Opinions about point control please!

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dowdings
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 5:10 pm

Opinions about point control please!

Postby dowdings » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:49 am

Hi
I am building DCC based layout but I have always fancied having a mimic type panel with switches to move the point motors.

So I am considering the pros and cons of using DCC for locomotive control then using either DCC or switches for points.

As I see it (and I am happy to be corrected) if I use DCC point control;
More expensive to buy the accessory decoders.
Less wiring
Ability to set routes which change numerous points at same time
Unknown how easy to create panel with LEDs to show current point positions

If I use switches;
Less expensive
However will stretch my already limited soldering ability
More complex wiring
Unknown how to integrate point LEDs.

Any thoughts on the above greatly approciated.
Many thanks
Steve

m8internet
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Location: Cumbernauld, Scotland

Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby m8internet » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:27 am

I too have decided to use DCC for train control

For the point motors I am initially using AC, via a CDU, controlled through switches
The switches will be placed on a mimic panel

Eventually point motor DCC accessory decoders wil be purchased (but I need a lot of them)
These will then be setup with computer control
The two setups will then be integrated together
Glasgow Queen Street Model Railway layout : modern image N gauge using DCC

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RAF96
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Location: Dereham, Norfolk, UK

Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby RAF96 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:54 pm

Hi
I operate my points by both DCC and analogue methods - the reason being I like the ease and reliability of operating them manually, but I need DCC operation when using Rocrail to change my points during route setting.
Please see this thread on another forum for info.
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index. ... operation/
It may not be what you are loking for but it shows how it can be done.
Robbie
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry
http://www.halton96th.org.uk/robs_rails.html
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Silver Surfer
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:05 pm
Location: 16A

Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby Silver Surfer » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:18 am

Just about the best combination I have come across in my modelling career are dcc concepts slow action Cobalt motors with their Cobalt decoders. Okay, not the ceapest solution to the problem but they are brilliant and can be run on 12vdc or on a bus from your dcc set up, LEDs to a mimic panel are simple too. The motors have simple grip connectors for the wires and the decoders some small screw connectors which means almost no soldering - you only have to solder the push buttons and LED leads.

With this set up I can use dcc throttle to set individually or to set routes, but I also have push to make buttons giving individual control of each and every point.

Image
No it's not curved - its camera distortion because not much room to take piccie.
The blue buttons control one point, the red ones two at crossovers. The toggle switches are for isolation sections and colour aspect signals.

And this shows my decoder distribution panel - minus the front cover. (Again, slight camera distortion)
Image
The decoders can of course be located on or near each point but I think this makes for easier wiring and fault finding (not that I've experienced any faults).
Incidentally, these decoders only need addressing - no other programming required.

Mike
Image
Hawkers Bridge - A work in progress
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'A Diesel engine is a machine - A Steam engine is a living being, almost human'

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Bufferstop
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Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:59 am

With wiring to that standard you could be forgiven for expecting NO faults :!: Great bit of workmanship. It might seem a bit contrary to use digital control modules then house them centrally and run cables, but as you are using them as an interface for automation a good idea.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

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Jellicoe
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:36 am

Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby Jellicoe » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:40 pm

You might consider making up a CDU for each point on the layout using the so-called "lisaP4" circuit which you will find on the Modratech site. This will allow on-on switches to be used which can be left in the position in which the point is set and no switches or LEDs are required.

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Silver Surfer
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:05 pm
Location: 16A

Re: Opinions about point control please!

Postby Silver Surfer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:58 am

Bufferstop wrote:With wiring to that standard you could be forgiven for expecting NO faults :!: Great bit of workmanship. It might seem a bit contrary to use digital control modules then house them centrally and run cables, but as you are using them as an interface for automation a good idea.

Thanks for the compliment :lol: Don't know about "using them as an interface for automation" the idea was to save my back actually. Doing it this way means I have to crawl under the boards once to fit the wiring to the motor, not numerous times to fit decoder, wire it in, change the program switch, change it back again, then do it again if I get a fault. Having them all in one place means I can sit on a stool to do it all, if I have to change an address all I have to do is remove the front cover.
Believe me, when you get to my age the last place you want to be is lying on your back under a baseboard :roll:
Mike
Image
Hawkers Bridge - A work in progress
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'A Diesel engine is a machine - A Steam engine is a living being, almost human'


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