Solved unreliable point operation

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ron&bram
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Solved unreliable point operation

Post by ron&bram » 25.06.2008, 22:27

During all the testing I am doing I have hooked up a Hornby 8247 point decoder to the Elite. When swithing points directly with the Elite, all goes fine. When I do it from within Rocrail, the behaviour becomes strange, sometimes the point is fully thrown, sometimes I just hear a tiny click and the point movement has stopped somewhere in between, sometimes the point has hardly moved at all. I use double solenoid type point motors and the Hornby decoder works with the capacity discharge principle. Therefore I soldered a simple booster together running on a higher voltage then the 15V feed to the Elite, to get more 'kick'out of the capaitators. The booster works fine, hooked up to the booster output of the Elite I can operate the points and even control loco's (although only for testing, the booster is nothing more then a LMD18200 h-bridge motor driver IC without any short circuit, feedback or whatever fancy stuff attached, as described in the mini dcc booster pages to be found on the web). However, this has not changed the unreliable swithcing when Rocrail is in command.
I have tried the same with JMRI panelpro, then both the Elite alone or through the booster the points move reliable.
And yes, I have added the 1 to the address. I have tried different timings in the 8247. I have experimented with the swithching time in the point properties.
Anybody any idea or suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Ronald
Last edited by ron&bram on 06.09.2009, 17:08, edited 1 time in total.

jeanmichel

Post by jeanmichel » 26.06.2008, 16:44

I changed something in th lenz lib. You have to set up in your rocrail ini sublib="elite" .

The reset signal will not sendet if sublib elite.

The change will be tomorrow in the nightly build.

Maybe it will work ... please report back!

Have a nice day!
Jean-Michel

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ron&bram
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I will test

Post by ron&bram » 26.06.2008, 22:19

Hello Jean-Michel,

Thanks for your quick reaction,

I will test it as soon as possible. Maybe the following info will also help. Since I had already build a simple booster anyway, I added some resistors and a transistor to adjust voltage levels and have a booster on and a booster overheated signal and some wiring and hooked up the booster to the com port. I added dda as a second command unit, installed the giveio driver and put all points on the dda. Result: points clicking away perfectly, loco's still controlled from rocrail through the Elite.

Report on Elite working with changed lenz library to follow.

Regards,
Ronald

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test results for Jean-Michel. question for moderator

Post by ron&bram » 27.06.2008, 21:11

Hello Jean-Michel,

After doing some work on my home build booster (for the connection via serial port using dda I added a booster on signal that the Elite does not have and a booster thermal shutdown signal) I tested using snapshot 3155, hoping that it contained the Lenz lib changed by you (from the changelog I could not tell). When connected to the serial port and sendng turnout commands thrugh dda, verything worked fine. Even quick changes (I use capacitor discharge for powering the point motors) goes fine. When I connect my booster to the booster output of the Elite, after placing a jumper to force the booster on signal on the booster) and modify a turnout in Rocrail (change interface from dda to elite and compensate for the Elite's +1 counting), the turnout behaviour becomes erratic again, making sometimes full, sometimes half movements and sometimes hardly moving at all. This does not appear in a fixed order, like I would expect when a capacitor discharge unit does not have time to recharge (first full movement, then half, then almost nothing). Even if I wait a minute between commands (and using dda I can give a command every second) the next command will produce a random movement of the turnout.
I ahve attached the rocrail.ini file used for the testing.
Since I am planning to use dda next to the Elite anyway (so that I can use my S88 feedbacks) I would suggest that we do not pursue this issue with full steam, but if there is somebody else out there that stands up and shouts "hé I need help too" I am willing to help, test and investigate. I am getting a feeling that ELITE should read ELITEE (like in "Exact Lenz Interface Though Exceptions Exist).

For the moderator and other people interested a question.
I have build a simple 3 amp booster with one lmd18200 h-bridge motor driver, one transistor, a handfull of resistors and capacitors and a transformer and a whopping large elco (the last two I picked up at the local electronics dump for a few euro's), total cost including power supply less then €20. I invented nothing new, I just combined other people's ideas (like the mini dcc booster project and the serial interface from the original ddl pages) combined with my pretty basic electrical skills (I'm a chemical engineer from origin), to make a 3 amp booster that supports the dda booster on signal, gives a thermal shutdown warning to the pc and can build on a small piece of prototyping striped pcb. When somebody is interested, I have made a schematic drawing as a .pdf file, which is not in the allowed file extensions (moderator, help).

