Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two More Curve Turnouts for Global III

I was able to build and install the last two curved turnouts for the Rochelle Global III engine facilities.  The facility will have three tracks total; two of which will be in an enginehouse.  Just two more turnouts left!!! I should be able to get them done by the end of the month.  Then its on to scenery!  Our school year just concluded so I have much slower summer months ahead.  I should be able to spend significant time on the layout.  I hope to be able to post two or three times a week in June and July. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Computer Control & WiFi Throttle

The Geneva Subdivision utilizes computer control via RR&Co and DecoderPro software.   A very old computer (846Mhz AMD Duron with 1G mem) sits under the layout and is connected to the Digitrax loconet system via a MS100 and a Locobuffer.  There are two connections since I use RR&Co and DecoderPro at the same time. Both require their own connection and are not able to share a connection.  The computer does not have a monitor, but is connected to my home computer network.  This allows me to connect to the computer with other computers on the network via the Remote Desktop Connection built into the Windows XP OS. 

The RR&Co program is used to control signalling and turnouts on the layout.  It can dectect where trains are located and set signals accordingly.  Since I have not yet installed signals on the layout, I have not yet programed RR&Co for this purpose.  The computer is very useful in controling tunrouts in yards so that the push of one button will route all turnouts for that track.  The pictures below shows the RR&Co screen and a couple of the control panels on the layout.

The DecoderPro software is used to program all mobile decoders as well as many of the Digitrax loconet components on the layout.  Its free to use and extremely useful for this purposse alone.  However, I also use DecoderPro in conjuntion with my Dell PDA to have wireless throttles and control panel.  The Dell PDA is able to connect to the layout computer through the remote desktop connection which enables me to have the layout computer's screen on my handheld devise.  I have the software set up so that I can operate up to four throttles at a time, plus access a control panel to throw mainline turnouts and see where train are located on the layout.  When we have operating sessions I can use the PDA as a mobile dispatchers pannel. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

DCC Hardware Information

I recieved an email requesting information on DCC devices in use on the Geneva Sub.  So, below is a list of DCC equipment I have on the layout. The entire layout is powered by a single Digitrax 5 amp DSC100 booster.  I use two PM4s to seperate the layout into 8 power districts so that if there is a short, only 1/8 of the layout is affected.
All of the devices are connected to the computer via Locobuffer and MS100 computer/loconet interfaces. I use both RR&Co and DecoderPro software on the computer which is why I have two computer/loconet interfaces. The list below includes the device’s address and the switches and inputs assigned to each device. The information does not include anything about signal automation which will come later. If I was starting from scratch, I would use the team digital SRC16 with Moto-Ds for all the stationary decoders that control the turnouts. They are very easy to install and cost less than $5 per turnout. I had three DS54s on hand from the Rochelle Sub and received 2 DS64s from Digitrax to test for them so I made use of them as well. Also, the 3 SE8c, which I plan to use for signaling, have 8 inputs and 8 outputs so I made use of them too.  More information later.

BDL168 proviso - address 3
BDL168 FG/GlobalIII - address 4
BDL168 Rochellee - address 5

PM4 Proviso/Clinton/Fulton - address 7
PM4 FG/Rochelle - address 6

SE8c FG/GlobalIII - address 4 sw 25-32, inputs 2-9 through 2-16
SE8c Rochelle - address 2 sw 9-16 Inputs 1-9 through 1-16
SE8c Proviso/Clinton - address 3 sw 17-24, inputs 2-1 through 2-8

Stationary Decoders (turnout control)
DS64 Clinton - address 21 (sw 100-103)(input 11-1,11-3,11-5,11-7)
DS64 Proviso Engine - address 1 (sw 1-4)(input 1-1,1-3,1-5,1-7)
DS54 Provisowest - address 101 (sw 145-148)(input 19-1,19-3,19-3,19-7)
DS54 Proviso - address 103 (sw 152-156)
DS54 Fulton - address 102 (sw 149-152)
SRC16 proviso - loco adr = 1 (sw 81-96, inputs 201-216 (13,9 through 14,8))
SRC16 Clinton - loco adr = 1 (sw 111-126, inputs 217-232 (14,9 through 15,8))
SRC16 Global III - loco adr = 1 (sw 127-142, input 233-248 (15,9 through 16,8)
DS44 Nelson (sw50-53)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Proviso Loco Yard Tracks Complete

Finally got all turnouts and track installed for the Proviso loco facilities. Six tracks total; five will run into the engine house and the sixth will be an outside fueling station.  Just six more turnouts to go!