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Just finished building what I hope is the "production" model.  The completed unit consists of three pieces.  Obviously, the actual buffer unit itself, a 24V 1A power brick, and an "earth ground" tap for the command base.  The ground is tapped off the outside of the power barrel, this is the connection through the command base power brick to the 3rd wire on the plug.  Connecting the buffer is dirt simple.

  • Connect the earth ground tap between the command base power and the brick
  • Connect the loose wire on the ground tap to the Earth GND terminal on the TMCC Buffer.
  • Connect the track signal output wire from the command base to the Base INP terminal on the TMCC Buffer.
  • Connect the Boost OUT terminal of the TMCC Buffer to the layout track connection.

The buffer is ready to go.  Plug in the 24V power brick, power up the command base, and start running trains.

The three other connections to the buffer box are for DC meter measurements.  You can read a relative level of both the BASE DC signal and the BOOST DC output signal referenced to the GND DC pin.  These will possibly be useful in the future when we want to compare results between different layouts to evaluate the effects of capacitive loading on the buffer output.  Note that these are optional outputs, they don't ever have to be used to effectively use the TMCC buffer.  The circuitry that drives these also drives a signal level LED, red is very low or no base signal, off is marginal base signal, and green is a good base signal.  I usage note, if there is nothing connected to the Base INP terminal, you may see the signal level indicated as green (good).  This happens because stray AC is being fed to the buffer from the floating input, it only happens if there is no connection to the input.

This unit is going out for a real layout test, it'll be tested on the NJ-HR layout.  Upon satisfactory test results there, I'll be ready to order parts for these.  Stay tuned...

DM TMCC Buffer N1DM TMCC Buffer N2

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  • DM TMCC Buffer N1
  • DM TMCC Buffer N2
rad400 posted:

John

I received the buffer today and plan to do  preliminary  testing on Friday and then use it on Sunday for our club's open house.

Bob D.

I will probably get a lot of crap for this but here goes anyway.

the MTH experts at our club are worried that this signal booster will de-grade the MTH signal.  What I would like to ask is can you take pictures of the mth remote showing signal strength without the booster in place and again with the booster installed?

 

thanks

gunrunnerjohn posted:

We're taking our time with the move, it'll be over several months.  That's the benefit of moving 4 miles.

When I moved around 20yrs ago the moving company came to give me an estimate, when he asked me where I was moving to I pointed to the house two doors away. At first he thought I was kidding, then he said really,  I'll never forget the look on his face.

Art 

bigdodgetrain posted:
rad400 posted:

John

I received the buffer today and plan to do  preliminary  testing on Friday and then use it on Sunday for our club's open house.

Bob D.

I will probably get a lot of crap for this but here goes anyway.

the MTH experts at our club are worried that this signal booster will de-grade the MTH signal.  What I would like to ask is can you take pictures of the mth remote showing signal strength without the booster in place and again with the booster installed?

 

thanks

If I have the time next week I will take the measurements.

Bob D

As some one who has been involved in various aspects of RF engineering (amateur radio,  broadcast engineering and systems design)  for the past 56 years, I doubt that there will an interference issue. TMCC operates at 455kHz and the DCS operates between about 3.3mHz and 10mHz.  There is a significant frequency separation between the systems. Once a booster is available (two on order), I will be able to give an absolute response as I have both DCS and TMCC available on the layout that I am currently constructing.

John,

I am a member of the " Paradise and Pacific " model railroad club in Scottsdale, Az.  I was present @ the layout the day Dale stopped by to demonstrate the TMCC/legacy signal booster.  I must say we were ALL very impressed with his devise. Of course we were very sad to hear of his passing. . . . . . .

PLEASE add me to the list to purchase this legacy signal booster.

I am a brand " NEW " OGR  forum member, and mag subscriber. . . .

John B.

John,

That's correct our club has two maybe three preordered. Some of our members may have placed orders too?

After experiencing this devise first hand. I knew I wanted one. The results were amazing. Besides It's the squirrel in me that wants to stash it away. . . . .Just in case ! I'm so new to this forum, and format, Can you see my email address John ? So you can let me know when they're ready ?

Thanks for your response,

John B.

ogaugeguy posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

... this is one of those devices that 98% of TMCC/Legacy layouts probably don't need, it's only large layouts and perhaps exacerbated in multi-layer layouts.

John, do you anticipate having one on your new layout? I ask that because it seems your layout will be mid-size but not humongous .

I don't anticipate needing this for my layout.

Just a small update as to the status of the project.  The testing went reasonably well at NJ-HR, but Bob did have a couple questions that we're still chasing down.

I would like to find one other site to do some testing, obviously it should be one that has significant issues with TMCC without the buffer.

 

There has also been a delay due to the fact that I'm in the middle of a somewhat messy move in the dead of winter.  Being in limbo for a spell is putting a crimp on many of my train-related activities as there are lots of things to do here.

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