308 error / bachmann econami n scale /solved

craftech Mar 19, 2021

  1. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    DS64's are known to forget their programming if controlled/powered by the DCC track bus if that DCC track bus experiences a short, etc.

    The purpose of the booster is to power the layout, not the DS64, so that in the event of a track short, the booster will shut down temporarily from the track short, while the DS64 (powered directly from the non-shorted command station's DCC output) can still receive commands uninterrupted while the track bus & booster remain shorted. This is also vital when the DS64 is needed to throw a switch that is creating the track short.
     
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  2. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for reply..

    Oh for sure. Already was there. The question was whether anyone has tested (played with) controlling the DS64 with Kato DoubleCrossover or similar load connected directly to either the Arduino brand motor shield, Deek Robot brand or DIY brand shield BUT either powering the track via booster or totally removing the track from the shield output. Flightrisk (Fred) (DCC++EX develper) replied (per above) confirming what I thought is that with the track (layout) powered by the TAM Valley booster should result in any one of these 3 motor shields being able to do the job. While they are all rated to 2A, realistically probably closer top 1200mA. Picked the DIY --extra heat sinking always helps.

    Know some of the guys from DCC++EX watch the forum and since have lots of experience with Arduino and shields, maybe someone in the group has tested a DS64 with a D-Over connected to one of the standard shields supported by DCC++Ex. We agree, the TAM Valley or similar powering track and protecting DS64 is the only way to go... not only prevent meltdown when a short occurs, but there was never any question in my mind that some sort of booster is reqd for track. According to specs, the L298 should be able power DS64 (under loconet is driven with 300mA PS) and throw switches. Can't imagine DS64 and D-XOver requiring in excess of 1.2A but question is the L298s ability to handle surge due to reactive components, Caps and Inducts in their transient condition (moments during power on and power off) when the xover is thrown. The booster will supply power to track.

    Do apologize but trying to take every precaution before ordering especially since dealing with a very frustrating loco issue.
     
  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The DS64 draws <= 300 mA. It uses a capacitive discharge circuit to energize the switch solenoids, and will easily handle all four solenoids on the Kato dbl-x-over, connected to a single DS64 output. Thus 4 Kato dbl-x-overs can be controlled by one DS64. Recharging the capacitor is relatively slow compared to discharging it into the solenoid(s). If you have up to 4 Kato switches that are always thrown together (not necessarily with the same polarity), they can be tied to a single DS64 output.

    Note that the DS64 is now obsolete, and has been replaced by the DS74.
     
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  4. FlightRisk

    FlightRisk TrainBoard Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what is improved with the DS74?
     
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  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not sure what all changed from the DS64 to the DS74. It looks like it has the same functions as before accessible via DCC (i.e. as a stationary decoder), but it may have additional/enhanced behavior (compared to DS64) when controlled via loconet (not of interest to me).

    The DS74 firmware is user-updateable (via loconet), whereas the DS64 is not.

    I would also not be surprised if they had component obsolescence issues in the DS64; it had been around a long time.
     
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  6. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Funny you should mention DS74. Stumbled on Digitrax DS74 Youtube video a couple days after intro. Proceeded to review docs on site. Don't know why, found it a bit odd when reading it almost seems this has been designed to operate more under LocoNet and less under track power than DS64. Recognizing this is new and documentation will surely be revised, just a feeling I got reading it. One aspect of DS74 that is not as clear is reconfiguring DS74 to support MomOn SPDT toggle switch on inputs. Believe DS64 OP SW12 enable using Block lines as other pole but will have to take a closer look. Also, probably a new product document oversight, dimensions are missing too.

    Since as I was about to buy a DS64, thinking about waiting until there is some more info and experience with DS74 but maybe the DS64 is better for the non-loconet layout? In the event of a failure, would probably then have to replace with DS74. Experienced Old Hardware vs Untried New Hardware.. "Better the Devil You Know" ??
     
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  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Mark,

    My thoughts too, re: DS64 vs DS74.

    I can certainly understand why they would favor their Loconet capabilities...

    I may end up adding a loconet-usb interface to my Pi SPROG 3 setup, but I don't know if JMRI's WiFi throttles can control turnouts on loconet, rather than DCC stationary decoders. Anybody know that?
     
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  8. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    I understand the preference but, don't know, would think manufacturers would want to expand market rather than limit. Now thinking that NCE switch-kat deserves a second look??
     
  9. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    It doesn't appear to support the Opsw 12 option, but it does support Opsw 11, which sets makes the inputs trigger routes. It seems you should be able to set Opsw 11 and program the routes to just throw or close one turnout each to simulate the Opsw 12 functionality.

    Digitrax doesn't seem to think dimensions are too critical are devices that don't go in a locomotive, a lot (most?) of their hardware doesn't have dimensions listed. They do use the same enclosure on a lot of there newer Loconet devices, so at least if you have one you'll have the dimensions of others.
     
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  10. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    The only thing I see that the DS74 needs Loconet for is having routes control other turnout decoders. You need two way communication to be able to do that from the decoder so it can't without a connection to Loconet or some other feedback buss. It also has advanced configuration settings using the DT602 throttle, but that's just using the throttle to make configuration easier, my understanding is all of the settings can still be configured on a system without Loconet, but again, you need that two-way communication for the DT602 configuration functionality.
     
