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Old 19-11-2017, 06:47 PM   #11
Mike Parkes
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One thing I have noted with Cobalts is the plastic guide that you move to adjust the extent of movement is not very resistant and consequently once you have got the throw correct its best to put a spot of liquid poly on it to hold it in place.
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Old 21-11-2017, 07:14 AM   #12
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Have ordered the Cobalt IPs and have decided against powering them from the booster. Will get a separate PSU outputting a lower voltage than the DCC to power the point motors and accessory bus.
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Old 21-11-2017, 07:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parkes View Post
One thing I have noted with Cobalts is the plastic guide that you move to adjust the extent of movement is not very resistant and consequently once you have got the throw correct its best to put a spot of liquid poly on it to hold it in place.
Ill look at that. Thanks
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Old 21-11-2017, 08:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parkes View Post
One thing I have noted with Cobalts is the plastic guide that you move to adjust the extent of movement is not very resistant and consequently once you have got the throw correct its best to put a spot of liquid poly on it to hold it in place.
I found that the fulcrum bar can move over time so a little tiny bit of glue is a good idea.
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Old 21-11-2017, 10:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokonium View Post
Third question - Do I need an analogue or a DCC system for ancillaries like signals and street/building lighting?
Some people use christmas lights for buildings. e.g. for a row of houses. Now is a good time for finding them in the shops.
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Old 21-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #16
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LED strips they come in 5m 10m lengths ever 3 led's have a resistor so you can cut them down and solder wires on to the copper tabs make them any length you like run from a 12v dc supply, this picture is my LED supply i use 9v 7509 regulators to reduce the volt so there not overly bright the regulators 6 atm are spread out where i need lighting...
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Old 21-11-2017, 01:22 PM   #17
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That's good way to do it. I've just put up a 5m LED strip on my log cabin, saw that it could be cut every 3 LEDs or so and as its fed from a 12v supply (less for realism), its very simple to do too.
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Old 24-11-2017, 05:54 PM   #18
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Have done a lot more thinking and also had a chat with a very pleasant man at DCC Concepts. Since then I've read some more and thought some more.

Need white wine to cool brain down...

I like very much what I read about Cobalt Alpha but I'm now thinking that at the setup stage it is wasted on an accessory bus, I'd be better off investing in
Cobalt Alpha Power, Cobalt Alpha Box, Cobalt Alpha Encoder and Cobalt Alpha Switch D, and connecting them to the track and running the Cobalt Digital IP's off of the track bus, I can easily make the points have their own sub-district but feel that isn't necessary. When I want to add other accessories I then decide if I want to have a separate DC accessory bus or add another Alpha Power & Alpha Box for DCC accessories.

Sound OK or am I out of my tree?
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Old 24-11-2017, 07:05 PM   #19
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I honestly struggle with what on earth the benefits are of those Alpha parts. At the end of the day the Cobalt IP will work off your dcc handset so their is no need for any switches to make it work. If you want a diagram of the layout with the points clearly shown you can draw on many PC programs, print it out and laminate it (okay you might need a laminator but there cost is a fraction of those parts). I also paint the edge of the baseboards black and put a sticky number in line with each point showing clearly its number if I cannot remember it - have numbered them from 1 starting at the left hand end but it does get a bit confusing with all the interlocked crossovers on the new curved station approach. If you want LEDs to show which route is set a thin sheet of wood drilled with LEDs it will be cheaper.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parkes View Post
I honestly struggle with what on earth the benefits are of those Alpha parts. At the end of the day the Cobalt IP will work off your dcc handset so their is no need for any switches to make it work.
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. 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 still use the handset and use of either will copy across onto the other.

Apart from that, switching points can be a cumbersome faff on some less well designed DCC handsets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parkes View Post
If you want a diagram of the layout with the points clearly shown you can draw on many PC programs, print it out and laminate it (okay you might need a laminator but there cost is a fraction of those parts).

If you want LEDs to show which route is set a thin sheet of wood drilled with LEDs it will be cheaper.
How would those LED's be wired up?
Miles of wire running from the control/mimic panel, out under the length of the layout to the point motors?

A system like the Alpha set up, requires no separate wiring between points, point motor switches or accessory decoders and the LED's on a display panel.
The Alpha mimic module is simply connected to the track or accessory bus and reads (sniffs) the DCC instructions being transmitted for point changes. It then illuminates the appropriate LED's on the control or mimic panel accordingly.

It's still up to the modeller to create and build their own mimic panel, unless using the ready build Alpha Central switch panel; but the electronic parts of the system are plug and play, apart from the initial programming of turnout positions to their respective LED's and/or switches.

Simple LED's and lots of wiring would be cheaper, but less elegant and could involve a lot more work.


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