My DCC Journey

Discussion in 'DCC Control' started by Tallpaul70, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Hi Everyone,

    I have recently decided to go for DCC in my new 00 gauge 12ftx8ft round and round layout, based on a 2 track WR main line, branch junction, and yard.

    The layout track plan will be a compromise because while the main focus is on a 1960-62 era scene in the lower Thames Valley west of London, I have, and wish to run, from time to time, locos and stock from a number of periods up to c2016 (when electrification infrastructure which I am not a fan of, spread into the area).

    I want to run singlehanded, a fairly intensive timetable, which I have generated from what I consider are the interesting movements from the 1960 WTT, coach and locomotive diagrams.

    So, I think I need eventually, to have a touch screen mimic diagram, and some level of automation, so as to run straightforward through trains, while I concentrate on the more intricate and interesting train splitting, terminating, and shunting.

    Initially my DCC equipment will be used on a small end to end test track, that I am setting up in my workshop, which is separate from the dedicated railway room.

    Having set the scene in this first post, next time I will share the details of the equipment I have bought.

    Best regards
    Paul
     
    Timbersurf and Ron like this.
  2. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    13,271
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Hi Paul,

    Sounds interesting.,the separate end to end is a good,idea to let you test run some of your loco's and perfect some of your shutting moves as well whilst you are working on the main layout.

    A touch screen mimic panel sounds great as well. What do you intend to use form that. Rail road and co or maybe JMRI ?

    I'll look forward to tuning into your progress threads once you get the started.

    Cheers for now

    Toto :tophat::thumbs:
     
    Tallpaul70 likes this.
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    The addition of a PC and JMRI will certainly help down the road of mimic panels, even allowing the use of tablets / old phones to be used as local Mimic Panels - using the wifi throttle extensions to the JMRI infra structure.

    Looking forward to seeing how you intend to do it

    Paul
     
    Tallpaul70 likes this.
  4. redpiperbob

    redpiperbob Full Member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    210
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Hi Paul
    I use a Z21
    as here

    with an android and my phone. I have the points layed out on a photo of the layout on the andoid and locos are on the phone.
    Bob
     
    Tallpaul70 likes this.
  5. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Thanks for your positive replies, Guys.

    I have kicked off with an NCE Power Cab. Having seen good comments on this controller on my To DCC or not thread, and as my local model shop is a stockist and can give me help and support, it seemed a sensible way to go.

    I am taking things one step at a time, particularly as until my local shop has chipped a few locos for me, I only have one chipped loco, a brand new Hornby TTS Castle (I like Castles!). I expect that sound will by the cost be limited mainly to shunting and slow moving locos, where I think it will be most effective.

    Chipping is not something that I feel confident to try myself, so I am happy to pay the charges to have it done for me.

    So I have an existing 56xx tank being sound chipped and one of my pannier tanks and another Castle being chipped without sound, for comparison.

    I am also off to Ally Pally next weekend to gen up further on the possibilities.

    Best regards
    Paul
     
    steve and SRman like this.
  6. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    6,470
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Now, I can't argue with your excellant choice of system, apparently there are other systems out there, but when you start with the best why bother looking at the others :avatar: - I can hear the knives been drawn from thier scabbards.

    Check which version of the operating system is on your hand set - hopefully it's 1.65 or higher, but could be 1.28.
    To connect to a computer you will need the NCE USB interface - version 7.

    Version 1.28 only supports 3 devices on the cab bus (the power cab & any two from Throttle, USB adaptor, Mini Panel or AIU).
    Version 1.65 supports 3 extra throttles and any three ancillary devices (USB adaptor, Mini Panels or AUI).

    USB adaptor Versions 6 & 7 will work with both throttle versions, but the v7 has more functionality and supports the extra capabilities of the v1.65 power cab.

    JMRI will work with both usb interfaces.

    I have the powercab originally supplied with the v1.28 chip, but supplied with a 1.65 manual in the box, and when the 1.65 chip was released I was sent the free upgrade - well worth registering your product with NCE.

    I also have both the v6 & v7 usb interfaces, NCE will upgrade the v6 to v7, but I decided to use the v6 on my programming track next to my PC, and the v7 on the layout where the extra functionality will be most needed.

