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Old 01-12-2017, 12:26 PM   #21
Tinker
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Control panels with route switches and led's are easy to make and wire up with the Cobalt Digital PMs i have about 60 of them and run a 5 amp NCE Booster, the Cobalt are all powered from the DCC bus and only require 4 wires from them to the control panel, the other 5 connections are all local to the PM, running these and 4 modern trains doesn't use 2 amps of the 5 available, picture of one of my control panels i have another 2 populated the same way....no other accessories require for running a couple of loops....
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Away View Post
A lot of people prefer to operate points, or set routes, from physical switches or buttons, a control or mimic panel, or a mini lever frame assembly.
I do not disagree but you can do that with an analogue Cobalt, you do not need a digital one.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:16 AM   #23
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As another Old Codger returning to the fold surely all this is down to a persons preference.
We are all different with our own opinions.
I like making things, fiddling till it works the way I want it to, and then forgetting about it 'cos i have something else to tinker with.
Currently I am playing with sets of 25 LEDs in clear plastic tubs. These LEDs are connected in parallel on two fine silver insulated wires and have a plastic box for two or three tripple A batteries to drive them. They come with a "Try me now" button containing a small watch battery. I purchased one from Hobbycraft and another from Maplin. I'm running them from aUSB phone charger via a Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) and a 470R resistor in series with each set. The PWM came via ebay from Chinafor less than 5 post free and can supply up to 5 Amp. The USB charger is only 1 Amp but using this method I will be able to drive 5,000 LEDs without strain. The current drawn on each set is at maximum light output only 0.0045 Amps (I've put it that way to save confusing the non-techy) and only 0.000025 Amp at the dimmest setting, This for each set of 25 LEDs. The resistor just drops the voltage from 5 down to 3 to save overcooking the LEDs.
Apologies for being technical, just trying to let you know that there are some cheap DIYs of doing things.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:53 PM   #24
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Excuse my ignorance, but if you are going DCC, why would you require power districts? I have a "U" shaped layout (10x7), DCC, with about twenty one Cobalt iP's. These are powered from the track bus, and can be operated via my Hornby Elite or by toggle switches on my mimic board - I never use the Elite for point operation, but I thought I'd try it. One of my Cobalts also operates a Dapol Signal (more to come). I'm not electronically minded - so I tend to keep it simple - and it all works. I have not found point operation using the track power causes any problems.
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bulleidboy View Post
Excuse my ignorance, but if you are going DCC, why would you require power districts? <Snip>
Hi

DCC Power Districts can be considered in three separate means..

1) Separate DCC bus pairs are used. One pair to feed all the accessories such as accessory decoders or DCC Cobalts etc
The other bus is used for rail feeding but passes once it leaves the command stations 'Track' output via an all electronic circuit breaker such as the PSX1. The CBs trip current is set to below that of the main system current capacity. e.g. Main system is 3.0Amp CB is set to 2.0Amp etc
Both bus pairs originate from the DCC systems 'Track' output terminals.
So now a loco driven accidentally into an unset point causes a track short circuit and the CB trips before the console which remains still providing an output, this allows the accessory point motor to be moved using the DCC and thereby removes the short the loco was causing. The CB self resets and all is back in work again.

2) Totally separate track sections fully isolated from the previous and next sections by IRJs on all rails leading into and out of the district. The rails of the district are then feed via a DCC Booster.

3) As per 2) but no Booster and the rails of the isolated district are protected by an all Electronic Circuit breaker such as the PSX1. So a fault in the district doesn't stop trains running in other districts or sections.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:18 PM   #26
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Thanks FB - things are a little clearer!
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parkes View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Away View Post
A lot of people prefer to operate points, or set routes, from physical switches or buttons, a control or mimic panel, or a mini lever frame assembly.
I do not disagree but you can do that with an analogue Cobalt, you do not need a digital one.
Mike, following on from my remark, that you've quoted, I went on to say...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Away View Post
Apart from the computer screen possibilities, all these other methods of using physical controls are now possible under DCC, using equipment like that in the DCC Concepts Alpha range.
You can use an analogue method of operating the Cobalt point motors, but it's also possible to use those same methods of input for the DCC setting of point motors.

You would need a digital Cobalt, or a non-digital Cobalt driven by an accessory decoder, to use physical switches, buttons, a control or mimic panel, mini lever frame assembly (...or even a stud and probe set up) to set points and routes via DCC.

For a large layout and a large number of points, there are obvious advantages for going down the DCC avenue for route setting.
The Alpha range of products (there are competing products available) provides those who would prefer to use physical switches, buttons, mini levers, etc, with a DCC alternative to using a handset, console or computer screen.



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Old 02-12-2017, 11:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
Control panels with route switches and led's are easy to make and wire up with the Cobalt Digital PMs.
I have about 60 of them and run a 5 amp NCE Booster, the Cobalt are all powered from the DCC bus and only require 4 wires from them to the control panel, .........
I take that to say, you are running 4 wires from every Cobalt PM back to you control panel.
i.e. 60 x 4 wires ?

240 wires as opposed to 0 (zero) wires with an Alpha Mimic set up.

On a large layout, that is a heck of a lot of wiring.
Some might say, unnecessary wiring.



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Old 03-12-2017, 12:32 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles Away View Post
I take that to say, you are running 4 wires from every Cobalt PM back to you control panel.
i.e. 60 x 4 wires ?

240 wires as opposed to 0 (zero) wires with an Alpha Mimic set up.

On a large layout, that is a heck of a lot of wiring.
Some might say, unnecessary wiring.


I'm sure the Alpha Mimic set up will work, its just as likely to to fall over from time to time, so add the cost i don't know anything about this but assume it would need 5 panels @ 50 a go, maybe other bits, i will leave it as it is for now.
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Old 25-02-2018, 10:18 PM   #30
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If you have a separate accessary bus and use Z21 do you just power from track and avoid circuit breakers (PSX 1) Please
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