Automatic Switch Control WITHOUT PC Interface

lynxface

lynxface

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Hi all! Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Massoth/LGB train detection & feedback modules with a Piko system WITHOUT a PC interface? ie, if I wanted a red signal to trigger a decel/stop in an approaching loco, could I programme all that with just the PIKO navigator?

Basically, I'd like to do a few automatic signal/switch throws with reed switches and detection modules, but not sure if the basic PIKO central station / navigator alone would allow me to do that. I'm still new to DCC and not quite in for getting a PC interface set up yet. Thanks!
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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I'm not sure the basic PIKO central station will let you do that. You can do quite a bit independently of DCC using reed switches and magnets using what LGB calls EPL, triggering points and motor driven signals. But you can't control DCC controlled locos this way very easily. It is possible to some extent using what is sometimes called Automatic Brake Control where a decoder detects an analog section of track and slows the loco down. Not all decoders have this feature. So you would use EPL to switch power from DCC to DC as the loco approaches a signal set at red. This can all get quite complicated so okay if you like a wiring challenge. Another alternative to using a "PC" is a more expensive central station which has some of this built in I believe. I have put "PC" in quotes as some PC software runs on Raspberry Pi for example so you don't need an actual dedicated PC. Hope this early morning rambling helps.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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About the best you could manage would be to have dead sections that would cause the loco to come to a direct stop as the DCC feed would be interrupted. EPL or even Micro Switches and Latching Relays could accomplish this. But if you have a loco tearing along at a good lick it would not be good for the gears, nit so bad if just going very slow.

We used a similar system on the Ruschbahn where trains were driven by the Fiddle Yard Operator to a dead section that lit a light on the mani station pannel. There was a press button that put power into that section so that the train could be driven into the station. All to do with Timetable Operations, 2 trains would sit in their respective loops dead till ready to be driven into the station. A similar setup was done via a different siding for outbound trains to the fiddle yard.
 
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idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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A few other thoughts. You can do quite a bit with "sprung points", the manual switches that come with LGB manual points. For example you can have a passing loop with the points at each end set so that trains will pass each other, and a spur off to a loco shed for example, where locos passing one way will pass the point, but if they stop and reverse they will go into the shed. No wiring required.

If you use Massoth accessory decoders this can be triggered by magnets on locos and reed switches on tracks, which can drive points, semaphore or colour light signals, and you can set timers so the points or semaphore signals revert after n seconds. I wrote a thread call "advanced use of massoth accessory decoders" or something like that recently.

BTW I noticed you have asked the same question in another thread. I can see why people do this if they are impatient for an answer, but this forum is quite active and you rarely wait more than half a day for some answer even if it is not the final one. If you feel you must do this, make it clear in your posting that you have raised this question elsewhere. Also it's not always best for you, it's like asking two people what the time is, you ask the first one and you know the time, you ask the second and they give you a different answer, you no longer know what the time is!
 
lynxface

lynxface

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14 Mar 2016
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Scotland
I'm not sure the basic PIKO central station will let you do that. You can do quite a bit independently of DCC using reed switches and magnets using what LGB calls EPL, triggering points and motor driven signals. But you can't control DCC controlled locos this way very easily. It is possible to some extent using what is sometimes called Automatic Brake Control where a decoder detects an analog section of track and slows the loco down. Not all decoders have this feature. So you would use EPL to switch power from DCC to DC as the loco approaches a signal set at red. This can all get quite complicated so okay if you like a wiring challenge. Another alternative to using a "PC" is a more expensive central station which has some of this built in I believe. I have put "PC" in quotes as some PC software runs on Raspberry Pi for example so you don't need an actual dedicated PC. Hope this early morning rambling helps.
This early morning ramble is incredibly interesting, thanks Dave! Yes I remember the EPL drive from my early LGB days. I believe I may have a couple of locos that could do Auto Brake Control, but that quite a scary prospect moving between DCC and DC... need to do a fair amount of reading up. Will get something sorted with an EPL set up, I think, independent of DCC
 
lynxface

lynxface

Registered
14 Mar 2016
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A few other thoughts. You can do quite a bit with "sprung points", the manual switches that come with LGB manual points. For example you can have a passing loop with the points at each end set so that trains will pass each other, and a spur off to a loco shed for example, where locos passing one way will pass the point, but if they stop and reverse they will go into the shed. No wiring required.