    JMRI is a collection several applications, DecoderPro and Panel Pro being the most popular.
    DecoderPro is the first one to play with, this will allow you to manage your decoders - you can download the setting already on the decoder, change them and upload the changes without having to use the handset (actually for programming decoders via the handset the NCE is probably the best out there).
    You can also create a loco roster.

    PanelPro is where you start to create Mimic Panels, and control the layout.

    As for decoder fitting it's not that frightening - practice with the cheaper decoders the LAISDCC are a good place to start as they can be purchased from fleabay for under a tenner.

    Here is a video I created a while ago on fitting a decoder to a Hornby J83 - non dcc ready.



    Enjoy and welcome to the dark side.

    Paul
     
    Tallpaul70 likes this.
  7. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
     
  8. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    13,271
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    I'll second paul_l's verdict ....... :avatar: NCE for me.

    toto
     
  9. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Hi All,
    Collected three chipped locos today. They are a Hornby 08, a Bachmann Pannier and a Hornby Castle. All are fitted with Zimo non sound chips.

    These locos were chosen to explore facets of DCC:-
    The Castle to compare with my TTS Castle - I have third Castle which might soon get a sound chip.
    The shunters to compare diesel and steam shunters under DCC. Later a similar pair will get sound chips, again for comparison.
    The panier is also non DCC ready, so I get a view of hard wired against socketed chips.

    So tomorrow, I will get a view on setting up loco addresses, and also see how the above locos run on my test track.
    I will post my findings later in the week.

    Best regards
    Paul
     
    jakesdad13, Ron and Andy_Sollis like this.
  10. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    13,271
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Great stuff Paul.

    Sounds like you are really thinking things through in order to take an Informed approach forward. I'll look forward to hearing how you get on. :thumbs:

    Toto
     
  11. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Further to the above, I have received information which says that the HCC Castle(amongst others) was the Airfix 1979 body on a Dapol 1985 Chassis.

    I have now completed the readdressing of the three locos recently chipped, and am pleased to say it was not difficult. They all work fine.
    I then got overconfident and decided to try pairing the two shunters in what the NCE manual calls a consist.
    This was not difficult, but the problem I have is that I can't work out and the manual doesn't help on how to stop the locos working in a consist and return them to working against their individual addresses.
    When I call up the individual addresses and advance the throttle, they just don't move?

    Any help on this would be appreciated?

    Best regards
    Paul
     
  12. bobcom52

    bobcom52 Full Member

    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    217
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    If all else fails just try resetting CV19 to 0.
    cheers
    Bob
     
  13. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    1,831
    Likes Received:
    437
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2015
    Tallpaul70 and jakesdad13 like this.
  14. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Thanks for the Clear Consist info which I had read in the manual, but not appreciated its significance.
    Unfortunately I misunderstood how a consist worked. I thought it sat in the system same as a single loco address and then could be called up any time you wanted it. I guess it can so long as you don't want to run the locos in the consist singly?

    So when running modern stock and wanting to top and tail a train, unless I keep those locos purely for working under the consist, I will have to set up a consist each time I want to use it. I had hoped to use a consist for banking, but it seems not to be suitable?

    So any ideas on the best way to do banking?

    Best regards
    Paul
     
  15. bobcom52

    bobcom52 Full Member

    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    217
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Paul , no reason while you cant use consisting for banking, many use that function all around the world. But, yes it has to be set up when the rear loco is in position.
    The NCE programming throttle allows you to easily move from controlling one loco or consist to another with the recall function so it should not be too hard to do banking that way. Another is to have a road throttle assigned to the banker.

    With my Digitrax programming throttle it is easy as I have two controllers in the one case but as I rarely use it, the separate road throttle method is the norm most days. Most of my trains have to be banked up the access ramp.

    One place people could have trouble with removing consists is in setting up a consist in one mode (either in the locos cv19..called advanced mode by NCE or in the command station ...called old mode by NCE) and then trying to remove them using commands for the other mode.

    cheers
    Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    Ron and Tallpaul70 like this.
  16. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    I am leaving banking on one side for now, its not vital to sort out at present.

