Digitrax DCS240 randomly throwing points

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by Hobbyhorse, 25 November 2017.

  1. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Active Member

    Here's one for the DCC experts, I've just upgraded to the new DCS240 base station and it's got a habit of throwing points randomly,it got the latest firmware upgrade. If I swap it over to the old DCS100 no problems at all. All the points are controlled via the DS64's which have been setup for cascade power up and no point throwing until told to. On the DCS240 any options for points have been checked and reset to don't do anything. Any ideas.

    Simon
     
  2. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Simon,

    No experience of this system, but if the layout behaves correctly with one controller, and not with the other, and in particular, if the accessory decoders were functioning correctly as was, and are misbehaving when the controller is changed, the issue would appear to be spurious commands sent by the new controller. I guess you had concluded this too.

    If the unit itself is not faulty, could it be that during the change-over, a wire/plug/socket in your loconet has been damaged and is making intermittent contact?

    Would it be possible to swap it with another one - or to fit it in someone else’s layout - to confirm that the unit itself is at fault?

    Best
    Simon
     
  3. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Active Member

    Simon,
    This is a replacement unit as the first one did exactly the same thing, good idea to connect it to another layout will try that although but the closest friend with this system is 70 miles away.
    Digitrax have been in contact with a couple of setting changes that made no difference, and my report log with them is quite long as it started with the first unit. I did give them a copy of the JMRI loconet monitor report showing the long list of random commands. Digging deeper into this unit on various forums it got problems that digitrax aren't accepting.

    Simon
     
  4. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Doesn’t sound good... I guess you’re in too deep, with other elements of the system, to change?

    Can you not manage with your DCS100, maybe split into two power districts?

    Good luck!
    Simon
     
  5. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Active Member

    Simon
    Yes I'm in a bit deep, power management, multiple power districts, detection and signalling. The DCS100 should cope. I only purchased the DCS240 because of the inbuilt PR3 and extra loconet plugs. I wasn't sure how old the DCS100 was and was going to use it as a booster.
    I think I'll need luck the this.

    Simon
     
  6. Nigel Cliffe

    Nigel Cliffe Active Member

    I'd return the DCS240 to the retailer as faulty and seek a refund as it doesn't work properly (UK/EU consumer legislation covers this clearly, assuming it was bought from a UK/EU retailer). You've had a replacement and that's faulty too, so it appears to be a fault in the design, or at least the firmware of the version you have.

    As for the layout, it has to be massive for a DCS100 to not cope with the memory side of things (locos running, turnouts, etc) - the largest 00 layout I know runs fine from a single DCS100 (two terminus each with six passenger roads, freight facilities and loco sheds, a through station, a freight station, can have up to ten human operators, etc..). Power handling is usually better with a number of smaller boosters for large layouts, rather than one massive system in the centre.


    - Nigel
     
  7. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Active Member

    With advice from digitrax it's on its way back to the dealer for yet another replacement.

    Simon
     
    simond likes this.
  8. Hobbyhorse

    Hobbyhorse Active Member

    IMG_0687.JPG
    Hopefully the DCC problems have been resolved. The replacement DCS240 arrived and instead of just plugging it into the layout and seeing what happened, I used 3 new point decoders and programmed them with the same id's and switch numbers like those on the layout to test them on the work bench. Instead of wiring on the motors I used some LED's following some advice from Neale Brodie, and with the DCS240 connected all worked well. Next I connected the unit to the layout and the problem returned, so replaced the point decoders with the news ones and no problems with the points. Next I connected up system to JMRI to see if anything else was happening and found that the power management boards, detection and signalling boards weren't communicating with the base station, so after reprogramming those the layout is at long last electrically stable. And having reprogrammed the old point decoders and tested them those work ok also. So the conclusion is that the old DCS100 is sending out slightly different DCC packets that the newer unit doesn't agree with.
    Now back to point building.
     
  9. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Well, that’s good news. Glad it’s sorted.

    Simon