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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m building a new layout. I’ve layed an initial portion of my HO track. I wired it for block detection. I want to operate my layout using my HP laptop which runs on Windows 10. I plan to download Traincontroller, play with it a little, and eventually purchase the gold version. My command station and booster is the Digitrax DCS240. I just purchased 2 Digitrax BXP88s. My initial loop has 2 power sub-districts with a total of 14 detection blocks (sections). I searched the forum and I understand I can interface Loconet to USB port on my computer. I’m tending toward using RR-CirKits Locobuffer-USB. I see that Digitrax offers a PR4 that also does the job. I need to download and install a Windows 10 driver from RR-CirKits. I assume my Loconet will go from DCS240 to first BXP88 to second BXP88 to Locobuffer-USB to laptop USB port. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.



Also, what is the USB port on the DCS240 used for?



Thanks, Ron
 

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The usb connector on the ds240 goes to your laptop, you don't need a locobuffer. The ds240 has a PR4 built into it. Once your Laptop is plugged in, you can run JMRI Decoder pro to Help you maintain a list of locomotives and what all the CV's are set to, along with it being easier to reprogram the CV's. Its a good way to check out your computer to Loconet interface. Then you can start to mess around with TrainController. It sounds like your loconet does not go anywhere, are you plugging the throttle into one of the Loconet ports on the DS240? The DS240 has 3 loconet ports (they are all connected together) so you can pick one and daisy chain the Loconet to one of the BPX's then on to the other one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The usb connector on the ds240 goes to your laptop, you don't need a locobuffer. The ds240 has a PR4 built into it. Once your Laptop is plugged in, you can run JMRI Decoder pro to Help you maintain a list of locomotives and what all the CV's are set to, along with it being easier to reprogram the CV's. Its a good way to check out your computer to Loconet interface. Then you can start to mess around with TrainController. It sounds like your loconet does not go anywhere, are you plugging the throttle into one of the Loconet ports on the DS240? The DS240 has 3 loconet ports (they are all connected together) so you can pick one and daisy chain the Loconet to one of the BPX's then on to the other one.
Lemonhawk,
I was guessing the DCS240 USB port could send BXP88 occupancy data to Traincontroller. But then I thought that was too easy because all I saw when I searched the forum was the need to use Locobuffer-USB or Digitrax PR4. Wow glad to hear DCS240 has the PR4 built in. Thanks Lemonhawk.

Right now I don’t have the BXP88s wired in. I’m using terminal strips as place holders for the detection section wiring that needs to go to the BXP88s. I’m running the only locomotive I have at this point with the Loconet connected to a DT602 throttle.
Ron
 

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You have a great DCC system! Did it come with a UP5 panel? That's a small panel you can mount on your Layout to plug the DT602 in. You can move your DT602 between UP5 (or the DCS240) while operating. The UP5's connect to the DSC240 via loconet and the UP5 and the BXP88's could all be daisy chained to one port on the DCS240. I also have unconnected BXP's awaiting my new layout build. I think they came with some LED's that will show occupancy, so they really don't need to anywhere, so you could connect them up just to see how well they work. My plan is to feed the their output into an Arduino and have the Arduino computer then drive a typical display panel that would show where the trains were. My current layout was a quick 5x9 layout to test DCC and to try out some construction techniques (like using foam). Lots of changes were made during its lifetime, the biggest being removal of all the track and turnouts and replace it with CV ties and hand built turnouts. I had never considered building my own turnouts, but so a YouTube video on it so I thought I would give it a shot. It was a very rewarding experience. I think the first 2 never made it to the layout but the rest did and eventually I made a custom curved turnout (very satisfying accomplishment). No expensive FastTRack templates are needed, I use kits from cvmw.com or Proto87 stores. Both now have really nice milled points! Modle railroading is a very diverse hobby that involve improving your skill set!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m new to HO and DCC. I did have a MTH DCS O-gauge layout. I retired a few years ago, we moved and I now have a nice size train room. My O-gauge trains are now suspended from my new train room ceiling. I wanted the realistic look of 2 rail and the smaller scale, so now I’m going HO.

I didn’t think about UP5 (now UP7) panels, but now I think I might do that. My goal was simply to run my trains with Traincontroller. I never thought about having the option of TC or DT602.

My bench work is L-girder. I had L-girder on my O-gauge layout. I’m going to construct the terrain the same as I did on my O-gauge layout. I’m going to use risers for elevation change. The terrain will be constructed using chicken wire and light weight hydro-cal.

There is so much to do. I’m curious about turn-out construction. I want to take a look at that, but right now that is a very low priority for me. I purchased some peco unifrog turnouts. My track work is about 35% complete.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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