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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings All. I have my new layout and I am in the early stages of making it operate under TCG. I have drawn my switch board and identified all the blocks and tested them for occupancy. Works great.

I have entered the addresses for all the turnouts and I am able to control them with a simple mouse click. This also works great.

I am to the point where I want to add the train control functions to my screen. Will be starting it this week for three trains operating on two main lines.

As I get deeper into the process (my ultimate goal is total automation similar to Jerry's) I anticipate many questions, Therefore, I wanted to start a topic where ALL TrainController users can share ideas, problems and solutions.

Thanks
 

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I'll throw out the first problem.

I have TC bronze because my layout is very simple and I'm not looking for total automation. Was just looking for a GUI for switch control vs. punching buttons on the Zephyr.

I have my track diagram done and switch control is working great.

Now the problem: I start a train on the main loop and it runs for a bit and stops - sometimes after a couple of laps, sometimes after a half-lap. I throttle down and back up and the train takes off like you would expect. Then it stops.

TBH, I haven't really made any attempt at troubleshooting. I figure I'll burn that bridge when I get more into running trains vs. building.
 

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Sounds like an overheating decoder.
I have the TCS and am only using it control signal heads. It's running three sets of BDL168s and SE8Cs and 30 some BLMA signal heads.
I like how it is able to change the signal heads to dark territory when there are no trains present, then they come to life as a train is approaching.
Also, the drop down windows for programming the individual lamps makes it dirt simple to set things up.
I don't use a control panel because my empire fills my 2,000 square foot basement and the sorting yard is way to big for a panel too. My turnout controls are just momentary push buttons next to each turnout and are blended into the scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Need some help. I have encountered a few road blocks while implementing TCG but so far I have been able to try various things to get my issues resolved.

No such luck with my most recent problem. I am attempting to configure my 3-aspect block signals. My desire is to have the signal go from GREEN to YELLOW to RED. Then back from RED to GREEN.

My configuration look like this:

Green........@ O....... @ @
Red...........@ O....... @ O
Yellow........O @...... @ O

@ = selected
O = Not

After entering the above configs, I click on the signal icon to test the setup. It requires TWO clicks to go from GREEN to RED, but only one click to go from RED to GREEN.

At first I thought is was a fluke but it happens every time.

I looked through the TCG documentation and found nothing of any value. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jerry -

Thanks for the quick response. My entire layout is under NCE ProCab and the drivers for the 3-aspect signals are SHD2 circuit from RR CirKirs.
 

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My configuration look like this:

Green........@ O....... @ @
Red...........@ O....... @ O
Yellow........O @...... @ O

@ = selected
O = Not
Hi,

I can find no documentation on the SHD-2. I use the products from the Simple Serial Bus line, specifically SignalMan for signals.

As to the TC configuration the two circles for a signal aspect can be (white, gray), (gray, white) or (gray gray).

And as you have discovered for a 3 or 4 aspect signal you have two sets of circles for each aspect.

See attached for how the SignalMan devices are set for a 4 aspect signal.

As you can perhaps see the first address selects between Red and Green and the second address selects between Yellow and White.

Notice that for the Red/Green aspects the second set of circles are (gray, gray) and for the Yellow/White aspects the first set of circles are (gray, gray).

Perhaps you need to do something similar for your hardware.

Can you post a link to the documentation for your hardware?

Frederick
 

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It looks like your configuration settings are different in that Fredrick and I have 3 contacts per light grayed out with the respective hardware whereas you have only 2 grayed out. You may have to experiment with the combination grayed out, thrown , or closed for each light to get the hardware control set up properly for TC.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Guys, Now I am more confused than when I started.

fcwilt - It looks like you have entered lower case "c" and "t" into your configuration settings. How did you do this and what does each letter represent. Is there a place in the on-line documentation that explains this? I have searched all 400+ pages and found nothing.

I REALLY appreciate all your help. However, I really do not like tying up your time if I can find this on my own.

BTW - my configurations look like yours w/o the white.

THANKS AGAIN to You & Jerry. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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fcwilt - It looks like you have entered lower case "c" and "t" into your configuration settings. How did you do this and what does each letter represent. Is there a place in the on-line documentation that explains this? I have searched all 400+ pages and found nothing.
TC displays different images in those circles depending on what digital system you are using.

I use LocoNet and for that C or T are displayed. If you use Lenz you will see + or -. If you use Trix you will see 0 or 1.

But it all means basically the same thing.

The digital signal sent to a signal, using one of the addresses, can be in one of two states.

Different brands use different symbols for each possible state, thus the C/T or +/- or 0/1.

So a two aspect signal only needs one address and one of the states activates Green and the other state activates Red.

A three or four aspect signal needs two addresses and combinations of the two states determines the color.

When you click the circles you are selecting which state on a given address does which aspect. And that all depends on your brand of hardware.

If one state doesn't get the desired color try the other.

For the three or four aspect signals it can get confusing because the selection for each address now includes just plain gray in both circles, meaning that address is not used for that aspect.

Frederick
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Frederick. I am using NCE and all I get is is a donut and a solid circle for my configurations. Wish I knew this sooner.. Oh well, at least I learned something today. :)
 

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Thanks Frederick. I am using NCE and all I get is is a donut and a solid circle for my configurations. Wish I knew this sooner.. Oh well, at least I learned something today. :)
Hmm...

I tried specifying NCE as the digital system and I got the choice between a white circle or a gray circle.

Frederick
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Frederick -

You are correct, I went back downstairs and checked.

Sorry for any confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Did you solve your signal problem?
Jerry -

Not yet. I have put that on hold until I resolve some block detection issues. I have one block, (which I will call the "dead" block) that is not recognized when occupied.

Instead, my switchboard/control panel lights up two other blocks in the yard whenever there is traffic on the "dead" block.

I hope to resolve this in the next few days.

Thanks.
 

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After seeing that beautiful layout you created I have to ask; do you really want to build a full automation layout? It's up to you, it's your layout, and obviously none of my business; but one of the problems with bringing new blood into the hobby is boredom. Expecting a kid, or even the average person for that matter, to sit still for more than 5 minutes, without guns and explosions going off around them every 2 minutes - like in a video game - is almost impossible these days. Automation has its place, especially when it's just you alone with the whole layout to yourself, but to me bringing people in to share the experience is far more rewarding. That's why railroad clubs have operating sessions. It's like igniting a small smoldering fire. You can see it in they're eyes. They get it - or not.

Anyway, I'm taking a different route. I installed a couple of UT4 utility throttles at two open easy to get to places (around my still in progress layout) and my old 5 amp Super Chief infrared throttle at what I hope will be my spacious train yard for big steamers. The idea is to give the kids, or anyone who shows any interest, instant emergence into the hobby in a safe way. There will be two main lines, a second upper level, as many sideline small industries that I can make room for, and a small diesel yard. Of course, you can never fit everything you want to on your layout. It just never works out that way. There will always be compromises, but I think there will be enough to hold their interest.

I will be overseeing and running things from a laptop with JMRI and keep an eye on things like locomotive speed tables (people tend to run trans way too fast), signaling, block detection, that sort of thing. I don't think there will be more than 3-4 trains tops running at the same time. That' the plan anyway. We'll see if I can pull it off.
 
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