Barry B. and Gunner John....I've just got to know.....DCS Chrono

Barry and John:

I'm 100 miles from home and hours away.  On another chat board, the claim was made that the DCS Chrono (running time and miles) for a DCS engine begins to count IF a DCS is parked--not activated--on powered track.  TRUE OR FALSE?

I just can't believe it's true, because if multiple engines are seated around a turntable and NOT operated that often, they would have hundreds of hours of running time.  I'm hoping to hear/learn that this is FALSE.

Original Post
John C. posted:

Barry and John:

I'm 100 miles from home and hours away.  On another chat board, the claim was made that the DCS Chrono (running time and miles) for a DCS engine begins to count IF a DCS is parked--not activated--on powered track.  TRUE OR FALSE?

I just can't believe it's true, because if multiple engines are seated around a turntable and NOT operated that often, they would have hundreds of hours of running time.

True, and THAT is the reason that all the tracks around our turntable have toggle switches to TURN OFF THE POWER when the locomotives are not being used!

 I'm hoping to hear/learn that this is FALSE.

 

Guys,

You may not like it, however, it makes perfect sense.

Electronics age when they're receiving power. To not log the time would be to ignore this portion of the life of the electronics. It would make a board appear to be less used than it is.

Barry

 

DCS Ambassador & author of The DCS Companion series of books

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!

 

Thank you John & Barry:

Barry:  I very respectfully disagree.  I don't think the clock should run if the engine is NOT activated and stationary.  However, from reading between your lines, I'm gathering the board is "working" even if the engine is not activated and stationary.

It would be a HUGE pain in the rear but I guess it would be prudent to "cut" power to all engines when NOT in actual use.  Wow.  

John C. posted:

Barry and John:

I'm 100 miles from home and hours away.  On another chat board, the claim was made that the DCS Chrono (running time and miles) for a DCS engine begins to count IF a DCS is parked--not activated--on powered track.  TRUE OR FALSE?

I just can't believe it's true, because if multiple engines are seated around a turntable and NOT operated that often, they would have hundreds of hours of running time.  I'm hoping to hear/learn that this is FALSE.

John, a friend dropped off an MTH locomotive of his with 1.1 miles. And over 200 hours...

BobbyD posted:
John C. posted:

Barry and John:

I'm 100 miles from home and hours away.  On another chat board, the claim was made that the DCS Chrono (running time and miles) for a DCS engine begins to count IF a DCS is parked--not activated--on powered track.  TRUE OR FALSE?

I just can't believe it's true, because if multiple engines are seated around a turntable and NOT operated that often, they would have hundreds of hours of running time.  I'm hoping to hear/learn that this is FALSE.

John, a friend dropped off an MTH locomotive of his with 1.1 miles. And over 200 hours...

OH MY GOSH!  Wow.  I mean double WOW.  I had no idea.

Who cares? So what the clock is running.  Really your not going to buy a engine because it records how long it's had track power?   Like stated above total miles is the only data that matters.

Train6666 posted:

Just another reason I'm not using MTH products, once bitten twice shy.

You bettcha LOL

I don't understand your reasoning ?  DCS is the only Mfg. that as this feature, so you get information that helps you,  so that is bad ? All the other Mfg. don't give you a clue.

Buy a car without a odometer or or buy one that gives you some information of its past. 

Engineer-Joe posted:

I have to agree with Barry.

What else would it do? You have the scale miles registered too. That keeps track of actual wear.

If the user could reset or adjust these things they'd be worthless.

I also have to agree with Barry (and you too). Makes sense to me and as you say, how else would you do it?

And, as Oman says they are drawing a small amount of current which counts as the electronics being used.    

IMHO...The chronometer is a "cutesy" little feature that MTH added to DCS...because they could...never realizing folks would take the information so seriously.

If it really, really mattered...there would be chronometers on a whole lot of other electronic equipment.

Does a PC, a laptop, TV,  or a cell phone have a chronometer one can check...to see how "used" the electronics might be?  Not that I am aware of...but, maybe they do.

SD60M posted:

IMHO...The chronometer is a "cutesy" little feature that MTH added to DCS...because they could...never realizing folks would take the information so seriously.

If it really, really mattered...there would be chronometers on a whole lot of other electronic equipment.

Does a PC, a laptop, TV,  or a cell phone have a chronometer one can check...to see how "used" the electronics might be?  Not that I am aware of...but, maybe they do.

The Hard Drive in my computer and the motherboard both have a built in chronometers that tell me the number of total power on hours.
  * The hard drive timer is extremely useful. Usually when they hit around 25,000 hours, I'm replacing them not matter how good it still operates.

My cell phone has call timer that tells me the total number of minutes of talk time and the total amount of data transmitted & received on the device.

