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Walthers DCC Turntable ACM install

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Walthers DCC Turntable ACM install
Posted by aquarius on Friday, April 07, 2017 10:21 AM

I just bought a Walthers 130' turntable and an ACM, but am thinking that maybe I bit off more than I can chew. Has anyone set up the turntable with the ACM and if so, can you give some advice? I have a 5 volt 4 channel relay module, a two-digit LED display and a number pad to input stall track numbers. I have read the directions a number of times and just when I think it makes sense, something goes blank and I lose my logic on it. I'm just not comfortable with wire placements.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 09, 2017 11:58 AM

 Which Walkthers 130' turntable did you buy? The Corneerstone one already has a controller, you don;t need anything extra. If you got the plain one, then you also need a motor. And a good bit of mechanical work to hook it all up, the Walthers turntable kit is not known for having the best operation even just trying to manually turn it around. Then you are going to have to place all the sensors and wireit all together. One step at a time, don;t overthink it. It's more mechanical than electronic.

 But if you have the Cornerstone version of the turntable, it's already all thre for you, nothing to do but hook up power and track power to it.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by Mudshark on Monday, April 10, 2017 2:22 PM

I am having the same problem. I just bought a 90' Walthers DCC turntable with the Advanced Control Module. All the paperwork made it seem easy to hook up.  I have the TT working fine but when I hook up the ACM I'm lost. I can get the DCC working but I too bought a 12 volt 8 channel relay based on the cryptic directions from Walthers. I can't get it to work nor am I sure this is the correct relay or if I am hooking it up correctly. I have tried a few sources for help and so far, nothing. The Walther's video about the turntable shows how it all works but not how to do it. So I too would like some help, or a source to get me started.

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Posted by aquarius on Monday, April 10, 2017 6:16 PM

I bought the Walthers Cornerstone 130' DCC turntable - it has the control box. It works very well. However, I also bought the Walthers Advanced Control Module and that's my problem. The instructions that came with it are not understandable - there's too much left to the imagination. I am trying to use a keypad with a LED 2-digit display and a 4 Channel Relay Module to turn on power to the roundhouse tracks - as John Tews has on his Timber River Railway. Walthers has a video showing how John set up his turntable with the ACM and the other items I have. If Walthers had only written their instructions for model railroaders instead of electrical engineers, we'd be having more fun with this turntable! I have asked Walthers for help, but after a few days, I have had no response. Doesn't make me feel very good.

 

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, April 10, 2017 8:16 PM

 Well it IS called the ADVANCED control module. Not really needed witht he new turntable which already does do DCC operation.

 I found the instructions, looks fairly straighforward, btu there is a lot of info because it does a lot of things. You need to weed out what you are not using and ignore those parts.

 For the LED displays, just wire them tot he pins shown in the instructions. It shows exactly how to do it.

 FOr the relays - if you only have 4 relays you must only have 4 roundhouse tracks. Ignore all the stuff about transistors, optocouplers, or the ULN2003, you aren't using that. Assuming you have the proper relay modules, the ones meant for Arduino and Raspberry Pi, there should be 3 pins on the control side of each relay, a +, a -, and a control pin. The control pin goes to the ACM. The + and - go to a power supply you need to provide, based on the voltage of the relay modules. Standard Arduino ones run on 5V. THe - of the relay power supply should also go to the - of the ACM power. Must, actually, for it to all work properly together.

 They keypad, if you got the type shown, hooks to the pins as shown in the instructions. With only 4 tracks though the dual digit LED display and a full keypad seem way overkill when 4 buttons and 4 LEDs can indicate what track you're on.

                                    --Randy

 


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Posted by aquarius on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 8:04 AM

At this point, I have 12 storage tracks around the turntable, so not that far-fetched to use the keypad, especially if I add more.

I understand where the pins on the ACM are connected - I guess my problem is with the Relay Module. I do have a 4 Channel that is listed to use with an Arduino 8051, but it doesn't have the configuration that you describe. I bought mine on ebay and this link should show what I have. http://www.ebay.com/itm/222046220722?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT  . There are 6 pins on the control side - from left, GND, IN1, IN2, IN3, IN4 and VOC.  The power connection is on the right side labelled JD-VOC on top and VOC on the bottom. Each relay has 3 connections. This is the same relay that John Tews used on his Timber Valley Railway, which Walthers used as a demonstration for their turntable and ACM.  If you check out the Walthers video   https://www.walthers.com/products/turntable-video?utm_source=exact_target&utm_campaign=eupdate_020817&utm_medium=email&utm_content=turntable-video you will see that John used just one 4-channel relay and that's causing me my problem - just not logical in my mind, but I'm thinking that maybe that's how the ACM works??? If you watch the Walthers video, you will see what I'm trying to do. I appreciate your help - please keep it coming!

