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gdaysydney
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http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=9917&forum_id=21     NotMutley  RIP

NotMutley 2 - the rebuilt commences.
As mentioned in the previous posts in the original NotMutley thread , the new layout will dispense with the two tiers as I was not happy with the steep gradient or access to the fiddle yard which was on the lower level below the station area.

The fiddle yard will remain in the same location but has been modified and includes point work that permits any train to leave the fiddle yard on either the up or down line. In the old configuration the fiddle yard was split into an up and a down section.  The use of Y points in conjunction with double slips will give more flexibility.



This is a photo taken a few weeks ago - I was going to use it to show the pointwork but someone has left two Heljan boxes on the track


The next shot explains why its taking so long -  the wiring for the new track is in place but not connected. The electronics from the old layout has to be removed and recycled, programmed etc....



Most of my attention has gone on the window side of the layout where I have extended the width to allow for more room for what will be the station area. This picture shows the extra width ( old layout was to the cork tile).






This weekend I spent a bit of time working out how to make the best use of this area and how to stop the strong Aussie sunlight from fading anything that sits near a window..



This is my solution -  a removal MDF backboard that sits on the window ledge. It is kept in place at either ends by overlapping mdf and a removal cover that hides  a double track that bypasses the station.
This is the view from the other direction - the sun blinds can be drawn down to the backboard to allow some light to enter the room.

Well that's about it - tons of work to do  but at least I now feel that I have a workable plan and I finally feel motivated..

Last edited on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 08:50 pm by gdaysydney

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Good to see the layout has been rekindled, although in another guise. Now i would have thought you would have named it 'Not NotMutley' ! ;-);-)  Looking forward to the ongoing posts.

Cheers, Gary.

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Hi Dave,

It's good to see someone with a plan and you seem to have a great starting point with all that work and experience under your belt. Good luck with the rewiring and electronics and I'm pleased to see some brown and cream on your layout!

All the best,

Bill :)  

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G`day Dave,

Early days but the potential is there for something really good. The Aussie sun is a killer and you`re right to get that sorted out. Your under board wiring reminds me of mine. I`ve just lifted my main board this afternoon to do some work under there and it needs a good tidy up before anything constructive can happen.
So good luck with it all and I look forward to the new version of your layout.

:cheers  Gormo

gdaysydney
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Thanks for the kind and encouraging comments.

I actually enjoy the electrical side of the hobby - its just that in this instance I have been lazy and not disassembled the old wiring before starting the new.  I have one area of the layout already correctly wired up and working by computer control  but there is a lot more to do.  Additionally I am running two DCC buses in tandem so that the computer can control signalling ( The NCE system can't handle signals yet although they have been promising signal decoders for many years)

gdaysydney
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Here's a photo of the West throat to the fiddle yard showing the point work that is obscured in the earlier.
It uses Y points and a double slip to allow access to both the up and down tracks in the fiddle yard.


Gary
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Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

gdaysydney
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Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

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gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

Sol
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Petermac wrote: gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

Do you mean me - doing changes ??   :cool wink

gdaysydney
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Petermac wrote: gdaysydney wrote: Gary wrote: Impressive piece of track work. :thumbs Will the line on the far right besides the throat, become a run-around ??

Cheers, Gary.

Hi Gary,

yes that is the plan - although with me that could change :oops:

Have you met my friend Ron Solly Dave ? .............:mutley:mutley

yes I have - and yes he taught me everything I know especially how to change me mind :mutley:mutley

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:mutley:mutley:mutley:mutley:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs

paul_l
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Hi Dave

How about "NetherMutley"

Nice start, what system are you using for your second data bus ?

Paul

gdaysydney
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paul_l wrote: Hi Dave

How about "NetherMutley"

Nice start, what system are you using for your second data bus ?

Paul

Hi Paul ,  I am using RR-CirKit's Locobuffer USB.   A small box with one end plugging into the compter with a USB and the other end attaching to a Bus.

http://www.rr-cirkits.com/

Last edited on Sun Jun 28th, 2015 10:58 pm by gdaysydney

gdaysydney
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I have two different decoders for controlling points on NotMutley.

My main Command controller is NCE so  the easiest and quickest way is to use NCE's "snap it " decoder in conjunction with a Peco turnout motor.
The picture below was taken to show how simple it is - 
The "snap it" does not require soldering as it has screws for the connection of the wires - three from the Peco Motor ( combined wire from the common side) and two wires that attach to the BUS.
If required the "snap it' can control two points at the same time by the addition of an additional capacitor - again no soldering required as it just screws in.
The decoder is programmed using the controller and is easily mounted under the layout near the points so no lengthy wiring required.



adding additional capacitor to control two points simultaneously is simple as adding another capacitor:

 

Last edited on Tue Jun 30th, 2015 10:31 am by gdaysydney

gdaysydney
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Working part time allowed me to spend some time on the layout today.
The time was spent track laying and wiring the points for computer control this time at the south eastern end of the room.



 Since I am installing a double crossovers I prefer to use Tortoise point motors as they are not as savage on the point-work.
They are a little trickier to install especially if you do not have a volunteer handy to hold them in place under the layout while you get the alignment right.
To solve this problem I attach double sided tape to the top of the Tortoise so that it will stay in place until I can secure it with screws. I also replace the wire that is supplied with thicker piano wire. The photo below shows one ready to be mounted.



I use a Lenz decoder for these "slow motion" motors as the decoder for the "snap it" is not suitable (NCE do make a suitable decoder but I have not tried it)
To handle The Tortoise motors the  Lenz LS150 ( which can control up to 6 motors) requires diodes to ensure the points work correctly - instructions come with each unit but it is a bit of a pain - fortunately diodes are very very cheap.
The photo below shows part of my set up -  the orange and yellow wires are to a separate power supply and the black and red leads go to the track power supply, which  in DCC speak its called the BUS.



A bit more time consuming and more expensive than the " snap it "  approach but saves delicate point-work such as double slips from being pulverised.
The other point to mention is that the Lenz decoder works fine with the NCE digital system

gdaysydney
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Track has been laid at the south east end of the layout and unlike the track elsewhere has now been completely wired up with block detection and operating points.
This enables me to use the computer to control everything - its a funny thing but after approx 6 months with the layout not being operational its good to have the computer software set up albeit only as a control panel.

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It all looks well under control. The track work looks great. Seams to have a nice flow about it.

I also like your retaining walls. :thumbs

Cheers

Toto

gdaysydney
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Thanks Tom,
The retaining walls are Scalescene, which I have found to be great value for money especially if you need to replicate many times. They have been recycled from the old layout where they made up a wall of some 15 feet. As with all the scenery they are in situ just to give me a starting point for the final layout .  They currently hide  the loop that bypasses the station area and I am pondering whether to have a road  on top or another railway line with hidden ends that would run railcars back and forth - something that would be easy to do under computer control but may make access a tad problematic.:cry: 

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Hi Dave,

I'll be doing something similar to hide a gradient climb up to an upper level terminus station on the R & GLR. A mixture of retaining walls and landscape.

I'll look forward to see how you go with yours.

Cheers

Toto

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You must be pleased with progress Dave - it's starting to look the part. :thumbs:thumbs

Amazing how many of us like your retaining walls .............:roll::roll::roll:  The shops along the back wall I'd guess are Metcalfe, but what make are the houses ?

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Hi Pete,

The houses are old ones from my first layout  and are  Superquick's half relief houses (C6) - they look Ok from a distance but don't stand any close up scrutiny - I may use them somewhere on the layout where they are hidden form direct view but for now they are just " fill ins"

Last edited on Sun May 20th, 2018 07:32 am by gdaysydney

Petermac
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Thanks Dave. :thumbs

In the right setting, I wouldn't write off any of these "older" models.  I remember how effective some old "Bilt-ezee" terraced house backs looked on John Dew's Granby layout.

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The Lenz LS150 has proved to be almost useless on the new layout when used in conjunction with RR&Co which can set routes. In the fiddle yard a route can involve up to eight sets of points and the Lenz takes far too long to process all the commands.
Based on recommendations I have purchased a number of NCE Switch 8 MK2 s.
Unlike the Lenz decoder these are designed especially for stall motors such as the Tortoise and having just tested one I have to say they are a very smart piece of kit. Programing is very simple and the units have an LED readout that shows you which of up to eight turnouts you are programming and what accessory code it is programmed with.
10 out of ten NCE !!

Last edited on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 11:02 am by gdaysydney

Marty
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Aha...technology... It doesn't matter how fast it is... You will invariably be waiting for it. Just think of printers!
Glad you've found a solution and that you're progressing along.

Cheers

Marty

Last edited on Wed Aug 12th, 2015 10:44 pm by Marty

gdaysydney
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A major milestone was achieved on the weekend. All the wiring has been completed and tested to allow for computer control of the points and block detection. !!
Next step will be to start to programme basic schedules in RR&Co and get back to building the scenery and playing trains !!

gdaysydney
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Work on the layout has been, to say the least, slow.  I have upgraded one of the old platforms with a fresh platform surface and built a new island platform to match.  Photo of work in progress - the platform on the far left is just there for comparison :roll:

I have also started building yet more walls - this time retaining walls that will go where the junk is currently located and will join with a tunnel entrance where the track runs under the scenery.
As it has been a pleasant spring day in Sydney I have been constructing the wall outdoors using Scalescene downloads pasted onto thick cardboard. 
Photo shows the main wall - upper wall and joining to bridge to be completed

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The walls look good in stone. I must admit I've been tunnel visioned into brick but I'm looking to convert for a change. I looked at Metcalfes stone wall but they are out of stock. Maybe it's time to try the Scalescenes version.

Looking good.

Toto

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Hi Toto,
Scalescenes is not as convenient as Metcalfe but far more versatile and once you have paid for the pdf download you can print as many times as you wish so for big projects it works out a lot cheaper.
They are also available in different brick or stone types and there are a few "freebies" you can experiment with

Cheers

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Further progress...

photo showing the retaining walls and the new arch wall  which will eventually have the road form the upper level - still pondering what to make the road with - in the past I have not had a lot of luck getting the flow correct at the top or bottom of an incline - any suggestions?



This is the view form the other direction show the tunnel entrance - everything is just resting in situ at present so that I can make alterations etc - tunnel bases for example need amending.

gdaysydney
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Another update on my wall building.
The easy stuff has been completed and now I have been busy using the basics of the arched walls and retaining walls to create a roadway down to the lower level. the following photos show progress to date.







All just placed in situ as before -  changes to the station layout will result, as you can see from the last photo.

For those with a architect background I have already been advised by my daughter that the parapets are incorrectly located I can move the one on the ramp but not the one at the join on the top !

One minor issue is that I am reusing the arched walls from the previous layout and I have upgraded my printer since then so the walls are coming out a slighty different colour than before - those with eagle eyes will notice the difference in the arches in the second photo.

gdaysydney
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Hi guys

Its been been a while since my last post - health and life generally have taken priority but I am now back in the train room for the first time in 12 months.
It may take me a while to get back into the swing of things - I have just downloaded the latest version of RR&Co - I was 6 versions behind !!

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Hi Dave,

Welcome back and it's good to hear from you again and with better news for your railway. Seems as if you're some catch up to do, but have made a start, so enjoy that railway feeling again and keep in touch.

Good health and happiness to you,

Bill

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Good to see you back Dave. Looking forward to more on "Not Mutley"
PS.Pleased That i am not alone with the birds nest under the layout. :thumbs

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Ok so 2017 was a write off so its now over two years since any work has been undertaken on the layout  !  Maybe 2018 will be more productive. 

In the past 18 months the train room has become a storage room and every time I ventured into the mess I quickly became disillusioned and walked back out.
Apart from the mess in the train room I also have a stack of railway related "stuff" that is stored elsewhere that needs to be moved so there are in fact two challenges associated with the hobby not including finding the "mojo" and getting it to stay.

By posting the picture below I am relying on the forum to apply some peer pressure so that, my health permitting,  2018 will be a turning point for Not Mutley.
 





On that note  I wish all forum members a happy and successful 2018

Dave

Last edited on Fri Dec 29th, 2017 01:23 am by gdaysydney

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Happy New Year Dave, won't take long to tidy that lot up :thumbs

(Consider yourself 'peer pressured' :mutley)



Ed

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Dave said, "By posting the picture below I am relying on the forum to apply some peer pressure so that, my health permitting,  2018 will be a turning point for Not Mutley."


O.K. Dave, here is some peer pressure:


Get in that room and sort it! NOW!


 


Hope that helps.


All the best for 2018.


Terry



 

Last edited on Fri Dec 29th, 2017 02:37 pm by col.stephens

gdaysydney
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Thanks guys.

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Hi Dave

So good to hear from you........you have been missed!.

I am sorry that last year didnt lend itself to modelling. I do hope your health has improved so that hopefully you can get stuck into Not Mutley-2 again. It was such a promising layout and I used to enjoy your updates.

Apart from anything else I need someone to chat to about RR&Co! :roll:

Best wishes for 2018

John

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Hi John,

getting the layout running will be my highest priority so stand by for lots of banter regarding RR&Co  as I have forgotten more than I have remembered and will need some input to get up to speed - an then there is the new version :oops: :oops:

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Well its taken 3 months to finally make sufficient space in the train room that I am now able to get to the layout and it has been cleared of all the junk and train stuff and I can now run trains again.  A milestone achieved albeit taking a lot longer than anticipated.

After cleaning the track and relearning how to use the controls I decided that I needed to get more orderly in my approach to the layout and the computer programming.  For those of you that have joined the Club in the past two years I run the layout using DCC and computer control. I run either fully automated or by using the computer screens a switchboard.

As my natural bias is to things electrical I decided that the first task I would tackle was the detection of wagons that sit in sidings, or worst case, detach from a moving train.
Reading my NCE manual it said that this is easily achieved by placing a 4.7K ohm resistor across the axle and I found a video that showed how this could be achieved using surface mounted resistors and electrical paint .  Simple? well yes except even when I used up to an 80k resistor across the track my block detectors failed to detect them.  So project on hold while I seek input from the NCE users forum. 

Undeterred, I thought I would address another issue which is loco profiling. This is necessary so that all trains under computer control can run at the same scale speed for a designated speed - i.e if the computer says the train is running at 30mph then thel loco that being controlled by the computer will be moving at the 30mph scale speed - very important when running consists!
To save space I decided that I could do this on a rolling road rather than a purpose built length of track. However, having taken the plunge and ordered a speed cat from Germany after seeing it perform on a video from McKinley Railway I have now discovered that the new version of the railway computer software (RR&Co) handles it differently so its a wait and see. :shock:

Dave

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Hi Dave
Not sure if you want this here or should I ask Max to move it to the RR&co area?

Occupancy detection........I assume you are using BD20s hence the NCE Forum? 

                                         A very dumb question ......you have checked in more than one block? The blocks you have used do detect stationary locos? 

Will a bulb work across the tracks?

Silver paint only works as a conductor when the carrying medium has completely evapourated......Mine often fail when first tested but after leaving them a few hours they work fine.

I will write later about V9

Best wishes

John







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I wish you best of luck on sorting the DCC issues out.

As for a concern you brought up earlier in the thread, about the more recently printed stone being slightly different in color, I would say don't sweat it. If anything, a little variation like that is realistic (at least, to my knowledge).

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
Not sure if you want this here or should I ask Max to move it to the RR&co area?

Occupancy detection........I assume you are using BD20s hence the NCE Forum? 

                                         A very dumb question ......you have checked in more than one block? The blocks you have used do detect stationary locos? 

Will a bulb work across the tracks?

Silver paint only works as a conductor when the carrying medium has completely evapourated......Mine often fail when first tested but after leaving them a few hours they work fine.

I will write later about V9

Best wishes

John


Thanks John,
No such thing as a dumb question - the problem is across all the blocks on the layout - carriages with lighting will register with the DB20 but not wagons with a single LED tail light.
I have used conductive paint as recommended by Charlies in the first video rather than silver paint which I was not able to source . My testing however reverted to testing resistors across the track.
Dave

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote: I wish you best of luck on sorting the DCC issues out.

As for a concern you brought up earlier in the thread, about the more recently printed stone being slightly different in color, I would say don't sweat it. If anything, a little variation like that is realistic (at least, to my knowledge).

Hi Brendan,
Many thanks for your comment. At the time it seemed a major issue but as you suggest in the 12inch to the foot world there are variations sometimes considerable ones and the scenery has been "weathered" over the past few years by albeit limited exposure to sunlight .

Dave

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Hi Dave
Googled BD20s to try and find the manual.....no luck........but did find a couple of threads about the set up of the NCE AIU(??).

As I understand it the BD20.  detects occupancy but it has to be hooked up with a device that notifies the user of occupancy........are you using the NCE AIU?  Apparently you have to have loops of wire round the AIU for it to work properly withlow current draw occupancy

I apologise if you know this already.........but it did make me wonder if the issue is one of notification rather than detection?



Good luck


John

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Hi Everyone.

There's information on the NCE BD20 here including Led hook up.
Hope its helpful.


https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201254549-BD20-Block-Detector


Tony.

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Hi John and Tony

Many thanks for you welcome posts on my problem.
My BD20's are connected to AIUs as you have described. Each AIU can handle 14 BD20s and I have  4 AIUs around the layout. Each BD20 has an LED on the AIU that will light up when current is detected. The layout and the equipment work as required except that in attempting to have wagons registering I have discovered that the recommended 10K resistor is not triggering the BD20.
 
