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Smail question


Bill Wilken
 

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?



wirefordcc
 

Hi Bill,

Can you take that 4th SMAIL and test it by itself on your bench or attach it to track that another SMAIL is attached and see if it works?  I'm wondering if you don't have the address in it that you think you do.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


David McBrayer
 

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------

On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:
My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?



--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


JoAnn Donaldson
 

My Layout is based on the NMR Magazine Red Oak Line. I subdivided it into 4 power groups using an PM42. Each group is isolated using insulated plastic rail joiners. My lay has two hidden tracks and two working tracks. This way if someone is assembling cars on the hidden track and accidentally shorts the tracks, it doesn't interfere with the running tracks. All four tracks show the same voltage level.  I have attached a drawing showing my layout. The Red marks are the insulated plastic rail joiners. I also including a picture of my Digitrax Control Setup. You can see the Wire Bundle come off the PM42 in the middle with two going to the front and two to the back of the layout.


Bill Wilken
 

Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




JoAnn Donaldson
 

Dave McBrayer,
     I hope you got my response to your request. I know the track layout is crude but it does represent my layout with the four Power districts.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:54:21 PM CST, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:


Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




David McBrayer
 

JoAnn,

I have not seen your drawing; not embedded in a message, nor in the 'Photos' folder for this group.

--Dave McBrayer

On 02/09/2021 8:45 AM, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io wrote:
Dave McBrayer,
     I hope you got my response to your request. I know the track layout is crude but it does represent my layout with the four Power districts.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:54:21 PM CST, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:


Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


David McBrayer
 

Bill,

I'm not clear on what you mean by 'thin braded' and 'non-thin braded' wire.  The terms are not familiar to me.  I am familiar with the terms 'stranded' and 'solid' as descriptions for the nature of the conductor in an insulated wire.  However, unless you have a 'large' layout 14 gauge (AWG) wire is usually okay. 

--Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA  USA
---------

On 02/08/2021 3:54 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:
Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


Bill Wilken
 


Stranded it is.


On Tue, 2021-02-09 at 09:41 -0800, David McBrayer wrote:

Bill,

I'm not clear on what you mean by 'thin braded' and 'non-thin braded' wire.  The terms are not familiar to me.  I am familiar with the terms 'stranded' and 'solid' as descriptions for the nature of the conductor in an insulated wire.  However, unless you have a 'large' layout 14 gauge (AWG) wire is usually okay. 

--Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA  USA
---------
On 02/08/2021 3:54 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:


My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?





JoAnn Donaldson
 

I will repost it. Thanks

JoAnn Donaldson

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 11:16:11 AM CST, David McBrayer <d_mcbrayer@...> wrote:


JoAnn,

I have not seen your drawing; not embedded in a message, nor in the 'Photos' folder for this group.

--Dave McBrayer

On 02/09/2021 8:45 AM, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io wrote:
Dave McBrayer,
     I hope you got my response to your request. I know the track layout is crude but it does represent my layout with the four Power districts.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:54:21 PM CST, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:


Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


JoAnn Donaldson
 



I am building my version of the NMR Magazine Red Oak Line. I am using a PM42 to split the layout into four Power Sections. The Red dashes show where I have plastic Rail Joiners to separate the four districts.

JoAnn Donaldson
Dallas, TX 

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 6:07:06 PM CST, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io <joannplano2005@...> wrote:


I will repost it. Thanks

JoAnn Donaldson

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 11:16:11 AM CST, David McBrayer <d_mcbrayer@...> wrote:


JoAnn,

I have not seen your drawing; not embedded in a message, nor in the 'Photos' folder for this group.

--Dave McBrayer

On 02/09/2021 8:45 AM, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io wrote:
Dave McBrayer,
     I hope you got my response to your request. I know the track layout is crude but it does represent my layout with the four Power districts.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:54:21 PM CST, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:


Dave,

Thanks for your response.  I hate to admit it, but after looking very closely at my wiring, I discovered that I had inadvertantly grabbed the wrong gauge wiring from my wiring bin when installing the main bus for the power district that was having the problem cited.  As you know, thin braded 12 gauge wire superficially bears close resemblance to non-thin braded 14 gauge wire.  While the 14 gauge wire that I had used is just too "skinny" to carry the DCC command signal to the Snail.  

BIll

On Sun, 2021-02-07 at 13:50 -0800, David McBrayer via groups.io wrote:

2 questions:

1) How big is your layout?   Perhaps post a drawing in your reply, to show location of the Command Station and routing of the Track Bus in each  power district.  Highlight 4th district.   Include you name and message subject ("Smail question") in the drawing.  If the Groups.io server strips the drawing from your message and puts it in the "Photos" folder it will be easier to find. 

2) How long is the Track Bus (Command Station to far end) in the 4th district? 

The above will help us directly help and spend less time on '20 Questions'. 

Cheers,
Dave McBrayer
--------------------
On 02/07/2021 12:31 PM, Bill Wilken wrote:

My railroad is divided into four power districts.  Track voltage is identical in all four districts.  Regardless of power district all locos respond properly to commands in each power district.  If I connect a Circuitron Smail to the track, then test #1 and #8 pins for voltage, the voltage at the pins is identical in all four power districts.  The Smail, moreover, responds properly to DCC commands in three power districts, but it will not respond in the fourth.  Does anyone have any idea what is going on?




--
Dave McBrayer
Castro Valley, CA 


Jim Betz
 

Joann,

  If you are running sound locos in HO or larger - be prepared for the PM42 to
not 'recover' from a short when you have more than one loco or a lighted
passenger train on the layout.  The PM42 was designed way back before
sound decoders were first available - and it has not been updated since!
                                                                                                                      - Jim


JoAnn Donaldson
 

I am not running sound locos. My layout is N Scale and all of my locos only have basic DCC in them. So far they run great. I have accidentally shorted one of the hidden tracks while my son was running a freight on the front side. The track that shorted was Power Segment #1 and he was running on Power Segment #2. I have used this DCC Power Pack and PM42 on three different N Scale layouts with NO problems.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:04:54 AM CST, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:


Joann,

  If you are running sound locos in HO or larger - be prepared for the PM42 to
not 'recover' from a short when you have more than one loco or a lighted
passenger train on the layout.  The PM42 was designed way back before
sound decoders were first available - and it has not been updated since!
                                                                                                                      - Jim


JoAnn Donaldson
 

I have uploaded two pictures under the Album "My Red Oak Line". One picture is my crude drawing of my N Scale Layout. The Red dashes are the where the insulated rail joiners are to create four Power Districts. The second photo is my Command Station setup and buss wiring.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 3:32:27 PM CST, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io <joannplano2005@...> wrote:


I am not running sound locos. My layout is N Scale and all of my locos only have basic DCC in them. So far they run great. I have accidentally shorted one of the hidden tracks while my son was running a freight on the front side. The track that shorted was Power Segment #1 and he was running on Power Segment #2. I have used this DCC Power Pack and PM42 on three different N Scale layouts with NO problems.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 11:04:54 AM CST, Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:


Joann,

  If you are running sound locos in HO or larger - be prepared for the PM42 to
not 'recover' from a short when you have more than one loco or a lighted
passenger train on the layout.  The PM42 was designed way back before
sound decoders were first available - and it has not been updated since!
                                                                                                                      - Jim