Eric

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 1:10 PM

 That module just condenses the power connections - so instead of a pair of power connections plus the control input for each relay, there is one set of power supply connections and then the 4 input pins. The wiring is the same, it just means hooking up teh power is easier since you only have to do it once for all 4 relays. The other three terminals per relay are the actual relay contacts. One is the arm that moves, one of the others is the contact that the arm touches when the relay is not powered, and the other is the contact that gets touched when teh relay is powered. It goes by the lttle picture on the relay. Your stall track, one rail gets powered directly off the bus, the other sideof the bus goes to the center contact, and the normally open contact goes to the other rail of the stall track. It's like putting a SPDT toggle in the line to cut power to the track.

 You can;t do more than 4 tracks with only 4 relays. Period, end of sentence. I didn;t watch the Walthers video yet, but if Tes has more than 4 stall tracks to control power to, he had to use mor than 4 relays. Or else they all weren;t under indepdendent power control - one relay certainly can hook up to 3 or 4 tracks, it's just that all of them will get power when one of them is selected, assuming the ACM can be programmed so that say relay 1 operates for tracks 1, 2, and 3. But if not, or if you want them all to be off and ONLY the one selected to be powered, then you will need 2 more of those same relay modules to get 12 total.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by aquarius on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 3:29 PM

Thanks, Randy! My understanding of electricity and relays is that only one can power only one thing, so my thinking is clear on this and I can get the other relays that I need. In Walthers John Tews video, seeing the yellow wires from the top pins on the track output header on the ACM being merged into one wire and then that wire connecting to IN1 on the relay module just blew my mind. I just couldn't figure out how to make connections from that point. Pretty much all clear now - thanks for your help!

 

Eric

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 4:58 PM

 I didn;t see where in the video he explained any of the wiring, just said he did this or that, what am I missing?

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by aquarius on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 5:59 PM

He doesn't tell how he wired his electronics, but if you look at the wiring when they show his ACM and the relay module, you see how he runs yellow wires from the track output header (left side of the ACM) and they are combined with a shrink tube before one wire goes to the first input pin on the relay - follow the yellow - there are other colors coming from the ACM as well, going to the other relay pins, but they are also combined - as there are only single wires going to the four pins on the relay. I have tried to contact him to see how he does it, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 8:06 PM

11:49, I see what he did. He connected relay pins 1-4 from the ACM all together to 1 yellow wire (the shrink wrap is over the joint), thent he next 4 pins from the ACM go to the 1 wire and to the second relay, etc. so he can control 16 tracks with 4 relays. The same relay is wired to turn the power on and off to 4 tracks. So if he picks track 1, 2, 3, or 4, one of the yellow wires is energized and triggers that relay. all 4 of those tracks get their power via the contacts of that one single relay. Since the instructions say the ACM only turns one relay on at a time, then only one of those outputs will be active at a time, so it doesn't matter that 4 of them are connected together. You can do the same thing to a decoder - have a loco like an F unit and you want the headlight to be on no matter what? Hook it to BOTH the white and yellow wires. Any time either, or both, are on, the light will be on.

                                      --Randy

 

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by aquarius on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:30 PM

I really like what he has done and it really has given me some ideas, but I think I'm going to make it easier on myself and just do one relay per storage track. It'll be a bit easier if something goes wrong - less wires to work through. Thanks for your help!

 

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Posted by Mudshark on Friday, April 14, 2017 1:03 PM

Randy and Eric, I'm joining in again. Also having the same problems with the ACM and using a relay. Randy, are you stating that the relay Negative (-) power must be hooked up to the Negative power on the ACM? What about the Positive (+)? If only the negative, how would I get power to the relay? 

Also, I am using a 12v relay, as per John Tews instructions when I emailed him. 'I used a "Relay Module" which I found on eBay.  They come in 1, 2, 4, 8,and 16 relay assemblies. I used a 12 volt version." 

Do I need to use a 5v relay? Eric, did you ever get it working? I'm still struggling to get this working. Thanks,

                           Mel

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, April 14, 2017 1:53 PM

 Plus if you have sound decoders that start up automatically when the power is applied, they won't be starting up. With one relay controlling multiple stalls, if 1 and 2 held a loco and you were putting the incomign one in 3, then the ones in 1 and 2 woudl turn on. One realy per stall means none of this will happen. And while there will be more wires, it's easier to figure out - the wire from Relay 5 needs to go to track 5, no where else.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by aquarius on Friday, April 14, 2017 7:04 PM

Hi Mudshark!

