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DCCConcepts Cobalt IP Digital


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Hi All, I recently installed 19 Cobalt IP Digital point motors on my new layout which I control using a Roco Z21 and they have been great except that I have now twice experienced issues with all 19 motors losing their addresses following shorts. Both shorts were due to derailments due to incorrectly set points. On both occasions I had to go around and reapply the addresses to each motor which although a simple process is frustrating. Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Phil

 

 

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The common advice when you have this issue is to fit ‘snubbers’ to your track bus and in most cases it seems to solve the issues.

 

the other solution (which I use with my Z21 and IP Digitals ) is to feed the accessories from a separate bus powered directly from the Z21 and feed the track through a device such as an NCE EB1 which if set at 2.5A will short before the Z21 and prevent any spikes into the accessory bus.

 

other advantage is that when you cause a short by over-running points you can still switch the points and the EB1 auto resets and the layout starts again

 

all sorted for £25 :)

Edited by WIMorrison
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I don't use Cobalts, but you may want to get a DCC circuit breaker and wire your track bus to that, and provide a separate bus for accessory decoders. That way a short on the track shouldn't affect the Cobalts.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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Yes DCC bus filters/ snubbers/ terminators stop the address loss as they stop the power spike as the Z21 starts up that upsets cobalts. 

 

 

Check with adding circuit breakers that they are compatible as many evidently aren’t with the Z21. I looked into it to split outputs for modular layouts from an existing big booster but had to choose two smaller boosters as Dutch Master and others alerted me to a protocol difference, there’s a thread somewhere on it. 

You could see if dijikeijs do one as their stuff is ok with it but I’d ask the manufacturer. 

The thread on boosters and breakers is here but DM’s posts have been removed which breaks the flow and the technical explanation of the reason to be careful is gone. 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/81368-adding-another-booster/&do=findComment&comment=1528413

 

Edited by PaulRhB
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2 hours ago, WIMorrison said:

 

 

the other solution (which I use with my Z21 and IP Digitals ) is to feed the accessories from a separate bus powered directly from the Z21 and feed the track through a device such as an NCE EB1 which if set at 2.5A will short before the Z21 and prevent any spikes into the accessory bus.

 

other advantage is that when you cause a short by over-running points you can still switch the points and the EB1 auto resets and the layout starts again

 

all sorted for £25 :)

Are you using the eb1 Ian as I thought the NCE used the other protocol. 

Good news if it’s been proved to work as I’d like to add one as backup. 

I think the filter is still worth doing though as it is the theory that the spike is as the Z21 resets that caused it so not sure whether the eb1 resets once it’s back up?

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Paul

 

EB1 works perfectly with the Z21, my only annoyance with it is that it has a light to show the power is on whereas I would prefer a light to show that there is a short. The only trick it to make make sure it is on 2.5A to ensure it trips before the Z21

 

other than that works 100% and I forget its there - until you overrun a point and then you remember why you put it into the circuit :)

 

 

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11 hours ago, WIMorrison said:

The common advice when you have this issue is to fit ‘snubbers’ to your track bus and in most cases it seems to solve the issues.

 

the other solution (which I use with my Z21 and IP Digitals ) is to feed the accessories from a separate bus powered directly from the Z21 and feed the track through a device such as an NCE EB1 which if set at 2.5A will short before the Z21 and prevent any spikes into the accessory bus.

 

other advantage is that when you cause a short by over-running points you can still switch the points and the EB1 auto resets and the layout starts again

 

all sorted for £25 :)

 

Wholeheartedly agree. I do the same but with the MERG DCO (that I helped develop in a small way), just over a tenner but you have to build it yourself ;)

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54 minutes ago, WIMorrison said:

Paul

 

EB1 works perfectly with the Z21, my only annoyance with it is that it has a light to show the power is on whereas I would prefer a light to show that there is a short. The only trick it to make make sure it is on 2.5A to ensure it trips before the Z21

 

other than that works 100% and I forget its there - until you overrun a point and then you remember why you put it into the circuit :)

 

 

 

MERG DCO can put on an LED and sound a buzzer (supplied with the kit) when there is a short :) 

 

OK I'll stop banging the MERG drum now LOL

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Unfortunately the MERG DCO falls over catastrophically of there is any Railcom enabled devices on the layout - I know this as I tested it several times and eventually the only way to make it work was to disable all Railcom - which is unfortunate as I use Railcom and more people are moving to using it as feedback systems become available to use it at a reasonable price.