My problem is that the LED for any of  the BD20s will come on if a loco or carriage with lighting, is sitting in the corresponding block, ( i.e. working as expected) but not when I place a resistor of 10k to 80k across the track :???:
I am still waiting for the NCE forum to post my query - hopefully they will shed some light on the problem - I'm sure it will be something relatively simple
ps I have already ensured that my BD20s have two loops of the wire to ensure increased sensitivity

Best wishes

Dave

 

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Speed cat and rolling road arrived
A parcel from Germany arrived today - and the picture below shows the contents out of the box.
The rolling road with a central rail  that holds the rollers in place and allows the system to accommodate third rails systems such as marklin.
Also instructions in German and English, attachments to the rolling road to connect to the computer, a CD disc and a small extension for the USB.
Without reading anything I can see that this system was designed to connect to a laptop computer and I will need an extension USB lead to enable me to connect the device to my desktop. :roll:



This is the contents of the small packet that contains Speedcat

Not much to it - the rollers that have a rubber ring to prevent slippage that will need to inserted onto the rolling road, the USB connection and a spare wheel with rubber ring and two spare rubber rings.

I will need to have a good think about where and how I am going to locate the rolling road as it does not appear to have anything that will secure it in place and I regret that with my clumsiness I can see that I could accidentally get something caught in the USB wires and end up with the rolling road and loco on the floor :shock:

Let the games begin - next stage getting the equipment up and running on the computer and then possibly the biggest challenge- working out how it works with RR&Co

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Hi Dave

I'm late to the party as usual.  :oops:

How does that device fit into your plans?

Cheers

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MaxSouthOz wrote: Hi Dave

I'm late to the party as usual.  :oops:

How does that device fit into your plans?

Cheers
Good question Max,

Currently I speed-profile locos on the layout but that involves curves and points which result in less than optimal profiling.
There were two options - a length of track at a lower level that was divided  into three blocks  which would take up room and the room doesn't lend itself to a long straight piece of track so I would need to have plenty of "buffer" at each end  or option two use a RR&Co compatible rolling road.
I have gone for the latter - but have yet to find out whether it will do the job !  The rolling road would sit near where I sit on a shelf just below the layout.

Dave

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Interesting.  I was of the opinion that the loco was required to travel the length of a Block, entering new Blocks, etc.

Still; it's been a while since I played with TC.    :lol:

I'll be following with much interest.

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gdaysydney wrote: Speed cat and rolling road arrived
A parcel from Germany arrived today - and the picture below shows the contents out of the box.
The rolling road with a central rail  that holds the rollers in place and allows the system to accommodate third rails systems such as marklin.
Also instructions in German and English, attachments to the rolling road to connect to the computer, a CD disc and a small extension for the USB.
Without reading anything I can see that this system was designed to connect to a laptop computer and I will need an extension USB lead to enable me to connect the device to my desktop. :roll:



This is the contents of the small packet that contains Speedcat

Not much to it - the rollers that have a rubber ring to prevent slippage that will need to inserted onto the rolling road, the USB connection and a spare wheel with rubber ring and two spare rubber rings.

I will need to have a good think about where and how I am going to locate the rolling road as it does not appear to have anything that will secure it in place and I regret that with my clumsiness I can see that I could accidentally get something caught in the USB wires and end up with the rolling road and loco on the floor :shock:

Let the games begin - next stage getting the equipment up and running on the computer and then possibly the biggest challenge- working out how it works with RR&Co


Hi Dave.


I have that rolling road myself.
When I bought it I also bought 
http://marion-zeller.de/Fine-Scale-P4-S4-EM-0n3/Upside-down-System-KURT-finescale-P4-S4::60.html?MODsid=154hqt1h89ljkng0ndltotio13
It has stands on which the rolling road sits.


I'll be very interested in how you get on with the velocity measuring system ?


Tony.


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Hi Tony

:off topic  sort of..........how do you rate the Speed Cat performance as a rolling road?

Regards

John 

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Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time

There is no question that profiling conventionally,  a long uninterrupted profile block results in more consistent loco performance..........the downside is that the increased length results in significantly increased time to complete the profile :sad:  I estimate it takes about 45 -60 minutes to profile one loco..........even with the required glass of wine and some decent jazz it is still a bit like watching paint dry.

There are some major enhancements in V9 including something called Limited Distance Moves which makes the Kadee Shuffle much more realistic (as seen on my video) . To take advantage of this and generally enhanced accuracy I am laboriously reprofiling all of my locos :roll: . ....... I am now an expert on Diana Krall tracks :lol: 



Not sure if you have seen this thread on the RR&Co forum?

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29647

This was when V9 was first released which changed the way TC related to Speed Cat and required the Speed Cat manufacturer (Matt Zeller?) to modify his software........I believe this has now been done.

There was also this......hence my post to Tony

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31182

I am inclined to think the OP in this thread is confused....his profile states V8 yet he is trying to run the latest (V9) software

Best wishes

John



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John Dew wrote: Hi Tony

:off topic  sort of..........how do you rate the Speed Cat performance as a rolling road?

Regards

John 

Hi John.
I don't have the speed cat.
It was the rolling road stands I was referring to.
The Speed Cat is a separate item to the rolling road.
Tony.

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Sorry Tony that was careless of me.....I meant to ask what you  thought of the rolling road in itself
Cheers

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time

There is no question that profiling conventionally,  a long uninterrupted profile block results in more consistent loco performance..........the downside is that the increased length results in significantly increased time to complete the profile :sad:  I estimate it takes about 45 -60 minutes to profile one loco..........even with the required glass of wine and some decent jazz it is still a bit like watching paint dry.

There are some major enhancements in V9 including something called Limited Distance Moves which makes the Kadee Shuffle much more realistic (as seen on my video) . To take advantage of this and generally enhanced accuracy I am laboriously re profiling all of my locos :roll: . ....... I am now an expert on Diana Krall tracks :lol: 

Not sure if you have seen this thread on the RR&Co forum?

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29647

This was when V9 was first released which changed the way TC related to Speed Cat and required the Speed Cat manufacturer (Matt Zeller?) to modify his software........I believe this has now been done.

There was also this......hence my post to Tony

http://www.freiwald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=31182

I am inclined to think the OP in this thread is confused....his profile states V8 yet he is trying to run the latest (V9) software

Best wishes

John

H John, I haven't installed the Speedcat software on the train PC as yet - I will post the outcomes as soon as I have done so.
I had seen the posts on the RR&Co forum but took some comfort from the fact that the posts were 6 months ago and that there had been no further posts. My fall back position ( other than ditching Speedcat) would be to revert to V8 or worst case, right of my Euro134 investment and continue to use track on the layout with its curves and pointwork.
 As for the time saved it will remain to be seen. I also have a glass of red ( or two) but I play my music via itunes on the PC and use the shuffle function - with over 600 cds loaded I am never sure what will be playing next but its a great way to listen to those obscure tracks without suffering from artist overload :lol:
.

Dave

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Hi Dave.

I have that rolling road myself.
When I bought it I also bought 
http://marion-zeller.de/Fine-Scale-P4-S4-EM-0n3/Upside-down-System-KURT-finescale-P4-S4::60.html?MODsid=154hqt1h89ljkng0ndltotio13
It has stands on which the rolling road sits.


I'll be very interested in how you get on with the velocity measuring system ?


Tony.



Thanks Tony,
I saw the "upside down" cradle on You tube and decided that for the moment at least it would be a diversion from my main game. It does look appealing though - how useful have you found it ?

Dave

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John Dew wrote: Sorry Tony that was careless of me.....I meant to ask what you  thought of the rolling road in itself
Cheers

Hi John.


No problem.
The rolling road is very well engineered & with it on the stands its easy to look under a loco as well so you get a good view of anything the might be happening under the loco or with the wheels on the other side of the loco.
I have the stands screwed to a length of wood so that I can move it where ever I want without any problem.


Tony.

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Thanks Tony,
I saw the "upside down" cradle on You tube and decided that for the moment at least it would be a diversion from my main game. It does look appealing though - how useful have you found it ?

Dave

Hi Dave.


I bought the "upside down" cradle mainly for the stands & haven't used the straps that came with it yet.


Tony.

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Speedcat update
Software loaded ok but noticed that the CD is just a plain off the shelf CD which will get lost/misplaced so I need to save the exe files down onto a usb and mark the CD with a laundry marker.

The software intefaces with RR&Co so thats a relief but I need to secure the rolling road before I go any further. There are no plugs /sockets on the rolling road so I need to sort out some robust wiring and make it Pearson proof so that I do not end up with it all on the floor!
 
D

Last edited on Wed Apr 11th, 2018 07:50 am by gdaysydney

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Speedcat up and working

This morning I made some changes so that the rolling road and wiring was secure enough to enable me undertake further testing
As a rolling road it works well - very stable so that box is ticked.
The big question was now would it work with RR&Co and I am relieved to say it does although I have only profiled one loco and that was done" on the fly"
I was half expecting the process to be fully automated but its not. At each decoder setting you have to manually stop the loco and enter the speed calculated by Speed cat - this I found aligned very closely to RRCo particularly so once the loco got to a scale speed of 15mph.
This is a screen shot from Speedcat -  it shows the current speed and the ten second average. I waited until the loco was up to speed and the distances were steady and the speeds closely aligned before stopping the running and entering the values in RR&CO


This next photo shows the Speedcat and RR&CO together during the process.
The top left corner shows part of the RR&CO screen where you enter the speed value - I'll take another screen shot when I am profiling the next loco.

This particular loco was programmed to run at a top speed of 30mph


 

Verdict
I had some initial issues with a conflict over the COM ports but I found that if I started RRCO first Speedcat was happy to load up and find its own ort - so not as fussy as RR&CO.
In terms of my objective it ticks the box - no need for a special long track for speed profiling and as an added bonus profiling takes a lot less time as the run time for each measure is determined by you - I guess it will be trial and error as to the maximum time needed. - One down side is that unlike speed profiling on the track it does need manual intervention but that is a plus form my perspective.

On a tangent issue I noticed that Version 9 has an additional box on the speed profiling window which I have underlined in red.  John, have you used this and does it make any difference? ( I ticked it and ran my test profile above)



Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it.

Dave
 

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Dave wrote  "Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it."


it is now there Dave

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Hi Dave
That looks very encouraging although I am a bit surprised that you have to make manual entries.

A few questions

I guess on a rolling road it doesnt matter whether it is HO or OO?

I realise its a test but will you be re profiling after adjusting cv 5 (and 6) to get 30 mph at speed step 28? Otherwise you lose a lot of speed steps.

I guess you still do brake compensation on track?

I hadnt appreciated, until recently, that to get the best stopping accuracy your schedules should reflect the speed and stopping distance used in the brake test. I used to have a standard 18" at 15 mph......now I do horses for courses......I do 4-6-0s at 30 mph 36 " forwards but 10 mph 12" backwards (ie coupling) and have similar speeds and distances in the schedule

My apologies .....I meant to tell you about that box...........yes it needs to be ticked to get the enhanced performance from V9.............I find that reprofiled locos stop more accurately and of course do limited distance moves....magic!

Regards

John







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Sol wrote: Dave wrote  "Now to solve my wagon detection problem. My post has still not appeared in the NCE forum - Ill have to relodge it."


it is now there Dave

Thanks Sol,  I see its my original post - there will be another soon  :lol: :lol:
There were  plenty of replies  and the answer appears is to reduce the value of the resistor not increase it as I have been doing :sad:  I will need to get out my old physics book and brush up on Ohms law :lol:
Good to hear from you

regards
Dave

Last edited on Thu Apr 12th, 2018 08:28 am by gdaysydney

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
That looks very encouraging although I am a bit surprised that you have to make manual entries.

A few questions

I guess on a rolling road it doesnt matter whether it is HO or OO?

I realise its a test but will you be re profiling after adjusting cv 5 (and 6) to get 30 mph at speed step 28? Otherwise you lose a lot of speed steps.

I guess you still do brake compensation on track?

I hadnt appreciated, until recently, that to get the best stopping accuracy your schedules should reflect the speed and stopping distance used in the brake test. I used to have a standard 18" at 15 mph......now I do horses for courses......I do 4-6-0s at 30 mph 36 " forwards but 10 mph 12" backwards (ie coupling) and have similar speeds and distances in the schedule

My apologies .....I meant to tell you about that box...........yes it needs to be ticked to get the enhanced performance from V9.............I find that reprofiled locos stop more accurately and of course do limited distance moves....magic!

Regards

John

Hi John,

Early days yet - the loco was one I just grabbed to test and yes it does need to have the decoder reprogrammed,
I haven't  got around to adjusting the break compensation but yes I would expect to do that on the track.
Once I get more experienced with the rolling road and speedcat I post more detail - potentially a video showing how it works ( no promises but)

Dave

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Detection of wagons

The guys on the NCE forum were very helpful in pointing out that I was doing the wrong thing by increasing the value of the resistor across the wheelset and so today I commenced testing lower value resistance and values between 3k and 4k appear to do the trick.
I have some surface mounted resistors within that range so I am giving it ago as per the video in an earlier post and this video.
Both videos make it look easy but with my fat fingers and diminshing eyesight its taking me a while to end up with an axle that works :sad:.
The first attempt I glued the resistor - let it dry and then put the electic paint - waited for it to dry and tested the result with a meter and ..... nothing - close inspection ( or as close as I could see) revealed that maybe I had allowed paint across the top of the resistor( which are extremely tiny).
So now I test at each stage. I am using wheelsets with plastic axles to start off with as they should be easier than wheel sets with metal axles and plastic insulation at the wheel. I also have resorted to using wire rather than a toothpick which I found to hold too much paint.
I also took notice of the commentary in the video linked in this post and covered the paint with coloured varnish to protect the paint as it will scratch off and to make idenfication of wagons with resistors straight forward. ( Varnish couresty of "she who must be obeyed" ) Here it is
apology for the picture quality - but just to give you an idea of the size of the resistor which is the small lump indicated by the arrow. This wheel set has a plastic axle hence the location of the resistor.

 


My next attempt is with a metal axle with insulators in each wheel. Again apology for poor photo quality. This time the resistor is mounted diagonally across the insulator. Electric paint added to both wheels to complete the circuit. Varnish yet to applied.


Dave

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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave

I am very interested to see how you get on with the Speed Cat interfacing directly with TC particularly if it retains accuracy and saves time


This was feedback from McKinley Railway who are using TC version 8 -

I'm not familar with the "frig factor" in TC and I suspect it is no longer there in Version 9 :roll:

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Hi Dave
I checked the V9 railroad.ini file. There is no mention of either a zeller or a frig factor but in the section with profiling info there was something about rolling road

Cheers 

John




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Typical me !   No sooner have I started one project than I have found another one!! :roll:

I have now  been distracted again by NCE's final solution for signalling- having waited years for their Sig decoders they have finally released what looks like a much better and versatile solution call Light It - stationary decoders about the size of a five cent coin that can be used for a wide range of uses including signalling.
Light It

Now which should I do first ????
  • Finish tidying up the train room
  • Finish profiling my locos
  • Finish fitting resistors to my wagons
  • Start on applying ballast to the track
  • Finish the scenery on the layout
or buy some Light Its and experiment with the signalling which is currently out of action due to the remodelling of the layout ?



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While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley

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:thumbs     :cheers

Last edited on Mon Apr 23rd, 2018 03:08 am by John Dew

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Sol wrote: While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley
 
Thanks Sol,

I took your advice except that while I was drinking the first glass I just ran trains.
By the time of the second glass the computer was running the trains and by the third glass I tried running trains in conjunction with the computer which didn't work out well as I went through a red light'( well would have done if it had been working!) and caused a derailment. :roll: At that point (pardon the pun) I decided to switch everything off and tidy up in the morning :cry:

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Light It update
I mentioned before that these decoders are small - the plus side is that they can be located inside wagons and carriages and full advantage taken of the many lighting effects the decoder can mimic- these include crossing signals, slow fashing, flourescent flicker ( oh the irony !! I have flicker free installed in some of my carriages),  Random on/off - 4secs to 4 minutes  to name a few.

The downside is that for signals these decoders will be under the board and their small size means there is no room for mounting screws. I will need to give some thought as to how I will set them up as they can be diasy chained. I'm thinking that since double sided sticky tape is problemic over time, I will either use blue tac or mount them on a thin piece of mdf using the power wiring to hold them in place. Any suggestions always welcome

The picture below shows how they come if you elect for the 15 decoder packet - the coin is a 20 cent piece - same size as a 10p coin. The 15 decoders cost me A$140 so less than A$10 per decoder



They are powered off the track and the instructions cover programming using the NCE, Digitrax,and Lenz systems. I mention this as I know John uses the Lenz system and is looking for something to do (NOT) :twisted:


Last edited on Tue Apr 24th, 2018 05:48 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: Sol wrote: While you are thinking, partake in a glass of red :cheers- it may help to clarify what is done first !!!   :mutley
 
Thanks Sol,

I took your advice except that while I was drinking the first glass I just ran trains.
By the time of the second glass the computer was running the trains and by the third glass I tried running trains in conjunction with the computer which didn't work out well as I went through a red light'( well would have done if it had been working!) and caused a derailment. :roll: At that point (pardon the pun) I decided to switch everything off and tidy up in the morning :cry:

:mutley  :cheers  :cool wink

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gdaysydney wrote:



They are powered off the track and the instructions cover programming using the NCE, Digitrax,and Lenz systems. I mention this as I know John uses the Lenz system and is looking for something to do (NOT) :twisted:



Dont tempt me Dave..........my to do list is growing at a frightening rate......you are absolutely correct I do NOT need any more projects.......another glass of wine is another matter!:cheers




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Light It update   or lack of progress report

There are days when I wish I had just stuck to a simple layout with nothing fancy - such as signals that work !!!

