What DCC System are people running

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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Bob if my assumption is correct, ( Atlas customline T.O.) then DCC would be the way to go for my layout, it would certainly reduce the throttle requirement to the command station and one hand held, or maybe even one of them Zephyrs would fill the bill, then I'd be able to forget about power routing.
In DCC there is a unit called a Reverser
It is my intention in the future when I have enough 630's built, to run double headers ( long hood coupled to long hood ). If the encoders in each were programed to the same address, would this work, or would seperate addresses be required because one loco is actually running in reverse? :confused:
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Good thought. As far as engines go. Usually the only time I assign the same engine number to more than one unit is with a slug or a B unit as they are usually not being taken apart. This is where consisting comes into play. Each engine is assigned it's own address, usually based upon the engine number. Then, you set up a consist (whereby the two, or more engines in question are assigned a separate number to operate the multiple lash ups as a single unit. That way as each engine is assign, you also set up the directional control. Makes it then easy if you ever have to separate the units, then all you have to do is drop the consists #. Sounds a little heavy right now, but once you get into it, it is really easy. Assigning two engines the same number would me they both have to run in the same direction, or you would have to reverse the wiring in one of the engines and that is a pain.

Bob
 
Hi Bob

thats right, but on some decoders you can set a bit in a CV (29? not shure at the moment). This bit reverses the driving direction permanently without reversing the wiring. But I never would use 2 same adresses. Most systems can run a lot of different adresses (9999).

Hartmut
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Hi Hartmut,

Usually, setting CV29 to 35 will reverse the direction of an engine(with an address over 127) and 3 with an Address under 127. But it is not my favorite method as now you have to keep track of something else.

Our group usually makes up cards which indicate at the top the Consist #, and then below the engine numbers of all the equipment in that consist. it's easy to make up and we attach it to the front of the waybills so you don't forget to easily.

but, your right cross wiring is not really a good thing either.

Bob A
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Hi Willis,

It is a lot of info to process at one time. I Don't remember when you said you were going to the show, but once you do and you get a chance to see this in action, talk to some of the folks there and you select the one you want, many of your questions will become a lot easier to answer.

Bob A.
 
Don't be afraid of all these comments, Willis. I started with DCC 2 years ago without knowing a lot of that stuff. Best way is practice or better say learning by doing. This way is much better than trying to become an expert by reading a book.

Have fun!

Hartmut
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
CB&CNSfan said:
It is my intention in the future when I have enough 630's built, to run double headers ( long hood coupled to long hood ). If the encoders in each were programed to the same address, would this work, or would seperate addresses be required because one loco is actually running in reverse? :confused:

Actually, you'd want to do a consist, which should ask you which way each loco will be running. The command station then stores that data so when the whole shebang is running, all the locos will be running in the same direction. So, there's not much worry about which way they're facing when you're hooking them all up.

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi All, and thank's for the information. Bob the show will be held Oct.16 and I willl be attending and get the local scoop on what they are using, with some demo's I hope. I've downloaded the manual for the Digitrax Zephyr and it certainly has some interesting reading, it seems pretty simple to use if you follow instructions. Whatever unit I purchase will only have to handle 20 locos, ( :D maybe!), and I'm guessing they will all do that with extra power boosters, and if it can do some more things to reduce the hands on effects, so much the better. With at least 20 loco addresses I can forget about reversing anything, 12 to 14 will be in consists of two, with the rest taking up space and looking pretty untill needed.
I've decided DCC will be the way for me, it will eliminate a lot of switches used for track isolation, all I have to do now, is decide what make I will buy ( decisions! decisions!). What they use locally will have little if any bearing on what I purchase since it will be mail order anyway.

Cheers Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
CB&CNSfan said:
Whatever unit I purchase will only have to handle 20 locos, ( :D maybe!), and I'm guessing they will all do that with extra power boosters, and if it can do some more things to reduce the hands on effects, so much the better. With at least 20 loco addresses I can forget about reversing anything, 12 to 14 will be in consists of two, with the rest taking up space and looking pretty untill needed.

Well, my NCE only has 6 slots to recall, but each slot can be a consist with any number of locos. What I mean is that I can cycle through only 6 "ID Numbers". The 7th you'll need to enter the loco number.

You can have as many locos on the pike as you want, but if some are sound and some have their lights on, all that draws current. I remember one guy wondering why his system suffered seemingly random shutdowns; somebody figured out he had 40+ locos idling away on the layout and he was right near the 5am limit. If one of the running trains drew a bit more than normal for some operational reason, the booster shut down for an overload!

:D

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Well just came from reading the info on the NCE site, very interesting also and certainly another possibility. Now to see if I have it right :rolleyes:
You can have 63 cabs controling 250 trains at the same time :eek:
and 127 of these trains can be consists with an unlimited number of locos ( provided there is enough boosters) and 63 people to run them :)

Now if that is correct, Then the basic NCE system should have no problem with 6 mainline trains, a maximum of ( 2 running and 4 in staging) and one spur line train.
my NCE only has 6 slots to recall
Now I take it that I could leave the spur line train at one sort of permenant address or key it in as a seventh train as one possibility another would be to change ( swap ) address of two trains in the staging loops. ( if keyed in as the seventh train, does it have to be keyed in each time you recall it? )
Lastly and the least complicated would be to add another cab, would this extra cab give 6 more slots to cycle through?

Cheers Willis
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Good questions.