 

Perhaps time for a redesign to meet the changing market conditions?

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50 minutes ago, PaulRhB said:

Thanks Ian, So I’d need two with one  EB1 between track and booster and another between the Z21 and track?

 

Pal

 

You would need 2 if you are also feeding accessories from the booster 

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15 minutes ago, WIMorrison said:

Unfortunately the MERG DCO falls over catastrophically of there is any Railcom enabled devices on the layout - I know this as I tested it several times and eventually the only way to make it work was to disable all Railcom - which is unfortunate as I use Railcom and more people are moving to using it as feedback systems become available to use it at a reasonable price.

 

Perhaps time for a redesign to meet the changing market conditions?

 

Ah, not something I've used. I'll pass on the comments to Mike though :)

 

Just checked on the MERG forum and there is an updated DCOR1.2a firmware for the kit that is reported to work with Railcom. The Railcom cutout was being detected by the DCO as a loss of DCC signal so thought there was a short and tripped.

 

The firmware is hard to find, for those who are members and can flash the PIC here's a link to the topic: https://www.merg.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=4700&hilit=DCO+problem&start=25

 

Not sure if the current Kit includes the 1.2a firmware or not. If you are wanting Railcom compatibility I'd check before ordering.

Edited by RedgateModels
More info on Railcom from MERG
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I tried to keep the wiring as simple as possible but it sounds as though fitting an accessory bus for the Cobalts would resolve the issue. I will look at fitting suppressors to the track bus as well to help with the voltage spikes.

 

Thanks for the help everyone 

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25 minutes ago, WIMorrison said:

Unfortunately the MERG DCO falls over catastrophically of there is any Railcom enabled devices on the layout - I know this as I tested it several times and eventually the only way to make it work was to disable all Railcom - which is unfortunate as I use Railcom and more people are moving to using it as feedback systems become available to use it at a reasonable price.

 

Perhaps time for a redesign to meet the changing market conditions?

 

There is alternative MERG firmware for the MERG DCO which is fine on RailCom, available on the MERG website - I've tested it on two systems (Lenz and DCC4PC cutout generator).  

 

 

 

- Nigel

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, RedgateModels said:

 

Ah, not something I've used. I'll pass on the comments to Mike though :)

 

Just checked on the MERG forum and there is an updated DCOR1.2a firmware for the kit that is reported to work with Railcom. The Railcom cutout was being detected by the DCO as a loss of DCC signal so thought there was a short and tripped.

 

The firmware is hard to find, for those who are members and can flash the PIC here's a link to the topic: https://www.merg.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=147&t=4700&hilit=DCO+problem&start=25

 

Not sure if the current Kit includes the 1.2a firmware or not. If you are wanting Railcom compatibility I'd check before ordering.

 

Perhaps this was done as a result of my testing about 18 months ago. If it now works I will look into it again.

 

thanks 

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5 minutes ago, WIMorrison said:

 

Perhaps this was done as a result of my testing about 18 months ago. If it now works I will look into it again.

 

thanks 

 

Just make sure you request the 1.2a firmware when ordering, I don't think it's included in the standard kit

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39 minutes ago, RedgateModels said:

 

Just make sure you request the 1.2a firmware when ordering, I don't think it's included in the standard kit

 

I have emailed Martin (Perry) asking if this update was a result of the issues I had last year (just checked and it was exactly 1 year ago I was testing the DCO) and seeking confirmation that it will work as required. If it does then I will look to buying a couple and replace the EB1 as I did like the buzzer ;)

 

Iain

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Hmmm, that is worrying as Martin assured me that it had the latest firmware when I was testing it yet it failed 100% of the time when Railcom was on the layout, despite what Nigel says :( Perhaps Martin wasn't aware that there was an updated firmware available.

 

Anyway I have emailed him and will wait to see what he says :)

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16 hours ago, Phil-Essex said:

Hi All, I recently installed 19 Cobalt IP Digital point motors on my new layout which I control using a Roco Z21 and they have been great except that I have now twice experienced issues with all 19 motors losing their addresses following shorts. Both shorts were due to derailments due to incorrectly set points. On both occasions I had to go around and reapply the addresses to each motor which although a simple process is frustrating. Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Phil

 

 

I had the same issue with a couple of the motors I had fitted, but not all of them, I too have changed them to be on an accessory bus behind a circuit breaker and the problem has gone away. It did confuse me the first time it happened!

Chris

 

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