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Re: DCC Developments & Experimentation

Postby Slarge » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:33 pm

@Siegfried
Sadly not mine, the video is by tgauge.com showing off their latest developments with RailwayShop.
Hopefully the DCC motor units will be available as complete units soon (although soon can be somewhat slow).
My interest is in the size and positioning of such chips so I can alter my 3D printed loco bodies to incorporate...
And now back to Doug's awesome developments...
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Re: DCC Developments & Experimentation

Postby dkightley » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:33 am

I've made some good progress with the various boxes of electronics....I think I'm nearing the point where I will need to put the whole lot into storage for a few weeks and await the decoders. :cry: :cry:

I've already shown two of the boxes....the main control box that holds the main control board and the interface to a laptop, and the box containing the output boards that drive the servos that operate the point and flexi-traverser....and potentially a signal or two. For the inputs to the control system, I will have no less than four separate boxes, gathering inputs from 12 track section occupancy sensors and 15 LDR train location sensors. This may sound an overkill....but I'm wanting a live track layout to show which sections are occupied....and to be able to stop trains at exact positions throughout the layout.

Here's a photo of two of the boxes. They are identical in content....just having different addressing:
IMG_3303_red.JPG
IMG_3303_red.JPG (72.43 KiB) Viewed 110 times

The open box on the left has a twin TOTI board (the track section occupancy detectors!) on the left and the CBUS input board on the right....with a small 5v power supply at the bottom. The five connectors (top to bottom) are two track supplies to individual track sections, an input track power supply, the CBUS interface connection, a 5v DC output to supply a separate box I'll be describing shortly, and finally a 15vAC/DC input power. The plastic holder with the two small boards on ( the circuitry for the LDR sensors) sits over the top of the connector blocks...and the LEDs and mini pots show through holes in the box lid.

The box on the right shows the LEDS and pots showing through the holes. These are indicators and sensitivity adjusters for the LDR sensors. The five wires with servo connector plugs are the connections to the LDR sensors as shown in a previous post.

And now onto the final two boxes...which are also input interfaces that are similar to the boxes above:
IMG_3306_red.JPG
IMG_3306_red.JPG (75.23 KiB) Viewed 110 times

This time there are occupancy detectors for 4 track sections.....but only three LDR sensors. These boxes are powered from the above boxes...so don't have a power supply board....and the connector layout is very similar (top to bottom) four track section supplies, a track input, The CBUS connection, and the 5v DC input. And of course there'll only be three wires poking out the hole in the lid. Just remembered....one box will have three LDR connections, the other will only have two.

And for anyone who's spotted that all the connectors are the same style.....yes they are! I'll be going round with some different coloured paint to mark them up so it'll be easy to ensure the right plug goes into the right socket! And I'm keeping to a rigid wiring colour coding both inside and outside of the boxes. 15AC/DC - red/black; 12vDC - blue/black; 5vDC - red/yellow; CBUS -white/yellow; DCC - blue/green. The servo wires used for connecting the LDRs...+ve - red; -ve - black; LDR sense - white.

Once I get all the assembly and wiring completed, then I need to run through a careful and thorough testing and set-up phase to get all the outputs operating from the schematic panel....and all the inputs turning on and off the indicators. But that may wait until well into the New Year!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: DCC Developments & Experimentation

Postby dkightley » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:36 pm

Looking forward at the what looks like a maze of wiring on the layout, I've colour-coded the connectors:
IMG_3307_red.JPG
IMG_3307_red.JPG (130.08 KiB) Viewed 94 times

For my own reference.....colours are:

RED - 12v AC/DC main power supply (output on main box, input elsewhere)
YELLOW - 5v DC regulated supply (where adj to RED, output, otherwise input)
unpainted - 12v DC output ....currently not used
WHITE - CBUS interconnection
BLUE - DCC track power (output on main box, input elsewhere)
BLUE + DOTS - DCC track power outputs....dots to indicate correct output.....no dots on above photo - waiting for paint to dry before applying!!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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Re: DCC Developments & Experimentation

Postby dkightley » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:03 pm

A day or so of good progress....curtesy of the snow! Horrible stuff!

I've now got all the TOTI sensors wired up and tested out.....all AOK! And I've assembled a single LDR sensor on a test piece of track board...and got the LDR sensor board installed in one of the boxes. Here's the completed box.....ready for screwing the lid on!:
IMG_3319_red.JPG
IMG_3319_red.JPG (133.94 KiB) Viewed 73 times


And just to show how the LDR sensors work...here's the test sensor with no train:
IMG_3315_red.JPG
IMG_3315_red.JPG (73.13 KiB) Viewed 73 times

Notice only one LED in the box lid lit up. The other is lit because there's no sensor connected.

....and here's it with a train being sensed.
IMG_3314_red.JPG
IMG_3314_red.JPG (71.17 KiB) Viewed 73 times

Both LEDs lit! And both a train moving into the sensor AND moving away trigger events that the software in the PC can detect!
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
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