Jump to content

ianwales

DCC Shuttle Module

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

Is there such a thing available as a shuttle module for DCC, the sort of thing I have in mind is something that will allow the branch push/pull train to operate between the bay platform and its own storage siding independent of the main layout, then if there is just to complicate things a little, is there a way of overiding the module, the idea being the module would work the push pull, but, i can manually run the occasional freight along the branch?

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To save wearing out the search box, here's a summary of what's around. Firstly, there isn't a general "does everything" solution, you need to pick what works with your setup.

 

1 - get a chip with "shuttle" capabilities. Lenz Silver or Gold will do it (I can't remember if a Hornby Sapphire will also do it), there are no sound chip options for this, except to couple a Dietz "Susi" based sound device to a Lenz decoder.

To work, you require an Asymmetric Brake Generator (which is 6 diodes) at each end of the shuttle track, plus setting a few CV's in the Lenz chip. This is cost-effective for a single loco/railcar and works with any DCC system. You can switch out the brake generator with a simple on/off switch (or a relay, or relay controlled by accessory decoder, etc.). Main downside is that "Constant Braking Distance" is hopeless in the Lenz chips, so don't use that feature, but it works fine without Constant Braking Distance, just run the railcar at about the same speed when using the auto-shuttle.

 

2 - with some DCC systems you can add devices which amount to "programmable throttles", but you need the relevant DCC system.

 

2a - NCE, use the "MiniPanel", this could have a couple of its inputs set to control the speed of a particular loco. By having track detectors (eg. current sensors on a rail, or IR beams), the MiniPanel can change the control of the loco (eg. stop it, reverse, operate a function key, etc.). Some thought is required to switch out the MiniPanel to allow manual running, and also to stop a different loco triggering behaviour in the "automated" loco when the automated loco is somewhere else on the layout. A few relays to disconnect the sensors should be enough to solve this issue.

 

2b - Digitrax (and other LocoNet), use the CML Electronics "Shuttle" board. This is an automated throttle and can control any loco address. It is programmed to do things in response to track detectors (similar to above). Running a complex shuttle sequence is well within its capabilities. As the Shuttle Board is a "Throttle", any loco can be allocated to it, and also can be "dispatched" from the Shuttle when finished with automatic running. So, its easy to take manual control, and there is no risk of the automatic system driving a train which is, in reality, somewhere else on the layout.

 

2c - ESU ECoS. I've not used it, but the ECoS documentation includes running shuttles from the command station. This will require train detectors working over the S88 bus into the ECoS to work out the position of trains.

 

3 - use a computer system to control some of the trains. To do it properly, it requires a number of track detectors to know the position of the train. The computer software can then control the trains, with human stepping in when required. There is plenty of free software around which can do this for the majority of DCC systems, provided the DCC system has a computer interface.

There is a "bodge" method using "dead reconing" in software, which just sends the train out, then stops it after a pre-set time has past. The chances of this working really reliably is nearly zero (mechanisms change in their stickiness as they warm up!). However, mixing "dead reconing" with the a few track detectors may work OK.

 

- Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The CML Electronics DSS1 LocoShuttle is probably the easiest to use, but you'll need to be using Loconet. It can be programmed so that it reacts to points being thrown, blocks being occupied. Meaning you can drive a loco from the mainline into a bay platform, hand it over to the loco shuttle where it waits patiently until a point is thrown after which it trundles off along a branch-line.

 

Another option is the shuttle module built into JMRI. This should work with any DCC system as long as there's a PC interface available.

 

As others have mentioned, you'll need some form of train detection to get the best out of a shuttle system otherwise you'll have to be very careful with your timings.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some ideas about a DCC shuttle module to work independenlty of particular decoder features.

 

What sort of features would you be looking for? E.g.:

 

Simple end-to-end

Intermediate stop(s)

Two trains passing at an intermediate stop

Something else...?

 

Andrew Crosland

http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres a link to my DIY 5-diode module - http://www.rmweb.co....-dcc-operation/

Shouldn't that link be to http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/gallery/image/24940-assymetric-dcc-generator/ rather than to a diagram involving solenoid point motors?

 

I'm surprised that you've hidden this in a gallery. I doubt if many people would think to look there for DCC wiring diagrams.

 

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Buff

Oops - obviously hit a soft key when Control C-ing the link.

Thanks for posting the correct link.

I hide my stuff in this gallery so I can link to it on forums that dont allow direct posting of photos.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All

 

Oh dear, it seems this is going to be more complicated than I thought,

 

First I am using a Lenz set 90 as my DCC system and I don't have the option of computer control, we only have one family computer and I can imagine my wife's answer if I even suggested moving it into the attic to control the trains!

 

Andrew, basically what I was looking for was something to move the branch push pul set back and forth between a siding in the storage yard and the bay platform, the branch train could shuttle between the 2 independent of the main line, but, I also wanted to be able to hold the push pull in the bay while I run the pick up goods along the branch.

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All

 

Oh dear, it seems this is going to be more complicated than I thought,

 

First I am using a Lenz set 90 as my DCC system and I don't have the option of computer control, we only have one family computer and I can imagine my wife's answer if I even suggested moving it into the attic to control the trains!

