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gordon s

Accessory decoder addresses - Is there a system to follow?

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I've been running loco's in DCC for some years now and understand decoders with regards to running trains. In the past I had always planned to have an analogue panel, but having seen a full DCC layout in operation, I made the decision to go full on digital and have bought and probably sell my NCE system to contribute towards the ECoS I bought last week plus the first NCE Switch 8 panel.

 

I have around 60+ turnouts on the layout and whilst I've not got into signalling, lighting etc, the number of accessory addresses will be quite considerable, but well within the system capacity.

 

I've made a start, made a few errors, but before I go too far, I'm wondering if I need to follow a logical system to help me find the right accessory item and address should anything go awry.

 

In terms of the ECoS track diagram, it's likely I will have 4-6 track areas, each with their own diagram, so there is a starting point.

 

Looking at the ECoS screens it has 15 sets of 5 pages, with each page having 16 possible items, so 1200 in total.

 

Does it matter where I put each item? If I have six areas, should all of area 1 use the first main directory which has five sub pages. It's unlikely I will have more than 75 accessories on each board.

 

Should the addresses on each item just be sequential or should all of the first main directory with it's five pages all start with an address 1, those in area 2, with an address starting with a 2 and so on.

 

Does it matter what addresses you use when connecting to the 8 inputs of the Switch 8? Does that just learn the address, no matter what they are?

 

The last thing I want is to enter a lot more addresses for the Tortoise turnouts and then find I've created a nightmare for myself in trying to locate the correct accessory within a list of 1200 possible items.

 

Am I overthinking this as it doesn't matter where things go or is there is a simple system for finding things?

 

Just five days into the world of accessories and I really don't want to go down the wrong route right at the beginning, so grateful for any suggestions of how to handle this.

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Cant comment on Switch 8s but can say that using ECoS it certainly makes sense to have a system for your accessory numbering....including labelling them on your boards so you can find them easily.

 

If you use the route setting facility in ECoS then once you have worked out the logic of that then ease of use of that becomes a higher priority - except you do need an underlying maeans of tracking individual accessories.

 

I found a spreadsheet useful - and dont forget to back up ECoS every time you make major changes!

 

 

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My suggestion is that while the addresses don't really matter, if you follow some logic than it would be easier to find things. Whatever numbering system you use I recommend having a clear and meticulous paper record of what goes where for ease of use.

  • Agree 3

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On an end to end  layout I number the points 1,2,3 etc from one end of the layout as they line up with the edge of the baseboard. Alternatively stick a numbered label as appropriate.

Edited by Butler Henderson

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Thanks guys. I’m chuckling to myself as I thought the idea of a computer was to do away with writing everything down.....:D

 

Sadly my layout is 18’ x 14’ and has 60+ plus turnouts and four continuous tracks, so counting from one end isn’t that practical. In any case if you add turnouts or signals etc as the layout develops, the sequential numbering will soon be obsolete.

 

It probably makes sense to split the layout into six and start with 100, 200, 300 etc for each of he boards. At least that breaks it down into smaller sections. I can generate a comprehensive track plan with each of the turnouts numbered as a starting point

 

It does mean redoing some of what I’ve done, but better to plan at the outset, than plough on and then find you’ve created a nightmare where nothing can be easily identified.

 

I must say a conventional panel using DCC Concepts Alpha Mimic panel suddenly makes sense with everything laid out as it is, rather than as a schematic diagram. No rush though, I’ll stick with it and see what difficulties, if any, arise.

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Every aspect of the prototype was/is systemic - it serves us well to replicate that in our models.

 

 

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12 hours ago, gordon s said:

 

 

I must say a conventional panel using DCC Concepts Alpha Mimic panel suddenly makes sense with everything laid out as it is, rather than as a schematic diagram. No rush though, I’ll stick with it and see what difficulties, if any, arise.

 

If you use the Alpha system with Mimic and Encoder,  the kit is in sequential blocks of 12, but you can have "gaps".

e.g. one pair of boards may be 1-12 and 13-24. The next pair could be 101-112/113-125 . A single board could be 251-262.

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