Finally got DCC now i need a lil help...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by RonP, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    Ok i received my zephyr this morning and i hooked it up to my layout. Now my layout is an oval witha few turnouts ( it is the first phase of the trackplan. There aren't any return loops as far as i can tell.

    Pretty basic really

    So i put my DC loco on the track and followed the instructions
    press power - loco - enter 00 - loco

    Now the unit was singing as described and when i turned the knob the sounds changed no movement i turn it up more still no movement.

    I am sure this is very basic but i am new thx for the help guys.
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    The loco will "sing" when operated on DCC. The whine should diminish as the power is turned up AND the loco should move...Was this loco running before on DC..? If so, re-hook up your DC powerpack and check it out. If it doesn't work, there's a problem with your loco. From what you describe, it sounds as if your loco is at fault.
    BTW...I presume your loco does not have a decoder installed...Also make sure that it is the command station that is working, and not one of the "jump" ports.
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    thanks steam

    no their is not a decoder installed in them i tried 3 loco's I should add that the track power light is red should it be green ? is there a tool i can use to track down shorts ?
  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    What kind of turnouts?
  5. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    i don't know actually i just threw all the NS ones i had into the layout with out looking. I bought a big box-o-track from a show and from someone on the-gauge. Is there something i should find out about them ?
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    Depending how they are installed, the Peco insulfrog turnouts can be quite quirky if not isolated correctly. I had a simple oval as well with two insulfrog turnouts hooked up to nothing and installed incorrectly. Everything ran okay until I flipped a switch and then, it did not short out, but all kinds of funny stuff started to happen. Here is the thread, glean what you can (if anything) from what I learned...
    http://forum.zealot.com/t113425/
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hi...Was this layout operating on DC before you tried the Zephyr..?? If there was any kind of short the display would blink and say something like "noll" scrolling from left to right...The track status light is a redish-ambar color. The brake light is green and turns off when you move it to the forward or reverse position.
    BTW---did you move the brake lever to forward or reverse..??
  8. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    so after reading your thread i am asking myself should all turnouts get gaps such as the ones described or just the power routed ones. If i get a multimeter how can i identify the differance in turnout style ?

    No actually i held off of buying a DC power pack as i knew i'd be getting DCC anyways.

    Thank you both very much
  9. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    The power routing switches should have gaps according to the instructions that come with them or if those are not available, refer to that same thread, as someone provided me with excellent information. The reason to provide a gap on a normal switch would be to isolate that line from your power, so that you could park an engine on that siding and kill the power. On DCC normally that does not matter because only the engines you select respond but a lot of guys don't like leaving there engines "on" all the time and also, a lot of the engines with sound will sit there and constantly make sound the whole time they have power. This gets annoying after a while - hence the need to kill the power. In summary, if you have normal switches, you do not "need" gaps.
    One way you can visibly tell the difference between and insulated frog and a power routing frog is that the power routing switches will have metal frogs as opposed to the big plastic gaps (insulated frogs) on normal switches. Also, if you flip them over, on the power routing switches, you can see jumper wires underneath connecting like polarity rails. As far as checking them with a multimeter, study the diagrams in this post of that same thread to get a real good idea of how they work and how the multimeter will respond...http://forum.zealot.com/t113425/#post388290
    Is that about as clear as mud or have I really muddled things up now?

    You might try simplifying things and testing your DC engine on your DCC system on just a single piece of track. If that works, then you can start narrowing down the problem on your oval. If not, then... well... let's just see what happens.
  10. woodone

    woodone Member

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    I think that TrainNut has the right idea. Make a simple loop. Hook up a DC system first. See if your locos will run. If they run you know that your locomotives are not the problem. If they don't, well now you must find out what is wrong with the locos. If they ran OK on the DC power supply, now remove the DC power supply and hook up your DCC. Go one locomotive at at time. If they work you now know that the locos and the system is working OK. Change one thing at a time (add your turnouts, one at a time) test run after each addition. Go slow, and you will get it running.:thumb:. Right now you have many things that you have not tested so it is hard to find the problem.
    Keep us up to date as you go. We will help you get going.
  11. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    Thankyou TrainNut and woodone

    I am going to pull out the turnouts and clean all the track. Is there some special cleaning system i can buy to make it easy and efficiant ? also what kind of protectant can i put on the tracks (ie : oil ) ?
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Ron...Did the display on your Zephyr indicate a short (as I described it above..)?
  13. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    I think it did at one point. all my feeders are hooked up to the flex track so i am going to start over and clean up.

    this is the oval drawing

    Attached Files:

  14. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    How exactly do i use a multi meter. To find short i use an ohm meter with power off ?
    volts should be 12 volt DC ?
    what amperage should we be running ?
  15. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    That's correct. Power off-better yet, disconnect DCC command station. No engines on track. Check between both rails. If no shorts, the needle should not move. If there's a short, the needle will peg to the right side.
    If you're measuring DCC, voltage will be AC, between 14-16 volts.
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    One other thing you might want to check is if the forward/brake/reverse lever was in the right position. If it is in brake, no amount of turning up the juice will work...! Don't ask how I know... hamr :oops:

    Andrew
  17. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    I asked the same question in a previous post but didn't get an answer....
  18. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    Tried that.

    I havent started ballasting at all yet so i am cutting all the feeders and starting over with wiring and track laying. Im very patient and am looking forward to working out a few areas to fit better.
  19. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    I am searching for good info on wiring but everything including the NMRA and wiring for DCC look so long winded. I like to do by pic kinda thing.

    I am using solid telephone wire. it looks to be 18 g i am using this a s feeder. How long can i make these. I am attaching these to my 14 g bus wire.
  20. woodone

    woodone Member

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    I would keep them as short as you can (6 inch max). No need to get any longer than that. Most telephone wire is about 22GA. This will keep voltage drop to a minimum.
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