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RE: Digital Z (WAS: RE: Extremely Useful web sites attn. Anders L.)

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  • Anders Lattermann
    Hi folks! ... This is the big problem I have concluded. If you don t know where your trains are you cannot run more than you can see with your eyes and handle
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 3 2:20 PM
      Hi folks!

      > I don't - all I have is four(4) locos :-), but I think I would use
      > some kind of photoelectrical sensing. I haven't given this problem
      > much thought)

      This is the big problem I have concluded. If you don't know where your
      trains are you cannot run more than you can see with your eyes and handle
      with your brain. Digital control or not doesn't care.

      The CTI system handles this by having several types of sensors. My favorite
      in visible places is current detection since it's installed under the layout
      imposible to see, all it needs is to be hooked to the wires feeding the
      track with power. It then actually senses the locos motor (running or not
      running) to know that a train occupies a block. The only drawback with
      current detection is that you don't know that the last car has cleared the
      block if you don't paint your cars axles with a special electrical leading
      paint (extremly high resistance, but enough for the current detector to pick
      it up).

      > >Why do you want to be able to run two locos on the same track? That's the
      > >only thing the CTI system doesn't of the above.
      > Do we mean the same, when we say: "the same track"? Of course I don't
      > consider it relevant to run two/more locos on the same 11 cm (5 " ??)
      > stretch. But I want to be able to run more than one loco (not
      > necessarily 256 locos) on an individual basis on my entire trackSYSTEM

      This you can do with the CTI system. You can either put one Smart Cab
      controlling each block of your layout, gives the total running locos at the
      same as the amount of Smart Cabs/blocks on your layout minus one. The
      software is cleaver enough to know that one train know leaves block X and
      passes over to block Y and therefor also adjust the speed on the Y Smart Cab
      to the same you had on X. All smart cabs (and other CTI equipment) are
      connected in a ring type of network with the same type of plugs as mothern
      telephones uses, very easy. With the one smart cab per block method, you of
      course need to buy one smart cab per block you have.

      The other method is to dynamically assign a smart cab to one loco and switch
      that smart cab to the block your loco is at at the moment. With this method
      you don't need to buy one Smart cab per block which reduces cost, but you
      have on the other hand to buy more TBrains for switching the Smart cabs to
      the right block. You can only run as many trains simultainously as you have
      smart cabs.

      The best way to do it cost wise is probably to mix these two methods with
      say, one smart cab per 4 blocks.

      The Smart Cab uses pure DC (except for the 16 first speed steps of a total
      of 100. On these first 16 it pulses to get the locos starting good). Pure DC
      is good for all your locos and you can run Faulhauber motors on it without
      problems. I also like that you can spread the 100 steps out on to your own
      voltage range. From step 0 with of course 0 volts, to step 100 with, and
      here comes the catch: 0-10 Volts depending on what you have adjusted it to.
      This gives that you have all the 100 steps spread out on a voltage range
      where your locos run at step 100 in the highest speed you like them to have.
      No locos will fly at 350 kmh at step 100 leaving you with maybe just using
      the first 30 steps where you have the prototypical velocity.

      Also what I like about the CTI system is that you don't need to try to
      squeze a decoder in your locos. You take any Z-loco, even the V60 and BR89
      steamer and run them digitally. When calculating cost, you might at first
      think the CTI system is expensive, but check again what a DCC decoder per
      loco costs (I have 40 locos), the time you invest into installing them into
      the locos (and the second hand value going down the drain). And then you can
      only run the locos you could get squeeze a decoder into. To a DCC system
      cost, you also have to count the central system box, the feedback system
      (sensors) and switch controllers. CTI has all this in the TBrains.

      And finally, it's working on my layout (well, an experimental one - no
      landscape) right now, not maybe in some years.

      The only system I've come to find that is in the same legue is the system
      from Gahler and Ringsmeier, but it's so much more expensive and less
      flexible.

      I don't make money in telling you all how good this system is, but I have
      been using the CTI system on my test track for over one year and so far it
      has met all my expectations.

      Best regards from a raining, raining Stockholm!
      Anders Lattermann
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