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Re: [CMRI_Users] L&N CMRI Installation Weekly Report.

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  • Easeeinterface
    Hello Mr. Turner I will be glad to help. I am also sending the routine I use to test all the serial cards I ship to customers. If using a 9 pin serial port
    Message 1 of 14 , May 17, 2000
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      Hello Mr. Turner

      I will be glad to help. I am also sending the routine I use to test all the
      serial cards I ship to customers.

      If using a 9 pin serial port then pin 3 is the input, pin 2 is the output
      and pin 5 is ground
      If using a 25 pin rs232 connector. pin 2 is input 3 is output and 7 is
      ground. You need to have all grounds from the conmputer via the RS232 cable,
      the IOMB power supply and the +12, -12 supply grounds connected to properly
      talk with the USIC.
      The setting of the Dip switches
      USIC address 0 all switches toward bootom of card
      Baud rate select 9600 as shown in 2nd edition book
      The 2 programs are the output test and the wrap around test
      The wrap test allows you to test the input cards

      Dout card address 0 all switches down towards mother board.
      Using the routine supplied, you can select the Com port
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <tnturner1@...>
      To: <CMRI_Users@egroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 4:24 AM
      Subject: Re: [CMRI_Users] L&N CMRI Installation Weekly Report.


      > Hi group,
      > I promised you that I would keep you posted on our progress in installing
      the
      > system on Gary siegel's railroad. Don Hetfield and I travel to Gary's
      each
      > Tuesday evening to work on the CMRI installation so these reports will
      most
      > likely be weekly as well.
      >
      > Tonight we attempted to get 'das blinkink lights' to work. We were met
      with
      > mixed success. As Doug Geiger mentioned in his article in Model
      Railroading
      > this month, we found that getting the computer to talk to the first CMRI
      node
      > was indeed a major challenge. We were able to successfully complete the
      > power test to our two USIC boards last week, but tonight was the first
      time
      > we actually tried to get them to converse. The unknowns were these.
      Gary's
      > 486 computer did not come with a built in serial port so the computer
      manual
      > was no help in identifying the pinouts. We were able to find the book for
      > the third party after-market board that was installed and made educated
      > guesses as to the pin-outs to connect to the three wires to the RS232 to
      RS422
      > conversion board. We were not even sure that the secondary RS232
      connector
      > that we had found was even connected to anything inside the computer.
      Next
      > in the unknown list we didn't know what com-port we should specify nor how
      to
      > specify it if we did. We didn't know what baud rate or any of the other
      > protocols for the serial connector as none were specified in the extremely
      > brief pamphlet that had come with the third party board.
      >
      > At the other end of the wire, we did not know, for sure that we had the
      > address correct in the USIC address dip switch but we guesses that it's
      > address would be 0, or all switches off. The 8 switch dip that sets the
      baud
      > rate didn't seem to affect anything that we did as we would try selecting
      > various rates.
      > We installed one of the DOUT (Digital out) boards into the mother board
      with
      > it's 6-switch dip switches all set to off.
      >
      > We hooked up the USIC node to our power supply, plugged in the RS232 plug
      > into the back of the computer, plugged the RS422 twisted pairs wires to
      the
      > USIC board and powered up the computer and the USIC node. After loading
      the
      > basic software we received lots of errors from the program telling us that
      > variables were already defined and that several referenced subroutines
      were
      > not available.
      >
      > After several failed attempts to merge the programs together, we wrote our
      > own using Bruce's book as the guide. We only wrote the initial part of
      the
      > program that says hi to the USIC system. Not the packet building
      portions.
      >
      > this turned out to be a great thing as the very next time we ran the
      program,
      > we were greeted with a blinking light telling us that the USIC board was
      > receiving data from the computer via the conversion board. Yea! High five
      > time. This ment that the serial port we were using was connected inside
      the
      > computer and that we were identifying it correctly in our program code
      > (COM2). Our cable must have also been installed correctly using the
      correct
      > pinouts. The wiring through the conversion card must be correct and the
      > conversion card appears to be functioning correctly. Yea, again. We were
      > all grins.
      >
      > We decided to go for the next level of success and see if we could test
      the
      > output capability of the DOUT card. We installed the output portion of
      the
      > software into the program we were using and checked that the DOUT test
      board
      > (the one with all the leds) was installed correctly. we ran the program
      and
      > found that not a single led would light. We tried for another hour and a
      > half to get any of the leds on the test board to light but without
      success.
      > We tried every baud rate on the USIC card. We tried changing the USIC
      > address from 0 to other numbers. We double and triple checked our
      > connections. We replaced the DOUT board with two other completed boards
      and
      > we replaced the USIC board itself with no change in the result. Still no
      > reaction on the 24 leds on the test board.
      >
      > We finally called it a night and congradulated ourselves on the small
      success
      > that we had had earlier and resolved that we would study the books over
      the
      > next week and see if we couldn't get it to work next Tuesday.
      >
      > Our biggest unknown at this point is how the dip switches on the DOUT card
      > are determined. The fact that they must be correct is stressed no less
      that
      > three times in the USIC book, but we could find no mention of how they
      > should be set. Likewise, we are not positive that the dip switches on the
      > USIC board are set correctly either, but we think we have them correctly
      set.
      > Gary has most of the hard wiring done for the optomized detectors ready to
      > go, so as soon as we can get the thing to talk to the computer, we will
      > quickly perform functional tests on all of the boards and begin hooking
      the
      > system to the wall behind the CTC panel as well as the second node in the
      > middle of the railroad that will run the detection, signals and turnouts
      in
      > the middle of the railroad.
      >
      > We are so eager to get to that point that we can almost taste it. I'm
      sure
      > that those of you who succesfully passes the interface step have felt that
      > same joy.
      >
      > Well, that's about all for this week. I'll write again next week and let
      you
      > know how it went. If any of you know what we are doing wrong or have an
      idea
      > about how we should procede next, please email me. I'd love the
      suggestions
      > as we exhausted everything that we could think of trying tonight before we
      > quit.
      >
      > Your stymied CMRI pal,
      > Tom Turner
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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      >


