Operating Complex Signal Qdecoder

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apemberton
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Operating Complex Signal Qdecoder

Post by apemberton » 15.11.2018, 21:14

I have to admit my head hurts!

I have been struggling with setting up Signals on my Qdecoders. After many problems with basic addressing of Qdecoders I have finally managed to find the addresses which the Qrail programming software mis-programes (why on earth should the addresses be 57 too high? Not a Rocrail issue). I can now switch these decoders manually using my Roco Maus (+1 address). So far so good.

Because I am trying to emulate Soviet/Russian signalling practice, I have had to design new .SVG images for the various signals. The simplest are the shunting signals (Blue/Lunar White) using a number of Qdecoder ZA1-16N units. These work in the same fashion as a two aspect signal. These work fine.

I have now moved on to more complex signals, this time using a Z2-8 Ost Europa decoder. I have succeeded getting a distant signal (Yellow/Green LEDs with both fixed and flashing aspects (4 working aspects)) again I have had to design SVG signal images. This seems to work using patterns as per the Wiki though it has been a struggle to get it right. I get confused as red does not necessarily mean a red aspect., etc.

Using the same decoder, but a different group of addresses, I am attempting to run a sequence for a 3 Lamp, 5 aspect signal (Mehrabschnitt). I can run the signal aspect sequence manually with the Roco Maus. Red - yellow - green - flashing yellow - flashing green. The SVG icons cycle thorough the sequence OK under Rocrail aspect manual control. However the actual signal sequence is Red - Flashing yellow - green - flashing yellow - flashing green. This is probably due to the wrong sequence being presented to the decoder. I am uncertain which method of signalling (Red and Green groups, patterns, linear, aspect, etc) I should be using.

I will follow this up with the debugging files when I can get to the system and find out how to do that - it has been a long time. I'm glad of the intellectual challenge though.

When I have finished the SZD signal icons, I will also post them though there will be much work to do - a six led signal with at least 12 aspects to be displayed. No wonder EZMG signalling did not become more widespread in the DDR!

apemberton
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 15.11.2018, 21:52

Now added, I hope, my issue.zip

Phew!
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Besra
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by Besra » 17.11.2018, 19:04

I am uncertain which method of signalling (Red and Green groups, patterns, linear, aspect, etc) I should be using.
Hi Tony,

personally I am using linear for multi aspect signals which turned out to be straightforward. May depend on hardware, though.
Linear has a fixed sequence of aspects: aspect 0, aspect 1, aspect 2 and so on. You cannot modify this in any way. When using a signal decoder with fixed aspects easiest way for me was to write down the sequence the signal shows, then adopt the SVGs.
Example: Take a signal with 8 aspects wire it to your decoder, create a new signal in Rocrail and set decoder (start) address according to your needs. Turn on track power. Assuming the decoder was not used before, the signal should show aspect 0. Mostly this should be "red". Click on the signal symbol and the signal should show the second aspect, for example "green". Next click may result in "yellow" and so on. That is 0 = red, 1 = green, 2 = yellow, ...
Create or rename the corresponding SVGs according to the signal's behaviour. Worked for me.

Regards
Bernd

apemberton
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 19.11.2018, 01:13

Thanks. I follow what you are saying and I will investigate. I have briefly tried Linear but the sequence seems odd in that the signal I am targetting switches red - flashing yellow - green - flashing green - flashing yellow again - red. The sequence should be red - yellow -green - flashing green -flashing yellow - red, which I can do with the maus.

My understanding of 'aspect' is not an actual lamp/LED to be illuminated, but the display of lamps giving meaning to the imaginary 'driver'.

One problem though is that these Qdecoders are 'clever' and will remember the last used clear aspect. Switching from halt to a restrictive aspect to Vmax may not be a straightforward sequence and other port writes may be necessary. Therefore, I think I am going to need to try a variety of combinations to clear Vmax(green), distant or more restrictive aspects after passage of a train back to red and re-initiate the sequence.

Its late and I'm not making a lot of sense tonight. Plus burnt fingers from soldering is making typing difficult! :(

PS. I should have said that the SVG signal icons I have created work with the correct aspect sequence!