Yep you know where this is going... Some of you may recall the frustration I had a few years ago when I set up my signals via a separate BUS using loconet.   Light It was supposed to overcome these frustrations and make it nice and simple to install.

So far my experience has not been 100% positive - the decoder is very flexible - which is more than likely my downfall- too many options!!.  It can work off loco functions, accessory functions and as a multi aspect signal.  No problem with getting it to work on the first two functions, which I currently don' t need, but can I get it to work my two aspect signal - currently NO :oops:

I have reverted to posting on the NCE group again - hopefully they will come to the rescue. Whilst I am confident that I can get RR&Co to run appropriate macros if I set up each signal as a loco ; it will be a pain in the a**e.

I then looked at the RR&Co forum and found this :




So thats the problem my train software does not handle extended signal addressing !! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Fortunately I am using the gold version so I will have to revert back to the manual on Extended accessories and program by signals as locos ( fortunately my system can handle thousands of diferent loco numbers :cool:
John - do you have any tips on have you Extended accessory programming ?? ;-) ;-)


Oh and one other trap - the aspect signals are made in England and the common wires are negative with the positive wires colour coded for ease of use.  The decoder is made in the USA and set up for common being positive. Not a major problem except I had to waste time working out which of the two white wires on the signal was for the red signal, the other being for the green - just something to be  aware of.




Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 04:39 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave
I am a bit confused...........if the plan is to use the decoders to power multi aspect signals why would you use the locos to control them.........I would have thought TC could operate them like the prototype linked to blocks and turnouts... I suspect I have missed something. Are the signals for cosmetic purposes or will they control the movement of trains?

I have dabbled with extended accessories.......happy to help when I am a little clearer about the overall plan.

Regards




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John Dew wrote: Hi Dave
I am a bit confused...........if the plan is to use the decoders to power multi aspect signals why would you use the locos to control them.........I would have thought TC could operate them like the prototype linked to blocks and turnouts... I suspect I have missed something. Are the signals for cosmetic purposes or will they control the movement of trains?

I have dabbled with extended accessories.......happy to help when I am a little clearer about the overall plan.

Regards
Hi John,
I thought they would operate as you suggest. Linking the signal to the decoder by a unique address, with logic in TC determining the status of the signal  ( using a combination of conditions of turnouts and block occupancy ) and the decoder automatically changing the physical signal.
But it turns out that the NCE decoder uses extended signal addressing which is not supported by TC.

My thought now is to have the signal driven by the logic  and hence changing the signal in TC . What I am not sure about is how to set up a "Loco" that is really a signal :???:   If I give the signal an address that is a loco I need to work out how to trigger the actual signal  as the signal will use functions that would normally be associated with train lights -  In this case it would be functions 0 and 2  so a light change would involve two commands function 0 off Function 2 on and visa versa
Any assistance on extended accessories, which I dabbled briefly in a few years ago , or any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

As you can see I have been "Railroaded" again :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
 

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 06:35 am by gdaysydney

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This is the signal I am experimenting with. The logic for driving the green signal is listed - the default is red.
So the question now is how do I get a loco function into the equation I was thinking maybe a flagman may help but it doesnt reference specific locos


Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 07:20 am by gdaysydney

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I will do some experimenting with an EA. and get back to you
Max may be able to help I think he created an EA to handle lighting etc in his warehouse

Cheers


John


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Hi John

The lights in the engine shed were part of a Start List in Schedules for one of the locos.  I remember doing an EA for something, but I can't remember what it was for.  :oops:

I remember documenting it at the time, so I'll have to go looking for it.

We are on a trajectory towards going to market with our house in August (and Wendy bought me an RC model aircraft for my 70th), so my train modelling is on the back burner at the minute.  :lol:

I'll report back as soon as I find something.

Cheers

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Hi Dave

Here is the link to the Extended Accessories page.

http://www.modelrailcommand.com/view_topic.php?id=1064&forum_id=21

Cheers

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Thanks Max, John,

As usual the TC manuals are very light on and I find them as good as useless. I'll have a go at the step by step process Max has documented and report back.  I am sure it is possible - I suspect its like the Apollos first trip to the moon - lots of course changes on the way to the target :lol:


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Good Luck
I thought Max's step by step was great and I kind of got the hang of how it could work with a dummy loco.........look forward to seeing how you get on

Cheers

John

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:Happy
Success !! 
It took a bit of trial and error but it wasn't as difficult  as I thought it might be. Max's step by step guide was very helpful. :thumbs
It needed two functions per switch for a two aspect signal and it didn't work  first up until I remembered from the KD shuffle days that TC doesn't like two commands at the same time so I had to put in a delay. ( A three aspect signal would need three functions per switch)
I will put together a word document explaining exactly what to do so that anyone using  TC with the Light It decoder for signalling will be able to follow it

Thanks again gentlemen - There was a touch of deja vue having the three of us plus Wogga (Pete) working on a solution.
Talking of Pete has anyone heard from him- it must be 3 years since he said he was going to pull stumps on his layout?


Last edited on Sat Apr 28th, 2018 06:44 am by gdaysydney

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Glad to be of some help, Dave.

I'm getting further and further behind as I try to wrangle my RC aircraft.  :???:

I'm still only about 1/3rd the way into my pilot training. :roll:

I always was a slow learner - even slower, now I'm in my 70's. 

I think Pete has moved on.  His stuff is still on YouTube, though.

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Word document - TC - Light It for dummies attached


Whilst installing signals on my layout I have discovered that in the original document the function settings for the Light It are back to front ( compensated by a wiring error) as my UK manufactured signals use a negative rather than NCE's positive common.
Document has been updated to avoid confusion


Attachment: TC -Light It for dummies v2.pdf (Downloaded 2 times)

Last edited on Fri May 4th, 2018 03:20 am by gdaysydney

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I have downloaded it though it doesnt show:hmm
Thats an excellent summary Dave........I have filed it away for the future....I am sure I will eventually need to insert an EA into Granby

Cheers

John

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John Dew wrote: I have downloaded it though it doesnt show:hmm
Thats an excellent summary Dave........I have filed it away for the future....I am sure I will eventually need to insert an EA into Granby

Cheers

John

Thanks John, the credit should go to Max - I just piggy backed off his tutorial .

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Having solved the issues with the Light It I am now busy installing signals on the layout.

At the moment I have four home signals and have ordered 4 more but I guess I should also install some away signals as well. -  I expect to need about ten - twelve signals in total
I am not an expert on British signalling - or on any other for that matter - Green for go red for stop is about as far as I have got. So my questions to the club members -
  •  Is there a simple guide for the placement of signals that I can refer to? Which side of the track, how far away from points etc
  • How does the away signal interact with the home signal ? Am I correct in assuming that in a given direction of travel the train will encounter an away signal first.  If this is correct I'm thinking that I might only need two away signals on my layout.
  • I am not modelling a particular era but it is loosely based on the 1960-1980s when I was growing up ( reliving my childhood ? :roll:) The signals I have are two aspect - is this correct for this era or should I be also using three aspect signals and if this is the case where would they be located?.  I plan to have a few operational semaphore signals as well just for interest sake. Thank goodness for preserved lines !!

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Hi Dave
I imagine that there will be replies from members far more knowledgeable than I , particularly regarding lights as opposed to semaphores.

Signals were placed on the near ( ie LH ) side but if visibilty was an issue this was sometimes varied.

Regarding placement.....there is probably a very precise ruling somewhere......I take the common sense approach that the signal is placed sufficiently far in front of the junction to ensure no risk of contact with a train on the other line 

My bible is C J Freezers "Signalling".......if you havent got a copy I would strongly recomend trying to get one

I have only skimmed the light section but my understanding is that when lights were first generally installed they replicated semaphore practice. The line was divided into blocks (just like TC) eack block controlled by a signal box. A home signal controlled entry to the block and a starter ( your away?) controlled exit from the block..........the distant signal indicated the status of the next block........off all was well....on proceed but with caution

This is very very simplistic.....there were inner and outer home and starters or shunt ahead arms to control movements within station limits......., and naturally the GWR had some unique signals of their own which continued with BR Western region. 

If you could post a sketch of your track plan with the proposed signals I ( and others ) may be able to provide more specific help

I am very envious.......one of my major regrets is that Granby's signals are only cosmetic

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Thanks John,

Whats the convention for the default state of a signal. I have assumed that a signal will turn to red until a train approaches.
( In TC ths is achieved by making a condition that the current block is either occupied or reserved)


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The default would be on or red (amber for distant)......when the signalman accepted the train from the preceding box it would be moved to off or green.

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I decided to go with the screw connectors for securing the decoders to the underside of the layout.  The photo shows two programmed decoders ( with loco numbers on tickers attached to the underside of them ) ready to be installed.
The decoders can be piggy backed with the track power or a separate 12 v supply. For the moment I am going with track power.

 

Typical me, the first physical installation is a double signal. After  determining which wires belong to which signal I have used a piece of heat shrink tube to hold the wires of one signal (13) together for installation.
Since the decoder and the signals operate on different "common" ( decoder positive - signal negative) I have also marked with red nail varnish the white wires that are now the red signals.
This should make life easier when I get under the layout and guarantee that its correctly wired at the first attempt.
 



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I discovered, when I was under the layout, :sad: that the signal wires are single core and prone to breaking especially when screwed into the connectors. :shock:
After a lot of checking and discovering the problem I reverted to soldering!! :roll:

Last edited on Sun May 6th, 2018 09:26 pm by gdaysydney

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With two signals successfully installed and operational I am waiting on delivery of four more that will go into the station area.

As I have not included a layout schematic for some time I thought it might help those following my posts to see one of this version of Notmutley.
The layout consists of a fiddle yard on the North side (top) and a station area on the south side. There is also a station by-pass which runs behind the station area under buildings.
The track in the NW corner ( top left) is removable to allow access to the train room and the available space dictated that there was only room for  3 tracks which has limited the options for trains going clockwise around the layout.  Trains traveling anti clockwise have numerous operational options.




The schematic is the switchboard screenshot from RR&Co and I have indicated two of the recently added Extended Accessory icons. These are only visible in edit mode. In run mode they disappear so that only the signals show.
For those wondering what the arrows are at the top of the page these are route indicators. When running the layout manually I can click on these to switch all points required for a designated route. It saves a lot of time and derailments. Eventually I will also have virtual signals in the fiddle yard to indicate which routes are clear and which are not.

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Hi Dave

Your switchboard is a lot neater than mine

Mine got so complicated that I split it into 4 sections :roll:   This has advantages and disadvantages.........I am still sorting out the aftermath of some of the disadvantages :shock:

Thats a really cool idea to set up route buttons......I hadnt thought of that....thank you. I am constantly shuffling stuff in and out of the storage yard manually.......and I invariably forget one turnout :oops:.  Your idea will solve that

Regards

John

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Guys

I must say that I am mightily impressed by this knowledge of technology, programming, and all - I thought it was all smoke, mirrors and hamster wheels.

This is certainly one area of railway modelling that (at my age) I will steer clear of and simply use DC control and old school control equipment.  My layout sounds like it is very much the poorer for not having your computer control, but at least I understand it when it doesn't work - its normally something I've pushed when I shouldn't have!!!

Dave - can you outline the raison d'etre for it all - interlocking, automatic control??  It might help us ludites put it all into perspective/realise what we are missing.

Barry

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Hi  Barry,

Maybe it would make it easier to follow and easier for me to explain if I start from the beginning and  explain why I made the move into DCC and then in to railway computer software.

When I was forty one  ( 1994) my dear old mum visited us from the UK and brought with her my train set that I had played with in the cellar of the family home right up to the time I discovered girls- when I was about 16.

My old train set, which was Marklin,  was the worst for wear and not how I remembered it. After putting the track together on the kitchen floor my children - eldest then 10 encouraged me to build a permanent layout which I did but this time in OO and a British outline.
Fortunately we had the room and I quickly built the first of four layouts - far too much track and sidings that required lots of isolation and manual switches which in turn required a switchboard.

I didn't know anyone else that had a model railway layout so everything was built using model railway magazines as a guide.  Then the internet made train forums accessible and overtime I stopped buying magazines and used the forums for reference, along with a growing number of reference sites.
 
By 1999 I was building my second railway and decided that although DCC would not replace my manual switchboard it would allow me to run multiple trains as it gave me control over the loco rather than rely just on the track.

For the next eight years I was happily "playing trains" but found that the complexity of my third layout, Not North Road (which was the first time I had given a layout a name) was creating problems and my switchboard building skills were being sorely tested. I had read on RMWeb about computer software and given that  I had always had an interest in computers although I never got as far as computer programming, I decided to fork out for the  best recommended software around at the time and bought Train Controller. (TC)
At first I used it only as a switchboard and manually controlled everything but over time and courtesy of the internet I "discovered" that I could "programme" TC to run locos automatically under certain conditions and my layout was big enough to allow the computer to control traffic on the mainline which I manually controlled locos in sidings etc - and the computer was clever enough that in the event that my loco ended up on the mainline the computer knew to stop locos running until the mainline was clear.

Since then I have slowly expanded the computers capabilities by putting in logic, such as the ones you have seen on this forum to enable the computer or me  to control multiple functions such as "routes" where a click of a button on the screen automatically sets all the points to enable a loco to run from point A to B without the need for me to manually check each point along the way - even though I am manually controlling the loco.  The computer is also able to identify if there any reasons why the route is not clear in which case it will not set the route no matter how many times I click the button.

Whilst I am "playing" in the fiddle yard the computer is capable of running trains totally automatically using its own logic - is the track clear, is the length of clear track long enough for this train ..etc or it can run pre- determined schedules which can be programmed by the user.  I made this video in 2013 that shows the type of thing that can be done with an engine with a sound decoder and with ROCO uncouplers Shunting.

The internet forums have meant that even though there is no one that I know of in Sydney that uses TC I have been able to call on people like John  and Max  to assist in solving problems and finding new ways of doing things.

Trust this helps I can go into more detail especially on the way TC operates - the fundamental  block occupancy, turnouts and signals if you would like.

best wishes


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Thanks for this Dave.

I really get the idea of being a spectator of your own layout or being a driver whilst the computer plays signalman/controller.  I regret that, at 60, and being a dyed-in-the-wool DC man, such fun will not be available to me so I will have to go on being driver, signalman, controller and the twit that fails to set the correct switch so that it either doesn't go or goes the wrong way. :oops:

We are perhaps blessed that the forums (more than the mags I believe) expose modellers to ALL of the options of control and offer support for those choosing to go down the less travelled paths.

Happy days

Sol
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Barry, just because you are a DC man doesn't mean you can't computerize your running. The late Rev Peter Denny with his Buckingham Great Central had the ability to use a computer created by his son Crispin using a drum and the piano paper roll concept and if my memory is still good, there were many USA layouts in the 1950's that developed DC automation.

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Barry Miltenburg wrote: Thanks for this Dave.

I really get the idea of being a spectator of your own layout or being a driver whilst the computer plays signalman/controller.  I regret that, at 60, and being a dyed-in-the-wool DC man, such fun will not be available to me so I will have to go on being driver, signalman, controller and the twit that fails to set the correct switch so that it either doesn't go or goes the wrong way. :oops:

We are perhaps blessed that the forums (more than the mags I believe) expose modellers to ALL of the options of control and offer support for those choosing to go down the less travelled paths.

Happy days


There is hope for you yet Barry.

I didnt convert to DCC and RR&Co until I was 70......an old dog can still learn new tricks:lol:

Best wishes

John


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Thanks for the encouragement guys.  I regret that the closest I get to technology is a wheelbarrow although I would claim a certain ability to navigate my way around Windows 10 so I must be good for something!!  With all its modern gizmo's, I'm afraid that my car is probably more intelligent than I am.

Nevertherless, what I said earlier still holds true - we are blessed to be able to share our own interests for the benefit of others without judgement.  Long may it continue.

Me?  I'm happy with DC, cab control and Classic FM instead of chuffs and whistles.

Keep up the (don't understand a word of it all) good work lads :thumbs :thumbs

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Barry Miltenburg wrote:

Me?  I'm happy with DC, cab control and Classic FM instead of chuffs and whistles.



I  too was DC man as well Barry until my late 60's when in building a new layout that had a double track crossover like this


and in trying to work out the simplest operating method for cab control so any cab could be switched to any track and switched by any operator, got a bit much and having operated on DCC layouts, I went to the dark side. It does make life far easier for multiple operator layouts. I use DCC for loco control only though & no bells & whistles.

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Sol wrote: I use DCC for loco control only, though & no bells & whistles.

You need a sound decoder for that, Sol.  :mutley

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MaxSouthOz wrote: Sol wrote: I use DCC for loco control only, though & no bells & whistles.

You need a sound decoder for that, Sol.  :mutley


I knew I should have written...

I use DCC for loco control only ( no bells or whistles needed) and for turnout/signal control, conventional DC.

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This past week I have put the screwdriver and soldering iron down and focused on tidying up the layout.
First target is the station area -

I am trying to recycle as much as the original NotMutley as possible and fortunately using Scalescenes makes this a relatively easy task ( emphasis on relatively) :roll:.

My platforms are cardboard covered timber and then covered in Scalescenes platform paper- one had to be heavily modified to fit the new curvature of the track on platform 3 whilst the other two platforms could be used as is.

First task was the rebuilt the footbridge. The available space for the platforms is less than on the original layout which means that there are curves at both ends of the station rather than straights so instead of placing the footbridge steps on the platform I extended the walls of the footbridge steps so that they could stand on their own at the end of the platforms.

