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gavino200

Anyone tried LaisDCC decoders?

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gavino200
50 minutes ago, chadbag said:

I think the "emergency stop" button is for when things get out of hand 🙂  averts sudden disasters, like a switch that was thrown that you forgot about taking your streaking express all of a sudden off to the side and into a parked commuter train, or maybe off the layout if it cannot negotiate the new track.   Or to remove power from the tracks to avoid problems when things fall on it, etc.

 

Yeah, that's clear. I was joking that it was "cheating" because if you want the real train driver experience you should accept the real life danger of a train crash. (again, a joke).

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gavino200
1 minute ago, katoftw said:

Kill switch to stop all power to all layout/trains.

 

My Digitrax system is set up as follows:

Press once - emergency stop one train.

Press twice - emergency stop all trains.

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katoftw

It is a good function to have. As Chad posted. Sometimes we might run trains head on by mistake.

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chadbag

What is interesting is my DR5000 system goes into this "stop" mode when it powers on. You need to push the green "GO" button to fully activate the system.  And the Z21 Throttle "STOP" button can be used for this (toggle on and off).  And the state on the system when you hit the red "STOP" button or the "STOP" button on the throttle is the same as when a short is detected.   I like how the default state is "OFF" when you power up in case you inadvertently have stuff on the track you don't want (tools, trains etc)

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gavino200
1 hour ago, katoftw said:

It is a good function to have. As Chad posted. Sometimes we might run trains head on by mistake.

 

I agree. It's a great feature. It's works, of course regardless of whether or not the programmed momentum is turned on. It's only the PM that I'm personally not fond of. 

 

Though come to think of it, I may try turning PM on sometime for my Tomix camera train to have a go at a first person driving experience. 

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gavino200
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

What is interesting is my DR5000 system goes into this "stop" mode when it powers on. You need to push the green "GO" button to fully activate the system.  And the Z21 Throttle "STOP" button can be used for this (toggle on and off).  And the state on the system when you hit the red "STOP" button or the "STOP" button on the throttle is the same as when a short is detected.   I like how the default state is "OFF" when you power up in case you inadvertently have stuff on the track you don't want (tools, trains etc)

 

It sounds like a nice system. 

 

The Digitrax has a similar off default when you start it up. There's no track power when you turn on the main box. You need to hit 'pwr' and 'y' to power up the layout. I'm fairly happy with the functionality of the Digitrax system, but I don't really like the hand set design or usability. 

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nah00

Digitrax does leave a little something to be desired with their handheld throttles, they aren't user friendly at all. I'm hoping with the update to the Zephyr interface there will be a similar one to the throttles but considering they just released a new one (DT500) I doubt that will be coming soon. 

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chadbag

Theoretically you could use any Loconet compatible throttle with the Digitrax command center.  I am not familiar enough with the Loconet throttle selection.  I can use both Z21 (Xpressnet) and Loconet throttles and have settled on the Z21 ones as there is a good selection of (relatively expensive but Digitrax ain't cheap either).  I use the Loconet stuff with the wiFi adapter and soft throttles on the phone/tablet

 

 

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nah00

I use WiThrottle at shows since I don't have a duplex throttle (and see no need for one) and it's generally more convenient to use as a walk-around. Also consisting is a million times easier than on the DT500, just have to make sure the locos are (decently) speed matched. 

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gavino200
2 hours ago, chadbag said:

Theoretically you could use any Loconet compatible throttle with the Digitrax command center.  I am not familiar enough with the Loconet throttle selection.  I can use both Z21 (Xpressnet) and Loconet throttles and have settled on the Z21 ones as there is a good selection of (relatively expensive but Digitrax ain't cheap either).  I use the Loconet stuff with the wiFi adapter and soft throttles on the phone/tablet

 

 

 

The Z21 looks nice. Much better value also than the Daisy II. I was close to buying a Daisy a while back but I just couldn't justify the price. I still need to get a user friendly loconet throttle as some stage. 

