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Old 15-09-2018, 10:36 PM   #41
Mountain Goat
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Never tried Cobalts but to be honest, I never really wanted to control points on my DCC setup. I found the simple tag and probe method so easy to use once one has a nice control panel, I couldn't think how I could beat it. I just didnt want to need to remember point decoder numbers. I had enough of an issue remembering the locos decoder numbers!
I dont want to take away from those who do useCobalts or any other method. It is more that I got on well with making control panels and wiring them up the method I was used to.

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Old 15-09-2018, 10:44 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4VEP View Post
This video shows working semaphores with lights.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1v-WfLjsXY0


I think Cobalts and AD-2fx or AD-8fx could be used for this project as well as for points.
You can wire a Dapol operating semaphore signal straight into the terminals on a Cobalt iP point motor, when the point changes the signal changes. The picture shows the signal at green which means a train can leave the fiddle yard, as it enters the tunnel the point gives access to the two track main-line. When red, the point is set to allow a loco/train to enter fiddle yard.

100_0556 by Barry Clayton, on Flickr
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Old 16-09-2018, 08:38 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mountain Goat View Post
I had enough of an issue remembering the locos decoder numbers!
All my locos have been re-coded so that their DCC decoder address is their running number. All I have to do is to look at a loco, enter its running number in the controller and take control of it. If it has a five digit number as one of mine does, I use the last four digits.
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Old 16-09-2018, 09:42 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Bunkerbarge View Post
All my locos have been re-coded so that their DCC decoder address is their running number. All I have to do is to look at a loco, enter its running number in the controller and take control of it. If it has a five digit number as one of mine does, I use the last four digits.
Is there any other way?
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Old 16-09-2018, 01:32 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Bunkerbarge View Post
All my locos have been re-coded so that their DCC decoder address is their running number. All I have to do is to look at a loco, enter its running number in the controller and take control of it. If it has a five digit number as one of mine does, I use the last four digits.
I had an issue trying to do that. I wanted to use two figure addresses and had (Back then) about 80 locos (I actually had a tad over 100 but some I want going to fit decoders as they were from different eras etc, so these I was going to sell on).
The problem is that with B.R. blue early '80's era that the only way I could do this was to use the last two didgits as the other didgits as the first two were out (I had multiples of the same class), and the middle didgit was also out due to many having an 0 or a 1 etc.
The last two didgits still would mean that I had many different classes that shared the same last two didgits. I think if I remember the worse case scenario was to renumber four or five locos and three of them would need a nama change and maybe a livery change with it.
In the end I just decided not to use the matching numbers method.
Though I could have used four figure addresses, this was not the plan as one controller (Lenz Compact) was also acting as a slave controller which did not have four figure address capability.
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Old 16-09-2018, 05:31 PM   #46
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I always use the first two digits and last two digits of any loco with a running number in excess of 4 digits. I find this helps with UK diesel locos where the first two digits will (probably!) be the class.
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Old Yesterday, 09:35 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Bunkerbarge View Post
Not being familiar with a Powercab but can't you use that to control the points?
Yes I am sure you can, and I will use the PowerCab initially. I would like to see though whether using the computer (with its graphical interface) would be quicker/ more obvious than controlling points via the keys on the powercab unit itself. Time will tell?
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Old Yesterday, 09:43 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bunkerbarge View Post
From someone who has only very recently returned to the hobby after around a 40-50 year absence the whole technology side of things and DCC in particular was quite mind blowing to me. My decision to go with DCC took a long time.

However once a degree of research and reading up was applied and a little thought I soon got the hang of the various bits and pieces. Time on forums invariably led me to believe that the vast majority of fellow modellers, not in the least surprisingly, advocate the equipment that they are personally used to and have become familiar with. In conjunction with not wanting to destroy existing equipment this tends to leave modellers with the desire to advocate their own personal preferences and, in a lot of cases be very reluctant to accept that newer systems can actually be simpler to operate and, without doubt, to install, as well as giving previously unheard of levels of control.

As regards the installation and operation of Cobalt motors, I am now a firm believer that not only are they simple to install but extremely simple to operate. I have no doubt that a high percentage of those who consider them complicated have probably not read the Cobalt instructions thoroughly or the controller instructions thoroughly. At the first sniff of a challenge rather than call the supplier and discus it with them the first response nowadays seems to be to bad mouth them on a forum to ensure that everyone knows that it could not possibly be their fault. Every forum I have ever looked at seems to have rather a lot of such posts, except this one, which is why I stayed here.

What I have very quickly learned though is that complaints about equipment on forums is invariably unjustified and is as a result of bad workmanship or not reading the instructions. I accept there are cases of failures but strongly believe that, given the chance, most suppliers are happy to resolve such issues.

To me someone who has such a well proven, well supported and competent controller as a Powercab should make the most of it. If they are starting from scratch one of the simplest installation and operation for points would have to be Cobalt motors. Take the power from a nearby piece of track or a BUS if you prefer but that is all you need. A few inches of two wires from a nearby piece of track and a third if you want to switch the frog. If you do not want the level of sophistication they offer then go for a seperate decoder and motor combination but a DCC operated point motor has to be better than laying in a completely separate power supply through switches to each point motor on the layout.

The original question was:

I am running a dcc layout controlled by an NCE Powercab all good so far, now what is the best and simplist way of controlling point motors with dcc?

I have not yet seen an answer that is simpler than:

"Fit Cobalt Motors"

I would always also advocate that newcomers pay more attention to comments on forums of a positive nature than those of a negative nature or at least balance the two and be aware of the possible root causes of the negative ones.
I probably should have stated at the outset that I have been using "bus" technology for some time on R/C model aircraft so the idea of programming multiple electronic units (servos and speed controllers in my case) via a bus system is something I am familiar with. Model railways are different of course, but previous "bus" experience, albeit in a different field, has/will help me I think. Given that, I feel like several of you, that using digital Cobalt point motors with built in frog switching makes things easier not more complicated.
For me the other issue is that as I don't already have any pre-existing equipment (eg solenoid type motors, switches, frog juicers etc) it seems logical to go with the new technology rather than buy "older types as the cost difference is not that great?

Last edited by jrsaito; Yesterday at 10:39 AM.
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