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  11. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the info...
    Unsure how Opsw 11 impacts use of mechanical switches. Admittedly, my background in routes is about 0. Initially, just want to have option to throw turnouts either via DCC Throttle (Eng Driver, wiThrottle eg) or mechanical SPDT (preferred) or SPST switch.

    Guessing route capability is required for automation? If you were to implement routes without loconet, do you have suggestion of other ways of providing feedback?
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    IINM, JMRI can set up and control routes for turnouts controlled via DCC. Not sure if Wi-Throttle served WiFi throttles can control those routes though...

    But then I run a SPROG system which (similarly to DCC++EX) requires running JMRI anyway (even without a display or keyboard, just a WiFi throttle or throttle app to run trains and throw turnouts) Others may not want to run JMRI just to run trains.
     
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  13. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you....

    Since running JMRI too, thinking turnout control is no issue as DCC++EX supports.. If routes are not supported in wiThrottle server throttles, figure there is always the jmri webThrottle..

    https://www.jmri.org/help/en/package/jmri/jmrit/webThrottle/webThrottle.shtml

    Played with jmri webthrottle on phone a while back but prefer ENG DRV and WiThrottle for throttle speed control however webthrottle gets better on tablet size monitor..

    Agreed, DCC++EX definitely can run trains.
     
  14. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    The 8 input lines on the DS74 are normally configured as 4 turnout control lines and 4 sensor input lines. Setting Opsw 11 makes all 8 input lines trigger routes (none of them will directly control a turnout). A route is just a series of one or more turnout commands. If you configure it so route 1 throws turnout 1, route 2 closes turnout 1, route 3 throws turnout 2, route 4 closes turnout 2, and so on for all four turnouts, then you can wire input 1 and 2 to a SPDT momentary toggle to control turnout 1, input 3 and 4 to control turnout 2, etc.

    Well, yes and no. Routes are really a simplistic form of automation, so if you have automation capabilities you will, by extension, have routing; however, you do not have to have native routing to be able to implement automation.

    To be clear, the two-way communication or feedback is not required for routing, it is only required for decoder to decoder routing. There are three common ways of storing routes: in the stationary decoder itself, in the command station, and in a separate system such as a computer running JMRI. Each has its advantages and drawbacks. If you have a decoder controlling four turnouts, routes setup on that decoder, and the routes only control turnouts controlled by that decoder, then you don't need Loconet; however, if you want the routes to control turnouts on another decoder, you'll need Loconet.

    Here's an example to help explain the differences: Say you have a five track double ended staging yard with a DS74 at each end controlling the four turnouts at each respective end. Using routes stored in the DS74, you can select a track at each end using just one button per track instead of having to set multiple turnouts, and this can be done without Loconet; however, if you want it to set the turnouts at both ends when you select a track, then you'll have to have Loconet so the two DS74's can talk to each other.

    When you have routes stored in the command station or JMRI, then they can set set turnouts on multiple decoders without Loconet, but you wouldn't be able to trigger the routes from the decoder without Loconet (though you could still throw the turnouts individually from the decoder).

    FYI, I don't know the particulars off hand but Loconet can be setup without a Digitrax command station. JMRI can also be interfaced to a non-Digitrax command station and Loconet at the same time and will pass commands between them, so you don't have to have a Digitrax command station to get some of the benefits of Loconet.

    Routes are generally controlled by a turnout command (even the DS74 routes controlled by an input also have an associated turnout command), so if the throttle can control turnouts, in most cases it can control routes as well.
     
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  15. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the incredibly informative reply.
    The logic seems simple enough. Thanks didn't know the relationship between turnouts and routes as it pertains to the DS64. Actually, have not found a good location for switches so need option of knowing that the DS74 can be setup with MO SPDT is good. The biggest shortsightedness, due to the quest for portability, View attachment 239391 View attachment 239392 View attachment 239391 was selection of 1x2 framing which is causing difficulty in mechanical switch location so need to ensure option of button or toggle.

    Since my layout is only 2x4 with 1 turnout decoder, no inter-decoder communication is needed, then there will be no issue with routes without LocoNet. Excellent!

    Worse case until getting an Android device to run ENG DRV, or changing wiThrottles (currently using IOS wiThrottle basic), went ahead the other day confirmed JMRI webThrottle supports both turnouts and Routes. Biggest problem IMHO with webThrottle is the difficulty of increment or decrement throttle level by 1 or 2...



    Throttle.. No visual throttle setting number (0-126??)




    Thanks again for all the info. Now, just need to figure where to mount toggles or push buttons.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  16. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I like Engine Driver and like JMRI's throttle that you control with the mouse and screen throttle but...................I still don't have the feel or control that I have with my older DC manual throttle running a DC loco. I ran a handheld NCE throttle 2 years ago for a bit at a club but can't remember it enough for a comparison. Not sure how the manual DCC throttles feel compared to a phone throttle either.