Best regards to everybody reading this and my thanks to Jean-Michel for helping with my original question.

Ronald
Last edited by ron&bram on 14.10.2008, 20:42, edited 1 time in total.
Best regards, Viele Grüsse, vriendelijke groeten, Ronald :rr_cap:
GCA85/50/93/145/146/153 Loconet, Twincenter+booster for locs, seperate booster for accessory decoders, dedicated laptop with XP and Ubuntu for Rocrail, AndRoc, LGB indoor OTF layout

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ron&bram
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additional info for jean-michel

Post by ron&bram » 27.06.2008, 21:32

Hello Jean-Michel,

I don't know if this helps, but I have also the trace file during the turnout testing, see attachment.

Best regards,
Ronald

And, since you live in Germany I think, may the best football team win the Euro2008 final (I am not a football lover, so I had plenty of time to play with Rocrail during the matches without my wife getting irritated for being downstairs in the hobby room all evening).
Last edited by ron&bram on 14.10.2008, 20:42, edited 1 time in total.
Best regards, Viele Grüsse, vriendelijke groeten, Ronald :rr_cap:
GCA85/50/93/145/146/153 Loconet, Twincenter+booster for locs, seperate booster for accessory decoders, dedicated laptop with XP and Ubuntu for Rocrail, AndRoc, LGB indoor OTF layout

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ron&bram
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Am I using thee right lenz lib?

Post by ron&bram » 28.06.2008, 10:18

Am I testing the turnouts with the right library?

I check other posts also regulary. In the post on rocrail and lenz lzv100 I saw a rocrail trace, where after startup the lenz library reports version 1.2.0 (message OLenz 0999 lenz 1.2.0). I have used the latest snapshot for the turnout testing, but in my rocrail trace the message reads OLenz 1041 lenz 1.1.0.

Any suggestions are welcome,

Ronald
Best regards, Viele Grüsse, vriendelijke groeten, Ronald :rr_cap:
GCA85/50/93/145/146/153 Loconet, Twincenter+booster for locs, seperate booster for accessory decoders, dedicated laptop with XP and Ubuntu for Rocrail, AndRoc, LGB indoor OTF layout

jeanmichel

Post by jeanmichel » 28.06.2008, 11:15

Yep, everything correct. I reset the version to 1.1.0 to be consistant with the numbering.

Regards
jean-Michel

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ron&bram
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fixed

Post by ron&bram » 07.07.2008, 12:26

The unreliable turnout operation has been fixed by Jean-Michel.

Thanks,
Ronald
Best regards, Viele Grüsse, vriendelijke groeten, Ronald :rr_cap:
GCA85/50/93/145/146/153 Loconet, Twincenter+booster for locs, seperate booster for accessory decoders, dedicated laptop with XP and Ubuntu for Rocrail, AndRoc, LGB indoor OTF layout

cwichmann
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Post by cwichmann » 28.08.2008, 16:56

Hi Mauro,

do you see that all turnout comands are send by the Server while in auto mode (trace file / comand window) ?

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rjversluis
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Post by rjversluis » 28.08.2008, 17:44

As from svn3542 the Init Field Pause will also be used for route commands:

http://wiki.rocrail.net/doku.php?id=roc ... ield_pause
Best Regards, Rob.
:!: PS: Do not forget to attach the usual files.
:!: PS: Nicht vergessen die übliche Dateien an zu hängen.
[ macOS - Linux] - [ N: CBUS - CANGCx ] - [ G: CBUS - CANGCx ]

jeanmichel

Post by jeanmichel » 28.08.2008, 17:55

good to know ... I thoght my LI101 was broken ...

I discovered the same. But: Mauro can you please test the following: if you set a route and the command is blocked. Is it still possible to switch other turnouts?

If not it is possible after you switch a turnout from the elite?

If the pause was the problem we need a pause as well between signal commands.

Or we have to make some kind of timer in the lenz.c between the commands.

jeanmichel

Post by jeanmichel » 28.08.2008, 18:21

is it that then if you switch manually the "lost" events are executed? Know what I mean?

