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Booster type question

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Railwriter View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Nov 2016 at 10:23am
Hello all,

I have noticed that Roco makes a booster adapter that it says will allow a large number of "CDE" type boosters to be used with one of its control stations.

My question is this:  How are CDE boosters different from standard Roco boosters, and why can you use more of them with a given control station?  (The basic Roco instructions say that a maximum of four Roco boosters can normally be used.)

The descriptions of the new full-size Z boosters that will be available next year (2017) say that these boosters can be used with any of the following:
  • B-bus (standard Roco booster connection)
  • CDE bus
  • CAN bus
How are each of these three different?

At this point, this is not an urgent question, as four of the standard Roco boosters will probably suffice for my planned layout (at least in the beginning).  I'm just curious and want to understand the technology better.

Thanks.

-- Ernest
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el Gato Gordo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2016 at 1:32pm
Yes, inquiring minds want to know!  Excellent question.

Cheers!
Gordon
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BR42 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BR42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2016 at 8:16am
Hello:

Having had a (very) fast look at this, I believe that it has something to do with the amount of load each device puts on the bus, and how much power the bus can supply.  While admittedly the individual loads for each booster are small, buses do provide much power either.  If there is a dedicated booster bus, then you do not have to worry about other devises like throttles eating up power.

Ulrich


Edited by BR42 - 27 Nov 2016 at 8:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RRVRR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 7:38am
I will try to clarify it a little bit:

CDE Bus:
This identifies a DCC conform interface and the goal was to allow to connect boosters from different manufacturers together in one system. The Interface description is that on C - is the Data Signal, D - is minus/ground and E - is a shortcut/fault feedback. CDE Booster are switched on as soon as a DCC signal is present on Input C. DCC is directly used as communication between components.

B-Bus:
This is a developed BUS (Name) from Roco that is technically based on the CDE Bus but uses specific plugs. It is difficult to connect boosters from other manufacturer to it if you do not know the plug configuration (I couldn't find information what else might differ from a CDE Bus).

CAN-Bus:
A Controller Area Network is a industrial developed bus system. The main difference is that the DCC Signal is translated from the DCC Controller in the "bus language" and transmitted to the booster(s) and they translate this bus signal back to DCC.

In General - CAN-BUS, Loco-Net, BIDIB etc...you name it:
Basically, all the communication is not done over DCC, they use there "BUS" for all communication.
CDE uses the DCC Signal directly for communication. If a bus supplies the clients with power or not is depending directly on the bus design. Since boosters have there own power source, I do not think they draw a large amount from the DCC source because they just need to listen to the Signals on the DCC "Bus" (yes, DCC is also a communication bus combined with a power source).


Edited by RRVRR - 28 Nov 2016 at 7:46am
best, Markus


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 9:09am
Thanks, Markus!  This is great info. 

So, apparently if I want to do a larger layout using my Z21 (Roco), I would connect the B Buss to a Roco booster via a Roco cable.  The booster would power and signal (DCC) an isolated block of track extension.  The booster would have its own 120 volt feed/power plug.

The buss connections have been a mystery, which you have now cleared up.

Cheers!
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Railwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 9:27am
Gordon, you are basically right.  With boosters, you are sending the command signals down the booster bus, but each booster supplies track voltage to a particular segment on its own -- from its own power feed (switch-mode power supply).  Each booster, of course, also routes all command signals to its track segment.

Markus, the Roco B-bus to CDE bus adapter requires external power, so it's apparently not just a matter of connecting a wire in the B-bus to an equivalent wire in the CDE bus.

-- Ernest

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RRVRR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 10:08am
Originally posted by Railwriter Railwriter wrote:

Markus, the Roco B-bus to CDE bus adapter requires external power, so it's apparently not just a matter of connecting a wire in the B-bus to an equivalent wire in the CDE bus.

-- Ernest

Since I never tried to connect a CDE booster to the B-Bus I can't tell. I only know it is technically  based on the CDE concept but this does not mean you can just plug it in by using an selfmade ordinary cable adapter. There is not a lot of information available. I wish manufacturer would agree on some terms to make this more clear and products would be more interchangeable.

You can have more then four boosters on the B-Bus but it seems to me there might be a problem with the signal strength of it so Roco recommends to add a "brake generator module" before you can add another four boosters. I will try to find out more.  


Edited by RRVRR - 28 Nov 2016 at 10:21am
best, Markus


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RRVRR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 11:04am
It seems the only difference between CDE Booster and Roco Booster is the connection.

CDE:
1 - (C) Data
2 - (D) Minus/Ground
3 - (E) Short/Fault Message

B-Bus:
1 - (C) Data
2 - (D) Minus/Ground
3 - (D) Minus/Ground
4 - (E) Short/Fault Message

(2 & 3 needs to be bridged by connecting B-Bus to CDE or vis versa).
I do not can grantee the above connection diagram because this is what I found on the internet. There is another disadvantage about old Roco boosters I was not aware of because they have no stabilized track output what can cause problems if a loco changes from one booster circuit to another. If you like to know more about this, please let me know.
best, Markus


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Model Train Projects Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Nov 2016 at 5:09pm
Hey All,

that was pretty good info right here :)

I use just the DCC signal to a booster, the booster doesn't draw any current from the DCC, it just listens and copies.
If you run a Roco layout, you can also use ordinary booster on the DCC signal. If there is a short or fault, it also switches the control station off.
Br

Leif
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