Massoth Automation Set-up Guide

AlanL

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Just in case anyone is interested in using the Massoth system for automatic train control I've attatched some instructions from Massoth.

They give examples of an end to end shuttle with a intermediate station stop (or pause) and an alternating passing siding.

Alan
 

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Keith RhB

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That’s great Alan! Thanks for taking the time to post those instructions!
 

Keith RhB

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Hi all,
A question for you: I’ve been experimenting with the automation using a track sensor and a wireless feedback module. So far it works beautifully except there is something odd when I try to program my two electric switches. Both these switches are part of a switch route that I select with my navigator in normal operations. When I activate the automated switch function, however, it seems like the switch route takes priority so if there is a conflict the switch moves to the position the automatic function tells it to, but will move back to the way the switch route had it. Is there something I’m missing or way around this?
Thanks
Keith
 

Neil Robinson

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Hi all,
A question for you: I’ve been experimenting with the automation using a track sensor and a wireless feedback module. So far it works beautifully except there is something odd when I try to program my two electric switches. Both these switches are part of a switch route that I select with my navigator in normal operations. When I activate the automated switch function, however, it seems like the switch route takes priority so if there is a conflict the switch moves to the position the automatic function tells it to, but will move back to the way the switch route had it. Is there something I’m missing or way around this?
Thanks
Keith
I won't attempt to answer your question but I'd like to suggest a caution.
As this is an international forum the word switch may have different meanings.
In the U.K. switch commonly means a device to control an electrical device by typically turning it on and off. On the other side of the Atlantic I believe it may also additionally mean the piece of trackwork where two or more tracks divide, called a point or turnout over here.
 

Keith RhB

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Don’t mind me...I think I have it figured out now. It turns out the switch route doesn’t have priority. The automation command will over-rule the previously selected route...so it’s all good. Pretty amazing all the possibilities...just wish they had more examples in the manual.
 

Keith RhB

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I won't attempt to answer your question but I'd like to suggest a caution.
As this is an international forum the word switch may have different meanings.
In the U.K. switch commonly means a device to control an electrical device by typically turning it on and off. On the other side of the Atlantic I believe it may also additionally mean the piece of trackwork where two or more tracks divide, called a point or turnout over here.
Sorry about that Neil...I’m using switch as in a turnout.
 

Keith RhB

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Hello all,
A quick follow-up: I’ve got it working beautifully now—it really is a great system but I did discover one thing to warn you about. If your navigator goes to sleep during the automated operation it can disrupt the program because it thinks you’ve released the locomotive(s) that were active on it. Once I changed the navigator sleep setting to continuous it never happened again. I like that you can intervene manually as much as you want between sensor triggers too, or you can run one train manually and one on auto.
 

AlanL

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one thing to warn you about. If your navigator goes to sleep during the automated operation it can disrupt the program because it thinks you’ve released the locomotive(s) that were active on it
Yes that is a nuisance although it only starts the selected (as in the main navigator display) loco if it is stopped at the time.
When I am running in auto, I switch off the navigator to save the batteries. The trains will run all day without any dramas. But before switching off the navigator, I always select a loco address that is not on the automatic program (a spare loco or a loco that you are driving manually around the automatically controlled trains). Because it is a positive action, as apposed to forgeting, it becomes a routine. If you don't want to save the batteries that's fine.
Then when the navigator is switched on, a stopped loco that is controlled by the automation will not start moving.
you can run one train manually and one on auto.
Probably no limits to the number of loco's that can be run. I used to run 1 train manually while I had 4 running on the automatic system. I've changed my track plan and can't do that now. It was when I had 2 main circuits, each with a passing loop. While I had 2 trains on each of the 2 main lines running under the automation, I could drive a train manually from one loop to the other loop between the movement of the auto running trains and park it at the respective passing loop.
I'm too lazy now though, just like train watching!

Alan
 

Keith RhB

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Excellent info, thanks Alan—that is a good plan to select a different loco before shutting down the navigator.
One question for you: do you have the active loco “steal” selected in Special mode or not? I think it is #2 in the special mode menu. I’m wondering if that may influence what happens with automation when powering up/down navigators or when selecting locos during automatic operations.
Keith
 

Exe Vale

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Just in case anyone is interested in using the Massoth system for automatic train control I've attatched some instructions from Massoth.

They give examples of an end to end shuttle with a intermediate station stop (or pause) and an alternating passing siding.

Alan
Hi Alan L; my Garden Railway is called Exe Valley Railway, located in Devon, UK. I run Live steam and DC or DCC electric. (not all at the same time!) I have been using "PIKO" DCC controls using the hand held Cab to talk to the Digital central station via a PIKO radio link, ie., an arial. Pre COVID I hit a problem in that the radio arial gismo failed. so I could only use hard wiring to my Cab. ( can't control all the layout as it's too large) PIKO later recognised the issue and later still said they would provide a new Navigator (Cab) and arial gismo. Although the new things are in their catalogue, they are not available in the UK !!
So I thought I might go for buying Massoth .
Question; have you or anyone any experience with Massoth DCC using radio connection to their navigator ???
 

AlanL

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Excellent info, thanks Alan—that is a good plan to select a different loco before shutting down the navigator.
One question for you: do you have the active loco “steal” selected in Special mode or not? I think it is #2 in the special mode menu. I’m wondering if that may influence what happens with automation when powering up/down navigators or when selecting locos during automatic operations.
Keith
Keith, not sure what that does, it's not activated anyway. I might try it to see if it makes any difference.
I've only activated the feedback information, special mode B3 - useful to identify a failed track contact!
Alan
 

AlanL

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Question; have you or anyone any experience with Massoth DCC using radio connection to their navigator ???
I would say that everyone with a Massoth system uses it with radio control without any issues.
Not sure that the Massoth Navigator is available without a radio transmitter built-in.
The Piko system is based on the Massoth system.
Alan
 

Ralphmp

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Mine have proved reliable and robust over the last 8 years..Older Massoth navigators were wired but you could buy an upgrade kit that converted them to wireless (radio) operation.
 

Ralphmp

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Sorry, accidentally hit send (twit I am). Meant to add that if you find a used navigator for sale you shouldn’t necessarily be put off by the fact it is a wired version as the wireless upgrade kits are still available.
 

JimmyB

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Sorry, accidentally hit send (twit I am). Meant to add that if you find a used navigator for sale you shouldn’t necessarily be put off by the fact it is a wired version as the wireless upgrade kits are still available.
Phil, you can always go into a posted post and "edit" it, you are not the only one that does that ;)
 

Keith RhB

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Keith, not sure what that does, it's not activated anyway. I might try it to see if it makes any difference.
I've only activated the feedback information, special mode B3 - useful to identify a failed track contact!
Alan
Thanks Alan! I’ve never tried the B3 mode—I will gave that a try. I find the A2 mode useful for when you have a guest operator who messes something up and you need to “steal” control of their loco quickly to fix the problem without using their controller.