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      M(" @)TQ/3U @5$E,3"!'150@4U1!4E0@3T8@5$535 T*(" @(" @("!'3U-5
      M0B!.,S(P(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G4D5#14E612!)3E!55"!"
      M651%($%3(%5324,@041$4D534PT*(" @(" @("!)1B!!0D]25$E.(#T@,2!4
      M2$5.($=/5$\@3C$P-S!2#0H@(" @(" @($E"(#T@24(@+2 V-2 @(" @(" @
      M(" @(" @(" @(" @("=354)44D%#5"!/1D93150@1D]2($%$1%)%4U,@0TA%
      M0TL-"B @(" @(" @248@24(@/#X@54$@5$A%3B!04DE.5" B15)23U(@4D5#
      M14E6140@0D%$(%5!(CH@1T]43R!.,3 Q, T*(" @(" @("!'3U-50B!.,S(P
      M(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G4D5#14E612!)3E!55"!"651%($%3
      M(%(-"B @(" @(" @248@04)/4E1)3B ](#$@5$A%3B!'3U1/($XQ,#<P4@T*
      M(" @(" @("!)1B!)0B \/B X,B!42$5.(%!224Y4(")%4E)/4B!214-%259%
      M1"!.3U0@/2!2(CH@1T]43R!.,3 Q, T*(" @(" @("!&3U(@22 ](#$@5$\@
      M3DD@(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G3$]/4"!42%)/54=(($Y534)%4B!/1B!)
      M3E!55"!03U)44PT*(" @(" @(" @1T]354(@3C,R," @(" @(" @(" @(" @
      M(" @(" @(" G4D5#14E612!)3E!55"!"651%#0H@(" @(" @("!)1B!!0D]2
      M5$E.(#T@,2!42$5.($=/5$\@3C$P-S!2#0H@(" @(" @("!)1B!)0B ](#(@
      M5$A%3B!04DE.5" B15)23U(Z($Y/($1,12!!2$5!1"!/1B R(CH@1T]43R!.
      M,3 Q, T*(" @(" @(" @248@24(@/2 S(%1(14X@4%))3E0@(D524D]2.B!.
      M3R!$3$4@04A%040@3T8@,R(Z($=/5$\@3C$P,3 -"B @(" @(" @($E&($E"
      M(#T@,38@5$A%3B!'3U-50B!.,S(P(" @(" @)T1,12!33R!.15A4($)95$4@
      M4D5!1 T*(" @(" @(" @24(H22D@/2!)0B @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @
      M(" G4U1/4D4@040@5D%,240@1$%402!"651%#0H@(" @(" @($Y%6%0@20T*
      M(" @(" @("!'3U-50B!.,S(P(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G4D5#
      M14E612!)3E!55"!"651%($%3($5.1"U/1BU415A4#0H@(" @(" @($E&($%"
      M3U)424X@/2 Q(%1(14X@1T]43R!.,3 W,%(-"B @(" @(" @248@24(@/#X@
      M,R!42$5.(%!224Y4(")%4E)/4CH@1518($Y/5"!04D]015),62!214-%259%
      M1"(-"DXQ,#<P4CH@4D5455).#0H-"B @(" @(%)%32HJ24Y)5$E!3$E:051)
      M3TXJ*@T*3C$X,3 Z("!/550@4$$@*R S+" Q,C@@(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @
      M)U154DX@0U(@0DE4(#<@3TX@5$\@04-#15-3($)!540@4D%410T*(" @(" @
      M("!/550@4$$L(#$R(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @)U-%5"!,4R!,051#
      M2"!&3U(@.38P,"!"055$(%)!5$4-"B @(" @(" @3U54(%!!("L@,2P@," @
      M(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @("=3150@35,@3$%40T@@1D]2(#DV,# @0D%51"!2
      M051%#0H@(" @(" @($]55"!002 K(#,L(#,@(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G
      M4T54(%50($9/4B X($1!5$$@0DE44R!!3D0@,2!35$]0($))5 T*(" @(" @
      M("!-5" ](#<S(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @)TU%4U-!1T4@5%E0
      M12 ]("))(@T*(" @(" @("!/0B@Q*2 ](#<X(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @
      M(" @)T-20R!315154"!.3U0@55-%1" ](").(@T*(" @(" @("!/0B@R*2 ]
      M($E.5"A$3" O(#(U-BD@(" @(" @(" @)U-%5"!54TE#($1%3$%9($A)1T@@
      M3U)$15(@0EE410T*(" @(" @("!/0B@S*2 ]($1,("T@*$]"*#(I("H@,C4V
      M*2 @(" @)U-%5"!54TE#($1%3$%9($Q/5R!/4D1%4B!"651%#0H@(" @(" @
      M($]"*#0I(#T@3E,@(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G3E5-0D52($]&($-!
      M4D0@4T544R!/1B T#0H@(" @(" @($Q-(#T@-" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @
      M(" @(" @(" G15-404),25-(($Q%3D=42"!/1B!-15-304=%#0H@(" @(" @
      M($9/4B!)(#T@,2!43R!.4R @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G3$]/4"!42%)/54=(
      M($Y534)%4B!/1B!#05)$(%-%5%,-"B @(" @(" @($Q-(#T@3$T@*R Q(" @
      M(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @("=!34U5355,051%($U%4U-!1T4@3$5.1U1(#0H@
      M(" @(" @("!/0BA,32D@/2!#5"A)*2 @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" G1$5&24Y%
      M($-!4D0@5%E012!!4E)!60T*(" @(" @("!.15A4($D-"B @(" @(" @1T]3
      M54(@3C0Q," @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @("=&3U)-(%!!0TM%5"!!3D0@4T5.
      M1 T*(" @(" @("!,32 ]($Y/(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @(" @)TE.251)
      M04Q)6D4@3$5.1U1(($U%4U-!1T4@1D]2(")4(B!465!%#0H@(" @(" @(%)%
      M5%523@T*#0H-"@T*(" @(" -"B @(" @#0H@(" @( T*(" @(" -"B @(" @
      (#0H-"@T*#0H`
      `
      end
    • John Shankland
      ... Then the second card is the first switch on the right up, third card, 2 up, 4th card 1 and 2 up etc. There is a chart in the book somewhere. Keep those
      Message 2 of 14 , May 19, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        >
        > Dout card address 0 all switches down towards mother board.

