Some Digitrax hardware questions

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by nolatron, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    So I've been looking into some hardware/software stuff for the next layout and have a few questions I hope yall can clear up for me.

    I'm looking into using the Train Controller software for layout control. It looks like everything runs off DCC with this for train control, turnout control, and occupancy detection.

    Now, so far my DCC usage hasn't gone past locomotives decoders.

    The DS64 decoder I understand is 4 programmable DCC decoders for turnouts. You set the address of the first port to the required DCC address on each unit, the rest follow. I get that setup.

    Now, are these programmed decoders the same addreses as locomotives?

    For example: I have 12 turnouts connected to 4 DS64 units, so one turnout is Address 12. Now let's say I have a locomotive that's #12, so I would wanna use address 12 for that one. Would that be a conflict of address? Or are the addresses seperate because one is mobile and one is stationary for a turnout?

    Next up I need occupancy detection, and the BDL168 will probably do the job. But again, Train Controller wans a DCC Address for the detectors. I've been reading up on this and kinda confused how it works. Digitrax only shows how you can set an address for the board, but do each of the detectors get an address similar to the DS64 do? (they all fall in sequence based on the number programmed).

    Then of course, there's signaling which haven't gotten to yet. But same thing, does the SEC8 assign each signal an address? TC again looks like controls the signal aspects using a DCC address from what I've read so far.

    I know I have a lot more reading up to do, but hopefully someone can clearly explain all this. Might help with the planning process.

    Thanks so much!!
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    So far I figured out the BDL168 board. Each board is assigned an address number, and then each input is controlled by TrainController (ie: 1-1 to 1-16, 2-1 to 2-16 and so on).

    Probably the same for the SEC8. The DS64 though I think each is a single address like a locomotive address.
  3. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I'm going to take the plunge this evening and i've been searching for some answers on stationary decoders and i can't seem to find much.

    I'm going to buy a digitrax super chief, 2 mobile decoders, and 1 multi-address stationary decoder. MAYBE an autoreversing or block detection board if funds permit.

    1) is buying a 6 funtion decoder overkill for non-prototypical train operation.
    a) i wanted lights eventually and i'm pretty handy w/ a soldering iron so i may dream up something later

    b) can i get something w/ sounds that doesn't cost as much as an engine?
    2) can i use an mrc 4 funtion decoder w/ digitrax?

    3) i bought a crane, i'm going to motorize it, could a 6 funtion decoder be used for this purpose.
    4) i have a turntable that i plan to motorize in the future, i've seen articles on how to add dcc to them, would a 2 function decoder serve this purpose?
    5) what exactly is a "function" and a "cv"?

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