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Nigelcliffe

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  1. Only if the decoder in question supports RailCom, and also assumes someone hasn't turned RailCom off in the decoder in CV29, either by mistake or intentionally.... - Nigel
  2. 6P6C RJ12 Frequently mislabelled as RJ11. What's important is the 6P6C bit - six positions and six contacts.
  3. Suggest ringing South West Digital - the UK's agents for ESU. They're usually very good. Its an ESU decoder, command station and decoder programmer. So the problem is in ESU-land somewhere. - Nigel
  4. You can put LocoNet connection through almost any connector. There is negligible current and low voltage. There's no need to keep things separate. I've used D-connectors, carrying DCC, analogue signals, DC power, and LocoNet. Thus one connection to do everything. Then fitted the D-connector to the end-plates of the baseboard, so that the dowel-pins for the layout align things, and as they boards are pulled together the electrical connections are made. So, no messing with hooking lots of wires together. - Nigel
  5. Suggest not going that way, but look at other connectors. Having to do up dozens of contact screws when assembling a layout doesn't strike me as sensible. Suggestion 1 - the better quality solid pin D-type connectors (as opposed to the cheaper pressed/rolled pins) - just about adequate for DCC loadings at 5A. They seem fine on Burntisland which is a big layout, 5A system, and a lot of connections between boards. Advantage is a lot of connection pins for different things other than DCC power. Suggestion 2 - XLR connectors. In 3 and 4 pin types they are fairly cheap. Larger pin counts and the price can shoot up. I think the last load I bought were from Farnell/CPC (can't remember which half of Farnell was cheaper, do check! ).
  6. There aren't 4.1v LEDs, so Gaugemaster designed it to work with normal LEDs which drop about 3v, which is what they show in the manual. The actual voltage, within reason, doesn't really matter, what matters to the LED is the current which is allowed to flow through the LED. As its designed to work with panel LEDs, I expect it works fine with any reasonably normal "3volt" LED of about 20mA max current, and the circuit on the motor/decoder includes current limiting to the LED outputs. If bothered about things, or if the LED is too bright, then a series resistor will further reduce the current, and thus the LED brightness. Start at 100-200 ohms for resistor value. A "12v LED" is a normal LED plus resistor in a single package. The LED is still an approximately 3v device, the manufacturer has fitted a resistor within the package to allow direct connection to 12v. - Nigel
  7. I have a concern about such connectors when they are used with random wire sizes. If used with the correct wire sizes for the connector they work well. Used with the wrong wire sizes and connectivity is questionable. Each connector has a wire size appropriate for it. Unfortunately there are a lot of model railways wired with "whatever I had lying around" or "I got this from my grandad's army service decommissioning of a signals station", or "have this wire left over from something else", etc.. The speaker wire is an example. Yes, decent speaker wire (eg. the old classic QED 79 strand, or something better/newer) is going to be fine for model railway currents. But you now have to find out if its the "right" size (diameter of conductor, strand count and diameter of insulation) to suit a quick clip connector. If a dropper is to be a different size, then the clip connector needs to be one designed for a larger "bus" and smaller "dropper" (such types of connector exist). - Nigel
  8. I tend to mount microswitches onto plates to allow fine movement. So the plate will either take a nut behind it, or can be tapped to take the thread. However, if wanting self-tappers, suggest looking at specialist suppliers, eg: https://www.kayfast.co.uk/view-product/POZI-PAN-TAPPING-SCREW-DIN-7981C-Z-A2-ST-ST
  9. A cheap player (or the device at top of thread) can only play one recording at a time. For some people this is sufficient. A Raspberry PI, with the PiGame software (or other software of choice) can mix eight different sound files at once, to different levels, looping some, not looping others, to different stereo positions. Can have more than eight files in the sequence, just only eight playing at any one time. The GPIO pins on the PI are accessible in the PiGame software, so external buttons, or layout trigger switches, can cause the software to change what is played.
