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  Home > DCC Digital Command Control Help + other items of help for Railway Modellers > The Uhlenbrock DCC System > DCC Automation, Track occupation and detection on the Uhlenbrock System > Universal Controller 68720 > A more detailed look at using the 68720 Universal controller


Uhlenbrock 68720 Universal Controller


Requirements for operation:
1. Works with Uhlenbrock LocoNet Command Stations - Intellibox Basic, Intellibox II, PIKO Powerbox, Twin Center...
2.  System must be set to pure DCC operation.
3.  Works with any DCC Locomotive decoders.




A Universal Controller Block section  (There are 4 on each module)


Each Block section consists of three isolated sections:

1. Train detection (Running section).  This must be long enough to accommodate the longest train that will be used in the block section.

2. Slowing (Braking Section).  This section should be long enough for the train to stop.  Train speed and braking inertia can be changed to make sure this happens.  If the signal is red, then this section sends a Speed Step 0 command that will stop any DCC loco using the Braking inertia programmed onto the decoder (CV4).  Sound and other decoder functions will remain powered if the loco stops in this section.

3. Stop Section.  If the signal is red then this section will be unpowered - This will prevent a train from overshooting the section and causing crashes further up the line.  This stop section must be long enough so the the loco cannot span it and continue on to cause a crash.  (Please note: Trains with current conducting couplings may cause complication here - Roco and Liliput build in switches that allow you to set these trains for block section running)

Trains can only run in the direction of the Universal Controller Blocks - Please take this into account when designing a layout.



 

Example 1 - Block section system for train separation on a track.

Film 1: Here the Universal Controller is set up to manage a block section system.


Film 2: A more detailed look at the Universal Controller.
 

This is the example shown in the two films above.  Each of the signals S1-S4 control the exits from each of the Universal Controller blocks.

Example 1 diagram 1 The diagram below shows the layout:


Please Note:  Use my notes below in conjunction with the films and the Manuals for the 68720 Universal Controller - It is my intention to clarify the manuals, not re-write them.

The programming I carried out for example 1:
The Universal Controller was initially programmed using the  push-button simple programming that Uhlenbrock have incorporated into the unit.  (Page 10 of the manual - Operation mode 6)

Press the programming button on the Universal Controller.  The LED will now flash.

From your command station (In this case a 65100 Intellibox II) send the following point switching  (Accessory address) commands:

Step 1 - Switch Point 6 - This sets the module to operation mode 6
Step 2 - Switch Point 3 - The LocoNet module Address 3 is used so that I can manually re-programme the Universal Controller later, without having to disconnect all other LocoNet modules.
Step 3 - Switch Point 4 - I am using all 4 block sections on the unit.
Step 4 - Switch Point 1 - This sets feedback addresses 1 - 4 for the blocks.  Make sure these feedback addresses are not used for anything else on your layout.  You can allocate any 4 consecutive feedback addresses.
Step 5 - Switch Point 1 - This sets Signal Addresses 1-4 for the exits of each block.  Make sure these accessory addresses are not used for anything else on your layout.  You can allocate any 4 consecutive accessory addresses

This will have set up an open ended block section system as shown in the diagram on page 10 of the manual.  All trains will stop at the fourth signal and will have to be manually released by changing signal 4 to green.  Once the train drives itself out return the signal to red to free the occupation of this block.


Each block section is controlled by the accessory address of the signal at the exit of the block - when this signal is green it will release the train so that it may drive out of the block.  The block must return to red in order to free the block for the next train.  (If the block is not freed by changing the signal back to red then the next train in can ignor the section entirely - you do not want this to happen)

The following shows the manual programming I performed to make this a circular, self regulating system:

Using the Technical manual pages 12 and 20 I identified the LNCVs that control the signals and therefore the system.  (There are more but I have only shown those that are relevent to the situation.)

