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gavino200

Gavino's module build

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Martijn Meerts

Don't care if it's free or costs hundreds of Euro's, I just don't like the UI. I have the same issue with RocRail.

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gavino200
5 hours ago, inobu said:

Based on the cost its hard to not like JMRI.

 

Inobu

 

Based on everything else, it's real easy!

 

Any suggestions on my wiring, inobu? I like the way you think about wire management? 

Edited by gavino200

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inobu
54 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

Based on everything else, it's real easy!

 

Any suggestions on my wiring, inobu? I like the way you think about wire management? 

I use crimp tools, #6 terminal blocks and #6 terminal rings.

 

41j3q1x8UiL._AC_SY400_.jpg

 

71+AhQx-lnL._SY606_.jpg

 

70085040.jpg

 

 

Its cost more but better organization.

 

I document and color code everything.

 

The Block are power feeds for each section, the colors represents the blocks and the triangles represents the feeders. They are all numbered. 

Everything is color coded so troubleshooting is easy.

 

The track power is Red and Black for this layout.

If I'm doing a Kato Unitrack layout I use Blue and white for track power and Red and Black for switches.

 

The basic fundamental are "Extend the Design Time to reduce the Troubleshooting Time. Reduce the Design Time increase the Troubleshooting Time." 

 

Inobu

 

wire.jpg

Edited by inobu
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inobu

It take more time but everything is in order. The only way something will go wrong is if someone disconnects something.

If something is out of place you can see it.

 

Inobu

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gavino200
6 minutes ago, inobu said:

I use crimp tools, #6 terminal blocks and #6 terminal rings.

 


I have a similar crimp tool, except without interchangeable jaw pieces. I don't remember but I might have bought it on your recommendation. 

 

I use those junction strips, based on the recommendation of Ken from SC

 

IIRC the connectors I used were little U-shaped crimp pieces.

 

6 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

Its cost more but better organization.

 

I document and color code everything.

 

The Block are power feeds for each section, the colors represents the blocks and the triangles represents the feeders. They are all numbered. 

Everything is color coded so troubleshooting is easy.

 

The track power is Red and Black for this layout.

If I'm doing a Kato Unitrack layout I use Blue and white for track power and Red and Black for switches.

 

I'm doing this too. I think I learned this from you before. Definitely doing this again. 

 

I can't remember where I got my wires before. I'm looking for a supplier with a large array of colors. I'm going to keep my previous red, yello, green, blue scheme. I'd like to find two shades of each color if possible.

 

Orange/yellow  light blue/dark blue,   red/pink    light green/ dark green

 

6 minutes ago, inobu said:

 

The basic fundamental are "Extend the Design Time to reduce the Troubleshooting Time. Reduce the Design Time increase the Troubleshooting Time." 

 

 

I couldn't agree more. This is my philosophy for everything. 

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gavino200
10 minutes ago, inobu said:

It take more time but everything is in order. The only way something will go wrong is if someone disconnects something.

If something is out of place you can see it.

 

Inobu

 

It's beautiful. Those are acrylic sheets right?

 

Are you still using 18 gauge wire? 

 

By the way, I just made my final decision to do block detection. Not just as a potential future add-on but as a primary feature of this layout. 

Edited by gavino200

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inobu
43 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

It's beautiful. Those are acrylic sheets right?

 

Are you still using 18 gauge wire? 

 

By the way, I just made my final decision to do block detection. Not just as a potential future add-on but as a primary feature of this layout. 

The picture is grainy but those are PVC sheets. They are lighter and softer than acrylic.

 

Yes, its 18. I use 16 or 18 depending on how many engines are being ran at one time in a particular block.

N Scale isn't as concerning as Ho and O Scale

 

Its hard to find multi color wire in thicker gauges.

 

McMaster Carr is the easiest to choose and order from. https://www.mcmaster.com/wire

The prices are higher but I choose them for the convenience.

 

Inobu

 

Oh, I order Black and White in 500' foot spools because I use them as the common/return.

 

 

Edited by inobu
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cteno4

In the past Remington industries has been a good supplier for wire, good price and selection usually.

