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Newbe questions !! Sorry - RR & Co - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 07:44 pm
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Alan
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MaxSouthOz wrote: Keep It Simple, Silly.  ;-)

:mutley:mutley I didn't think a big Aussie would want to Kiss a little guy from sunny North Devon, but ............ I have heard of worse :pedal

Back on track :roll:

I am reading though all the threads at the moment in the RR&C section, think I am starting to get to grips with it all, to make sure that I am on line :roll: you need a decoder for anything that you want the computer to change ie point/signal/loco etc.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 07:45 pm
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wogga
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Hi Alan, if its any consolation i have a Prodigy gathering dust on top of me bookcase lovely handheld throttle as well:sad:

When did my research i shortlisted to 3 systems, Lenz, Digitrax and ECOS i went for the ecos because it was progrssive and had nice controls which i don't use now. (Gucci)

Have a look at McKinley Railway videos (3 or so) on You tube it will give you a good overview but don't hung up on the hardware and wiring it is very very complex on their layout.

Oh Alan if you are ever near Lancashire you are more than welcome to pop in for a looksee.



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ECOS2 with RR&Co Traincontroller and a load of other electronics so i can sit back and watch the trains go by.
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 07:52 pm
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wogga
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Alan wrote:
MaxSouthOz wrote: Keep It Simple, Silly.  ;-)

:mutley:mutley I didn't think a big Aussie would want to Kiss a little guy from sunny North Devon, but ............ I have heard of worse :pedal

Back on track :roll:

I am reading though all the threads at the moment in the RR&C section, think I am starting to get to grips with it all, to make sure that I am on line :roll: you need a decoder for anything that you want the computer to change ie point/signal/loco etc.


In a nut shell yes, it is one loco decoder for a one loco, for other elements we have what are called accessory or stationary decoders. These usually operate or control any thing between 4, 6 or eight accessorys and there are loads of options and you can mix and match manufacturers if you wish in most cases.



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Pete.

ECOS2 with RR&Co Traincontroller and a load of other electronics so i can sit back and watch the trains go by.
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 08:21 pm
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Alan
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wogga wrote: Hi Alan, if its any consolation i have a Prodigy gathering dust on top of me bookcase lovely handheld throttle as well:sad:

Oh Alan if you are ever near Lancashire you are more than welcome to pop in for a looksee.


:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

Still it will come in handy for something else, our British 00 layout will now have three hand held controlers !!!!!!

If only I was passing your door,that's one of the problems I don't think anybody within 100 miles has gone all the way to using a computer.

 I will keep the DCC system that operates the layout at the moment untill I really understand and start to add it to the layout, but I will start researching another system ;-)

Back to decoders, is the price of a muti decoder around the same price as a the same number of single loco decoders ?

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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 08:35 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Don't worry, Alan.  We're starting to build up a lot of expertise here.  A bonus is we just picked up Chrish as a member so we've got Itrain covered now, as well.

I built a "stand alone" shelf layout for my first go.  That way I needed a smaller number of turnout controllers, block detectors and feedback modules and I could get my head around the process much more easily.

If you start from the track plan and work back, you can easily see all of the hardware you will need and with a small starter, it won't break the bank.  You can still operate your main layout while you are building.  My shelf layout has minimal scenery and so my energy has gone into learning about computer control. 

I'm having a break from it at the moment as the wretched NR is taking up all my free time, but it's still there for later.  On the 23rd there is a group coming to have a look at it, so I have put in another monitor for them to see the software at work, but I haven't even polished the track as yet.

I think from watching your threads that you have already got a suitable short layout?  That might be a good place to start working.  Small steps.  Ask many questions.  I think I have the World Record for dumb questions on this subject.  :roll:



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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 08:42 pm
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Geoff R
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Hi Alan, glad to see you are coming over to the bright side:lol:

As to your last question, I find that in general a multi-decoder (I presume that you are referring to accessory decoders?) is about the same price as a single top end loco decoder. So in my case, using accessory decoders that operate 4 points - i.e. 4 pairs of motor solenoids - I have been paying around £30 for the 4, whereas Gold loco decoders cost nearly as much each.

 

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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 09:06 pm
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wogga
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Alan as Geoff says you usually can get more bang for your buck out of an accessory decoder i'll give a quick rundown on mine.

LDT S88 Occupancy decoders at £50 (£38 in kit form)each will monitor upto 8 blocks so thats £6.25 a block.

NCE Switch 8 point controllers at £40 each will control upto 8 points so thats £5 a point.