The picture above shows how the footbridge steps being narrower than the platform can sit  where the platform would interfere with locos/carriages/wagons.
I had to do a similar modification to all three steps and then modify the overpass by putting in additional windows and extending it slightly


This photo shows the areas I have had to modify.  I have been lazy and not modified the existing window on the right so that it sits in the centre between the two footbridges but I'm sure there is a prototype somewhere in the UK that is not symmetrical ;-) I am happy to take advice from club members as it is only about an hours work  and the footbridge is not yet fixed in place.... this is because at the other end of the platforms I have a problem  with the trains hitting the platforms as they approach from the curve so I have to remove and shorten all three and build platform ramps which will be made from cardboard ( Scalescenes to the rescue)





This photo shows the problem- especially the platform in the background. The platform in the foreground needs to shortened  the least but needs to leave room for the operating signal - unless I replace it with a platform signal - again any thoughts ?




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Hi Dave

I meant to reply sooner.

Station looks very promising. I know what a pain it is to adapt buildings from previous layouts. You have made a super job of the bridge ......I was going to suggest moving the window but I see you have now done that.

I would put the signal on the platform........that happened quite frequently on the prototype.......I would add tapered ramps to all the platforms although in extreme cases you could just add some steps for the station staff. No need for a barrow crossing. The luggage would be from platform to platform by the lift you cleverly concealed in the footbridge!

Cheers

John 

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John Dew wrote:  The luggage would be from platform to platform by the lift you cleverly concealed in the footbridge!

How did you know ! :lol: :lol:

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Bridge windows moved .



Platform ends modified


Not bad for a mornings work - now for the wiring for the station lamps etc......

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Those Scalescene platforms look good Dave and relatively easy to work with I guess.   I read somewhere, and of course now cannot find, that the Board of Trade specify a gradient for the ramps - 1 in 8 I think so the Scalescenes ramps look a bit steep. 

There are plenty of examples of signals on platforms so I would be saving some space and go for it.  That leaves space for a lovely barrow crossing linking the ends of the ramps.

gdaysydney
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Hi Barry,

Thank you for your post and comments.
I took a screen shot of the Scalescenes ramp and then imported into photoshop and cropped it down so that the picture was the same height and length as the ramp - your eyes did not deceive you - when I adjusted the height to one inch the length was 4.271 inches. Way steeper than the current requirements. However, by the time I have added ballast etc ,which will reduce the height of the platform by more than the length of the ramp , then based on my cropping experiments, we should get down to a more respectable incline of 1:7.4 ( thanks to good old Pythagoras).

I am now working on the barrow crossing using large matchsticks ( thank goodness for BBQs!)
Based on photos I found on the internet, there are normally 5 wooden planks between the rails and I have found matches that are almost made to measure in terms of scale width.

As my platform ends are off set do you know how the crossing between the tracks should look?  Should  they go diagonally between the tracks or straight and snf then run  parallel to the tracks?

Best wishes

Last edited on Thu May 31st, 2018 06:30 am by gdaysydney

Barry Miltenburg
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Dave

A very quick look through some of my references suggests that the crossing would go straight across level with the longest platform.  The ground at the end of the ramps for the shorter platforms would then be flattened to allow barrows etc to be wheeled.

 If you search t'internet for plans/photos of Arnside Station, this is probably an extreme case. 

The up platform sat in a triangular junction.  At the tip of the platform, a barrow crossing was placed across the Barrow-Carnforth main line although the down platform was staggered and ended about 100ft further along the down line.  At the end of the barrow crossing, there was a walkway about 100ft long running alongside the tracks until it met the bottom of the down platform ramp.

The same arrangement could be found at Birkenhead North although the walkway was only a few yards long.

I was going to add that the crossings were always put at the end of the platform most convenient for the station buildings but the more I looked at, the more that proved to be wrong.  I even found examples where the crossings were laid adjoining staggered platform ends whilst the platforms at the other end aligned perfectly!!  I guess each circumstance dictated its own solution - a perfect get-out for modellers.

Certainly on the LMS and LNER this appears to be how it was done - I don't have many pics/layout plans of GWR or SR stations.

Hope that helps

Barry

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cheers Barry,

just bought some extra matchsticks !

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Some progress during the week - some more signals and barrow crossing - centre platform still needs to be connected.
Plenty of work still to be done - Rome wasn't  built in a day !!




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for the other end of the station would in be in order to have signals attached to the footbridge or would this be a no no in the 12 inches to the foot world?
the picture below shows the footbridge -

?

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How do the lines run Dave? Are there designated Up and Down lines?

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Hi John
The layout is designed so that trains can enter the four lines on the left from either end although the line on the far left will have the majority of trains entering from the bottom left

Trust that helps

Last edited on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 06:43 am by gdaysydney

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Two ratio kits combined with what was salvaged from the previous layout have been assembled and placed on the platforms to allow for wiring of station lights and buildings using a mixture of DCC Concepts station lights and LEDS. 
At this point all the station buildings are movable - the ratio kits held upright by the wiring for the LEDS

Some photos of progress -  ballasting still to be done... :roll:

( someone has thrown a luggage trolley on the track- fortunately platform 3 is not operational ;-) )



Newsagent lease has been renewed and he will soon be back in business :lol:


I'm now working under the bench to connect up the wiring to  ESU Switchpilot accessory decoders so that they can be controlled by via the computer

Last edited on Mon Jul 2nd, 2018 09:09 pm by gdaysydney

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Looking good Dave.....but please dont mention Ballast!

Is the plan to hook up the lights with the TC Clock?

Cheers

John

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Thanks John
At present I am using accessory on/off switches but yes eventually I will incorporate them into the clock 
I also have pedestrian crossings and shop lights that flash plus an assortment of lights for cars that will keep me busy.
I also have a bicycle with lights !!  
All the stuff I have accumulated over the past ten years!!  Finally enough time to incorporate into the layout

Best wishes

Last edited on Tue Jul 3rd, 2018 01:45 am by gdaysydney

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In post 63 I reviewed speedcat rolling road. Today I took a class 37 fitted with a Lenz silver decoder and ran the speed profiling of the loco on both Train Controller (TC) and Speedcat. The results where to say the least disappointing. :cry:

This is the profile from the rolling road - note how the speed flattens at the last three speed steps


This is the profile using the train on the track under control of TC


Whilst the profile is reasonable at the lower speeds, its the top speeds that cause me concern - the rolling road records a maximum of 54kph whilst on the track the loco is recording 77kph ( scale speeds of course).
Based on this test I will be using the old method for some time to come.. :sad: :sad:

John Dew
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That is really weird........I automatically assumed that speed cat would produce results that were almost identical to the conventional method but with improved accuracy and consistency.....and quicker.
Clearly not the case......any ideas what may have caused this? Have you tried some single speed tests to check against the graphs? The max speed variation is bizarre particularly when the speed cat thinks max speed is achieved at step 24:shock:

Perhaps a test with another loco?

Cheers

John

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Thanks for your comments John.
I have tried single speed tests at step 28 but the results were the same. Jury is now out for now.
Fortunately I had already decided to re-profile my locos and in some instances upgrade the decoders so I will find out shortly whether it was a one off or a major set back to my plans.

Last edited on Fri Jul 20th, 2018 03:49 am by gdaysydney

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Servicing Locos


Now that the layout is almost fully operational again, with the tracks cleaned after approximately 30 months without being used. I spent some time today retrieving locos from the "shed" ( storage boxes ) and discovered that most are in need of a good servicing. Whilst the wheels are mostly clean, the majority of them do not run as smoothly as I require - especially the "kettles"
What do club members recommend?  - apart from checking the contacts should I be giving them another run in on the rolling road ? 
How often should you service your locos?

John ,
I'm not sure if its the upgrade to Train Controller but I have also noticed that most of the fleet will need to be speed profiled again. Maybe I am getting fussier as I get older. Checking my records some of the locos were profiled ten years ago!!


Last edited on Tue Jul 31st, 2018 03:40 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: Servicing Locos


Now that the layout is almost fully operational again, with the tracks cleaned after approximately 30 months without being used. I spent some time today retrieving locos from the "shed" ( storage boxes ) and discovered that most are in need of a good servicing. Whilst the wheels are mostly clean, the majority of them do not run as smoothly as I require - especially the "kettles"
What do club members recommend?  - apart from checking the contacts should I be giving them another run in on the rolling road ? 
How often should you service your locos?

John ,
I'm not sure if its the upgrade to Train Controller but I have also noticed that most of the fleet will need to be speed profiled again. Maybe I am getting fussier as I get older. Checking my records some of the locos were profiled ten years ago!!



Hi Dave

In all honesty I rarely reprofiled locos unless they started playing up.......until the introduction of V9 which included enhancements to braking and speed control....but only if you reprofile!!!

Since V9 I have been progressively re profiling all my locos.....there is a little box you need to check in each locos profile screen before profiling to activate these enhancements

As far as general maintenance is concerned......When a previously reliable loco stutters I generally just clean the wheels and check the pick ups.....I dont have a schedule based on running hours although Iprobably should

Best wishes 

John








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Slow progress on the ballasting of trackwork :roll:.


Meanwhile.... two night shots of Notmutley Station
Passengers patiently waiting for the night train to Paddington  to arrive on platform 2.
The local trains that arrive and depart on platforms 5 and 4 have stopped for the night and the normally busy platforms are now empty. A lone pannier is waiting beside platform 4 for clearance to Laira




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Having had my quota of ballasting for the day I decided to continue with the signalling on the layout.
As you may recall form earlier posts I am using NCE's Lite It decoders to contol the signals on the layout and that they cater for a  positive common and unlike other more complex decoders there is no CV to change this to accomodate a negative common.
So all my signals, which are British outline and are wired with a negative common, have to be modified by rewiring the LEDs.
The exception to this are my old double header Berko signals that have two common wires and hence do not need rewiring however with eight wires coming out of the base I was finding it difficult to sort out which wires belonged to each signal.
That was until I had a Eureka moment - by pulling the offset signal off its mounting and gently pulling the cables up from the post ( not too much though!!) it was easy to see that the shorter leads belonged to that signal - that just left the working out  which of the common wires, that are both white, was the red signal and putting a dob of nail varnish on the end to identify it. Then repeat the exercise for the other signal.






Last edited on Thu Aug 23rd, 2018 01:36 am by gdaysydney

John Dew
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Very ingenious:thumbs

I am envious of your signalling Dave......my cosmetic semaphores are a real let down.:oops:
Will yours be all hooked up to Train Controller?

Best wishes

John

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Thanks for your kind comments John.

All my lights will be controlled by RR&Co although they can be controlled via the digital command station directly using the short loco addresses. (You may recall my posts on the Lite It decoders). As I will have about 20 signals its easier to have them computer controlled and this provides the additional challenge of getting the logic correct for the signal triggers.
Lines that are one directional are a relative breeze but I am still working on the signalling for the lines where trains can enter from either direction.. :roll:
 I currently have one operational semaphore on the layout that is also controlled by RR&Co. Its a single home signal which has a wire running down into the board and connected to an ESU servo motor. The wire is highlighted below.  These servos are very flexible and you can program in the start and end of the movement and also the speed. I got the idea from Max who was looking at alternatives for point motors. ( He rejected these as they were not silent !)

The motor itself is driven by SwitchPilot - an ESU decoder which can drive up to 4 motors -currently I have only one attached as you will be able to make out form this under the bench photo. I am not the neatest on the wiring front so the wiring looks more complicated given the wiring mess !
The SwichPilot requires a seperate 12-15v power supply and connections to the BUS. I have attached mine to a thin hinged board which is secured in the up position when not being worked on by an old ice cream stick that rotates around on a screw with the help of two washers !!


The signal itself is an old Hornby model so no built in LEDs such as those found in the Dapol DCC ssemaphore signals.
It adds a bit of character to the layout and I intend to add three more on the "remote part " of the layout where time has not caught up with the signalling.

I had to design my own semaphore for RR&Co  as shown in the two screens shots below
   

Have I whetted your appetite enough for you to give it a go? 


Last edited on Thu Jun 30th, 2022 02:57 am by gdaysydney

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:Red Card:It's a no no  Stop tempting me Dave!
Actually thats a very helpful explanation and I am now about to add the idea to an increasingly long list of projects........any minute now Petermac will mention sound! :shock:

Seriously thanks for the post....its given me something to think about.

Cheers

John 

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The night scene photos are particularly effective. Looks great :lol:

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TeaselBay wrote: The night scene photos are particularly effective. Looks great :lol:Many thanks for your comments Chris.

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 S’mae Dave

Been out of action for a bit - yes, the night shots are really very good – I’m a big fan of operating a layout with just the lights of the layout – creates a completely different feel to things.

I’ve got to admit that I have no idea what you and John are doing with all this computery electronics stuff, but I had to smile when you referred to your wiring as 'the wiring mess'…. That’s not messy! … this, on the other hand….



.. IS!!


It is the first thing folk see as they enter the loft, the underside of Hooton station…. Now that is properly messy! – the only way I know, I’m afraid. To be fair I have attempted to bring some order to the chaos by using a colour coding system for the wires (which may have a few variations) – and I have tagged everything, at least once, at some point.

As to signals, for me they make a layout – just so long as they work – however that may be.

Cofion

Keith
 
 
 

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Many thanks for your post Keith - I feel more relaxed about my wiring now although I suspect that by the time I have completed wiring up the lighting and signals it will be a contender for the "messy wiring " award :lol:

I too set off with all the good intentions of having a colour coded system but found that I would be halfway through a job and run out of a certain colour but had reels of other colours sitting idle. _  So I feel foul of the " I'll use another colour for now and replace it later" approach :oops:


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Wow good work, I hate wiring but it’s a necessary evil

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Sorry Dave, I’ve got that award booked for at least the next ten years!

The beauty of having so many switches – I gave up counting after 250 – with so many different functions is that every colour available gets used. My problem was the time between doing the fiddle yard board and ramp, to the mid-level board and ramp and then the top level board was such that I confused a couple of the colours…. But I think I’ve got it sorted now….. well, I've noted the differences, it's on a piece of paper.... somewhere....

Keith

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MICRO LEDS


Micro LEDS  are relatively cheap and normally come in strips. The down side is that they are fiddly to solder.

For Australian members who are thinking of adding lighting to their layouts I found these at my local Bunnings Store

For $10 you get 100 warm white micro LEDS that, with stiff wire already attached, can be cut up and will be ideal for lighting railway station buildings  and houses. For you money you also get 3 batteries and a battery holder - although I will be using the 5 volts supply from stationary decoders on Notmutley.

Last edited on Fri Sep 21st, 2018 07:27 pm by gdaysydney

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MICRO LEDS contd


Following on from my last post I can tell you that each LED is wired, as you would expect, in series. I was unable to tell by looking at the LED which of the wires was the positive one so I had to do a little experimenting with low voltage DC to work that out. That done, and because I have a terrible memory, I then applied red nail varnish to the first 20 or so wires so that I wouldn't have to perform the test again. ( To assist my memory I used red nail varnish on the positive wire - the nail varnish kindly supplied by SWMBO ).

This is one LED connected to a 5volt supply.


A few things I like about these LEDS - the wire is stiff which makes for easy manipulation and handling. The LED itself is also covered in a thin plastic making it more robust than some prewired  micro LEDS that come with very fine and flimsy wire.  There is a downside in that the wiring is harder to hide but for station and house lighting that should not be a problem. In fact so far I have found the stiff wire can be used to position the light and hold it in place - say on the ceiling of a waiting room,  whilst a drop of PVA is applied and allowed to dry.

Last edited on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 08:54 pm by gdaysydney

gdaysydney
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Now where is my mojo?   I know its here somewhere - I'm sure I put it down on the layout somewhere,,,,,,

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gdaysydney wrote: Now where is my mojo?   I know its here somewhere - I'm sure I put it down on the layout somewhere,,,,,,

Dave, go out & buy another one and the first one will turn up !!! :mutley

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Too right Sol - (sorry I didn't reply to your post earlier) - isn't that always the way ?  I was looking for a trowel to repair some brickwork and looked everywhere around the workshed and the garage - in the end I decided that since I had to go to Bunnings to buy something else I would outlay the extra $8 for a trowel.  And yes - no sooner had I got it home I moved the bag of mortar to get on with the job and there was my old trowel :oops: :oops:.

On things model railway I have found my mojo ( it was also under the bag of mortar :lol:) and have been busy on the layout although not a lot to show for it. 
I'll take some photos over the coming week and show you what has taken so long to visibly achieve so little...

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Isn't that always the way? XD
Well, at least you've got a spare now.

Congrats on making layout progress!

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Thanks Brendan.

Well as promised here is an update on what I have been upto over the past few months

I had a major setback in that I had installed working yardlights which I had purchased many moons ( years) ago and finally got around to installing them - only to accidentally connect them to the power supply without any resistor   - yes I can confirm that when you blow ten LEDs at the same time you can hear the noise of them overheating. 
On investigation I discovered that the LEDs where set in painted plaster so i decided that I would replace the LED lamps rather than buy new ones - however trying to get an LED to set in the middle of plaster that replicates a lamp is easier said than done -  after much experimenting I found that Plasticine rolled flat and then imprinted with a lamp shaped button to create the appropriate mould then carefully centering the LED leads before carefully filling the mould with plaster of Paris did the trick - the end result was not as good as the original bit still looks the part.
I will post a daylight picture later ..


I have also been busy building a Scalescenes signal box - I lashed out and bought the brass signal lever kit and windows and added lights and a signalman.  I am very pleased with the result - its amazing what you can do with old breakfast cereal packets !



