Shuttle on MTS

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Luke.stclair

Luke.stclair

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Hi,

Rejoined the group after a good 8 year absence :-(

Dusted off the track that was pulled up 4 years ago and laying a new layout. However the layout does not have the space to go in a loop and I need a shuttle type setup.

I understand the. LGB version does not do this - is there a way of achieving this with MTS / Digital?
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Welcome back Luke!

There is/was a way of doing this with Massoth decoders, but not sure about MTS without more work?

Others will be along to 'shoot me down' in a minute, no-doubt? ;)
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

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25 Oct 2009
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Luke, welcome back to GSC....

There was a useful product for doing what you want made by Tam Valley in the USA, but I've just looked it up and for various reasons (as explained on their page) it appears to have been discontinued - a shame, because from what I gather it DID work when properly set-up; anyway, it is/was here, maybe someone else can point you to something similar that would also do the job....


Jon.
 
dutchelm

dutchelm

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You can shuttle a loco that has an LGB decoder using DC. You perform what LGB describe as a hard reverse, ie reverse the polarity of the track.
The decoder recognises it should be going the other way, slows down at the rate programmed into the decoder, pauses with the wait set in CV58 & then accelerates in the opposite direction at the rate set in the decoder. You can perform a hard reverse with reed switches & a latching relay.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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That's a nice idea dutchelm dutchelm but it requires a bit of electrical knowledge and probably soldering. It would be nice if there was a "black box" solution like the Tam Valley one.

A similar thread a few years back mentioned a few other solutions.

One was from blocksignals which AFAIK only handles 13.5 v and 0.5 A output which makes it unsuitable for our scale:
SDCC1 Shuttle with Station Stop

Another was from rr-concepts but AFAIK that is DC/analog only:
RR Concepts StationMaster Reverser

Some people have mentioned a solution using Massoth detectors and feedback modules but I can't find any description of that. Does anyone have any details of this?

Lenz have a solution based on ABC and their BM modules but that requires the use of Lenz decoders I think or decoders that support ABC, and I don't know if their BM modules support G scale volts/amps.

I realise this is not very helpful to the OP but I would also like to know if there is a "black box" solution.
Greg Elmassian Greg Elmassian any thoughts?
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

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That's a nice idea dutchelm dutchelm but it requires a bit of electrical knowledge and probably soldering. It would be nice if there was a "black box" solution like the Tam Valley one.

A similar thread a few years back mentioned a few other solutions.

One was from blocksignals which AFAIK only handles 13.5 v and 0.5 A output which makes it unsuitable for our scale:
SDCC1 Shuttle with Station Stop

Another was from rr-concepts but AFAIK that is DC/analog only:
RR Concepts StationMaster Reverser

Some people have mentioned a solution using Massoth detectors and feedback modules but I can't find any description of that. Does anyone have any details of this?

Lenz have a solution based on ABC and their BM modules but that requires the use of Lenz decoders I think or decoders that support ABC, and I don't know if their BM modules support G scale volts/amps.

I realise this is not very helpful to the OP but I would also like to know if there is a "black box" solution.
Greg Elmassian Greg Elmassian any thoughts?

I downloaded the attached document from Massoth a while back that describes how to achieve shuttle operation using Massoth Feedback module, Track detectors (Massoth or LGB) and a Massoth central station with Navigator. I believe the copy right belongs to Massoth but as I can't find this on the Wiki maybe it's now freely shareable. Hope I'm not violating any legislation in providing the doc. (NB the doc is in German and English; school down to find the English sections)
 

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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
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JimmyB

JimmyB

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Jon, sorry, trying to help - not very wiggles orientated, and specifically not DCC, but maybe one day :)
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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Jon, sorry, trying to help - not very wiggles orientated, and specifically not DCC, but maybe one day :)
No problem, Jimmy, and apologies if my reply sounded a bit curt! ;)

It seems that getting a shuttle unit to work on DCC is not that easy, at least getting one that works SIMPLY, without a lot of complicated programmery-pokery-jiggery.....

Jon.
 
ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

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It seems that getting a shuttle unit to work on DCC is not that easy, at least getting one that works SIMPLY, without a lot of complicated programmery-pokery-jiggery.....
There are some things that are just plain easier to achieve with good old DC :) The solution using the LGB (or Massoth?) decoder which slows down gently if DC polarity changes is a bonus for realism and to preserve the gear train. I'm sure I've seen other decoders behave similarly too.
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

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I assume it's because what works for an analog device - gradually reducing power to nil to bring loco to stop, reversing polarity, and then gradually increasing power back to a preset level to get loco running in opposite direction - is rather more complicated to mimic for DCC. Presumably you'd need to know the address of the loco being shuttled so a "stop" command can be sent to the correct one, and I guess you'd need the loco to have been programmed to do a gradual decelerate / accelerate to avoid it coming to an instant halt and then charging away at full pelt.

