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What do you use to boost your LocoNet?

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  • paradise275
    We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won t work. Digitrax says we
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 21, 2012
      We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
      Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?

      Rick
    • Phil Agur
      Scale cheerleaders! Phil (nice spring fever day) From: Digitrax@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Digitrax@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of paradise275 Sent: Wednesday,
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 21, 2012
        Scale cheerleaders!



        Phil

        (nice spring fever day)



        From: Digitrax@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Digitrax@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of paradise275
        Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:09 PM
        To: Digitrax@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Digitrax] What do you use to boost your LocoNet?





        We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle.
        If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
        Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?

        Rick





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ed Clarke
        For starters, your UP throttle jack panels should have auxillary power. Second to that, depending on the size of your setup, adding an LNRP or two would
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 21, 2012
          For starters, your UP throttle jack panels should have auxillary power.

          Second to that, depending on the size of your setup, adding an LNRP or two would probably help. They add a boost to the LocoNet signal.

          First and formost though, power your throttle panels.
          Ed

          --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "paradise275" <store275@...> wrote:
          >
          > We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
          > Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?
          >
          > Rick
          >
        • opendrain_1
          Rick, Does the DT402D throttle power up when plugged into LocoNet, or does the display remain unlit? If the DT402D does power up when plugged in, what
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 21, 2012
            Rick,

            Does the DT402D throttle "power up" when plugged into LocoNet, or does the display remain unlit?

            If the DT402D does "power up" when plugged in, what voltages does the display show in the sequence of displays immediately after plugging in?

            Without answers to the above questions, I'll suggest that you could have problems with bad LocoNet cables. This problem could show up for all throttle types or perhaps just throttles which draw more power when plugged in without a battery installed. The DT402D is probably the most power-hungry Digitrax throttle available.

            One way to tell if LocoNet cabling is a problem is by using the Digitrax LT1 tester, which was included with at least some Digitrax command stations, and is available separately from Digitrax. Some Local Hobby Shops also carry it. The LT1 is a small device with a LocoNet jack and four lights. When the LT1 is connected to a chunk of LocoNet that has good connectivity to a live command station, all four lights on the LT1 should light up.

            If one or both of the outer-most lamps on the LT1 fail to light up, then this is a very strong indication that there is a LocoNet cabling problem that would cause the problem you have reported.

            Use the LT1 at various points on the LocoNet run and check to see that the correct number of LT1 lights turn on. If you find that there is an incorrect number of lights at one point on the LocoNet run, work back towards the command station until you find where the number of lights is correct. Once you have found that point, you know that something further away from the command station is bad.

            Note that some Digitrax command stations will only turn on 3 of the 4 LT1 lamps if there is nothing else plugged into the LocoNet run. In this case, it is necessary to plug a known-good throttle or other known-good LocoNet device into the LocoNet run to get that fourth lamp to light. For this reason it may be best to start nearest the command station, and resolve this problem (if it comes up) before looking elsewhere in the LocoNet run.

            Regards,
            Billybob

            --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "paradise275" <store275@...> wrote:
            >
            > We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
            > Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?
            >
            > Rick
            >
          • kevin_chain
            Hi Rick, We ve run into the same problem on our club layout. We ve wired all the UP3 s and UP5 s into the computer power supplies that feed our signal system,
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 21, 2012
              Hi Rick,

              We've run into the same problem on our club layout. We've wired all the UP3's and UP5's into the computer power supplies that feed our signal system, as they have a 12vDC output we can use. The UR90, UR91's, and UR92 all run off of Digitrax power supplies, the 90 and 91's off of their older, 12v supply and the 92 off the 14v supply that came with it. At some point we may upgrade the entire system to 14v as it seems to keep up with the power draw from the throttles better, but this works for now.

              If you look on the side of the UP board, you'll see a barrel power connector. That is where the power supply plugs in. Alternatively, I think you can connect to the rail power as well, though I can't say if that works or not as we can't do it that way because it trips our detection system when we do.

              Kevin
            • giantbluecanary
              Rick, 1) If you have track power connected to your UP5s for the status indicator you need to power them with a power supply higher than your track voltage so
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                Rick,
                1) If you have track power connected to your UP5s for the status indicator you need to power them with a power supply higher than your track voltage so they will not draw track power to feed throttles.

                2) Make certain your UR92s power supply is good, the lights will light on the unit from loconet power, but it will not have enough juice for operation.

                3) Invest in a network cable tester and a good crimper to check your Loconet cables and fix them. The LT1 will pass cables that are wired many ways, a network cable tester will guarantee pin1-pin1 connection. For cable testers with only RJ45 jacks you will need two 'gender bender' RJ12 cable connectors and a Cat5 cable to cut in half to make your loconet cable adapters for the tester.