This is a close up shot looking through the left hand window
- just a tad light bleed from two micro LEDs off the $5 special mentioned in an earlier post above.


Apart from the ongoing job of ballasting I decided that the location of NotMutley would be moved further to the east and installed a third rail on the inner loop so I could run some southern region electric cars.

There were two components:

A relatively simple job but time consuming...
If you are interested I basically copied the idea from a modeller who posted under "Glebe Road Junction"

Last edited on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 08:52 pm by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave,

Wow, all of your lighting looks wonderfully atmospheric, despite the setback with blowing the LEDs.

I also admire those brass signal levers which look so much better than the plastic offerings lurking in my to-do box!

Best,

Bill

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Thanks for your comments Bill and my apology for not acknowledging them earlier.

Your comment on the signal levers is very welcome as I pondered for many weeks before ordering them as the cost including postage to Australia was a lot more than the cost of the signal box - but in the end well worth it.

Best wishes

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Well my regained Mojo for things trains didn't last long in 2019 and its now 13 months since I last posted.

The train room looks like a bomb hit it as it was used as a dumping ground during a tidy up when the grandchildren came to live with us ( that's another story).

Winter is arriving "down under" and the days are getting shorter. In Isolation due to "The virus that shant be named"   ( I'm a secret Harry Potter fan) I have no excuse for retreating indoors in the late afternoon and not visiting the train room.
Now where did that pesky Mojo go?....

Last edited on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 10:26 pm by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: MICRO LEDS contd


Following on from my last post I can tell you that each LED is wired, as you would expect, in series. I was unable to tell by looking at the LED which of the wires was the positive one so I had to do a little experimenting with low voltage DC to work that out. That done, and because I have a terrible memory, I then applied red nail varnish to the first 20 or so wires so that I wouldn't have to perform the test again. ( To assist my memory I used red nail varnish on the positive wire - the nail varnish kindly supplied by SWMBO ).

This is one LED connected to a 5volt supply.


A few things I like about these LEDS - the wire is stiff which makes for easy manipulation and handling. The LED itself is also covered in a thin plastic making it more robust than some prewired  micro LEDS that come with very fine and flimsy wire.  There is a downside in that the wiring is harder to hide but for station and house lighting that should not be a problem. In fact so far I have found the stiff wire can be used to position the light and hold it in place - say on the ceiling of a waiting room,  whilst a drop of PVA is applied and allowed to dry.
Hi Dave,
I have bought the same LEDs a while ago. What did you use as resistor and how many?

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No excuses then Dave......into the train room....clear a bit of track....hook up your favourite ,most reliable loco and do a bit of shunting...... manually not with TC that can come later:lol:
Stay safe.    Keep well

John

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Hope you get the room tidied and the mojo back. I’m missing your updates. 

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gdaysydney wrote: Well my regained Mojo for things trains didn't last long in 2019 and its now 13 months since I last posted.

The train room looks like a bomb hit it as it was used as a dumping ground during a tidy up when the grandchildren came to live with us ( that's another story).

Winter is arriving "down under" and the days are getting shorter. In Isolation due to "The virus that shant be named"   ( I'm a secret Harry Potter fan) I have no excuse for retreating indoors in the late afternoon and not visiting the train room.
Now where did that pesky Mojo go?....
Another year has passed, another Winter is almost over and I am still looking for my mojo.  I honestly thought that with lock-downs I would have more time and inspiration to return to the train room but my mojo failed to appear :cry:
Now that Sydney is in its second month of another lockdown I am going to give it another go !

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Mojo is often a problem Dave.  Mine sometimes disappears  - for hours on end .... :mutley

Joking aside, during summer I don't seem to manage the time to do much in the train room so, by autumn time, I'm usually itching to get going - but can't remember where I left off ....

Are you happy with your layout or do you wish you'd done something differently ?  That can sometimes be a trigger.........

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This mojo thing is a bit of an illusive character - appears to come and go. Like you I thought the lockdown here in Spain would give me more insentive to crack on. I have to say it did for a while but more waves and lockdowns coupled with the hot summer has seen my mojo off on it's holidays. Getting back to the UK in September to see family and friends, the first time in over 20 months, coupled with cooler temperatures when we get back, will hopefully see my mojo return too.

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Petermac wrote: Mojo is often a problem Dave.  Mine sometimes disappears  - for hours on end .... :mutley

Joking aside, during summer I don't seem to manage the time to do much in the train room so, by autumn time, I'm usually itching to get going - but can't remember where I left off ....

Are you happy with your layout or do you wish you'd done something differently ?  That can sometimes be a trigger.........

Hi Pete,
I was in the train room this afternoon - I wish I had put a dust sheet over the layout and not used the room as a dumping ground !  Its going to take a while just to be able to get the trains running again.  I have lots of boxes full of train stuff that I have thought would come in useful. One of the decisions I will have to make is whether to keep saving the stuff or throw it out. 
I think I have what they call an abundance of SABLE = Stuff Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy!!


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DaveH_Murcia wrote: This mojo thing is a bit of an illusive character - appears to come and go. Like you I thought the lockdown here in Spain would give me more incentive to crack on. I have to say it did for a while but more waves and lockdowns coupled with the hot summer has seen my mojo off on it's holidays. Getting back to the UK in September to see family and friends, the first time in over 20 months, coupled with cooler temperatures when we get back, will hopefully see my mojo return too.


Hi Dave,
I hope your mojo returns and more importantly hangs around for a while.
As you can by my posts in 2019 mine didn't stay long - maybe this time while I wait for Australian vaccination rates to increase to a level where restrictions can be lifted as it looks like the Delta version is not going to be tamed in the same way as the previous strains.

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Hi Dave
You will have seen my PM….it was good to hear from you. 

I do hope this return to Not Mutley is sustained. It is a lovely layout and you have put so much work into it. Apart from that, the other Dave and I need someone else to chat to about RR&Co!:lol:

Best wishes

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RR & Co. True at the rate some of us seem to be moving we will have forgotten most of what we leaned. Hopefully it's like riding a bike and it all comes flooding back. Maybe a bit of "running trains therapy" would be go for us all once in a while.

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DaveH_Murcia wrote: RR & Co. True at the rate some of us seem to be moving we will have forgotten most of what we leaned. Hopefully it's like riding a bike and it all comes flooding back. Maybe a bit of "running trains therapy" would be go for us all once in a while.

Hi Dave,
I did as John and you suggested and climbed over the mess on the floor, cleaned the track and ran some trains around the circuit for a while.
I then switched on the computer and fired up TC to try and recall how it all worked. It didn't take me long to realise how the old computer powering TC is getting but ... it made me recall one of the things that had resulted in my mojo leaving home!
The layout is poorly designed in that trains running anti clockwise have plenty of routes that they can travel on but trains traveling clockwise are fairly limited unless they travel the wrong way on the down line.

So today I found my mojo and have started taking up track and will put in a few more points to give the layout (and TC) some more flexibility.  I spent this afternoon rummaging through the many of boxes of "stuff" and found all the parts I need ( including the electronics) to set up the point and add a block or two.

As I will be making more mess the tidying up can wait a while longer ! :lol:


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Hi Dave,

My small layout has been a great help to get me through all the lockdowns here in Victoria. Nice to give your mind and attention to a COVID-19 free world!

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gdaysydney wrote: DaveH_Murcia wrote: RR & Co. True at the rate some of us seem to be moving we will have forgotten most of what we leaned. Hopefully it's like riding a bike and it all comes flooding back. Maybe a bit of "running trains therapy" would be go for us all once in a while.

Hi Dave,
I did as John and you suggested and climbed over the mess on the floor, cleaned the track and ran some trains around the circuit for a while.
I then switched on the computer and fired up TC to try and recall how it all worked. It didn't take me long to realise how the old computer powering TC is getting but ... it made me recall one of the things that had resulted in my mojo leaving home!
The layout is poorly designed in that trains running anti clockwise have plenty of routes that they can travel on but trains traveling clockwise are fairly limited unless they travel the wrong way on the down line.

So today I found my mojo and have started taking up track and will put in a few more points to give the layout (and TC) some more flexibility.  I spent this afternoon rummaging through the many of boxes of "stuff" and found all the parts I need ( including the electronics) to set up the point and add a block or two.

As I will be making more mess the tidying up can wait a while longer ! :lol:




Excellent!

 I have a similar problem which forced me to go for more out and back routines.

Did all the TC routines come flooding back? I was only away for a few months and it took me while to remember some quite elementary procedures:oops:

What version of TC are you using?

Best wishes

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John Dew wrote:Excellent!

 I have a similar problem which forced me to go for more out and back routines.

Did all the TC routines come flooding back? I was only away for a few months and it took me while to remember some quite elementary procedures:oops:

What version of TC are you using?

Best wishes

Hi John,
In a word "nope"  I even struggled to find my way around the program especially when I tried to change the grid size! :oops:  Its going to be a steep learning curve!!!
I'm using version 9.0.B1 - I have just seen that the latest version is B3 but I cant find anything regarding the updates so I'm not sure I'll bother unless you recommend it -

 I found this on the TC website -
"In the past, there were always countless user problem reports after every update.
For example, there were users who changed a setting during or shortly after the update, and when problems arose from this they thought that this could only have resulted from the update.
Other users had not saved their project files in the recommended locations. After these files were no longer automatically found by the software after an update, these users said that the update had deleted their files. etc. etc.
We conclude that updates bring more problems than benefits for many users. We are therefore very reluctant to inform existing users about new updates."

Herr Freiwald has some weird ideas about keeping his customers satisfied - these users are such a nuisance!!  :shock:




Cheers Dave

Last edited on Tue Aug 10th, 2021 11:52 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: John Dew wrote:Excellent!

 I have a similar problem which forced me to go for more out and back routines.

Did all the TC routines come flooding back? I was only away for a few months and it took me while to remember some quite elementary procedures:oops:

What version of TC are you using?

Best wishes

Hi John,
In a word "nope"  I even struggled to find my way around the program especially when I tried to change the grid size! :oops:  Its going to be a steep learning curve!!!
I'm using version 9.0.B1 - I have just seen that the latest version is B3 but I cant find anything regarding the updates so I'm not sure I'll bother unless you recommend it -


Cheers Dave

Hi Dave

I had exactly the same experience.....you will be surprised how quickly it comes back to you.

I have been using B3 since its announcement (February  ?) with no bugs. I can see no reason why you shouldnt use it. If memory serves B1 had an issue with the orientation of train sets and that seems to have disappeared now

Cheers

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John Dew wrote:
Hi Dave

I had exactly the same experience.....you will be surprised how quickly it comes back to you.

I have been using B3 since its announcement (February  ?) with no bugs. I can see no reason why you shouldnt use it. If memory serves B1 had an issue with the orientation of train sets and that seems to have disappeared now

Cheers

Hi John,
I've downloaded and installed the latest version of TC and its running fine.
I've also modified the layout to give me more flexibility and prototypical running ( no more running a train down the up line! - or is it up the up line? ) .
I'm slowly relearning the tricks of TC and have reverted back to your tutorials  - which brings back  memories when we worked together with Max get his layout automated.  -  I had forgotten how long ago that was...

Now I have a question that you may be able to answer and save me hours of reading and experimenting -

I now have easy  access and exit  to the engine yard ( which I never wrote schedules for due to issue above)
How, do you program TC to store multiple locos ( manly panniers) in the one block?
I want to be able to run engines light into the yard in any order and then for the computer to be able to maneuver them as necessary - say there are three locos in the siding I want to program TC so that it  moves the loco nearest to the points into another siding to allow the next loco to perform its duties. 
I guess I first need to recall how to get TC to run three locos into a single block.
I went back through the RR&Co forum and found the old files when Max was setting up his box cars Boxcars  - that was a good starting point.
However, the fog of time hasn't lifted yet - in particular using virtual contacts.I
In the instance above can I include the contact as one section and use the two virtual contacts for two other trains making three trains in all?   Or do I use three virtual contacts and ignore the actual contact? :shock:  I have spent about
four hours trying a few combos but without success.
Any assistance would be appreciated.
Dave

 

Last edited on Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 12:19 pm by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote:
Hi John,
I've downloaded and installed the latest version of TC and its running fine.
I've also modified the layout to give me more flexibility and prototypical running ( no more running a train down the up line! - or is it up the up line? ) .
I'm slowly relearning the tricks of TC and have reverted back to your tutorials  - which brings back  memories when we worked together with Max get his layout automated.  -  I had forgotten how long ago that was...

Now I have a question that you may be able to answer and save me hours of reading and experimenting -

I now have easy  access and exit  to the engine yard ( which I never wrote schedules for due to issue above)
How, do you program TC to store multiple locos ( manly panniers) in the one block?
I want to be able to run engines light into the yard in any order and then for the computer to be able to maneuver them as necessary - say there are three locos in the siding I want to program TC so that it  moves the loco nearest to the points into another siding to allow the next loco to perform its duties. 
I guess I first need to recall how to get TC to run three locos into a single block.
I went back through the RR&Co forum and found the old files when Max was setting up his box cars Boxcars  - that was a good starting point.
However, the fog of time hasn't lifted yet - in particular using virtual contacts.I
In the instance above can I include the contact as one section and use the two virtual contacts for two other trains making three trains in all?   Or do I use three virtual contacts and ignore the actual contact? :shock:  I have spent about
four hours trying a few combos but without success.
Any assistance would be appreciated.
Dave

 

Hi Dave

That all sounds very promising. The tutorials are a bit past their sell by date but I am delighted to try and help.

I dont use virtual contacts now, they are a bit of a legacy option, I use flagman indicators in their place. The flagman is triggered by the contact indicator turning off in the entry block (BE) that immediately precedes the storage block (BS ie when the the loco exits BE and enters BS.

The rules of the schedule(s) that initiate this movement needed to be amended.....check these boxes:

    Occupied  Blocks and Routes                           Enter occupied blocks
                                                                              Reserve occupied blocks
    Train Sets/Join in Destination Block                  Enter reserved destination block for joining 

You will finish up in BS with the 3 locos in a single train set. The exit schedules that moves them out, one at a time, must contain [Separate rightmost loco] in the entry commands

There are a number of ways of ensuring that only one set of brake/stop markers is activated but before I suggest them could you tell me: 

Does the storage block not have a contact indicator?

When the first  loco exits BS do the remaining 2 locos need to shuffle up within the block so that a new loco can enter BS bringing the total back to 3? Its much easier if the answer is no but it can be done if needed

Could you upload a screen shot containing:

                                  The immediate entry block (s?)....storage block......the immediate exit block (s?)


More questions than answers :lol:......but no worries it can be done

Cheers





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Thanks for the tip about using flagmen rather than VCs.  The fog is slowly lifting !  ( I now remember that there seemed to be more than one way to achieve an outcome - not all were efficient.

I have made a separate file so that I can experiment and have now placed 3 flagmen in the Storage block BS (Block 5).

The schedule works for the first loco but it stops at the first flag.
I then found this in the "bible" - I'll let you know how I get on.....




Last edited on Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 10:54 pm by gdaysydney

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Thanks for the block diagram that makes things much clearer I hadnt realised the storage block was the end block

So is the plan LIFO? It is still possible to extract a loco other than the last one from B5 by temporarily moving the blocking locos into one or other of the two blocks not used by the outgoing schedule.

You are correct we need to add conditions.

With the flagmen embedded in the blocks I would create 3 associatd on/off switches (P1, P2, P3) which you can position above block 5 so you always have a visual indicator. The switches will be turned on by the flagman and used as conditions.
They would be turned off by a start command in the schedule that moves the loco out of block 5

I would set the memory of each flagmen to 60 seconds with auto reset checked…..you just want them to have time to activate the stop markers

The schedules for blocks 1-3 should have a condition P3 off……block 5 is not full

Flagman 1   Condition P 1 off

F2.        P1 on and P2 off

F3.         P1 on.  P2 on.   P3 off

Thus only one flagman will be triggered and only one set of brake/stop markers activated

It might appear over complicated but its how I would approach it
HTH

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Thanks John,

Before setting up the flagmen as per your suggestion I thought I would give the "line up" a try.
To my surprise ,I have found that  with the "line up" function in the schedule and the formula in the storage block I have been able to get TC to determine how many locos will fit in the block  (75-%BA-?BA*10 )  This will give me the flexibility of storing say two large locos or 4 small ones. ( Isay "surprise" as in the past I have found the instructions in the manual a tad light on)
Took me a while to work out why it wasn't working initially - the user guide shows the formula as 75-%BA-?BA*10:  :shock: the colon turns out not to be part of the formula!
This is how the storage block looks now:
75 being the length of the track and 10cm being the distance between each loco/train.


Apparently the locos move up automatically after a train/loco has exited the block to the right. As my block is not a through road  running a  schedule that ends in the Storage Block  with the "Start Reverse" command  will run the first train into the starting block of the schedule.  Hence the order of the locos in the block can easily be rearranged.

The changes to the schedule where minimal -


Now all I have to do is to ensure my decoders are programmed correctly !!

Dave

Last edited on Tue Aug 24th, 2021 01:13 am by gdaysydney

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Well done! :thumbs

I am sorry I should have mentioned the lineup function earlier as a possible solution :oops:

I tried it initially but found that you cant adjust the loco speed when moving up within the block. You have to use the speed set up when profiling. I found my start up speeds were too slow for this exercise so I discovered a different method to move a loco within a block.