 

31 minutes ago, nah00 said:

I use WiThrottle at shows since I don't have a duplex throttle (and see no need for one) and it's generally more convenient to use as a walk-around. Also consisting is a million times easier than on the DT500, just have to make sure the locos are (decently) speed matched. 

 

Ah, yes. The WiThrottle. I tried that a while back when I had an MRC system I liked it but it didn't work well with the MRC system. I must try it again with the Digitrax controller.

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chadbag
1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

 

The Z21 looks nice. Much better value also than the Daisy II. I was close to buying a Daisy a while back but I just couldn't justify the price. I still need to get a user friendly loconet throttle as some stage. 

 

Note that I don't have the whole Z21 system.  I use the DR5000-ADJ which supports both Loconet and Xpressnet and also Z21 protocol, so I can run things that expect to be talking to the Z21 system like the throttle (and some soft throttles on my phone).  The actual Z21 system is very expensive (and very flashy! and cool from what I can see).

 

I started with an NCE PowerCab, but it did not really do much for me, and I could never get the USB add-on working (so no JMRI success).  That is when I saw the DR5000-ADJ from Digikeijs when I was looking at Modellbahn-Lippe.com one day, I did a bunch of research and saw it was basically compatible with everything out of the box so I decided to invest in it.   Note that most of the Digikeijs add-on boxes like boosters, switch controllers, etc are command central agnostic and can work with any one that supports Loconet or Xpressnet (if such) or hooked directly to the track wires.  And they are relatively inexpensive.

 

Edited by chadbag
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nah00
3 hours ago, chadbag said:

And they are relatively inexpensive.

 

Using Digitrax is suffering...

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Dani

Hello,

 

About LaisDCC decoders:  I use them for almost all cab/end cars as they have the feature of inverting the polarity depending on the direction. In this way you don't need to modify the light boards nor invert any led of it. Isolate the light board from the track current, solder there the LaisDCC decoder and it's done.

 

This is not using the white and yellow wires as you normally do for lights, but using the motor wires gray and orange. You can set it up through CV configuration to deliver a constant voltage, and make the decoder change the polarity depending on the direction of travel. This is done CV CV61=68 and setting the desired constant intensity in CV 133 (normally a value of 20 is enough).

 

But I NEVER use them to drive motors, as the output is not proportional to the throttle position. I mean when the throttle is at 20% of the range, the output voltage is not 20% of the maximum voltage, and this happens in all points. I made time ago a measure of the output voltage in each throttle position, you can see the chart attached. Blue line is a D&H decoder, it has a smooth increment of voltage following the throttle position. This is not happening in a laisdcc decoder. And for example, when throttle is at 7%, the output voltage was 0V and therefore the train stopped.

 

Cheers,

Dani

 

 

 

 

lais.png

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gavino200
5 minutes ago, Dani said:

 

But I NEVER use them to drive motors, as the output is not proportional to the throttle position. I mean when the throttle is at 20% of the range, the output voltage is not 20% of the maximum voltage, and this happens in all points. I made time ago a measure of the output voltage in each throttle position, you can see the chart attached. Blue line is a D&H decoder, it has a smooth increment of voltage following the throttle position. This is not happening in a laisdcc decoder. And for example, when throttle is at 7%, the output voltage was 0V and therefore the train stopped.

 

 

Thanks Dani for this information! Based on your level of knowledge and expertise I'm assuming that you tried to reprogram the speed table for the LaisDCC motor output using JMRI or some other input method, but found that this was not possible. Just want to confirm if this is the case. 

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Dani

Yes, I tried many settings: BEMF, programming speed table, using only the basic CV of max min and med, ..... I also wrote directly to LaisDCC attaching the same chart and with a video so they can check the behavior, but I received no solution... so I keep using D&H or ZIMO for the motor, and LaisDCC for cab/end cars (it is worth the price!). If you buy a big amount or you are member of a club you can get even cheaper prices.

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chadbag

@Dani   Which one did you use for this bipolar end car? 

