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Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by CPRSD40-2, May 22, 2003.
Thanks, but no thanks! I didn't want to have to wire a layout like this with normal DC.
Great job!! Very nice! I've really enjoyed reading so far!
I've decided to add another 4 sorting tracks to my main yard, it will give me more switching opportunities, with out blocking the main line. I'm also thinking of adding another siding on the upper level between Golden and Feild, however, it will mean more locos on each train going from the upper staging yard to Feild, the grade will be about 2.2% instead of .75%, but it might make operations more interesting! A westbound train will need only one loco from the lower staging to Calgary, you will have to add 2 more to make it to Feild, then, drop 1 loco in Feild, and carry on west with 2. When that train goes to the upper staging yard, and returns on the layout, it will need another loco to go east from Golden, so I'll also need to add a bit of a yard to Golden for these locos that will be stationed there. Just when I thought I had it all figured out!
I'll post some pictures as soon as I have the mainline ripped up!
A 2.5% grade isn't too bad Mike as the CP line between Field and Lake Louise is around 2%. I had a 2% grade on my previous layout and it sure limited the size of the train. Using more locos in the consist helped but put huge strain on the couplers. I had one or two let go then watch out back down the grade for those cars hutrling down the track.
There was a fast intermodal train going east today, with 6 SD40-2's on it.
Which DCC System do you use? That's one heck of a consist!
That's awesome power Mike. Will make easy work of almost any grade.
I've got the Digitrax Super Empire Builder. It's very east to consit loco's once you get the hang of it.
I know that I want to go with DCC for certain when I built my layout, but the question is the best system. So far most recommendations from those who know are towards the Digitrax Zephyr as an entry level system... I'm not surprised that yours is the Super Empire Builder
The LHS's seem to be big on MRC's Prodigy. Although from what I've read, while it works, it's pretty limited. I wouldn't be able to do back-to-back consists with my locomotives (much less back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back consists like yours) if I go with the lower-end system.
Anyway, I am inadvertently hijacking this monster post on that wonderful layout of yours...
PS: My SD40-2 should be here shortly... the collection begins.
I thought all DCC systems could run multi consists together? I went with Digi-Trax because everyone around here has it, so we can bring our own throttles to each others layout when we operate. I do like the system allot now that I have it!
Prodigy does consists by assigning the same address number to a group of locomotives. As a result, they can only be run "Elephant Style" (a new term I'm learning)...
I still need to hook up with a local model railroader club, but as far as I know the local ones don't do DCC.
These will be the next units that will be put to work on the Laggan Sub, CP#6403 and 6411, they should be ready to go soon.
Nice going Mike, I remember a while back you were planning to repaint those units, they should be a lot better now they are in the correct shade.
SD90 I still need to chose a DCC system and I think it's going to be Digitrax cause they make really small decoders, one question though; when you give every locomotive it's unique number, can you tie 2 locomotives together (or more) and run them as 1 unit serving under 1 number?
SmolderZ, you sure can, I haven't done it yet, but all you have to do is put the 2 (or more) locomotives on your programing track, ( I just use a piece of flex track) and program both engines with the same address, then it will only take up one address for both. The only down side to this, is that those 2 locos will always have to run together. I might do this for my yard locos, because I will always run 2 together.
I was affraid it is done this way to run multiple locomotives together.
Imagine this situation; theres a long string of cars that need some locomotives, you drive the locomotives individually out of the yard and couple them to the string of cars, with a few taps on the control panel you tie the id numbers of the locomotives together and they act as one locomotive. When the cars are at there destination you untie the locomotives and run them to the yard or to a other string of cars.
I would like to operate my trains without touching them, at all times. I don't know if there is a system wich can do the situation I descriped above, I really hope there is one, anyone knows?
My understanding is that doing consists with Digitrax stuff can be done two different ways... granted, this is from an outside whose only read up on it, rather than solid practice... Apparently you can assign locos that have different numbers into a single consist with a common number. However, the identity of each locomotive remains discreet, so if you want to separate them off, make sure they're near a decoupler and then control them with their individual addresses rather than the consist address.
Lower end DCC systems like Prodigy can only let you run consists by assigning the same number to a locomotive, but the drawback is that they can only run "elephant" style, rather than the more conventional "back to back" form that we see on most trains today...
I've been looking at the Digitrax manuals for stuff online, and they have a whole section on "MUs" or "Multiple Units." In the Zephyr manual, the unit that I'm looking to get, it's on page 29...
I'm envious of SD90's system, because he can handle huge consists with his system... Alas, I need to start small...
Ok, you can do it 2 ways,
#1- You have a train that only needs 1 loco, you get to a spot on the layout where you need more power, say a hill, so you dial up another loco on the left side throttle, and hit 'MU' then '+', done! Now you can control both locos from the first address. If 2 locos still isn't enough, just repeat the process. When you get to the top of the hill and you don't need the extra power, just select 'MU' and then ' - ' , now you are back to controling just the first loco again. It's really easy to consist locos this way, and it doesn't matter which way they are facing, as long as when you MU them together, they are both traveling in the same direction.
#2- If you will always run 2 locos together, just program them with the same address, and they will only take up one address on your system.
I read the 'MU' option, it's exactly what I need!, so I think it's going to be Digitrax!
I got a question, maybe you can awnser it, I run Z trains, 10 volt DC, and I should be able to run 20 locomotives, wich system would work for me?, (with the 'MU' option of course, I'm a newbie in DCC)
I found out my Z-scale SD45 only has 8x15x4mm room for a decoder, digitrax decoders are 1.14mm to wide to fit in my locomotive, I'll have to look at a different system
The Zypher and the Empire builder can both handle 22 locos, they have a setting for N/Z, HO and O scales. If you want to run more than 22 locos in active memory, you will need to get the Super Chief, it can handle 128 locos!