Author Topic: Digitrax DS 64  (Read 2962 times)

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carlso

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Digitrax DS 64
« on: March 26, 2014, 09:21:51 PM »
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I have a large layout that is powered by Digitrax system and am attempting to set up 2 DS64's to control turnouts and set up routes through the yard. Where I am at now is that I find Digitrax manuals not to be friendly for majority of model railroaders, they seem to be written by some engineer that thinks everyone reading the manual is also an engineer. My rant is complete so here is my question(s).

I have one DS64 working fine, it controls each individual turnout through the throttle, it controls the four routes through the throttle, and also each individual turnout from a button. All is cool.

I added a second DS64 and thought that I identified it as unit 02 and proceeded to program the turnouts and routes as in the first DS64. It will control each switch through the throttle but when I attempt to throw the first route it controls that route, unique to DS64 #02, but also throws two turnouts from the first DS64.

Each DS 64 is powered by a Digitrax wall wort, 14v I think.

I am about to give up and sling the  darned things into the trash. Anyone experience this and are there any books " DS64 Installs for Dummies "? ? ?

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Carl
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 09:25:05 PM by carlso »
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

peteski

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 09:34:45 PM »
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I have a large layout that is powered by Digitrax system and am attempting to set up 2 DS64's to control turnouts and set up routes through the yard. Where I am at now is that I find Digitrax manuals not to be friendly for majority of model railroaders, they seem to be written by some engineer that thinks everyone reading the manual is also an engineer. My rant is complete so here is my question(s).


Funny to hear this from someone who is using Digitrax.  Usually Digitrax users think that the manuals are wonderful and clearly written.   :trollface: While I do not own a Digitrax system (and you couldn't pay me enough to get one), I was forced on many occasions to help out a friend who chose Digitrax for his layout. My option about the quality and clarity of their manuals is the same as your (but I usually use more colorful words to indicate my feelings).  :D  I'm quire used to reading all sorts of technical manuals (that is part of my real, and technical job), and I find Digitrax to be the most convoluted and useless manuals out there. Even the way they are organized makes no sense to me.

I'll leave answering your question to the real Digitrax expert (which I'm not, nor pretend to be one).  Thanks for the rant and for allowing me to add my voice to your rant. :)
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C855B

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 09:43:08 PM »
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I am convinced that Digitrax makes fine hardware. However, the user interface is straight out of the 1970s and the manuals do nothing other than reinforce that notion. Every time I get near a Digitrax system I'm reminded of my earliest years programming HP desktop "computers", Reverse Polish Notation and all.

I haven't yet had the pleasure of working with DS64s, but I have to wonder if there is a JMRI solution for programming and route control. It might be worth your while to check it out.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

John

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 10:17:35 PM »
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carlso

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 10:37:05 PM »
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Thanks for the information John. I will check it out.

peteski - I agree 100% with your statement that Digitrax manuals are useless. Don't hold back , use those colorful words as that's how I feel. BTW, I use NCE at home but this is a club layout. I found NCE to be quite easy to learn and use after using a first run Zypher.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

peteski

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 11:40:36 PM »
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Thanks for the information John. I will check it out.

peteski - I agree 100% with your statement that Digitrax manuals are useless. Don't hold back , use those colorful words as that's how I feel. BTW, I use NCE at home but this is a club layout. I found NCE to be quite easy to learn and use after using a first run Zypher.

Carl

Ah, so we are on the same page - forced to work on an unfriendly DCC system, while using a much more intuitive system at home (I also picked NCE as my system of choice for my DCC experiments (for now) and for a future layout.  :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 07:34:20 PM »
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I agree with you all about the way Digitrax explain things , usually ! But in this case , maybe I was lucky but I have 4 different DS64 and all are working fine . I am thinking of adding more .

To answer quickly to your question I never experienced turnouts answering to the wrong DS64 .

I have set up my turnouts in a way that when I want to control turnout # 31 ( switch in Digitrax parlance ) after you press the button sw on your DT400 I have set it up that "C" on my controller is Curve side of the turnout and "T" is the sTraight  side of the turnout .

I have 2 x 8 tracks yards that are controlled by 2 x DS64 each controlling 4 turnouts , some are Atlas turnout "motor" and some are KATO , the fun thing about this Digitrax device is it can control anytype of turnout motor  .

Here is the instruction sheet ( same as the one in the package ) for people who don't have the DS64 with them .
English is not my first language and I found it pretty easy ( even me ! ) to read and program .
On their site there is a tutorial video but I cannot open it ....  ( Digitrax  :| )

http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/stationary-decoders/ds64/documents/ds64_1.pdf

Set up output :
First you have to program each DS64 , go to page 8 and 9 . You have to name the turnouts or outputs in a sequence number ex. : 1 to 4 . Follow with the second DS64 and program the ouputs 5 to 8 and so on .
When your turnouts will work properly , you will be able to try a route .
 
Route :
There is a table on page 17 , I suggest you make a photocopy and enlarge it , it will be easier to read back when programming . The way to program is on page 16 . Some route will operate only one turnout , while others will operate up to 8 turnouts . They will change is sequence but not necessarily in the order you wrote the route ... I am still puzzling about that but it's a matter of seconds so ...