        Then the second card is the first switch on the right up, third card, 2 up,
        4th card 1 and 2 up etc. There is a chart in the book somewhere.

        Keep those reports coming in, it is very interesting.

        John Shankland
      • tnturner1@aol.com
        In a message dated 5/19/00 4:52:42 AM, you wrote:
        Message 3 of 14 , May 19, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          In a message dated 5/19/00 4:52:42 AM, you wrote:

          <<
          >
          > Dout card address 0 all switches down towards mother board.

          Then the second card is the first switch on the right up, third card, 2 up,
          4th card 1 and 2 up etc. There is a chart in the book somewhere.

          Keep those reports coming in, it is very interesting.

          John Shankland
          >>

          I got it, John
          Thanks! I'll report how it went.
          Tom
        • Tom Turner
          Hi group, Well, I m not excited to report our progress last night, because we almost didn t have any, but here goes. First I must tell you that I picked up a
          Message 4 of 14 , May 24, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi group,
            Well, I'm not excited to report our progress last night, because we almost
            didn't have any, but here goes.

            First I must tell you that I picked up a second elelectronics engineer-type
            person to assist Don and I in this installation. His name is Brad and he
            is retired from a local aerospace firm. He happened to be attending the
            Daylight Division Meet that I ran a few weeks ago, wherein I did a clinic
            on what the CMRI was and how I was planning to use it on Gary's railroad.
            He didn't volunteer then but when my office-mate across the hall at work
            introduced him as a "model railroad nut like you", we talked for quite a
            while and I ended up accepting his eager offer to come and see if he could
            help. Accepting his offer was the easiest thing I did all day.

            So, Last night I picked up Brad and Don and drove to Gary's place. Gary
            was busy throwing and blowing green fluff at the side of a freshly painted
            foam mountain, so we went in to continue our CMRI activities in the crew
            lounge.

            We started by pluging the RS232 to RS422 interface board back into the SCSI
            port on the back of the computer and checking the cabling to the USIC board
            on the IOMB (Input/Output Mother Board). We then installed the Output
            (DOUT) card and installed the DOUT card check program that I had received
            from Easee on this list last week. Easee uses this program to check their
            production DOUT cards before they are shipped out to customers. It was
            very straight-forward and seemed to us to be much simpler to use than the
            more complex program that came with the 2nd edition.

            It took only a few moments to get the program running and find that the
            elfs had not done their job. The situation was the same as we had left it.
            The USIC was receiving input from the interface but no blinking LEDs on the
            DOUT test board. To make a long story short, we proceded to try everything
            we could think of that it might be the problem and ultimately went back to
            square one. The EEs were checking the schematics to double check the logic
            in the connections and I was double checking all of the cabling and boards.


            I found that an installer can easily become confused regarding pinouts on
            the SCSI port. In some of my supporting documentation, I found statements
            that the "IN" pin was Pin 2 on the 25 pin SCSI plug, I found later that
            they were talking about the pin that ultimately should be connected to the
            "IN" terminal post on the RS232 to 422 interface board, which, of course,
            would make it the "OUT" pin on the SCSI port. For true neophytes like
            myself, it would greatly help if knowledgible people would try to remember
            to be specific in this area and describe the connection more throughly
            like, "Connect the computer's "OUT" pin, (pin 2 on the 25-pin connector or
            pin X on a 9-pin connector) to the "IN" terminal post on the RS232/422
            interface card." This would have saved us some time. The saving clue was
            the drawing that Bruce had provided in his volume. We were then able to
            correct and verify the cabling but, sigh, it still didn't work.

            As I followed each piece of the puzzle and compared each board to the
            others, I found that the DOUT that we were using to test with had been
            assembled with the address DIP switch installed upside down. I pulled the
            board and found that this was the only board out of ten that had this
            problem. After installing the replacement board, we found that there was
            no improvement. Sigh.

            We had already tried another USIC board with no change and replaced the
            DOUT card so the only other variable was the mother board which we had
            ignored because of its simplicity as being a possible source of the problem.

            Iasked my EE (Electrical Engineers) about the resistors on the IO mother
            board and if any of them could be in the wrong places. They checked the
            board against the assy instructions in the book and found them to be
            correct. PAUSE: If this was a mystery show, I could pause the movie and
            tell you that you had enough information at this point to solve our
            problem. Did any of you sharpies out there pick up on the problem? Be
            honest now! No cheating and reading ahead.

            I checked the other two IOMBs that were planned for the other two nodes and
            found, whoa, no resistors on the other two. Ding, the lights went on.
            Gary had gotten some of his boards from another modeler who had a few extra
            boards and after checking some more I realized that resistors had been
            removed from one of the other IOMBs. I surmised that this IOMB was one of
            the 2nd hand boards that had must have originally been in a parallel system
            which required the resistors for the parallel interface. The distributed
            USIC serial system didn't need them and after swapping the IOMBs, we found
            that, YEEEEAAAAAAA!, the LEDs started blinking in their prescribed, movie
            marquee fashion with the computer's direction. High fives all 'round.

