, 2013, at 4:37 AM, B K wrote:



I’ll see what I can do.

I read somewhere that the MRC system doesn’t always play well with others, meaning it can’t always program other make decoders.  
 
 
Thanks
 
Bill K.
 


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
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Best Regards,

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



Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Flash Gordon
 

I still use the MRC Command 2000's. Actually two of them with a splitter. (I know you laugh) but It works well and I have not had any problems programming the newer decoders and the older MRC decoders. I also agree the problem with MRC is the decoders. And the poorly written documentation.

Ed S

At 04:26 PM 12/29/2013, you wrote:


The first DCC system (Command 2000) used a old versions of DCC programming and did not have a programming track output. All the others are OK.

There have had some bugs but all brands of DCC system have that from time to time. They are fixable.

Most of the issue seen are related to the MRC decoders themselves rather than the MRC DCC systems.

The only well known programming issue with MRC system is they do not support the free and popular Decoder Pro programming program that support all decoders of very brand and make. You must use MRC proprietary software which is much more limited.

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Glenn
 

I have the Command 2000's as well. What I like most about them is the fact
you have simultaneous control of 3 locos, 5 if you have the walk around. No
need to toggle between them.

The only problem I have had with decoders is running the locos on an NCE
layout as I posted earlier.

My Command 2000's came with a resistor so you can connect to a programming
track. I just added a SPDT switch to change between the programming track
and the main.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Ed S
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2013 16:57
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: DCC locomotives won't run

I still use the MRC Command 2000's. Actually two of them with a
splitter. (I know you laugh) but It works well and I have not had any
problems programming the newer decoders and the older MRC
decoders. I also agree the problem with MRC is the decoders. And the
poorly written documentation.

Ed S


At 04:26 PM 12/29/2013, you wrote:


The first DCC system (Command 2000) used a old versions of DCC
programming and did not have a programming track output. All the
others are OK.

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Flash Gordon
 

Glenn,

Good to find another antique user. 

Like I said before I have two Command 2000 hooked to a MRC splitter and can program 20 addresses. I have a drawing in the group DCC4EVERYONE.

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/DCC4EVERYONE/photos/albums/1239566032/lightbox/1696254044


I also have a program track isolated from the main and a resistor with it.

Here is a site on how to build your own walk around throttles and other modifications to the 2000. He also shows a memory walk around.

http://members.shaw.ca/sask.rail/dcc/c2k-mods/c2k-mods4.html

The most difficult part is taking the 2000 apart, he has instruction there. I had to buy a special security driver bit.

I guess that is why I still use them, they are hackable and cheap enough to lose one now and then. I now have two bakcups.

Ed S




At 11:57 PM 12/29/2013, you wrote:
 

I have the Command 2000's as well. What I like most about them is the fact
you have simultaneous control of 3 locos, 5 if you have the walk around. No
need to toggle between them.

The only problem I have had with decoders is running the locos on an NCE
layout as I posted earlier.

My Command 2000's came with a resistor so you can connect to a programming
track. I just added a SPDT switch to change between the programming track
and the main.

Glenn

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

B K
 

Per Model Railroader’s forum the MRC Prodigy Express cannot read CV’s and my experience has been the same. 
 
 
Anyhow, I should have written all the steps down, I went down there and looked it over and after cleaning and setting up a programming track (!) I reset CV1 to 8 and CV19 to 0, neglected the CV29 change simply because I didn’t remember it by the time I got from the computer to the basement with everything turned on and the programming track set up (long story short, what was intended to be the programming track on this layout never got hooked up). 
 
Now, the engine light works again, on, off, forward, backward, but the engine will only run in reverse, and only with the light turned off.  If I turn the light on, it acts like a momentum brake and the engine slowly comes to a halt.  On the bright side, it does run smoothly in reverse. 
 
I believe the answer is a reset, I’ll try the exact steps posted before and if that doesn’t do it then it will be time to take it to someone who can read the CV’s back to reset it completely.
 
 
Thanks
 
Bill K.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4158 / Virus Database: 3615/6777 - Release Date: 10/24/13

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Mark Gurries
 

The product is advertised as being able to do reads on the Programming Track and I have not seen much discussion about not able to read on the MRC-DCC forum that specifically points to the express command station.

