Author Topic: Railpro and dcc together  (Read 4346 times)

roofintrash

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Railpro and dcc together
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:17:45 AM »
Long story short, a friend came by the other day thinking he could run his dcc locos on my layout. I told him its a no go as they aren't compatible. My question is, if I purchased a dcc system, could I use the Railpro power supplies and auto reverser thru the dcc without screwing everything up. I know I have read that Railpro locos run just fine on dcc layouts with our handhelds but would like to know about the power supplies and such. This would also keep me from having to rip decoders out of brand new locos that come dcc equipped only.
I know it sounds like sacrilege, but it would be nice if my friends want to run their equipment during an op session.
Rick

William Brillinger

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 09:21:59 AM »
If your friends bring a DCC "system" over and you hook it up instead of your Ring Power Supply, you should be good to go. You can leave them on to still act as RailPro repeaters if you want, Just disconnect the Ring Power supplies from the track.

If there is a DCC system that does not include a power supply, I see no reason you couldn't add that to the layout with the Ring Track Power and turn it on when you want to run DCC equipment, but I don't know enough about DCC to say that such a system exists.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 09:24:04 AM by William Brillinger »
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


roofintrash

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 09:46:09 AM »
I guess that's kinda my real ? If I purchased a dcc system, can I use the two PWR-56 to run the dcc and boosters and would my AR-1 reverser still function? I have basically no dcc knowledge at all. When I got back into the hobby a year ago I went all in with Railpro. Just trying to open up a few more possibilities for operating here with friends is all.
Rick

Alan

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 09:54:08 AM »
Long story short, a friend came by the other day thinking he could run his dcc locos on my layout. I told him its a no go as they aren't compatible. My question is, if I purchased a dcc system, could I use the Railpro power supplies and auto reverser thru the dcc without screwing everything up. I know I have read that Railpro locos run just fine on dcc layouts with our handhelds but would like to know about the power supplies and such. This would also keep me from having to rip decoders out of brand new locos that come dcc equipped only.
I know it sounds like sacrilege, but it would be nice if my friends want to run their equipment during an op session.

Pretty sure the AR-1 auto reverser will be a problem.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

William Brillinger

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 09:57:34 AM »
I'll check with Ring about the AR1 on a DCC layout.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


William Brillinger

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 10:08:10 AM »
I think I already found Rings answer in the AR-1 Manual:

Warnings
  Only connect an AR-1 module to an approved Ring Engineering Power
Supply.
  Never connect a Ring Engineering AR-1 to a DCC power supply. Our AR-1
is only designed to work with Ring Engineering RailPro products.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


roofintrash

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 11:14:55 AM »
Oh well. I may just leave well enough alone. Everything is working perfect right now so I don't need to screw up a good thing.
Rick

Prostreetamx

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 11:33:20 AM »
If you set up all your track power and reversers for DCC you could use both systems at the same time. RailPro uses straight DC and it's power supplies and reverser modules will not work with DCC at all. You could put in both types of reverse units with a few switches inline to swap them out for different supply's. You would only need to purchase a DCC power supply that has a connection to input the DCC control signal for your friend's equipment to work. You would not need a DCC controller yourself if you do not have any DCC equipment. Your Railpro power supplies should not be connected to the track bus at all for DCC operation. I have 3 DCC Trackmobiles that have caused a similar issue for me. I already had them before swapping to RailPro so I am considering powering up the section where they will be operating with a DCC supply that can be switched out for RailPro switchers when needed. It will probably be a long time before RailPro makes a decoder that will fit in those really small Trackmobiles.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.

roofintrash

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 11:59:51 AM »
According to the NCE specs, it can use any power supply in the voltage range,ac or dc. Would the pwr56 not play well with it?
Rick

Prostreetamx

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 09:58:59 AM »
You would need a supply that has an input to overlay the DCC control signal on it. I'm not sure how you could do this without a module that would combine those signals. It's possible that the NCE unit produces it's own square wave A/C, DCC signal to the track from a DC source. Everything I have read about DCC is that it requires an A/C source but you can certainly create square wave A/C from DC. The 120v converter in my truck does that. You would see a simulated A/C voltage at the track which RailPro would still work with. You could add a set of switches to bypass the DCC box when only operating RailPro equipment but your reversers would have to be compatible  with whatever track voltage you are running.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.

Alan

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 10:39:51 AM »
The DCC boosters are where signal multiplexing occurs. DCC power supplies are for the most part conventional power supplies. The PWR-56 should operate a DCC booster fine assuming sufficient amperage.

Combined RailPro and DCC operation can be a costly and cumbersome adventure. Using Ring components in the track supply is probably the wrong way to go if you want RailPro/DCC operation. Instead, build a complete DCC layout using components of the DCC system of choice and then simply use RailPro controller and modules for your locomotives. The drawback is if you decide to include switches/accessories that are controlled by the throttle. Then you would need a RailPro throttle and a DCC throttle to operate on the layout. The reverse of the situation using RailPro accessory modules in which case your DCC friend would need two throttles to operate on the layout.

No matter how you look at it combined RailPro/DCC is kinda sloppy. Best to commit to one or the other and let the chips fall where they may.

Or, make your friend bankroll the DCC stuff! :-P
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

roofintrash

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Re: Railpro and dcc together
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 07:27:31 AM »
Ive already went all in on railpro with 2 throttles, power supplies, and 10 module equipped locos. I only have 1 reverser and have no plans to use the accessory modules. All turnouts are operated by toggles in their locations. I'm thinking I would only have to buy a dcc compatible reverser, the dcc system,1 booster,and use the pwr56 supplies. I guess I'm just thinking out loud about this. Just exploring the possibilities.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 07:29:16 AM by roofintrash »
Rick