LDT Signal Controllers at £50 (kit availible) each, each can control upto 4 x 3 aspect signals each so thats £12.50 per 3 aspect signal.

Pete



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Pete.

ECOS2 with RR&Co Traincontroller and a load of other electronics so i can sit back and watch the trains go by.
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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 09:30 pm
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Alan
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Thanks again guys

I am going to download one of the free programmes and have a play, at the same time watch and listen to all you pro's :roll: and learn more about what it is that I would want from all this, as I don't think I want full total computer control, maybe just to run the long loops etc, leaving all the switching to be done by manual hand !

Is that feasible ?

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 Posted: Wed Jan 12th, 2011 09:53 pm
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John Dew
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You can do all manner of permutations........between fully automated and fully manual (using the software to set the route....ie the points

A typical scenario is to have the computor run a couple of roundy roundys......perhaps with a timetable.....together with a shuttle while the operator shunts the goods yard

You do need to be careful with the infrastructure  though..........its fine to simplify and economise by having certain sections of the layout strictly manual ie manual or non DCC points and sections of track without occupancy detection............but these become no go areas for trains running with the computor.................that doesnt mean that a loco running automatically cannot be run manually but it does mean the computor has  temporarily "lost" their whereabouts...........see my posts about occupancy detection to get a clearer idea of what I am rambling about 

 

 

 



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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2011 08:48 pm
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Alan
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Thanks John

I am reading your all your threads at the moment :thumbs

If I was to set a programme to just the loops and not include the yards in the track-plan, would that work ?

And is it as simple as having a switch to be able to run normal DCC back on the loops, or would I need to turn the complete computer etc off.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 13th, 2011 09:58 pm
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John Dew
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Alan wrote:
If I was to set a programme to just the loops and not include the yards in the track-plan, would that work ?



Yes

There are two separate decisions you have to take:

[1] Points:   do you want all the points contolled by DCC Accessory decoders or just the loops. I would probably go for the former.

When I started for each LS 150 I built a duplicate mini switchboard for back up, testing and I wasnt sure how robust the DCC system would be.................I dont bother now its far easier to point and click with the mouse on the computor screen  to throw a point  

[2] Blocks: ie Occupancy detectors. For now I would just put blocks on the main lines and ignore the yards.......however I would wire the sidings so it is easy to convert later.....ie I would make sure that each siding was electrically isolated and that its power feed (the common return doesnt matter) was clearly identified and lead to a choc block before connecting to the power

As I have written before the block set up is critical to automatic operation.......do spend a lot of time at the planning stage

 

And is it as simple as having a switch to be able to run normal DCC back on the loops, or would I need to turn the complete computer etc off.


Simpler.....no switch is required at all. They are totally interchangeable

You can, and I do, run a train automatically (on a schedule) and run another loco using either the computor throttle or the DCC throttle.

Obviously if you are running a loco under computor control (ie automatically) you cant take manual control of that particular loco without clicking a couple of buttons on the computor but it remains on throughout.

  Regards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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 Posted: Mon Jan 17th, 2011 09:53 pm
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Matt
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Hi Alan

 Welcome to the GEEK side:thumbs

don't get tangled up all in one go, the best way to look at it is;

1 software

2 hardware

1 go TC if you want all the bells and whistles. you also have a large support group within the forum. download the free trial version and go through the TUTE. the one John put together is superb and you will not find anything like it on the web. the thing to remember with TC;

1 you will have many moments of frustration followed by joy when it works.

2 there is always more than 1 Way to skin a cat with TC.

a top tip is when you save your work save it as V1, V2, V3 etc. so if you do mess it up you can go back to a working version.

2 i have a lenz aet 100 and it works without any trouble.

i use the lenz LS150 for the points (no problems) and i use LDT S88 Occupancy decoders, the s88's work out cheaper than the Lenz Occupancy decoders. the S88's are proven to work well with very little fuss. check back first before buying an S88 as you can buy different types.

 

and a little present for you

 



 

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 Posted: Mon Jan 17th, 2011 10:00 pm
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Alan
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Hi Matt

Long time no hear :roll::roll:

How is the layout............ no shed...................no second house coming on :roll::roll:

Thanks for your advice, this along with the rest of the geeks :pedalwill get me through it all, I'm just a little busy with other things at the moment to really concentrate on this computer stuff, but hopefully in about two weeks I will have more time :thumbs

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 Posted: Sat Jan 29th, 2011 05:17 pm
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Matt
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Hi Alan

yes long time no hear, i do try to get in as often as possible. the layout has been going slow recently. been doing a lot of study so no time for having fun.

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