Sep 14, 2021
But that's all DCC controlled, correct?
It's not only DCC. You can wire one DCCNext so that it controls 8 servos by 8 individual push-button switches. Each of the push-button switches is wired directly to the DCCNext and pressing a button simulates a DCC signal which then moves the servo. Each of these servos can also be operated by a DCC signal if the unit is wired up to receive a DCC signal from the track.
But, it still needs 'scripts', correct??
1st post completely updated from additional info from within this thread courtesy of BoxcabE50.
No, scripts aren't needed. You need to be able to load software to your pc and learn to use it. You then connect the DCCNext to your pc with a USB cable, launch the software and by answering a series of multiple-choice questions it does what you want it to do. The software converts your answers into the necessary scripts.
I've tried writing scripts for Arduinos and tweaking other people's to suit my own needs. I've had a bit of success but not much for the amount of effort I had to put in. This achieves the same end but so much more easily.
I'm not saying there isn't a learning process because there is. For me, it's achievable and saves loads of money.
But one also needs additional board(s), correct?
Not to control servos. The servos connect directly into the three-pin plugs on the board. One does need a 5vdc input. If one wants to change the polarity of the frogs via relays one needs the relays.
When I scanned thru their website, I thought I saw reference to an Arduino board and something else.
The Arduino and all of the components are housed in the white plastic case as shown here on the website picture.
The whole thing can be purchased as parts to be soldered to the components board or pre-assembled.
The row of green terminals on the right can be substituted for three-pin plugs to enable servos to be connected easily.
As I've said, there's a bit of a learning curve - I'd say a bit more than there would be if purchasing something from one of the mainstream manufacturers.
Ok, I see that now, it was for something else. I also see about the 'learning curve', thou it's more than a "bit more".
But for $31 for 16 channels, it has the most bang for the buck.
(You mentioned 8 channels, in the web site it showed 16. )
I probably said I generally use it in conjunction with 8 servos plus 8 relays for frog polarity.
If you're using it in DC mode you could hitch up 8 servos and 8 switches. If you wanted to change frog polarity it would have to be 5 servos, 5 switches, 5 frog relays, leaving one port spare.
As you say, the learning curve is probably more than "just a bit" but it is so much easier than learning how to do "scripts".
Would you still have the option to....
..... control the frog polarity with a SPDT limit switch on the servo mount like above?
Yes, you could definitely use a SPDT switch to feed the frog. It would certainly make it simpler to set up the DCCNext. I avoided it as this was the first time I had used servos and I didn't want to make the servo have to do anything but throw the turnout.
Perhaps I'll give the SPDT a try next time as I'm always happy to experiment.
Then this is only good for 8 servos with their matching panel switches? The panel switches; are they toggle or push button?
Actually, the inputs can be either toggles or pushbuttons.
You mentioned wanting one button to control the turnout and one bi-color LED to show position. That would work but you would have to have some method of controlling the LED - either using up some of the ports on the DCCNext or having the servo throw a switch to control the LED (there are other methods as well but they get a little more complicated).
If you went with toggles, then the toggle would indicate the direction. If you really wanted the LED as well, yoiu could use a DPDT toggle and have one side controlling the input to the DCCNext and the other side controlling the LED.
My mistake, CSX Robert is right, inputs can be either toggles or pushbuttons. It's a while since I've looked at the manual
Recent updates provide tools to define servo turnouts and other accessories in JMRI (version 4.25.4ish, when used with DCC++EX EX-RAIL 3.1.7).
If you're interested in using DCC++EX for accessories, you might join the discussion on Discord -- see link on this page: https://dcc-ex.com/support/index.html
EX-RAIL beta version: https://dcc-ex.com/download/commandstation.html#getting-the-ex-rail-beta-development-version
JMRI dev build: https://builds.jmri.org/jenkins/job/development/job/packages/
Servo turnouts can be connected to two PCA9685 modules (pre-configured to pins 100-131). For other digital I/O, use the Arduino Mega pins and/or two MCP23017 (modules pre-configured to pins 164-195).
Attached file contains a few setup notes.