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Post by rjversluis » 29.08.2008, 09:46

Hi Jean-Michel,

you made the lenz library too fast for Elite! :-))
Best Regards, Rob.
:!: PS: Do not forget to attach the usual files.
:!: PS: Nicht vergessen die übliche Dateien an zu hängen.
[ macOS - Linux] - [ N: CBUS - CANGCx ] - [ G: CBUS - CANGCx ]

jeanmichel

Post by jeanmichel » 29.08.2008, 16:21

rjversluis wrote:Hi Jean-Michel,

you made the lenz library too fast for Elite! :-))


ok, no problem:

if (data->elite)
ThreadOp.sleep( 100 );

;)

But I don't know if it will help ...

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Test results

Post by ron&bram » 03.09.2008, 20:58

Hello Guys (and girls? anybody?)

I wanted to do some testing after reading Mauro's problem with multiple switch settings in a route, but got delayed due to a long weekend away with the family (nice), followed by my internet provider going down (not so nice, since I wanted the latest lenz.c from svn).

For those who I have not yet bored to dead with my setup:
Elite running a lgb layout, controlled with rocrail through a old laptop running win xp. I have 3 type of switch motors:
older lgb 3 wire solenoid ones (with g-gauge equivalent big, power hungry solenoids), power on solenoid 1 switch straight, power on solenoid 2 switch turnout.
newer lgb epl 2 wire with a sort of motor, postive half wave switch straight, negative halfwave switch turnout
aristocraft motors with an electrical motor and end switches, again 2 wires, postive halfwave straight, negative halfwave turnout.

All lgb motors are controlled through 2 hornby capacitator discharge accessory decoders with programmable pulslength. For the solenoid motors this is straightforward, a 0.1 second pulse from the capacitor moves the switch.
EPL motors can not be run from a capacitator unit, therefore each gate of the hornby unit is connected to a relay. The hornby unit fires a 0.5 second pulse to the relay, the relay switches either a positive or a negative halfwave to the epl motor. The feed for the epl comes from a seperate ac supply, through diodes for making the positive and negative halfwaves.
The aristocraft motors have end switches, so power is cut-off when the position is reached. For those, I use a LDT decoder with bistable relays, again with a seperate ac supply and diodes for making the halfwave dc feed.
I made several test routes:
route 1 all 4 aristocraft switches straight
route 2 all 4 aristocraft switches turnout
route 3 all 4 epl switches straight
route 4 all 4 epl switches turnout
route 5 all 4 solenoid switches straight
route 6 all 4 solenoid switches turnout

Testing was done by calling up the route table, selecting route 1, press test, select route 2, press test, select route 1 etc, so making sure all 4 switches had to move when changing routes.

The route 5/6 combo proved unreliable. The most likely cause I thought is that during the switching the capacitators were getting discharged and did not have time to recharge before the next command came. So I had a go again at working on the lenz.c. I modified it so that a parameter (that you have to add manually) in the rocrail.ini, lenz digint section, called swtime="any number in milliseconds" is read. The program waits the defined time after a switch command, allowing a capacitator discharge unit to recharge its capacitator. With a value of 800 milliseconds I achieved reliable operation.
For the other routes, where there is no need for a recharge time, I can go down in delay time, but if I go below something like 100 milliseconds commands get lost in the elite (apparently there is no or a very limited command cue in the elite for storing commands until they can get send out on the dcc bus). Certainly for the LDT decoder, once the bistable relay has switched, the motor will keep on running until position is reached, even if I cut the dcc supply.
It would be nice if the individual turnout time that you can define for each switch could be used in stead of one time in the rocrail.ini for all switches, but I have no idea how to read that info from within the lenz.c, but if anybody has asuggestion, I will have a go at it. On the other hand, the 800 milliseconds delay for recharging the capacitator units has the nice effect that you can see and hear the switches moving one by one, just like it happens in the 1:1 gauge.
I will email my version of lenz.c to Jean-Michel for approval. Since I think that the recharge time needed for capacitator units is not just something of the elite, the change is implemented for all command stations using the lenz lib (for this change I do not check if the sublib="elite" is present in rocrail.ini).

Regards to all,
Ronald
Best regards, Viele Grüsse, vriendelijke groeten, Ronald :rr_cap:
GCA85/50/93/145/146/153 Loconet, Twincenter+booster for locs, seperate booster for accessory decoders, dedicated laptop with XP and Ubuntu for Rocrail, AndRoc, LGB indoor OTF layout

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