                Henry

                --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "kevin_chain" <kevin_chain@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Hi Rick,
                >
                > We've run into the same problem on our club layout. We've wired all the UP3's and UP5's into the computer power supplies that feed our signal system, as they have a 12vDC output we can use. The UR90, UR91's, and UR92 all run off of Digitrax power supplies, the 90 and 91's off of their older, 12v supply and the 92 off the 14v supply that came with it. At some point we may upgrade the entire system to 14v as it seems to keep up with the power draw from the throttles better, but this works for now.
                >
                > If you look on the side of the UP board, you'll see a barrel power connector. That is where the power supply plugs in. Alternatively, I think you can connect to the rail power as well, though I can't say if that works or not as we can't do it that way because it trips our detection system when we do.
                >
                > Kevin
                >
              • Jim A.
                Rick: You can extend the external power through your LocoNet by using an additional power wire between UP5 s. This takes a little skill in getting into the
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                  Rick:

                  You can extend the external power through your LocoNet by using an additional power wire between UP5's. This takes a little skill in getting into the little connection between the rear RJ's. You open the doughnut hole and solder in a wire that's the plus side of the external power supply the common runs through the LocoNet commons.

                  You run this wire from the UP with the wart to a few others.

                  I've heard from some but I'm not sure myself that you shouldn't connect the power from a UR91/92 to another device through the power wire. So if there are problems with your system let's treat that as gospel and only run power between UP's.

                  Using track power from throttle power does hide a gotcha... You have throttle power problems when on LocoNet power and use the track... you short the track... no throttle now too... So the only reason I use the track LED on the UP is to monitor the booster, not actually the track... I have detection and that LED connected to the track will show an occupied block.

                  Digitrax also introduced the LNRP (LocoNet RePeater) to add power and some "clean up" and safeties to LocoNet. It was the LNRP that brought the change to the PS14 to the front... 12 volts might not be enough... The PR3 also requires a higher voltage and nailed down the PS14 as the new standard.

                  If you're just using the PS12 for UR/UP power don't feel you need to swap those out right away.

                  Jim Albanowski

                  <snip>
                • Ed Clarke
                  Rick, Since this is a modular layout, the practice of daisy chaining power through the solder pin between the LocoNet jacks on the UP5s is not practical. What
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                    Rick,

                    Since this is a modular layout, the practice of daisy chaining power through the solder pin between the LocoNet jacks on the UP5s is not practical.

                    What you should do, and is done by many modular groups, is have a separate 12V DC bus running around the layout with plugs at each module just like your track bus, and tape into it to power each UP5. A 1 amp power supply should be enough to handle any and all throttles that may be plugged in at any given time. The UP5s by themselves draw no power, as there are no active components on them. However the DT series throttles are power hungry. It only takes a few to draw the LocoNet down to the point where it is unusuable.

                    I am surprised you got away with this setup as long as you did. Adding an LNRP, given the size of your layout, is a good idea. It can prevent a problem on your UP5 chain from taking down the rest of the LocoNet by properly isolating them.
                    Ed

                    --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "paradise275" <store275@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
                    > Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?
                    >
                    > Rick
                    >
                  • paradise275
                    Thanks Billbob. The DT402 reads about 5 then flashes a bunch of numbers over and over. I will try your suggestion using the LT1. Rick
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                      Thanks Billbob. The DT402 reads about 5 then flashes a bunch of numbers over and over. I will try your suggestion using the LT1.

                      Rick

                      --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "opendrain_1" <jawhugrps@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Rick,
                      >
                      > Does the DT402D throttle "power up" when plugged into LocoNet, or does the display remain unlit?
                      >
                      > If the DT402D does "power up" when plugged in, what voltages does the display show in the sequence of displays immediately after plugging in?
                      >
                      > Without answers to the above questions, I'll suggest that you could have problems with bad LocoNet cables. This problem could show up for all throttle types or perhaps just throttles which draw more power when plugged in without a battery installed. The DT402D is probably the most power-hungry Digitrax throttle available.
                      >
                      > One way to tell if LocoNet cabling is a problem is by using the Digitrax LT1 tester, which was included with at least some Digitrax command stations, and is available separately from Digitrax. Some Local Hobby Shops also carry it. The LT1 is a small device with a LocoNet jack and four lights. When the LT1 is connected to a chunk of LocoNet that has good connectivity to a live command station, all four lights on the LT1 should light up.
                      >
                      > If one or both of the outer-most lamps on the LT1 fail to light up, then this is a very strong indication that there is a LocoNet cabling problem that would cause the problem you have reported.
                      >
                      > Use the LT1 at various points on the LocoNet run and check to see that the correct number of LT1 lights turn on. If you find that there is an incorrect number of lights at one point on the LocoNet run, work back towards the command station until you find where the number of lights is correct. Once you have found that point, you know that something further away from the command station is bad.
                      >
                      > Note that some Digitrax command stations will only turn on 3 of the 4 LT1 lamps if there is nothing else plugged into the LocoNet run. In this case, it is necessary to plug a known-good throttle or other known-good LocoNet device into the LocoNet run to get that fourth lamp to light. For this reason it may be best to start nearest the command station, and resolve this problem (if it comes up) before looking elsewhere in the LocoNet run.
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Billybob
                      >
                      > --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "paradise275" <store275@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > We are having problems with our club layout using the UR92 radio throttle. If we plug a DT 402 in (without a battery) the throttle won't work.
                      > > Digitrax says we need to boost the loco net. What do we use?
                      > >
                      > > Rick
                      > >
                      >
                    • paradise275
                      Thanks all for replying. We haven t connected track power to the UP5 s yet. We only have 6 UP 5 s plus the UR92 in the loop but we have other things connected
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                        Thanks all for replying. We haven't connected track power to the UP5's yet. We only have 6 UP 5's plus the UR92 in the loop but we have other things connected (like Team digital SMD 82's.