 

https://www.remingtonindustries.com

 

in some exhibit installs where there were a lot of similar wire pair bundles going out thru stuff to different places I found using the jacked speaker wires worked well. I then just striped the white jacket with colored permanent markers. Made for easier pulling and not having to buy a dozen different colors and remember all the polarities, the jackets told me the pair and the red/black the polarity easily, I’ve also just used little sections of heat shrink around the ends and along the way if needed to color code. Usually the cheapest per foot you can get for hookup and jacketed speaker wire like this does go on very good sales at times where as standard hookup single wire rarely does. I got a 500’ spool of 18g a number of years back and it’s been my goto for a lot of train and other stuff.

 

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817

 

Also these little clips are handy to clip up wires to keep them organized and not sagging, I like the clip in ones as I can pull them apart quickly. Others use screw in loops or zip ties which are very strong, but you have to clip the zip to redo (or fiddle sticking a needle in them to unzip...).

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wire-Clip-Black-Car-Tie-Rectangle-Cable-Holder-Mount-Clamp-self-adhesive-New/133143949445?hash=item1effff7085:g:GJUAAOSwRMhdCGey

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100pcs-Cable-Clips-Self-Adhesive-Cord-Management-Wire-Holder-Organizer-Clamps/233801636161?hash=item366fa9d941:g:eAMAAOSwhJNfw-Nu
 

number of styles and cheap if you shop for bulk.

 

a real poor man’s wire clip is to just staple a little 1” piece of double sided Velcro to the board and then lay the cables over the center and fold the ends over to fasten.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Ah, please let me ask a dumb question. I'm reading back through my original DCC wiring thread where inobu explained to me how everything works. I have pretty much forgotten most of it. 

 

I think I've been overthinking the color scheme. My short protector divides my circuit into four separate circuits. But the black wire in each circuit is essentially the same. Right?

 

So I really only need four colors. I can use a black wire for the -/neg/black wire in each circuit? Right?

 

I could even wire all the "black" wires together to make a single return bus, right? (I don't think I'll do that. Just a theoretical question)

 

So I only need to have yellow, green, blue, red and black wires for my bus. Am I right about this?

 

fM35phe.jpg

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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inobu

That layout was a little different so the wiring requirements was a little different.

 

In this case you have detection which requires an in-depth wiring scheme.

This image shows the old and new requirements.

 

The PM42 on the right is wired for four independent outputs. Notice connectors have the 4 colors

mated with the negative brown wire.  This is like your configuration.

 

The color scheme is Yellow, Orange,Blue,Violet (Power Color) + Brown/Negative.

 

Integrating this with the BDL168 requires a change in the connectors. The brown leads would be removed

and ran to its own terminal/connector. (As you pointed out)

 

The PM42 would have all 4 color leads in the one connector to the BDL168.

Look closely at the 4 connectors from the BDL168. They are repeat Red,Green,White and Gray.

Notice the color Zip ties. They group the 4 Power colors or Zones. These 4 colors connects to the

feeder to the track.


 

image.thumb.png.d906ea917e1ceaee8f6c3dab08c7e7c8.png

 

So in essence these connections can be replicated over and over.

PM42 #1 feeds BDL168 #21

 

BDL168 has 4 Zones

Yellow Zone

Orange Zone

Blue Zone

Violet Zone

 

Each of those Zones have 4 sections Red Green, White, Gray.

 

The next group can have.........

PM42 #2 feeds BDL168 #22

 

BDL168 has 4 Zones

Yellow Zone

Orange Zone

Blue Zone

Violet Zone

 

Each of those Zones have 4 sections Red Green, White, Gray.

 

Labeling the feeders with their associated BDL168 keeps everything in order.

 

Inobu

 

 

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gavino200
20 hours ago, inobu said:

That layout was a little different so the wiring requirements was a little different.

 

In this case you have detection which requires an in-depth wiring scheme.

This image shows the old and new requirements.

 

The PM42 on the right is wired for four independent outputs. Notice connectors have the 4 colors

mated with the negative brown wire.  This is like your configuration.

 

The color scheme is Yellow, Orange,Blue,Violet (Power Color) + Brown/Negative.

 

Integrating this with the BDL168 requires a change in the connectors. The brown leads would be removed

and ran to its own terminal/connector. (As you pointed out)

 

The PM42 would have all 4 color leads in the one connector to the BDL168.

