What would you display on a Command Station screen? (DCC-EX Team needs your input)

FlightRisk Sep 30, 2020

  1. FlightRisk

    FlightRisk TrainBoard Member

    We are supporting 2 and 4 line LCD screens in the next release, possibly the OLED .96 and 1.3" ones as well, but what should be displayed on there? What things trigger a display change? If people are running multiple locos, that presents a lot of issues. What sense does showing speed and direction for only one loco if you have 6 trains running?

    We can certainly give status information (version, track current, etc.) What else? What have you seen with other systems? What would you really like it to display? How could you solve some problems with the scrolling feature of the display? How do we avoid it being obnoxious?

  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    Is this for a wireless throttle? If so do you have a link to what you have going on there?

  3. FlightRisk

    FlightRisk TrainBoard Member

    No, this is just for the display attached to the Command Station itself. We can output debug commands as well as status. Most people output if WiFi is connected vs. serial and the IP address. Some who use just one loco update the display with loco speed and direction. Clearly, some things make more sense to display on a throttle, but given you can connect a display to DCC-EX, what should it show you?
    Sumner likes this.
  4. Atani

    Atani TrainBoard Member

    That should depend on the size of the attached display, a simple 2x16 display can't show much detail but can show enough to be relevant (IP and track status as key elements). If you go to a 4x20 then you have two more lines you can add extra details to like number of active locos (slots?), last action taken by DCC++EX (maybe?), etc.

    Whatever you do with the display, be sure it doesn't cause undue load on the rest of the system.
  5. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

    I have not used anything with a display on a model railroad. At my former work I occasionally dealt with monitoring and fault reporting for large systems.

    I'd think that besides system status (off - on - emergency stop) and total current, indicating the number of boosters, and breaking down status and current by booster might be useful. One could also indicate the number of throttles attached, number of locos, number of units (consists and single locos) that are moving, and if there is still room, the list of units (or only moving units, depending on the number of units in contact with DCC) with their speed. For small displays, indicating the loco/unit identifier might eat to much space.

    I'm thinking something like this:
    <ON/OFF/STOP> <N.M>A B <n> B1:<S><n.m>A B2:<S><n.m>A ...B<n>:<S><n.m>A ------------- (with <S> standing for 'Short').
    T <i> L <j> M <k> and 1:<s1> 2:<s2> 3:<s2> ...N:<sn> --------------- where <sn> is the speed of the n-th unit (loco or consist).

    ON 2.2A B 3 B1:S B2:1.3A B3:0.9A (indicating DCC is on, delivering 2.2 amps total with 3 boosters, the first one in short protection shutdown state, the other two delivering 1.3 and 0.9A)
    T 2 L 8 M 3 1:25 2:03 3:10 (indicating two throttles attached, eight locos (individual decoders), three moving units, at speeds of 25, 3 and 10).

    You could alternate this type of display with more network related status, if the command station has access to that kind of info, and with a screen identifying the locos, i.e. giving the long ID for each loco. You could add the speed here as well, and make this info scroll if there are too many units.

    This type of display would allow some debugging, e.g. when you put a unit on the rails, and it does not show up; or telling you which booster has shut down, or how many units are just sitting there, or whether a new throttle is actually connecting.

    Atani raises a good point: if the command station is already close to memory and processing limits, you might not want to get too fancy with the display.
  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

    How about a last several commands issued history? DCC track voltage? DCC Current used?
  7. Gajanatha

    Gajanatha New Member

  8. Gajanatha

    Gajanatha New Member

    im planning to get an OLED support onto the code this week
  9. mrtinvan

    mrtinvan TrainBoard Member

    Voltage, Current, IP Address, Wireless SSID and Passphrase.

    Number of connected throttles.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
  10. Keith Ledbetter

    Keith Ledbetter TrainBoard Member

    Voltage, Current, IP Address, Wireless SSID, track power on/off, programming track on/off, software version, last DCC command sent
  11. FlightRisk

    FlightRisk TrainBoard Member

    Thanks to everyone for your input! We are working on that now. We have 2 and 4 line LCD displays and also OLED displays on the test bench. The little square ones and the rectangular ones
  12. Gajanatha

    Gajanatha New Member

    Great FlightRisk, Thanks alot
  13. esfeld

    esfeld TrainBoard Member

    Just found this thread .. as you can see from my recent post on: DCC++Update 2020 I think that displaying the IP address is essential for those that are using station mode. Since we have not been able to implement Static IP it gives the information needed to connect to ED without further machinations.
    FlightRisk likes this.

Share This Page