The Dark side beckons - CBUS and JMRI

Discussion in 'Welcome to the DARK side' started by paul_l, Jan 15, 2024.

  1. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    :avatar:
     
  2. chigley

    chigley Full Member

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    don't forget the tree they cut down
     
  3. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    We'll get somebody to 3D print a replacement.
     
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  4. chigley

    chigley Full Member

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    does 3D print grow on trees:avatar::avatar:
     
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  5. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Here's what we need folks :- https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1699956

    Scale it up a bit :-



    We are ready for you Paul!
     
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  6. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    'with DC can you :-
    • Park and drive two or more locos independently on the same piece of track?
    • Bank a train up an incline with independent control of each loco?
    • Double head a train with independently controlled locos?
    I think the answers is actually yes ... if you use the Triang catenary system with a couple of steeple cabs or EM2's or a mixture of both ... just saying ... well I used to ... er don't quote me ...
     
  7. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Too late, this thread reply has automatically quoted you :eek:

    Yes, but you can only run two locos on DC with the catenary system, I do say 'two or more'.

    Mind you, don't ever be tempted to use track and catenary with a DCC system though, as apparently there is the possibility of double or nothing potential difference which is decoder toast or nothing hapenning.
    I could also run the old 10V AC, 3 rail Trix Twin Railway system without catenary but it's a bit limiting :avatar:

    Jim :)
     
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  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Nah, that wouldn't fit on my build plate, maybe one of these

    upload_2024-1-17_23-1-34.jpeg *

    Looks like they have issues with sharp corners, imagine the peel force if that was a resin printer tho

    Paul
     
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  9. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Well we don't want you to print one, it was for us to lay siege to your castle:headbanger:

    What material are they printing?

    Jim :)
     
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  10. Graeme

    Graeme Full Member

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    I think it is concrete.
    I saw an example of 3D printed concrete at the Rail Museum in York when I visited last August.
    Wondered about the size of the printer.
     
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  11. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Correct Graeme, concrete, lets hope it's not the air-rated type.

    Wouldn't want to be the one to clear a blocked nozzle 30 floors up.
     
  12. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    So had the first session on Wed evening

    And all went well.

    All modules were connected to each other via the 4 wire bus to form the CBUS network.


    Pin 1 +ve - Red wire

    Pin 2 Cbus Low - White + Orange stripe wire

    Pin 3 Cbus Hi - Orange

    Pin 4 -ve - Black wire

    The cable connecting the Cbus signal should be a twisted pair - I used wire stripped out of an ethernet cable. At each end there should be a 120R terminating resistor, although on a test rig of this size a 60R resistor in the middle would suffice. I used a Merg RJ22 vertical socket kit split in half

    upload_2024-1-26_10-45-21.png

    Split in half and fitted the supplied 120R terminating resistor


    The +ve doesn't need to be connected as some modules have an external supply, but it is recommended that all modules have a common -ve connection.

    The latest version of the MERG FLIM Configuration Utility (FCU) was downloaded from the MERG site and installed.

    upload_2024-1-26_10-59-28.png

    upload_2024-1-26_10-54-46.png

    You need to have the CBUS network up and running before starting up the FCU application. This is a Windows based app, a couple of users on the course were using Linux or Apple computers, running in an emulator - generally worked ok but there were issues when a double click was required to configure some inputs and outputs, which we will come to later.

    Coonect the computer to the CANVUSB4 interface


    Windows will normally recognise the interface - worked on both of my Win 10 and 11 PC's, although a driver is available from the MERG site for earlier versions of windows - see this is for real modellers, we throw nowt out even older PC's.

    Check within device manager for the com port allocated to the USB interface

    upload_2024-1-26_11-7-8.png

    It can be useful to remember wich USB port on the computer you plugged into, as windows will allocate a different com port number if you change the port you connect into.

    When the software starts, It will ask for the com port number, or if used before for you to confirm the com port.

