Topics

Automated 'Block' Entry

Brian Eiland
 

Don't know if I worded this correctly, but I am wondering if when a layout is operating in DCC, is there a method to automatically stop 2 trains from entering in a common loop of track?

For instance here is a layout plan I am working on. There are two individual loops of track on either side of the layout. And both of these loops of track utilize some portion of their track with that loop of track that goes all way around the circumference the shed.
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?40307-Help-Please-design-a-dbl-deck-layout-in-its-own-Hand-House-shed&p=455760#post455760


http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?40307-Help-Please-design-a-dbl-deck-layout-in-its-own-Hand-House-shed&p=456158#post456158




If I was running  3 trains at any one time (one each on the 2 individual loops, and one on the circumference track. Can I do this without have a train crash!

Can I block one of the 2 trains that might enter the 'common' track at a single moment?...automatically??
Brian

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/30266

dvollrath@...
 

Brian,

Automatic protection to prevent a following train from catching up to and crashing into a leading train is not as simple at it seems. One way is to split up the layout into separate sections or blocks of track, each with occupancy detection and power controlled by a series of relays that allow a particular block to be powered only when the block ahead is powered but not occupied. One must also have enough cars that are detected so that the relay scheme can tell when the train length spans over more than one block and/or the last car at the end of the train is positively detected. Essentially this means is that the block immediately behind the train must be unpowered... like a shadow... but only after the end of the train has passed. Another restriction is that each unpowered  'stopping block' must be long enough to always cause a fast moving following train to stop. A following train that has been stopped will get re-powered and resume forward travel after the track ahead becomes re-powered as the leading train moves on.


Removing track power causes abrupt stops. It is also possible to switch the power of 'stopping block' tracks to be asymmetrical DCC or pure DC so that the loco decoders cause a smoother stop.  


The issue gets more complicated if bi-direction of travel is permitted as the control scheme must know which direction the train(s) are traveling.


This subject has been discussed before. Search for it.


DonV

dvollrath@...
 

I new I had it somewhere. this was discussed in the NCE forum a couple of years ago.

I re-posted my proposed untested design in the files section of this forum.


DonV 

Brian Eiland
 

Somehow I knew it was NOT going to be simple...ha...ha.


 

[quote] I new I had it somewhere. this was discussed in the NCE forum a couple of years ago.

I re-posted my proposed untested design in the files section of this forum.
DonV [/quote]

I'm not familiar with how to find the 'files section' ?...Sorry

BTW, I worry more about a head on collision than a catching up situation.
Brian


dvollrath@...
 

Brian,

You need to be logged into the Yahoo! groups site to get to the optional headings at the top, not just reading e-mail type postings. Then select "Files" to get to the files list. In the MS tradition, individual files are far down that list below folders. I'll send the file to you via your e-mail address. 


Yes, opposing protection is similar but must rely on having the power-off 'shadow' leading the train with at least the next block unoccupied and powered so that your train can move ahead into that block when there is no opposition. Hadn't thought too much about it. It might be easier to somehow mimic the tumble-down action of bi-directional signaling to kill power for any train at an opposing entrance to single track blocks when that section becomes occupied by a train entering from the other end. it may be easier to simply kill power to the whole section of single way track to prevent a corn field meet. I can also see that running a train backwards with the engine at the rear may be far more difficult to handle.


DonV 

whmvd
 

DonV,

Killing power does not work as instantaneously as you might otherwise expect in case of keep-alive batteries! If there is, there's also momentum to consider.

What DCC lacks here, is the option for a computer to steal control from a user instantly and unconditionally. But that would open up a whole new can of worms...
Wouter

On 24 August 2017 at 20:54, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

Brian,

You need to be logged into the Yahoo! groups site to get to the optional headings at the top, not just reading e-mail type postings. Then select "Files" to get to the files list. In the MS tradition, individual files are far down that list below folders. I'll send the file to you via your e-mail address. 


