Ronnie
Hi all.I am a retiree OAP ,I was a control panel builder and wireman and am now planning a model railway.I have done loads of research and purchased some of the equipment plus a DCC loco and carriages and the Signa Track ACE-2 Controller and  2 x NCE EB1 Circuit  Protectors and 2 x DCC2 bus protectors.As I am physically disabled and getting under the board would be very difficult I have opted for the DCC Concepts SS point motors so I can surface mount them.I want to have a seperate accesory bus to power the point motors and the Accesories   DCC Alpha Switch through the DCC Concepts Sniffer and the supply being provided through the  DCC Concepts 2amp wall socket power supply..I have read elswhere that the SS point motors may not work with a Sniffer and would appreciate any viewoints and advice on the subject.ICan use the ACE-2 Controller and forget about a seperate bus if need be if the SS point motors prove to be incompatible with a Sniffer.but aseperate bus is my big preference.. ..............With regards to the ACE-2,its not yet set up but its a very nice unit and I quite like it.If anyone has bought one I would be interested in their feedback regading it.    Thanks.    .
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Bunkerbarge
Hi Ronnie, firstly welcome to the forum.

I am currently putting together a layout and have made the decision to go with Cobalt SS motors and all other electronics mounted above the board.  They will all have to be hidden under buildings with the cabling buried beneath the scenery and available bus access points left for future use.  I have an Ace-2, which I think is an excellent controller and I had fully intended to use it for control of everything.  The one aspect I wanted to use however was to connect the Ace-2 to a laptop and operate my points through control software on the laptop.  Unfortunately the developer of the Ace-2 is not able to progress this function at the moment so I have made the difficult decision to go for an ESU ECOS controller, which I can set up like that.

Up until now I have been using the Ace-2 to control everything and had intended to continue doing so.  I have never had any challenges with anything not working so I was not planning on fitting a separate accessory bus. My only challenge with the Ace-2 was having to remember the ID number of a point and then having to select it from a list to operate it.  Apart from that the functionality and the interface of the Ace-2 is way above anything else in the price range.  Setting up locomotives and accessories are both easy and intuitive and making adjustments to loco decoders is very straightforward if you use the programming output.

So far I have been able to hide my Cobalt SS motors and their controllers reasonably easily and I am hoping that using realistic point rodding will enable me to continue to keep everything above the board and accessible.  If you have a look through the Lincolnshire Loop thread you might find some interesting ideas for your own use, which is here:

https://www.dccconceptsforum.com/post/lincolnshire-loop-9859042?&trail=15

and for hiding the Cobalt SS motors have a look at the competition thread here:

https://www.dccconceptsforum.com/post/competition-entry-scopwick-signal-box-fc1876-quotfinal-competition-entry%E2%80%9D-9900369?&trail=15
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AHJAY
A small correction.

You can use Cobalt SS with the Alpha Sniffer on a small layout hoiwever with more than a couple of control PCBs you approach its limit witth the turn on power surge as the board boots up. This can be helped with a simple addition to the circuit BUT its important to remember that the Sniffer IS a sniffer and should not be expected to provide power for larger loads.

It would be far more sensible to use an Alpha Box as Accessory power bus power OR ower them from the main system

Ahjay
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Ronnie
Bunkerbarge wrote:
Hi Ronnie, firstly welcome to the forum.

I am currently putting together a layout and have made the decision to go with Cobalt SS motors and all other electronics mounted above the board.  They will all have to be hidden under buildings with the cabling buried beneath the scenery and available bus access points left for future use.  I have an Ace-2, which I think is an excellent controller and I had fully intended to use it for control of everything.  The one aspect I wanted to use however was to connect the Ace-2 to a laptop and operate my points through control software on the laptop.  Unfortunately the developer of the Ace-2 is not able to progress this function at the moment so I have made the difficult decision to go for an ESU ECOS controller, which I can set up like that.

Up until now I have been using the Ace-2 to control everything and had intended to continue doing so.  I have never had any challenges with anything not working so I was not planning on fitting a separate accessory bus. My only challenge with the Ace-2 was having to remember the ID number of a point and then having to select it from a list to operate it.  Apart from that the functionality and the interface of the Ace-2 is way above anything else in the price range.  Setting up locomotives and accessories are both easy and intuitive and making adjustments to loco decoders is very straightforward if you use the programming output.

