I think I'm finaly ready for DCC

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Dominick

Member
Well after reading and reading on the basics of DCC and the 5 main components
But I would like to tackle this from a different way.
I would like to go computer for the command station and there lies the problem.
I do not know what the best program would be.

I would like it to be compatible with as much as possible, Looking for the program to have feed back for automation of lights be it signaling or rail crossing.

As for decoders looking for ones that have sound and ability to controle the locos lights.
I'm also heavily into DIY so if I have to build interfaces and do some programming I'm all for it.

Thanks in advance,
Dom

also any questions fire away as this is still new to me
 

Alcomotive

Grandson of ALCO Bldr
JMRI is the best way to go in my humble opinion....it is a great software and has great support. Lots of people use it.
 

Dominick

Member
Yeah man I have been reading some more on the JMRI subject to me it looks like I can even control turn outs and there signaling lights RR crossing lights and gates (correct me if I'm wrong) but I cant seem to find anything in there that controls traffic signals.
Also I did not find anything that touches upon what interface I need whether
it be store bought or DIY that sits between the computer and the signals/switch tracks.
 

Train Block Electronics

Train Block Electronics
I can get you hooked up with block detection for your computer control, and I have traffic light controllers, railroad crossing controllers etc.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Dom, you may be trying to bite off a big chunk here. Walthers sells a traffic light control module that can be controlled by DCC and even have the lights all go to flashing red if the road is parallel to the tracks. DIY is fun but sometimes there's no need to reinvent the wheel. My first computer was an Altair that I built myself but I don't think I'd want to go through that experience again. :)

The interface is from your PC direct to the control station using either a null modem cable or USB cable, depending on the type of command station. JMRI then reads the data stream for the control station and sends data back to the control station. If you haven't yet downloaded the program, I suggest you do so. It has an extensive help system that guides you in the right direction for control stations that are compatible with JMRI. You can also run it in simulation mode without a track connection to see how everything works.
 

Dominick

Member
Dom, you may be trying to bite off a big chunk here. Walthers sells a traffic light control module that can be controlled by DCC and even have the lights all go to flashing red if the road is parallel to the tracks. DIY is fun but sometimes there's no need to reinvent the wheel. My first computer was an Altair that I built myself but I don't think I'd want to go through that experience again. :)

The interface is from your PC direct to the control station using either a null modem cable or USB cable, depending on the type of command station. JMRI then reads the data stream for the control station and sends data back to the control station. If you haven't yet downloaded the program, I suggest you do so. It has an extensive help system that guides you in the right direction for control stations that are compatible with JMRI. You can also run it in simulation mode without a track connection to see how everything works.

Totally understand what your saying, And at the risk of sounding full of myself or like a jerk (2 things in which I am not aiming for)
but I have built all my desktop computers from scratch, one file sharing server, one gaming server, and HTPC, and a home automation server using the following software http://www.homeseer.com/ I would love the challenge of getting the whole
layout to run off of computer.

Now one thing I will do is keep it simple in the beginning and ask this.

To use JRMI I need the following that I know of
JRMI http://jmri.sourceforge.net/
digitrax PR3 http://www.digitrax.com/prd_compint_pr3.php
and obviously the decoders

But I feel I'm missing something? what about the booster? anything else?

and I do appreciate the help
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
Hey, Dom, go for it! If you can do everything with JMRI, remember to post back your methods on the JMRI forum on Sourceforge or the JMRI Yahoo group. It's guys like you that help everyone else learn.

I don't remember reading how big your layout is. The best thing to do is calculate the total amps you excpect to draw max at any one time. Most layouts wont exceed the five amp capability of the digitrax command station. If you do think you meed more the five amps, you'll have to put in a booster but that's easy to do. The only other thing is getting the right cable and serial port combination so that Windows (I assume you're using Windows), JMRI, and the command station can talk to each other. I think even a USB cable is using serial port emulation so check under Com Ports in Device Manager to make sure you've chosen the right one in JMRI. Otherwise, it sounds like you're ready. Now you just need some track and trains. :)
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
...
Most layouts wont exceed the five amp capability of the digitrax command station. If you do think you meed more the five amps, you'll have to put in a booster but that's easy to do.

Don't need an extra booster, Jim. Digitrax has an 8 amp command station available. The DCS100 is 5-amp. The DCS200 is 8-amp.
 




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