When you program the route you can rename the route as you wish , exemple on my lower yard the route are from # 111 to 118 for entrance # 1 and 121 to 128 for entrance # 2 , there is a wye at the yard entrance , so it's possible to access or exit the yard 2 ways .
On my second level the route are # 201 to 208 .
It works very well . Some turnouts are used in other route such as the 3rd leg of the wye to just bypass the yard and this route is # 100 .


http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/stationary-decoders/ds64/documents/ds64_1.pdf

Take your time , it's a lot more fun to operate that way . A lot more fun than wiring a panel also ...
My DS64s never loosed memory up to now .
BTW my DS64 are connected directly to the bus wire under the layout .
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 07:38:38 PM by trainforfun »
Thanks ,
Louis



trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 07:41:16 PM »
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I am convinced that Digitrax makes fine hardware. However, the user interface is straight out of the 1970s and the manuals do nothing other than reinforce that notion. Every time I get near a Digitrax system I'm reminded of my earliest years programming HP desktop "computers", Reverse Polish Notation and all.

I haven't yet had the pleasure of working with DS64s, but I have to wonder if there is a JMRI solution for programming and route control. It might be worth your while to check it out.

Yes you can use JMRI to control your turnouts but you have to set up the DS64 first . I can use my computer to control all my turnouts connected to a DS64 .
Thanks ,
Louis



fifer

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 08:12:21 AM »
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While the Checker info is helpful does anyone have an answer to Carls original question on why this happens and can we fix it with a conventional $)@D throttle as we have no laptop at the layout?
Thanks Guys , Mike :facepalm:
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John

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 08:28:57 AM »
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While the Checker info is helpful does anyone have an answer to Carls original question on why this happens and can we fix it with a conventional $)@D throttle as we have no laptop at the layout?
Thanks Guys , Mike :facepalm:

Awww Mike .. your'e to practical :)


try this article from digitrax ..

How To Set Up Routes Using Your DS64

NOTE:  During this procedure the DS64 must be connected to an active LocoNet with an active command station.

1. Press and hold down the STAT button on your DS64 until the green LED begins to blink quickly. You are now ready to set up a Route.

2. To program the DS64 Route Number, use your DCC throttle in Switch mode to select a Switch Address from 1 through 8 and issue a Closed or Thrown command. This lets the DS64 know which of the 8 available routes you are setting up. This is NOT the address you use to operate the route.

3. The first switch address that you enter is called the top address. It will operate the route you have defined when you send a closed or thrown command (depending on your setup).

To set up the switch address and position that will control the operation of the route, use your DCC throttle to select the Switch Address you want to use (from 01 through 2048) and issue either a Closed or Thrown command depending on the turnout position you want to use when the Route is run.

After you select the top address and send a thrown or closed command, the STAT LED will begin to blink at a slower rate.

4. To set up the rest of the switch addresses and positions for the route, select the Switch Address (from 01 through 2048) and issue either a Closed or Thrown command depending on the turnout position you want when the Route is run.

As you select the switch addresses and send thrown or closed commands you will notice that the green STAT LED’s blink rate will increase for Switch #1, #2, #3 & #4. When Switch #5 is set up, the STAT LED will change to red and as Switches #6, #7 & #8 are set up, the red blink rate will increase.

When you reach 8 switch addresses and positions, the DS64 will automatically exit route set up and the STAT LED will go OFF.

5. To exit route set up if you want to enter fewer than 8 switch addresses and positions in a route, simply repeat the last entry for a switch address and position and the DS64 will automatically exit route set up and the STAT LED will go OFF.

It is important to note that you must use all 8 switch addresses prior to exiting the programming of a route.  If you need "extra" addresses, use virtual addresses to fill the remaining program slots.  See article on Using Virtual Top Address.

trainforfun

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 11:06:40 AM »
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While the Checker info is helpful does anyone have an answer to Carls original question on why this happens and can we fix it with a conventional $)@D throttle as we have no laptop at the layout?
Thanks Guys , Mike :facepalm:

You don't need a laptop to set up a DS64 , just a regular DT400 controller .
Thanks ,
Louis



carlso

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2014, 01:05:28 PM »
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Thanks to all the responders, but my question has not been addressed.

I stated that the first DS64 works perfectly operating the individual turnouts by throttle, operating routes with throttle, and finally operating a turnout with button. As I stated, all is cool.

I started on the second DS64 by setting the DS64 ID to 02, as is necessary per Digitrax instructions. Set up turnouts and routes. Individual turnouts operate by throttle command, routes work with throttle command BUT when route is executed it not only throws the route specific to DS64 #2, it also throws individual turnouts assigned to DS64 #1. That is the problem and yes I have read, re-read, and re-read all the Digitrax manuals and spent several hours on their website, to no avail. I may or may not get a call back from tech help.

Has anyone experienced this problem? Bad DS64? Help.

carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

John

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 01:31:27 PM »
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what turnout numbers are programmed into DS64#1

what turnout numbers are programmed into DS64#2

for example, #1 might be   1,2,3,4
#2 might be 5,6,7,8

if you don't have different turnouts programmed into the DS, you would get that problem

carlso

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 02:44:34 PM »
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John,

DS64 #1 is turnout #'s 1 - 4, and DS64 #2 is turnout #'s 5 - 8. Go figure, there are no repeats but yet some of the turnouts on DS64 #1 throw when route on DS64 #1is operated. I do not understand how there could be any bleed over from one DS64 to the other and also when operating the turnouts individually, the two DS64's perform as should be.

I don't know if I mentioned that the DS64's are daisy chained to loconet and that the two are powered by one PS14, if that is the number of the Digitrax power source. Perhaps that is not enough power and I should put a separate 12-14v power to the second DS64. One other thing that I can't find in Digitrax is how to identify the additional DS64's. I programed the second one as #2 but now I see somewhere that default is #100, so maybe I should make #2 DS64 as #200. ? ? ? ?

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

John

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Re: Digitrax DS 64
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 03:32:36 PM »
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carl .. I would reset these to factory and try it again ..

were you able to use the loconet checker?