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  • Member since
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CATS
Posted by taylor_up_bnsf on Friday, March 21, 2008 9:27 PM

Does anyone have this JMRI based computer program fully functioning on their layout. I have a digitrax system. I have heard you need anything from smini, susic, input output cards, to three wires that are connected somehow, And or linked to a computer.

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Posted by simon1966 on Saturday, March 22, 2008 7:29 AM

I would be tempted to suggest that you head over to http://www.decoderpro.com/ and sign up with the Yahoo group and pose the questions there.  I use the Decoderpro element of JMRI, which just needs a PC and a PC interface. 

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
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Posted by jbinkley60 on Saturday, March 22, 2008 8:53 AM
 taylor_up_bnsf wrote:

Does anyone have this JMRI based computer program fully functioning on their layout. I have a digitrax system. I have heard you need anything from smini, susic, input output cards, to three wires that are connected somehow, And or linked to a computer.

For a Digitrax system you need to connect your computer to Loconet.  There are two ways to do it, either via a USB port or a serial port.  Both require an adapter.  For USB, I use the Locobuffer II made by RR-CirKits:

http://www.tonystrains.com/products/rrcirkits.htm

For a serial interface connector you can use the Digitrax MS-100.

http://www.digitrax.com/prd_compint_ms100.php

Once you have these then you just need to run a standard Loconet cable from the adapter to your Loconet bus.  Lastly, is software.  Many folks, including me, use Decoder Pro from JMRI.  The good news is that it is free.  

 http://jmri.sourceforge.net/

There are other commercial and free programs available.   You mentioned JMRI above.  If you have questions on setup and getting it working, beyond what I have provided, let us know.  I have it working fine with the USB interface.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

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  • From: SE Minnesota
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Posted by jrbernier on Saturday, March 22, 2008 9:52 AM

  As others have mentioned, you attach your computer to the 'Loconet' to use the JMRI Decoder Pro software.  If you do not have a USB connection on your computer(just a 'serial' port), the Digitrax MS-100 or MS-200 inteface should work.  You can also buy a 'serial to USB' cable, and attach that to a Locobuffer-USB.  Most computers have USB and the current version of the 'Locobuffer' is what you need(Locobuffer-USB).  Here is the web link for purchasing a Locobuffer-USB:

http://www.rr-cirkits.com/locobuffer-usb/LB-usb-flyer.pdf

  I would go the 'Locobuffer-USB' route as it is much more reliable than the MS-100 or  the  MS-200 interface.  It 'buffers' the data and the chance of a 'dropped' packet is less.  The other problem is matching the serial port speed between your computer and the interface.   You will love using Decoder Pro!

Jim

 

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by UpNorth on Saturday, March 22, 2008 1:28 PM
 taylor_up_bnsf wrote:

Does anyone have this JMRI based computer program fully functioning on their layout. I have a digitrax system. I have heard you need anything from smini, susic, input output cards, to three wires that are connected somehow, And or linked to a computer.

As you know JMRI is a JAVA based application. Same goes for CATS.  CATS develloper simply used JMRI as a means to interface his CATS to the layout control cards and save a bunch of coding. As they say "Why re-invent the wheel ".

Bruce Chubb is the creator/owner of  JLC Enterprises who make what is known as  C/MRI (Computer/Model Railroad Interface).  That is were you'll find the Smini, Susic explained (serial solution) and sold.  Susic and Smini are basiccaly the same cards but in a different size format.  He uses rs-232/rs-485 (4 wire)  to talk to all HIS controler cards that are part of ONE of  his C/MRI solutions.

http://www.jlcenterprises.net/Products.htm#Manual

C/MRI is simply another way of taking to the layout. It  does not provide DCC control.

If you have Digitrax,  you can talk to the  block occupancy/ signaling/ turnout control cards made by Digitrax. They  run on Loconet and talk to the computer via  the mentionned Locobuffer type  card. 

PanelPro and it's Simple Signal logic are similar to CATS but does not provide all the bells and whistles CATS does.   

Little blurb from the CATS support document, by the creator himself 

CATS has been used primarily on Loconet systems with Locobuffer interfaces, so I am not familiar with other systems and stationary decoders.  CATS relies on the expertise of JMRI for the layout connection "

Hope I answered some questions.

Marc

 

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