Look closely at the 4 connectors from the BDL168. They are repeat Red,Green,White and Gray.

Notice the color Zip ties. They group the 4 Power colors or Zones. These 4 colors connects to the

feeder to the track.


 

 

 

So in essence these connections can be replicated over and over.

PM42 #1 feeds BDL168 #21

 

BDL168 has 4 Zones

Yellow Zone

Orange Zone

Blue Zone

Violet Zone

 

Each of those Zones have 4 sections Red Green, White, Gray.

 

The next group can have.........

PM42 #2 feeds BDL168 #22

 

BDL168 has 4 Zones

Yellow Zone

Orange Zone

Blue Zone

Violet Zone

 

Each of those Zones have 4 sections Red Green, White, Gray.

 

Labeling the feeders with their associated BDL168 keeps everything in order.

 

Inobu

 

 

 

Hmm, Some questions. 

 

So, one power feed from the controller goes to the PM42

 

The PM42 feeds four BDL168s

 

Each BDL168 had four outputs.

 

Is the output from a BDL168 a "block"? ie one track unit of block detections.

 

So 16 blocks of detection per PM42?

 

The BD4 is just a small version of the BDL168? One imput from a PM42. Four blocks of output?


The SE8C is a signal and point controller, right? How does this fit with the rest of the system? Is it connected directly to a BDL168/BD4? Or is it powered by a PM42 and just receive input from loconet? What are the inputs and outputs of an SE8C? I'm assuming it's output are the signals and points. Two wires for each. The signals would change simply as a result of block occupancy. The points however would be controlled by a computer connected to a loconet interface, right?

 

Can you explain for me the relationship of the BD4 and SE8C in your picture above?

 

On the right of the picture the PM42 and BDL168 are powering a four track/ 16 block layout. Is that right? But three more BDL168s could be plugged into the PM42 if necessary?

 

Is the system a bit messy?I don't doubt that it works great. Did you mention that you've switched to using ESU? Are you still using Digitrax for block detection? Every thought of different brands?  Having the Digitrax setup pictured above, am I obliged to continue using Digitrax components?

 

Or can I use that Djikeijs system? It seems nice and compact with a 32 block output from a single piece of hardware. 

 

Any thoughts on this question of mixing components from different manufacturers? @chadbag ? @Martijn Meerts Are there any other experienced block detectors that someone could bat signal to the discussion? 

 

Edited by gavino200

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chadbag

@gavino200  Technically the Digikeijs 32 block one is 2x16 so two small modules.

 

My understanding is that Loconet allows you to mix and match and plenty of people are using the Digikeijs ones with Digitrax CC.  However, I've not done it myself.

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gavino200
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

@gavino200  Technically the Digikeijs 32 block one is 2x16 so two small modules.

 

My understanding is that Loconet allows you to mix and match and plenty of people are using the Digikeijs ones with Digitrax CC.  However, I've not done it myself.

 

Thanks. Chad, can you describe the components involved in the digikeijs system? Like the whole system? Everything involved from CC to track and back again for block detection? How many pieces of equipment are involved for how many blocks? How hard is it to add more blocks? 

 

Also, roughly what does your bus diagram look like with the digikeijs system?

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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inobu

So, one power feed from the controller goes to the PM42

The command station creates the DCC signal to be placed on the track.

The PM42 is an device that breaks the one DCC signal into multiple feeds with individual

short protection. This was the entire layout does not shut down during a short incident.

 

The PM42 feeds four BDL168s

Yes, The PM42 provides 4 feeds to the BDL168.

 

Each BDL168 had four outputs.

Yes, the BDL168 takes each of the 4 feeds from the PM42 and further distributes

them into 4 sections.

 

Is the output from a BDL168 a "block"? ie one track unit of block detections.

The term "Block" is used openly and interchangeably but Digitrax used Zone and Sections.

 

So 16 blocks of detection per PM42?

This statement in an encompassing one in that the PM42 provides circuit protection for the 4 Zones.

When it is tied to the BDL168 it provides circuit protection for the 4 Zones with the 4 feeds equating to 16 sections

 

The BD4 is just a small version of the BDL168? One imput from a PM42. Four blocks of output?