 

I bought a bunch of their two function one but only to use for internal lighting in normal wagons/cars (ie, just on / off ).   Have not yet received them

 

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gavino200
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

@Dani   Which one did you use for this bipolar end car? 

 

I bought a bunch of their two function one but only to use for internal lighting in normal wagons/cars (ie, just on / off ).   Have not yet received them

 

 

Chad, as I understand it, Dani isn't using a function decoder at all for the bipolar lights in the end car. Instead he's wiring up the motor circuit (orange and grey wires) from a motor decoder directly to the contacts on a standard directional light board.

 

He's then adjusting the decoder's programming/ CVs so that the motor output is constant voltage. That makes it a simple forward/reverse circuit, that would mimic directional lighting on a DC track. The light is at constant voltage at all times. However, the current will reverse when you hit forward/reverse on your throttle. 

 

It's a clever way of turning a regular motor decoder into a bipolar function decoder. 

 

 

Edited by gavino200

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chadbag

@gavino200  Yes, I understood that.    That is why I stressed that I was using my function decoders from them purely for internal lighting.

 

I was just wondering exactly which of the decoders they have he was using.

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gavino200
21 minutes ago, chadbag said:

@gavino200  Yes, I understood that.    That is why I stressed that I was using my function decoders from them purely for internal lighting.

 

I was just wondering exactly which of the decoders they have he was using.

 

Ah, you just want to know which motor decoder he used. 

 

Are you really going to put a decoder into every single carriage? I considered that once upon a time. I actually think it would be very cool. I chickened out based on the amount of hassle. Also, internal lighting has been a real struggle for me, that I'm only beginning to satisfactorily resolve. It didn't make much sense to add decoders to micro control lighting that itself wasn't very good. 

 

Still,  ten bucks times every single coach adds up to a pretty penny. For me I'm not sure I can justify it. Definitely a fun effect though. 

Edited by gavino200

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chadbag

I am doing it on some trains.   Not sure in the end how many.   That is why I am trying to find low cost function decoders.   The Digitrax single function decoder is about $13-$15 while these ones were $11.

 

If I could find a good, reasonable way to tie the lighting of all wagons together and drive it off one decoder I would 🙂    But I don't see a reasonable way of attaching the lighting wires of each car together.    With the Tomix Shinkansen, if you detached the internal bogie feed from the feedstrips, but left the whole train wiring intact except with the motor car, you could use that to join the cars together, but you lose the benefit of whole train power pickup.  (I have not even looked into the details of this -- just thinking off the top of my head).  In @Dani video I think he mentions driving all the lighting from a single decoder?  But I have not yet watched the whole thing -- I plan on it before I attack the Kitty 500 this weekend.  (I misplaced my Kapton tape roll but Amazon sent me 3 more rolls of different widths that came today).

 

I figure if I am going to put lighting in -- at least on the headliner trains -- it should be controllable 🙂   

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Dani
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

@gavino200  Yes, I understood that.    That is why I stressed that I was using my function decoders from them purely for internal lighting.

 

I was just wondering exactly which of the decoders they have he was using.

 

Hi, it is the model 860012, the one with description "DCC LOCO DECODER WITH 6wire NEM651 FOR MODEL TRAIN with Stayin Alive wires 860012/LaisDcc Brand/PanGu Series".

 

By the way, I started wiring decoders for interior lighting, but when I realized I always drive trains with lights on, I started installing lights without decoder and saving money for more trains....

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chadbag

I’ll probably wire most of my interior lighting without decoders but am doing at least my headliner trains with switchable lights.   You need a couple to show off with.  

 

Due to trying to have a house built next year my train budget is close to 0 this year so except for a couple preorders and misc stuff like an occasional decoder or wire or whatever I’ll be using the stuff already purchased and awaiting installation/deployment.  I’ll probably have a few trains with switchable interior lighting as i should have enough decoders already purchased (FR11/TL1/FH05/LaisDCC) to outfit a few show piece trains.  

 

Thanks

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