Are you saying you cannot read ANY decoder or just some decoders?

There are lots of reasons why a given command station cannot read a decoder especially if they are sound decoders.



On Dec 30, 2013, at 1:03 PM, B K wrote:



Per Model Railroader’s forum the MRC Prodigy Express cannot read CV’s and my experience has been the same. 
 
 
Anyhow, I should have written all the steps down, I went down there and looked it over and after cleaning and setting up a programming track (!) I reset CV1 to 8 and CV19 to 0, neglected the CV29 change simply because I didn’t remember it by the time I got from the computer to the basement with everything turned on and the programming track set up (long story short, what was intended to be the programming track on this layout never got hooked up). 
 
Now, the engine light works again, on, off, forward, backward, but the engine will only run in reverse, and only with the light turned off.  If I turn the light on, it acts like a momentum brake and the engine slowly comes to a halt.  On the bright side, it does run smoothly in reverse. 
 
I believe the answer is a reset, I’ll try the exact steps posted before and if that doesn’t do it then it will be time to take it to someone who can read the CV’s back to reset it completely.
 
 
Thanks
 
Bill K.


No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4158 / Virus Database: 3615/6777 - Release Date: 10/24/13


Best Regards,

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



Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Paul O
 

Mark, The Prodigy Express, as sold with the Express throttle, is not able to read CVs, set routes, use fast clock, use accessory decoder functions or set a universal consist.

  Adding a Prodigy Advance throttle enables all the above mentioned features, making it basically an Advance system except for the 1.6 Amp current rating.

 

Reading CVs (with Advance throttle) requires a program track booster.

 

Paul O

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mark Gurries
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2013 7:03 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: DCC locomotives won't run

 

 

The product is advertised as being able to do reads on the Programming Track and I have not seen much discussion about not able to read on the MRC-DCC forum that specifically points to the express command station.

 

Are you saying you cannot read ANY decoder or just some decoders?

 

There are lots of reasons why a given command station cannot read a decoder especially if they are sound decoders.

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Paul O
 

I meant to say: “Reading SOUND decoder CVs (with Advance throttle) requires a program track booster.”

Paul O

Re: DCC locomotives won't run

Mark Gurries
 

Right and it says that in the Prodigy Express manual that you need the Advanced Throttle to read CV's.   I assume the person has the correct throttle when stating he cannot read CV's.   OTherwise there are a lot of bad rumors going around about the Express that are really operators errors.

Needing a programming track booster is a common problem that effects many DCC systems and not just MRC.

So at face value, again I cannot find anything specifically that says the Express should have more problem than any other Prodigy MRC system.



On Dec 30, 2013, at 7:12 PM, Paul O wrote:



Mark, The Prodigy Express, as sold with the Express throttle, is not able to read CVs, set routes, use fast clock, use accessory decoder functions or set a universal consist.
  Adding a Prodigy Advance throttle enables all the above mentioned features, making it basically an Advance system except for the 1.6 Amp current rating.
 
Reading CVs (with Advance throttle) requires a program track booster.
 
Paul O
 
 
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mark Gurries
Sent: Monday, December 30, 2013 7:03 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: DCC locomotives won't run
 
 
The product is advertised as being able to do reads on the Programming Track and I have not seen much discussion about not able to read on the MRC-DCC forum that specifically points to the express command station.
 
Are you saying you cannot read ANY decoder or just some decoders?
 
There are lots of reasons why a given command station cannot read a decoder especially if they are sound decoders.



Best Regards,

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



Wiring Setup

John
 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J

Re: Wiring Setup

Flash Gordon
 

Johnny,

Welcome to the group. You are on the right track,... so to speak....

My input would be to do a little reading on the subject, much clearer that way, then you can ask  more questions.

There are a lot of sites with info. Here is a site I use all the time when I have a question:

This is part one on wiring:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track.htm

Part two:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/track_2.htm

Ed S






At 08:01 PM 1/1/2014, you wrote:
 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)

So would a Block Bus follow the lines meaning my power bus is pretty short? Any input would be welcome. Thanks...Johnny J

Re: Wiring Setup

Paul O
 

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say ‘detector’, are you meaning a device to detect a train in a block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in case of a short on one line?