    For general running I don't have a problem with the phone throttle but working a loco in a tight area I'm not happy. I have the parts to build two of Dave's wired and/or wireless throttles and need to do that to see how I like it. I even thought about building one of them more like a conventional throttle in a box (not hand held). I could use it on the test track where I don't really need a handheld throttle since there is no 'walking around'.

    I see a market for someone that could offer a $100-$150 wireless throttle that would work with DCC++EX that had real controls and the feel that goes with them vs. the screen on a tablet or phone. Or a kit with a case and easy to follow instructions with maybe a Nano with the sketch already on it. Dave's works with a very cheap radio in the throttle and another attached to the Arduino command station. Better yet would be one that would connect to the inexpensive Wi-Fi shield that works with DCC++EX's Arduino and motorshield or to the JMRI/Raspberry Pi's hot spot.

    Sumner
     
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  17. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Hi..
    Definitely agree about issues regarding feel as well as granular control of speed with display based throttles. Before going with a pi and just using the DCC++EX built in wiThrottle server, thought the IOS SRCP throttle was pretty good. Now with the pi, using IOS wiThrottle app. Not just due to the function labels being pushed out but also discovered a smooth way of incrementally increasing or decreasing throttle by 1 (of 127) though even without running JMRI on pi, allows same speed steps. I absolutely love that granular control and most fun, being as close to the end of spur when backing up.

    Since DCC++EX, with ESP8266 shield, install includes the wiThrottle Server so any wiThrottle server compatible wireless throttle should work.
    It's kinda funny you mention physical throttle. If you asked me 6 months ago, would have told you no way to live without a attached or detached mechanical throttle. Posted on Discord a while back discussing adapting Kato 20-018 as mech throttle (possibly similar in approach to how Digitrax Zephr allows use of DC throttles) to DCC EX. Overviewed Dave's project too. Looks cool but now, unsure if that would provide 127 speed steps, or 10, like the SRCP wiThrottle simply and cost effectively. Kinda of surprised that a commercial product does not exist too.

    Hope to get android tablet because think ENG Driver is the best but haven't tested to see if there is a similar or certain swipe or touch action on the speed slider that enables one to easily increment or decrement speed by 1 like in IOS wiThrottle.
     
  18. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't done a lot of looking but I don't think I've found a wireless throttle that works with wiThrottle for under a couple hundred. If there is one out there hopefully someone will supply a link.

    I hadn't used it before now but Engine Driver does have the option for (+) & (-) speed buttons that can be used with or without the slider. I might be missing something but I just used them for a while and they seem to work in steps of 4. If you are coming down for instance the speed steps would be .... 12 ..8..4..0. Nothing in between. If I use the slider the steps are in 1 step increments and if I use the slider to say step 9 and switch to the buttons then it will go from 9 to 5 then to 1 but no steps between 1 and 5. As soon as I go down from 1 it will go to 0 and then start up as 0..4..8..12......

    In Decoder Pro as far as I can tell the decoder is set to 128 steps but maybe I need to research that more.

    Steve and others have done a wonderful job for us with the phone/tablet throttles but these old fingers and mind want a knob between my fingers. For trains circling the lay I'll be more than satisfied with a phone throttle but for switching work I really want the tactile feel of an old fashion laid out throttle. With the phone one I loose track of where my fingers are on the screen which results in taking my eyes off the loco and looking at the phone. I'll bet the younger operators probably don't have this problem.

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
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  19. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know of any yet, but they may be one before too long. TCS currently has a $300 dollar wifi throttle, but they are working on a smaller one. I haven't seen any potential pricing on it yet, but maybe it will be in the $200 range.




    It's an option in the preferences. It defaults to 4 but you can change it to 1.

    You can also use the volume controls to adjust the speed one step at a time, though I find it very sensitive and will often get two steps when I want one (that may be device dependent, however). The volume speed control also works with headphones with volume buttons. A neat hack I may try some day would be to make a button module that plugs into the headphone jack for controlling speed.

    I couldn't agree more. I don't know why so many people want everything to go to touchscreen controls. Some things are just easier and more comfortable with knobs and buttons.
     
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  20. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for sharing your Eng Driver experience. Hopefully there is a setting in the app that enables increment or decrement by 1 or may have to change thinking about it. Certainly will need to research that too!

    I stumbled upon the increment or decrement by 1 in the IOS wiThrottle app. Tapping once on vertical blue bar above slider knob goes +1 and below goes -1. Interestingly, as shown below when getting close to zero, a tape right at the bottom curve enables going to -2, or -1, same goes as 126 is approached on the top end is at the top arc. After discovering this, very little use of other throttles.

    Before was using SRCP Throttle, (Pre Pi and JMRI) and liked it but there are only 15 steps plus 2 brightness levels per step (at least what was discernable by my eyes) equaling only 45 steps but liked it since all function buttons (no label support from what I can see with SRCP) available without scrolling. I downloaded and played with a few others, there is a good list of throttles on the DCC++EX site but didn't like as much as the wiThrottle app, at least for IOS.


    Agreed, notice at times where figure does stray and same thing happens to me, in mid 60's but thinking with larger 8" tablet or so, may make it easier.
     

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