Yes the BD4 is a small version. The BD4 does not have a connection to Loconet. In this case it

is tied to the SE8C and the SE8C does the reporting for it via its Loconet connection. 

 

The SE8C is a signal and point controller, right? How does this fit with the rest of the system? Is it connected directly to a BDL168/BD4? Or is it powered by a PM42 and just receive input from loconet? What are the inputs and outputs of an SE8C? I'm assuming it's output are the signals and points. Two wires for each. The signals would change simply as a result of block occupancy. The points however would be controlled by a computer connected to a loconet interface, right?

Correct. The SE8C illuminates LED based on the events taking place on Loconet. Switch conditions and events as well as occupancy. The messages generated

on Loconet are monitored by a program and the programmed Logic sends switch messages to the SEC8 for it to illuminate the appropriate LED.

 

Can you explain for me the relationship of the BD4 and SE8C in your picture above?

The BD4 does not have a connection to Loconet. You wire the output of the BD4 to the input

leads on the SE8C. When the BD4 is triggered the SEC8 generates a message over Loconet tying that BD4 to the message.

 

On the right of the picture the PM42 and BDL168 are powering a four track/ 16 block layout. Is that right? But three more BDL168s could be plugged into the PM42 if necessary?

No, That PM42 was wired for a basic 4 Zone layout. Notice each connector has its Color and Negative wire. If I were going to use that PM42

I would remove the Brown negative wires and place them with the 4 color wires in the 1 connector.

 

Is the system a bit messy?I don't doubt that it works great. Did you mention that you've switched to using ESU? Are you still using Digitrax for block detection? Every thought of different brands?  Having the Digitrax setup pictured above, am I obliged to continue using Digitrax components?

Yes, Digitrax is more so "messy" but that is required due to the complexity of the task at hand. Yes I started to migrate to ESU but still recommend Digitrax based on that

the client wants to do. When they want all the bell and whistles then Digitrax is the way to go. If they want simplicity over features the ESU is the way to go. 

 

Or can I use that Djikeijs system? It seems nice and compact with a 32 block output from a single piece of hardware. 

Based on your profile I would tell you to reuse the Digitrax stuff you have and go with Djikeijs Commands station. Because it can run Loconet and Railcomm.

You can straddle the fence with them. I have been meaning to order the Djikeijs stuff but have not had the chance to.

 

Inobu

 

 

 

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gavino200

 

 

Thank you inobu for your help. I realize that because I used a break out board, my wiring is quite different to yours. Watching some Digitrax videos I see that the wiring they recommend is really fairly complex, while my is very intuitive. So unless I follow the internal logic of the Digitrax system, I won't understand it. I have a week off to look through videos until I get it. 

 

With the break out board, my PM42 just splits one single wire pair to four separate wire pairs. Simple. Without the break out board something else is going on. I really don't get why four wires would be needed for one zone. But I'll have to do my homework. 

 

The BDL168 seems to have some similar "just follow the digitrax manual" type of wiring. 

 

For now I'm happy with "one BDL168 = 16 Blocks. 

 

Block detection and signal/point control are separate - but connected through the loconet system and computer. 

 

So one SE8C controls 32 signals or 8 points and isn't directly connected to the block detection boards unless you use a BD4. Now that I'm realizing that we're dealing with a fairly complex wiring system. 

 

For my purposes two systems joints by loconet.

1 BDL168 for every 16 blocks. 

1 SE8C for every 8 points or 32 signal heads. 

1 BD4 for every 4 blocks - to be used in conjunction with a SE8C

A PM42 just breaks one large system into four smaller ones. 

Wiring per Digitrax instructions. 

 

Not sure whether I want to use use railcom. I'm not a fan of needing to use one particular brand of decoder or group of brands, though I usually use German decoders because of size. 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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chadbag
22 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

Thanks. Chad, can you describe the components involved in the digikeijs system? Like the whole system? Everything involved from CC to track and back again for block detection? How many pieces of equipment are involved for how many blocks? How hard is it to add more blocks? 

 

Also, roughly what does your bus diagram look like with the digikeijs system?

 

 

 

Ping me if I don't get this done over the weekend...

