failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post details of your T gauge layouts and the progress you are making.
caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I have a flightcase, some 6mm MDF, a bit of wood shaped wood to brace it with and some carpet tape.
I also have no idea what I'm doing but will be making my first mistakes in this thread.

Nothing that's not been seen before.
Image

I think I can get that grey stuff out with a hairdryer and some patience for the extra mms for scenery and whatnot.

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I have been minorly busy.
I've made a baseboard is it called? kind of. I'm not sure this much bracing is 'enough' where would be most vital to brace elsewise? I am short of that wood now.
Image

It leaves a small gap down the right hand side of the case as you can see here:
Image
I plan to put some padding in there for storing trains and perhaps sticking the electronics in. I hope to put a mountain over the top to hide it. but removably for access to both the pocket and for cleaning the track and so forth.

I'm not sure how best to cut out a bit for allowing a bridge but I'll think on that.
Is this progress or just mistakes? I shall find out.

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I have two manual turnouts, I've not metered them but I think they pass power correctly that I can power the loop from the siding. This is probably a daft idea since I can't sneak a whole train down a siding anyway but I *COULD* do this:
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Anyway, in the meantime, I've started extracting the lighting for the other unit to go in this consist:
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And begun reworking my DCC dooble to fit in the chassis, adjusting the wire angles. My soldering iron tip is a bit like using a space shuttle jet to cook a pea though :/
Image

The terror of stripping tiny short wires to jump to the power rails and motor to come...

martinA320
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 9:15 am

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by martinA320 »

Which DCC Chip is that? I've only ever seen the DCX65 used in Tgauge.

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

It's the now discontinued DCX77z, I got three some years ago before I quit the hobby because it's too small :) I don't recall why that was the choice made at the time.
It's got motor control and two functon outputs that I don't quite understand how to use because I don't know where ground is on an AC system :P

I'm planning to get a couple of DCX65s to keep in store for future projects, but these ones seem to be 'working' so far, I've not checked temperatures of anything though, tbf.

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dkightley
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Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by dkightley »

The DCX77 and DCX 65 decoders connect in exactly the same way.....

RED & BLK to the track supply, ORA & GREY to the motor, WHI & YEL for the lights.

ANd I'm not sure what you mean by "the ground on the AC system". If its in relation to a ground for the light outputs, then if powering non-LED outputs, you can use either of the supply connections - the spec sheet indicates using the BLK.

The DCZ65 I think will work simply connecting the YEL & WHI to the two connections on the LED light block in the shell ( which is essentially two LEDS back to back plus current limiting resisters.

What DCC system do you have?? And how do you programme your decoders?
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

caitlin
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I succumbed, although I have a degree in materials science and spit hate spit the spit term spit "3d" vomit "printer", things. I have ordered an ender 3 (it was so cheap!) basically to make bits for these trains. I've started figuring out slicing and have some calibration patterns to run when (if) the hateful rapid prototyper shows up
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Also I have hammered the decoder scavenged from my test loco into my second ICE unit, got them both one the same ID (3 for reasons I don't understand) and with only one of the pair on the track I set the 'reverse' thing in the basic settings and wrote the change. The thing is both units believe they are the same unit now and I can't write changes to the 'train' only by isolating each unit so i'm not sure I've done it right.

I'm rather a DC clumsy electrician and all I know is source and sink, the lights have four wires, but as you say linking the plus and minus of one led and vice versa the leds go red and white accordingly if yellow is hot and white is cold then we get power one way, if white is hot and yellow is cold we get power the other way, that would switch the lights, but what if yellow and white are hot, same potential and 'nothing' or 'a fire'?
In the first unit I fit up I have seemingly stuck the lights to the motor terminals, so I only get red/white when the train is in motion, this is substandard and I would like to fix so I can have correct lighting whilst parked in a station for example.

I am using JRMI with a sprog 3 magic box.

caitlin
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Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

All the generic docs for 6 wire DCC deoders either return white and yellow via blue (which we don't have) or back to black \m/ heh.

The bit I don't understand there is that black and red are both shooting up and down voltages because they're directly connected to the AC DCC power rails. I don't know what frequency that runs on but I'd *expect* this to cause flashing of the led as the voltage rises and falls on black compared to the voltage on yellow. I expect this works fine and I need to do what the instructions say for success but that doesn't mean I understand :(

caitlin
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Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

If I read the function map out of the decoder I get this:
Image

I *think* F0 is what we're playing with since that's where the ticky boxes line up.
Trying to poke the tiny wires with a multimeter without croc clips is impossible but I seem to see about a volt when 'lights' is pressed in the throttle. the polarity even possibly changes when selecting forward or reverse without any speed set.
I think this might be what I want, but a volt doesn't seem like very much to me, maybe I'm losing some in my leads and poor connections.