    We are using CBUS2 modules for this course, older CBUS modules (work off a 16V ac power supply rather than the 12V dc of CBUS2) can be operated in either SLIM (Simple Layout implementaion Mode) or FLIM (Full Layout Implementation Mode). SLIM does not require a PC to configure the module, insted it's done via dip switches on the module.
    CBUS2 modules do not support SLIM - it's too restrictive in what you can achive.
    However all modules once built are in SLIM mode - bear with me - there are two LED's on the circuit board a Green LED and a Yellow LED, some boards also have a Blue or Red power LED. When first powered up if all is well the Green LED illuminates - the module is OK and running in SLIM mode.
    Pressing the push button S1 until the Green LED goes out (for at least 5 seconds), then release the button the Yellow LED will start to flash - the module is now in FLIM mode and is ready to have its base config set up.

    On the FCU a New FLiM node popup will appear

    upload_2024-1-26_11-43-4.png

    The node type is supplied by the module, the Node number is the next number up from the base number entered during the FCU setup procedure (default is 256), in theory you can set this to any number between 0 and 65,535 however 0 to 110 are reserved.
    When I set these up for my layout and will use 4 digit numbers, the first being the baseboard number, so any node in the 1000 -1999 range will be on baseboard number 1.
    But for now I'll accept the 257
    Lastley enter in a Node name that allows you to easily identify the Node. In this case I've used 257 CanPan 01 - 257 for the node, CanPan for the module type and 01 as its the first CanPan
    Press ok and the module is added to the network

    upload_2024-1-26_11-55-15.png

    We now have our firstmodule added to the network.

    Notice there are two user CBUS nodes in the top left box CAN_SW & CANPAN. The CAN_SW is the software comms node provided by the CAVUSB4 interface, and is always Node 0.

    OK time for lunch, I will be back
     

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  13. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    So what are the modules and what can they do

    For the course the recommended modules were a CANPAN + TM7, CANVOUT, CANVSERVO and CANUSB4

    CANPAN + TM7


    The CANPAN was developed for control panels giving 32 inputs and outputs per module.
    The TM7 is Test Module 7 which has 32 LED's for output and 8 push buttons and by changing the the 4 way dip switch (red) provides 4 banks of 8 switches giving 32 inputs.

    CANVOUT


    This module has 8 inputs and 8 outputs, the output is configuable, and is set here to provide a 12V dc out.

    CANVSERVO


    This module provides 8 servo outputs, and 8 inputs

    The CANVSERVO & CANVOUT both use the same PCB board with different hardware fitted and a different firmware loaded into the PIC controller.

    I also have a CANMIO module


    Essentially it has the same functionality as the CANVSERVO squeezed into a board half the size. This module is supplied from MERG with the CANVSERVO firmware loaded into the PIC chip.

    So has 8 servo outputs and 8 inputs.

    As these had already been configured on Wednesday, I just reloaded the remaining nodes in to the system using the rebuild command.

    Here is the listing

    upload_2024-1-26_14-25-21.png

    The rebuild command can only provide information stored on the module, the Node name filled in earlier is only kept in the config file.
    It's easy to work out which Node is the CANVOUT - it is the CANMIO_OUT node number 256, however the CANVSERVO and CANMIO both identify Node type CANMIO-SVO Node number 258 & 259.

    Now its easy to find out on the test rig, as all I need to do is touch a wire from the 0v connection to one of the inputs. This will generate an event in the recieved messages window, I touched the pin 14 connection on the CANVSERVO module.

    upload_2024-1-26_14-35-42.png

    In this case
    ACON Node 258 Event 14 - generated as I touched pin 14
    ACOF Node 258 Event 14 - generated as I moved off pin 14

    I now just need to rename the two Node names.

    One of the major advantages of this system, is that you can upload new firmwares to the modules via the FCU / USB interface, and providing the hardware can support it the functionality can be changed. In the next course lesson we will be loading the Universal firmware into CANVOUT / CANVSERVO modules and learing how to configure each port to one of the available states - more about this in a couple of weeks time.

    In the next post I will configure switches to turn on LEDs and move servos. And its a simple drag and drop process.

    Paul
     

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  14. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Oh dear this darkside is beckoning to me mentally, like my wife's cooking beckons me by my nose, is there any hope for me to escape it's clutches :hammer:
     

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