Paul Holmes Paul H
I have had a recurrent problem with two of the eight IP digital point motors.  Several times now they appear to have stopped working and fail to respond to the Lenz controller.  Each time I have re-programmed them to respond to 1 and 2 respectively. They then run the wrong way and need a 197 command to reverse.  I have forgotten that the power needs to be switched off after doing this though until joining the forum just now and reading another post. Could this be the reason that they are again inoperable the next day and I have to repeat the moves? 
The other post says just turning off the system at the wall socket is not enough or do I need to disconnect the baseboard connections? 
Cheers
Paul
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JonD

After the 197 command, return the iP Digital switch from the Set to the Run position,  then switch off (“STOP”) the DCC from your Controller,  wait a few seconds and then  switch it back on. That should be all that’s necessary for the iP Digital to store your setting.

But if you are saying that only two of your iP Digital are giving this problem, and the others are fine,  this would seem to logically suggest a fault in these two point motors,  if you are 100% certain that all settings on your Controller are identical for all point motors (except of course their actual normal DCC address). 

Just to be sure,  you could try setting the address of one of the two point motors that you are having problems with,  to the same address as one that is working correctly, and repeat the 197 command.  If that same point motor is still causing the same problems, then one would have to logically assume that the point motor is faulty (although that would be very rare – and to have two doing the same…… even more so).

I am not familiar with the Lenz system.  Does STOP DCC button totally switch off power on the DCC bus,  or just switch off DCC data but leave DC voltage?  That would be odd.  However if you are driving your point motors from a separate DCC Accessory bus,  then hitting the STOP button may not turn off power to accessories - it may just turn off DCC data but e.g. 18V DC power may still be there, so the iP Digital will not power down as is needed. 

As I said, I don’t know what Lenz systems offer in this regard, but with my system,  this is how I have it configured.  Reason being,  I like to keep all accessories powered up,  after a track short has shut down power to that track district.    I can set a time,  typically a couple of minutes or so,  for accessories to stay powered,  and after that power to Accessories will be disconnected.  The main reason I do this is so that I can still move point motors after a track short has been detected and DCC power has been turned off, e.g. due to a derailed train after it has encountered a wrongly set point. Can save a lot of confusion and frustration.  But probably nothing to do with the issues you are seeing. 

Anyway Paul,  just my thoughts……. Hope you get it sorted soon.  Please do let us know J.

Cheers,   Jon

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MatthewP
This sounds similar to a problem I have had with iPdigital motors requiring to have addresses reset. Explanation for mine was a track short circuit on the same power zone as the cobalt motors somehow interfering with the iPdigital’s internal electronics and causing them to forget their address. Mick of DCC concepts helped me to identify the issue and explained that they were aware and the problem only affected one batch of the iPdigital motors - presumably your two are from that batch. To avoid a recurrence you could either ensure that the motors are wired to an independently protected power circuit or zone, or you could simply protect each motor against the effect of short circuit by wiring a 20watt light bulb into the frog powering circuit I.e. between the frig and the cobalt motor. I had 12 motors affected in this way, the solutions worked for me, hope they work for you too!
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JonD

MatthewP wrote:
   ..... Mick of DCC concepts helped me to identify the issue and explained that they were aware and the problem only affected one batch of the iPdigital motors ...... 

Thanks Paul,  I wasn't aware of this.  Mine are all run from a separate Auxiliary Bus and I have never had any issues,  but I have a nearby friend that has been having some similar issues regarding the motors occasionally losing their addresses, and he is running the iP motors direct form the DCC track bus.  I'll drop and around and have a chat to him!  

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AHJAY
Yes, one batch used a new microprocessor that, despite our beta testing, seems to have a tendency that we missed to react to some types of short circuits. This issue affected only one "short batch".  It has no other effect on performance or reliability so most people would never see the issue.

It is easily remedied with an incandescent tail light bulb in circuit with the frog or realted dropper wires as that buffers shorts so the command centre and motor never sees them. They are low cost and easy to find in most garages but also - If you email M.bryan@dccconcepts.com we will supply them..