I am delighted you have got it to work satisfactorily

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Oh !  Thanks for the warning  about how it works in the real world.
So far all my focus has been on programming using the small file I built to test and learn.  Now I have to build it in into the Notmutley switchboard and test it with real locos.

Watching the simulation I got the impression that the arriving locos move into the block as far as they can thus avoiding any moving up. Hopefully that will be the case. As I am not using it as a "through block" the trains/engines should not have to shuffle up as they would if the locos were exiting from the other end.

I now have to relearn the dark art of profiling locos :roll:

later......

before I got to the layout I checked the simulation and discovered that it would allow locos with a combined length greater  line up block to enter the block without any warnings.  I had ticked the " trains must fit into destination blocks" box - so I'm not sure its the best solution unless I have done something wrong.  I have posted on RR&Co forum and I'll see what response I get

:cry:

Last edited on Tue Aug 24th, 2021 06:53 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave

I see you got an answer in the RR&Co forum.........did it work?

Your storage siding not being a through line changes the dynamics of the lineup option. As you say there is no need for the trains to shuffle up in the lineup when one moves out.......in fact I have a recollection that the shuffle option is not reversible; it has to be in the direction the locos entered.......it doesnt matter for you and the lineup route does provide an elegant uncomplicated way of getting three locos into one block

Cheers

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Hi John,

The solution was simple - pity the software doesn't mention that you needed to do that. The commentary that comes with the rule could easily include that reminder. 

Now I have another problem to resolve:
With the rule working any train/loco running on a schedule to the siding, that is too long to fit because of the combined length of the locos already in the siding, now sits in the preceding block with the schedule still running.
What would be good would be to add some programming to the schedule which in this event would send the loco/train into another siding. Ideally this could be repeated until a siding with enough spare room could be found.
Currently this is wishful thinking on my part as my programming skills are only at the beginners  stage :oops:

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Not sure if you use Prerequisites /Goto/Labels?     Very useful tool

Make the schedule to enter B5 (S5)  start as an operation in the finish commands of the schedule (S4) that got the loco into B4

Make an on/off switch

In the start command of S5:

turn the switch On

In the the finish commands of S4:

Turn the switch off   as a precaution
Start S5
Check if the schedule started

Prerequisite Switch On
GOTO Exit         If the prerequisite is not met ie switch is off TC skipd this line and tries to start S6                    
Schedule 6
Schedule 7 etc
LABEL Exit

Turn the switch off .
Schedules 6  and 7  etc are from B4 to a vacant siding
In their rules do not allow the loco to stay in the start block thus if B6 is occupied S6 will fail and TC will attempt to start S7 and so on. If S6 starts  S7 etc will fail.

This or something similar should work



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John Dew wrote: Not sure if you use Prerequisites /Goto/Labels?     Very useful tool

Turn the switch off   as a precaution
Start S5
Check if the schedule started

Prerequisite Switch On
GOTO Exit         If the prerequisite is not met ie switch is off TC skipd this line and tries to start S6                    
Schedule 6
Schedule 7 etc
LABEL Exit

Turn the switch off .
Schedules 6  and 7  etc are from B4 to a vacant siding
In their rules do not allow the loco to stay in the start block thus if B6 is occupied S6 will fail and TC will attempt to start S7 and so on. If S6 starts  S7 etc will fail.
This or something similar should work
Hi John,II have not used the Prerequisite  Goto and label command before I might need some help.

Just to confirm the logic - if schedule 5 runs the on /off button is switched on.  If the schedule doesn't start the on/off button would stay "off"
The prerequisite command looks at the button and if in the off position it triggers the next schedule.

I built three new schedules
Sch 4 takes the loco  to block 4. It turns the  button to off. ( this works)
Sch 5 will run the loco into block 5 provided there is room for the loco. If there isn't, it will trigger schedule 6.
Sch 6 will take the loco from block 4 to a new block 6

When schedule 5 is triggered when block 5 is full,I get a message saying block 5 is reserved and everything comes to a halt.
This is currently the config for the start of the schedule 5







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Sorry……I wasnt sure how much detail to go into…….
You are almost there:

There should be a single command at the start of Schedule 5:

switch 04 ON

The command lines that you have written should be at the finish of Schedule 4 …..you just need to make two changes:

Line 1.      switch 04 OFF
Line 2.      Schedule 5
Line 3.       Prerequisite etc

Everything from prerequisite down is perfect

Prerequisites are the equivalent of “what if”

If the prerequisite is correct the next command line is executed if it fails it skips that line ( and only that line)

If schedule 5 starts the switch is turned on, the prerequisite succeeds and the command line goes direct to the exit label

If schedule 5 will not start then the switch will remain off, the prerequisite will fail and the command line will skip the goto exit and attempt to start S6

If there is a problem send me the file. *.yrrg…………I will pm my email address

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Thanks John.
I have sent you an email.

For any members that are following this thread I have attached a file with the working solution. 
John's solution gives you control over where the surplus locos/trains should go and has been a good learning exercise for me in the use of prerequisites and GoTo statements.

If you were not looking for this level of control and were happy to let the computer decide which siding the locos run into then you could simply have a schedule with multiple destination blocks. ( in the example attached the schedule 1,2,& 3 would all have blocks 5 & 6 as destination blocks )

Now back to the layout to see how it works with the physical locos - I suspect I may  have to play around with their speed profiling......

Attachment: sub folder properties.zip (Downloaded 2 times)

Last edited on Thu Aug 26th, 2021 04:48 am by gdaysydney

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Programming wasn't meant to be easy.
Having the programme run as planned in simulation mode doesn't mean it will work on the layout. :cry:
The first loco into the block stops Ok - the second one just runs straight into the back of it !! :shock: and it is the same for every siding!
Back to the drawing board!


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gdaysydney wrote: Programming wasn't meant to be easy.
Having the programme run as planned in simulation mode doesn't mean it will work on the layout. :cry:
The first loco into the block stops Ok - the second one just runs straight into the back of it !! :shock: and it is the same for every siding!
Back to the drawing board!



Hi Dave

Not sure if you are using the identical file you sent me?

If you are there are some errors in the command sequence. I have just debugged the routine where there are two locos in block 5 and the next loco is too long........it now goes to block 6 ok

I need to test getting a third loco of the correct length into B5

I may not be able to do this tonight but I will try and do it first thing tomorrow and send you the amended file

Just to clarify........you cant get a second loco to stop in B5?

Do the stop and brake markers get activated for the 2nd loco?

Any clues from messages?

Next job set Sydney time up in my ipad!

Talk soon



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I have just realised what your problem is

You havent got a flagman indicator to activate the stop markers........the contact indicator is turned on by the first loco and remains on

I think the formula has to be attached to the flagman and the memory set to reset after say 60 seconds

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Hi John,
Thanks again for responding to my posts.

Your last post hit the nail on the head!  - I have been working on the problem most of the day and went through the TC Forum looking for posts on the Line Up function.  It was there that I found some topics where members were referring to momentum contacts (MC)...   then I found a post that explained how to make a MC using flagmen and you have described the process to the letter.
I have now got the process working but still have a problem ( do you get that feeling of deja vu?)

The actual layout has four blocks that can be used by locos to get the four blocks in the storage yard. 
One of the MC flagmen is positioned at the block immediately before the point fan-work that leads to the storage blocks.  Depending on which block you enter the route can have up to four sets of points plus some additional track that is not connected to a block as, on its own, it is too short.

So here's the problem : ( and part of the solution)
When I first ran a schedule on the layout I programmed all those going to Block 30-12.
The locos ran short as I set the formula to include the length of the block.  If I set it to the length of the block plus the length of the track work  between the block with the flagman and the start of Block 30-12 , it appeared to work OK. -Success!! :lol:
I tested it with three locos and the results were consistent. The actual block is 100cm and I added 35cm for the point-work. :lol:
Then I did the same thing for the  schedule for the next block 30-06 adding another 30 cm for the length of the additional point -  Nah - didnt work - I ended up adding not 70cm but 125 ! (which also worked for block 30-02)
All testing was with the same three loco's!! so why 30-06 is different I don't know. :cry:

I've pulled stumps for the day and will give the actual layout another go tomorrow -  being in week 8 of lockdown and not yet warm enough to go swimming in the pool, it will keep me occupied.

As it is been a long time since this part of the layout has seen this much activity I'm finding lots of issues with trackwork and points that are being triggered too late. - Now I know why I have some surplus equipment that I must have bought to fix the problem and never got around to it. :shock:

If you have nothing better to do , or for amusement, I have attached  the file that runs my layout - the one I posted was a "proof of concept file" that I put together so that I could keep it simple.  As you will see -there is a lot of unfinished business where I started something and then life got in the way.

Attachment: New Notmutley v9.6.0b.zip (Downloaded 1 time)

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The key with flagman activated stop markers is to keep the distance involved to a minimum and use precise triggers

The flagman in 30-02 can be triggered directly when CI 10-14 is turned off. The flagman in 10-14 is redundant and adds to the transaction time.

Using "unoccupied" as a trigger is far less precise than using an indicator. Unoccupied in this context means waiting for the block to be released. The schedule rules you have used set block release by Occupation ie Unoccupied status is set when a stop marker is reached in the subsequent block! This may well account for the different block distances you have experienced.

I use a single flagman activated by an indicator turning off in the preceding block all over the place in Granby. It usually involve conditions to ensure the flagman is initially off and is only triggered when intended.

If you like I can continue working on the smaller file showing how I would program the routine?

As has often said TC usually has a dozen ways of solving a problem :lol:


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John Dew wrote: If you like I can continue working on the smaller file showing how I would program the routine?

As has often said TC usually has a dozen ways of solving a problem :lol:


That would be very helpful and save me hours of experimenting.  :thumbs and I am sure be very elegant - for instance using the flagman as the MC I find having even the empty blocks showing as occupied a distraction.

Update :  After another afternoon on the layout I have found that your suggestion has certainly improved the running of the schedules and things are running well - expect for schedule 10-06 :cry:

I can see that TC treats the locos as train sets which disappear in the destination block.  For some reason I have yet to fathom,locos that run on the reverse start on schedule 10-06 never finish the schedule it just hangs, not releasing the previous block and not releasing the "train set".
It runs OK on the simulator and it impacts all trains when running on the layout.  I must have changed something by accident  as it was working OK yesterday morning ( There has been a lot of experimenting since then!) 
As an aside do you use Watch dog?


Last edited on Sat Aug 28th, 2021 06:06 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave
I am working away at it but I got diverted into the garden:sad:

Everything is looking good except I cant get the 3rd loco into block 5. I think it may be the formula I am using…….if it is working ok for you could you post the formula you are using?

Glad you like the single flagman.

Can you expand on watch dog? Not sure what it is!:oops:

Cheers

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Hi John,

Block 5 was deliberately set up so that the third loco would not fit. The length of the block in the formula is 60 cm
The length of engine 1 is 20cm, engine 2 is 10cm an d engine 3 is 30cm.  Allowing for the 10cm gap only two of the locos will fit.  The aim was to come up with logic that would send the 3rd loco in to siding block 6.  You solved this problem with the prerequisites solution.
(I haven't attempted to incorporate  this logic into the schedules on the layout as yet as I want to solve the issues that have arisen with operating the locos in the real world.)

The problem on the layout was that I didn't have a physical momentum contact which you suggested should be a flagman - my solution was to use two and a block - you suggested one flag linked to the contact indicator on the preceding block.

I am still working on trying to find out why the reverse schedules are sometimes not completing in the reverse schedules when I run the schedules on the layout. This means the loco is still in a trainset even though it has triggered the markers in the destination block.  I recall I had this problem many years ago but I cant recall exactly what was causing it ! :oops:

On the physical layout I have also rediscovered some "dodgy" track work at points that are still using Lenz decoders and are slow at responding to commands resulting in the occasional derailment! :roll:. This had not been an issue of concern as the locos never used the track under computer control before but now that I had changed the track work to give me better train flow I will need to fix it.



Last edited on Sun Aug 29th, 2021 02:11 am by gdaysydney

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I work in inches so the train lengths show up in inches…..I will have another go tomorrow it may be everything didnt get converted!
I am guessing your point problem relates to Lenz 150 decoders and stall motor points like Tortoise and Cobalt?

The problem arises where a route has a number of points all of which are connected to the same LS150. 

One work around I used was to rewire some of the decoders. Typically the points were numbered in numerical order on the layout. Being logical, points 1-6 went to the first decoder and 7-12 to the next and so on. 

A schedule that had a route with 3 points more often than not were controlled by the same decoder. If I hooked point 3 to decoder 2 and point 4 to decoder 3 the problem largely went away for that schedule. 

I also bought one switch8 decoder which doesnt have this problem but was able to rewire the remaining connections

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Hi John,

A few years ago I replaced all but one of the Lenz 150 decoders for the very reason you outlined.  The only one I didn't replace was the one that drives two Peco point motors on the piece of the layout I am now upgrading. Like you I replaced the Lenz decoders that drove the Tortoise motors on the layout with an NCE Switch 8 (Mark11) and replaced most of the Lenz decoders that drove the Peco motors with NCE Snap it.

Unfortunately the CovID situation has meant that getting new decoders on shore is difficult - I managed to find a supplier in Melbourne , but delivery will be problematic as both Vic & NSW are in lock-down - and worse still most of the delivery drivers are in local government areas that are in stricter lock-downs with all but essential workers confined to 5km from home.

I also bought a Cobalt digital point motor - not that I need it but with its built in decoder  I thought I'd give it a go. ( when I've sorted out the current problems.

The Watchdog feature is a box on the rules in schedules ( I have going through them desperately trying to find a solution to my reverse start problem.  I haven't tested it out yet but apparently flashes a message on the screen if TC thinks something has gone awry with the loco on the schedule - it works on expected activity.


Re the schedules and imperial and metric, there was ( and still maybe) a bug in the line up feature where the measurements in the formula had a default of imperial even if the software was using metric.
That is something I still have to check out on the layout - I have been using the unscientific method of trial and error - if the loco runs short I increase the number by a percentage of the existing and visa versa.
Cheers


Cheers


Last edited on Mon Aug 30th, 2021 04:18 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave

Sorry about going over old ground with the LS150 :oops:

I dont use Watchdog. When trouble shooting I use message details and sometimes Pins

I think I have got as far as I can go with the small file.......revised version attached. It reflects how I would set the routine up. Everything works properly in the simulator. I need to run it on the track to test the distance formula. The metric/imperial conversion is a real pain. You will see that Block 5 is set at 120" because the three locos plus distances total 101"! If I enter 3.9" (10cm converted) as the distance between the locos TC immediately converts it to 3,900 :shock:. I think the only way to get the correct distance is by trial and error. If you use the attached file remember that TC will convert most measurements to metric but not the distances in the formulae

Have you solved your "reverse" schedule problem? If you havent here are some ideas

The block length of 10-06 is 20". The stop marker is 21"

I couldnt find a separate reverse schedule ie 30-07 to 10-06 have you tried setting one and testing as a separate entity

TC operates the line up on FIFO.......because of the layout you are operating on LIFO. I would include a "Separate Left most Loco followed by Delay 7 sec in the start command of the stand alone schedule. If I dont allow TC time to process the separate command I have had lots of instances of the second loco following the intended loco out of the station :twisted:

Hope you get it to work ok


Attachment: sydney.zip (Downloaded 1 time)

Last edited on Mon Aug 30th, 2021 07:10 pm by John Dew

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Thanks John,
I will incorporate the prerequisite command into Notmutley.
Still having issues with the reverse start. I think it is something to do with the blocks on that run as the schedule is getting the loco into the destination block, the brake and stop markers are triggering but the schedule remains open.
Perversly I programmed a main line block the same way and it runs OK - but despite my trying to find a difference in the set up it remains elusive hence me thinking its the block set up in the storage yard blocks - I am about to put a "phantom block" in the yard so that TC thinks that trains can exit from both ends and see if that makes any difference.
I'll keep you posted.
Oh I found a "Booster" command - does that speed everything up? :)

Update.
I have solved the problem although I have not found the cause. I have put a
terminate schedule command on the stop marker when the schedule is running in reverse. :lol: :lol:

I thought I had better read the manual on what a Booster really does.. interestingly the complete opposite to my attempt at humour.

Now I can get back to "playing trains"

Last edited on Wed Sep 1st, 2021 12:41 am by gdaysydney

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Hi Dave

Glad you finally got it to work.........I have had a few instances of insoluble problems that suddenly cure themselves.....best not to ask too many questions! :lol:

I havent done anything with these relatively new introductions like boosters and stations... I had assumed it was an advanced method of controlling separate power districts?

I have just had a frustrating day playing trains........based on previous experience I have very very few hidden sidings but unfortunately my doubleheaded banker found the least accessible hidden siding in which to stall :twisted:

The joys of modelling!

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John Dew wrote:
I have just had a frustrating day playing trains........based on previous experience I have very very few hidden sidings but unfortunately my doubleheaded banker found the least accessible hidden siding in which to stall :twisted:

The joys of modelling!

Now John, you didn't expect it to stall out in plain sight did you ?  :mutley

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:mutleySol wrote: John Dew wrote:
I have just had a frustrating day playing trains........based on previous experience I have very very few hidden sidings but unfortunately my doubleheaded banker found the least accessible hidden siding in which to stall :twisted:

The joys of modelling!

Now John, you didn't expect it to stall out in plain sight did you ? 

:mutley :mutley

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I have replaced the Lenz LS150 with a DCC concepts ADS4sx - an accessory decoder for solenoids.
Because the Peco motors already had the mechanical polarity switch attached I decided to leave them in situ and just run the three wires into the decoder. (The ADS4sx is so much easier to set up than the Lenz and works a charm.)