Yes, opposing protection is similar but must rely on having the power-off 'shadow' leading the train with at least the next block unoccupied and powered so that your train can move ahead into that block when there is no opposition. Hadn't thought too much about it. It might be easier to somehow mimic the tumble-down action of bi-directional signaling to kill power for any train at an opposing entrance to single track blocks when that section becomes occupied by a train entering from the other end. it may be easier to simply kill power to the whole section of single way track to prevent a corn field meet. I can also see that running a train backwards with the engine at the rear may be far more difficult to handle.


DonV 


emrldsky
 

Hi Don,

Is it the file named “Auto Balloon Loop Control.pdf”?

That appears to switch the tortoise machines rather than controlling the power.



Peace,

Mike G.







Brian,

You need to be logged into the Yahoo! groups site to get to the optional headings at the top, not just reading e-mail type postings. Then select "Files" to get to the files list. In the MS tradition, individual files are far down that list below folders. I'll send the file to you via your e-mail address.



Yes, opposing protection is similar but must rely on having the power-off 'shadow' leading the train with at least the next block unoccupied and powered so that your train can move ahead into that block when there is no opposition. Hadn't thought too much about it. It might be easier to somehow mimic the tumble-down action of bi-directional signaling to kill power for any train at an opposing entrance to single track blocks when that section becomes occupied by a train entering from the other end. it may be easier to simply kill power to the whole section of single way track to prevent a corn field meet. I can also see that running a train backwards with the engine at the rear may be far more difficult to handle.



DonV





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Brian Eiland
 

Is this the site I need to be logged into?
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/site_map.htm

And I have no intention to run them backwards around this layout...ha...ha.
But I do think I worked out some 'blocks' that would work on my proposed
layout. Just have to work on it a bit more after I finalize a plan.


dvollrath@...
 


Log into https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WiringForDCC/conversations/messages

---In WiringForDCC@..., <railandsail@...> wrote :

Is this the site I need to be logged into?
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/site_map.htm

dvollrath@...
 


the filename is Following Protection Plan.docx

There are several other files with the poster's name of donevol.. that's me.
DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <azMikeG@...> wrote :

Hi Don,

Is it the file named “Auto Balloon Loop Control.pdf”?

That appears to switch the tortoise machines rather than controlling the power.



Peace,

Mike G. 

dvollrath@...
 

I agree Wouter. DCC only operation should be selected in CV29 such that absence of DCC commands being received (ie - DC rather than DCC on the track)  causes the decoder to decel to zero speed. the decel rate (momentum) and therefore the stopping distance  is programmable. So is the delay on recognizing there are no DCC commands being received. Every decoder brand may be different. Some work better than others.


There are always some conditions, limitations and exceptions that come into play when thinking about unsupervised automation. Ask the guys using a kill switch to protect an open bridge about using Keep-Alive :)


If all else fails use an operator/engineer per train that is always paying attention.


DonV



---In WiringForDCC@..., <vandoornw@...> wrote :

DonV,

Killing power does not work as instantaneously as you might otherwise expect in case of keep-alive batteries! If there is, there's also momentum to consider.

What DCC lacks here, is the option for a computer to steal control from a user instantly and unconditionally. But that would open up a whole new can of worms...
Wouter

Brian Eiland
 



On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??

AD
 


Is the wiring for dcc a separate yahoo group or is it part of the digitrax or jmri group.

If separate why did i start getting those emails without joining it

Tony




On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 



On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??

AD
 

Does anyone actually know wether you can or cannot automate trains on a layout without using the old technique to doing it for lionel trains which was to sense a train,usually by its weight, and throw relays which shout off the ac power to a block.

Can jmri do it via detection , such as bdl168 boards, and keeping tract of what engine is in what block so it can automatically send signals to decoders to control the following train from entering an occupied block.  Has anyone actually done it?  Is it doable?

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 



On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??

Jan Boen
 

Hi Tony,

Sure it is perfectly possible to automate a complete lay-out using DCC and JMRI (and other protocols) using a combination of block detectors eventually combined with Railcom+ etc.
Start simple though and make sure you understand what you're trying to do.
Don't run before you can walk and you will get there.
Having some understanding about electricity and electronics with a base in computer software will help a lot.
Download some of the JMRI clinics you can find on-line.
Consider using e.g. RR-Cirkits kit and you can count on Dick Bronson to advise you when and if needed.