This is how the relevent LNCVs were automatically programmed using the push button programming above:

Block 1
LNCV 11  Value 1 - Address of signal that controls Block 1
LNCV 12  Value 0 - Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 13  Value 0 - 
Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 2
LNCV 21  Value 2 - Address of signal that controls Block 2
LNCV 22  Value 10 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 23  Value 0 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 3
LNCV 31  Value 3 - Address of signal that controls Block 3
LNCV 32  Value 20 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 33  Value 11 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 4
LNCV 41  Value 4 - Address of signal that controls Block 4
LNCV 42  Value 30 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 43  Value 21 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal

These are the changes I made( as well as an explanation of what the instruction means):

LNCV 11  Value 1 - Address of signal that controls Block 1
LNCV 12  Value 40 - Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
(When block 1 is occupied signal 4 is set to status 0 <Red>.  A train must now stop in Block 4)
LNCV 13  Value 31
Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
(When block 1 is occupied signal 3 is set to status 1 <Green>.  A train will now be allowed to leave block 3)

LNCV 21  Value 2 - Address of signal that controls Block 2
LNCV 22  Value 10 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
(When block 2 is occupied signal 1 is set to status 0 <Red>.  A train must now stop in Block 1)

LNCV 23  Value 41 Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
(When block 2 is occupied signal 4 is set to status 1 <Green>.  A train will now be allowed to leave block 4)

LNCV 31  Value 3 - Address of signal that controls Block 3
LNCV 32  Value 20 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
(When block 3 is occupied signal 2 is set to status 0 <Red>.  A train must now stop in Block 2)

LNCV 33  Value 11 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
(When block 3 is occupied signal 1 is set to status 1 <Green>.  A train will now be allowed to leave block 1)

LNCV 41  Value 4 - Address of signal that controls Block 4
LNCV 42  Value 30 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
(When block 4 is occupied signal 3 is set to status 0 <Red>.  A train must now stop in Block 3)
LNCV 43  Value 21 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
(When block 4 is occupied signal 2 is set to status 1 <Green>.  A train will now be allowed to leave block 2)



Example 2.  
A simple storage yard with automatic release of a train triggered by the entrance of another train.

Film 3: Universal Controller set to manage a simple storage yard system.
Initially I planned to test out Universal Controller Operating Mode 1 (See page 7 of the manual).  Uhlenbrock have incorporated 6 easy to use scenarios into the programming of the Universal controller, but the real strength of the unit is that it can be re-programmed to fit different layout requirements, so I took the opportunity to try out a few tricks that I have learnt from other Uhlenbrock products.  If you wish to combine multiple 68720 Universal Controllers together then some manual programming will be needed.

Example 2 Diagram 1 - Plan of my test layout


Example 2 Diagram 2 - Detail of the automated yard

P11-P16 addresses used to control points. An accessory decoder is needed to give the points digital addresses  (Accessory decoder used Uhlenbrock 63410)
The convention Uhlenbrock use is Green (Status 1) is point straight and Red (Status 0) is point curved. So when I set up the example above I wired points 11-16 so that a push of 11 Green would set the first point straight and 11 Red would set point 11 curved - using a set convention like this will help you when designing and programming routes.  The important thing is that the points change in the correct direction!
S1-S4 Signals that control blocks 1-4.  The signals can be on the layout controlled by an accessory decoder.  Only the signal addresses are needed for the system to work.  The signals use accessory addresses in the same way as points.


The programming I carried out for example 2:
The Universal Controller was initially programmed using the  push-button simple programming that Uhlenbrock have incorporated into the unit.  (Page 10 of the manual - Operation mode 6)

Press the programming button on the Universal Controller.  The LED will now flash.

From your command station (In this case a 65100 Intellibox II) send the following point switching  (Accessory address) commands:

Step 1 - Switch Point 6 - This sets the module to operation mode 6
Step 2 - Switch Point 3 - The LocoNet module Address 3 is used so that I can manually re-programme the Universal Controller later, without having to disconnect all other LocoNet modules.
Step 3 - Switch Point 4 - I am using all 4 block sections on the unit.
Step 4 - Switch Point 1 - This sets feedback addresses 1 - 4 for the blocks.  Make sure these feedback addresses are not used for anything else on your layout.  You can allocate any 4 consecutive feedback addresses.
Step 5 - Switch Point 1 - This sets Signal Addresses 1-4 for the exits of each block.  Make sure these accessory addresses are not used for anything else on your layout.  You can allocate any 4 consecutive accessory addresses

I have used this as a cheat to save me having to set each block section Signal and feedback manually.  For the system to work I must now manually create routes (In the Intellibox II) and a way of triggering them (In the Universal Controller)

In Routes Mode in the Intellibox II:

Route for Block 1
Triggered by Feedback 200 Occupied (Status command 2003)
Pause 2 seconds, Set point 11 Green, Set point 14 Green, Set Point 15 Green, Set point 16 Red, Pause 1 second, Set Signal 1 Green, Pause 10 seconds, Set Signal 1 Red.
(Signal 1 Green releases a train in Block 1.  Setting Signal 1 back to Red Clears the block allowing another train to enter it - The 10 second delay allows time for the train to depart before the block resets.)


