N scale unimate couplers,new york city train planner qld,ho scale model cars and trucks houston - PDF 2016

18.03.2015
The FRED design presented here is a simple, low-power circuit that closely approximates the real thing.
If you wish, you can make Charger #1 output 3.6 volts by simply adding two more 1N4001 diodes in series with the six shown. Not All Digital Decoders don’t implement all the CVs, but if the function is provided the relevant CV information must be adhered to. Described in a nutshell, Digital Command Control works by combining the output of a power supply with digital instructions telling the locomotives and other accessories what to do, directly onto the tracks. It is sent to a booster (or multiple boosters) where the DCC Commands are modulated onto the track power. The microprocessor the decoder is built around examines the data, and if it is addressed to it, acts on the instructions contained in the waveform. The decoder also rectifies the DCC signal into Direct Current to power the decoder, and applies power to the motor(s), under control of the microprocessor which is responding to the information encoded in the waveform. Although Wireless DCC controllers have an RF transmitter in the hand (throttle), and an RF receiver that controls the DCC controller (command station).
The NMRA DCC standard covers the format of the information sent via Digital Command Stations to Digital Decoders. A packet is a bundle of data sent over the wires or rails in the case of model railroading. The packet always begins with a preamble, in this case twelve bits representing a value of one are transmitted.
The DCC data packet consists of a preamble, the address and instruction, followed by the post amble. Address — This sequence of bits contains the address of the decoder the packet it meant for. The Packet Start Bit terminates the preamble and indicates that the next bits are an address data byte. The first transmitted address bit shall be defined to be the most significant bit of the address data byte.
The Address alerts the device the message is intended for, usually a decoder, or a consist (two or more locomotive decoders).It also tells all other devices to ignore this packet. A two digit address is represented by a single byte, and two bytes are used for a four digit address.
If the address does not match the decoder, the decoder will simply ignore the data and wait for the next preamble to be transmitted. Each data byte contains eight bits of information used for address, instruction, data, or error detection purposes. The first transmitted data bit of each data byte shall be defined to be the most significant bit of the data byte. The Instruction byte tells the device to set a function (light, bell, whistle, horn, coupler, etc.) on or off, to change to a specified speed step, to reverse direction, to emergency stop, etc. If the packet is corrupted, a decoder looking at the final byte would find the checksum included is wrong. A corrupted packet most commonly occurs if dirty wheels or track prevented the whole packet from being read properly. The command station applies an XOR function to the address and instruction bytes, and this is appended to the packet to create the error detection byte. The decoder can perform the same function and compare the result to the error detection byte. When a decoder sees a string of 12 bits set to 1, followed by a zero, it immediately takes note.
If the address byte matches the decoder’s address, it then processes the error correction byte, and if that is correct, it processes the commands it has received. By checking for errors, the decoder can reject a corrupt packet, caused by electrical noise or dirty track.
The error correction scheme cannot correct an error, it can only detect that the data is corrupt. The Reset Packet has an address and data value of zero and the XOR operation means an error byte of zero value.
Upon receiving a reset packet a mobile decoder must bring a moving locomotive to an immediate stop.
In practice reset packets are normally sent as part of the programming or start up procedures to clear and power a decoder prior to transmission of programming packets.
An Idle packet differs from the reset packet in that the address byte is set to 7 High (1) states, and the data packet is all Low (0) States. The idle packet is used to provide power to the track when there are no trains in motion, or no locomotives have been addressed. DCC packets are transmitted at the rate of approximately 8000 bits per second or even higher.
Packets are only created and transmitted when the command station receives instructions to make a change. A locomotive running at a constant speed would not have any packets addressed to it unless the throttle was changed to increase or reduce speed, lights turned on or off, or in the case of sound, a button was pressed to blow the horn (or whistle). DCC systems can transmit hundreds of packets a second, which allows control of a large number of trains. A typical command station can queue up to 20 packets in the buffer, which are transmitted in sequence unless the system determines the need to transmit one packet sooner.