I can't find any documentation for these decoders and I think they might be old enough that they DON'T want tying to black but alternately sink to yellow or white depending how F/R is toggled when when 'light' is enabled. Magic this stuff... no smoke has got out yet but I might not make more progress till I order and receive some magnifiers, the wire on the lights isn't really visibly resolvable to me.

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dkightley
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Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by dkightley »

The DCX77 decoders are not old! DCC Coastal don't seem to get on with the manufacturer!..at least that's the impression I got a couple of years ago!

Here's the data sheet, 'in German, I'm afraid.: http://www.tran.at/Dokumentation/DCX77zD.pdf
Doug Kightley
Webmaster here and volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk

caitlin
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

Oh right, it was their website saying 'discontinued' that made me think the industry was in decline.
I've been feeling a bit scared that T might be on the wane and manufacture was drying up. Is that not the case?
I'm not sure how much of a rush I need to be in to grab a few long bits of track and some rolling stock so I can actually make some layout in the future.

Thanks for the link to the manual, I couldn't find it for searching :/ I don't know where I'd be on this adventure without your help. It's deeply appreciated!

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

Oh dear, I tried switching positives with the yellow and white wire and that didn't work so I tried switching negatives, it does seem to be the ground side of the led which needs to go to the white and yellow wires, sadly i thought the light pack container resistors but clearly not... pooof no more white LED.
And no idea where to get spares for the module or a replacement SMD led. sob.

Ah well, something learned at least.

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I have ordered some 0402 leds and some 0402 size 560 ohm resistors.
I may need to order a smaller soldering tip also. I hope my maths is right and that i can figure out a way to package this. Since the hot leads are both tied to the pickup rail I think I can get away with one resistor for both LEDs as both will never be lit at the same time. I'll have some spare bits for lighting up other random things as well, so not all bad in the end.

caitlin
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I have to tweak my settings, I've not yet run any calibration for stringing or overhangs so these are touch fluffy and I don't yet know how to scale things properly but this holds some track off the floor so it's technically winning.

Image

It feels promising for making custom things for my layouts, so much learning in this hobby isn't there?
I now seem to 'need' an airbrush /o\

caitlin
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

it's a real challenge photographing things at this size isn't it?!
This is probably too tight, but may work if raised up a matchstick, or perhaps reprinted a bit bigger. It's a Z model at 50% scale but that doesn't account for the size of the plastic railbed, i wager. I think I'll redo at 60 or 65% accepting a slightly cartoon look but at least no crashing into the tunnel walls.
Image

caitlin
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Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

I've been veeerrryy gradually starting to learn freecad and have achieved three things. A solid model that represents the bounding box of a train on some rails. A straight tunnel portal like an ICE train might go into or come out of and slightly more excitingly to me, a *curved* tunnel portal that matches the track radius. They look like this:
Image

Some concrete grey paint and some graffiti decals should help them look better, but that's enough to start making a hill with a tunnel.

westernsultan
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:27 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by westernsultan »

Where did you get the tunnel from - or did you make it yourself?

caitlin
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

westernsultan wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:17 pm
Where did you get the tunnel from - or did you make it yourself?
I made it out of primitive shapes in freecad, sized around a virtual model of a train so I knew the train and rails would fit.
I've just recently got a PlA rapid prototyping machine and 'printed' the tunnels out with that. I'm pleasantly surprised that cutting up a 135.5 radius torus to make the curved one fits the track bed really quite well!

I think they'll look much better once they're concrete grey.

caitlin
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by caitlin »

So I've lowered the base board because my cooling tower wouldn't let the lid close if it was raised up enough to allow a bridge to pass under the track. I've cut up some bits of MDF to work as track bed which can be lifted off the base board I assume by bits of wood glued and pinned at the appropriate height. This allows a space underneath for a road way under a bridge into my industrial estate which is how this seems to be panning out for some reason. A bit of grey has been thrown at my scenery to make it a bit more 'concretey'

Image

I have the fun task of cutting the track bed sections to length but I have a razor saw and a sense of hope. This takes ages when you have no idea what you're doing :)

gbtrains
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Re: failcase simplest of all the builds.

Post by gbtrains »

Go like your cooling tower.

How tall is it?

:D

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