I would normally have replaced them with a NCE "snap it" but they were not available from any supplier In Australia and Metro Hobbies in Melbourne recommended the DCC Concepts decoder.   Interestingly I first dealt with DCC Concepts when they were based in Western Australia and they were a phone call away!  I now see they are based in the UK and have a much broader range of products!   Does anyone know if they moved to the UK or where they bought out.  I can recall the owner ( who's name I cant recall was from the UK and was building a big layout in the property he was using for the business. He frequently talked about his trips to China to ensure they were building things to his specifications!  A very friendly fella.

Last edited on Wed Sep 8th, 2021 06:25 am by gdaysydney

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Richard Johnston (Johnson?) still operates the business. He is now pretty much based in the UK but I thought he was still running the original business in WA

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Dave, https://www.dccconcepts.com/

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Well its February ( almost March) and the grandkids are back at school after the long summer break and I can once again get into the train room.
I decided I would ease back in slowly by seeing how much I had forgotten about installing and programming a decoder. To that end I opened an Oxford Rail Dean Goods loco that has sat in its box since I purchased it  from Hattons in 2018 for the princely sum of 85 quid ( which sounds very cheap when I look online and see the price of locos on offer today!!   Whats happened in the past four years???  Are manufacturers using COVID as an excuse to hike prices to ridiculous levels? 

Anyway after a few shall we say hiccups I succeeded in getting the decoder installed and programmed but .... the loco performs hopelessly. The loco runs OK at fast speeds but at low speeds it is all over the place - I am using an ESU Lokpilot decoder ( also four years old ).

I have read online that the problem maybe the capacitor on the DCC plug - but before I attempt to remove it ( its the very small micro variety) I thought I should check to see if anyone else had similar problems.

Last edited on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 05:13 am by gdaysydney

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gdaysydney wrote: Well its February ( almost March) and the grandkids are back at school after the long summer break and I can once again get into the train room.
I decided I would ease back in slowly by seeing how much I had forgotten about installing and programming a decoder. To that end I opened an Oxford Rail Dean Goods loco that has sat in its box since I purchased it  from Hattons in 2018 for the princely sum of 85 quid ( which sounds very cheap when I look online and see the price of locos on offer today!!   Whats happened in the past four years???  Are manufacturers using COVID as an excuse to hike prices to ridiculous levels? 

Anyway after a few shall we say hiccups I succeeded in getting the decoder installed and programmed but .... the loco performs hopelessly. The loco runs OK at fast speeds but at low speeds it is all over the place - I am using an ESU Lokpilot decoder ( also four years old ).

I have read online that the problem maybe the capacitor on the DCC plug - but before I attempt to remove it ( its the very small micro variety) I thought I should check to see if anyone else had similar problems.

Hi Dave

Oxford Dean Goods are notoriously poor runners! I had to send one back which is very rare for me. Mine now behave extremely well but it did require surgery and the addition of as much lead as I could fit in.I hard wired a Zimo economy chip +6700 uF Stay Alive into the tender- to do this I had to carve out the plastic coal and create another one.

Whatever you do I would strongly recommend fitting a Stay Alive of some sort

Good Luck- let me know if you need any more info

Best wishes






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Thanks John,
I'll hard wire the decoder and see if that solves it as the loco runs OK in DC

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gdaysydney wrote: Well its February ( almost March) and the grandkids are back at school after the long summer break and I can once again get into the train room.
I decided I would ease back in slowly by seeing how much I had forgotten about installing and programming a decoder. To that end I opened an Oxford Rail Dean Goods loco that has sat in its box since I purchased it  from Hattons in 2018 for the princely sum of 85 quid ( which sounds very cheap when I look online and see the price of locos on offer today!!   Whats happened in the past four years???  Are manufacturers using COVID as an excuse to hike prices to ridiculous levels? 

Anyway after a few shall we say hiccups I succeeded in getting the decoder installed and programmed but .... the loco performs hopelessly. The loco runs OK at fast speeds but at low speeds it is all over the place - I am using an ESU Lokpilot decoder ( also four years old ).

I have read online that the problem maybe the capacitor on the DCC plug - but before I attempt to remove it ( its the very small micro variety) I thought I should check to see if anyone else had similar problems.

Very sorry to hear about the Dean Goods, you are not alone. This model has had a long history of issues and there are 86 pages on it over on RMWeb and misc. reports on here.


Pre-warned by others experiences posted in detail, I asked one well known "box shifter" to test for the known poor running at slow speed issue given my location in Oz and it was the expensive sound version. What arrived was more kangaroo than model loco and under duress, said company funded return freight and my entire costs. So despite my efforts I also was scarred!

Second Box shifter was much more accommodating (back then anyway) and thoroughly tested the loco before shipping me a new purchase. It ran very well for some time until something shorted out the speaker and then ESU Chip.

More stress and complaining got me a full replacement of the DCC hardware direct from OR, no way was I sending back an actual example of a proper working version. I think I posted some video over on that topic of mine working well.

Final twist, others later reported their locos shorting out a motor and killing the DCC! That was it, out came the sound kit, in went a cheapie DCC and the ESU now graces my Collett Goods.

I suspect you might have some difficulty getting redress after so long but others might have suggestions for improving slow running. Some DCC CV adjustments can help I think but the details are hazy now. Not sure why hard wiring the DCC would help though.

Last edited on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 02:50 am by Colin W

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Checking my DCC install notes on the Dean, I turned off Back EMF viz. CV#10 =0; essential because it is a coreless motor.

I have a vague recollection that the CV number to control this function may be chip dependent. I'm using an old style DCC Concepts Zeno Nano.

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Thanks Colin  - I will give that a go.


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Colin W wrote: Checking my DCC install notes on the Dean, I turned off Back EMF viz. CV#10 =0; essential because it is a coreless motor.

I have a vague recollection that the CV number to control this function may be chip dependent. I'm using an old style DCC Concepts Zeno Nano.
I have a Portescap motor which I believe is coreless? it works perfectly with DCC, CV#10 is not turned off?

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Phil.c wrote: Colin W wrote: Checking my DCC install notes on the Dean, I turned off Back EMF viz. CV#10 =0; essential because it is a coreless motor.

I have a vague recollection that the CV number to control this function may be chip dependent. I'm using an old style DCC Concepts Zeno Nano.
I have a Portescap motor which I believe is coreless? it works perfectly with DCC, CV#10 is not turned off?

I admit I'm no expert on this topic. However, AFAIR both the Dean Goods and the DJM Class 4800 both suffered from bad slow running and that turning off BEMF was the recommended solution for their coreless motors. This does not mean it need apply for every coreless motor.

I suggest that David might search back thru the RMweb topic on the Dean Goods which I mentioned for references to BEMF and CV. I'm confident that'll turn up something relevant for him

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Colin W wrote:
Very sorry to hear about the Dean Goods, you are not alone. This model has had a long history of issues and there are 86 pages on it over on RMWeb and misc. reports on here.


. Not sure why hard wiring the DCC would help though.

To make room for the Stay Alive ;-)

Its also a not unreasonable precaution in a loco prone to shorts.

The first release of the Dean, in the ornate lined livery, had twin flywheels. There was such an out cry about some of the external design flaws that some of them were corrected in subsequent releases- which must have been expensive- coincidentally one of the the fly wheels was removed! :twisted:

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John Dew wrote: To make room for the Stay Alive 
Its also a not unreasonable precaution in a loco prone to shorts.

The first release of the Dean, in the ornate lined livery, had twin flywheels. There was such an out cry about some of the external design flaws that some of them were corrected in subsequent releases- which must have been expensive- coincidentally one of the the fly wheels was removed! :twisted:

And the motor downgraded!

Meanwhile......



You'll see why I was puzzled! I had plenty of room, once the Sound chip and speaker came out, to fit a standard cap which is all I found necessary. Then the Zeno Nano is tiny and a direct plug in anyway. I have surplus since shifting several locos over to sound.

One other consideration with older ESU chips which I've heard mentioned is they need to be connected to a Stay alive via a proprietary ESU device. Something I've no personal experience of but worth checking up before doing!


With the DCC Concepts Chips I build my own power management, they describe the simple circuit on their website. It can be seen alongside the Cap (with some primitive soldering it appears!) but it works.

Last edited on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 09:53 pm by Colin W

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Thank you for your suggestions.
Here is an update!
So far I have cleaned all the wheels and adjusted the back to back on the wheels - the wheels on the tender were way out and getting the correct separation has helped but only mildly improved performance.
I am working my way through the commentary on RM Web - in my case it does not appear to be the pickups as slow running in DC is not a problem only in DCC.  I have tried a few different decoders but all produce the same result - smooth running at high and medium speed but inconsistent running at slow speed! :cry:  I even tried removing the micro capacitor.
I'm thinking maybe I should put the Dean back in its box and focus on a different loco before I loose my mojo :lol:

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gdaysydney wrote: Thank you for your suggestions.
Here is an update!
So far I have cleaned all the wheels and adjusted the back to back on the wheels - the wheels on the tender were way out and getting the correct separation has helped but only mildly improved performance.
I am working my way through the commentary on RM Web - in my case it does not appear to be the pickups as slow running in DC is not a problem only in DCC.  I have tried a few different decoders but all produce the same result - smooth running at high and medium speed but inconsistent running at slow speed! :cry:  I even tried removing the micro capacitor.
I'm thinking maybe I should put the Dean back in its box and focus on a different loco before I loose my mojo :lol:

So, no good news so far but given you have a choice of decoders available, have you tried one where you can turn off Back EMF?

The default tends to be "ON" at least up to some certain intermediate speed point. I even had a trusty Bachmann 45xx Prairie where adjusting BEMF helped with smooth slow running so it's not just some coreless motors where this may help.

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Thanks Colin,

Another update.

I decided to go for broke and removed the DCC plug, the body and the pick ups on both the loco and the tender.  Cleaned everything ( there was lubricant all over the pickups in the loco). Then I reassembled checking for continuity in the wiring as I went along.  The loco ran fine in DC - even at low volts it crawled nicely.
Rewired the DCC plug ( Oxford Rail have all the connections clearly labelled so that was straight forward. )  Reset the decoder to factory settings and then reprogrammed. Setting the BEMF to off. 
My expectations were high but whilst the loco ran more smoothly  but not like it had in DC.- the motion was still jerky at low speeds.
I switched the decoder for a Lenz Silver but the result was the same :cry:.  So now I am thinking it must be the decoders which are all "new" but at least six years old - maybe they don't like the cordless motor?   (That said I bought an Oxford Rail Janus 0-6-0  at the same time I bought the Dean and it also has a cordless motor and runs fine.)
In case you are wondering why I bought the Janus the answer is I'm not sure -  as I am at a stage where I should be reducing the fleet of locos not buying more!!!

So what do I do next?  Before I lost my mojo the first time (shortly after this post in  2018 ) I went and bought 20 ESU decoders to replace older decoders and to have consistency in performance across the fleet, and to make profiling in Train Controller easier.  Do I buy a new decoder just for this loco or do I park it in the engine shed and let it do quick sprints around the layout every now and then?

Last edited on Fri Mar 4th, 2022 06:49 am by gdaysydney

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Is it possible/easy to exchange a decoder from another loco, at least you will know for sure if the other decoders are bad and will save you buying another one only to find that it doesn't work?

Are all coreless motors the same?

Last edited on Fri Mar 4th, 2022 08:10 am by Phil.c

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There are lots of variables kicking around in this discussion which has the potential to lead to confusion. To summarise what we know.

Good running models of Second Generation releases of the Dean Goods ( the one with a coreless motor and one flywheel) do exist that operate under slow running conditions and DCC control.

I've had mine running with both its original Loksound V4.0 by ESU as purchased and later with a DCC Concepts Zen Nano. I did not need to turn off BEMF to achieve this good running but did anyway. Others lucky enough to get a good one seem to have had no issues with using DCC, reported here and on RMWeb topic.

Coreless is a motor design type covering many variations as per Cored motors. Hence it's most unlikely all have the same characteristics. This site provided some helpful info of the differences and merits of Cored vs Coreless motors.

https://www.progressiveautomations.com/blogs/products/cored-vs-coreless-dc-motors-which-should-you-choose

For the problem in hand, now having tried two types of DCC chip, isn't it now most likely that it is the motor at fault when run under DCC since all is OK for you on DC?


There is strong precedent for this from all the multiple failures which I and other modellers have experienced.
Maybe the answer is to  re-motor the loco since you can't expect a replacement. I'm almost certain I read of one brave soul who reported this on the RMWeb topic. I don't see trying more and more DCC chips as the answer at this stage.

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Hi Dave

I am sorry to hear that you are still having problems with the Dean.

The fact that it behaves ok with DC is significant. Have you considered doing a factory re-set with one of the decoders and then entering the key CV values?

If its any help here is the profile of the Dean I use for quite complex automated shunting.



Zimo MX617 hard wired with 6700 uF Supercap

CV:

2 :  1      3:    1    4:   1        5:     90         6:     54             57: 125 *

* Average DCC voltage on Granby 12.5

I have no connection with Zimo or the supplier Youchoos but I think their decoders are superb. I used to swear by Lenz but in the last 3 years I have been progressively switching over to Zimo plus Stay Alive. Virtually all my tank engines now have Zimo decoders and Youchoos SA- amazingly reliable and super smooth.

It might be worth a try before attempting to change the motor.

Best wishes

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John makes a very good point that a motor transplant is a last resort.


His Granby routines would be at the extreme end of demanding and so if anyone should know.... but if there's another failure with a trusty Zimo following his formula that would be three strikes.

Last edited on Fri Mar 4th, 2022 10:59 pm by Colin W

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Thanks once again guys.

The Dean Goods  2475 GWR unlined is a later model I think as it only has one fly wheel. In my searches on the web I noted that Oxford Rail have a five pole motor in their sound version

I have decided to follow John's lead and order a ZIMO decoder and see how that goes.  If it comes to no good I will have another decoder to add to my collection.

As an aside swapping decoders with other locos that haven't run for a long time has meant I have spent a lot of time looking at some of my locos that I purchased years ago and that haven't been run in ages. I quickly was given a reminder that the wheels on  Heljan diesels  tarnish very easily and need a lot of cleaning !!! 

The decoder will take a while to come from the UK so it may be a while before I can let you know how it worked out. ( since COVID the local and overseas mail service has deteriorated substantially - local mail that used to take 2-3 days can now take 6-7 days and overseas mail from the UK took a month last time I ordered something.)


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gdaysydney wrote: Thanks once again guys.

The Dean Goods  2475 GWR unlined is a later model I think as it only has one fly wheel. In my searches on the web I noted that Oxford Rail have a five pole motor in their sound version

Sound or no sound, there is no relationship at all to motor type for the OR Dean Goods releases. From the look of it, your link is to very old info from OR on the Gen 1 release no 2309.

Both 1st and 2nd Gen types were released with and without sound. My 2nd Gen 2475 GWR unlined was bought with sound and hence the coreless motor + one flywheel.

IIRC Oxford Rail were quite lax with their model info on the later releases, continuing to say the loco had a 5 pole (hence Cored) motor when in fact it had been switched over to Coreless. In fact I had communication directly with one of their senior reps regarding my sound chip failure and he seemed not to be aware of the switch in motor type.

Someone in the RMWeb topic pulled a motor (probably a dud) apart to show definitively it was coreless, finally ending any confusion regarding the facts.

Last edited on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 02:50 am by Colin W

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It is definitely decoder related as the performance has improved since I put in some of John's CV values. Interestingly the CV5 value of 64 is the maximum value the decoder will accept and there is no CV 57 !.
The loco runs more smoothly and is not as stop start as before. I will get out my ESU programmer and connect it to my PC and programming track and see if I can work out what is going on !
 

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Colin W wrote: gdaysydney wrote: Thanks once again guys.

The Dean Goods  2475 GWR unlined is a later model I think as it only has one fly wheel. In my searches on the web I noted that Oxford Rail have a five pole motor in their sound version

Sound or no sound, there is no relationship at all to motor type for the OR Dean Goods releases. From the look of it, your link is to very old info from OR on the Gen 1 release no 2309.

Both 1st and 2nd Gen types were released with and without sound. My 2nd Gen 2475 GWR unlined was bought with sound and hence the coreless motor + one flywheel.

IIRC Oxford Rail were quite lax with their model info on the later releases, continuing to say the loco had a 5 pole (hence Cored) motor when in fact it had been switched over to Coreless. In fact I had communication directly with one of their senior reps regarding my sound chip failure and he seemed not to be aware of the switch in motor type.

Someone in the RMWeb topic pulled a motor (probably a dud) apart to show definitively it was coreless, finally ending any confusion regarding the facts.

Thanks Colin,   I will keep persevering!!  - its a lovely model, if only I wasn't using DCC !! :roll: :roll:

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gdaysydney wrote: It is definitely decoder related as the performance has improved since I put in some of John's CV values. Interestingly the CV5 value of 64 is the maximum value the decoder will accept and there is no CV 57 !.
The loco runs more smoothly and is not as stop start as before. I will get out my ESU programmer and connect it to my PC and programming track and see if I can work out what is going on !
 

Under the standards set for DCC CVs by the NRMA, some are Mandatory and others free for individual Manufacturers to use as required.

Even the widely used CV5 can vary by manufacturer (something I'd not realised).

The significance of this with your issues is that you must work with CV definitions relevant for your specific chip(s).


