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Saturday, August 17, 2013

UPDATED AUG. 30...UP5 Power Up Starts!...And Continues!...Argh...and FINALLY DONE!

It's been a long haul with the DCC system.  From returning parts to Digitrax numerous times to buying duplicate components just because one is in the shop, etc.  I've had numerous DCC knowledgeable people here to figure out and solve the issues to no avail.  It's been a long haul!

In meeting a new friend from Australia, Duncan Cabassi, I've met other model railroaders over the internet, all super guys.  One, Brendan Dennis, knows much about DCC and Digitrax.  He has suggested that perhaps power in the Loconet was low, which when tested it is, 6.5 & 7.9.

The UP5 manual gives a few options for installing them.  They are, power to the UP5 is optional, or use the +Common connection, or apply power to the DC jack.  Way back when I installed the UP5's, I used the +Common connection.

Brendan suggests this is the problem.  With 14 UP5's on the layout, this is simply robbing Loconet of the power needed to operate properly.  It makes sense!

So, today, August 17 my project is to string 2 busses, one in the Traffic Center room and one in the main layout room.  All 14 UP5's will be connected to this buss by the end of the day.  I'm not quitting until it's done!  Then I'll test the Loconet power and report back to y'all.

Wish me luck!!!
Frank Kenny

August 18 - Well, in typical fashion, this project went about as fast as a snail missing one foot!  (pun intended)  I was only able to get the staging room 90% complete, still issues with voltage to the UR91 and it seems one UP5 isn't working properly.  The wiring is in however.  I started at 8am and finally stopped at 9:30pm.

In the main room I was only able to get 5 of 12 installed, one of the 5 still has voltage issues.

The biggest thank you in the world goes to Brendan Dennis for his assistance from Australia!  We had at least 50 emails back and forth trying to resolve the various unexpected issues that cropped up.

Unfortunately I only have a couple hours to work on this today.  It was supposed to be done yesterday to stay on the ops schedule and next weekend I'm unavailable so I'll have to carve out some time to finish this project during the week...not a very good option

Back at it today.  Again wish me luck!
Frank Kenny 

A little update... here is what the connection looks like...more details later.

This photo shows a section of wire getting ready to solder to the plug.

The above photo shows how I solder it.  It's important to make sure the red and black (or whatever color you use) wires are always soldered to the same pins on the each plug.

I wrap a piece of electrical tape around the longer pin and solder connection to make sure when the cap is put on that the two pins don't touch each other, causing a short.  On some of them I wrap both pins, just to make sure nothing touches.

Those that know me well know that I LOVE electronics and can't wait to get to the next electronic project.  NOT!  I despise anything to do with electricity.

Fortunately two awesome guys from Australia were willing to help keep me from jumping the bridge!  A BIG THANKS TO BRENDAN DENNIS AND DUNCAN CABASSI for their help.  This was a long project, that seriously should have been a quick one, looking back.  Without their help I would have been parking my cars in the garage (ex train room) by now.  Thanks guys!

Long story and 3 power supplies later, it's done!  I'm getting 15 & 11v in the main room and 13 & 10v in the traffic center.  All good there.

NEXT PROJECT...Why doesn't the damn duplex work???

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