Dimension Engineering controller question

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Bob D.
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm
Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:01 pm

After conversations with Dimension I have found that the Sabertooth 2x60 does not support analog option 3 like their other controls. This poses some problems for what I want to do, especially the lack of a one direction throttle and the ability to seperately choose forward or reverse.
Using an Arduino microprocessor as a control interface may be the answer. Unfortunately that is something beyond me at this point.... I have never done coding and this could be a rabbit hole for me. The easiest route may be to go with the Sabertooth 2x32 controller but I have concerns with the lower amp rating and the fact they won't be in stock for six weeks.
I'm using an actual EMD diesel control panel for my large scale critter and want to use the levers to control my loco. Already has microswitches for all the positions and easy enough to add pots where needed.
Attachments
IMG_2412.JPG
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:37 pm

Love the control stand...my favorite.

Somebody suggested once that I use the Arduino processor, but, like you, it wasn't something I figured I wanted to get mixed up in trying to learn.

Originally, the rotary switch I'm using to give me 'notches' on my pot had a stop on it, which only gave me 5 power notches. After I accidentally kicked the handle getting off the motor, I took it apart and discovered that without the relatively fragile stop, I can rotate it to 12 positions in a full rotation. So, when it's warmer, I'm going to add the numbers for notches all the way up to 11. With the five 'power' notches, I could only use about half the available power, so it works better now :D


Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

rkcarguy
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:10 pm

^^^^ Mikes track after trying notch 11 :)
wheelspin.jpg

Bob D.
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm
Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:48 pm

Mike,
Question on the operation of the EMD panel.
When the throttle is in notch one you can pull it out and go one lower into what I believe is the engine off/shutdown position. If that assumption is correct, is it normal that you have to go back to notch one to be able to remove the reverser lever? I would have thought you could remove the reverser with the throttle off....
Do they do this so there is no way you would try starting the engine with the throttle off?
I've put this panel together from a box of three that were mostly apart so I wonder if I have something wrong. All the other mechanical interlocks between the levers make sense. Have all ten switch activations mapped out for the lever positions.
Seems that this would be straight forward for Arduino inputs for interfacing with the Sabertooth 2x60. Just have to find someone with that knowledge.

Bob
Attachments
IMG_2398.JPG
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

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PRR5406
Posts: 623
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Location: Eastern Maine

Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by PRR5406 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:51 am

If you figure it out, let me know! I have a similar panel which would be very sexy for a new Diesel-Electric!

BTW, is that locomotive a model of the "Aerotrain of Tomorrow" or a poor-man's "Flying Yankee"?
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:39 am

rkcarguy wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:10 pm
^^^^ Mikes track after trying notch 11 :)

wheelspin.jpg
:D :D :D
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

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Erskine Tramway
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Location: South Dakota
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:13 am

Bob D. wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:48 pm
Mike,
Question on the operation of the EMD panel.
When the throttle is in notch one you can pull it out and go one lower into what I believe is the engine off/shutdown position. If that assumption is correct, is it normal that you have to go back to notch one to be able to remove the reverser lever? I would have thought you could remove the reverser with the throttle off....
Do they do this so there is no way you would try starting the engine with the throttle off?
I've put this panel together from a box of three that were mostly apart so I wonder if I have something wrong. All the other mechanical interlocks between the levers make sense. Have all ten switch activations mapped out for the lever positions.
Seems that this would be straight forward for Arduino inputs for interfacing with the Sabertooth 2x60. Just have to find someone with that knowledge.

Bob
Well, Bob....In 37 years of pulling throttle on the BN, I never had occasion to go into that notch, at least on a running motor. I tried it to see what it said in the 'window' on a dead engine once. It's properly known as the "MU Engine Shut Down" position. It shuts down all the engines in your consist at once, by sending a "Shut Down" signal to all the Governors. As I recall, that position says Stop. If engines needed shut down, I'd reach up on the back cab panel, Isolate it, and push the Red button :wink: So, as a practical matter, I don't know why you can't take the reverser out in that position. I never tried it, but my theory would be; since you wouldn't be able to start the engines with the throttle in that position, they didn't want you 'leaving a trap' for the next crew who tried to start them by leaving it that way.

EDIT...If you were killing all your motors, as when you were leaving a set of light motors parked somewhere, you'd be tying a hand brake on each one, so it was just as easy to Isolate and push the button, as you walked through the cab. It only took a second, and you should leave them Isolated anyway. They need to be Isolated to start them, so MU Stop was for Emergency's, when you needed to kill 'em all and get off the motors, like if one of them was on fire.

The notch that the throttle is normally in, isn't Notch 1, it's Idle. Notch 1 is the second position, and all it really does is 'excite' the main power Generator/Alternator. It doesn't increase the engine speed above Idle. It will build some Amps, but isn't always enough to even move a light motor. You have to get to about 3 Throttle before you can hear any signifigent difference in engine speed. That's why, when we still switched with lamp and hand signals, before radios, I would acknowledge a signal by going to Number3 for a couple seconds so they could tell I saw them.

You probably already noticed that you can't move the Dynamic Brake handle with the throttle anyplace except Idle. The electrical system wouldn't like trying both at once even a little bit :lol: According to Rule, you were supposed to wait 10 seconds when changing from Throttle to Dynamic and back. This was to allow the 'amps' to decay and not cook the control circuits. I see in your picture that you have that instruction plate in front of the Dynamic handle.

Hope that helps, Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Bob D.
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Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:12 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply Mike. It clears up questions on the panel operation. Especially why there are ten positions of the throttle. I'm going to use throttle stop as one of the E-stops. Idle will be notch one and nine will be warp drive engagement......
Here's a sideview of my FrankenCritter. There is also a removable cab roof. 7-1/4" 0-4-0. Full scale minimal railroading!

Bob D.
Attachments
IMG_2409.JPG
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:16 am

Bob D. wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:12 pm
Thanks for the detailed reply Mike. It clears up questions on the panel operation. Especially why there are ten positions of the throttle. I'm going to use throttle stop as one of the E-stops. Idle will be notch one and nine will be warp drive engagement......
Here's a sideview of my FrankenCritter. There is also a removable cab roof. 7-1/4" 0-4-0. Full scale minimal railroading!

Bob D.
That'll work, Bob......

We were in Rapid City today, and I picked up the diode. First chance I get, I'll wire it in.

Nice looking engine. Minimal is the way to go.

Here's 'Sparky", and the 'Lister" I'm working on.
10-18-18 two loads.jpg
3-25-15 Lister train.jpg
Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

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Erskine Tramway
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Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Erskine Tramway » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:47 am

Hi Bob....

Not being an 'electronic' guy, am I correct in thinking that the 'Cathode end', with the stripe, is to the left in your circuit diagram, the way I've labeled it on the drawing?
IMG_2399.PNG
I don't want to do it backwards. Thanks,


Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

Bob D.
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm
Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Dimension Engineering controller question

Post by Bob D. » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:07 am

Mike,
You have it correct. Stripe on diode is the cathode.
You have a great railroad. Have followed yoour posts about it.

Bob
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

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