            As it was 11:15 PST we elected to call it quits before checking the other
            DOUT and signal boards. Don took the connectors to make up out wrap-around
            fixture for next week when we will test all of the DOUT, DIGOUT and DIN
            boards and hopefully start actual CTC connections.

            As I completed the evening, I realized how helpful the D"OUT test program
            and the other information had been that I had received over the past week
            from John, Easee and others on the CMRI list, responding to my last weeks'
            report. Due to this experience, I would like to suggest one more
            instruction to the two volumes of information and instructions that Dr.
            Chubb has published in his two volumes. That instruction would be, "Get
            yourself onto the CMRI internet list and don't be too bashful about
            speaking up."

            ';Til next week, keep the smoke inside the wires and your hand off the hot
            end of the soldering gun.

            Tom

            Tom N. Turner
            Asst. Superintendent
            L&N, EK Division,
            Santa Barbara, CA.
          • Easeeinterface
            HI Tom Sorry aboutt not being clear that pin 2 goes to the input and vice versa. Glad that all is working. I should also have added that if the +5 volt switch
            Message 5 of 14 , May 24, 2000
            • 0 Attachment
              HI Tom

              Sorry aboutt not being clear that pin 2 goes to the input and vice versa.
              Glad that all is working. I should also have added that if the +5 volt
              switch line is not active, then no outputs would work and that may have been
              the case with the other motherboard that you were using. Please feel free to
              contact me if you need help with any other problems. Also be sure to have
              the fix listed in the users manual for talking to more than one USIC using
              the serial approach.

              Don Wood
              Easee Interfaces.
              PS you did good!
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Tom Turner" <tturner@...>
              To: <CMRI_Users@egroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 2:03 PM
              Subject: RE: [CMRI_Users] L&N CMRI Installation Weekly Report.


              > Hi group,
              > Well, I'm not excited to report our progress last night, because we almost
              > didn't have any, but here goes.
              >
              > First I must tell you that I picked up a second elelectronics
              engineer-type
              > person to assist Don and I in this installation. His name is Brad and he
              > is retired from a local aerospace firm. He happened to be attending the
              > Daylight Division Meet that I ran a few weeks ago, wherein I did a clinic
              > on what the CMRI was and how I was planning to use it on Gary's railroad.
              > He didn't volunteer then but when my office-mate across the hall at work
              > introduced him as a "model railroad nut like you", we talked for quite a
              > while and I ended up accepting his eager offer to come and see if he could
              > help. Accepting his offer was the easiest thing I did all day.
              >
              > So, Last night I picked up Brad and Don and drove to Gary's place. Gary
              > was busy throwing and blowing green fluff at the side of a freshly painted
              > foam mountain, so we went in to continue our CMRI activities in the crew
              > lounge.
              >
              > We started by pluging the RS232 to RS422 interface board back into the
              SCSI
              > port on the back of the computer and checking the cabling to the USIC
              board
              > on the IOMB (Input/Output Mother Board). We then installed the Output
              > (DOUT) card and installed the DOUT card check program that I had received
              > from Easee on this list last week. Easee uses this program to check their
              > production DOUT cards before they are shipped out to customers. It was
              > very straight-forward and seemed to us to be much simpler to use than the
              > more complex program that came with the 2nd edition.
              >
              > It took only a few moments to get the program running and find that the
              > elfs had not done their job. The situation was the same as we had left
              it.
              > The USIC was receiving input from the interface but no blinking LEDs on
              the
              > DOUT test board. To make a long story short, we proceded to try
              everything
              > we could think of that it might be the problem and ultimately went back to
              > square one. The EEs were checking the schematics to double check the
              logic
              > in the connections and I was double checking all of the cabling and
              boards.
              >
              >
              > I found that an installer can easily become confused regarding pinouts on
              > the SCSI port. In some of my supporting documentation, I found statements
              > that the "IN" pin was Pin 2 on the 25 pin SCSI plug, I found later that
              > they were talking about the pin that ultimately should be connected to the
              > "IN" terminal post on the RS232 to 422 interface board, which, of course,
              > would make it the "OUT" pin on the SCSI port. For true neophytes like
              > myself, it would greatly help if knowledgible people would try to remember
              > to be specific in this area and describe the connection more throughly
              > like, "Connect the computer's "OUT" pin, (pin 2 on the 25-pin connector or
              > pin X on a 9-pin connector) to the "IN" terminal post on the RS232/422
              > interface card." This would have saved us some time. The saving clue was
              > the drawing that Bruce had provided in his volume. We were then able to
              > correct and verify the cabling but, sigh, it still didn't work.
              >
              > As I followed each piece of the puzzle and compared each board to the
              > others, I found that the DOUT that we were using to test with had been
              > assembled with the address DIP switch installed upside down. I pulled the
              > board and found that this was the only board out of ten that had this
              > problem. After installing the replacement board, we found that there was
              > no improvement. Sigh.
              >
              > We had already tried another USIC board with no change and replaced the
              > DOUT card so the only other variable was the mother board which we had
              > ignored because of its simplicity as being a possible source of the
              problem.
              >
              > Iasked my EE (Electrical Engineers) about the resistors on the IO mother
              > board and if any of them could be in the wrong places. They checked the
              > board against the assy instructions in the book and found them to be
              > correct. PAUSE: If this was a mystery show, I could pause the movie and
              > tell you that you had enough information at this point to solve our
              > problem. Did any of you sharpies out there pick up on the problem? Be
              > honest now! No cheating and reading ahead.
              >
              > I checked the other two IOMBs that were planned for the other two nodes
              and
              > found, whoa, no resistors on the other two. Ding, the lights went on.
              > Gary had gotten some of his boards from another modeler who had a few
              extra
              > boards and after checking some more I realized that resistors had been
              > removed from one of the other IOMBs. I surmised that this IOMB was one of
              > the 2nd hand boards that had must have originally been in a parallel
              system
              > which required the resistors for the parallel interface. The distributed
              > USIC serial system didn't need them and after swapping the IOMBs, we found
              > that, YEEEEAAAAAAA!, the LEDs started blinking in their prescribed, movie
              > marquee fashion with the computer's direction. High fives all 'round.
              >
              > As it was 11:15 PST we elected to call it quits before checking the other
              > DOUT and signal boards. Don took the connectors to make up out
              wrap-around
              > fixture for next week when we will test all of the DOUT, DIGOUT and DIN
              > boards and hopefully start actual CTC connections.
              >
              > As I completed the evening, I realized how helpful the D"OUT test program
              > and the other information had been that I had received over the past week
              > from John, Easee and others on the CMRI list, responding to my last weeks'
              > report. Due to this experience, I would like to suggest one more
              > instruction to the two volumes of information and instructions that Dr.
              > Chubb has published in his two volumes. That instruction would be, "Get
              > yourself onto the CMRI internet list and don't be too bashful about
              > speaking up."
              >
              > ';Til next week, keep the smoke inside the wires and your hand off the hot
              > end of the soldering gun.
              >
              > Tom
              >
              > Tom N. Turner
              > Asst. Superintendent
              > L&N, EK Division,
              > Santa Barbara, CA.
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > Find long lost high school friends:
              > http://click.egroups.com/1/4056/10/_/652168/_/959191403/
              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > Community email addresses:
              > Post message: CMRI_Users@onelist.com
              > Subscribe: CMRI_Users-subscribe@onelist.com
              > Unsubscribe: CMRI_Users-unsubscribe@onelist.com
              > List owner: CMRI_Users-owner@onelist.com
              >
              > Shortcut URL to this page:
              > http://www.onelist.com/community/CMRI_Users
              >
              >
            • Tom Turner
              ... Please don t give it a thought, Don. I wasn t even going to mention it, but decided to at the last minute, as it is an easy mistake for a neophyte (and
              Message 6 of 14 , May 24, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                >HI Tom
                >
                >Sorry aboutt not being clear that pin 2 goes to the input and vice versa.
                >Glad that all is working. I should also have added that if the +5 volt
                >switch line is not active, then no outputs would work and that may have been
                >the case with the other motherboard that you were using. Please feel free to
                >contact me if you need help with any other problems. Also be sure to have
                >the fix listed in the users manual for talking to more than one USIC using
                >the serial approach.
                >
                >Don Wood
                >Easee Interfaces.
                >PS you did good!


