JMRI - DecoderPro

Discussion in 'Computer Automation' started by paul_l, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    JMRI is an open source suite of programs to empower users in the use of DCC, covering DecoderPro - for decoder configuration, PanelPro - for Automation and layout opertation, SoundPro - Sound effects etc. etc.

    This series of posts will cover the setting up of DecoderPro, and configuring loco decoders, a managing your loco roster.

    [​IMG]

    Paul
     
  2. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

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    Look forward to learning about this, thanks Paul :):)

    Cheers
    Ron
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    So where to start, probably the JMRI home page

    http://jmri.sourceforge.net/

    First a wee note on version numbers

    The current stable version is 4.0.1, if the second digit is even then its a stable production release, if the second digit is odd then it is a development version.
    Current development version is 4.1.6.

    New users are recommended to use the stable version, however, if you use the latest sound decoders then it may be worth trying the development version, as this version carries the latest decoder definitions.

    From the home page select the version you wish to download, read the release notes - I know generally were males and dont need instructions, but often there are a few clues as to what you might expect.

    Select the download for your OS, Windows, MacOS and Linux are all supported. There are also installation instructions on the site.

    You will also need Java 8

    http://java.com/en/

    Ensure Java is installed before installing JMRI - XP users you will receive an error message when trying to install Java 8 saying under XP is no longer supported, Oracle may no longer support XP (just like Microsoft no longer support XP), it still will install and work (you may need to carry out a remote install.

    Once complete two shortcuts will apear on your desktop (Windows users), Linux users will need to create shortcuts from the JMRI folder, dont know about MAC as I dont use them.

    Start DecoderPro

    When it first starts you will need to configure the application to suit your DCC system and PC interface. This can be changed by going to the Edit > Preferences at any time

    Its getting late and I need to do a few screen shots - to be continued ............

    Paul
     
  4. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Ooooooo ....... Hocus pocus ........ This'll be good Paul.
     
  5. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    burn the witch :confused:
     
  6. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    And it is witchcraft too I'll tell you ........ And he has a black cat. I tell you ........ Watch him.:giggle:

    Toto
     
  7. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Well the prime witch will start again, hot off the press the latest Production version has just been released - 4.2

    I will download and install the latest version, on both my Windows 10 pc and linux laptop - an old T42p thinkpad running Mint - Debian version.
    Then repost the screen shots etc.

    Visitors all day today, and factory restart tomorrow morning - no rest for the wicked, so will try tomorrow evening.

    Paul
     
  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    I can't believe It was 3 months ago, I have finally downloaded and installed the production version 4.2.1 (this is a bug fix version of 4.2). There is the 4.3 development version available, but for here I have stayed with the latest production version.

    The 4.2.1 version was downloaded from the JMRI web site, and the installer ran

    [​IMG]

    Select where you wish to install the program - unless you have a reason not to, stick with the defaults

    [​IMG]

    Again the default option was chosen - you never know someone else may use my computer to run trains

    [​IMG]

    I used the default settings again

    [​IMG]

    Again defaultsd

    [​IMG]

    Again unless you want otherwise stick with the defaults

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time for a coffee
     
  9. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Completed

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now started up decoder pro - as both my NCE USB interface and MERG USB interfaces are not connected some error messages occur as the software cannot communicate to the Command station.

    [​IMG]

    Now thats running, I just need to reconnect every thing - maybe tomorrow.

    Paul
     
  10. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Paul That's a great start for a JMRI install tutorial

    For those thinking what is all this JMRI stuff, once you start with it you will be wondering why it took you so long to make the decision to download.

    Gone are the reams of paperwork that tell you how to change something in a decoder by individule CV numbers, one click can change dozens of CV's seamlessly

    Looking forward to further updates Paul.

    As Paul said if you are a first time user go for the current production Version I have been using JMRI for a long time and generaly have one interface set in the developer Version the other as a production, occasionally the developer version has some bugs that could confuse a user.
     
  11. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    When do we reach the bit where we burn the wicker man?

