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Newbie ECoS Questions


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Not entirely newbie but largely.

I've had the ECoS for ages but not used it much due to layout building. Status in a nutshell - some locos run, one switchpilot is set-up and there is a little bit of the trackplan in the system. I have it networked and can reach it from a remote PC and a tablet as a mobile controller.

The layout build is now progressed enough that I am looking again at the ECoS and all of the mysteries of the instructions - somehow thorough but at the same time not fully clear. 


Two things right now that I'm sure someone has already figured out :

1. I tried setting up a simple route to activate two points in a crossover. Both use standard Peco solenoids and driven by Switchpilot that has its own separate power supply. If I choose the route only the first point throws. Using the screen to operate the points independently they of course work but I think the Switchpilot struggles with the current demand. Most of the rest of the layout will use ADS8SX so this isn't a critical issue; more just a question of understanding what is going on for future reference. So, very non critical but two things I'd like to try to resolve this:

 a) is it possible to put a delay between firing the first and second points in the crossover? So that the Switchpilot capacitors have a chance to recharge

 b) Switchpilot 9.3 instructions talks about configuring the output for Peco solenoids. It sounds like a relevant topic. It looks like you have to write  a 1 to CV3. But this is where the wheels fall off for two reasons. Below is the screen grab where I tried programming the Switchpilot in situ - it's the first and only accessory decoder at present and I put 3 against CV, 1 against Value and pressed Write. Really helpfully it just said "Error" as you can see. Great. Now what. Do I have to have Railcom enabled to achieve this - the instructions imply this is just for reading values and not writing them so I'd assumed not but then again...it didn't work.

Also assume that the decoder IS decoder 1 since its the only one?  And how do you tell which of the four outputs is considered to be1, 2, 3 and 4 ?




b) supplemental : I have to confess I find the description of addressing and CV values to be fairly much gibberish in the Switchpilot instructions.  I get what a CV is ie basically changing behaviour through software variables. I have only one decoder so it should make sense but looking at their table of turnout numbers addresses and CVs of the first 552 turnouts then we have Turnouts 1 2 3 and 4 associated with address 1 being defined by values in CV 1 and CV 9 (1 and 0 respectively). But then the later table "List of all supported CVs " shows per below. OK so 1 and 9 give enough of a range to address multiple different decoders across the whole layout. CVs 3 4 5 and 6 allow config of the four different outputs - hence Peco pulse mode that didn't work per above. 

Maybe this doesn't matter to the actual user and is all internal workings but where the specific address for the ECoS to toggle  the actual output for each point?  We can configure each output, notionally anyway, and we can address the whole decoder but where's the address per turnout?




2.  The ECoS accessory icon options include double slip turnout (2 way) and double slip turnout (4 way). Does that actually decode to single slip and double slip? And does anyone have a definitive summary of how to set-up slips in the system? 


That's it right now. I'm sure there will be more though !!











Edited by Kallaroonian
submitted before complete
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Thanks but not sue that delay function is what it appears 


"Switching delay: Here you can define the delay until the first accessory is switched after having activated a route."


I want to delay between first and second accessory. The above functionality seems pretty pointless ?

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Just trying to get my head round this one as I have an ECoS and use route selection continually. I have Tortoise motors, so slightly different, but each pair of turnouts in a crossover have the same DCC address. Might be worth a try to see if that improves the situation. At least it would show whether or not there is sufficient power to switch two solenoids together. 


I don't have slips, but do have a switched diamond crossing and again, the two motors have the same address to switch simultaneously.

Edited by gordon s
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You might be confusing decoders.


With a switchpilot, you program the address for first output - the remaining three take sequential numbers.


But, I'm also wondering if you're on the correct screen.  I'd have to refresh myself, but you appear to be on the decoder screen for programming loco deocders.  You want the accessories menu

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I'm going to use DCC Concept ADS8FX/SX for mot requirements but I'd initially bought a couple of switchpilots. I understand one ADS output can throw two solenoids so it should be possible to have two motors off one address for a slip or a two point crossing. But for the switchpilot I think not. Operating the points manually (ie no route) does reveal the need to leave some delay between each or you don't hear the characteristic click as the point is thrown.  There does "appear" to be a delay function but I don't think it's long enough to achieve a result.


