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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to "throw this one out there" in case anybody knows a solution (if there is one!)
I have a Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance and accessory decoders of the same make. When I built my present DCC layout, I re-used existing Peco PL-10 point motors on my turnouts (Peco Electrofrog). I have, as suggested in the handbook, provided power to the decoders using a 16v AC output (of an old H&M Duette). This works fine for throwing individual points, but when I attempt to set up a "route" I can't get more than two points to throw together at one time (the system will allow 8 on a route if this was possible). I know it is probably due to the current consumption of the motors so will probably have to live with it as I don't want to tear the track up and start again with different motors!
I just wondered if anyone has had a similar experience and found a way round it. It's a pity as one of the theoretical advantages of DCC control for points (route setting) seems to be unavailable to me as things stand!
Keith
 

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Use a decoder with a built in capacitor discharge unit. You may have to allocate the points carefully to prevent too many being fired on the same decoder at the same time, how many depends on your decoder and your points. I use the MERG decoders, about £12 for four points though you have to join MERG to by them, then assemble them yourself. It happily fires two SEEPs in parallel. Some commercial decoders also have CDUs though I don't have knowledge of these.

The other alternative is probably to arrange for some software that will fire the points in sequence with a short delay. This either requires software-writing talents or a big budget as the commercial software isn't cheap!
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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While I don't use the same system as you (I use Digitrax Control and decoders) they have the feature of programming a timedelay for routes between each action to allow a route to be selected and not happen all at once. Are your routes coming from the Prodigy or from the decoder? Look at the manuals for both concerning routes and see if there is a setting there that you can adjust. Both my controller and stationary decoder support this feature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for your suggestions. I have had another look at the manuals but there is no mention of a feature to allow "time delay" (so that each point motor will fire in sequence with a short pause between each). This does seem to be the solution if it were possible!
Maybe I should have bought Digitrax instead of the Gaugemaster! (I have to say that, in all other aspects of the DCC, I am quite happy with the Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance, but maybe I have finally found it's shortcomings!)
Benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Keith
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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If you want to rectify it you could use DCC Concepts Master Switch V2 which is like an individual CDU for each point. That way you could fire them all at once no problem. The V2 has other benefits too that others here know more about but it at least solves your current issue - ie allowing you to use routes.
 

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Just another modeller
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*** No matter what you do, the problem will come from the need to fire more than two with a recovery between - even if its only a few milliseconds.

each point motr needs 4 amps for a moment - two = 8, and that will generally saturate most power supplies. The MRC DCC system (Gaugemaster) dumps the macros as a single data stream, so it will never do it the way you want.

simplest answers... that will work under current circumstances.

(a) Do the wiring and power to let it happen properly. This will cost some better wire and a little for a meaty power supply. The meaty power supply alone MAY do it, but only if your wiring is good.

1/ try to get the voltage to 15v or better, and you MUST use at least 32/.2 wire for all point motors. Use NO common returns unless they are around 100/.2 wire.
2/ Use a huge power supply. Take a look at the power supply Doug made.... its pinned in the forum here.

(b ) Throw some money at it.

Use tortoise instead of naff Peco motors OR drive point control via a route setting /macro panel such as the NCE "Mini-panel" which can do many many things, including point routes, shuttle train control and signalling etc.... or a computer software setup which can have the delay added in - not all that hard to do.

Or.. as Paul said, use MASTERswitch... however this will still need a substantial power supply, because your lowest common denominator is the very inefficient Peco Point Motor

regards

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Paul and Richard for the replies.
Richard - good, sound advice as always. That's certainly given me food for thought!
Regards
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just want to add an "update" to this topic I started!
I have discovered that some (not all) of my Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance accessory decoders will allow programmable delay for a "cascading" effect for route operation. I had not realised this, as three out of the ten decoders I have do not have this facility and I was reading the notes from one which doesn't (presumeably these were "older" versions which have since been improved, so to speak).
However, with the advice kindly given by other forum members and a bit more research I have gained much more knowledge about DCC route setting, decoders, types of point motors and much other equipment which I never knew about before! So thank you one and all!
Incidentally, the decoders work fine with Peco PL-10's for route setting (so long as they are the "later" versions with the "time delay" function!)
Keith
 
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