    Ian
     
  12. ed

    ed Full Member

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  13. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Ed

    You can install Java 8 on XP, download the standalone version and ignore the not supported warnings.
    Just like Microsoft, Oracle (owners of Java) no longer supports XP, so if Java breaks on XP they wont fix it. Many JMRI users are still running XP machines, i'll have a rummage round to see if I have an old XP machine that can boot.

    The root I will be taking for Victoria Road, is to have a Raspberry Pi permanently fixed to the layout (approx £30 for the Pi, and £8 for a case to hold it, but that will be later.

    Next step will be to connect up the USB interfaces to validate it works, then install the same version on my old T42p laptop running Linux Mint - debian, with a non PAE kernel, sounds painful, but just means that the hardware is old, but I can still shoe horn a modern operating system on to it - that and the screen resolution is 1600 x 1200 pixels so worth the hassle :avatar:

    Paul
     
  14. ed

    ed Full Member

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    Don't test it for me Paul, I haven't used XP for years.

    Just I've read somewhere else that Java 8 won't load under XP.

    I've been Linux for coming up to two years although I can dual boot both main PCs into Windows 10.

    I found Mint a bit system heavy and currently have Ubuntu with the Xfce desktop on the 'Railway PC'

    (Not quite Lubuntu, as it has different applications)

    Ed
     
  15. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Ed

    I'll still look one out, but it may be a while, as there is still a few of people who use a perfectly good old XP machine for the railway room, so may still be usefull for someone.

    Paul
     
  16. mattc6911

    mattc6911

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    I've an old tower gaming computer I'm going to convert for railway use and intend setting it up to duel boot ( once I get my rusty brain in gear for doing a new install that is :whatever: ) What are the advantages of Xfce over the normal Gnome interface Ed ?

    Cheers
    Matt
     
  17. ed

    ed Full Member

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    Ubuntu uses the Unity desktop now Matt.

    Some people like it, some don't and I believe you can download Gnome3 to replace the standard desktop.

    Xfce is a 'lighter' desktop than either of them and uses less system resources.

    Applications are a bit different depending on which version of *buntu you use (word processor, browser etc.)

    Lubuntu is the lightest version and should run on older kit, but for some reason my laptop doesn't like it and tended to hang from time to time.

    I therefore had standard Ubuntu on the laptop, but installed the Xfce desktop to keep the same applications (Libreoffice) and at the same time speed it up.

    I've just rebuilt it today with an Xubuntu download as I don't really use anything on it except JMRI and it now seems even faster.

    Ed
     
  18. mattc6911

    mattc6911

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    Thanks Ed I'll look at the various versions when I'm ready to do it
    Cheers
    Matt
     
  19. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Matt

    What is the spec of your PC, especially the processor, and how old.

    Also worth looking at is Linux Mint - several versions available based on either Ubuntu or Debian distributions.

    The layout on Mint will feel very similar to windows, so is often a good option to start.

    My IBM T42p Laptop Centrino processor, 1.5GB Ram, 40GB hdd, has Linux Mint _Debian Edition (LMDE) installed, using the non-pae kernel. and runs perfectly, better than it ever did on windows.

    Clean interface, JMRI install was straight forward.

    I do make a change from the standard install, instead of using the default User Files Location I map the files to my dropbox folder. This location will change on each PC, but allows me to use the user files on each PC. I usually create my Roster entries on my desktop pc as it has photo editing software, a programming track etc etc connected to it. Once I save the file, and then startup my railway PC - either an old eeePC 701 or the T42p, the dropbox folders will sync, and the new roster entries will be available on each PC. The same happens for layout files in Panel Pro, its easier to edit on the PC with more resources.

    [​IMG]

    Paul
     
  20. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Could be a take away for next week up north. I need more 8 pin decoders for my Heljan class 27's so I'll order them today ( get them Saturday ) and pack a kit to set up JMRI.

    Are you up for a bit of screen sharing next week Paul if I try and start cataloging my fleet ?

    I need to draw up a list of what I'll need...... NCE power cab, rolling road etc etc. there will be the wee interfacy computery thingy as well.

    Cheers

    Toto
     

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