But there is this CV to configure output for Peco solenoids. The configuration output option is at CV 3, 4, ,5 ,6 for each of the four outputs. I can't write to any of them. Do you have to put it on the programming track to do this?  If so enormous pain in the ass since it's not like a loco where you can simply move it, obviously it's screwed to a batten and wired in.  I'm beginning to think it's this. I may reach out to GoingUnderground


As for the screen I believe it's the correct one :






The next one is below but it concerns setting addresses, no ability to write a CV to an existing address


So it should be the screen above set to programming on main and accessory decoder. Except that doesn't work and just returns the immensely useful "error"


rgds, mark




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I was also just looking at this :




Mid-way through per below. Seriously?  To programme it the thing has to be on the programming track AND have a 180ohm resistor or lamp across outputs. Really?







For those who do have a go with the SwitchPilot, I received this advice on how to program them. This may be of use to others so I will replicate it below.

Dear Neil,
I try to give you a short instruction how to get the CVs read and write:
1. if you are not able to adress the SWP via the decribed procedure in the instruction (program switch on the board, yellow LED etc.), the SWP is failed. This failure has been reported several times in the forum and is based on quality problems during the fabrication of the first batches.
2. in order to read and write the CVs first you have to connect the SWP with the programming track. Parallel you have to use the same connection for the power supply.
3. please don�t connect any output channel with a point machine or something else. Only connect the output channel 1 (OUT A and C) with a resistor of 180 Ohm. You also can use a lamp. This is important!
4. Open the menue for decoder programming in the ECoS. Fill in the correct DCC adress! This means, with regards to the created point on the point panel, you have to use the DCC adress 1 for the point no. 1 to 4, the DCC adress 2 for the point no. 5 to 8 etc. Select the programming track and DCC.
5. Now you can start reading the CVs and writing the CVs.
6. For reading and writing the CVs from the main track you have to write the value 6 to CV 28 and the value 136 to CV 29. Afterwards you can check reading the CVs via main track while selecting the main track, DCC mode and point load.
7. When everything is ok, you can install the Switch Pilot and connect the points.

It is very important to note the part about the power supply and resistor across output 1 during programming!


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I may have my lines crossed, but the DCC Concepts decoder seems very similar to the NCE product I'm using, so hopefully I can help. I've just flicked through both manuals and managed to understand the basics. The DCC Concepts manual has a note re ECoS as follows;




OK, page 24 in the ECoS manual is about programming turnouts, so wondered where the need to programme CV's is coming from.


To set up turnouts in the ECoS you will need to go to this screen. 




This allows you to choose a left or right hand turnout and the detail parameters are set from the edit button. I realise I'm skipping through this, so ask if you need far more detail.




You can set the duration of the switch operation here. You will need to allocate a DCC address on this screen.


Now, if I have read the manuals correctly, the ADS8SX is hooked up to the main bus wires and you select input 1 and programme it by switching the turnout on the ECoS screen. That will programme the output for you. With crossovers, I simply give both turnouts the same address. 


This appears to be exactly the same procedure as my NCE Switch 8's, so hopefully should work.

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Now skipped through the Switch Pilot manual and this talks about using the programming track. It is as per your earlier post above which I have just read.....:rolleyes_mini:




To read the Switch Pilot on the programming track, you need to apply a load of 180Ω. This is the same principle of the motor load on  a loco. A 1 watt resistor is perfectly acceptable according to the manual.


To programme on Main, you need to know the address of the Switch Pilot decoder....




I assume from that you need to read the address first via the programming track and then keep a record of it. I'm sure others will know ways around it if it's a problem.....:-)

Edited by gordon s
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I have the points working on the basis above and a route set-up to fire two points that are in a Fast-Slow crossover. I have used a separate SWP output per point because I had an idea it wouldn't throw two points .

The CV setting is because the SWP has the ability to activate a "pulse mode for PECO turnout devices . Reduces the sensitivity of the overload protection"


My SWP also has a separate power supply from a laptop 19V 4.7A unit.


So. It all works fine right now up to a point (hur hur) and the easy option is to just leave it. The consequence  is needing to manually wait a few moments before firing points on the same SWP


Or I can try to write the CV just to find out if setting that CV helps with the problem. It seems writing CVs is an immense pita though



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