(The same form of bulb / inductive load use is an old but very simple and good solution to many "otherwise annoying" digital issues such as sound re-sets too)

regards, Ahjay
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MatthewP
My experience was that the address loss was caused by the multi-short effect you sometimes get when for instance a loco is driven towards a wrongly set point and keeps trying to proceed as the short circuit relay keeps resetting - relay chatter I think it's called. Makes sense to me to keep all the accessories on a separate bus if you can to avoid any chance of this happening - in my case (and I suspect in others as well) I discovered the problem a little late and had already completed a large part of the wiring all on one bus! The light bulb solution is the easiest way forward if the separate bus idea is impractical.

We're learning all the time!!

Matthew
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Peter Rust Rusty Pete
Light bulb installation works very well.
All  our points are so protected on 4 layouts, mostly 10' shunting planks.
The following is not recommended  but a heavy 08 shunter will drive through a wrongly-set point, without losing sound settings and keep going.
It is not something to be abused.
Learning all the time?
Aren't we all! 
Pete
More than one way to skin a cat ðŸ˜‰
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JonD


The following is not recommended  but a heavy 08 shunter will drive through a wrongly-set point, without losing sound settings and keep going.
It is not something to be abused.

Hah ha...... love it!

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Paul Holmes Paul H
Thanks all.  The problem has not recurred yet, but the short circuit idea is worth looking at further. I will create a short by driving a train deliberately against a wrongly set turnout. If that causes the problem to recur then the light bulb trick will be tried. 
The point motors are indeed all driven directly through the main DCC bus. It is a smallish shunting layout with only eight sets of points so it seemed an unnecessary complication to instal separate power feeds. I am unsure what relay Matthew is referring to chattering after a short circuit? On my system, a short is detected and the system shuts down and only manual removal of the offending loco resolves the problem.  As a trainee guard on a NG heritage railway, (FfWHR), the rule book states quite clearly that it is the responsibility of whoever is in charge of the shunt to ensure all points are correctly set before allowing any movement of stock. Sounds like a good rule to me! 
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MatthewP
Paul - that sounds like a better way of handling a short - a bit like the old Tri-ang or Hornby controllers with the red button that popped up. My Gaugemaster Prodigy system has auto reset (via a relay) which operates after about 1/2 a second or so, maybe quicker. If you haven't resolved the short, you get a clicking (or chatter) from the relay as it keeps trying to reset. I never tried to deliberately cause the problem with the point motors because it was such a bore reprogramming them all. But since I've rewired 9 of them through a separate bus, and used the bulb solution for the others, I have not had the problem recur. And this despite frequent short circuits - I seem to have a problem with identifying the direction set of double slips !!  
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AHJAY
Please note I changed the thread title a bit. Fixing annoying layout shorts in general is of positive interest to everyone and the solution we discuss here is a simple and almost ideal way to achieve that.

In every commercial DCC system, the base station tries to reset constantly if a short happens. With some brands it is a silent process because the overload electronics are semi-conductor based which is why Paul probably does not hear it. If the system uses a less sophisticated method such as relays, then it may chatter.

In relation to "trying it" there is no point as the cause of the problem and its very simple fix are already totally understood. Why cause another unnecessary short?

This is about more than point decoders re-setting. In all cases, shorts and repeated reset attempts are to be avoided if possible, so I would very strongly recommend installing the bulbs as advised anyway because It will be good for overal layout health and the health of every decoder in every loco!!

This is because EVERY short creates voltage spikes that reduce the life of everything on the layout.... and ether not having them by managing the track control perfectly or buffering them with the bulbs so that the command station never has to reset is the only way to stop it happening.

If you can't remember slip positions, then perhaps a mimic panel will help. Alpha mimic will let you see how things are and needs only two wires connected to the track power bus to interact with every point properly.

regards, Ahjay
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