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page trail:  Templot Club > Forums > Off track > MERG DCC system
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                                       MERG DCC system
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 21 Oct 2017 23:52
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi,

Prompted by a reply on another Templot thread tonight I would be interested to know any thoughts or owners experiences on the MERG kits for a DCC command station and handset as reviewed in BRM last year. It would make joining MERG worth it to get a full feature system for a very reasonable price. Some of the kits for signal and turnout control sound interesting too.

Regards
Rob


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2nd message | this message only posted: 22 Oct 2017 10:50
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Hi,
I have been a member of MERG for at least the last 10 years, Templot even longer.  :)

I have built a full CBUS DCC system, comprising a handset,  command station and boosters. 

I use it to control my still evolving layout.

I started many years ago with a ZTC system, changed to Lenz and now CBUS DCC.

I'm very happy with the precise, flexible control it provides and would thoroughly recommend it.

So for me it's TEMPLOT for track and MERG for control.  :D :D

I'm also one of the kit elves and put together the HECTOR train detector kits.

Got to keep busy in retirement.

Best regards

Charles







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3rd message | this message only posted: 22 Oct 2017 22:29
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee, United Kingdom



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Hi Rob

Thanks for starting this thread and giving the opportunity for others to hear about what MERG can offer. Charles has described his experience with the DCC modules and I can concur with his findings.  What I was talking about is the CBUS system that works in the same way and using the same CAN chips as is used in modern cars.

The system works with producers that respond to say a switch on a panel or a track detector and send out a message on the two bus wires that gets to all the consumer modules but only the one or ones that have been taught to do something  do what they have been taught to do. This could be drive a servo to change points or a semaphore signal or light light a colour light signal or whatever. The CANPANEL unit can monitor 64 switches and drive 64 LEDs  to monitor a control panel. The new CANMIO can have 16 channels as a mixture of input or output that can be servos or powered items like LEDs and all connected by just two signal wires and a 12V supply.

If you need any more information then please ask.

Fraser
Another Elf that assembles kits.

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4th message | this message only posted: 22 Oct 2017 23:35
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Fraser and Charles,

Thanks for your contributions regarding Merg products. I was thinking about remote level crossing gate operation the other day and started thinking about using servos to make it happen. With double gates on each side to span a double track you would need to have the entry side ( left ) gates close first and open last with the right gates closing and opening after and before ( sorry, not very good english there :( ). Sure you get my drift.

Is the DCC control system a British designed product ? If so, why does the hand unit have 'consist' on it - that is an american term to suit their multi unit lash ups. Surely for the UK we would only have a pilot or bank engine in addition to the train engine so it would be better to call it DH for double header or similar. Just a thought although it may cause confusion with DCC chips having CV's called consist address and such like.

Elves back to work. Watch this space.

Rob


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5th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 08:43
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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I use servo's to drive my turnouts and the CANMIOServo is perfect for that.

In addition, my control panels are being built using other  suitable  CBUS modules.

I'm also doing a lot with 3D printing using a Prusa I3 Mk2.

I  have a Mk3 on backorder.  :)

Using Fusion 360 I have designed a turnout operating unit that does not use a wire pivot, based on the

design of another MERG member. This looks more prototypical.

Plenty to learn.  :)

Best regards

Charles



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6th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 10:06
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from:
Judi R
Sutton-on-Sea, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Is the DCC control system a British designed product ? If so, why does the hand unit have 'consist' on it - that is an american term to suit their multi unit lash ups. It is British designed but uses the internationally recognised terminology. Thus we have "consisting" for "double heading". If you want to use a banking engine, you might wish to drive that separately in any case so that you can accelerate to catch up at the beginning of the push and then drop away gently at the top of the climb.

Declaration of interest: I am the Kit Sales Manager for MERG.

Judi


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7th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 10:27
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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I'm a MERG member and can vouch for the MERG DCC system , that EV found it does what it says on the can , and a few more things as well

Obviously you need a certain competence in electronics and debugging , but the MERG forum is a great resource

The other advantage is you can customise see the whole system , I'm currently building my DCC throttles for not a panel mounted system aka what we all used before " walk around " controllers ( which are largely useless in a signalled layout anyway )
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8th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 22:46
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Rob Manchester wrote: I was thinking about remote level crossing gate operation the other day and started thinking about using servos to make it happen. With double gates on each side to span a double track you would need to have the entry side ( left ) gates close first and open last with the right gates closing and opening after and before ( sorry, not very good english there :( ). Sure you get my drift.

Rob
Hi Rob.
I don't think you need to go to those lengths. I have been watching a DVD about Level Crossings and with one exception, all 4 gates move together, which tallies with my memory of how they worked. The exception was where the road was considerably narrower than the railway and the gates overlapped when closed to road traffic. It should also be noted that often all four gates were not the same length, a shorter one being paired with a longer one. Such is the case with the example I plan to model, one gate in each pair has 2 panels and the other 3.
Servos are not something I have used so far, so cannot comment on that aspect of things.
Regards
Tony.