                        Rick

                        --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "giantbluecanary" <giantbluecanary@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Rick,
                        > 1) If you have track power connected to your UP5s for the status indicator you need to power them with a power supply higher than your track voltage so they will not draw track power to feed throttles.
                        >
                        > 2) Make certain your UR92s power supply is good, the lights will light on the unit from loconet power, but it will not have enough juice for operation.
                        >
                        > 3) Invest in a network cable tester and a good crimper to check your Loconet cables and fix them. The LT1 will pass cables that are wired many ways, a network cable tester will guarantee pin1-pin1 connection. For cable testers with only RJ45 jacks you will need two 'gender bender' RJ12 cable connectors and a Cat5 cable to cut in half to make your loconet cable adapters for the tester.
                        >
                        > Henry
                        >
                        > --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "kevin_chain" <kevin_chain@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Hi Rick,
                        > >
                        > > We've run into the same problem on our club layout. We've wired all the UP3's and UP5's into the computer power supplies that feed our signal system, as they have a 12vDC output we can use. The UR90, UR91's, and UR92 all run off of Digitrax power supplies, the 90 and 91's off of their older, 12v supply and the 92 off the 14v supply that came with it. At some point we may upgrade the entire system to 14v as it seems to keep up with the power draw from the throttles better, but this works for now.
                        > >
                        > > If you look on the side of the UP board, you'll see a barrel power connector. That is where the power supply plugs in. Alternatively, I think you can connect to the rail power as well, though I can't say if that works or not as we can't do it that way because it trips our detection system when we do.
                        > >
                        > > Kevin
                        > >
                        >
                      • paradise275
                        Thanks all for replying. We haven t connected track power to the UP5 s yet. We only have 6 UP 5 s plus the UR92 in the loop but we have other things connected
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                          Thanks all for replying. We haven't connected track power to the UP5's yet. We only have 6 UP 5's plus the UR92 in the loop but we have other things connected (like Team digital SMD 82's.

                          Rick

                          --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "giantbluecanary" <giantbluecanary@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Rick,
                          > 1) If you have track power connected to your UP5s for the status indicator you need to power them with a power supply higher than your track voltage so they will not draw track power to feed throttles.
                          >
                          > 2) Make certain your UR92s power supply is good, the lights will light on the unit from loconet power, but it will not have enough juice for operation.
                          >
                          > 3) Invest in a network cable tester and a good crimper to check your Loconet cables and fix them. The LT1 will pass cables that are wired many ways, a network cable tester will guarantee pin1-pin1 connection. For cable testers with only RJ45 jacks you will need two 'gender bender' RJ12 cable connectors and a Cat5 cable to cut in half to make your loconet cable adapters for the tester.
                          >
                          > Henry
                          >
                          > --- In Digitrax@yahoogroups.com, "kevin_chain" <kevin_chain@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Hi Rick,
                          > >
                          > > We've run into the same problem on our club layout. We've wired all the UP3's and UP5's into the computer power supplies that feed our signal system, as they have a 12vDC output we can use. The UR90, UR91's, and UR92 all run off of Digitrax power supplies, the 90 and 91's off of their older, 12v supply and the 92 off the 14v supply that came with it. At some point we may upgrade the entire system to 14v as it seems to keep up with the power draw from the throttles better, but this works for now.
                          > >
                          > > If you look on the side of the UP board, you'll see a barrel power connector. That is where the power supply plugs in. Alternatively, I think you can connect to the rail power as well, though I can't say if that works or not as we can't do it that way because it trips our detection system when we do.
                          > >
                          > > Kevin
                          > >
                          >
                        • karpetkrafters
                          Rick, My club used to power UP5 s the way Henry described earlier by cutting auxiliary power into railsync. When LNRP s were introduced we installed one on
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 22, 2012
                            Rick,
                            My club used to power UP5's the way Henry described earlier by cutting auxiliary power into railsync. When LNRP's were introduced we installed one on each of our three booster boxes. Now we break loconet into three sections and let an LNRP handle the load on each section. We have had no problems with this method in almost 4 years. Our reasoning is that the LNRP will isolate a troubled loconet area from the other two. That way about 2/3 of our UP5's will stay on line.

                            One thing I don't believe was mentioned in this thread is the absolute best way to keep loconet from being pulled down by throttles. That's simply making sure that every throttle has a good battery installed. Do that and the UP5's won't need extra power.

                            Martin Myers
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