Author Topic: Best programming booster?  (Read 481 times)

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wcfn100

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Best programming booster?
« on: December 14, 2021, 01:44:37 PM »
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From my previous DCC posting, it looks like I need to invest in a DCC programing booster to write to my sound decoders, or more importantly, my son's sound decoders.  I have no knowledge about much of this and was wondering if people could suggest or recommend something.  In talking with BLI, it sounds like they use an audio mixer amplifier.  Can I look outside of the DCC world for something like this?

My current setup is a DB150 command station and a DT400R throttle if that makes any difference.

Thanks,

Jason

robert3985

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2021, 12:38:18 AM »
+1
I'm also using a DCS100 Command Station/Booster with both the DT400R and DT500D super throttles and half a dozen wireless utility throttles. 

The whole reason for me going DCC were my first Athearn Challengers and Big Boys equipped with the MRC POS sound decoders and little wireless throttle for DC.  However, I found I couldn't program them using just the regular programming track.  To test my new DCC setup, and learn how to program my engines, I had to first install a non-sound decoder in one of my Atlas GP9's, which programmed just fine on my test programming track.

I did a little research and decided on the SoundTraxx PTB-100 Programming Track Booster, which cured the problem with the MRC sound decoders, and works great with their replacements which are SoundTraxx Tsunamis.  Also works great with every other sound decoder I have and I haven't had a single problem with it at all...totally transparent operation, and it works perfectly with any non-sound decoders I have too.  It just does the job.

I can't compare it with any other programming track booster, but, it works 100% for me and I can't ask for any more than that.

Photo (1) - My portable DCC "Power Board" which powers my layout, including the PTB-100 Programming Track Booster which you can see if you squint just the right way....


Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

160pennsy

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2021, 01:33:30 AM »
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From my previous DCC posting, it looks like I need to invest in a DCC programing booster to write to my sound decoders, or more importantly, my son's sound decoders.  I have no knowledge about much of this and was wondering if people could suggest or recommend something.  In talking with BLI, it sounds like they use an audio mixer amplifier.  Can I look outside of the DCC world for something like this?

My current setup is a DB150 command station and a DT400R throttle if that makes any difference.

Thanks,

Jason

I purchased this Pi SPROG Full Package, which is a complete DCC programing & command station system built on a Raspberry Pi computer. ..Yankee Dabbler has them for $164.99. You will also need to add HDMI monitor, keyboard & mouse (or you can remote into it using built in VNC). This is FULLY CONFIGURED with JMRI pre loaded and the power supplies give it enough boost to support programing ANY factory installed DCC Sound N Scale locos!! - BLI, Atlas, Bachmann

https://yankeedabbler.com/sprog-dcc-pi-sprog-full-package-complete-dcc-programmer-3amp-all-scales-yankeedabbler-part-67-pi-sprog/



"This package includes the Pi-SPROG One DCC interface with an integrated 2.5 Amp booster, Raspberry Pi 3B+, 5v and 14v Power supplies and a pre-configured microSD card with the current Raspbian Stretch system, JMRI DecoderPro and PanelPro and preset WiFi network. This is a complete and fully configured and tested system that will work "out of the box" for those user who do not already have a Raspberry Pi or do not feel so confident in the setup process".
« Last Edit: December 23, 2021, 01:42:18 AM by 160pennsy »
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wcfn100

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2022, 03:11:38 PM »
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Thanks for the ideas.  I think I may just go with the Zephyr because I think it will be easier for my son to use, and then do some sort of JRMI setup with an old PC or Raspberry PI.

Jason

mmyers

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2022, 09:54:38 AM »
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If you can find a used Digitrax DB150 it should take care of your programming needs. Since it does not have a current limited programming output, it programs at full power on its track outputs. Set it up just for programming. It would also be a spare command station/booster if ever needed.

Martin Myers

Sumner

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2022, 11:04:20 AM »
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Putting together a DCC++EX command station is not very expensive and with it (even if you were to only use if for programming decoders) you have a lot of control over the programming track.  You can adjust the sensitivity, the current, pulse duration and they have a <D PROGBOOST> command that you can use also. 

--------------------------------------------------
"<D PROGBOOST> - Override 250mA prog track limit while idle.

When the programming track is switched on with <1> or <1 PROG> it will normally be restricted to 250mA according to NMRA standards. Some loco decoders require more than this, especially sound versions. <D PROGBOOST> temporarily removes this limit to allow the decoder to use more power. The normal limit will be re-imposed when the programming track is switched off with <0> or <0 PROG> or the CS is reset.

To make these settings permanent, you can use a mySetup.h file with these commands in to run at the startup of the Command Station."
-----------------------------------------------------------------

More about the above here....

https://dcc-ex.com/reference/software/diagnostic-d-ack-command.html

.... and a link to DCC++EX here....

https://dcc-ex.com/

I'm using DCC++EX and like it and you can be up and running for under $50 with it.  I'm also running JMRI on a Raspberry Pi.  For under $100 if you have a spare monitor you can have a dedicated train room computer running JMRI and a DCC Command Station with a lot of flexibility and the ability to run trains with a phone throttle

Sumner

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http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/RR Main/Link Page Menu.html

wcfn100

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2022, 11:29:04 AM »
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If you can find a used Digitrax DB150 it should take care of your programming needs.

That's what I have and I'm unable to program some of my sound decoders.

Jason

peteski

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2022, 11:34:33 AM »
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If you can find a used Digitrax DB150 it should take care of your programming needs. Since it does not have a current limited programming output, it programs at full power on its track outputs. Set it up just for programming. It would also be a spare command station/booster if ever needed.

Martin Myers

In service (programming track) mode?!  I'm not familiar with that device, but "full track current"?  That would be against NMRA DCC specs.  The specs specifically call for limiting service mode programming current. That is done so attempting to program a mis-wired decoder will not damage it.  If full current was sent to programming track, you could fry a mis-wired decoder.
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davefoxx

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Re: Best programming booster?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2022, 03:53:50 PM »
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If you can find a used Digitrax DB150 it should take care of your programming needs. Since it does not have a current limited programming output, it programs at full power on its track outputs. Set it up just for programming. It would also be a spare command station/booster if ever needed.

Martin Myers
That's what I have and I'm unable to program some of my sound decoders.

Jason

And, unless Digitrax has updated the DB150 since I sold mine a few years ago, you cannot read CVs on this command station/booster.

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