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9th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:12
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Judi R wrote: Rob Manchester wrote: Is the DCC control system a British designed product ? If so, why does the hand unit have 'consist' on it - that is an american term to suit their multi unit lash ups. It is British designed but uses the internationally recognised terminology. Thus we have "consisting" for "double heading". If you want to use a banking engine, you might wish to drive that separately in any case so that you can accelerate to catch up at the beginning of the push and then drop away gently at the top of the climb.

Declaration of interest: I am the Kit Sales Manager for MERG.

Judi

Hi Judi,

Thanks for the thoughts on the consisting aspect.

If you want a free review of the DCC control system I am ready - providing I get to keep the kits once built of course :D

Rob


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10th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:18
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Tony,
Thanks for the input. You may well be right on the sequence of operation. It would of course depend if the gates were operated remotely from a 'box' or were physically shoved open in tuen by the signalman/crossing keeper.

Gates that slid sideways are another one to consider. They were quite regionalised if I remember and were not too common if I recall correctly. After all closing the gates across the railway wouldn't be of much help in stopping a train but did fulfill the function of fencing it off to the public.

Rob


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11th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:38
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from:
Judi R
Sutton-on-Sea, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: If you want a free review of the DCC control system I am ready - providing I get to keep the kits once built of course :D
Phil Parker did exactly that for publication in the November 2016 BRM. A copy of the article is available on the MERG public website (with permission).

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12th message | this message only posted: 23 Oct 2017 23:43
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Thanks Judi, I have read the article. I think I will buy a basic DCC system as a) I like making electronics projects and b) I can justify it for my test bench where I build, convert, weather and setup locos and stock. They then go to the the room with the layouts in where I have a Prodigy Wireless system.

Rob


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13th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 09:35
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee, United Kingdom



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Hi Charles

What will you be doing with the old machine when the new one arrives? I might be interested in buying it unless you are going into mass production of bits.

Thanks

Fraser

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14th message | this message only posted: 25 Oct 2017 17:46
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Fraser,

I've not yet decided what to do with the first machine, but I have said to Howard that I'm happy to help

printing the MERG 3D kits.

If I do decide to sell it then I will be in contact with you via PM.

Best regards

Charles

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15th message | this message only posted: 25 Oct 2017 23:01
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee, United Kingdom



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Thank you Charles

I'll await the possible PM.

Cheers

Fraser
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16th message | this message only posted: 25 Oct 2017 23:40
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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FraserSmith wrote:
I'll await the possible PM.

Could be a long wait!

(I recently discovered PMs are not supported  here :) )

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17th message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 00:30
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Andrew Barrowman wrote:(I recently discovered PMs are not supported  here :) )Hi Andy,

Every member can choose to make their email address visible to other members via the settings in their Profile:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/my_account.php?edit_profile=1

Only members of Templot Club can see the email address. It's not visible to non-members or search engines.

I switched off the PM system for what I regard as good reasons, although hardly anyone agrees:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigatory_Powers_Act_2016

cheers,

Martin.

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18th message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 08:35
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Andrew,

A PM to Fraser is available through the MERG forum and that is what I was referring to.  :)

Best regards

Charles

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19th message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 17:31
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Charles,

Thanks for the clarification. That should work a lot better :)

I'll be interested to hear how the new printer behaves. (I'm using a Folger Tech i3.)

It's unlikely I'll ever move to DCC but I might move to battery powered radio-control. I just ordered some bits to try it out.

Cheers,
ab
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20th message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 19:30
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from:
madscientist
 

 

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......

I switched off the PM system for what I regard as good reasons, although hardly anyone agrees:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigatory_Powers_Act_2016

cheers,

Martin.
most of which has been struck down by the ECJ by the way ( to HM Gov annoyance ) 
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21st message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 19:53
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
madscientist wrote:most of which has been struck down by the ECJ by the way ( to HM Gov annoyance ) Yes I know, although not "most".

Nevertheless in the modern world I'm not prepared to have any content on my server which I don't know about.

Sure I could monitor PMs by delving into the database, but I've got better things to do with my time.

On Templot Club I'm providing a public software support forum, not a means of private communication. That's what email is for.

cheers,

Martin.

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22nd message | this message only posted: 26 Oct 2017 20:17
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: madscientist wrote:most of which has been struck down by the ECJ by the way ( to HM Gov annoyance ) Yes I know, although not "most".

Nevertheless in the modern world I'm not prepared to have any content on my server which I don't know about.

Sure I could monitor PMs by delving into the database, but I've got better things to do with my time.

On Templot Club I'm providing a public software support forum, not a means of private communication. That's what email is for.

cheers,

Martin.
Martin,

I think you made the right decision. It's just not worth the potential aggravation.

Andrew

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