 

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inobu

I did the rewiring that I mentioned initially. Here is the image of it. This is the same PM42 where the connector is configured to plug

into the BDL168.

 

                                                                   bdl_pm42.thumb.jpg.813b41d611d726032ebd10b9532bb670.jpg

 

This PM42 was wire for non BDL168 usage. The individual connector would go directly to the feeders hence the four connectors. 

image.png.138fd02c826474f43a1897fbd099dfd1.png

 

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inobu

If you are worried about wiring and such then use the BXP88. It is a detection device for convenience. The wiring is easy but it has its issue when

it comes to growth.

 

If you want 16 section then 2  BXP88 will work for you and you wont need the PM42 as the BXP88 has its own power management. 

 

Inobu

 

 

 

 

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gavino200
23 minutes ago, inobu said:

If you are worried about wiring and such then use the BXP88. It is a detection device for convenience. The wiring is easy but it has its issue when

it comes to growth.

 

If you want 16 section then 2  BXP88 will work for you and you wont need the PM42 as the BXP88 has its own power management. 

 

Inobu

 

 

No, not really worried about wiring. I'm just feeling my way in the dark right now. Trying to understand how things work and what the possibilities are. I do want growth and adaptability, and I have no problem focusing on the wiring until I understand it. I'm also concerned about the final user experience. I don't know enough yet to make a decision. 

 

I have never enjoyed the user experience with Digitrax. However, on the other hand it's often wise not to mix components from different manufacturers. Sometimes components that theoretically should be compatible, mysteriously turn out not to be quite so. 

 

I also need to research what computer software is available for use with which manufacturers. After all the buying, installing, wiring, troubleshooting is done, my main experience is going to be with the computer and it's software. If I don't like the software I'm not going to be happy. There are many aspects of the project to think about - Top down, bottom up, feel, features, simplicity, potential, growth etc. 

 

So basically I'm not in a hurry. I can set up some temporary loops while I work it all out. 

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inobu

OK, then I would get the BXP88 and play around with it. You can always reuse it in the yard by itself.

It will give you insight and a basic understanding of what it takes to set up detection.  

 

I would also use JMRI as it can get you going as well. Spend the Holidays testing and start the build next month.

 

Train software is going to be a coin toss. TrainController is  out there but its $650.00

It has a demo to run.

 

I think you have to play around in order to form an opinion that will allow you to make an informed decision.

 

Inobu

 

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gavino200

I fixed the top on. It's not perfect but I think it's good enough. Legs tomorrow. 

 

Planning on using Carriage bolts or hex bolts. 2 in each direction per leg.

 

My woodworking friend suggested a 3/8 inch bolt. I think I would have used something giant but I'll go with his suggestion. 

 

Anyone think it would have been a good idea to use glue as well as screws? Too late for this one, but I could incorporate it into future modules.

 

DcXgo0L.jpg

 

hIJEFDd.jpg

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200
On 12/2/2020 at 1:48 PM, Martijn Meerts said:

Don't care if it's free or costs hundreds of Euro's, I just don't like the UI. I have the same issue with RocRail.

 

What software system do you use, Martijn?

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cteno4

1/4” bolts will do fine, 3/8” would be to dance on it. 2 one side and 1 the other would also be plenty. The top would rip apart before you would have any issue with the frame to leg connection. If you don’t use large head lag bolts the you need washers for hex bolts to prevent sucking into the wood. Your woodworker does construct like he is building structural stuff instead of furniture.

 

jeff

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gavino200
19 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

1/4” bolts will do fine, 3/8” would be to dance on it. 2 one side and 1 the other would also be plenty. The top would rip apart before you would have any issue with the frame to leg connection. If you don’t use large head lag bolts the you need washers for hex bolts to prevent sucking into the wood. Your woodworker does construct like he is building structural stuff instead of furniture.

 

jeff

 

 

Large head lag bolt is another name for carriage bolt?

 

I need a washer on the bolt end. But not on the carriage end, right? The washer around the same proportion as the brim of a hat to the dome of the hat right? Hat analogy. Or like Saturn and it's rings? That's what I think I usually see. 

 

Yes, I think he mostly does decks for people. But he seems enthusiastic about everything wood related. 

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