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DCC and prototype style controls

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Posted by loathar on Friday, August 15, 2008 10:56 AM
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Posted by marknewton on Sunday, August 10, 2008 7:12 AM
There is also this:



But, if like me you run EMUs, pseudo-steam loco controls aren't much chop. You need something like this:



Cheers,

Mark.
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  • From: SE Minnesota
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Posted by jrbernier on Saturday, August 9, 2008 2:07 PM

  You know, I think the time of TAT IV throttles, momentum,service brakes, etc was sort of passed by through the years.  When seriously looking at them(I built one), you really had to adjust the controls for each engine you operated.  And the 'action' was not all that real - It was just another 'gimmick'.  Add the shift to 'walk-around' control and what folks really needed was a small hand held throttle so they could follow their trains around the layout.  The entire concept of layout design/operation changed through the 70's.  True, there has been memory walk-around throttles with momentum through the years(I had 3 MRC Control Master 20 units on my DC layout).  I 'played' with the momentum, but always fell back to the 'solid' straight control.  The engines improved so much over the years(flywheels/all wheel pickup/better gearing) that precise control was very easy.

  I for one would never want to sit at a 'fixed' throttle station and run a train that is over 25' away on my layout!  I guess I enjoy the 'railfan' aspect of being able to 'pace' my train.  And for realistic operation, you really need to be right with the train when switching cars.  I hav watched folks setting out freight cars using 'momentum' - not a pretty sight!

Jim  

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:38 PM

johncolley,
The usual problem with momentum is that you need signals to warn one of trains ahead...and the size of your blocks needs to relate to the deceleration momentum.

For example, at my club we have detection, but no signalling (yet, but it's coming).  Each mainline detection block is about 15 feet long.  If it takes longer to stop than 15 feet at track speed at our club, then there's too much momentum.  If you set your momentum to be 100% realistic (a mile long freight going 60mph takes one mile to stop), then you'd have to have 60 feet in real life to stop your freights.  There's not too many layouts that can handle that.

Then there's the human factor.  Over the past 5 years or so with our current layout, we've had many rear-end collisions because someone stops in front, and the person behind can't see or doesn't notice.  And that's with no momentum at all.  If every one started putting momentum in, I can only guess at the carnage that would result.

21st Century Limited,
Oh, yeah, there's a lot of that attitude.  But then one runs into the "it's my railroad and I'll do what I want!" reasoning (with which there is no reasoning).

I think with a lot of people that they would get bored if they tried to Operate very realistically.  They want to see the trains run, not the slow, slow progession to track speed.  And then there's switching cuts of cars.  Imagine a model railroader pausing to pump up a string of cars empty of air?  I think it's the same in most "usable" or "playable" hobbies.

For example, there's a great video showing a large R/C B-29 on YouTube.  It drops an X-1 rocket plane and everything (the Superfortress uses 4 chainsaw engines).  For all that, however, the video also shows the B-29 model doing outside loops, flying upside down, etc.  If a real B-29 did that, it'd be scattered all over the ground in little tiny pieces.

Another example is TrainSim.  I've gotten bored being an engineer on that game.  Of course, I get bored just running model trains, too.

Paul A. Cutler III
************
Weather Or No Go New Haven
************

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Posted by 21st Century Limited on Friday, August 8, 2008 9:44 PM

The thing that surprised me most was the attitude of some super detail, ultra specific prototype modelers that want ever facet of their model be perfect down to the correct "bells and whistles", yet are willing to operate them with a light dimmer switch.  Any discussion of simple things like momentum or brakes are met with a look of shock like they couldn't image such a thing. 

Recalling an era when first class travel meant more than an extra inch of seat width.
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Posted by johncolley on Friday, August 8, 2008 9:36 AM
You've got it, Paul, sounds like about an 8 lb. service reduction to me, eh? I like and use momentum but when I go to club setups it seems like they all want to know what's wrong with my units! They can't run them for beans. They all want 8,000 ton trains to start and stop on a dime! It looks like we have a large education program ahead of us. jc5729 John Colley, Port Townsend, WA
jc5729
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Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:39 AM

So far, the only way I know of to handle more prototypical braking with DCC is to use a QSI sound decoder-equipped loco.

Take your QSI loco (from Atlas, BLI, etc.) and program CV04 to a large number like 100 or 200, something like that.  This means your loco will coast a long, long time before stopping.  However, this also activates the braking feature with F7.

Say you are running at speed, and you wish to stop.  Reduce throttle to 00%, and wait for the loco sounds to drop down to idle.  Once it does, press and release F7.  You should hear a constant air release sound effect as the "brakes" start to apply, and the train will start slowing down.  Once you get to a deceleration rate that you like, you can hit F7 again, and the air sound will stop but the train will continue to slow down at that rate (this is like lapping the brake).  If you wish to stop quicker, you can hit F7 again to release more "air" from the brake pipe, and the decel rate will increase.  If you want to cancel the brake application, simply accelerate the throttle, and the train will pick up speed.  "Emergency Stop", BTW, will cancel out any momentum effects.

AFAIK, this more prototypical braking action is only available with QSI-powered locos.

Paul A. Cutler III
************
Weather Or No Go New Haven
************

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:59 AM

As you cab see the US style prototype controls are very large, so if you want prototype controls, you give up  walkaround capability, which is a major advantage to DCC.

Dave H.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by CSX Robert on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 8:19 AM
There is this:

http://www.eurorailhobbies.com/ERH/eurorailhobbiesdetail.asp?pageid=&MN=16&stock=UH-65500
It is very expensive($700+!!!) and the hand wheel is not appropriate for U.S. diesels, but it can be used with Digitrax without the use of a computer.


There is also this:

http://www.raildriver.com/products/raildriver.php
It is much more reasonable($170) and appropriate for U.S. diesels. It plugs into a PC via a USB port and is designed for train simulator software, but you can use KAM's Train Tools or JMRI to interface it to a DCC system.
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Posted by simon1966 on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 7:38 AM

The Zephyr has the forward-brake-reverse lever, which is more realistic than the Chief in that regard.  Probably the most like what you are looking for is a small family run company in the UK called ZTC  https://secure.ztccontrols.co.uk/core/ShowImage.asp?id=50 their footplate system is probably the most realistic attempt at a panel.

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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Posted by locoworks on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 5:03 AM

 the UT4 has a forward,brake and reverse switch on the top. it is not a button push for direction change like the DT's.   maybe you should read the instruction book for the UT4 on the digitrax website and see if the direction/brake switch can do what you're looking for.

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Arizona
  • 22 posts
DCC and prototype style controls
Posted by 21st Century Limited on Monday, August 4, 2008 10:34 PM

   I posted this question to a forum for the specific DCC system I use but thought that perhaps the answer might be different for other systems, so I posted it here to see if there is another system that might better serve my personal interests or other solutions such as a computer interface, third party device, or something I may not be aware of.

   After being away from the hobby for several years and hearing about all the great things that DCC has added to the hobby, I was surprised to find that prototype style controls appear to be absent.  I purchased a Super Chief set because that is what my new club uses only to find that while there are all kinds of brake sounds available I don't see anyway to have simple service brakes or any type of prototypical style controls on my Digitrax throttle.  Am I missing something obvious or is this 21st century technology limited to using simple 19th century rheostat style fast/slow control knobs for train operation? 

   I know I can set the deceleration rate to allow for coasting but is there a way to add different types of brake settings to the throttle that can be controlled by a function key press or similar method?

Recalling an era when first class travel meant more than an extra inch of seat width.

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