Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

As some of you may be aware, I'm still in the planning stage of my layout which will eventually be built when I retire in a couple of years. I have, however, been getting all of the hardware together and have bought most things apart from some Goods stock, and some Collett carriages which I am waiting for Dapol to manufature ( later this year I'm now told). I also have 2 of the Ixion Manors on order and am waiting for the release of the GF Manors. Then I will be complete loco wise.

Anyway, back to the point. I have been itching to try out my ECoS ESU and check that all my locos are working OK so I have just bought an N Gauge Rolling Road from Geoff Cook at Rolling Rails and was wondering if this can be used as a Programming Track. Assuming all goes well with the programming I would also like to connect the rolling road to the main track output of the controller and 'run in' my locos.

Does anyone foresee any problems with this ??

Thanks in advance,

Trevor (aka Expat).
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
My experience with a programming track in OO and an ECoS is that it needs to be kept really clean to ensure contact is maintained at all times. On some models I have only found it possible to program them correctly when the tender is attached giving me another 4 sets of pickups!. I do have a rolling road as well and my plan is to integrate it into the MPD at the end of a length of track which will also be the programming track but I will make it switchable although if I remember correctly, the ECoS programming output switches to the "main" when you are not in programming mode.

I will also include a switch to allow me to feed DC to the rolling road for running in locos before converting them. Bachmann recommend this for almost all their OO scale models. I don't know if that's the case for N.

David
 

·
No Longer Active.
Joined
·
13,319 Posts
I can only endorse what David has said regarding pickups - I have had the odd loco that has to have a little downwards pressure applied to ensure good contact for programming - even had one that had to have "jump leads" connnected to the wheels. Having said that, these may have been cases where some attention to wheels & pickups would have been benificial.

I normally run in locomotives on the rolling road & then on a test circuit before fitting decoders, if they are factory fitted with decoders then they get the same treatment with CV's 2 > 5 set to "0", then I programme them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 9 Jul 2008, 21:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>if they are factory fitted with decoders then they get the same treatment with CV's 2 > 5 set to "0", then I programme them.

Thanks guys.

I think what you are saying is that a Rolling Road may not provide a sufficiently reliable electrical contact to be able to use it as a programming track though the one I have bought has 8 sets of rollers which are all 'live'.

My locos were all 'chipped' by Digitrains when new and I haven't had chance to run any of them yet.

Trevor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 9 Jul 2008, 16:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Guys,

As some of you may be aware, I'm still in the planning stage of my layout which will eventually be built when I retire in a couple of years. I have, however, been getting all of the hardware together and have bought most things apart from some Goods stock, and some Collett carriages which I am waiting for Dapol to manufature ( later this year I'm now told). I also have 2 of the Ixion Manors on order and am waiting for the release of the GF Manors. Then I will be complete loco wise.

Anyway, back to the point. I have been itching to try out my ECoS ESU and check that all my locos are working OK so I have just bought an N Gauge Rolling Road from Geoff Cook at Rolling Rails and was wondering if this can be used as a Programming Track. Assuming all goes well with the programming I would also like to connect the rolling road to the main track output of the controller and 'run in' my locos.

Does anyone foresee any problems with this ??

Thanks in advance,

Trevor (aka Expat).

When a unit is on the programming track it does not move-that is the whole point, the current is kept very low so that you do not do any damage if it is mis-wired. Since the unit does not move I cannot see why you cannot use it as a programming track.

On the other hand if you want to see your engines move then you are using the rolling road as an ordinary piece of track and the DCC system would need to be wired up to it and you might have contact problems.

If you just want to see your engines move then use the rolling road with DC.

Bachmann recommend testing with DC first simply to avoid you damaging a possibly faulty loco by taking it apart to fit a decoder.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK BVM,

All is now a little clearer. I wasn't aware that locos don't actually move when on a programming track so I can set up a short length of track (750mm) to do the programming on.

As regards the locos, unfortunately they are already chipped and I do not have a DC Controller so cannot run them on DC. I would, however, assume that Digitrains will have tested them when they installed the chips. I will just have to try the rolling road and see what happens.

Cheers,

Trevor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
827 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 9 Jul 2008, 19:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK BVM,

All is now a little clearer. I wasn't aware that locos don't actually move when on a programming track so I can set up a short length of track (750mm) to do the programming on.

Locos can and DO move on the programming track, some by a considerable amount. The way a decoder signals back to the programmer is by pulsing the motor outputs to cause an increase in current that can be detected. Depending on the motor/gearing/loco weight you will often see the loco inching along the programming track as you read and write CVs.

QUOTE As regards the locos, unfortunately they are already chipped and I do not have a DC Controller so cannot run them on DC. I would, however, assume that Digitrains will have tested them when they installed the chips. I will just have to try the rolling road and see what happens.
Rolling roads are excellent for programming, at least the Bachrus Saddles are.

I have considerable experience of this since we often sell Saddles with SPROG programmers.

Regards,

Andrew Crosland
http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Seems to me that if you are finding trouble with pick-ups during the simple act of programming, you won't have much luck running the loco out on the track either!
Pick-ups need sorting out as a priority for reliable operation no matter what control system you are using.
I guess that automatic speed table entry is one of the biggest 'motion producers' during programming. I have wondered in the past whether decoder designers have ever given any thought to providing the means of alternating the direction of successive motor 'ack' pulses to prevent cumulative movement in one direction for such circumstances. Not trivial, as the decoder is usually powered down between programming actions, but toggling of another spare bit in the decoder data memory might do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (SPROGman @ 10 Jul 2008, 15:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Rolling roads are excellent for programming, at least the Bachrus Saddles are.

Thanks Sprogman.

There are obviously differing opinions on this subject but, in answer to my original question, it is clearly a method which can be used so I will just have to try it and see what happens.

QUOTE (Gordon H @ 10 Jul 2008, 16:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Seems to me that if you are finding trouble with pick-ups during the simple act of programming, you won't have much luck running the loco out on the track either!

Hi Gordon,

I don't know if I have trouble with pick-ups as I haven't actually run any of my locos yet.

Thanks for all the advice guys,

Trevor.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 10 Jul 2008, 22:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Sprogman.

There are obviously differing opinions on this subject but, in answer to my original question, it is clearly a method which can be used so I will just have to try it and see what happens.

Hi Gordon,

I don't know if I have trouble with pick-ups as I haven't actually run any of my locos yet.

Thanks for all the advice guys,

Trevor.

***Hi Trevor

It'll be good to give them a little "exercise" anyway.... So if they are already chipped then the installer should have already tested them - first simply run them on the rolling road for a while.

New loco's always benefit from a little running and its not good to simply let them petrify in boxes for years so it'll also help to "keep them healthy" & bed in the pickups properly.

After you've run them for a while and the perfomance & pickups are "proven" then you will be OK to programme them on that same rolling road... It'll also be good for your "project motivation" to see the wheels move after all that collecting and planning! Why not set up a simple oval of track so you can let them stretch their legs a bit too while U are at it!

As to loco's moving during programming, Andrew is spot on... I've seen a full "read" of a decoder move the loco a good 400mm one "pulse" at a time, so they certainly DO move on occasion!

regards

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 10 Jul 2008, 19:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It'll be good to give them a little "exercise" anyway....

It'll also be good for your "project motivation"

Richard
DCCconcepts

Thanks Richard. I was hoping my post would evince a response from you as your views and opinions are always highly regarded and appreciated.

As you say it will also be good for the project motivation. There comes a point in time when you just can't plan anymore and need to see some action.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Many thanks again,

Trevor.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top