                Please don't give it a thought, Don. I wasn't even going to mention it,
                but decided to at the last minute, as it is an easy mistake for a neophyte
                (and two EEs) to to make and the vagueness of the pin references occurs in
                the books as well. Your program saved us tons of effort and worked much
                better and needed far less fuss than the one Bruce included in the back of
                the book.

                I did have a few small questions about the code. Bruce says to use 5000 as
                the time factor whereas your code set the variable to 10. After we finally
                got the leds to fire, we tried both 10 and 5000 and it really didn't seem
                to matter either way. What purpose does that value provide?

                We tried changing that variable because the 24 leds were not firing at even
                intervals and after two or three passes, it started to skip leds
                irregularly. One pass it would seem to skip the leds for say outputs
                12,13,14 and 22 and the next pass it might skip 18 and 19 and the next pass
                it might skip only led 7. We attributed this to a timing matter and tried
                to adjust the 10/5000 variable without success. Is the skipping of random
                leds no big deal, as we are assuming, or do we have a bigger problem here
                that we are not aware of?

                We also tried 4800 baud with no change.

                Our SCSI connector is plugged into the COM2 port, which we noticed is
                selectable in your program as is the baud rate. We selected COM2 and 9600
                baud but after we ran the program a few times we exited the program (to
                check the pinouts) and when we ran a diagnostics check on the COM ports,
                found that COM2 was still set to 4800. COM1 was set at 9600 (which is
                where it started), so I wondered if your program set all of the parameters
                of COM2, like we requested or did it slip back to COM1? Or does it just
                revert after running the basic program? We set it manually to 9600 using
                the diagnostic package, so it didn't cause us any difficulty, I just
                wondered.

                I am anticipating two big issues for which I have not yet resolved answers.
                I'm sure that there will be lots of them before I am done, but these will
                get in my face within the next two weeks.
                The first is... In numerous places in both volumes, Bruce states that each
                USIC can drive up to 64 I/O boards. However, the mother board only has
                slots for 12. I need a few more slots added to the node at the CTC panel
                on Gary's railroad. How can I attach more mother board slots to the first
                node, with its IOMB, USIC and 12 other DOUTs and DINs?

                Second Question... Has everyone resolved what is the best way to put
                resistance onto the wheelsets of the freight cars? I have heard of
                resistance paint, conductive paint with surface mount resistors, resistors
                with their leads stuck through small holes drilled through the sides of the
                metal wheelsets.
                Gary and I agree that we would like to detect every car, if possible, He
                has lots of them. Does replacing just one plastic truck on a car with a
                similar-sized metal tired wheelset work? Do you have to change all 4
                wheelsets to get reliable car operation and avoid derailments and all that
                stuff? Do most people use a variety of methods depending upon the type of
                car? ? ? ?

                If there is a simple, cheap, robust way of adding resistance, I would be
                most eager to hear about it. Maybe that would be a good question to stir
                the list up a little. I'll bet that there are several opinions on what is
                the best way.