Videoman
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by Videoman » 22.11.2018, 13:08

Hi,

I have the same problem, which I reported in the German part: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=16720

From what I see is that Q decoder work with asdress: 1r,1g,2r,2g,.. for aspect 0,1,2,3... , but Rocrail sends: 1g,1r,2g,2r.
I fixed that by renaming the SVG, or better creating a alternativ SVG.

apemberton
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 28.11.2018, 18:40

Thanks @videoman, Thierry, I will study your linked thread in detail. I'm sorry about the belated reply but I have been away for a while.

I am also creating .svg symbols so your methodology is probably useful and relevant. So far, I only have the two aspect white/blue shunting signal, yellow/green (with flash) distant signal and a 3 lamp/5 aspect block signal and I have created new names for them as per the wiki but this could change. So many differnt combinations!

Once again, Thankyou.

apemberton
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 29.11.2018, 09:56

Thanks Thierry, your post in this thread is (I think) the 'light bulb' :idea: moment. The offset of Rocrail vs Qdecoder is probably where I was going wrong.

I havn't yet reconfigured my RR Plan but will try things out later today hopefully. I will also have to re-design some of my signal heads though that is not relevant to the complex decoder subject.

Tony

apemberton
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 03.12.2018, 11:19

Better but not yet right!

I have a problem with Qdecoder (Z1-8 OstEuropa) with controlling USSR block signals (Mehrabschnittsignale). The decoder has several addresses which perform different functions. I attach a diagram og the relevant page. The first and second addresses control Stop(Red) and any other proceed aspect respectively. The second set of addresses control up to six proceed aspects (distant signal on or off, route divergence at next signal and/or speed restrictions ahead). The problem is that the Qdecoder does not clear the second set of addresses back to initial state when the first set of addresses switch from a clear aspect back to red (i.e. after a train has past the signal). I have checked this manually and tried to use the standard Rocrail signalling modes. I'm sure that is clear as mud! :?

I think, therefore, I will need to generate a specific xml script file such that when a train has past, the signal returns to Red and clears the state of the proceed aspects to their minimal aspect.

Since I have never scripted a Rocrail xml script before (apart from .svg files), I am a newbie on the necessary Rocrail coding. I have checked the Wiki (especially keywords) and the user pages for suitable scripts but I feel they are not for beginners. I don't have a problem scripting xml as I have used that for other, non-Rocrail projects but I am looking for Rocrail specific examples that are clear to build upon.

Thus I would be grateful for pointers!
Mehrabschnittsignale.jpg
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Besra
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by Besra » 03.12.2018, 15:14

Hi Tony,

I'm aware there are several decoders available using one address for "shifting" to another set of aspects. Rocrail, to my knowledge, does not (yet) support this. It is perhaps worth asking Rob for help (using a different thread for this specific problem).
Despite of that, wouldn't a simple action be sufficient to reset the signal? That is, if the signal is set to red, initiate an action that sets address X to the desired state?

Regards
Bernd

apemberton
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Location: West Hertfordshire, UK

Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by apemberton » 03.12.2018, 17:18

Bernd,

Yes, resetting the secondary states is what I need to do after the primary signal address is set to red. That is what I will have to script for. I don't understand why the decoder software doesn't do that automatically. Maybe a decoder bug or something to do with 'connected' signals ahead and these decoders are more intelligent than I think!

Tony

Besra
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Re: Operating Complex Signal Decoders

Post by Besra » 03.12.2018, 19:41

Hi Tony,
That is what I will have to script for.
why not using actions as your are not familiar with scripting? Well, you can of course learn how to write Rocrail scripts if you want but - you need an action to start the script. Instead of calling a script the action itself could reset the signal... Just a thought - it's up to you.

Regards
Bernd

P.S.: "[...] these decoders are more intelligent than I think!" I don't think so :wink: But after having a brief look at the user manual - yes, it's a complex matter. Which may be an understatement :D

apemberton
Posts: 93
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Location: West Hertfordshire, UK

Re: Operating Complex Signal Qdecoder

Post by apemberton » 04.12.2018, 10:41

Bernd,

Good point. I will try actions out. Shows how green at Rocrail I am! :) Tony

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