 

Andrew, basically what I was looking for was something to move the branch push pul set back and forth between a siding in the storage yard and the bay platform, the branch train could shuttle between the 2 independent of the main line, but, I also wanted to be able to hold the push pull in the bay while I run the pick up goods along the branch.

 

Ian

 

Lowest cost/hassle give the above requirements:

 

Lenz Silver/Gold decoder in push-pull and Asymmetric braking (5/6 diodes per brake zone, or one Lenz BM1 module per zone. The BM1 is expensive considering its just dozen diodes at around £10), plus two on/off switches to disconnect the brake zones. One brake zone is in the bay (and possibly just approaching), the other in the siding in the fiddle yard. Requires cutting one rail in each brake zone so that the braking circuit can be connected to that rail.

 

Program Lenz Silver/Gold decoder for shuttle running, the stop time in the station, and reasonable acceleration/decelleration rates (these are a few CV changes in the Lenz manuals). Don't bother setting "constant braking distance" described in the Lenz manual.

 

 

To run, set switches to automatic, call up push-pull on handset and drive it at a modest speed along the branch. Then just leave it running at that speed and call up another loco to run. The push-pull will run back and forth along the branch, stopping for the time programmed in CV's at each end.

To stop automatic running, call up the DMU on the handset, set speed to stop. Set switches to "manual" if you want to manually drive the push-pull, leave them in automatic if you plan to resume in automatic.

 

 

Total parts - 12 diodes, two on/off switches, some wire and a Lenz silver decoder.

 

 

- Nigel

Edited by Nigelcliffe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lowest cost/hassle give the above requirements:

 

Lenz Silver/Gold decoder in push-pull and Asymmetric braking (5/6 diodes per brake zone, or one Lenz BM1 module per zone. The BM1 is expensive considering its just dozen diodes at around £10), plus two on/off switches to disconnect the brake zones. One brake zone is in the bay (and possibly just approaching), the other in the siding in the fiddle yard. Requires cutting one rail in each brake zone so that the braking circuit can be connected to that rail.

 

Program Lenz Silver/Gold decoder for shuttle running, the stop time in the station, and reasonable acceleration/decelleration rates (these are a few CV changes in the Lenz manuals). Don't bother setting "constant braking distance" described in the Lenz manual.

 

 

To run, set switches to automatic, call up push-pull on handset and drive it at a modest speed along the branch. Then just leave it running at that speed and call up another loco to run. The push-pull will run back and forth along the branch, stopping for the time programmed in CV's at each end.

To stop automatic running, call up the DMU on the handset, set speed to stop. Set switches to "manual" if you want to manually drive the push-pull, leave them in automatic if you plan to resume in automatic.

 

 

Total parts - 12 diodes, two on/off switches, some wire and a Lenz silver decoder.

 

 

- Nigel

 

Hi Nigel

 

Thanks for that, sounds a lot easier the way you have just described it, one query though, given the bay platform and the branch siding are both dead ends will the gold decoder automatically switch the direction of the train after each stop?

 

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Nigel

 

Thanks for that, sounds a lot easier the way you have just described it, one query though, given the bay platform and the branch siding are both dead ends will the gold decoder automatically switch the direction of the train after each stop?

 

Ian

 

Yes it changes direction. That's the point of the "shuttle" feature in the Lenz decoders.

Choose a Silver unless you also have room for a Power-1 module - there are no other significant differences between Silver or Gold, except the price ! I have a 4-wheeled railbus with a Gold plus Power-1 (so it never stalls!) which is used to run such a shuttle service.

 

The rail brakes need to be in the appropriate rail, consult Lenz decoder manual.

 

There is one further very minor annoyance; you can loose which way is "forward" in the decoder. Its as if the decoder changes the direction of "forward" when it runs the reverse leg. So, if you take over control whilst its running the reverse leg, you find that "forwards" is actually "reverse". If you only take over manual control on a "forwards" leg, the problem does not arise. And if you realise its happening, its not a massive hassle.

 

 

 

This may have a few other clues, particularly the diode circuit.

http://www.nigelcliffe.blogspot.com/2009/06/abc-stoppingslowing.html

 

- Nigel

Edited by Nigelcliffe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much overlap is there between the track you want to run the shuttle on and the rest of the layout? If it can be easily isolated then you could ignore DCC altogether and use a DPDT switch to toggle the branch between DCC control and a traditional DC shuttle unit. Not as refined as a DCC based solution but potentially a lot easier to implement.

 

Happy modelling,

 

Steven B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all of you,

I've designed a shuttle DCC system for my exhibition layout, Rue d'Abbeville.

Some informations in french here:

http://www.modelrailway-online.com/dcc-detection-par-diode/

http://www.modelrailway-online.com/arduino-et-loconet/

http://www.modelrailway-online.com/arduino-et-loconet-3/

http://www.modelrailway-online.com/dcc-navette-automatique/

Have a G'day, Fabrice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although the original post is very very old, this was available

 

Midland scale regulators did a controller that can do this:-

 

 

pdf instructions:- https://midlandscaleregulators.uk/msr_sc10_manual.pdf

 

Web site:- https://midlandscaleregulators.uk/

 

Not too sure if you can still order one.

 

Cheers

 

Ian

Edited by traction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.