  10. Not experience, but I can read the specs, and spend a lot of time doing Digitrax/LocoNet related things. The PR4's difference is in reading decoders connected directly to its programming outputs, there it is much quicker than the PR3. If you use those outputs, then maybe the upgrade is worth while (but I'd suggest an alternative for about the same money*). There isn't any fundamental difference in the speed of connection to a command station, or a loconet of devices around a layout. So the change would be negligible for running a layout. (* programming alternative: A Sprog, set up as a dedicated programmer. Will be as fast reading, and the ability to test-run a loco with Sprog is a huge advantage. Just don't connect the Sprog to the layout at the same time as another system. ). - Nigel
  11. If you are using DecoderPro/JMRI (which you almost certainly are, if you have a Sprog), then the Function Map pane for each decoder is where you start. Exactly what can be changed depends on each decoder (different makers do different things), but that's the starting place, and will cover lights outputs. How sounds are moved around is very much decoder maker specific. For ESU V4 and V5, JMRI has a very capable function map which can move sound slots around - its pretty much the same user interface as found in ESU's LokProgrammer hardware/software combination. For Zimo, there are several methods within JMRI (because Zimo keep adding new methods to do things). "Zimo Input Mapping" tab on the programmer may be the simplest to understand, but there is also the older "pseudo programmer" script (which I wrote many years ago) which provides assistance for the "pseudo programming" method described in the Zimo manual. These days I'd use the "Zimo Input Mapping" part. There is also the "Sound Samples" tab which is capable of moving just about anysound to anywhere, but for some reason (I'll raise it with the writer of the file), its been dropped from the most recent Zimo decoders within JMRI, but is present if one drops back to the V33 decoders...
  12. I agree with Crosland, and was writing the same... Decide on what you want as a "standard" for your layout, and use the Function Mapping in decoders to move things around to what you want. (And if the decoder is a cheap crummy one with inadequate function mapping, replace it with something decent). Even works for the ECoS - because the same buttons on the control panel will always have the same labels beside them ! - Nigel
  13. The problem being faced is advice for "best practise", which is to wire every bit of rail. But, that "best practise" wiring also applies to DC running, plus DC running needs section isolation. What works for quite a lot of people is along way from "best practise". All sorts of short-cuts are taken, and, on the whole, stuff still works. Electrical power by fish-plates, contact via turnout blades, etc.. So long as there is electrical connection, the trains will run - be it DC or DCC. But, if there is a subsequent fault, then finding and pinning it down to one place can be harder. So balance of chances there to worry about. And how those chances play out depends on, in part, local environment. A layout in a shed could see temperature swings from -10C to 35C between winter and summer - so rails move, friction joints (fishplates) move. A layout in a house room might only see a swing of 15 degrees. A layout in a damp shed has damp to add to things. Loft & garage layouts see temperature swings similar to sheds, unless the loft/garage has been converted to house-levels of insulation. The only way to avoid wiring is to go to battery running, with wireless control of locos. Its practical in 4mm/OO, but means a fair bit of modifying stock. But no wires on the layout. - Nigel
  14. Old Digitrax "simplex" radio isn't legal in the UK/EU. ( Same situation exists with several US brand's radio kit. ) Digitrax went to the effort of getting the Duplex stuff CE marked. Though technically its only the models with the "CE" at the end of the name which are legal, there are two items for each in the Digitrax catalogue, those with the mark, and those without. Digitrax decided it wasn't worth the hassle of certifying the LNWI WiFi device for UK/EU, so the only legal way to do that in the UK is to go down the JMRI WiThrottle server route (broadly similar price to a LNWI is the combination of a LocoBuffer plus RaspberryPI running JMRI). - Nigel
  15. Can also save a lot of battery if one switches off 4G data when not using it, and the GPS capabilities. I expect that the magnetic compass associated with GPS on some phones is also a battery drainer (it used to be known as the "discharge the battery feature" on old Garmin hand-held GPS navigation devices 15 years ago). I have a little free button bar App on my Android phone to turn Bluetooth, phone data, WiFi and GPS individually on/off. Using it makes a significant difference to battery life.
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