Bandwidth is an issue taken into consideration during the design stages of the command station. Larger packets, such as those for 128 speed steps or sound commands, demand more time to send, thus they reduce the number of packets that can be sent every second. Operating a direct current locomotive in analog mode (without a decoder) further reduces the number of packets sent in a given period. On a large layout with a large number of locomotives in operation, this can become a problem. Properly done, several hundred trains can operate simultaneously with no noticeable problems. Higher end command stations use even more logic to determine the order packets will be sent. Several innovations reduce the number of packets that must be sent, such as advanced consisting, which one packet addresses several decoders, decoder feedback, where a decoder acknowledges it has received a good packet, negating the need to send it again, and dual command packets, where several instructions can be combined into one packet.
These techniques reduce the bandwidth demanded to operate large numbers of trains effectively. Instead of the voltage (and current) controlling the trains, a receiver (decoder) inside each locomotive listens for the commands sent out over the rails from the command station.
Many systems today combine the command station and booster into the same package, so do not be concerned if you don’t have a booster.
Because of this, and the whole point of DCC as a whole, it is possible to control multiple trains on the same track without having to deal with complex wiring and control panels to isolate each section of track to control each train. The Baseline Packets are included to provide the minimum interoperability between different systems. Every Digital Decoder shall be capable of retaining and recognizing its own address for purposes of responding to Baseline Packets. It is acceptable for Digital Command Stations to restrict the number of valid addresses supported so long as this restriction is clearly and plainly labeled on the package and in the instructions.
The instruction data byte is a data byte used to transmit speed and direction information to the locomotive Digital Decoder. Bit four of byte 2 (C) by default shall contain one additional speed bit, which is the least significant speed bit. The error detection data byte is a data byte used to detect the presence of transmission errors. The contents of the Error Detection Data Byte shall be the bitwise exclusive OR of the contents of the Address Data Byte and the Instruction Data Byte in the packet concerned.
When a Digital Decoder receives a Digital Decoder Reset Packet, it shall erase all volatile memory (including any speed and direction data), and return to its normal power-up state.
If the Digital Decoder is operating a locomotive at a non-zero speed when it receives a Digital Decoder Reset, it shall bring the locomotive to an immediate stop. Upon receiving this packet, Digital Decoders shall perform no new action, but shall act upon this packet as if it were a normal digital packet addressed to some other decoder. Packets sent to Digital Decoders should be repeated as frequently as possible, as a packet may have been lost due to noise or poor electrical conductivity between wheels and rails.


Power may also be removed from the rails between the Packet End Bit and the Preamble of the next packet to allow for alternative command control formats.
A Digital Decoder shall be able to act upon multiple packets addressed to it, provided the time between the packet end bit of the first packet and the packet start bit of the second packet are separated by at least 5 milliseconds.
If a decoder receives a bit sequence with a missing or invalid data byte start bit, a missing or invalid packet end bit, or an incorrect error detection byte, it must recognize the next valid preamble sequence as the beginning of a new packet. Alternative command control formats are specifically allowed between the packet end bit and the start of the next preamble. Manufacturers of decoders are encouraged to provide automatic conversion for a variety of power signals and command control formats in addition to the NMRA digital signal (per S-9.1), provided that automatic conversion to these alternate power signals can be disabled. If automatic conversion is disabled, Digital Decoders must remain in digital mode regardless of the timing of Packet Start Bits. The first reed switch changes the signal to red as the train passes, then further along the track a second reed switch changes the signal back to green ready for the next train.
The isolated section of track just in front of the signal is switched off by the relay when the signal is red so a train will stop automatically at the red signal.
This diagram shows the use of REED Switches, but can be adapted to use other detection methods.
Each locomotive will need a miniature magnet glued to its underside – test first with blu tac, but superglue is probably best once you are sure it is in the correct position. Note that UK railway signals have red at the bottom, unlike UK road traffic lights where red is at the top. Railroad crossings are interesting places to model because things happen there – flashing lights go on and off, bells are going off, lighted gates come down and trains go by, all of which can be realistically simulated on your layout.
