(re-named topic from "Resolving some DCS Weirdness")
Was going to run a train and make a video for New Years' since it's been more than a 1.5 years since my last 'test track' video. Long story short--it didn't happen.
For those who don't know, my "test track" is an 11x17 loop of mixed Lionel and K-Line 027-height tubular track--mostly 3' sections and 072 curves-- equipped with DCS (V 4.20, TIU Rev 13B) and TMCC, connected at two points, with a roughly equal amount of track between them. There is a lift-out module in one corner so I can enter/exit the room. Electrical connections here were in the form of a pair of brass strips on the landing blocks and corresponding strips on the underside of the module. As these aged, I started getting substantial voltage losses here, so I replaced the contacts with a banana-plug/jack arrangement to power the lift-out.
Now on to the issues I encountered this weekend. A timeline of events follows:
--20-20596-1 (NS SD60E, PS3): Long-term resident of the test track loop. Been on-track for the better part of a year. It's the only active engine in my remote (half-dozen others are in 'inactive' status. Starts and runs, all functions OK. Was pulling a dummy unit (20-2944-3, NS C40-8W) and about a 20-car train of mostly Premier and AtlasO freight.
I wanted to MU it with another unit of mine, a 20-2944-2 (NS C40-8W, PS2) one of the 'inactive' engines in my remote. Set it on the track, powered up to 17-18V and attempted to address it:
"Engine Not On Track"
I remembered trying several months ago to run my 30-2938-1 (MP15, PS2) with the same result, but not attempting any further troubleshooting, thinking it was something off with that particular loco.
Set aside that unit and placed my 20-2958-1 (CSX SD70MAC, PS2) , also in my remote as an inactive loco.
"Engine Not On Track"
Tried my recently-acquired NKP 759 (20-3032-1), a PS1 unit upgraded with what I believe is a 3v PS2 board (it has a 2-pin rectangular charging port). It performed admirably under DCS on its last trip around it's former owner's layout before its dismantling, after sitting on it for more than a year during his illness/after his passing, but I have not had a chance to run it on my loop. Not being in my remote, I attempted to add it. With it's lights lit (so it saw the watchdog signal), I attempted to add it and got a no-engine- found message.
During repeated attempts to get DCS to recognize this loco, my remote shut off twice while attempting to add. Checking the batteries, I found all at 1.2 volts except for one that read 0.8 volts. I replaced them all with a matched set all testing a full 1.5v.
Wondering if there was a dirty track/wheel/roller issue I accessed and moved the functioning NS unit to the other side of the layout, unboxed one of my newest additions, a 20-21272-1 (UP SD70M, PS3) and attempted to add it. It added, but with an incomplete name--just a "UP" all the way at the right side of the display. I successfully started the loco and while it was sitting there idling attempted to edit the loco's name and it seemed to take. Sounded two short horn blasts with the SFS function key, started the bell, and started notching up the thumbwheel and....
It performed a shut-down instead. Subsequent attempts to address it came back with "Check Track".
I was able to start-up the NS SD60E, but subsequent attempts to move it also resulted in 'Check Track'.
Using the Read button consistently shows the TIU, and one engine (the NS) detected.
Just before posting I went back and tried again:
--Selected the UP SD70M: "Check Track--Engine Not on Track"
--Selected the NS SD60E: Started, rang bell, initiated shut down OK.
--Selected the UP unit again: "Check Track" (the loco is now in the active list)
--I noticed the Dash 8 mentioned previously was now in the active list, so I removed the UP unit, placed the Dash 8 on-track, powered up (heard the relay click) and attempted to select it: "Check Track", and "Engine Not On Track" with any subsequent function call.
--The SD60E, sitting in the same spot where DCS claimed not to see it a few minutes ago, starts and responds normally. I should probably try an isolated programming track for the recaitrant locos but had not since that first SD60E that's been on the loop all this time acts 99% normal.
--Removed the SD60E, leaving the Dash 8 and performed a Read: "TIU 1 detected, No Active DCS Engines"
--Placed the UP SD70M and performed a Read: "TIU 1 detected" and it switches to the SD70M. Attempted start-up , it responds. Start bell, and notch up: I see the loco nudge forward a little, and I add a few more notches with no further movement. At 10SMPH, the unit performs a shut-down and "Check Track" appears on the remote.
Anyone seeing a pattern here?