Thursday, 9 June 2011

Layout Control & Cobalt Point Motors

I guess i am jumping ahead here but i have decided to use the time available before tracklaying commences properly, to research & "prove" the control systems that will be used on the layout.

I have already decided that it will be DCC control & to that end i have purchased an NCE radio system & set up a 9 metre test track to teach myself on.  I have also commenced fitting sound decoders to all locos with the aim of not playing catch up ( fitting as i purchase  ) and not being faced with a fair stack of locos that need to be fitted in a hurry.

After sampling the delights of Loksound & Tsunami, i have decided to go with Tsunami where possible simply because they sound better to MY ears....i am sure there are techno babble arguments as to which is better etc....but at the end of the day they will be run & heard by me in 90% of that's where i am heading on that score...

As for point / turnout control i have decided to run with Cobalt motors & decoders & have spent around 40 to 50 hours farting around & learning the system so i can refine fitment & wiring before mass introduction occurs.  I have also decided to have panel control & DCC handpiece control available.  I am pretty sure that i will on most occasions use panel control for points & accessories & use the NCE handpiece just for driving simply because my previous layouts incorporated this type method on DC cab control & i feel comfortable with the visual reference cues that a panel system provides.  I would also arguably proffer that a panel would provide a better interface for any visitor who is unfamiliar with the layout.

In keeping with proving the system before introduction i have modified a couple of sets of Peco code 75 live frog points  as per the Cobalt manual & have installed one on a "test bench" that incorporates a panel with pushbutton for point activation & LEDs to show point direction.  This bench has also allowed me to toy with the point motor without having to crawl in & out of under bench situations.  After playing around with the setup i also think i will run two separate power bus systems one for trackpower & one for accessory control.

I must state here my absolute thanks to the team from DCC Concepts for the patience & above & beyond customer service.

Of course as a strict rule of this blog, i welcome any input & advice to the contrary of this posting.....

The "Test Bench".....rudimentary but does the job!!!


The Fat Controller        

1 comment:

  1. I have gone down your path too but intsead of decided to use Switchmaster point motors as they are far easier to instal than Cobalts. I now have a pack of Cobalts that I dont need.