If you use Massoth accessory decoders this can be triggered by magnets on locos and reed switches on tracks, which can drive points, semaphore or colour light signals, and you can set timers so the points or semaphore signals revert after n seconds. I wrote a thread call "advanced use of massoth accessory decoders" or something like that recently.

BTW I noticed you have asked the same question in another thread. I can see why people do this if they are impatient for an answer, but this forum is quite active and you rarely wait more than half a day for some answer even if it is not the final one. If you feel you must do this, make it clear in your posting that you have raised this question elsewhere. Also it's not always best for you, it's like asking two people what the time is, you ask the first one and you know the time, you ask the second and they give you a different answer, you no longer know what the time is!
Apologies for cross-posting. In that instance, I wasn't sure the thing had posted as my wifi beamed out and I navigated back to the wrong bit, apologies! Will be careful about this from now on.
 
The Shed

The Shed

Registered
Hi all! Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Massoth/LGB train detection & feedback modules with a Piko system WITHOUT a PC interface? ie, if I wanted a red signal to trigger a decel/stop in an approaching loco, could I programme all that with just the PIKO navigator?

Basically, I'd like to do a few automatic signal/switch throws with reed switches and detection modules, but not sure if the basic PIKO central station / navigator alone would allow me to do that. I'm still new to DCC and not quite in for getting a PC interface set up yet. Thanks!
Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Massoth/LGB train detection & feedback modules* with a PIKO system WITHOUT a PC interface

Yes, both Massoth and MD Electronics train detection modules will be fine, but not LGB's offering, wrong Bus connector and protocol, Massoth feedback module 8170001 obviously will work.

*The LGB 55070 feedback module, can be used as a Slave Unit, with limitations, it will however work with Reed, Hall Sensors and Train Detection methods, although it is a bit of a one way way street if designing multiple Automatic Routines, will eventually end up in a cul-de-sac with nowhere to go, expensive frustrating mistake to correct, best avoid using the LGB 55070.

Design any Automatic system, (Autonomous or Semi Autonomous hardware routines that can be operated in conjunction with) around the Massoth 817001, which incidentally I've never got a straight answer from Massoth, as to whether it was by accident or design, that by the nature of being able to manipulate the values for the CV's that make the Feedback module function, it is possible to attach DIY Home Brew, non Massoth certified Sensors and Detectors to function and operate alongside genuine Massoth equipment.

PC Interface is irrelevant, there isn't one!

Basically, I'd like to do a few automatic signal/switch throws with reed switches and detection modules, but not sure if the basic PIKO central station / navigator alone would allow me to do that. I'm still new to DCC and not quite in for getting a PC interface set up yet.

Yes that is workable, although the PIKO CS has some limitations:

a) No central resource to save the Automatic routines too, where as the Massoth CS has the ability to save these amongst a plethora of other data.

If multiple Navigators are in use, routines will have to be manually input to each one, Automatic routines are saved locally to the Navigator either PIKO or Massoth.

b) PIKO CS is unable to report or monitor feedback from Sensors or Detectors, even if the Navigator handsets have the Special Mode configured and active.


Depending on the simplicity or complexity of the Automatic routines, they can be monitored externally by using an Arduino with a DCC receiver interface connected to the PIKO system, on screen real time data can be viewed to verify correct operation of the Automatic routines.

