DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

Dave S
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DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#1

Post by Dave S »

I'm trying to work out the shopping list for DCC train/points control with wireless/tablet control with option for additional hand controller.
I'm starting from scratch in a loft space, in OO.
Previous experience is 50 years ago, but I'm guessing that's true for many here.

For context, I'm in UK, starting afresh, no track, trains or rolling stock as I want to leave my old set up at what was my parents house.
Budget dictates I'll be buying mix of old and new so likely be buying some non DCC trains 2nd hand and adding chip.

Kit list seems to be:
1) servo for each point and arduino type PCB's to control them.
2) 5V transformer to power point servos.
3) Various hardware for DCC to 90m of track with say max 5 trains active.

I'm stuck on item 3) as to what bits I need and have watched many videos.

I assume there is a control interface that is hardwired to the track.
Can that same item enable wireless/tablet control, be it bluetooth or wifi?
Is the 12/15V transformer incorporated into interface module or will I need a seperate transformer and 5V output needed somewhere to feed point servos?
I want to avoid duplication of components to save money and also wary of buying items that aren't compatible with other m/f's.

I've also read of DCC++EX which says
"is an easy to use, do-it-yourself and affordable, open source DCC CommandStation and suite of supporting products for running your complete model .."

Is this my best option for my needs?
The DCC++Ex web page seems to answer many of the above qhestions.

On transformers I've read:
1) DCC use a sort of AC power
2) transformers need to be regulated

I want the system to have inbuilt trip for shorts, so assume that means laptop type transformers best avoided, or is there a trip switch in the controller?

Are there other options aside from DCC++Ex I should consider?
Thoughts on all above appreciated.
My first post :-)
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RogerB
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#2

Post by RogerB »

Hi Dave, welcome to the forum. Just on the DCC++EX side I can say that the intention for that system suggested it may be suitable for your purposes. About a year ago I and an American chap tried to document progress and keep track of version numbering for what was then the embryonic DCC++EX system. The problem was there was just the 2 of us and about 8 very talented but individually focused coders. They went about their wild undocumented “ let’s just release it to Git-hub” way and our task soon became impossible so we stopped contributing. Things have moved on a lot since but how bug free and viable the system is now I wouldn’t like to say. There is a forum for the project and if I can find the name/location of it I will come back to you. R-
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Dave S
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#3

Post by Dave S »

Thank-you Roger.
Reading web I assumed most would have adopted the system, but your reply suggests is it still niche (but progressing).
Previous systems need investment in time and hardware so I guess reluctance or little imperative to replace/update.
I found this (not sure if links allowed)
https://dcc-ex.com/about/index.html
It mentions Trainboard DCC++forum. Maybe that is the forum you had in mind?
Dave
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RogerB
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#4

Post by RogerB »

Yes, that is where I started the DCC++EX journey but that forum is very wide ranging. I have found the discussion channel I was thinking about, it’s Discord.com. I can’t link without giving my credentials. See if you can find it/register and log in. R-
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#5

Post by Dave S »

I think I've found it, has login but no "register" and can't see anything like a railway forum.
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RogerB
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#6

Post by RogerB »

It’s purely about DCC-EX. I’ll PM you. R-
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Brian
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#7

Post by Brian »

Dave S wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:26 pm
<Snip>
I want the system to have inbuilt trip for shorts, so assume that means laptop type transformers best avoided, or is there a trip switch in the controller?
<Snip>

You should not attempt to use any old cut out on a DCC system other than a specially designed one. Where the DCC system does not have a built in circuit breaker then use....
For example the On Guard or PSX Powershield types.
These are wired after the DCC systems Track output and adjusted to trip at a current below the rated maximum output of the DCC system.
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#8

Post by Dave S »

>For example the On Guard or PSX Powershield types.
Thank-you Brian.
I'm not familiar with the hardwear but googling I've found "on guard circuit breaker" and the "psx powershield" though each seems to be only available from USA.
Do they purely cut out like a fuse with GUI button to re-set or does any useful info get passed to the user as data (e.g.error number) to help pinpoint the error?
I've watched quite a few videos and none have mentioned a seperate circuit breaker.

Are you are able to point me to a DCC system, preferably one with inbuilt breaker as you suggest?
I believe I'm after one PCB style that will plug into PC or have wifi/bluetooth connectivity.
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Brian
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#9

Post by Brian »

Hi
Both are USA manufactured, but are usually readily available in the UK from suppliers like Coastal DCC and Digitrains etc (Assuming there are in stock?)
They offer extreamly fast circuit breaking and are self resetting.
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Dave S
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Re: DCC kit list options for new wifi loft layout

#10

Post by Dave S »

All:
This is one of the best answers I have found that answers my question, entitled "Model Railway Digital Controller (DCC++) for £40 or less":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qScLz-kq88k&t=84s

I have also seen one or two others that go into similar detail on aspect of downloading JMRI.

Brian - Yes I spotted on Coastal but showing out of stock. I'm purely in planning stage, so can wait, purely trying to get right kit and avoid duplication. Have put the question to Rob the above video host re circuit breaker.
Roger - No PM rec'd but spotted a link to something like Trainstop in another article but that went into more info overload and not a concise solution.
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