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Back up and running

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Well, sort of. I spent the last week cleaning track and fixing some wiring issues to make sure I could run this weekend, and I got an early Friday evening treat. Trains run normally, though some cleaning is still in the cards it seems. And it's only the outer loop right now, the inner loop still needs testing and some work. But it's fun, and reliable, and I'm pretty happy about the changes now. It looks good. Plus, you can see the caboose I wired up using the Model Train Tech caboose kit. It loos super nice honestly, though the couplers on that caboose don't fit anything else, so I have some work to do. I love the red lantern in the back (sorry, not in the video, but it's cool).

I learned a lot too. So, I knew that the Cobalt Digital IP has issues with Digitrax equipment, but I didn't realize how bad it was (maybe?). I have two setups, one is a DCS52 + DB210 and the other a DCS240 and DT602. For the life of this layout, I used the 240 exclusively. With the Cobalt's the firmware is mostly incompatible with the DCS240 (not plus, that's important) as the firmware that's available makes the turnouts less responsive it seems (plus, it takes a minute or two for them to settle down). The DCS52 has a firmware that's new enough that it works with the Cobalt's just fine. What I didn't realize is that using the DCS240 for so long, that some of the train issues I had previously were possibly due to the incompatibilities. Now my trains run as expected and don't stop randomly or do weird things. Either that, or the 240 I own is just no good? Either way, it's out of warranty, and for the cost, the 210 and the DCS52 work just fine. Plus, I can plug my DT602 into the DCS52 and use it as a second throttle on the other side now. So, that all is nice and happy and I do like the 52 form factor honestly. It's just easier to use on smaller layouts.

Next up, get the inner loop tested. The three Peco electrofrog curved turnouts are problematic for me, so I'm still working to figure out to make them electrically reliable (trains pass through them about 50% of the time, the rest they just flat out stall). I love curved turnouts, it gives you a lot of options for a reasonable cost, but at least the electrofrog is somewhat complicated for me, though why is still a mystery. Once I work that out, and get a couple of physical buttons to the reverse loop exits, I'll be able to run the inner loops more reasonably. I do plan to wire the two loop exit turnouts to JMRI eventually to auto switch them. I've seen a lot of videos on how to do that, so I'll be able to make that work soon enough.