DCC++EX System Troubleshooting Help Needed

LifeTrekker_ Apr 24, 2022

  1. LifeTrekker_

    LifeTrekker_ TrainBoard Member

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    Hey All,

    First off, I'll preface this by saying that I am a total noob when it comes to Arduino in general, and DCC++EX specifically. But being that I'm rather techie and generally not afraid of trying new things, (and based on suggestions here) I decided to go ahead and jump in and build a DCC++EX system to run my planned N-Scale railroad. Unfortunately, I'm having problems getting it to run, which is where I hope someone here can help.

    So, the system is built, and the sketch installed. I believe I did both properly, but of course I could be wrong. The main problem I can see right now is that I'm not getting any voltage output at the A or B terminals on the motor shield. I've checked the voltage in, and those are both reading correctly. And just FYI, I'm using a 15v DC power supply for the motor shield, and a 9v DC power supply for the Arduino Mega. Here's the rest of my hardware setup:

    Elegoo Mega 2560
    Deek Robot Arduino L298P R3 Motor Shield
    Makerfab ESP8266 WiFi Shield

    Ideas?



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  2. LifeTrekker_

    LifeTrekker_ TrainBoard Member

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    Okay. I figured it out. Gotta turn on the software power switch. Duh...

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  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome to DCC++EX, keep us informed as to your ongoing opinions of it.

    Are you using only the WiFi connection that is produced by the Command Station Makerfab Shield or do you have JMRI running and a different network or both?

    Sumner
     
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  4. LifeTrekker_

    LifeTrekker_ TrainBoard Member

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    Right now I am using Engine Driver on an old Samsung Galaxy S7 connected to the CS via WIFI in AP mode, and JMRI Decoder Pro connected via the USB serial cable. I don't even have a layout yet, so I just hooked it up to a section of flextrack via alligator clips. Did a little programming and a little train running on the 3 decoder equipped locos I currently have. Mostly just exploring and learning at this point. I may have to build a small switching layout just so I have something more to do with it. ;‐)

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  5. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    oh boy a new layout coming with dcc++ex .. i do love the dcc++ex but im having many problems with a pi4 working with it all .. i gave up for the time being and just stuck with jmri and arduino dcc++ex an windows 11 machine. it works great so far(y) (just that darn pi4 will not play right for me long drawn out story:mad:)
    hope to see a new layout coming soon with pics ........even if its a switching layout. :D:)
     
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  6. LifeTrekker_

    LifeTrekker_ TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. Not sure if it will be a switching layout or a N-TRAK Module. Or maybe both in one?

    Long term the plan is to build a Rio Grande mountain layout in the style of Mike Danneman's beautiful work, but that will take awhile. One step at a time. One step at a time.

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  7. KC Smith

    KC Smith TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome to the Open Source DIY World of DCC++EX,

    Congratulations on successfully building a DCC++EX Mega & WiFi Command Station and getting Engine Driver and JMRI all up and running.
    You may want to explore more of their individual and combined features.

    In summary you have
    A DCC++EX Command Station for directing commands from a Controller to your two tracks A Main and B Programming.

    You have two types of the Many Controllers available running so far,
    1) Engine Driver or a WiThrottle WiFi hand held Controller

    2) JMRI DecoderPro a desktop Programming Station & Controller


    At some point you'll want to add some level of Layout Control and Automation, which can be done many ways

    First within the DCC++EX Command Station itself with a built-in Software feature called
    EX-RAIL, Extended Railroad Instruction Language which allows you to create English based scripts to control and automate a layout,
    These are simple text based scripts that are compiled, uploaded and stored on the Command Station.
    Once there you can connect Engine Driver directly to DCC++EX WiFi and Control and Operate the layout without the need of a PC or JMRI.

    Second with JMRI DecoderPRO & PanelPro you can do similar things by writing Jython/Python scripts which are stored in your my JMRI Railroad folder on a PC or Mac or RaspPi device.

    For DCC++EX I assume you have already visited the website site.
    Here are some pages that will give you a better understanding of these and may interest you.

    DCC++ & Engine Driver;
    https://dcc-ex.com/reference/software/driveaway.html

    DCC++EX EXRAIL;
    https://dcc-ex.com/automation/index.html

    DCC++EX & JMRI
    https://dcc-ex.com/reference/downloads/documents.html

    DC++EX & JMRI DecoderPro Getting Started Users Guide
    https://dcc-ex.com/_static/document...Decoder_Pro_4.24-_Getting_Started_Guide-1.pdf


    As far as Hardware add on and testing, I would suggest adding;
    One or more PCA9685 Servo& Signal boards https://dcc-ex.com/reference/hardware/servo-module.html?highlight=pca9685
    Three or more 9G Servos for Turnouts and Ancillary Accessories. Metal gears are better than plastic but the both work.
    Red|Green LED's for turnout signals
    Sensors like IR Infrared, & Optical & Reed/Magnetic & Ultrasonic Sensors.
    and lots of Dupont Male to Female and Female to Female wires.

    That is plenty for now but there's A Lot more Fun ahead with the use of a Easy, Cleverly Powerful EXRAIL Automation ahead of you.

    For further Information & Support and the latest development news Join us on our Discord Server at
    https://discord.com/invite/PuPnNMp8Qf

    Good Luck & Again Welcome to DCC++EX Community

    Best Regards
    Kevin
    DCC++EX Team
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
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