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Bronze version - RR & Co - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 02:39 am
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Geoff I
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A few months ago I bought the Bronze version, I have not yet tried it properly, is anyone on the forum running OK with the Bronze or will I have to go to the Silver Version, I did have a problem before I ripped my other layout down with Braking.
I am still trying to get my head round what I need to make this  program run sweet, I have a Digitrax Zephyr with a PR3, BDL168, DS64,DS52.
Hopefully I am getting there, I think it will be a few weeks before I am up and running.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 09:28 am
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gdaysydney
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Hi Geoff,

The bronze version is the entry level and covers the base functions such as block control and switch(point) operation.
If you are looking to run trains say in a shuttle then this would be the version to go for.

Silver and gold versions can do the same thing but a lot more -  running schedules with dependencies, joining and un-joing locos automatically to name but a few.

It really depends what you ultimately want to do.




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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 11:38 am
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John Dew
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Hi Geoff

As Dave says the Bronze level is designed very much for entry level. You need to determine what level of computor control you want and then check those requirements against the specification for Bronze, Silver and Gold.

 You may want to download the Silver/Gold version and run it in demo mode.......you can do this forever at no charge......the clock only starts ticking when you connect it to a layout.

The off line simulator is a very useful way of learning about Train Controller.

 



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 12:28 pm
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Geoff I
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Thanks Dave and John, for your reply on this, i have been doing a lot of reading of the manual and checking stuff on the r and co forum but there is no specific instructions in what you need, I read somewhere that one bdl168 should be enough and then use the ds64 for feed back with reed switches to cut the cost down, I know it is going to take a while setting up so because of the work I do I can get hold of relays so I can switch over to manual working, so Inwill not be totally reliant on computer control unti it is running corectly.

I am enjoying reading your thread at the moment John its a super layout.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 12:38 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Be warned, Geoff.  It's very addictive.  :cool:



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 01:41 pm
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Wizmacnz
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I spent a very long while planning what I wanted to do and playing with RR&Co in simulation mode before I invested in the software and hardware. I in the end took a big gulp at the cost and purchased the Gold version. Neither Bronze nor Silver would actually do what I wanted. It seemed like a lot of money for something that in terms of file size looked as if it should have been a pretty cheap piece of software. As you begin to get into it you start to realise the depth of the programme, it's a pretty steep learning curve with not really the best of manuals. It's all there in the manual when you look for it. The difficulty is knowing what it is you are looking for.


I run digitrax with a variety of other hardware. Most of my points are controlled with Lenz and the rest with Digitrax. Key decision I think is what hardware you are going to use for identifying where your trains are. I settled on the RRCirkits Tower Controller and current sensing block occupancy detectors. I have two of them now and have found them to be pretty reliable. 


I think I spent at least 2 years on the switchboard design and simulation stage before spending the big money and proceeding to the installation stage. I recommend lots of thought and planning.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 4th, 2014 02:16 pm
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Geoff I
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Wizmacnz wrote: I spent a very long while planning what I wanted to do and playing with RR&Co in simulation mode before I invested in the software and hardware. I in the end took a big gulp at the cost and purchased the Gold version. Neither Bronze nor Silver would actually do what I wanted. It seemed like a lot of money for something that in terms of file size looked as if it should have been a pretty cheap piece of software. As you begin to get into it you start to realise the depth of the programme, it's a pretty steep learning curve with not really the best of manuals. It's all there in the manual when you look for it. The difficulty is knowing what it is you are looking for.


I run digitrax with a variety of other hardware. Most of my points are controlled with Lenz and the rest with Digitrax. Key decision I think is what hardware you are going to use for identifying where your trains are. I settled on the RRCirkits Tower Controller and current sensing block occupancy detectors. I have two of them now and have found them to be pretty reliable. 


I think I spent at least 2 years on the switchboard design and simulation stage before spending the big money and proceeding to the installation stage. I recommend lots of thought and planning.
Hello Peter and thank you for your input, yes I am trying to put plenty of thought into my layout and where the blocks should go, and now really it is about hardware, I think with the Bronze version I can play away with it to my hearts content until I understand the concepts, also I can try cheaper ways of detection and if that fails then I will need one more BDL168, When I first went DCC I never thought I would go down the computer control way and someone on another forum told me to look into RR and CO.
The reason why they mentioned this to me was I invested in a sprog to program my trains through JRMI what a piece of kit this is and I can see what I am programming instantly, I would never be without the Sprog. hence them telling me about Train controller, I have drip fed to get what I have at the present but I do need more equipment, I bought DS52 stationary decoders when I first went over to DCC not knowing it was a bad choice and now I am slowly changing over to DS64.
How far I want to take control is any ones guess I am not sure yet, but it is a bug and I have seemed to have caught something, I have read the RR and Co forum over and over and with the bronze version it is all about trial and error with the stop markers, not that it is mentioned in the manual just shows you how to adjust them, no doubt the software is expensive and  for my relatively small layout compared to other folks I thought that the Bronze version would suit me, I can afford the Silver and maybe the Gold but not sure if I need to go that far, the new Layout needs to be set up yet and I am wiring all of my layout in block sections.
I am just happy if I hit a snag there is people on this forum who can advise me about my errors.
Many Thanks
Geoff



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 Posted: Fri Dec 5th, 2014 09:45 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Geoff

Glad you like Granby!