 

If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to offer our suggestions. (Not that you’d have to follow them of course. J)

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup

 

 

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)


Re: Wiring Setup

John
 

Ed, Thanks for the links. I have just started reading but from what I have read so far this site will answer most of my questions. It's a great reference.

Re: Wiring Setup

John
 

I was in the NCE group and realized it probably wasn't the right place to be asking this question. There they had recommended using a detector like NCE's BD20 on the main bus,and stated the following advantages:

1. Total isolation of the track circuit and the signal circuit.
2. Generally easier installation.
3. Ability to have the coil remote from the electronics connected by
26awg phone patch panel wire.
4. NO VOLTAGE DROP due to the detector. So any undetected track, like
industry sidings have the same voltage as the mains.
5. Easier to retrofit a layout than the diode detectors.

They said it would detect a train in a train block. So since I'm only going to be running 2 to 3 trains at a time I'm thinking I wouldn't need this. How would a circuit breaker work in DCC? I'm very familiar with house wiring since my dad was an electrician.

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in a
block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in
case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track
plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to
offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO
gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet
long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders
usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then
feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not
sure what a Detector means)

Re: Wiring Setup

Mark Gurries
 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM

I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)
On Jan 1, 2014, at 9:55 PM, John wrote:
I was in the NCE group and realized it probably wasn't the right place to be asking this question. There they had recommended using a detector like NCE's BD20 on the main bus,and stated the following advantages:

1. Total isolation of the track circuit and the signal circuit.
2. Generally easier installation.
3. Ability to have the coil remote from the electronics connected by
26awg phone patch panel wire.
4. NO VOLTAGE DROP due to the detector. So any undetected track, like
industry sidings have the same voltage as the mains.
5. Easier to retrofit a layout than the diode detectors.

They said it would detect a train in a train block. So since I'm only going to be running 2 to 3 trains at a time I'm thinking I wouldn't need this.
You have not clearly stated what your desired intention is for the use of occupancy detection. To address the question about detectors, one must take a step back and ask why you need any detector at all. Normally people add detection to the layout because they want to add signaling to the layout or some subset of that such as setting up some working crossing gate animation. To be clear, there is NO DCC requirement that says you must install signals or animation. These are all options you can add if you desire.

If YES you need a track occupancy detectors and the track elecrtrically broken down in to signal blocks. One detector per signal block and each signal block should be longer than the train. Even if you are not ready right now to install the signal system, planning the layout wiring to support it is a good thing to do BEFORE you build your layout. Otherwise there will be a big rewiring later. Beware the cost of installing a signaling system can cost as much as the what you spent on the layout before you added signals. Cost is the biggest reason why it is not done most of the time. Of the types of occupancy detectors the monitor track current, there are two types. Diode based and transformer/coil based. The NCE occupancy detector mentioned is transformer/coil based. Compared to the diode base detector, the list provided is correct in terms of the advantage over the diode type.

If NO, there is no need for any occupancy detectors at all and the question about detectors can be dropped.

How would a circuit breaker work in DCC? I'm very familiar with house wiring since my dad was an electrician.
DCC circuit breaker work just like they name but have some additional features. At a minimum, they detect current draw above a set level and trip as in enter the off state. To understand the need for them is to first understand the problem they fix.

Like a DC PowerPack/Throttle, DCC booster shuts down when there is a short on the track. This is because all DC Powerpack and DCC boosters all have a circuit breaker function built in and it self resets itself when the short is removed. The current trip point is the same the DC throttle or booster current rating. With DC, this was not a big problem because there was only one DC Powerpack per train. Only one train was effected. However, with DCC the single booster is running multiple trains and when the booster trips due to a short, all power is lost and ALL of the trains stop running. If there is only one operator, it not so bad. But if you have lots of operators, the other that did not cause the short will not be happy for they must wait on the operator with the shorted train to fix the problem. With a global short, the biggest advantage of running multiple trains with DCC becomes it biggest detractor when you have more than one layout operator and running multiple trains.

The 2nd issue that pops up with multiple train running is that during the fixing of the short, the short will come and go and OTHER running train will start and stop in a jerky fashion potentially creating more derailments. This generates even more displeasure.

