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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

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




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

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

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

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...

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...