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DCC & Electronics

  1. That was Easy - SD45 Install

    After sitting on a pair of Kato SD45 for more than a few months, I finally bought a pair of Digitrax DN163K1B decoders for them today.

    In the span of about an hour and a half, I installed the new decoders, programmed them and consisted the locos together.

    OK, it was only a plug and play decoder, but I've only ever installed a couple and just getting past the thought of installing ...
  2. RocRail and iRoc

    RocRail is open source model railroad software similar to JMRI or Model Railroad Automation. It is available in many languages and can run on PC, Mac and Linux. I'm using RocRail on a PC with Windows XP.

    Rocrail Rocview

    Rocrail Rocview


    Updated May 25th, 2011 at 07:42 AM by gregamer

    Product Reviews , DCC & Electronics
  3. Halland Control Panel - I'm almost finished

    It's taken a while; with several rewires, a few bad SPDT switches and a lot of head scratching, but I'm almost done.

    Halland Control Panel

    I tested the Jump Throttle just a minute ago and it works! I've also tested all of the switch ports. And they all work! Last step is wiring these Tortoise motors to the switch ports and It'll be operational.

  4. Light Comes On - DT400R Selecting Loco

    I got a Radio Super Chief set on eBay last week and I've been fooling around with it to see if it actually works. The DCS100 came out of the box beeping (7 beeps) and it took a while to figure out that meant the CMOS battery needed to be replaced.

    The DT400R is picky about batteries. I tried some supposedly 9V cheapo batteries but the DT400R didn't like that, most turned out to be only 7V or less. So I headed to the Shack and got some decent 9V batteries and the DT400R likes those ...
  5. You can change your COM Port

    I was trying to reconnect with Model Railroad Automation after not using it for a long period. I had reconfigured my computer and my PR3 got reassigned as Port COM10. Consequently, MRA couldn't find my Loconet connection (It was looking for Port COM1).

    I just discovered you can reassign a COM Port. In Windows I opened Control Panel, opened System, clicked on the Hardware tab, clicked on the Device Manager button, selected Ports, selected COM10, clicked on Port Settings tab, clicked ...
    DCC & Electronics
  6. Team Digital SMC4 Servo Decoder

    I thought I'd written something about these a while back. So here's a kind of mini-review.

    I bought a couple of Team Digital SMC4 Servo decoders late last year. The SMC4 has four servo outputs and four slow motion switch machine outputs. The board has several different modes that define how the outputs are used, including using all eight as individual outputs, linking the servo and slow motion outputs, and running the servo outputs as three position semaphore.

    The feature ...
  7. My Old Reliable Friends

    I've been sitting on a 12 pack of Tortoise motors for almost a year, while I was trying to make a conversion to Servo Motor Turnout Control. I almost put them up for sale a couple of times.

    Well I got tired of trying to figure out a method to make the servos work for me. I cracked that 12 pack open today and installed four more Tortoise motors in my Halland Yard. It's nice to work with something that I know how to make work.

    Now I plan on eliminating DCC turnout control ...
  8. Layout Progress Report - June 11, 2010

    I made a little track progress. Laid out track for the Industrial Lead. Also installed one servo to control first turnout.

    I didn't like the background at Halland Yard. It was aluminum and the paint job was terrible. I ripped it out and will be replacing it with a steel background.
  9. Dispatcher Control Panel

    That old bug has hit me again, and I'm going to try and tackle a more permanent control panel. I'll be using a CML Electronics DTM16. It has 20 function cells, so I can run 20 turnouts.

    The panel will only control part of the layout, I'm just not sure what the boundaries will be. I'll probably start in Halland Yard and select the 20 closest turnouts, including all of Union Station. Of course that will leave me without any occupancy indication cells, so maybe, I'll need to scale it ...
  10. Servo Motor Turnout Control - Servos

    I'm like a kid in a candy store when I find something new and a few months ago that was DCC servo motor turnout control.

    What initially peeked my interest was the Anemodel Smart Switch. A recent article in Model Railroad Hobbyist - R/C Servos for Model Railroading - July 2009 convinced me to take the plunge. I bought a Tam Valley Singlet servo decoder (my review), a pair of Team Digital SMC4s, and 14 servos (two 9g servos and twelve 3.7g servos.)

  11. Model Railroad Automation - First Thoughts

    Model Railroad Automation is a free .NET based Loconet automation software program. Unlike JMRI which is developed by a broad range of contributors, RRAuto appears to be developed by a one-man enterprise, software developer Perecli Manole. Editing with RRAuto feels like using visual basic or another visual based development tool. I used RRAuto to set up a panel that would operate turnouts and provide track indications.

  12. Panels

    I spent quite a bit of time during December constructing control panels. One physical and two virtual.

    The first panel I made was a physical panel for Halland Yard.

    The purpose of this panel is to make it possible for my 3 year old son to switch cars at Halland Yard. ...
  13. JMRI First Toughts

    I finally got around to figuring out how to run a couple of free railroad automation software packages: JMRI & Railroad Automation. I've started with the basics and wanted to share what I thought about each one. I'll start with JMRI.

    JMRI is a Java based full featured suite of model railroad applications. I used it to set up a control panel, run a locomotive, and to program my BDL168. JMRI has two panel editors, PanelPro and Layout Editor, I tried both, but found Layout Editor ...
  14. Singlet Servo Decoder

    First - I didn't realize the Singlet comes with a Servo. I ordered a Servo separately and ended up with two. So the real deal is $4.50 for a Singlet and Servo + Shipping (which was $3.50 for me.) So for $8.00 introductory price you get one fully functioning turnout motor and decoder.

    Tam Valley was quick to ship. it took about 3 days from order to delivery. The Singlet comes with the Decoder/Controller (1.25" x 1.25"), 9G micro Servo, 3 Servo Horns & 12" Servo Extension ...
  15. Layout Progress Report - November 2009

    Halland Yard sits inside the former closet. It is a shelf 78" x 9". I expanded the far end of the yard to hide the mechanisms of a transfer table that will be installed there.
    To build the expansion, I first cut a rectangular piece of 1/2" plywood to fit the available space. I glued
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