So unlike the generic analog device which can easily take control of whatever loco is being shuttled, a DCC device needs to know specific details about the loco and requires the loco to be programmed in a particular fashion to achieve the desired results. This would no doubt mean it would be hard(er) to get to work "out of the box" and the opportunity for carnage on a layout (e.g. loco with wrong address sent speeding to the end of a line whilst operator waits in vain for the auto shuttle to slow it to a stop and then reverse it) wouldn't do wonders for customer satisfaction.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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No problem, Jimmy, and apologies if my reply sounded a bit curt! ;)

It seems that getting a shuttle unit to work on DCC is not that easy, at least getting one that works SIMPLY, without a lot of complicated programmery-pokery-jiggery.....

Jon.
They have them in other gauges, we just need a beefed up version for our scale.
 
Gizzy

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I know of one (ex-) G Scaler who had a shuttle on his Massoth DCC system, but it still used sensors and was probably more complicated than using a DC shuttle....
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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701
Tamworth, Staffs.
If you are going to have a 'train' shuttling back and forth on part of the layout..
Even if it is a DCC equipped loco, I fail to see why the decoder / DC reversal won't do?

A magnet on the loco can fire the reversing relay, and the decoder does the clever stuff. - You could have a DPDT switch to make this line either 'shuttle' or connected to the rest of your DCC layout.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Maybe the SDCC unit with an inexpensive DCC 5 amp booster like the one from Tam Valley?

Don't know if going through the booster would affect the "sense" lines, but you could ask the manuf of the shuttle unit.

Not quite convinced about adding a reversing relay as above, of course why not run the decoder-equipped loco in DC mode and use a DC shuttle system? If this is a dedicated track, why not?

Greg
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

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I did work out how to do auto-direction change using Massoth kit with much help from Muns a while back. I was doing this for a rack rail extension to my layout where the train would have to reverse at the half way point and again at the top. The extension is on my suit list I'm afraid. However, whilst inspecting my eyelids earlier today, I remember someone posting a link to a fairly extensive rack railway with several auto direct changes - the Digglesworth Rack Railway? Sorry, can't recall the name. If anyone recalls this / knows the folk involved, they would presumably have to have been pretty savvy on shuttle-type operation.
 
AlanL

AlanL

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1 Mar 2016
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Northampton
Just found this thread and thought that I shed some light on the Massoth shuttle working.

If you have a Massoth system, to add an automatic shuttle you would need to purchase a feedback module (around £45) and a pair of track contacts (around £25). The loco will require a magnet.
The feedback module plugs into the central station.
Each track sensor is located in the termini, about 2 feet before the loco's stopping position. This allows slowing down time.
Each sensor has 2 pairs of wires.
1 pair is track power and can be wired any where convenient.
The second pair has to go to the feedback module.

The wiring is the hardest part, the remaining task is to create 2 running programs in the Navigator.

The programs are intuitive -
- You give each program a number. (1 or2) and -
- enter a sensor address (this is the terminal number on the feedback module that the sensor is wired to)
- enter the loco address.
- give it a command (Run forward or run in reverse)
- give it a delay time so the loco will wait before returning (this is in seconds up to 255 I think)
- You switch on each program.

With end to end, you are not limited to 1 loco. Using another pair of sensors would allow you to alternate 2 trains and switching points accordingly.

There seems to be a lot of mystery about the Massoth automatic running programs but I think that it is a useful addition to running trains. While a train is being controlled by the Massoth system, you can still control trains manually so it is like having a visitor controlling a train for you while you run other trains.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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Ascot
Very useful, thanks
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

Registered
6 Jan 2010
881
38
Herts
Just found this thread and thought that I shed some light on the Massoth shuttle working.

If you have a Massoth system, to add an automatic shuttle you would need to purchase a feedback module (around £45) and a pair of track contacts (around £25). The loco will require a magnet.
The feedback module plugs into the central station.
Each track sensor is located in the termini, about 2 feet before the loco's stopping position. This allows slowing down time.
Each sensor has 2 pairs of wires.
1 pair is track power and can be wired any where convenient.
The second pair has to go to the feedback module.

The wiring is the hardest part, the remaining task is to create 2 running programs in the Navigator.

The programs are intuitive -
- You give each program a number. (1 or2) and -
- enter a sensor address (this is the terminal number on the feedback module that the sensor is wired to)
- enter the loco address.
- give it a command (Run forward or run in reverse)
- give it a delay time so the loco will wait before returning (this is in seconds up to 255 I think)
- You switch on each program.

With end to end, you are not limited to 1 loco. Using another pair of sensors would allow you to alternate 2 trains and switching points accordingly.

There seems to be a lot of mystery about the Massoth automatic running programs but I think that it is a useful addition to running trains. While a train is being controlled by the Massoth system, you can still control trains manually so it is like having a visitor controlling a train for you while you run other trains.
This is a good summary of the "shuttle operation" part of the Massoth doc I uploaded in post #6 above. With your very clear text and the Massoth diagrams people have a very good guide.