If you have unlighted crossbucks with lamp housings, you could add either LEDs or incandescent bulbs by drilling into the back of the lamp housing without disturbing the plastic lens on the front, insert the LEDs and glue them in place. Connect a 100-200ohm resistor to each of the cathode wires or a 200-400 ohm resistor to the one anode wire. If you use incandescent lights, you don’t have to use resistors as long as the voltage rating for the lights match that of your power supply. It’s easier just to buy the crossbucks that already have working lights, and then connect the wires to the alternating flasher circuit board.
In either case, the circuit board can then be activated by one of the sensor units (photocell, infrared or magnetic reed switch) described in the page on train signals.
The Logic Rail website contains complete and very detailed instructions on how to set up your railroad crossing system, so it’s not really necessary to go through them all here since the instructions are free and easily accessible in the documents section of their website. You may also wish to look at the Azatrax website, which also contains detailed and clear instructions on crossing gate controller installation and includes modules for crossing bell sound effects. Basically, how it works is that you have 2 photosensors lined up in your track bed on each side of the road where your railroad crossing gates will be set up.
If you’ve got this going on at the crossings and signals changing as your train makes its way around the layout, you already have quite a bit of action going on.
Installing traffic signals is another easy and exciting way to add more realism to your train layout, especially if they’re automated.
There are a number of manufacturers that now supply Car systems, and many more companies that supply electronic circuits that can be used to simulate road traffic signals. Model Power manufactures ready-to-install traffic light kits made of brass with incandescent lights. You could just take each traffic signal out of the box and connect it to your power supply. As neat as that is, I think it’s even better to automate the traffic lights so that they change automatically without you having to throw any switches.
Then take the colored wires from one traffic control signal and solder each one to the corresponding connector pin (R1, Y1, G1).
On the board there are places where you can use a small screw driver to adjust the amount of time that each light will go on and off. When you’re done you’ve got another great automated enhancement for your layout! Add some sound effects of the chuff of the engine, the clickety-clack of rail cars along with ambient city sounds, and you have the makings of an awesome model railroading experience. If you have a small town or city on your layout, or even just a group of shops or houses, the addition of streetlights to the scene is an easy way to use lighting effects to enhance the realism and character of the town.
There are many different types of street lamps available in multiple scales from various manufacturers, including Model Power, Life-Like, Miniatronics, Brawa, Vollmer, etc.
To install the streetlamps, drill a hole smaller than the base of the lamp and thread the wires to the bottom of the layout. You can use a combination of parallel and series wiring for your lighting effects, if you wish, by placing groups of similar lights on the same street in series controlled by one switch; then, this group could be placed in parallel with other groups of lights, each group controlled by it’s own switch. Make sure your lamps can handle the voltage from the power source; otherwise they will burn out quickly unless you put a resistor in the circuit. You can buy these special lighting effects from Miniatronics in HO or N scale, or for modern era layouts, you can use expressway lights (use the tallest versions available) made by Miniatronics, Brawa or Life-Like. Small, adjustable spotlights are available from Miniatronics, Life-Like and Circuitron, which can be used to highlight buildings, industries, or other scenes. Lighted billboards are another great way to add lighting effects for realism and excitement to your night scenes. A great way to add realism to a fire scene or accident scene on your layout is to add police, rescue and fire emergency vehicles with flashing beacons that grab your attention. If you want a litebar for your police or ambulance vehicle, you can purchase these from either GRS or Miniatronics.
GRS also makes a complete vehicle lighting kit with headlights, tail-lights, and flashing headlights for emergency vehicles. Although it sounds daunting to install lighting effects for a movie theater marquee, it’s actually very easy using the kits that are available. Check out the Chase Light Movie Marquee by Miniatronics containing 24 yellow LEDs that follow a pattern around the sign; the lights also stop, restart, and flash off and on, etc.
M-TEC theater kits (if you can find them) include the theater, which you will have to put together, the circuit board, LEDs and all the parts you need to create a rather impressive lighting effect for your theater scene.