                Well, I'd better let you go. Thanks again for the help.
                Tom

                Tom N. Turner
                Asst. Superintendent
                L&N, EK Division,
                Santa Barbara, CA.
              • John Shankland
                Also be ... I checked the other two IOMBs that were planned for the other two nodes and found, whoa, no resistors on the other two. Ding, the lights went on.
                Message 7 of 14 , May 24, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  Also be
                  > sure to have
                  > >the fix listed in the users manual for talking to more than one
                  > USIC using
                  > >the serial approach.
                  > >
                  > >Don Wood
                  > >Easee Interfaces.
                  > >PS you did good!


                  I checked the other two IOMBs that were planned for the other two nodes and
                  found, whoa, no resistors on the other two. Ding, the lights went on.
                  Gary had gotten some of his boards from another modeler who had a few extra
                  boards and after checking some more I realized that resistors had been
                  removed from one of the other IOMBs. I surmised that this IOMB was one of
                  the 2nd hand boards that had must have originally been in a parallel system
                  which required the resistors for the parallel interface. The distributed
                  USIC serial system didn't need them and after swapping the IOMBs, we found
                  that, YEEEEAAAAAAA!, the LEDs started blinking in their prescribed, movie
                  marquee fashion with the computer's direction. High fives all 'round.



                  Don and Tom,

                  I am confused, my motherboard has the resistors. Don, are they required?

                  I was under the impression that the boards without the resistors were for
                  the extensions, as in running one usic with more than 12 boards.








                  I did have a few small questions about the code. Bruce says to
                  > use 5000 as
                  > the time factor whereas your code set the variable to 10. After
                  > we finally
                  > got the leds to fire, we tried both 10 and 5000 and it really didn't seem
                  > to matter either way. What purpose does that value provide?


                  After I had several boards running I cut the variable down to 10. I still
                  use a small delay in the program execution. the purpose is that the usic
                  doesn't overrun the cards.



                  >
                  > We also tried 4800 baud with no change.
                  >
                  > Our SCSI connector is plugged into the COM2 port, which we noticed is
                  > selectable in your program as is the baud rate. We selected
                  > COM2 and 9600
                  > baud but after we ran the program a few times we exited the program (to
                  > check the pinouts) and when we ran a diagnostics check on the COM ports,
                  > found that COM2 was still set to 4800. COM1 was set at 9600 (which is
                  > where it started), so I wondered if your program set all of the parameters
                  > of COM2, like we requested or did it slip back to COM1? Or does it just
                  > revert after running the basic program? We set it manually to 9600 using
                  > the diagnostic package, so it didn't cause us any difficulty, I just
                  > wondered.

                  I have notice this when using the mode command. I can set the port baud rate
                  but the next time I check it is back to the original setting. A friend of
                  mine told me that he thought the port accepted the software command and
                  operated at that speed not the default speed.

                  I am running 3 rail AC with all metal wheel sets so I can't help you with
                  the resistance question.

                  John
                • David Gibbons
                  Tom, ... that each ... has ... panel ... the first ... You wire up the next mother board in series with the first one. The following mother board(s) need no
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 24, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Tom,

                    I'll pitch in my 5 cents on a couple of your questions:

                    > The first is... In numerous places in both volumes, Bruce states
                    that each
                    > USIC can drive up to 64 I/O boards. However, the mother board only
                    has
                    > slots for 12. I need a few more slots added to the node at the CTC
                    panel
                    > on Gary's railroad. How can I attach more mother board slots to
                    the first
                    > node, with its IOMB, USIC and 12 other DOUTs and DINs?

                    You wire up the next mother board in series with the first one. The
                    following mother board(s) need no resistors. I believe Bruce covers
                    this topic in the I/O MB chapter. We do this at the SCMRS layout, and
                    it works fine.
                    >
                    > Second Question... Has everyone resolved what is the best way to
                    put
                    > resistance onto the wheelsets of the freight cars? I have heard of
                    > resistance paint, conductive paint with surface mount resistors,
                    resistors
                    > with their leads stuck through small holes drilled through the
                    sides of the
                    > metal wheelsets.

                    The SCMRS has tried several methods, and we are now using chip
                    resistors. There is no "easy" way, but here is how we are doing it:
                    1) buy an all-metal wheelset with an insulator built into one wheel
                    2) Buy some chip resistors (surface mount resistors) of the value you
                    want
                    3) rig your dremel tool with 3 thick cut-off disks together on a
                    mandrel. The resulting thickness should match the length of the chip
                    resistor. Adjust the number and thickness of the disks if the
                    resistor
                    you are using is a different length.
                    4) Apply the cutting disks to the wheelset at a 45 degree angle to
                    the
                    join between the axle and the insulated wheel. You are out to cut two
                    equally deep notches, one in the axle, and one in the back of the
                    wheel. these notches will accept the ends of the chip resistor. EASY
                    does it! The notches need only be 1/32" to 1/64" in depth. This
                    notching provides clean but roughened metal for the conductive paint
                    or glue to "grab"
                    5) Apply a small amount of conductive paint or epoxy to the notches,
                    and set the chip resistor in place. If the glue or paint is solvent
                    based, don't wait long!
                    6) let the glue or paint dry fully, and check for the desired
                    resistance from wheel to wheel.
                    7) Overcoat the resistor and the area with the conductive paint with
                    ACC to seal and secure the assembly.

                    This method has proven reliable for us. It takes some practice, but
                    we
                    have done hundreds of wheelsets in relatively little time using this
                    method. We used the "drill holes and insert a resistor" previously,
                    but the method is very laborious, and the resistors sometimes did not
                    clear car frames.

                    > Gary and I agree that we would like to detect every car, if
                    possible, He
                    > has lots of them. Does replacing just one plastic truck on a car
                    with a
                    > similar-sized metal tired wheelset work? Do you have to change all
                    4
                    > wheelsets to get reliable car operation and avoid derailments and
                    all that
                    > stuff? Do most people use a variety of methods depending upon the
                    type of
                    > car? ? ? ?
                    >
                    > If there is a simple, cheap, robust way of adding resistance, I
                    would be
                    > most eager to hear about it. Maybe that would be a good question
                    to stir
                    > the list up a little. I'll bet that there are several opinions on
                    what is
                    > the best way.

