digitrax transponding

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by takev, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. takev

    takev Member

    Aug 6, 2003
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    I'm working again on my first N scale railroad, a 6' by 2' switching layout. I just glued down all the track, drilled holes for the turnout switches and soldered the first pieces of wire to the track.
    The layout will be of a modern dutch railway, for passengers and cargo which I hope will someday include a actual working maglev.

    I made 15 blocks, and the 16th block is used for all the isolated turnout-puzzles.

    At some point in the future I want to have a complete diorama including sound and light effects. As I will probably be the only operator, I want to have a computer controlling all the other trains, according to a timetable and some AI, shouldn't be to much of a problem as I am a decent programmer.

    What I am wondering if I can use a computer to control my layout via the zephyr, or should I get the super chief? Because I saw some things about zephyr not handling transponding, but as the computer is connected via loconet I was confused.
    Does the zephyr even have enough power to run 5 trains, lot'o'lights and turnout switches?
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Mar 23, 2001
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    I couldn't comment on the Zephyr vs Cheif, but FWIU, if the booster has a serial interface (to your pooter) then it should be able to be programmed and run via the pooter.

    I'll point you towards the NMRA DCC Standards here . Not sure if you are familiar with it, but that will tell you all the bit streams etc for the command control, and, IIRC, which pin does what on the serial port, and how command sequences are formated.

    It's basically, all that the DCC "Booster" does (beside put a constant voltage across the tracks) is put the bitstream generated by (and received from) your computer, or the DCC controller across the tracks as the "bus".