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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to have full voltage to my track and set up a DCC controller plugged into a wall timer,

such that it comes on at the same time every day and loco runs at some preset speed, without

someone present, without having to grab the control and set the speed. Is there

a way to do this?
 

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I haven't really looked at this, but I would think you could set a speed on a selected locomotive, leave that setting displayed, and simply turn off the system via the timer. Later, when the timer enables power, the throttle should still have the speed setting and the locomotive should accelerate up to speed. I don't know that systems permit the holdover of previous settings unless they stay in the system during power cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks. I have been searching online and can not find an answer to what brand might be capable
 

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or maybe the Digitrax DCS 52 ?
I have the Digitrax DCS 51 and just tested this scenario. It won’t do what is wanted. While it has physical forward/backward and throttle switches which stay in place, after unplugging it and plugging it back in, it won’t restore power to the tracks without manually pushing the track power button.
 

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I'd like to have full voltage to my track and set up a DCC controller plugged into a wall timer, such that it comes on at the same time every day and loco runs at some preset speed, without someone present, without having to grab the control and set the speed. Is there a way to do this?
This would be very easy with old fashioned DC control. Do you already have a DCC engine? If not, I’d recommend using old DC technology for this purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This would be very easy with old fashioned DC control. Do you already have a DCC engine? If not, I’d recommend using old DC technology for this purpose.
Thanks Mark for doing that for me. I do have DC. I think my problem comes from running at slow speed, lower voltage, and just slightly dirty track. The black deposits on the nickel silver track seem ongoing, and it causes a problem with stalling at lower speeds especially on the 19"R curves.
 

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I suspect that the Bachmann EZ DCC controller would immediately
start a previously speed set up train when house current power is restored
by a clock timer. I no longer have mine so can't test.

The EZ track is always powered with 14 AC modified
unless the STOP button is used.
There is no START button.

However, I do agree that for this specific application, a DC system
would be sufficient.

No matter which system you choose...you must regularly clean the
rails and the loco wheels. Clean, metal wheels on metal track is
necessary for good electrical contact and smooth steady running.

Don
 

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I agree with Don that you need to look into your track cleanliness issue. One thing you might look into is the wheel sets on your cars. I swapped all the wheels on my cars from plastic to metal years ago and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how little track cleaning I’ve needed to do. I swapped to metal wheels because others have said it helps keep the tracks cleaner. That seems to be true based on my experience.
 

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The NCE Powercab will not perform in that manner.

All settings will revert to OFF or zero speed if power is removed.

Other than for what you are wanting to do there is no practical reason for NCE or any other manufacturer to include this feature.

I certainly don't want my locomotives taking off before I inspect turnout settings and signals.
 

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This would be very easy with old fashioned DC control. Do you already have a DCC engine? If not, I’d recommend using old DC technology for this purpose.
I think this is the crux of the problem, right here. The whole point of getting DCC is to have finer control over your locomotives and your layout. If you want to "set it and forget it", then DC really is going to be your best option. And because of the way DCC works (constant voltage to the rails with commands to the decoder to control power to the motor), I doubt ANY DCC brand will work.

Now you could also get into very complicated Arduino-based control systems, but that's not an " out of the box" solution. Some folks here are very talented with it and could help you get started.
 

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there is an easy way to do that, put a relay in series [with the timer], with the track power ... leave the controller powered up ... An ordinary DCC controller start up at zero levels on the output, so you can't just turn on the controller..
 

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I think DCC++ ... (Once again) you could program such a scenerio so that at power up it sends out any command sequence to a predefined set of loco IDs.

Whether you did this right in the Arduino DCC++ driver or through it's command serial interface from say something like the raspberry pi would be your call ...

And I'd be somewhat surprised if commercial control systems provide this unless they offer some kind of user script engine . ..

Mainly because my guess is they do the opposite at power up and essentially reset the track or really anything on it to a quiescent state...

But that's just a guess...
 

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there is an easy way to do that, put a relay in series [with the timer], with the track power ... leave the controller powered up.
Great idea! My first thought is to plug a low voltage wall wart power supply into the timer to step down high voltage to low voltage to use with the relay. Anybody got a recommendation for a relay that would work? Could something like this ( https://www.amazon.com/Electronics-Salon-SPST-NO-Module-Control-Voltage/dp/B01B60BQFA/ref=sr_1_15?dchild=1&keywords=DC+12V+Relay&qid=1591596404&sr=8-15) work?
 

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I think in the DCC++ scenario with the pi... Which is a Linux box basically -- you could just leave it all on. And use scheduled programs to initiate your engine sequences, starting track power, all that too. The huge plus with DCC being you can do whatever complex thing you want really in terms of command sequences and you aren't relegated to just the engines, but any DCC device the DCC++ controller can see. But that's not all... The pi (4b say) itself has I believe at least 2 USB (one of which is connected to the DCC++ Arduino) and wifi for example so there's other things it could interact with as well...

Well who knows what mischief that lead to ... Why I suppose you stick a web cam on there and feed that into a website...

Or maybe you want to fire up a small wifi controllable drone to hover over the track ...

Or...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
there is an easy way to do that, put a relay in series [with the timer], with the track power ... leave the controller powered up ... An ordinary DCC controller start up at zero levels on the output, so you can't just turn on the controller..
Great idea!. Keep the DCC power going, and just chop the power going to the track. Question could we make and break just one wire to the track, or should both wires be made or broken?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great idea! My first thought is to plug a low voltage wall wart power supply into the timer to step down high voltage to low voltage to use with the relay. Anybody got a recommendation for a relay that would work? Could something like this ( https://www.amazon.com/Electronics-Salon-SPST-NO-Module-Control-Voltage/dp/B01B60BQFA/ref=sr_1_15?dchild=1&keywords=DC+12V+Relay&qid=1591596404&sr=8-15) work?
I have small relay on hand in my shop at work with 115v coil, a pretty common Tyco relay.
 

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Question could we make and break just one wire to the track, or should both wires be made or broken?
After reading the specifics of DCC power at https://dccwiki.com/DCC_Tutorial_(Power), I would be inclined to break both wires. DCC isn’t like household AC power with one side being “hot” and the other neutral(ground). It has alternating voltages applied to both rails. I think breaking both wires would be safest for your locomotive decoders. Maybe that’s overkill, but that’s what I would do.
 

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A little MY2 or LY2 relay (search ebay., etc.), available in several different coil voltages, would be appropriate. Before I bet the farm, I would make sure that your DCC controller will not try to stop the train if it senses extended loss of track continuity. That stuff about Digitrax confirming power up, with no restart, contradicts their DCS52 operations manual, just saying. And yes, I vote to interrupt both sides. 😊 Your Tyco relay probably has two contacts and would be fine.
 
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