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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 34267 times)

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Offline lil chris

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #150 on: June 26, 2015, 11:43:44 pm »
That's the good part of the NCE system( powercab), you can buy a mini panel for about £37. With that you can connect to up to 30 push buttons or toggle switches, it can be programed and you can use it to control simple auto train control.
http://digitrains.co.uk/ecommerce/search/mini-panel.aspx
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #151 on: June 27, 2015, 08:33:09 am »

A proposed narrow gauge rack section would have a need for 3 trains running simultaneously in each direction (6 in all) on a single track, with passing loops.
Paul

That will be a nightmare for the operator ! especially if you don't use automatic control.

You will need some kind of system that means the loco's react to signals, not impossible, but it will mean that the wiring will be bit more complicated.

I agree, automation of some aspects sounds like its needed.   I can think of a few of approaches:

1 - cheap, but somewhat restricted.   Use Asymmetric DCC braking, and have the locos stop at signals (the signals do not need to work).  So, the trains are still human driven, but the brake sections will over-ride the human drivers and stop the trains.  The net effect is that you can set a train running, and let it stop (and restart) according to the brake instructions.  You can have several brake positions in a loop if needed.   Will mean using Zimo or ESU decoders in your stock (Lenz also have the feature, but have messed up the brake behaviour).   The electronics on the track side is very simple groups of six diodes to bias the DCC signal to indicate "stop" and a bypass switch/relay to resume normal running. Should work with any DCC system. 

2 - more expensive, but more flexible. Doesn't require specific DCC decoder makers.    Train detection hardware, and a system which knows which train it is controlling.   An example would be the "Shuttle" controller from CML electronics, which requires a LocoNet based DCC system (eg. Digitrax, possibly Uhlenbrock, though check), and some track sensors to indicate whether a track section is occupied.  A single Shuttle can drive one train, it can interwork with other trains driven by humans (eg. the block ahead is currently occupied, so the Shuttle will wait until the block is cleared and turnouts set correctly before driving the train into it).   
I think Uhlenbrock may also sell you equivalent features, though you'll really need to read German to understand all of the capabilities.

3 - computer control.  Numerous software packages around for this.  The main issues will still be train detection (as in 2) where detectors in the track will be needed to know where the trains are located.


I'd strongly recommend investigating how the automation (or semi-automation) will work before committing to a DCC system.  Some DCC systems play well with automation solutions and some don't.  (For example, the MRC Prodigy systems mentioned don't play well with automation, hardly any software systems support them, and there is no feedback mechanism from the track for train occupation of sections).     
I'm not really convinced that the NCE minipanel (mentioned in the thread) would be a good solution for train control as this case appears to be a bit too complicated for the minipanel's capabilities.



- Nigel



Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #152 on: June 27, 2015, 07:28:18 pm »
I am aiming to go visit DCC Supplies in Worcester for a look at their systems but I would like to narrow the field as much as possible before that. Incidentally do folk consider their one day SCC introductory workshop is worth doing ?
That's a very good idea, heading into a specialist.  when you're there, play with the various systems they have - see what style you like and what you don't.   Then research the style you can manage best.  Don't pick something on the basis that 'Fred reckons it's good' - Fred won't be using your system, you will  !!!

Their 'SCC' workshop (I assuime you meant DCC  :laughabovepost:) - is this the 'DCC Decoder Fitting and Programming (intro)' one ?  I did this a while back (went for their toolkit too), and found it extremely useful; I was working on a OO engine, but they do teach how to fit to N - given the constraints, learning how to do this in a controlled environment is an extremely good idea !!!  I'm hoping to get to their next Loco Maintenance course  :thumbsup:

Mike

Offline Mu17

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #153 on: June 27, 2015, 09:49:23 pm »
Mike - no it was the general DCC Introduction that I was considering (for a start), so its good to hear that you rate their courses.
I'm pretty much a lone hand - so I don't know Fred and won't be listening to him  ;D

Paul - I'll be looking up Tourmouth to see what I can learn - a real example is always helpful - thanks.

Nigel - that's one hell of a response.
Hmmm - tricky - I'll have a think and might come back to you on that if I may. Its certainly the first possible deal breaker that's been raised that would determine what system to buy. Does anyone produce a book (for dummies) that might cover this auto stop process ?
Its a really useful topic to raise with DCC Supplies when I make my first visit.
Cheers to all
Paul

Offline Mu17

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #154 on: June 27, 2015, 09:52:15 pm »
Lil Chris,
            the panel approach is very appealing but the above posts suggest it might limit my ultimate aims. More thought needed. I am also quite tempted to go for a simpler system first though.
Paul

Offline Caz

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #155 on: June 27, 2015, 10:04:26 pm »
I have a single track branch line as part of my layout that needs managing and I use the CML range of accessory decoders for controlling signals and point as they have something built in to manage bi-directional working using my Digitrax DCC (Zephyr) system with Digitrax BDL168's for detection.

Offline JasonBz

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #156 on: September 26, 2015, 01:34:51 pm »
Having read this, and quite a few other sources of info and views I think its finally time I upgraded to DCC to control my trains (nothing else, just the trains - I like to keep seperate the Driver and Signalman aspects of operation).

So :thankyousign: to everyone and shortly I should have me a NCE powercab to play with :)

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #157 on: September 26, 2015, 01:39:41 pm »
Hi Jason, after a lot of research and thought, I have also opted for a NCE PowerCab which I am also awaiting delivery of. I, too, will be using DCC to control my trains (I also like to keep separate the Driver and Signalman aspects of operation). I look forward to sharing experiences. 8-)

Offline lil chris

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #158 on: September 26, 2015, 11:02:02 pm »
Its a good choice guys the powercab, among  the good things it is easy to use, easy to expand and a reasonable price. If you have any problems do not esitate to ask, you will not have many.
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

Online Chris in Prague

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #159 on: September 27, 2015, 06:43:39 am »
Its a good choice guys the powercab, among  the good things it is easy to use, easy to expand and a reasonable price. If you have any problems do not esitate to ask, you will not have many.

Many thanks, Chris. Having ZERO experience of DCC, I'm sure that I'll have some questions.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #160 on: June 19, 2016, 07:57:51 pm »
RMWEb has a good review of a number of common controllers by their owners -  worth a view

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/106867-dcc-controller-list-basic-review-by-owners/



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Offline AdyDnt

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #161 on: February 12, 2018, 10:52:13 pm »
I was going to buy Gaugemasterís entry level controller but in the end opted for the NCE Powercab.

 

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