KB455: Route Basics - DCS100 or DCS200

This article was last updated on Sept. 5, 2011, 4:18 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

You can use your DT400 series throttle with a DCS100 or DCS200 to set up routes that are triggered by operating a single turnout address to make it either c (closed) or t (thrown).

Setting up and operating routes is similar to consisting locomotives because you can cause more than one unit to operate based on a single command sent to the system.

We call the turnout address that other turnout addresses are “consisted” to, the TOP address.

To operate a route, use Sw (Switch) mode to select the TOP turnout address in the route and move it to either closed or thrown to initiate the route you have previously set up in your route list.

The TOP turnout address does not need to be physically present on the layout, it can be a "phantom" turnout address used to identify a specific route that you have created.

The DCS100 supports up to 32 routes. Each route consists of a list that contains a TOP turnout address and its position (c or t) and up to 7 other turnout addresses and their positions.

Routes are stored in the DCS100’s memory and can be operated by any throttle in the system that can send switch commands. Each of these 32 routes is operated by setting the TOP turnout address to the position saved in the route list.

When a route is triggered, a route can include a switch that is the Top of another route and all the entries in the second route will be added to the string of turnout commands the initial route request generates. The second route called is a "nested" route. From the initial route you can "nest" up to 3 levels deep.

Note that a route that itself does not contain another Top switch (i.e., another route) will not increase the nest depth. Knowing this, you can assemble up to 120 switch commands in a single route if you are careful when you set up your nesting.

If the DCS100 determines that you have exceeded these limits, it will beep 5 times to alert you to the problem.

Note that if a route contains the same switch command more than once and this causes the route to "loop back" on itself, this will also generate a 5 beep route error indication and no switch commands will be issued to the layout.

In this case you will need to edit the route and correct the errors in the list before trying the command again.

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