I bought a 5 volt, 16 channel relay so that I can have an individual relay controlling each of my storage tracks around the roundhouse / turntable. I thought John had told me he had a 5 volt, but in looking back at his message, he only said that he had a 4 channel relay. Anyway, I bought a 5 volt wall wart to supply power to the relay module. From what I can see (and read on other sites re: relays), I need to take off the jumper on the JD-VOC / VOC header on the relay module so I don't get feedback onto the ACM. Looks like I connect the (+) from my wall wart to the JD-VOC pin and the neutral from my wall wart to a GND pin on the relay input header. (In the Walthers video showing what John did with his turntable, it looks like he has a a wire going only to the JD-VOC pin and the GND pin on the left of his relay input header has a connecting wire, so I'm figuring that's what it is. I'm by-passing my ACM with the external power source so it doesn't cause any problems as the ACM is already connected to the turntable control box and that has power. I'm still reading to make sure that's how to do it. I went to a You Tube video and then Googled connecting to relay modules and found plenty to read. Everbody wants to know how to connect the relay module to an Arduino board.  I'm assuming that our ACM is like an Arduino, so the same procedures should work. I got a response back from Walthers, but it really didn't give me any information that I hadn't already figured out. I don't have my panel set up yet - I sent my NCE SB-5 Booster back for repair after I had a short on my layout. I now have NCE circuit breakers ready to install so that doesn't happen again. As soon as I get my power back, I plan on finishing all the connections and see how it works. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I decided to go with the 5 volt power source for my relay module becasue it only needs power to work one relay at a time and I think I'm okay with the 5 volts. Stay in touch. I think we can talk our way through this and share what we learn.

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Posted by Mudshark on Saturday, April 15, 2017 1:32 AM

Thanks Eric. I think I might have the  wrong relay module, or at least one that is not as easy to use as it should. I'm heading to Fry's Electronics to try and piece stuff together. I looked at some of the videos you mentioned and it is starting to make some sense; but I'm a long way off from really getting it. I'll stay in touch,

                      Mel

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, April 15, 2017 1:08 PM

You can;t have just one wire from the ACM to the relay board, there must also be a common ground between the two. Think of it like this. If you connect a wire from an Arduino pin to the control pin of some other circuit, where does that control signal go? It needs a complete circuit just like any oother electrical circuit in order for it to actually do anything. That may be on the order of microamps, or even nanoamps, but some non-zero current must flow or nothing can happen. With independent power supplies, it MIGHT find a path back through the two power supplies and via the house wiring, but the usual method is to hook the 'grounds' together so there is now a common link between the circuits. That does not mean the ACM power supply powers the relays, nor does it mean the relay power supply powers the ACM. They each draw operating power from their respective power supplies. The common between the circuits is just for a reference for that control signal.

                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by aquarius on Saturday, April 15, 2017 2:40 PM

On the 16 realy module I now have, there's a "power post" that takes two wires. Also, on the input header, I have two 5 volt pins on the left, the 16 input pins for the relays and two GND pins on the right. I'm assuming (there's that word again) that I would connect my wall wart 5 volt power leads to a 5v pin and a GND pin on the input header - does that sound correct?

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Posted by Mudshark on Saturday, April 15, 2017 3:38 PM

Gentlemen, your info so far has been great. Unfortunately, I beleive I have the wrong relay module. I went to Fry's Electronics and they looked at me like I was ordering a pizza. So no joy today. I'm going online to order a new one based on some of the things you mentioned. I'll experiement with the old one but otherwise it wiil a while until I know. Trust me, I'll be back soon. Thanks again.

                             Mel

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, April 15, 2017 5:22 PM

 Probbaly need to connect the power supply + to BOTH +5 pins, and the power supply - to BOTH GND pins. Internally it's probably split in half so that a given pair of +5 and GND pins only powers half the relays. Need to see th isntructions for the relay module to verify that. And you will want a wire from the relay module GND to the ACM GND.

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by aquarius on Sunday, April 16, 2017 8:12 AM

It would be so much easier if they would include instructions with these things. That's been a major problem - either no instructions on instructions that really could be written with non-electrical engineers in mind. I've gone searching on Google and You Tube for anything that would help. I found something on "Instructables" (via Google)that has the question, "How do you use this relay module?" and it applies to the 16 channel module I have. I know the answers are in English, but not good old plain English, so I keep looking. Your advice is the best I've had, Randy! It's clear and understandable.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:30 AM

