Author Topic: "DCC in a box"  (Read 3203 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MK

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2101
  • Respect: +273
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 12:06:39 PM »
0
Will the DCS200 front panel be buried at the bottom?  Might not be a good idea as you need to look at the indicator LEDs when things don't work right.

If you have room, maybe add a digital volt/amp meter that you can get on eBay for about $10.  Always good to know what you are outputing and if there's enough "stuff" on the layout to be dragging things down.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 12:28:09 PM »
0
Will the DCS200 front panel be buried at the bottom?  Might not be a good idea as you need to look at the indicator LEDs when things don't work right.
Not entirely buried, but "below deck". The deck will be hinged (or something) so I can pop it out for troubleshooting, if need be. I just can't find a good way to mount the thing with the face up (and also not have wires going everywhere).

If you have room, maybe add a digital volt/amp meter that you can get on eBay for about $10.  Always good to know what you are outputing and if there's enough "stuff" on the layout to be dragging things down.

I thought about that, but DCC makes that difficult. I've thought about getting one of the RRAmpMeters (https://www.dccspecialties.com/products/rrampmeter.htm) but am on the fence. I may leave space for it if I decide to go for it down the road. I'm honestly not expecting this thing to power anything where current draw will be an issue, but you never know.

MK

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2101
  • Respect: +273
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2019, 12:39:18 PM »
0
Yes, the voltmeter will be a bit off due to DCC's nature of a square sine wave.  But it's mainly to see that something around the ball park of what you expect.  12 volts, ok, 6.7 volts, hmmm, something's not right.  Current should be accurate though.

Yes, Digitrax's DCSes and DBs have connections in front which makes it hard to route wires neatly.  This is a challenge in all of my brain storming.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2019, 12:53:51 PM »
0
Hmm. Fiber optics down to the lights?

MK

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2101
  • Respect: +273
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2019, 03:01:19 PM »
0
Hmm. Fiber optics down to the lights?

Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!  Now how come I didn't think of that???!!!  :D  Question will be how wide of an indicator could you do with fiber optics?  Maybe need to bunch a few together?

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2019, 03:22:16 PM »
0
Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!  Now how come I didn't think of that???!!!  :D  Question will be how wide of an indicator could you do with fiber optics?  Maybe need to bunch a few together?

Don't take it personally. Not everyone can be the same level of super genius that I am! hahahaha

Honestly, I dont think you'd need that many. It's not like you need to see them across the room.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2019, 05:08:10 PM »
0
Ok, got the deck design figured out and a bunch of parts ordered on eBay.

Here's how the deck should look.

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

MK

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2101
  • Respect: +273
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2019, 09:17:34 PM »
0
Don't take it personally. Not everyone can be the same level of super genius that I am! hahahaha

I predict that one day this will come back to haunt you on these forums.  :D

The deck looks good but would the back four terminal strips be better off in the front (or more to the front) so that you don't have wires running across the deck to the back?

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2019, 10:39:32 AM »
0
I predict that one day this will come back to haunt you on these forums.  :D

I can almost guarantee that it will! lol

The deck looks good but would the back four terminal strips be better off in the front (or more to the front) so that you don't have wires running across the deck to the back?

Thanks. I thought about that, but thinking about the way the thing will be used, I think keeping them at the back is best. I've thought about adding some cable routing guides (hooks or something)  along the top edge to keep them out of the way and from being bothered while people are plugging stuff in or messing with the programming track.

I'm actually pretty excited about using terminal strips for that purpose, btw. I think it gives the most flexibility. I'll probably keep some common cables stashed in the box somewhere (the Unitrack plugs, maybe some Power Pole ones, etc...).  It also makes it easy when I need to do something like flip polarity, etc...

In other news, I picked up material for the deck yesterday. It's some hardboard that's got dry erase coating on one side and chalk board on the other. I like the dry erase so I can easily do things like designate different terminal blocks for different things or just draw weiners on it from time to time.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box"
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2019, 11:01:14 AM »
0
With the arrival of yesterday's Amazon order construction has begun.

I've velcroed the power supply and command station in.


Chris333

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13502
  • Respect: +2775
Re: "DCC in a box"
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2019, 12:42:16 PM »
+2
I thought you did a video with Justin Timberlake  :facepalm:

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Your choice for ANAL...
  • Respect: +2062
    • DKS Home
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2019, 01:07:11 PM »
0
...or just draw weiners on it from time to time.

And you've spent how much to do this? :trollface:
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Jbub

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1023
  • Gender: Male
  • HP 9999
  • Respect: +214
Re: "DCC in a box" experience wanted
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2019, 01:18:41 PM »
+2
And you've spent how much to do this? :trollface:

Dcc system 400
Various electronics 100
Plastic box 25
White board to draw weiners on...pricless

"Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

Darth Vader

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box"
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2019, 02:00:15 PM »
0
I thought you did a video with Justin Timberlake  :facepalm:

 8)

Dcc system 400
Various electronics 100
Plastic box 25
White board to draw weiners on...pricless


You know me...

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18097
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2278
    • Conrail 1285
Re: "DCC in a box"
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2019, 08:19:08 AM »
+1
Productive weekend!

All the components are now mounted.



Here's an in-progress shot of cutting the deck. I used my Dremel Ultra-Saw (since it's what I've got) and it made easy work of the fiberboard.
https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/tools/us40-ultra-saw

I printed out a template of the deck layout and taped it down during cutting and assembly. This (mostly) protected the finish and made lining things up really easy.



You may be wondering what's going on with the notch in the corner and the protruding power strip. I realized that the length of the strip allowed me to keep the power switch above the deck if I mounted it vertically. Bonus! You may be wondering why I've got the power running out of the TOP of the box. There are two reasons: 1. to keep the IP54 dust and water resistance of the box enclosure intact. 2. Because by forcing the power cord out the top of the box it means that it cannot be used with the lid closed and not allowing it to keep cool. The strip is held in place with some Velcro.



I discovered an amazing coincidence: the terminal strips that I'm using for power distribution have the exact same screw mounting spacing as the OG and OGAR circuit breakers that they're attached to! That made mounting those all much easier!




Holes were drilled with a hand drill (thanks again @Bob Bufkin !). This made it easy to control things and kept noise to a minimum (I was doing this while my wife was playing The Sims).


The components were screwed down using screws from this M3 screw set I got off Amazon and are then secured with the nuts from the bottom. I think the carbon black finish makes for a nice look.




Still much to do:
1. I'm not happy with the cooling grills or holes behind them. Need to open up and clean up the holes. Maybe get better grates too.
2. The screws I used for the Digitrax panels are just a GCH too short to allow the nuts to get a good grip. Gotta swap out all 12 of them...
3. Everything needs to get wired up inside. I need to find where I left that damn RJ12 crimper because I'm gonna need some 6" loconet cables.

I also need to properly label the box and insides as well! I'm thinking some of these: https://www.etsy.com/listing/689872923/warning-stickers or https://www.redbubble.com/people/foolishworlock/works/21504560-beaker-and-dr-bunsen-dick-in-a-box
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 08:24:07 AM by Ed Kapuscinski »