Like a house with its multiple circuit breaker protecting certain equipment or areas of the house, a short at a given outlet will not cause the entire house to lose power because the main breaker tripped. Likewise if you device the layout into what is called in the DCC word "Power Districts" created by DCC circuit breakers, you can control how much of the layout is effected by a given short.

The DCC circuit breaker worked because it is designed to shutdown BEFORE the booster does. Most DCC circuit breakers have a Auto-Reset feature turned on by default. In this mode, the DCC circuit breaker return power to the track once the short is removed. The key point is that if you choose you power districts carefully, everyone else can still be running trains while you fixing your own short. Everyone is happy other than guy fixing the short.....which most likely he cause by himself running against a turnout....a self inflicted wound.

So the need for DCC circuit breaker depends if you have
1) more than one person running you layout
2) the layout designed to allow multiple trains to run safely unattended.

If the answer is yes to any of the two question, then you can benefit from the use of DCC circuit breakers.

Keep in mind that most DCC circuit breakers are designed to be used with 4 to 5Amp boosters which are normally found on large layouts.

You should also again plan you layout wiring to support Power districts which by the way are not necessarily the same as signal blocks but have almost the same impact on the wiring design.

Best Regards,

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

Re: Wiring Setup

John
 

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can
be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in a
block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3 lines in
case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your track
plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would be happy to
offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire. My HO
gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and 15 feet
long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my track feeders
usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg). The block bus then
feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is where the detector sits. (Not
sure what a Detector means)

Re: Wiring Setup

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

I used Cadrail from Sandia Software and it worked well for me. Cadrail.com
DonV

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 8:02 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wiring Setup

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J

--- In WiringForDCC@..., "Paul O" <pomilian@...> wrote:

Welcome to DCC Johnny.

When you say 'detector', are you meaning a device to detect a train in
a block, or are you referring to a circuit breaker to isolate your 3
lines in case of a short on one line?



If you would upload a drawing (to the PHOTOS or FILES area) of your
track plan showing how you plan to do your blocks and busses we would
be happy to offer our suggestions. (Not that you'd have to follow them
of course. J)



Paul O



From: WiringForDCC@...
[mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 8:02 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Wiring Setup





I am a newbie to DCC and am trying to figure out the best way to wire.
My HO gauge set has 3 lines and a train yard. The lines are 36, 20 and
15 feet long. They go over and under each other so I've read that my
track feeders usually 22awg) would be fed by a block bus (say 18awg).
The block bus then feeds off the power bus (12-14awg) and this is
where the detector sits. (Not sure what a Detector means)



------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo Groups Links

Re: Wiring Setup

Bob Pombrio
 

Ok I know this is off topic but I am pulling out what little hair I have left.


Does anyone know of software that will help me design a control panel for my layout?  (It'd be extra nice if it could 'read' AnyRail plans)


Thanks,

Bob P.

Re: Wiring Setup

Scott H. Haycock
 

The previously mentioned CadRail works for this. While it won't read you plan, you can import it and trace over it. You can draw electrical circuits and wiring diagrams. Use it to layout a control panel, and print out a template to drill holes for switches and lights. It can print out a track plan for the track diagram on your panel. In short, anything you can draw on a drafting board you can draw in CadRail, and more. They have a trial version you can play with to see how it works. There is also a Yahoo group to help with the program.    



Scott Haycock
Modeling Tarheel country in the Land of Enchantm
ent


 


Ok I know this is off topic but I am pulling out what little hair I have left.


Does anyone know of software that will help me design a control panel for my layout?  (It'd be extra nice if it could 'read' AnyRail plans)


Thanks,

Bob P.



Re: Wiring Setup

Paul O
 

Johnny, I did a Google search with “model railroad track software” and came up with a number of hits.

Some are free, some are purchase.

 

The program I used was a freebee from Atlas called ‘Right Track’. It’s no longer available from their website.

I’ll send you a copy off-list.

 

Can’t give you any wiring tips without knowing the track plan.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 9:02 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Wiring Setup

 

 

Paul,
I only have my layout on a drawn form and it's very ugly. What digital program can
be used to draw the tracks? Input on how to layout the wiring would be extremely helpful. Johhny J