So far I have been able to hide my Cobalt SS motors and their controllers reasonably easily and I am hoping that using realistic point rodding will enable me to continue to keep everything above the board and accessible.  If you have a look through the Lincolnshire Loop thread you might find some interesting ideas for your own use, which is here:

https://www.dccconceptsforum.com/post/lincolnshire-loop-9859042?&trail=15

and for hiding the Cobalt SS motors have a look at the competition thread here:

https://www.dccconceptsforum.com/post/competition-entry-scopwick-signal-box-fc1876-quotfinal-competition-entry%E2%80%9D-9900369?&trail=15
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Ronnie
Hello Bunkerbarge ,Thank you for your reply to my post.i found it very interesting and ,if I may,keep it for future reference.I have every faith that the maker of the ACE will provide the software to connect to a PC,eventually.I took a look at your thread and found it very interesting and was most impressed with the small controlbox contaning the SS points controller.I am a retired control panel wirer/builder and am quite impressed with the neatness and the layout of the components.I have spent two days trying to find out the physical size of the SS controlboard.Its not on their leaflet and as I am deaf phoning them was not possible.I eventually stumbled on the info on a thread on another site on a post by another person wanting that same info.Thanks one again for your feedback to my original query.
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AHJAY
Hi Ronnie

If you need such info, just post here. Its looked at every day by our tech service so you will get a quick answer...

regards, Ahjay
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Bunkerbarge
Ronnie wrote:
Hello Bunkerbarge ,Thank you for your reply to my post.i found it very interesting and ,if I may,keep it for future reference.I have every faith that the maker of the ACE will provide the software to connect to a PC,eventually.I took a look at your thread and found it very interesting and was most impressed with the small controlbox contaning the SS points controller.I am a retired control panel wirer/builder and am quite impressed with the neatness and the layout of the components.I have spent two days trying to find out the physical size of the SS controlboard.Its not on their leaflet and as I am deaf phoning them was not possible.I eventually stumbled on the info on a thread on another site on a post by another person wanting that same info.Thanks one again for your feedback to my original query.


Thanks for the comments Ronnie.  I have not done a huge amount of wiring over the years but what I have put together I have enjoyed taking the time to do it neatly.  I once worked for a ski lift manufacturer based in the UK who used to put his control boxes together while he was watching TV in the evenings.  They used to look like a bowl of spaghetti.  I added some cable trunking and some wrap and transformed it overnight!  Unfortunately it then became my job to wire up the boxes.

As Ahjay says don't hesitate to ask a question on here.  There are plenty of us with experience of DCCconcepts products as well as the technical team who keep a watchful eye on things who are happy to measure something up for you.
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Ronnie
Hi .With regard tothe Signa Track Ace-2 I was properly unpacking it the other day and a booklet was in that I had not noticed before..It was the manual spplement for version3.20 firmwareand on page 8 was1.9.2 Overload Protection information.I quote "The internal operation of the overload shutdown has been refined so as to better accomodate the surge currents associated with layout swith on and DCC auto-reversing modules"   
I hope this info is useful.I have not yet built the layout .I am wondering if I should power upthe Ace and install all the many updates?Looking elsewhere on the DCC Cncepts website I notice other makes of controllers have set up pages,Hornby,Bachmann etc.Will you be doing the same for Ace?Regards,Ronnie.                                            
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Bunkerbarge
Ronnie wrote:
Hi .With regard tothe Signa Track Ace-2 I was properly unpacking it the other day and a booklet was in that I had not noticed before..It was the manual spplement for version3.20 firmwareand on page 8 was1.9.2 Overload Protection information.I quote "The internal operation of the overload shutdown has been refined so as to better accomodate the surge currents associated with layout swith on and DCC auto-reversing modules"   
I hope this info is useful.I have not yet built the layout .I am wondering if I should power upthe Ace and install all the many updates?Looking elsewhere on the DCC Cncepts website I notice other makes of controllers have set up pages,Hornby,Bachmann etc.Will you be doing the same for Ace?Regards,Ronnie.                                            


Ronnie, From my own recent communications with the manufacturer of the Ace-2 the intention always was to develop the controller to enable connectivity of it to a PC and so enable updates to be performed.  This development has been put on hold for the time being as a result of other unforeseen demands on the developer.  I believe it is still his intention to get back to completing this upgrade one day, which will then enable upgrades to be performed via a PC as well as software operation of the layout via a connected laptop.
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AHJAY
Hello Ronnie

We do not make the Signatrac Ace of course but:

* Yes, I would do the updates in sequence, one at a time. It is unwise to jump ahead with them so even though it will take more time, do them all in order.
* We may do some advice for the signatrac but it is a very small cottage industry type product and not used by many, so it may be some time before we do it. (Just not enough time in the day to do everything)
* Is there some part of it that you want specific help with in the setup and use area. If so I may be able to takle that aheas of other things

regards, Ahjay
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