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Switching over to DCC?

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  • Andre
    I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports inverters counters
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 24, 2014
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      I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does
      works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports
      inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
      movements on the yard.
      So I'm thinking about upgrading to DCC but there are many unknowns I can
      use some advice on.
      First offcourse is controllers and decoders that work best with my
      marklin db 120 and ssb Re4/4 IV locs.

      Seccond is my block detectors, currently I use optocoplers to detect
      both block entry and the direction of entry but with DCC the
      polarisation is always the same so I can't use optocoplers for direction
      sensing, what would a good methode to sense the direction a detector is
      passed?

      Third is decoders for the turnouts, what would be the best decoder for that?

      Finaly ease of use, with analog systems, every turnout has it's own
      switch, how easy is it to select a turnout in a DCC system?

      Regards,
      Andre v Schaijk
    • Kevin Brady
      Hi Andre,all, ... works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 24, 2014
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        Hi Andre,all,

        >I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does
        works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports
        inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
        movements on the yard.
        So I'm thinking about upgrading to DCC but there are many unknowns I can
        use some advice on.
        First off course is controllers and decoders that work best with my
        marklin db 120 and ssb Re4/4 IV locs.<

        Well, that is a wide subject! :-) There are many manufactures of DCC decoders and controllers.I think a member here Cliff is doing that with Z.I am sure he will help,......so here are are one of my favorites:

        https://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Products/Decoders/Z-Scale/Z%20Series.html


        >Second is my block detectors, currently I use optocoplers to detect
        both block entry and the direction of entry but with DCC the
        polarisation is always the same so I can't use optocoplers for direction
        sensing, what would a good methode to sense the direction a detector is
        passed?<

        One could rewire it for that.The 'promise' of DCC was that most wiring can be used as on a traditional DC system.My suggestion is join a Yahoo or other DCC groups and ask away!


        >Third is decoders for the turnouts, what would be the best decoder for that?,

        See above.

        >Finaly ease of use, with analog systems, every turnout has it's own
        switch, how easy is it to select a turnout in a DCC system?<

        In DCC operation every decoder has it's own address,either loks or switches and other accessories.

        Best,Kev


        On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Andre <pe1rdw@...> wrote:
         

        I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does
        works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports
        inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
        movements on the yard.
        So I'm thinking about upgrading to DCC but there are many unknowns I can
        use some advice on.
        First offcourse is controllers and decoders that work best with my
        marklin db 120 and ssb Re4/4 IV locs.

        Seccond is my block detectors, currently I use optocoplers to detect
        both block entry and the direction of entry but with DCC the
        polarisation is always the same so I can't use optocoplers for direction
        sensing, what would a good methode to sense the direction a detector is
        passed?

        Third is decoders for the turnouts, what would be the best decoder for that?

        Finaly ease of use, with analog systems, every turnout has it's own
        switch, how easy is it to select a turnout in a DCC system?

        Regards,
        Andre v Schaijk




        --
        Dr. Dirt's Weathering Service
      • garthah
        In a DCC system everything has an address so I use the loco number for the address of each loco, and if you wish to run a double header then you can create a
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 24, 2014
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          In a DCC system everything has an address so I use the loco number for the address of each loco, and if you wish to run a double header then you can create a consist with 2 or three locos and they operate as one with one address, for turnouts it is like operating the turnout from the engine cab. I put a number tab adjacent to the turnout and I address the turnout using that number which equates to is address then you can open and close the points. There are programs which allow you to control everything from your computer keyboard in addition to controlling everything from your hand held ore wireless cab. Most cabs can be  unplugged
          from the buss and then plugged in again at another port on the bus with no loss of control, while with wireless control you can walk around without connecting to he buss. . There are apps which allow you to control DCC from your Iphone,  Android device, or tablet. 
          Turnout decoders that is a big question what turnouts are you using and how are they actuated determines a great deal of what you use. So a hand laid turnout with a tortoise  machine uses a different decoder from one that uses two wire control to a single coil like on Kato Unitrack and Rokuhan versus a three wire twin solenoid point motor. Some stationary decoders can be configured to do wither others are not as flexible. So there is not quick dimple answer to your question. 