 Their use dooes tend to be fairly obvious, plus they are intened for people building things with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis. There's a reason you can get a 16 relay board for little more than what one of the relays alone should cost, let alone the additional driver circuitry that's included. And get the exact same circuit from dizens of suppliers - it's mostly open source hardware. Yes, there is an electronic hardware equivalent of open source software. The Arduino itself is an example. A 'real' one from the actual Arduino people will cost you $30 or more. But you can buy them on eBay and Amazon for like $5. They aren't legally allowed to put the Arduino logo on, and in most cases they don't, and even make up slightly different names for them, or at least advertise as "Arduino compatible" - it's the same Atmel microcontroller, and the schematic is typically exactly the same - that's the open source hardware, the schematic is freely published and anyone can copy it and build the same circuit. The name Arduino and the logo are copywrite/trademarked but the design of the circuit is not. Such is the relay modules as well. I have single relay modules from at least two different vendors but they are functionally identical. I found a schematic because i was just going to make my own, the schematic matches my modules but it is not from the same factory as any of my modules. And I also gave up because I can't buy the parts for what the ready to use modules cost. My only problem is my design really needs DPDT relays, not SPDT, and it's much harder to find these modules with DPDT relays. I Could just double them up and trigger 2 with each output, STILL cheaper than buying my own DPDT relays and building the driver circuits and instead just use twice as many of the SPDT modules. In a way, that's kind of sad, but it goes to show just how cheap it is to make things in China.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by aquarius on Monday, April 17, 2017 8:58 AM

Mel, like I said earlier, it would be so much easier if they provided instructions with these things. Even my Grandson, who builds his own computers doesn't know what to do with the relays. Granted, he is only 14, but does know his "techie" stuff and I thought I would be fine with him helping me, but not really. Guess it'll fall into place when I can try what I have, once I get my NCE power back from repair.

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Posted by Mudshark on Monday, April 17, 2017 12:44 PM
Eric, sorry it took so long to answer. Apparently my posts have to be inspected before they are posted. I'm supposed to get my new relay on Friday so I'll check it out this weekend and let you know. I just had my SB5 sent in for repair too. They were quick and didn't charge me anything. Talk to you soon, Mel
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Posted by aquarius on Monday, April 17, 2017 5:30 PM

Mel, I just discovered that the 16 channel relay module I have is really a 12 volt. It has two 5 volt pins on the input header, but it takes a 12 volt power supply (which I now have). Please let me know how your relay work when you check it out this weekend. Hopefully, my SB5 will be back by then, it has been almost 5 weeks since I sent it to NCE.

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Posted by Mudshark on Wednesday, June 07, 2017 5:04 PM

Eric, I just thought I would check back in and see if you had any luck. I'm a teacher and school just got out so I have some time to work on this. I have tried two 12 volt relays and each one is a little different but I can't get either one to work. Talk to you soon,

                  Mel

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 07, 2017 6:51 PM

 If they really are 12V relays that need 12V to trigger the coil, then they will not work, as the ACM board will only put out 5V. 

                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by PAUL HODGES on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 6:38 PM

not sure if anyone here has a digitrax system,  but i am having a hard time try to get the acm to communicate with my system, i have tried everything in the manual , but even using the quick dcc check, i get nothing , turntable with standard control and programming works fine , but can,t get acm to grab any addresses is learn mode, i have connection to buss wires and telco connection to  turntable and standard contoller , the acm must have power because it blinks a little bit , but doesn,t see dcc packets i think, can,t seem to get help from walthers too much, just tell me to read manual, i have a lot of electronic boards on layout, but htis one baffles me, thought maybe defective, but switch to aanother acm to try and still nothing , any help would be great, think i must be doing something wrong, but not sure what, it is suppose to be easy and its not.

thanks 

Paul

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 07, 2017 5:21 PM

 Do you have the DCC track bus connected to the terminals marked DCC Signal Input on the ACM? Without this, it will never see any DCC commands.

 Do you have tracks programmed in the standard controller? You must have track positions programmed in the regular controller before the ACM can do anything.

 If you have that all set so far, put the jumper on the LEARN position, and select a track. Wait for the table to stop at the selected track. Press Switch, and pick a number to use for that track. Then press the T button. Put the jumper on the DCC Enable position. Select some other track. The hit the Switch button, select the address you used previously, and hit T - it should move to that position.

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by PAUL HODGES on Sunday, December 10, 2017 7:21 PM

well i have turntable service tracks installed and programmed them all with standard controller, still cannot get nthe acm to repond, i have the telco cord connected from stanard box to turntable, also have track buss connected to acm , i have position the bridge to a programmed track in the learn mode and hit the throw switch to an address and moved to another position and did it again to another position then moved to another position and set it to the dcc position and tried it and nothing, it doesn,t even jog the bridge when hit the switch command when in the learn mode ike it is suppose to do, wow, racking my head up against the wall on this one, read the instructon so many times i know it off by heart,help anyone? 

thanks Paul

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