                    As in many areas of model railroading, I suspect that there are many
                    valid ways to do this job. The challenge is finding the method that
                    works best for you. The SCMRS puts just one wheelset on HO cars under
                    65' long, and two wheelsets on longer cars. We detect interlockings
                    onour railroad, and long cars might foul a switch without being
                    detected without a resistor on both ends of the car. Cabooses and
                    other end-of-train cars get two resistors to add insurance there.

                    A final comment: your struggles are eeriely reminiscent of our
                    experiences with our first railroad - we tried using our own self-
                    constructed boards to begin with, and had a terrible time getting
                    over
                    the hump. I strongly recommend that beginners in C/MRI cheerfully pay
                    for a pro to assemble and TEST a basic board set which can then be
                    used to get the basic I/O running.
                    Some folks just love a troubleshooting challenge, but for the rest
                    of you out there who just want to get trains running, buy a ready-to-
                    run set of basic boards! (USIC or UBEC or IBEC, IOMB, 1 output card,
                    and the 422/232 converter is required.) This way, you only have to
                    fight with the computer hardware and software. That can be hard
                    enough, as Tom's tale demonstrates.
                    I will note that we bought a "built and tested" board from someone
                    who has since stopped supplying C/MRI boards, and found a
                    mis-inserted
                    part which prevented the board from running at all. The board had
                    obviously not been tested. Caveat Emptor.

                    Tom, I want to thank you for taking the time to post such thorough
                    messages, as they gave folks enough information to provide meaningful
                    advice.

                    Take care,

                    David Gibbons
                  • Doug Geiger
                    ... I bought all of ours from Jay-Bee. Several of us went together and bought over 2000 wheelsets, so the price was real good. Only drawback was that some of
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 25, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      > Second Question... Has everyone resolved what is the best way to put
                      > resistance onto the wheelsets of the freight cars? I have heard of
                      > resistance paint, conductive paint with surface mount resistors, resistors
                      > with their leads stuck through small holes drilled through the sides of the
                      > metal wheelsets.

                      I bought all of ours from Jay-Bee. Several of us went together and bought over
                      2000 wheelsets, so the price was real good. Only drawback was that some of the
                      wheelsets were out-of-gauge, but were easily fixed. We liked JBs since they
                      come pre-blackened. So a quick chuck in a 3/4-inch drill and held against a
                      track cleaner pad removed the blackening from the wheel treads.


                      > Gary and I agree that we would like to detect every car, if possible, He
                      > has lots of them. Does replacing just one plastic truck on a car with a
                      > similar-sized metal tired wheelset work? Do you have to change all 4
                      > wheelsets to get reliable car operation and avoid derailments and all that
                      > stuff?

                      We use one per car, on the B-end. One per platform on intermodal cars. If the
                      car is light, then add another resistance wheelset to the other end. Four per
                      caboose for reliability.
                      -Doug Geiger
                    • Don Mitchell
                      ... Use pre-fab resistance wheels or add surface mount resistors. The latter allow selecting resistances over a wider range. ... Depends on such factors as
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 25, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Tom Turner wrote:

                        > Second Question... Has everyone resolved what is the best
                        > way to put resistance onto the wheelsets of the freight
                        > cars? I have heard of resistance paint, conductive paint
                        > with surface mount resistors, resistors with their leads
                        > stuck through small holes drilled through the sides of the
                        > metal wheelsets.

                        Use pre-fab resistance wheels or add surface mount
                        resistors. The latter allow selecting resistances over a wider
                        range.

                        > Gary and I agree that we would like to detect every car,
                        > if possible, He has lots of them. Does replacing just
                        > one plastic truck on a car with a similar-sized metal
                        > tired wheelset work? Do you have to change all 4
                        > wheelsets to get reliable car operation and avoid
                        > derailments and all that stuff?

                        Depends on such factors as cost, reliability, interlocking
                        protection (CTC OS sections, etc.). We use resistor
                        equipped wheels on the outside ends of each car per the La
                        Mesa Car Regs you have. If either end of a car goes over a
                        signal block gap, the signal will be triggered and whatever
                        interlocking rules are coded in the software will be applied.

                        Note that there are mechanical considerations to replacing
                        plastic wheelsets, too. The axles have to be the correct
                        length and the ends of the the resistor equipped wheelsets
                        have to match the shape of the journal bearings. These
                        factors will affect how the car rolls and whether coupler
                        heights have to be adjusted.

                        Don
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Helping build the HO scale Tehachapi Pass layout of the
                        La Mesa Model RR Club in the San Diego Model RR Museum.
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                      • tnturner1@aol.com
                        I said something in my ignorance that has since been corrected in other emails, but I need to make sure that no one missed it. As we were troubleshooting the
                        Message 11 of 14 , May 25, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I said something in my ignorance that has since been corrected in other
                          emails, but I need to make sure that no one missed it. As we were
                          troubleshooting the initial setup ow the first USIC, we were troubled by not
                          getting the DOUT test leds to fire. when I swapped the IO mother board for a
                          different one (which happened to have no 2.2K resistors installed) I
                          incorrectly assumed that it was because of the resistors that the board then
                          worked.

                          This is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. You need the resistors on each of the IO mother
                          boards that will contain a USIC. the boards without resistors are for
                          attaching as auxilary mother boards, if more than 12 IO boards are needed in
                          a given node.

                          I send Don off that night with the IOMB to remove the "troublesome"
                          resistors. I left him correcting messages at work and hope that I caught him
                          in time.

                          The sad part is...... that all means that we still haven't gotten the USIC to
                          send information on the a DOUT card yet. Sigh.

