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DCC++

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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Hello,

Just wanted to post to say hello and that I am using an Arduino and the DCC++ project. The project's originator seems to have abandoned the project and another group has picked it up to produce DCC++EX. The new iteration also supports and ESP WiFi board so that wireless cell phone operation is possible without a computer. Previously, a computer of sorts was needed to run JMRI and it's WiFi module. JMRI is a Java based software system that does a number of DCC things.

I am running mine with a Raspberry Pi and JMRI. The power from the motor sheild is less than 2A so I have a 5A booster that I built from a kit from MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group).

Always looking for fresh electronics ideas for my model trains so hope to communicate with others here.

GregW66


   
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vdohar
(@vic)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 2
 

Hi Greg,

Nice to see somebody else interested in DCC++Ex. I have recently received my parts and following the instructions on their website to get it functioning. Hopefully be able to tackle it over the holidays during the break. From what you have said, it looks like you have had success.

Vic


   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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@vic

Very successful. Full details of my control system are on my website. 

GregW66


   
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DonMcG
(@donmcg)
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If i need more current on my dcc track is it poxsible to just use a more capable H brige like the MD10C and ust feed the PWM signal into the DIR input in order to get full bi-polar output from the motor outputs to feed the track?

Don

   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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@donmcg

Yes, there are several projects out there. One of the most popular is Dave Bodnar's. Here's a link:

http://www.trainelectronics.com/DCC_Arduino/DCC_Booster/

GregW66


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1165
 

@gregw66

Is your web site no longer available?

I just started looking at DCC++ and noticed, as you, that the guy that started this seems to have disappeared almost 6 years ago.  Should I just ignore all the DCC++ stuff and just start over with DCC++EX?

 

SteveG


   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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@codecage 

Yes, I had hosting troubles and the site is down right now. I'm working on a new one. As to DCC++, I moved to DCC++EX myself and it is a very stable and very current project. All kinds going on with it. My home layout still uses it and I also have a system built on a MEGA board with Wi-Fi shield that negates the need for a computer running JMRI. I use that as a portable system.

GregW66


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@gregw66 Thanks for the quick reply!

That original DCC++ looked rather interesting, especially the ability to layout your track configuration, but then it seemed quite difficult to figure how to start from scratch and design your own layout.

The EX version doesn't support that track layout feature I presume, so I have way more to learn than I bargained for.  Just want to try building a DCC controller using a Arduino and use on a simple layout with a couple of cutouts, maybe a reversing loop and a programming track.  Just to get started anyway. 

SteveG


   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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@codecage 

Yes, the EX project has dropped that aspect of the project. I don't think many used it. However, this is your chance to add to the project! If you get something working, I would contact the EX folks. Good luck and have fun!

GregW66


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@gregw66

A point of confusion, amongst many, that puzzles me is that on the original DCC++ when using an UNO there were two jumpers required on the UNO, but now on the EX version when using the MEGA there are no jumpers?  If using an UNO, which I won't be, are the two jumpers still needed on the UNO?

SteveG


   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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@codecage

I can see why there is confusion. I can't seem to find an answer! I have two systems currently. One is running a MEGA with WiFi shield. No jumpers. The other is on an UNO but I am running the "Classic" version of EX and have the jumpers fitted. 

The tech in me says to try it without the jumpers, no harm can be done. That's what I'd do, just try the full EX project on the UNO without the jumpers. Reading the documentation on their site says the UNO works just as the MEGA but without the capability of WiFi etc... They make no mention of needing the jumpers, that's what my hunch is based on. 

GregW66


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@gregw66 

Since I'm starting down this road with the MEGA, I'll go with the "'no jumper" route.  Doubt I'd try it with an UNO anyway.

I'm waiting on my WiFi shield to arrive, so will be running with the MEGA connected to the PC, and using JMRI for the time being.

Thanks for the quick response.

SteveG


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@gregw66

Another thing I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around is turnouts and powering the two tracks on the other side of the turnout.  I think I understand that some turnouts generally power whichever track they are switched to leaving the other track unpowered.  While some other turnouts are completely insulated from the three points they are trying to connect.

So far does that sound as if I may have a tiny bit of understanding?

Right now I have just a simple oval as my main line, and a totally separate piece of straight track for a programming track.  But what I would like to do is have a turnout that allows me to drive the engine onto the programming track under main line power using a DPDT switch to provide the main line power to the programming track through an isolated turn out.  Once the engine is on the programming track, then the DPDT switch is turned to programming power.  After programming the DPDT switch is turned back to main line power to drive the engine out of the program track turnout.  Am I on the right track?  And does the turnout have to be isolated on all three points, or just the programming track point?  My guess is just the programming track point.

Hope I'm not asking to many basic questions, but from all the different YouTube videos I've watched these answers have not stood out to me.

Thanks for helping a newbie out!

SteveG


   
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GregW66
(@gregw66)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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Topic starter  

@codecage 

Never too many questions. The generally accepted DCC theory is to power all tracks at all times, regardless of the "throw" of the turnout. How the turnout operates is determined by the manufacturer, but your descriptions are spot on. 

What you describe with the DPDT toggle is exactly how it's done for a programming track. I'm attaching a diagram of how you would wire that up.

1697 261034 040000000

Note, that is not my drawing. Some very helpful websites for DCC:

https://www.wiringfordcc.com/
https://dccwiki.com/
https://sites.google.com/site/markgurries/dcc-welcome-page

I'll answer any questions you might have to the best of my ability. Most of the information I got from the 3 sites above. 

GregW66


   
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codecage
(@codecage)
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@gregw66 

Thanks for that diagram!  It is exactly what I needed and matches perfectly as to how I thought it should be implemented.

And yesterday I was watching another of the many DCC wiring videos that are out there, and there was a "warning" (if you want to call it that) about if you were using just a simple oval, that it was a good idea to insulate the track somewhere around the oval or loop to keep from having commands going in opposite directions around the loop from colliding at different times when they reached the DCC controller on the track.  Putting this insulator in place made the "oval" behave more like a single straight track.

Have you had any experience with this or have any thoughts on it?

SteveG


   
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