Route for Block 2
Triggered by Feedback 201 Occupied (Status command 2013)
Pause 2 seconds, Set point 11 Red, Set Point 12 Red, Set point 14 Red, Set Point 15 Green, Set point 16 Red, Pause 1 second, Set Signal 2 Green, Pause 10 seconds, Set Signal 2 Red.

Route for Block 3
Triggered by Feedback 202 Occupied (Status command 2023)
Pause 2 seconds, Set point 11 Red, Set Point 12 Green, Set Point 13 Red, Set point 15 Red, Set point 16 Red, Pause 1 second, Set Signal 3 Green, Pause 10 seconds, Set Signal 3 Red.

Route for Block 4
Triggered by Feedback 203 Occupied (Status command 2033)
Pause 2 seconds, Set point 11 Red, Set Point 12 Green, Set Point 13 Green, Set point 16 Green, Pause 1 second, Set Signal 4 Green, Pause 10 seconds, Set Signal 4 Red.


The following shows the manual programming I performed on the Universal Controller to make this yard system work:

Using the Technical manual pages 12 and 20 I identified the LNCVs that control the signals and therefore the system.  This time I replaced the signal addresses with feedback commands which would trigger the routes set in the Intellibox II  (There are more but I have only shown those that are relevent to the situation.)

This is how the relevent LNCVs were automatically programmed using the push button programming above:

Block 1
LNCV 11  Value 1 - Address of signal that controls Block 1
LNCV 12  Value 0 - Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 13  Value 0 - 
Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 2
LNCV 21  Value 2 - Address of signal that controls Block 2
LNCV 22  Value 10 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 23  Value 0 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 3
LNCV 31  Value 3 - Address of signal that controls Block 3
LNCV 32  Value 20 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 33  Value 11 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal
Block 4
LNCV 41  Value 4 - Address of signal that controls Block 4
LNCV 42  Value 30 - 
Address and status of the previous Block exit signal
LNCV 43  Value 21 - Address and status of the previous Block entry signal

These are the changes I made( as well as an explanation of what the instruction means):

LNCV 11  Value 1 - Address of signal that controls Block 1
LNCV 12  Value 2013 - A feedback command is now sent
(When block 1 is occupied Feedback 201 is set to status 3 <Occupied>.  This triggers route 2 programmed in the intellibox II)
LNCV 13  Value 0 - 

(No command sent)
LNCV 21  Value 2 - Address of signal that controls Block 2
LNCV 22  Value
2023A feedback command is now sent
(When block 2 is occupied Feedback 202 is set to status 3 <Occupied>.  This triggers route 3 programmed in the intellibox II)
LNCV 23  Value
(No command sent)
LNCV 31  Value 3 - Address of signal that controls Block 3
LNCV 32  Value
2033A feedback command is now sent
(When block 3 is occupied Feedback 203 is set to status 3 <Occupied>.  This triggers route 4 programmed in the intellibox II)
LNCV 33  Value 0 - 
(No command sent)
LNCV 41  Value 4 - Address of signal that controls Block 4
LNCV 42  Value
2003A feedback command is now sent
(When block 4 is occupied Feedback 200 is set to status 3 <Occupied>.  This triggers route 1 programmed in the intellibox II)
LNCV 43  Value 0 - 
(No command sent)


NOTE

Many Uhlenbrock accessories use Status commands in their programming

0     -  no command sent
AAA0  - Accessory address AAA set to Red
AAA1 -  Accessory address AAA set to Green
AAA2 - Feedback address AAA Vacant
AAA3 - Feedback address AAA Occupied

These status commands circulate the whole LocoNet system so you can indirectly control a number of accessories automatically using these commands.

*Note - Accessory addresses and Feedback addresses are different and do not clash.

 

 



 
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