                          Next tuesday, we will be trying some of the suggestions that I've received.
                          John, David Gibbons, Don Wood from EASEE Interfaces and Doug Geiger have
                          provided a great amount of useful information.
                          Thanks also, to the rest of you who have shared your experiences with adding
                          resistance to wheelsets and provided other information on the CMRI system.
                          Tom (still got the smoke in the wires so we must not be doing too badly.)
                          Turner
                          CMRI test lab
                          Our motto: "If we can make it work, anyone can."
                          Let's see, where did I leave Bruces' phone number?
                          (Just kidding, I have his number engraved on the back of my wrist watch.) TNT

                          In a message dated 5/24/00 7:02:49 PM, jns@... wrote:

                          << Also be
                          > sure to have
                          > >the fix listed in the users manual for talking to more than one
                          > USIC using
                          > >the serial approach.
                          > >
                          > >Don Wood
                          > >Easee Interfaces.
                          > >PS you did good!


                          I checked the other two IOMBs that were planned for the other two nodes and
                          found, whoa, no resistors on the other two. Ding, the lights went on.
                          Gary had gotten some of his boards from another modeler who had a few extra
                          boards and after checking some more I realized that resistors had been
                          removed from one of the other IOMBs. I surmised that this IOMB was one of
                          the 2nd hand boards that had must have originally been in a parallel system
                          which required the resistors for the parallel interface. The distributed
                          USIC serial system didn't need them and after swapping the IOMBs, we found
                          that, YEEEEAAAAAAA!, the LEDs started blinking in their prescribed, movie
                          marquee fashion with the computer's direction. High fives all 'round.



                          Don and Tom,

                          I am confused, my motherboard has the resistors. Don, are they required?

                          I was under the impression that the boards without the resistors were for
                          the extensions, as in running one usic with more than 12 boards.








                          I did have a few small questions about the code. Bruce says to
                          > use 5000 as
                          > the time factor whereas your code set the variable to 10. After
                          > we finally
                          > got the leds to fire, we tried both 10 and 5000 and it really didn't seem
                          > to matter either way. What purpose does that value provide?


                          After I had several boards running I cut the variable down to 10. I still
                          use a small delay in the program execution. the purpose is that the usic
                          doesn't overrun the cards.



                          >
                          > We also tried 4800 baud with no change.
                          >
                          > Our SCSI connector is plugged into the COM2 port, which we noticed is
                          > selectable in your program as is the baud rate. We selected
                          > COM2 and 9600
                          > baud but after we ran the program a few times we exited the program (to
                          > check the pinouts) and when we ran a diagnostics check on the COM ports,
                          > found that COM2 was still set to 4800. COM1 was set at 9600 (which is
                          > where it started), so I wondered if your program set all of the parameters
                          > of COM2, like we requested or did it slip back to COM1? Or does it just
                          > revert after running the basic program? We set it manually to 9600 using
                          > the diagnostic package, so it didn't cause us any difficulty, I just
                          > wondered.

                          I have notice this when using the mode command. I can set the port baud rate
                          but the next time I check it is back to the original setting. A friend of
                          mine told me that he thought the port accepted the software command and
                          operated at that speed not the default speed.

                          I am running 3 rail AC with all metal wheel sets so I can't help you with
                          the resistance question.

                          John
                          >>
                        • Tom Turner
                          Message 12 of 14 , May 31, 2000
                          • 0 Attachment
                          • John Plocher - Solaris Admin Software
                            ... A slew of simple tests: Connect one end of an alligator clip jumper wire to ground. Slide it along the DIN pins from pin1 to pin24 as you run the following
                            Message 13 of 14 , May 31, 2000
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Tom Turner wrote:

                              > We didn't have our wrap-around connector ready, so we were trying to find some way to functionally check our other boards.

                              A slew of simple tests:

                              Connect one end of an alligator clip jumper wire to ground.
                              Slide it along the DIN pins from pin1 to pin24 as you run the following
                              test code:

                              (pseudo code - I'm a Java/C programmer, and have not touched BASIC for a decade,
                              assumes you have the basic I/O routines debugged and available, and that InBuf
                              is filled in by the DIN read routine, and that OutBuf is written to the
                              DOUT cards in the DOUT write routine.)

                              REM - Basic input test to ensure I/O system works and card addresses are correct
                              10:
                              read DIN board
                              REM print the inBuf array contents corresponding to your DIN card's
                              REM A, B, and C ports:
                              print OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 0), OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 1), OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 2)
                              goto 10

                              Once you have something coming in from your DIN card, modify your test code
                              to give visual feeback by using the LED test board mounted on a DOUT:

                              REM - interactive DIN/DOUT test - hardcoded to one DIN and DOUT
                              10: read DIN card
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 0) = InBuf(DIN_CARD + 0)
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 1) = InBuf(DIN_CARD + 1)
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 2) = InBuf(DIN_CARD + 2)
                              write to DOUT board
                              goto 10

                              This will light the LED that matches the DIN lead(s) you ground, letting you quickly
                              test your DIN cards one at a time....

                              Finally, a quick testbed for a slew of DINs, relies on bitwise OR ("|=") of
                              all the DINS together to display on a single DOUT:

                              REM - Gang up all the DINS to display on a single DOUT for bulk testing
                              10: read DIN boards
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 0) = 0
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 1) = 0
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 2) = 0
                              for x from FIRST_DIN_CARD to NUMBER_OF_DIN_CARDS
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 0) |= InBuf(x + 0)
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 1) |= InBuf(x + 1)
                              OutBuf(DOUT_CARD + 2) |= InBuf(x + 2)
                              next x
                              write to DOUT board
                              goto 10

                              As you slide the grounded test lead across any DIN card's pins, the DOUT card
                              should light up the corresponding LED. (i.e., touch pin 21 of any DIN card and
                              pin 21 of the DOUT lights up)

                              -John
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