          I have a NCE Power Cab and I have three control ports on the layout which I can plug in my hand held controller, and as I only have one hand held it is pretty simple but you can assign cab (handheld) to a locomotive and wander around a layout with your engine, and then you could have someone else with another cab assigned to a consist operating another train on the same layout, and following that train. At present I operate on dual track main line and run in opposing directions with four engines in 2 consists,d so only 2 addresses and the only automated turnouts  with decoders are those to enter the station siding from either main, everything else is still operated with lever controls as in a DC operation as the cost of putting is decoder on every turnout or even using a quad decoder for 4 turnouts is more expense than I want at present. so I have one quad decoder operating four turnouts, each with its own address, the rest have not been converted from lever control to decoder control. . 

          So lots of variations are possible,a and you make it complex or pretty simple.Biggest expense initially is getting decoders into your engines. My layout is still set up so I can transition from DCC to DC, as not all my engines have decoders and I change over by just changing my power pack, but in doing so I have gone from two trains operating to a single train operating, as I only have one DCC  power district so in going to DC I have no blocks, so only one train operating. 

          On my display and test board I have 6 tracks but trying to control 6 trains with one handheld controller is a chore and hard to control, I find I handle three but then it gets complicated with only one handheld. So I need to get another cab control and then start assigning a cab to a train which makes it easier. 

          so lots to consider. 

          regards Garth
        • ahellary
          Hi there ive be doing dcc since 2000 I use digtrax decodes they do have drop in decoders for quite a few marklin locos . I know as I loaned them some locos to
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 25, 2014
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            Hi there ive be doing dcc since 2000

            I use digtrax decodes they do have drop in decoders for quite a few marklin
            locos . I know as I loaned them some locos to develop the decoders J

            I also have a digitrax chief command station but in reality you could use a
            zephyr I just buy the best



            Ialso use accessory decoders from cml electronics and also there coloured
            light controllers as they are far more advanced than the digitrax ones ..
            Also I have a marklin traverser controlled by a cml turntable controller
            there's even an option in its config for it J



            For block detectors im using the digitrax bdl16 and with that you can use
            transponding



            Once you have block detect you can go down the computer control route or if
            you use a cml dtm30 you can create your own ctc panels with buttons to
            change points and leds to show point position and block occupancy



            If you would like more info please don't hesitate to contact me either on or
            off list



            Yours tony Hollingsworth-ellary . the work keeper from the uk



            From: z_scale@yahoogroups.com [mailto:z_scale@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            Kevin Brady
            Sent: 24 March 2014 17:56
            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Switching over to DCC?





            Hi Andre,all,

            >I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does
            works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports
            inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
            movements on the yard.
            So I'm thinking about upgrading to DCC but there are many unknowns I can
            use some advice on.
            First off course is controllers and decoders that work best with my
            marklin db 120 and ssb Re4/4 IV locs.<

            Well, that is a wide subject! :-) There are many manufactures of DCC
            decoders and controllers.I think a member here Cliff is doing that with Z.I
            am sure he will help,......so here are are one of my favorites:

            https://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Products/Decoders/Z-Scal
            e/Z%20Series.html



            >Second is my block detectors, currently I use optocoplers to detect
            both block entry and the direction of entry but with DCC the
            polarisation is always the same so I can't use optocoplers for direction
            sensing, what would a good methode to sense the direction a detector is
            passed?<

            One could rewire it for that.The 'promise' of DCC was that most wiring can
            be used as on a traditional DC system.My suggestion is join a Yahoo or other
            DCC groups and ask away!



            >Third is decoders for the turnouts, what would be the best decoder for
            that?,

            See above.


            >Finaly ease of use, with analog systems, every turnout has it's own
            switch, how easy is it to select a turnout in a DCC system?<

            In DCC operation every decoder has it's own address,either loks or switches
            and other accessories.

            Best,Kev



            On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Andre <pe1rdw@...> wrote:



            I have been experimenting a bit with automating my DC layout and it does
            works with just a few clasic logic parts like and ports or ports
            inverters counters etc. but there is a limitation to what you can do in
            movements on the yard.
            So I'm thinking about upgrading to DCC but there are many unknowns I can
            use some advice on.
            First offcourse is controllers and decoders that work best with my
            marklin db 120 and ssb Re4/4 IV locs.