Below picture of basic minimum equipment required, the two Reed switches, control an Automatic Switch routine to operate the LGB point motor Normal or Thrown, plus they also control the Automatic Drive routine that sends instructions to the drive decoder, to go forward, stop, wait, continue in same direction, delay, reverse direction, etc, etc.

Oh! and on any purchase list include for, and purchase a Massoth 8138001 Bus Adapter, the PIKO CS is only blessed with one single output port!
PIKO setup for automatic routines.png


To assist with designing Automatic routines, using Writer from Libre Office created tables to keep track of what does what, bear in mind a basic system can handle a total of 32 inputs, 16 'A' type ports, and 16 'B' type ports.

Massoth Automatic Drive.PNG

Massoth Automatic Switch.PNG
 
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lynxface

lynxface

Registered
14 Mar 2016
40
0
Scotland
Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Massoth/LGB train detection & feedback modules* with a PIKO system WITHOUT a PC interface

Yes, both Massoth and MD Electronics train detection modules will be fine, but not LGB's offering, wrong Bus connector and protocol, Massoth feedback module 8170001 obviously will work.

*The LGB 55070 feedback module, can be used as a Slave Unit, with limitations, it will however work with Reed, Hall Sensors and Train Detection methods, although it is a bit of a one way way street if designing multiple Automatic Routines, will eventually end up in a cul-de-sac with nowhere to go, expensive frustrating mistake to correct, best avoid using the LGB 55070.

Design any Automatic system, (Autonomous or Semi Autonomous hardware routines that can be operated in conjunction with) around the Massoth 817001, which incidentally I've never got a straight answer from Massoth, as to whether it was by accident or design, that by the nature of being able to manipulate the values for the CV's that make the Feedback module function, it is possible to attach DIY Home Brew, non Massoth certified Sensors and Detectors to function and operate alongside genuine Massoth equipment.

PC Interface is irrelevant, there isn't one!

Basically, I'd like to do a few automatic signal/switch throws with reed switches and detection modules, but not sure if the basic PIKO central station / navigator alone would allow me to do that. I'm still new to DCC and not quite in for getting a PC interface set up yet.

Yes that is workable, although the PIKO CS has some limitations:

a) No central resource to save the Automatic routines too, where as the Massoth CS has the ability to save these amongst a plethora of other data.

If multiple Navigators are in use, routines will have to be manually input to each one, Automatic routines are saved locally to the Navigator either PIKO or Massoth.

b) PIKO CS is unable to report or monitor feedback from Sensors or Detectors, even if the Navigator handsets have the Special Mode configured and active.


Depending on the simplicity or complexity of the Automatic routines, they can be monitored externally by using an Arduino with a DCC receiver interface connected to the PIKO system, on screen real time data can be viewed to verify correct operation of the Automatic routines.

Below picture of basic minimum equipment required, the two Reed switches, control an Automatic Switch routine to operate the LGB point motor Normal or Thrown, plus they also control the Automatic Drive routine that sends instructions to the drive decoder, to go forward, stop, wait, continue in same direction, delay, reverse direction, etc, etc.

Oh! and on any purchase list include for, and purchase a Massoth 8138001 Bus Adapter, the PIKO CS is only blessed with one single output port!
View attachment 270034

To assist with designing Automatic routines, using Writer from Libre Office created tables to keep track of what does what, bear in mind a basic system can handle a total of 32 inputs, 16 'A' type ports, and 16 'B' type ports.

View attachment 270041
View attachment 270042
This is immensely helpful, thank you so very much. As you've probably deduced, I'm a newbie to DCC so still feeling my way around.

Thanks very much again.
 
lynxface

lynxface

Registered
14 Mar 2016
40
0
Scotland
Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Massoth/LGB train detection & feedback modules* with a PIKO system WITHOUT a PC interface

Yes, both Massoth and MD Electronics train detection modules will be fine, but not LGB's offering, wrong Bus connector and protocol, Massoth feedback module 8170001 obviously will work.