Circuitron uses a sequence of strobe lights to create chase lights around a sign for another type of marquee style lighting effect. Fiber-optics by Light Works USA and Train Tronics can also be used to create a neat light pattern around your sign.
Miniatronics produces neon-like signs which you can mount in your windows or on the front of the structure.
Electroluminescent lighting is a very interesting method of creating lighted signs for your buildings.
Remember that LEDs are unidirectional and have to be lined up with the anode (long wire) on the positive end of the circuit and the cathode (short wire) on the negative side.
Place a short plastic tube ? – 1 inch over the LED and tape it in place with vinyl electrical tape leaving a ? to ? inch space or reservoir between the LED and the end of the tube so there will be room to slide the fiber optic bundle into the tube to butt up against the LED. Bundle your fiber optic strands together if you’re using more than one, and slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over one end of the bundle.
This Article is intended to help you make informed decisions about what’s best for you.
You probably just want a dependable coupler System that will allow you to run trains reliably. Without a doubt Micro-Trains couplers is one of the most widely used  N-Scale couplers, however these couplers are quite expensive. It may not look anything like a coupler on a real train but it has been a reliable standard for over 30 years. Common among the prototype railroads, a FRED provides a bright red flashing indication that there’s a train ahead, and where the back of it is located. A pair of rechargable Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries will produce 2.4 volts with long life. Space permitting, AA size batteries may be used in place of AAAs; battery life will roughly double. Decoders, which are in fact small computers (or micro controllers), respond to instructions addressed to them.
A Digital Command Station transmits this information to Digital Decoders by sending a series of bits , using a digital signal. Digital Decoder Idle Packets and Digital Decoder Broadcast Stop Packets are optional for Command Stations, and required for decoders.


If automatic conversion is enabled, Digital Decoders must remain in digital mode and not convert to using any alternate power signal so long as the time between Packet Start Bits is less than or equal to 30 milliseconds in duration.
Then connect the 3 wires to an alternating flasher circuit board like the ones made by Dallee, Miniatronics, GRS or Ram Track. When the sensor picks up the presence of a train approaching the railroad crossing, it activates the circuit board, which then causes the lights on the crossbuck to flash in an alternating manner.
When the train approaches the 1st photocell, the signals begin flashing and the bells sound off. If you add more sound effects and lighting effects and have one or more animated scenes, within the environment of a well-landscaped terrain and well thought out track plan and theme, you’ve got a very interesting layout! A selector switch is included so you can manually change the lights from green to yellow to red and back.
That way, you can concentrate on running your trains while all of your lighting effects are occurring by themselves! You can use either AC or DC power (10-18volts) connected to the + and – terminals on the board. Do the same for the second traffic control signal connecting each of the colored wires to the corresponding pin (R2, Y2, G2).
If you wire them in series (connected end-to-end), the lamps have to divide the voltage, so that the bulb of each will be dimmer than it would be otherwise.
This would provide better organization and control if you have a lot of lights in your city. Use a 9-volt battery at first to test-position them in the yard to determine where they enhance the scene most effectively. This does require some disassembly of the vehicle and reassembly, but the final lighting effect is exciting. You will have to make or have your own sign and install the lights by drilling small holes around the border. EL lights come in many different colors of sheets, cords and strips that emit light when attached to a power source and never burn out. A low voltage DC inverter has to be used to connect to the power unit or batteries (2 AAA batteries). They also make various types of ready-made EL signs and even animated neon-like signs that flash or use chase patterns either vertically or horizontally).
This will allow the light that comes out of it to be more diffused and less pinpoint in character. Several types of power supplies are shown, including simple replacable (non-rechargable) batteries, battery-less direct track operation, and more-sophisticated battery power which recharges from the track whenever possibly. A slightly more sophisticated charger circuit can be created using the LM317 regulator IC; by connecting the IC as shown below, you create a constant-current charger, preferred by batteries the world over. The decoders are installed in locomotives, or are larger stationary devices that can control signals and switch machines. This sequence of bits, termed a packet, is used to encode a set of instructions that the Digital Decoder operates upon. Take that common wire and run it down the back of the crossbucks pole along with wires connected to each of the 2 cathodes from the LEDs and glue the 3 wires to the back of the pole. 2 seconds later the gates will automatically start coming down (controlled by the Tortoise motors).
