Author Topic: ? about the AM-1  (Read 2001 times)

Josephbw

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? about the AM-1
« on: July 23, 2016, 10:16:45 AM »
I built diode matrix systems for our club layout that work like a charm using Peco solenoid type switch motors. I have purchased a bunch of Tortoise switch motors and would like to wire them up like a diode matrix to control several switches with one button.

An example would be to throw the last switch on a yard ladder track where all the preceding switches have to be aligned to access the last track. Would the AM-1 allow that type of control with slow motion stall switches?

Also I see where the AM-1 will control 4 switches. Can you daisy chain them together to control more switches? Or would I be better off just using JMRI to control the switches?

I would really like to use the Barrett Hill touch switches for the local panels if possible to integrate them into this system, and use a computer or tablet to control the dispatch panel, maybe.

Thanks for you help,
Joe

G8B4Life

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Re: ? about the AM-1
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 03:00:41 AM »
That Berrett Hill stuff looks nifty. I almost had a heart attack when I saw the $999.00 price tag for the Direct Control Bases  :o Then I saw the real prices on the actual Direct Control Bases product page. Heart attack avoided  :) The prices would add up quick though.

Now, those aren't easy questions Joe. A diode matrix is a very basic form of route control but I think we can do better nowadays, we just have to find the right way for you.

I know your not looking to use a diode matrix in your build but I'll cover it anyway. I don't see why an AM-1 couldn't operate a diode matrix, however apart from how much current it could deliver in one go (how many point machines) I'd be concerned about how you'd hook it all up. The AM-1 would not be expecting more than one button to be able to operate a single set of points, so the potential is there to try and throw a set of points that are already set to the direction needed. I don't know if this could damage the switch machine.

You should be able to daisy chain (or parallel) Tortoise machines on an AM-1, provided you don't exceed the current draw of the AM-1's output, though you wouldn't be able to get the feedback for all four of them. Possibly a better way (read more expensive) would be to hook up one machine per output as normal and to see if you could write a program for the AM-1 to throw all four machines as once.

I know this isn't helping much but RailPro isn't set up well to do route control.

To use JMRI at the moment you'd need a DCC system for it could change the points. When the CI-1 comes along it might be possible (if we get any good info out of Ring)  for someone to write the required interface for JMRI. Then it'd be a relatively simple matter to make the controls in PanelPro to do it all. I'd be a little concerned on possible wireless distance using this approach.

It looks like the Berrett Hill system (by itself) is by far the easiest option, and can be accomplished now, not sometime in the future, though I haven't seen any examples of route control with it. The up coming Logic Translator looks like what you need to use their stuff and also control with RailPro. Can't tell yet of course, and might not be able to tell when it does arrive; I'd say Berrett Hills documentation is lousy but what documentation ???

- Tim

Josephbw

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Re: ? about the AM-1
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 10:48:17 PM »
Thanks Tim. Someone on another forum said once that a diode matrix would work with the tortoise switches, but I haven't found any corroborating evidence to back that up. Some days I feel like I'm trying to reinvent the wheel.  :)

Alan

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Re: ? about the AM-1
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 04:06:41 PM »
Alan

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

Josephbw

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Re: ? about the AM-1
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 05:06:36 PM »
Thank you very much Alan. I just read it and pored over the schematics, and it looks promising.

Joe