First, the recall feature in NCE is there to allow you, through the memory in the system, to switch between either engines or consists up to a max of 6 at a time. this is a quick way not to have to constantly enter the same engine numbers over and over again. That does not mean you can't operate more than that, however, i haven't seen too many people try to operate too many at a time, because we all tend to forget what we are doing. :eek: Usually two or three max.

That will take practice because if you select a different engine/consist from the one you are running, you have to remember that the first system will continue to run if you don't stop it first before making a new selection.

To add a seventh unit into memory, obviously eliminates one of the other six in memory. It works on a first in first out basis. But it doesn't mean you can't use it later.

On all the NCE throttles there is a select loco button. You hit that, enter the engine or consist number and hit enter. it is as simple as that. the number of engines running or sitting on a layout is only restricted by the power consumption your system will allow. I operate in one group where than can be as many as 30 to 40 engines on the layout at one time. Granted they is an addition booster and there is also 4 power districts. Most engines while they are sitting in a staging yard with outsound turned on and the lights off, draw very little if anything.

Address assignment is permanent to all engines with decoders. It is the selection of such that allows you to operate which ever one you want. T

hope this helps.

Bob A.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Just a minor nit; it's not quite "First In, First Out"; if you want to key in the 7th loco, it takes the spot of the loco that's currently being displayed on the readout. So, it could be any of the 6 already stored.

Also, the scrolling only goes one way. By that I mean you can't scroll 'backwards', as in say you have locos A, B, C, D, E, F. You are displaying F right now. If you want to now operate "E", then you have to scroll by A-D first; you can't go from F to E.

Each cab handles it's own locos, though sometimes multiple operators might try to acquire one that's already acquired by another Cab. That causes a problem; it won't blow anything, but may cause a runaway or a response problem. Best is to zero-out that slot if you intend on passing that address on.

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Well Well comprehension so far is pretty good. OK next assumption, if I had programed 6 units, "A" to "F" in slots 1 to 6, (with only unit "C" moving) and I scrolled forward to "C" slot 3 ( and for some silly reason) programed unit "G" into that position to do whatever, I assume unit "C" would still be moving around the layout at the last setting it had. ( like memory ) and to regain control of "C" I would have to re-enter the code for it in another slot. :)

Thanks for being patient so far, I don't know what questions I'll have left for the train show, if any. but one sure thing they wouldn't be able to snow me now. :D

Cheers Willis
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Yup :)

I don't believe i have ever tried that, but until such time as you recognize control over C it should continue to move.
 
K

kentsoftware.com

Guest
I tryed a Digitrax Zypher with the dt400 throttle, in the few days i had it it locked up completely requiring a complete power off to reset it... It went back and I now run a Lenz Set-90 with a LI100F computer interface and I'm very happy with it. I also program DCC software for Lenz XpressNet (http://www.zugdcc.com)

btw: i also use my Atlas Commander as an extra throttle :)
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I don't believe i have ever tried that
LOL, and I don't think I ever will either, too risky, but the example helps me understand the systems. What I'm seeing now is that the Command Station controls all of the trains with the information fed to it from the handheld unit, or units. The Command Station information that's fed to the track, will only change for the unit the slot that the hand held is set too. For my planned operation all that is required will be a basic set. However if the basic set is not expandable I'll go the next step up. Due to posts on some other forums I'm seriously looking at NCE. However I still have to keep an open mind as some of them boys might not be reading their Mfg.'s instructions :D

Cheers Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
The answer is Yes, it will keep moving. I have not done exactly what you said, but sometimes I will press the "Select Loco" button accidentally while holding the Cab. So, I'm sitting there trying to change speeds, and the loco keeps moving blissfully along!

I do this often enough so that if it doesn't change speeds within a certain period of time (because I have Accel/Decel values greater than Zero programmed in the decoder), I'll look down at the readout. Invariably, I've hit the Select Loco button and I have to hit "Esc" to regain control....

:D

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
(because I have Accel/Decel values greater than Zero programmed in the decoder),
:eek: And I thought I had it all, now I have to start again ;) Wow! and I thought all I'd have to do give it a shot of throttle and it would be all done. I knew the decoder had to be programed for recognition, but I didn't know that values for accel. and decel. had to be programed also. So it was back to reading. I read something about speed steps 18 to 128 and something about a 14 wouldn't work such a system, but other than that they didn't elaborate on it. Is that what you mean by programming Accel/Decel values. I can give myself a pat on the back for figuring out CV means "Control Values", it does, don't it? Looking at some decoder specs I see there are different numbers of functions, and I take it these extra functions are for lights ect. Anyway to cut to the chase a little info on decoders and programing them would be welcome.
Cheers Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Accel/Decel us actually a delay value for how long it takes for the loco to respond. I think the value is in milliseconds. What that means is that if you increase the speed value by One, it takes that many milliseconds before the loco starts responding. This supposedly mirrors real life, when you move the throttle, you don't get instantaneous response.

On the flip side, if you're ripping along and you come upon an open drawbridge, Zero-ing the throttle setting doesn't mean the loco is going to stop on a dime!

There's a whole bunch of CVs available, but not every decoder has all of them useable. Normally, the more feature-packed ones are the most flexible. Though I personally only use a few of them. The NCE scrolls through the most popular ones; the new ROM chip will make this easier. The only other ones I use are CV5 = max speed value (255), CV6 = Midpoint, and CV65 (kick start; this overcomes the motor's "stick-tion", which keeps the motor from turning at speed step one). This value is a kick to get the motor turning.

:D

Kennedy
 




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