Last but not least one of my Vizio TVs does have a total power on life timer which was oddly at 5 hours when it was bought "new".

These chronometers exist in more places than we would think and are not easily accessible in most cases on many of them.

H1000

H1000

"These chronometers exist in more places than we would think and are not easily accessible in most cases on many of them."

Admittedly, I was being a bit of wiseacre when I posted above.  Since, apparently,  these chronometers do exist...per your comments...I would really like to know how to access them...maybe they are useful.  I especially like the idea of knowing the information on hard drives and motherboards.  Heck, the idea of knowing the information on my TV would be very interesting.

However, if they are not easily accessible in most cases as you state...they are really worthless and inconsequential to any sale of such electronic equipment.  I'd also like to see evidence that anyone is using this chronometer data in any kind of a sale or other transaction...other than the very critical piece of equipment...the toy train and, actually, only the MTH toy train.

Oman posted:

What Barry said, totally accurate.   At least MTH gives a secondary buyer use information. Does any other do that, NO. 

Yes.   This is available in Lionel Legacy engines as well but not widely used in LCS and it's partners.  So far the only LCS partner to bring this information out is eTrain Console.  When a Legacy engine transverses a sensor track this is some of the information that is available it just depends on whether the LCS partner or even Lionel chooses to take advantage of it by bringing it out.  I suspect customer service has access to these stats.

eTrain Console Sensor Track Screen.

eTrain

Personally to me the information is nice to have but as others pointed out it's a bit odd to see a new engine with a lot of hours on it.



 

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Barry is correct.  The reliability of electronics is randomly distributed and in part related to power-on time.  So if you are a manufacturer or user of electronics and you want to know "how's your product doing"  (i.e. reliability) you need to keep track of power-on time.  Failure rate = failures/time where time is power-on time for electronics.

Steve

John C. posted:
BobbyD posted:
John C. posted:

Barry and John:

I'm 100 miles from home and hours away.  On another chat board, the claim was made that the DCS Chrono (running time and miles) for a DCS engine begins to count IF a DCS is parked--not activated--on powered track.  TRUE OR FALSE?

I just can't believe it's true, because if multiple engines are seated around a turntable and NOT operated that often, they would have hundreds of hours of running time.  I'm hoping to hear/learn that this is FALSE.

John, a friend dropped off an MTH locomotive of his with 1.1 miles. And over 200 hours...

OH MY GOSH!  Wow.  I mean double WOW.  I had no idea.

John,

It is a RailKing Scale GP9, runs fantastic and simply smokes like you wouldn't believe!  Doesn't have a scratch on it so I checked mileage/time for the heck of it while shutting down and then restarted the DCS system to verify after I realized what I had seen. Have no idea where it sat powered up all that time at his place We also have a early MTH GS steamer bought used which came with a lot of hours that is an outstanding runner/smoker as well. It is so old the harness is soldered directly to the board.

There is a pretty well known reliability curve for a typical electronic product.  Note that this is only for a properly designed product, poor design decisions will greatly affect this statistical curve.  Properly designed electronics with the entire operating envelope within all the component ratings should exhibit a similar failure characteristic.  Obviously, the specific component types are key in the calculation, as well as the MTBF of the individual components.  If you pick a capacitor that has an MTBF of 1,000 hours, and all the other components are rated at100,000+ hours, you can still count on an MTBF figure that's pretty low.

You will note that there is a higher rate of failure early in a product life, infant mortality.  This is why high reliability products have a factory burn-in cycle.  For much of the avionics I developed, there was a required 168 hour burn-in and then a complete functional test before shipment.   That would move the failure rate into the Useful Life area of the curve.  Since the MTBF of a product is based on the field experience, anyone that needs to maintain a specific MTBF figure is well advised to have a production burn-in cycle.  Obviously, the model train folks don't feel any such compunction.

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Dave Zucal posted:

Can you really believe the odometer and chronometer. This 2-8-0 PRR with PS-2 3 volt from a ready to run set would have to have been0421170631 run at 156 MPH to log that many miles.

Dave, I've never seen one with more miles than hours!

Often skeptical about the amount of hours some units show versus mileage. This has got to be the fastest model train ever!!

Can you really believe the odometer and chronometer. This 2-8-0 PRR with PS-2 3 volt from a ready to run set would have to have been run at 156MPH to log that many miles.

I did some testing with this a while ago and determined that the Chronometer reader is written to memory during the shutdown of the engine after power is removed from the track. 

It is possible to have some engines that will operate perfectly with a low battery to allow it to still function but never complete the shutdown process and record the new chronometer reading.

I believe the odometer is recorded while the engine operating and should not be affected by the above condition.

H1000

H1000

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