Best regards,

Jan

On 25/08/2017 16:34, ANTHONY DALILEO bklyns_baseball_club@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
Does anyone actually know wether you can or cannot automate trains on a layout without using the old technique to doing it for lionel trains which was to sense a train,usually by its weight, and throw relays which shout off the ac power to a block.

Can jmri do it via detection , such as bdl168 boards, and keeping tract of what engine is in what block so it can automatically send signals to decoders to control the following train from entering an occupied block.  Has anyone actually done it?  Is it doable?

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 


On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??


AD
 

I am trying to understand what to do. I have read a bunch of stuff from jmri documentation but still have no understanding of how it will work or what to do. I am already connected via rockets interface and have tried the programming language. Someone must have programmed this but i have no idea where to find it. I have looked at everything available but still see no way to proceed.

What's railcom+ etc

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 11:47 AM, Jan Boen jan.boen@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 

Hi Tony,

Sure it is perfectly possible to automate a complete lay-out using DCC and JMRI (and other protocols) using a combination of block detectors eventually combined with Railcom+ etc.
Start simple though and make sure you understand what you're trying to do.
Don't run before you can walk and you will get there.
Having some understanding about electricity and electronics with a base in computer software will help a lot.
Download some of the JMRI clinics you can find on-line.
Consider using e.g. RR-Cirkits kit and you can count on Dick Bronson to advise you when and if needed.

Best regards,

Jan

On 25/08/2017 16:34, ANTHONY DALILEO bklyns_baseball_club@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
Does anyone actually know wether you can or cannot automate trains on a layout without using the old technique to doing it for lionel trains which was to sense a train,usually by its weight, and throw relays which shout off the ac power to a block.

Can jmri do it via detection , such as bdl168 boards, and keeping tract of what engine is in what block so it can automatically send signals to decoders to control the following train from entering an occupied block.  Has anyone actually done it?  Is it doable?

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 


On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??


Brian Eiland
 

This appears to be an interesting article, and well presented.
But its over my head, not being electrically inclined

https://www.jlcenterprises.net/pages/chapter-2-part-1


.


Jan Boen
 

Hi Tony,

It's impossible to tell you exactly what to do as that is completely depending on your set-up.
It starts by understanding what you have and what you want to do and start with  the basics.
Control your turn-outs, get block detection up and running once that is working go to automating series of turnouts and look at automated braking etc.
The end state will be defining trains and routes and have them run automatically but it will take you time to get into the subjects.
Block detection is dependent on what you want to do so you must have a plan...
Alas what you're venturing into is pretty technical and requires understanding and a plan.
It's not rocket science but unless you understand what you're doing you will end in a swamp and you get disillusioned and will drop it.
If you find a magic short cut to get to great results I will gladly learn from you :-)

Railcom = http://www.dccwiki.com/Term:Railcom and http://www.esu.eu/en/support/white-papers/railcomplusr/

Good luck,


Jan

On 25/08/2017 17:58, ANTHONY DALILEO bklyns_baseball_club@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
I am trying to understand what to do. I have read a bunch of stuff from jmri documentation but still have no understanding of how it will work or what to do. I am already connected via rockets interface and have tried the programming language. Someone must have programmed this but i have no idea where to find it. I have looked at everything available but still see no way to proceed.

What's railcom+ etc

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 11:47 AM, Jan Boen jan.boen@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 

Hi Tony,

Sure it is perfectly possible to automate a complete lay-out using DCC and JMRI (and other protocols) using a combination of block detectors eventually combined with Railcom+ etc.
Start simple though and make sure you understand what you're trying to do.
Don't run before you can walk and you will get there.
Having some understanding about electricity and electronics with a base in computer software will help a lot.
Download some of the JMRI clinics you can find on-line.
Consider using e.g. RR-Cirkits kit and you can count on Dick Bronson to advise you when and if needed.

Best regards,

Jan

On 25/08/2017 16:34, ANTHONY DALILEO bklyns_baseball_club@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
Does anyone actually know wether you can or cannot automate trains on a layout without using the old technique to doing it for lionel trains which was to sense a train,usually by its weight, and throw relays which shout off the ac power to a block.

