Getting into Digital Control of two or more trains on the same layout can be fairly expensive as you need to buy an expensive COMMAND unit.
The loco's are slightly more expensive too, but once you have them, the command module will allow you to turn on lights, change crossing points, operate boom gates and control just about anything.
But what if you are just starting out?
This project starts you out with the ability to control 2 loco's on the same track.
The project is designed to deliver up to 2 amps to the rails and this
will allow two trains to be operated at the same time.
Don't forget, you are delivering 1 or 2 amps.
Here is a photo of the track connectors:
The voltage is supplied to the track via these rail joiners
THE POWER SUPPLY
FINDING YOUR LOCO ADDRESS
The program is slow to find the address but if it is within the range of say about: 1 to about 70, you will be able read the value from the flashing red LED. It will detect up to 255 locations, but this will take a long time to detect and a long time to read.
The "ADDRESS FINDING" chip is called "X" and is already fitted to the module. It is loaded with address 3 for the left-hand throttle and 5 for the right hand throttle. These are the two most common addresses and you should try the chip first.
A new loco ALWAYS has address 3 loaded into its memory and your unknown loco may still have this address.
These two addresses means you can drive a NEW loco from the left-hand throttle knob and a loco with address 5 from the right-hand throttle control knob (on the main PCB).
If you have a loco with an unknown address or an address other than 5, you can use the "X-chip" to locate the address.
If you have been provided with another chip for the module, make sure you change-over the chips very carefully with the white marking on the right-hand end of the chip - always keep it at the right-hand end - and the notch in the chip as shown on the overlay of the board. Lift the chip by placing a screwdriver under the chip and between the chip and the 8-pin socket - and lift it in a parallel-manner so the legs are not bent.
Here is the procedure:
With "X-chip" fitted:
Connect the output 2-screw terminal block, called: "TRACK" to a spare section of track (either way around) with the track connector provided in the package. The spare section of track must not be connected to any other part of your layout.
Place the loco on the track with buffers at each end.
Try both control knobs and if the loco does not move, you will have to find the address.
Turn the power off.
Click the FIND OFF slide switch to the left.
Push the FIND LOCO button and hold it down CONSTANTLY.
Now, connect the module to a 12v battery and the red LED on the right hand edge of the module will illuminate.
It will remain illuminated while the program slowly goes through each address and when it finds the loco address, the loco will start to move. This will tell the module that the loco has been found. Each address takes nearly a second to process.
The loco will drive for 1.5 seconds and stop.
At this point you immediately take your finger off the FIND LOCO button and the red LED will start to flash and you can count the flashes.
The number of flashes is the address for the loco and this has been added to EEPROM memory in the chip and will remain in memory after the chip has been turned off.
Remove the supply.
Click the FIND OFF slide switch to the right
Connect the supply.
The throttle knob on the main module will now drive the loco - forward and reverse.
The left-hand knob will operate a loco with address 3 and the right-hand control will operate the new loco.
If all the flashing and motor starting and stopping, does not occur, the program has not detected the address. You may have to repeat the steps 2 or 3 times to make sure the program finds the loco.
If the motor does not run for 1.5sec and stop, the program has not detected the address. Turn the module off and wait 10 seconds and turn it ON again, by repeating the steps in the way described above, to get the program to respond correctly.
MORE TEST EQUIPMENT
Talking Electronics has a number of pieces of TEST EQUIPMENT to help in the design and testing of projects.
Of course you can use a multimeter for most of the testing but some of the "tricky" faults need a special piece of equipment.
You may only need a LOGIC PROBE once a month, but the project you are designing will come to a stand-still if you can't locate a problem.
We designed all these projects because we needed them ourselves.
Add one of them to each order you place with Talking Electronics and eventually you will have the whole range.