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Jerry -

Instead, my switchboard/control panel lights up two other blocks in the yard whenever there is traffic on the "dead" block.
Some ideas of things to check:

- somehow the occupancy detector is sending out the wrong data.

- the wiring for two or more blocks is too close together and the signals in the wiring for one block are being picked up by the wiring for another block.

- you have a short between two blocks. With my detectors if one of the gaps between the two blocks is shorted one of the blocks shows occupied.


Frederick
 

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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.
Have you figured this out? When I’ve had a similar issue like this it was because both the throttle and the software were both trying to control the same engine. Be sure you’ve released the engine from your throttle before using the software to control it.

Mark
 

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Here's my layout using TrainController Gold. I'm using a touchscreen PC mounted on a swing arm as my computer system. The block detection, switch machine control, and signal hardware is all Digitrax.

I'm currently working on signals. At this point, I've built the logic for my signals in TrainController and I've been building the actual searchlight signal models (which is quite tedious). I'll have 2 modes of signal operation that I think will model real railroad operation. The first mode is "Absolute Control" where signals will be turned green only when schedules are running and movement to the next block is allowed under TrainController operation. The second mode is "Auto Control" where signals will be green when the 2 blocks ahead are unoccupied and switches are properly aligned, yellow when the first block ahead is unoccupied and the second block is occupied and switches are properly aligned. I intend to use this second mode when running trains manually.

A question for those that have already wired up signals. How did you handle connecting the very fine wires from the signals? They seem too fragile for any stress or movement. I was thinking of soldering some thicker wire onto them before connecting them into the Digitrax hardware.

Mark
 

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Hi,

On the workbench I solder extensions to the existing signal leads using 26 gauge stranded wire in appropriate colors.

I cover the joints with heat shrink.

The signals are mounted to the layout using very thin disc magnets. The discs have a hole in them which allows running of the wires. I glue a disc to the signal base and a disc to the layout surface.

Once the signal is in place I restrain the wires to the underside of the layout at the location of the signal, placing the restraint around the extension wires.

Frederick
 

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Discussion Starter #25
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.

. We'll see if I can pull it off.
YES, I really do want a fully automated layout. Biggest reasons are I am a looper and LOVE just watching trains run. Under TCG I will be able to 4 to 7 trains at once w/o having to worry about any collisions.

Who needs that? I do, because 95% of the time I will be running by myself. I do have lots of train friends and last Saturday there were eight guys here taking turns running trains and operation the control panel. Just because a layout is automated it does not restrict you from having operating sessions. At other times I may choose to just automate one main line and have the other under manual control. TCG offers that flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Here's my layout using TrainController Gold. I'm using a touchscreen PC mounted on a swing arm as my computer system. The block detection, switch machine control, and signal hardware is all Digitrax.

I'm currently working on signals. At this point, I've built the logic for my signals in TrainController and I've been building the actual searchlight signal models (which is quite tedious). I'll have 2 modes of signal operation that I think will model real railroad operation. The first mode is "Absolute Control" where signals will be turned green only when schedules are running and movement to the next block is allowed under TrainController operation. The second mode is "Auto Control" where signals will be green when the 2 blocks ahead are unoccupied and switches are properly aligned, yellow when the first block ahead is unoccupied and the second block is occupied and switches are properly aligned. I intend to use this second mode when running trains manually.

A question for those that have already wired up signals. How did you handle connecting the very fine wires from the signals? They seem too fragile for any stress or movement. I was thinking of soldering some thicker wire onto them before connecting them into the Digitrax hardware.

Mark
Mark, excellent pictures. I like that you are showing the control panel and the layout all in one shot. It gives forum members that are not familiar with TC a better idea of just how nice it can be.

I am jealous of your touch screen. How big is it? I am using a small ACEPC computer connected to an old Dell 20" monitor. I barley have enough room to show the trackplan and it will difficult to display any throttles unless they are really small.

If I had to guess, I would say that you are a student of Rudy's TC tutorials. His placement of trackplan and throttles are easy to recognize.
 

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Hi,

On the workbench I solder extensions to the existing signal leads using 26 gauge stranded wire in appropriate colors.

I cover the joints with heat shrink.

The signals are mounted to the layout using very thin disc magnets. The discs have a hole in them which allows running of the wires. I glue a disc to the signal base and a disc to the layout surface.

Once the signal is in place I restrain the wires to the underside of the layout at the location of the signal, placing the restraint around the extension wires.

Frederick
Thanks Frederick! The disc magnets are a great idea! I'll have to look into doing that too. I can then make the hole through the layout larger to accommodate the wiring more easily. Soldering leads on the bench sure would beat trying to do it underneath the layout.
 

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I am jealous of your touch screen. How big is it? I am using a small ACEPC computer connected to an old Dell 20" monitor. I barley have enough room to show the trackplan and it will difficult to display any throttles unless they are really small.

If I had to guess, I would say that you are a student of Rudy's TC tutorials. His placement of trackplan and throttles are easy to recognize.
My touchscreen PC is 20 inches. It really is nice for running the trains without having to fiddle with a mouse. It was really a fairly inexpensive machine.

I am a student of Rudy's tutorials. Probably 90% of what I know about TrainController is from what I learned watching his tutorials. His tutorials are a huge resource that's a major benefactor to the hobby. Another 8% I've learned from others like Frederick on this and other forums. There's probably only 2% that I've learned on my own.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Frederick - I am having a problem with TCG so I thought that register and pay a visit to the TrainController Forum. I began searching for users that experienced the same problem that I am having. Reading through the forum I noticed that you have posted on there several times and helped many TC users solve their problems. So...Rather than read through all the topics I thought I would post my issue here in hope that you would spot it.

My issue is that I am suddenly unable to use the "Operate" function. In the past when I click on "Operate" I always got that "switch stand" as shown in the tools. Now I get the little circle with the slash, as seen in the center of this picture.

The icon is not my concern... the fact that this circle/slash does not allow me to throw the turnouts is a real problem.

Have you even seen this before? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

IMG_0966.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Jerry,

Thanks for the suggestion. However, if you take a closer look at the screen shot I posted you can see that I the "Track" tab is selected.

The other thing that is strange is that BOTH the "Operate" and "Connecting Track" functions are selected at the same time. I didn't think this was even possible.

I went down this morning and checked the cable between command station and computer. Cable was snug. I then went thru the setup and configuration.

EVERYTHING is working fine now. :) I can not explain it.

Gremlins? :rolleyes:

Any who...thanks again.
 
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