            Seccond is my block detectors, currently I use optocoplers to detect
            both block entry and the direction of entry but with DCC the
            polarisation is always the same so I can't use optocoplers for direction
            sensing, what would a good methode to sense the direction a detector is
            passed?

            Third is decoders for the turnouts, what would be the best decoder for that?

            Finaly ease of use, with analog systems, every turnout has it's own
            switch, how easy is it to select a turnout in a DCC system?

            Regards,
            Andre v Schaijk




            --
            Dr. Dirt's Weathering Service





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Andre
            Thanks for the tips so far, I have looked at the DBL16 and DTM30 details and was wondering if the DTM30 can be used to select routes based on detected blocks,
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 25, 2014
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              Thanks for the tips so far, I have looked at the DBL16 and DTM30 details
              and was wondering if the DTM30 can be used to select routes based on
              detected blocks, for exsample if a train is on block a and a seccond
              train is on block b the switch can be thrown to let the train from block
              a pass the train on block b by passing block c. Either with internal
              routing option in the DTM30 or with external logic electronics.

              Another thing I'm wondering if a train can be automaticly halted when a
              block ahead is occupied without resorting to computer controll.

              Regards, Andre
            • Kevin Brady
              Hi Andre,all, ... and was wondering if the DTM30 can be used to select routes based on detected blocks, for exsample if a train is on block a and a seccond
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 25, 2014
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                Hi Andre,all,

                >Thanks for the tips so far, I have looked at the DBL16 and DTM30 details
                and was wondering if the DTM30 can be used to select routes based on
                detected blocks, for exsample if a train is on block a and a seccond
                train is on block b the switch can be thrown to let the train from block
                a pass the train on block b by passing block c. Either with internal
                routing option in the DTM30 or with external logic electronics.<

                A Google search will help answer these questions.

                >Another thing I'm wondering if a train can be automatically halted when a
                block ahead is occupied without resorting to computer control.<

                See above.If the modules(with proper wiring) can communicate to the CU/CS (control unit/control station) then yes,it can report back that a block is occupied and has to wait for block to be cleared so another train can enter the cleared block.

                Best,Kev

                Regards, Andre


                On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM, Andre <pe1rdw@...> wrote:
                 


                Thanks for the tips so far, I have looked at the DBL16 and DTM30 details
                and was wondering if the DTM30 can be used to select routes based on
                detected blocks, for exsample if a train is on block a and a seccond
                train is on block b the switch can be thrown to let the train from block
                a pass the train on block b by passing block c. Either with internal
                routing option in the DTM30 or with external logic electronics.

                Another thing I'm wondering if a train can be automaticly halted when a
                block ahead is occupied without resorting to computer controll.

                Regards, Andre




                --
                Dr. Dirt's Weathering Service
              • Ralph Scott
                By far the easiest way to go DCC if you are using Marklin electric and diesel locos  is to use Velmo  drop in decoders.(This is not the cheapest way.) The
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 26, 2014
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                  By far the easiest way to go DCC if you are using Marklin electric and diesel locos  is to use Velmo  drop in decoders.(This is not the cheapest way.) The decoders are available for all locos except 060 shunter and crocodile. If you use a Lenz DCC system you can set track voltage to 11v.(Velmo decoders will stand a maximum of 15v) Other systems will require you insert voltage dropping diodes to achieve the correct voltage. Performance is much better if you also use 5 pole motors in your locos . If you are into signalling then use  CTI computer based system in conjunction with your dcc system which will do the trick using dcc current detectors or opto detectors system and will give you directional detection.
                  Note : it pays to start off very simple  and add more when you have properly understood and tested what you have already done. - You still need blocks for automatic control so build your isolators in when you lay track!
                  I have converted 6 locos to DCC (including 2 DB120's) using Velmo without problems  and currently working on auto shunting and signalling using CTI.
                  Now if you want Hi tech then you can go for ESU  or Marklin CS2 dcc systems ( with voltage reducing diodes) and forget the CTI computer based system. These are both easy to set up and use but again not cheap!
                  Ralph
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