If you hook up several of them in parallel operated with one switch, you could synchronize the lights if you wish. This board will automate changes for up to 6 LED’s or incandescent lamps as long as all the lights use the same voltage and amps. You should probably solder these wires on to the connector pins on the board so the connection will remain stable. Although it would be nice, to save money, to connect more that 2 traffic signals to each board, but Circuitron advises against this. There are not only the tall standing street lamps, but also many types of operating wall mounted lamps available. You will have to drill 2 small holes in either the top or the bottom of the billboard, whichever you prefer.
You can use a theater sign from a kit to do this if you wish, or make the whole sign from scratch depending on your preference and what you want to emulate.
You can even create a flickering neon sign as if it’s about to burn out by connecting a small AM radio as your power source, using a mini headphone connector plugged into the headphone jack and the 2 wires from the sign connected to the prongs of the mini headphone connector. In addition, they make animated billboards using 3 or more layers of EL images that flash in sequence and which are very realistic and ready to install.
Place the end of the heat shrink tubing about ? inch from the end of the bundle, and then heat shrink the tubing, which will create a tight bundle on that end. If you prefer a slower flash rate, you can increase Rt, increase Ct, or both; doubling Rt will reduce the flash rate by 50%, etc. Simply use the circuits shown for Charger #1 or Charger #2 above (depending on how much flasher brightness you prefer), and omit the batteries; in Charger #1, also omit the 22 ohm current-limiting resistor.
If there is no Y in the column, the CV must be used for its designated purpose, but the actions taken by the decoder for a certain CV value can vary among decoder makers. Packets must be precisely defined to ensure that the intended instructions can be properly encoded and decoded. Bytes can be split into nibbles (four bit units),which represent numbers between zero and fifteen.
If the train does not reach the 2nd photocell within 35 sec of covering the 1st photocell, it is assumed that the train has stopped or reversed, and the signals stop and the gates go up.
Thus, you would need one circuit board for every 2 traffic signals (3 lamps per signal) that you want to automate.
If you wire in parallel (using 2 bus wires with feeder wires going to each lamp, or if you use a power distribution block), all the lamps will have full brightness and if one goes out the others stay on. Then thread the wires through the hole and insert the brass tube in the hole with glue to mount it, one light on each side.
It comes as a PC board that you can place on the front of a building and includes movie titles and a mounting kit. You can cut out movie ads from an old magazine or brochure, make a styrene or wood border for it and install your chase lights in the border. You can also get EL cables, which could be used as a lighted glow behind mountain scenery to produce a sunset effect against your backdrop. To make them easier to read nibbles are often represented by hexademical (base 16) numbers, from zero to F. If the train continues and crosses the 2nd photocell, the lights continue to flash and the gates stay down. Then extend the wires to either an on-off switch or to a rheostat, which is then connected to your power unit. You can then connect the wires to either a 1.5v AC or DC power source like a battery or to an AC transformer with a resistor or rheostat in line to lengthen the life of the bulb. The Speed control in this example is 4 bits, for the optional 128 step mode, another 4 bits would be included. After the train passes the crossing, and 3 seconds after the 4th photocell is uncovered, the lights stop flashing, the bells stop and the gates go up. You could also wire them in parallel with other similar lights using a power distribution block and have them all controlled by one switch or rheostat on the control panel. You’ll probably want the LED to be remote from the flasher circuit, so think about connecting to the LED with two wires twisted together. If you opt for rechargables, you have two choices for doing the recharging: in the train, or out of the train. If you can manage it, I urge you to use Charger #3…with whichever LM317 you can obtain.
Keep in mind that LEDs are semiconductor devices, and are not fond of heat; hence, always use some sort of heat sink when soldering to LEDs and their ilk. The charger circuits below are very simple and use readily-available parts (and tolerate substitutions readily).



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