CV values for another brand may or may not work for you and you risk further confusion unless you keep this well in mind. Your discovery about the missing CV57 is a point in case (it's not used by ESU AFAIK).
Do searches for ESU v4 (or your version); CV; slow running; etc. I easily turned up items which may be helpful in your mission.

Usually you'll not be the first to face a problem and just need to find the relevant solution on line.

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Spent some time relearning the ins and outs of my ESU Lokpilot decoder programmer ( its amazing how much you forget!). Turns out my decoders are Lokpilots V1.  :shock:

A lot of fiddling and I managed to fine tune the decoder changing the values of CV 53, 54 and 55 with BEMF on ( the loco ran poorly with BEMF off ) so that the loco ran smoothly at all speeds but the motor was humming. So I have decided its time to place an order for a Zimo decoder.  John from Youchoos was very helpful.
Watch this space!

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Whilst the Dean Goods is awaiting arrival of a Zimo decoder I thought I would do some general maintenance to the fleet and commenced with my Heljan Hymeks - giving them a clean, removing the gunk that had built up on the ones with brass wheels ( having despaired at the current cost of replacement wheels) and giving the gears a very light oiling. ( First time in 12 years!)

I then turned my attention to the Dapol Class 22 which I purchased 10 years ago. After reading the dapol maintenance instructions I looked at the bogies and with screwdriver in hand attempted to remove the base plates of each bogie to get to the gears. They are much like the heljan ones in that they clip on - but these just refused to budge and given the alternative of damaging them and trying to get replacement parts or leaving them I decided on the later course. I have searched the internet looking for clues as to the secret in getting the clips off but no luck.
If there are any club members that have successfully managed to remove the cover over the gears I would love to hear from them.

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Hi Dave,

Just read the thread. Runs OK on DC, not so good (jerky?) on DCC. Swapping decoders and playing around with CVs still gives jerky progress. This quite a common problem apparently (lack of QC and QA by Oxford and a lot of others in not making sure the decoder is optimized for the motor).

What is the DC system you are using? Most DC controllers output at low power is fairly smooth PWM (unless it's a cheap and nasty one), just like DCC, except the peaks tend to be a lot smoother than DCC (which is straight up/down). Coreless motors have a lot less torque than cored ones, and unless it's a decent one ($$$ as opposed to $ for cheap ones) will tend to chatter at low speed unless well designed (smooth low speed and coreless is probably an oxymoron). The same as DC motors, you get what you (or Oxford) paid for.  The other thingto keep in mind is that coreless motors were designed for pure DC, not DCC.

Looks like you will need to play around a long time with a bunch of CVs to get it smoothed out (CV 2, 10, 209, 210, 212, 213 and 214) and switch BEMF off. ESU and Zimo decoders are supposed to automatically come up with the best combination for coreless motors.

The other thing to keep in mind is that DC benefits a bit from those RF capacitors, DCC usually doesn't, especially with BEFM on. I usually get rid of them.

Nigel




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Colin W wrote: There are lots of variables kicking around in this discussion which has the potential to lead to confusion. To summarise what we know.

Good running models of Second Generation releases of the Dean Goods ( the one with a coreless motor and one flywheel) do exist that operate under slow running conditions and DCC control.

I've had mine running with both its original Loksound V4.0 by ESU as purchased and later with a DCC Concepts Zen Nano. I did not need to turn off BEMF to achieve this good running but did anyway. Others lucky enough to get a good one seem to have had no issues with using DCC, reported here and on RMWeb topic.


Perhaps my videos will provide some greater conviction. The videos are both with the original ESU Sound chip




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And I forgot to add that running was just as steady when I swapped out the sound chip and installed an older style DCC Concepts Zen Nano.

(I would have edited the previous post, save for editing tending to cause embedded videos to do a Cheshire Cat disappearing trick)

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Phil.c wrote: Is it possible/easy to exchange a decoder from another loco, at least you will know for sure if the other decoders are bad and will save you buying another one only to find that it doesn't work?

Are all coreless motors the same?

Thanks Phil,

I made a bulk purchase of ESU Lokpilot decoders just before I lost my mojo and used one of them initially, I then tried a Lenz silver decoder which gave much the same result.  Following John's suggestion I now have a Zimo decoder on route from the UK which may take some time to arrive as COVID appears to have slowed overseas deliveries from Europe/UK to a snail pace.

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BCDR wrote: Hi Dave,

Just read the thread. Runs OK on DC, not so good (jerky?) on DCC. Swapping decoders and playing around with CVs still gives jerky progress. This quite a common problem apparently (lack of QC and QA by Oxford and a lot of others in not making sure the decoder is optimized for the motor).

What is the DC system you are using? Most DC controllers output at low power is fairly smooth PWM (unless it's a cheap and nasty one), just like DCC, except the peaks tend to be a lot smoother than DCC (which is straight up/down). Coreless motors have a lot less torque than cored ones, and unless it's a decent one ($$$ as opposed to $ for cheap ones) will tend to chatter at low speed unless well designed (smooth low speed and coreless is probably an oxymoron). The same as DC motors, you get what you (or Oxford) paid for.  The other thingto keep in mind is that coreless motors were designed for pure DC, not DCC.

Looks like you will need to play around a long time with a bunch of CVs to get it smoothed out (CV 2, 10, 209, 210, 212, 213 and 214) and switch BEMF off. ESU and Zimo decoders are supposed to automatically come up with the best combination for coreless motors.

The other thing to keep in mind is that DC benefits a bit from those RF capacitors, DCC usually doesn't, especially with BEFM on. I usually get rid of them.

Nigel

Hi Nigel,  I use a cheap "no brand" transformer for DC( I think it originally was part of a train set)  as it is only used for running in motors but it works very well across all speeds.
This loco is the first one I have purchased with a coreless motor hence my lack of knowledge on the subject. I have removed the capacitor and switched BEMF off when trying to get the ESU Lockpilot V1 and Lenz decoders to work.  Fiddling with the CV's did improve the slow running but not entirely hence I have taken up John's suggestion and ordered a Zimo. ( Given that my decoders are dated as they were purchased a few years ago)  Hopefully when it arrives and is installed with John's recommended CVs the problem will be resolved ( fingers and toes crossed)

Last edited on Wed Mar 16th, 2022 01:03 am by gdaysydney

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Colin W wrote: And I forgot to add that running was just as steady when I swapped out the sound chip and installed an older style DCC Concepts Zen Nano.

(I would have edited the previous post, save for editing tending to cause embedded videos to do a Cheshire Cat disappearing trick)

Thanks for posting the videos Colin,  The sound really does add to the atmosphere and like John you have shown that the loco can run at very slow speed.
I am hoping that the Zimo will solve the problem and that I don't have a dud motor! 

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I'd hazard a bet that the Zimo will work all right. They haven't let me down yet.

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peterm wrote: I'd hazard a bet that the Zimo will work all right. They haven't let me down yet.

Remind me to invite you to my next poker night :twisted:

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I've put the mockers on myself. I plugged an unused MX600 into the MXTAPS and it wouldn't read it. I could drive the motor and set CV's but not read them back. I tried it on the ESU tester... same result. An MX631 read back perfectly. I've tried several resets and might try some more tomorrow, but I'm not hopeful. It's certainly not worth sending it back to England or Austria so I'm stuck with it.

Where's that game of poker happening?

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Colin W wrote: peterm wrote: I'd hazard a bet that the Zimo will work all right. They haven't let me down yet.

Remind me to invite you to my next poker night :twisted:


:mutley :mutley :mutley

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peterm wrote: I've put the mockers on myself. I plugged an unused MX600 into the MXTAPS and it wouldn't read it. I could drive the motor and set CV's but not read them back. I tried it on the ESU tester... same result. An MX631 read back perfectly. I've tried several resets and might try some more tomorrow, but I'm not hopeful. It's certainly not worth sending it back to England or Austria so I'm stuck with it.

Where's that game of poker happening?


Now that reminds me of the W C Fields quote!  

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:mutley :mutley One of the enduring greats of his time.

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Update on getting the Oxford rail Dean goods to run smoothly at low speed.

My Zimo decoders arrived today - Two MX617 -  The first one I opened had a loose pin on the 8 pin plug - something I had not seen before but  after plugging it into the loco I was able to program as normal so hopefully no further issues.

The loco ran nice and slowly just using the default CV's - albeit the motor or gears were making a strange "scratching sound" at the first two speed steps. I will have a play with the CVs later (I was keen to test the performance of the Zimo decoder and didn't have enough time.)
Thank you John for the recommendation - I will adjust the CVs as you recommended in your earlier post.

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One of the problems of not running trains for many years is cleaning the track - the other is tidying up the train room which had become a storage room in the interim.

Tidying up can be like Christmas in that you find things you had completely forgotten about and that is what I am discovering at the moment. I rediscovered a box containing an American SD7 locomotive that I had purchased second hand on a whim at a train fair some 9-10 years ago. I can't remember why I purchased them as the condition was marked as "fair". Anyway I had never opened the box so I did so for the first time today and discovered that for A$100 I had purchased not one but two locos !!  I then discovered they both had decoders and ran straight out of the box. Further the previous owner had profiled them.
That brings me to track cleaning -  I have a CMX track cleaner - what better to guide it around the  layout than two American locos- Baltimore and Ohio SD7s No 763 and 764. Now on cleaning duty as a consist on my otherwise very British layout.


I no longer use alcohol in the CMX but using an electrical lubricant MX3 after researching the product and watching "Ranting Greg" on the subject of track cleaning.  Results so far have been very good ( although not recommended if you have locos with traction tyres.)
Track cleaning video

Last edited on Wed Apr 27th, 2022 12:32 am by gdaysydney

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What an eye opener! I've been using IPA for years, also recommending it to others. I've got some INOX and will be going out to the layout this arvo to get stuck in. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Having seen your set up Dave I get the feeling double headed panniers might be inadequate. :roll:
Interesting video……..is MX3 an Inox proprietary name or generic? Inox is longer availableon at Amazon.ca - I suspect its imported.

Hopefully a scientist can help me out - I had never thought of cleaning my track with a lubricant.

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John Dew wrote: Having seen your set up Dave I get the feeling double headed panniers might be inadequate. :roll:
Interesting video……..is MX3 an Inox proprietary name or generic? Inox is longer available on at Amazon.ca - I suspect its imported.

Hopefully a scientist can help me out - I had never thought of cleaning my track with a lubricant.

:lol: :lol: The CMX is really heavy and only a few locos I have can pull it with ease - all of them are Heljan diesels.

INOX is an Australian brand but I am sure you will be able to get a North American equivalent - its used mainly by the automotive and marine enthusiasts - but beware its not the same as WD40!

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Track lubricant (oil) was all the rage back in I think the 70’s, yes, it worked but gummed up loco wheels and caused dust to stick to rails. When I bought my CMX I found none of my steam locos would pull it so I had to by a diesel to do the job.

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gdaysydney wrote: John Dew wrote: Having seen your set up Dave I get the feeling double headed panniers might be inadequate. :roll:
Interesting video……..is MX3 an Inox proprietary name or generic? Inox is longer available on at Amazon.ca - I suspect its imported.

Hopefully a scientist can help me out - I had never thought of cleaning my track with a lubricant.

:lol: :lol: The CMX is really heavy and only a few locos I have can pull it with ease - all of them are Heljan diesels.

INOX is an Australian brand but I am sure you will be able to get a North American equivalent - its used mainly by the automotive and marine enthusiasts - but beware its not the same as WD40!

Thanks Dave

I have good news and bad news:

The good news : I can buy 100 gm of INOX in Canada for $15 :lol:

The bad news :    It will cost $45 for delivery etc etc. :shock:  Alternatively Amazon Prime will deliver it FREE for $65  :twisted:

A combination of this and Phil's comment mean I am having second thoughts! Although I will be interested to hear how you and Pete get on with spraying it on to the CMX pad

Another question is about the preferred method of propulsion:

PeteM pushes    PhilC pulls   You push AND pull       are there any other bids? :lol:

Confused in Vancouver

 

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John Dew wrote: Having seen your set up Dave I get the feeling double headed panniers might be inadequate. :roll:
Interesting video……..is MX3 an Inox proprietary name or generic? Inox is longer availableon at Amazon.ca - I suspect its imported.

Hopefully a scientist can help me out - I had never thought of cleaning my track with a lubricant.

The INOX website makes various claims for their MX3 product. See here:

https://www.inoxmx.com/products/mx3-lubricant/

You asked a scientist's POV; well this ex-scientist read the product info and struggles to see why this should be particularly suited to track cleaning. Phil's comments capture where the problems lie with using white oil based products. Put it on the track, while it might get cleaned it ain't goin' away. If anything the oily track will act to trap new dust, hair, fur etc.

This product was designed for a rather different set of purposes, IMO stick to using IPA.  

Last edited on Wed Apr 27th, 2022 11:07 pm by Colin W

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Yes Colin,

I got stuck in yesterday. Cleaned track with IPA and then applied Inox. No difference and I did think the dust attraction might be a complication.

Back to IPA after a wasted hour and a half!

John,

Don't bother! I can't see where all these adoring comments come from on his website, but I won't be adding to them. Inox is made in Australia, so might be hard to get hold of anyway.

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Hi Phil and Colin, Many thanks for your feedback.
I have been using IPA for many years and decided to try out  Inox to see if it works any better.
Its more an experiment and definitely not a recommendation.
I am spraying it on the pad of the CMX tank rather than using the tank as it only requires a little - as Colin pointed out, it doesn't evaporate.
As I have only been using it for a few weeks its too early to tell if it will better in the long term and from my perspective will not reduce the amount of time I spent on track cleaning. 
I will post my experiences as time progresses.
 

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John Dew wrote:
Thanks Dave

I have good news and bad news:
The good news : I can buy 100 gm of INOX in Canada for $15 :lol:
The bad news :    It will cost $45 for delivery etc etc. :shock:  Alternatively Amazon Prime will deliver it FREE for $65  :twisted:
A combination of this and Phil's comment mean I am having second thoughts! Although I will be interested to hear how you and Pete get on with spraying it on to the CMX pad

Another question is about the preferred method of propulsion:
PeteM pushes    PhilC pulls   You push AND pull       are there any other bids? :lol:

Looks like you have the same issue as we do in Australia when you try to buy something from overseas via Amazon and a few big name online stores -
I agree that you should give experimenting a miss and stick to the tried and trusted.! 
In the past I have experimented with liquid track cleaners - one in particular comes to mind that smelt of oranges - it was sticky and I only used it once!!
So far with INOX in conjunction with the CMX truck the results have been good and to date I have not experienced any dust/ hair etc  attraction - but it is early days yet!  I have noticed that my small locos and sound locos are not prone to the same cutting out that I occasionally experience if the track is not spotlessly clean but again this may be a coincidence.

In regards to the push and pull - I'm sure you had your tongue planted in your cheek - but for the record before I "discovered" the two American locos I used a single class 33 Heljan that was strong enough to push and pull the CMX around the track . I guess the optimal way is to push so that any crud is picked up before it gets to the loco wheels but this is not always practical especially if RR&Co is controlling the loco and sending it along all clear tracks.

Last edited on Thu Apr 28th, 2022 12:23 am by gdaysydney

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peterm wrote: Yes Colin,

I got stuck in yesterday. Cleaned track with IPA and then applied Inox. No difference and I did think the dust attraction might be a complication.

Back to IPA after a wasted hour and a half!

John,

Don't bother! I can't see where all these adoring comments come from on his website, but I won't be adding to them. Inox is made in Australia, so might be hard to get hold of anyway.

Hi Peter,
Sorry if I wasted your time - I'm finding that with the CMX wagon a small amount of Inox sprayed on the pad is cleaning the track and there is no need for the IPA.  As for the dust attraction - the jury is still out.

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gdaysydney wrote: peterm wrote: Yes Colin,

I got stuck in yesterday. Cleaned track with IPA and then applied Inox. No difference and I did think the dust attraction might be a complication.

Back to IPA after a wasted hour and a half!

John,

Don't bother! I can't see where all these adoring comments come from on his website, but I won't be adding to them. Inox is made in Australia, so might be hard to get hold of anyway.

Hi Peter,
Sorry if I wasted your time - I'm finding that with the CMX wagon a small amount of Inox sprayed on the pad is cleaning the track and there is no need for the IPA.  As for the dust attraction - the jury is still out.
No not at all. You supplied a link and I chose to dive in. Maybe I overdid it with the Inox. I might even run round with a clean rag to wipe off any excess I might have put on.

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I enjoyed the rant, at least he got the bit about abrasive cleaning pads right. They just create scratches that gunk collects in. Plus there is a significant decrease in adhesion and traction. 

IPA 70% and above does not leave water on the track. When evaporating the IPA takes the water with it (the IPA reduces the surface tension allowing coevaporation). An OWT. 

MX3 is light mineral oil with an unspecified ketone in it. Cleans the track and leaves a layer of oil which evaporates very slowly and will attract dust and gunk from locomotives. Wonder what does to the traction? The GWR used to lube up a siding at Fairford and run stationary steam locomotives on it to determine the speed at which wheel lift (from piston throw) occured. 


Nigel



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I did a bit of research on INOX MX3 - it's basically white mineral oil with some proprietary (secret) additives, including an unspecified ketone. If left it dries to a hard finish. I suspect once you start using it you can't stop and let it dry out.

White mineral oil is around $8 for 16 fl oz (473 ml) from Amazon US. INOX MX3 is $7.95 for 125ml.

IPA solutions leave no residue (unless you inadvertently use rubbing alcohol). MX3 apparently will.

It sounds interesting for treating electrical connections and the like, but I'll stick with the prototype for the rails - metal to metal.

Nigel


                 

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