I finally got the first phase of the track, signals, and turnouts wired up. I was able to test out each of the boards. I had trouble with the BDL186 showing the occupied blocks. After a lot of checking I noticed the green network light was not behaving as the other circuit boards did. This let me to directly connect the Locomet cable and it worked great. It looks like I have some bad cables. My next step is to verify each cable. I was able to change my signal heads, change the turnouts and watch the engine as it moved from block to block. I still haven’t figured out reporting works for Digitrax and JMRI. I need to be able to show the locomotive name in the appropriate block. Well back to more reading and learning on that subject.
Now I need to load everything into JMRI and begin to automate the processes. JMRI is very complex and is able to do many tasks. It does take a while to learn and since it continues to be improved sometimes you have to read through several explanations in sequence. I was able to create a small part of my layout but my goal is to get the entire layout loaded in and to load in the blocks, turnouts, and signals. Then I can begin to make sure that I have the right signals planned and to see how everything comes together.
Luckily I was heading out for a 2 week cruise. With JMRI you can put it into simulation mode and have the system act like it is connected to all of the Digtrax electonics.
You will notice the new Southbend Signals on the layout and the electronics box all wired up with an SE8c, DS64, DBL168 w/ RX4s and a PS3 from Digitrax.