The DTM30 Super Tower Master is a 30 channel point, signal & sensor controller / display unit for automation of layout control panels. Many users want to be able to control and display their points and signals using pushbuttons and LEDs, not just with a handheld throttle. This unit allows just that: this is achieved with just a LocoNet and a 9-12v AC or DC power connection, thereby eliminating individual wires to point motors, accessory decoders or detection circuits.
Some of the capabilities are illustrated in the diagram above:
- A point can be displayed by two LEDs. these would sit in the two tracks coming out from the point; one would be lit to show that track was active.
- A point can be operated by a pushbutton. Press the button to change its position. (Alternatively, there can be one button for "closed" and one for "thrown".
- A sensor cell (e.g. from a BDL168) can be displayed as an LED which is lit when the track is occupied.
- A signal can be displayed in various ways. Signals controlled by the SIGM20 and the Digitrax SE8c can both be displayed.
- The track "running" direction for SIGM20 signals can be shown.
Not shown on the panel above is a range of other functions, for example:
- A pushbutton can set a route controlling several points.
- The track can be initialised to a particular state with a single button press which sets all the points controlled by the DTM30.
- The DTM30 can interlock with PC software such as "Traincontroller" to allow safe operation of points in areas where trains are automatically controlled.
- The board can be programmed from a PC: out Locoanalyse program allows all the setting sto be stored in a file, and be downloaded through a"live" LocoNet connection.
What is Needed?
To use the DTM30, it will be necessary to construct a panel with the appropriate pushbuttons and LEDs. The DTM30 will need a 9-12v DC supply: it may be possible to share that with other units but NOT with the booster power feed! The only connections out from the enclosure are a 9-12v power feed and a LocoNet cable. This greatly simplifies layout wiring. an example of a user created panel controlled by a DTM30:
How does this work?
To LocoNet, the DTM30 appears as a throttle: it generates the same commands that a handheld throttle (e.g. DT300, DT400) would do.
The DTM30 operates as a loconet device in the same way a throttle does. Through LocoNet, the DTM30 is able to sense the states of points & sensors and can decode the DCC accessory commands that go to accessory decoders. By doing this, the DTM30 can sense the state of points even if they are operated by a different throttle. With any accessory decoder, operation of points by the DTM30 or by other throttles (e.g. DT300, DT400) will always be detected & shown on the panel. This will also be true if a PC software program (e.g. Railroad&Co) operates the points, or if a DCS100 route sets the points.
If the accessory decoder supports feedback (e.g. DAC10, DS54, DS64) then the correct point state can be detected even if a local pushbutton input to the accessory decoder is used to change its state.
Want to control your points with a throttle AND a DTM30? No problem - just do it; the DTM30 display will always be correct!