*The LGB 55070 feedback module, can be used as a Slave Unit, with limitations, it will however work with Reed, Hall Sensors and Train Detection methods, although it is a bit of a one way way street if designing multiple Automatic Routines, will eventually end up in a cul-de-sac with nowhere to go, expensive frustrating mistake to correct, best avoid using the LGB 55070.

Design any Automatic system, (Autonomous or Semi Autonomous hardware routines that can be operated in conjunction with) around the Massoth 817001, which incidentally I've never got a straight answer from Massoth, as to whether it was by accident or design, that by the nature of being able to manipulate the values for the CV's that make the Feedback module function, it is possible to attach DIY Home Brew, non Massoth certified Sensors and Detectors to function and operate alongside genuine Massoth equipment.

PC Interface is irrelevant, there isn't one!

Basically, I'd like to do a few automatic signal/switch throws with reed switches and detection modules, but not sure if the basic PIKO central station / navigator alone would allow me to do that. I'm still new to DCC and not quite in for getting a PC interface set up yet.

Yes that is workable, although the PIKO CS has some limitations:

a) No central resource to save the Automatic routines too, where as the Massoth CS has the ability to save these amongst a plethora of other data.

If multiple Navigators are in use, routines will have to be manually input to each one, Automatic routines are saved locally to the Navigator either PIKO or Massoth.

b) PIKO CS is unable to report or monitor feedback from Sensors or Detectors, even if the Navigator handsets have the Special Mode configured and active.


Depending on the simplicity or complexity of the Automatic routines, they can be monitored externally by using an Arduino with a DCC receiver interface connected to the PIKO system, on screen real time data can be viewed to verify correct operation of the Automatic routines.

Below picture of basic minimum equipment required, the two Reed switches, control an Automatic Switch routine to operate the LGB point motor Normal or Thrown, plus they also control the Automatic Drive routine that sends instructions to the drive decoder, to go forward, stop, wait, continue in same direction, delay, reverse direction, etc, etc.

Oh! and on any purchase list include for, and purchase a Massoth 8138001 Bus Adapter, the PIKO CS is only blessed with one single output port!
View attachment 270034

To assist with designing Automatic routines, using Writer from Libre Office created tables to keep track of what does what, bear in mind a basic system can handle a total of 32 inputs, 16 'A' type ports, and 16 'B' type ports.

View attachment 270041
View attachment 270042

One final thing... excuse my ignorance.

When you say "they also control the Automatic Drive routine that sends instructions to the drive decoder, to go forward, stop, wait, continue in same direction, delay, reverse direction, etc, etc." do you mean the decoder on board the loco? Ie. you can use the equip set up described above to trigger braking / accelation & associated delays on locos, assuming they have capable decoders on board?
 
The Shed

The Shed

Registered
One final thing... excuse my ignorance.

When you say "they also control the Automatic Drive routine that sends instructions to the drive decoder, to go forward, stop, wait, continue in same direction, delay, reverse direction, etc, etc." do you mean the decoder on board the loco? Ie. you can use the equip set up described above to trigger braking / accelation & associated delays on locos, assuming they have capable decoders on board?
In a nut shell ...yes.

With the basic equipment set out as in the picture (ignore the switch decoder and point motor for the moment) a simple or comprehensive 'Shuttle' can be setup with minimal effort.

Pretty good eh! for an 'elementary basic low level entry DCC system' that some of the so called experts spout off about, with their derogatory, offensive and often over exaggerated claims about how useless European DCC equipment is!
 
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lynxface

lynxface

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In a nut shell ...yes.

With the basic equipment set out as in the picture (ignore the switch decoder and point motor for the moment) a simple or comprehensive 'Shuttle' can be setup with minimal effort.

Pretty good eh! for an 'elementary basic low level entry DCC system' that some of the so called experts spout off about, with their derogatory, offensive and often over exaggerated claims about how useless European DCC equipment is!
That's great, yes! Thanks for explaining.