I m not very familiar with the capabilities of Bronze so you need to bear that in mind with any comments I may make.

It would be a useful exercise if you could set up your track plan/block layout  in Train Controller and post it.

I am not certain if Bronze supports shifted stop markers or if you are aware of the concept. If it does, or you are contemplating upgrading to Silver you may want consider some form of current deduction rather than reeds (and magnets?) as your primary form of occupancy detection.

Regards



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 Posted: Fri Dec 5th, 2014 10:36 pm
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Geoff I
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John Dew wrote:
Hi Geoff

Glad you like Granby!

I m not very familiar with the capabilities of Bronze so you need to bear that in mind with any comments I may make.

It would be a useful exercise if you could set up your track plan/block layout  in Train Controller and post it.

I am not certain if Bronze supports shifted stop markers or if you are aware of the concept. If it does, or you are contemplating upgrading to Silver you may want consider some form of current deduction rather than reeds (and magnets?) as your primary form of occupancy detection.

Regards



I have got the Train Controller plan on my PC for Chillthorpe I will post it on Saturday, I am on my Ipad at this presnt time, do you want the Train Controller file or is a Jpg ok.


I have noticed in silver you get far more control with stopping distance than you do with Bronze which you only have a dragged arrow.


Yes I am going to get a couple of the BD4's which can be linked in with the DS64 which should go with my BDL168,



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 12:21 am
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John Dew
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Its not mandatory to post a plan:lol:  I just thought it might be useful.......a jpeg of the switchboard showing the blocks would be fine......later, when you embark of the fiendishly steep learning curve:shock: , you will find zipped *yrr files will come in very handy.

I am not familiar with Digitax but with the configuration you listed does that mean you have 24 detectors?

Does Bronze support Flagmen? If it does then you dont need detectors for every block..... particularly dead end sidings

Stop and Brake Markers in Silver and Gold are very precise..... one would expect a given loco to consistently stop within 5-10 mm of a stop marker......you can also be very precise as to which loco or schedule a stop marker will apply

Regards



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 07:23 am
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gdaysydney
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John Dew wrote:
Does Bronze support Flagmen? If it does then you dont need detectors for every block..... particularly dead end sidings


Regards


Hi John,

Bronze does not have Flagmen and schedules are very basic.  In fact most of what you are used to  is missing.

Blocks are set up with a stop marker and you vary the ramp by a slider which makes the ramp shorter or longer< Not sure how you vary the speed as neither the blocks or points/switches have speed limitation options.

The engine set up does not allow profiling  ( that would save lots of time  :mutley)




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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 09:32 am
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John Dew
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gdaysydney wrote:
Bronze does not have Flagmen and schedules are very basic.  In fact most of what you are used to  is missing.

Blocks are set up with a stop marker and you vary the ramp by a slider which makes the ramp shorter or longer< Not sure how you vary the speed as neither the blocks or points/switches have speed limitation options.


Oh dear that doesnt sound very promising


The engine set up does not allow profiling ( that would save lots of time :mutley)

:mutley  True.........but profiling with a glass of wine and some cool jazz can be very therapeutic



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 10:21 am
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Geoff I
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I can see me investing in Silver down the line so to speak, but I am sure it will be worth it in the long run.

I have been checking out the silver manual and it does look like you can control stopping more easily and accurately.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 11:09 am
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Hi Geoff

I see you have already purchased the Bronze  so I would run with that for the meantime.  That way you will be able to tell The upgrade route Bronze then Bronze to Silver will only cost you an extra 29 euro compared to buying the silver outright. so if you are unsure  stay with the Bronze for now - you will know when to upgrade when you start getting frustrated that it won't do certain things that you would like it to do.






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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 01:53 pm
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Bronze, Silver, Braking, Flagman, RR & Co? Am I the only one here who hasn't got a clue what this thread is about?  It appears to be written in some sort of secret code.

:hmm

Terry

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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 02:04 pm
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gdaysydney
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col.stephens wrote: Bronze, Silver, Braking, Flagman, RR & Co? Am I the only one here who hasn't got a clue what this thread is about?  It appears to be written in some sort of secret code.

:hmm

Terry


We have a secret handshake as well  :lol:



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 04:26 pm
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Roll up your left trouser leg, Terry - and I'll lead you along The Path to enlightenment.    :lol:



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 05:49 pm
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Geoff I
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As promised John my Block Layout.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 8th, 2014 02:06 pm
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Geoff I
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To you RR&Co experts will I be able to put signals in at a later date when I have it all up and running or is it best to Get it in before hand.
Many thanks for any answers.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 8th, 2014 05:32 pm
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If you go to the website http://www.freiwald.com you can see the relative prices and the costs of upgrades.  From memory there isn't a penalty for working your way up the scale.

I went for Gold from day one, because I was worried about confusing myself by going in steps.  Others I have spoken to started from the bottom.

I don't know of anyone who is still on Bronze.  Most people find it a bit limited.

Everyone's requirements are going to be different, so it's hard to advise you for your individual case.

It's also conditional on your personal resources.

From speaking to others, I believe that it is upwards compatible so the answer to your question is yes.  You should be able to easily add signals as you upgrade.

The best advice has already been given.  Download each version and play with them.  It costs nothing and it will give you the best idea of the comparison.



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