Can jmri do it via detection , such as bdl168 boards, and keeping tract of what engine is in what block so it can automatically send signals to decoders to control the following train from entering an occupied block.  Has anyone actually done it?  Is it doable?

Tony


On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:00 AM, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 


On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
This Yahoo account(s) can be SO FRUSTRATING. Many a time it has asked me to log in (even while I thought I had it set up automatically)

So I go to log in and it gives me two choices, 1) add an account, or 2) log out of the account. Well how can I log out of the account if its not recognizing I am logged in?
The I choose the "add Account", and it ask for my email. It displays that email and I choose it. Then it tells me it does not recognize that email?
....round and round this freaking Yahoo site
Brian

PS: While I am venting can someone tell me WHY all crap at the bottom of all messages has to get REPEATED over and over again??



Jan Boen
 

Hi,

This article goes (to) deep into detail.
For your model rail road it should be enough to e.g. understand that in a typical 2-rail digital system a block detection circuit comes in 2 basic flavors:
1- A diode circuit that allows detecting current consumption by a loco or car which results in a certain voltage drop.
This type is very commonly found in the market and has the advantage it will also work with (analogue) DC systems but has the disadvantage of having a voltage drop which may result in loco's running slower or more current being used to compensate for the voltage drop to keep the loco running at the same speed.
2- A Current Transformer (CT-coil) based solution which does not introduce a voltage drop but is somewhat more expensive because it comes with CT-coils and it only works for digital systems
How both systems work internally is less important.
In both cases you need electrically separated blocks and in one of the feeding wires you have to insert the block detection. So it goes in series with the tracks.

Read a bit about voltage, current and resistance and familiarize yourself with series and parallel circuits at a very basic level and understand that a typical DCC (i.e. digital) systems uses alternating (i.e. positive and negative) current/voltage to operate as opposed to classical analogue systems which typically use DC (direct current/voltage).

This web site makes good reading http://www.wiringfordcc.com/intro2dcc.htm

Good luck,


Jan

On 25/08/2017 23:39, railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 
This appears to be an interesting article, and well presented.
But its over my head, not being electrically inclined

https://www.jlcenterprises.net/pages/chapter-2-part-1


.



.

Brian Eiland
 

Power Blocks to Prevent Collisions

 

You will find I have 3 loops of track on the lower level:
1) the one associated with the turntable area (in blue)
2) the one associated with the port area (in red)
3) the one that circles the entire perimeter of the layout when the removable bridge at the entrance is in place.

Both of the loops share some track with the perimeter track, so if one was trying to run trains on all 3 at the same time, there would have to be a way to block the outer loop train from moving into a section occupied by those loop trains. I've got a general idea of how to make it work, but I don't know the specifics on the electronics, etc Perhaps I'll do a 'color' presentation......back to that paint program.

As I said I have a 'perimeter loop' in addition to those 2 inner loops I high-lighted above. But both of them share some track with the perimeter loop.  If I had the lift-out bridge in place and desired to try and run 3 trains at the same time, I need some power blocking technics to prevent collisions. The way I see it is my 2 loop trains have the right-away over the perimeter train in all cases.

So I need to block power to the track sections marked here in gold whenever there is a train in the green sections of those loops.

                                                                        Power block for port loop

                                                                  

                                                                    Power block for turntable loop

 

I'm not really hot on the electronics of this, but isn't there a basic detector that would sense when a locomotive was in the green sectors of either of those inner loops, .....and then an 'interupter' to cut power in those gold sectors? In DCC mode wouldn't you only have to interupt one side of the main bus-line for those gold sectors??

Brian


On Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 8:56 AM, dvollrath@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 


the filename is Following Protection Plan.docx

There are several other files with the poster's name of donevol.. that's me.
DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <azMikeG@...> wrote :

Hi Don,

Is it the file named “Auto Balloon Loop Control.pdf”?

That appears to switch the tortoise machines rather than controlling the power.



Peace,

Mike G.