    Bought a Hornby Sound fitted Vent van at Ally Pally on Saturday. I am pleased with it, it will be useful to provide sound background to the operation of my layout (when it is built!).
    One downside is that the steam train arrival at a station file is spoilt by the background such as the station announcements is 2010s rather than 1960s (Please stand behind the yellow line …….).
    Will have to work out a location for it perhaps behind a building. The wagon clanking and uncoupling sounds will make a good background to the hiss of steam in shunting operations!

    Best regards
    Paul
     
    Andy_Sollis likes this.
  17. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Yesterday I collected my latest items to be Sound Chipped.
    One is a Bachmann WR 56xx tank, the other a Dapol class 122 Rail car.

    The 56xx sounds good, although I think I shall have to increase some of the volumes a bit.

    I have yet to find out if its sound is better than my TTS fitted Castle, although I suspect that may have to wait until I have somewhere to let them have a good run. So I may be putting together a circuit of 2nd radius curves as a continuous test track, once I figure out somewhere I can put it and leave it set up. It might be feasible in one corner of my workshop next to my existing long thin test track so that I can move my NEC from powering the existing test track to powering the circuit without too much trouble.

    I have to say the "play" potential of the sound fitted class 122 is huge!
    It is interesting to do a start up routine by switching on the cab lights, slamming the drivers door, starting the engine up, then on with the head and tail lights, off with the cab lights, on with the saloon lights, brakes off, rev the engine, and gently move forward!

    Hope you are all progressing with your projects,

    Best regards
    Paul
     
  18. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    So, Having got a YouTube account set up, I am now going to try uploading for you all a short video of my TTS Castle and Hornby Sound Vent van on my (very) temporary test track on our dining table!

    This is only my second attempt at a model video, so there is more sound than model movement, as I found it difficult to control the models and the iPhone simultaneously!

    Hope this works?

    Cheers
    Paul
     
    jakesdad13 likes this.
  19. Tallpaul70

    Tallpaul70 Full Member

    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    28
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
    Firstly, apologies for no update for several weeks, but a number of unplanned things both modelling and family/household got in the way!

    Anyway, I have now able to test my old DC locos, as well as my newly converted DCC locos, having completed the roundy-round test track and provided it with both DC and DCC power, although switching between the two is not easy.

    So can anyone tell me if I have separate power systems for DC and DCC, plugged into separate power sockets is it sufficient protection to switch which ever is not in use off at the socket and the power unit , or should I , as I am currently doing disconnect the system not being used from the tracks?

    I realise I need to only have one type of locos, either DC or DCC, on the test track at one time according to which power system is being powered.

    Having now got over my Class 31 Mayzak rot at the expense of a new class 31, I still need to test other classes highlighted on the rot list such as Bachmann class 42s, Hornby Class 50s and steam class 75xxx and MNs/WCs/WC 4-6-0s

    The latest problem is the high current for Lima motors. I had tested several Lima locos and wanted a sound conversion on a GW AEC Parcels railcar as there seems little prospect of a new model unlike the passenger cars where I will have to be patient and save up for the new Heljan version. As the model ran wellI thought it ok, but on testing my model shop advised that it was drawing 1.1 amps which they thought too close to the 1.2 amp limit for Zimo chips, having had examples blow in the past.

    So the two alternatives are :-

    1) go for a second hand Heljan class 128 in BR green, which vehicle took over from the W34W AEC parcels car in the Thames Valley. This should convert to DCC sound ok.

    2) buy a Hornby updated Lima GWR passenger car and swap to its chasss the body for the parcels car giving the parcels car a modern mechanism. This might be cheaper than 1) above provided Hornby have left the fixings between car body and chassis unchanged.

    Any thoughts would be welcome!

    Many thanks
    Best regards

    Paul
     
  20. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Messages:
    13,271
    Likes Received:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    I think you'll find that the Heljan class 128 has quite a heavy current consumer option as well compared to other manufacturers models. Heljan are heavier on power generally.

    Have a closer look at your zimo chip specification. You may find that the general rating is 1.1 amps but it peaks at 1.8 or similar. Maybe some of the others can advise better than me so hang off until a ore " authoritative " reply is offered ..... I don't want to fry your chip.

    Looking forward to seeing some photos of your project when you get the chance. :thumbs:

    Cheers for now

    Toto
     

Share This Page