Innovations in Electronics

The DCC Tester

Test DCC Signals to Verify Your Power Boosters and Track are working the way they should

Fast, Powerful, Accurate, and Track Powered!

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Update To The V1.52 Image File!

The DCC Pocket Tester is the only low-cost, portable, reliable, and accurate way to test and verify the DCC Protocol. The unit is completely powered from the DCC Signal, so no batteries to change, no power cord to remember, and NO PC required, which makes it the ultimate tool for your toolbox.

Firmware Version 1.52 Now Available

• Ops Mode Programming Screen

• Analog Whistle Packet Decode

• Timing Statistics through the Serial Port

• LCD Contrast Adjustment

See the current release 1.52 notes here

If you own a DCC Tester, you NEED to check out the new version of Stefan Trachsler's Loconet Checker software. All the DCC Tester statistics are displayed in a beautiful screen on your PC! No LocoNet connection required! And his software is FREE!

The DCC Pocket Tester is the ultimate piece of test equipment which tests the DCC Signal from an electrical perspective, a protocol perspective, and a data content perspective. This allows you to verify signal timing, voltage levels and other Electrical Tests. Then verify packet protocol adherence, preamble bits, checksum errors, packet timing, packet update rate, and gaps between packets. The DCC Pocket Tester also lets you monitor address utilization, broadcast counts, and watch how many of what addresses are used. Finally the actual mobile and accessory data packets themselves can be monitored, captured, decoded, and viewed. All from the palm of your hand. No PC, No Oscilloscope, No Batteries, just having...

The Right Tool For The Job!

The firmware used inside the DCC Pocket Tester is completely up-gradable. All you need is a PC and the special Serial Cable. Using the included software, connect the DCC Pocket Tester to a Serial COM port on your PC, and upload a new Firmware Image to the Tester.

New in firmware version 1.4 is the ability to send ALL DCC packets to the RS-232 Serial Port. This allows an external program such as HyperTerminal (free with Windows) to display decoded DCC packets right before your eyes in real-time!

Ever tried to calculate the error-rate on a DCC layout using a DSO? If you happen to have a VERY-LONG record length DSO, and a lot of time on your hands, you could probably figure out a few packets at a time. With the DCC Pocket Tester, you just connect the clips to the rails, and it will monitor 100% of the data on the rails giving you a 100% accurate bit-error-rate without any sampling and calculating time! An oscilloscope or a sound card can not monitor 100% of the data, they require sampling and calculating time, potentially missing bad bits. With the DCC Pocket Tester, not a single bad bit or packet will be missed. Leave the DCC Pocket Tester connected to your layout for hours or days, it will count up to 4 BILLION bits, 4 BILLION packets, and 4 BILLION bad bits without missing a single one! What you get is a combination Communications Analyzer and Protocol Tester specialized for DCC Model Railroading!

 

Available from   These Fine Dealers

 

Complete DCC Pocket Tester (Black)

Includes the DCC Pocket Tester, 24" Alligator Clip Test Lead Set, and quick start users manual.

Price

$179.00

Add Complete DCC Pocket Tester  to Cart

PRICOM RS-232 Serial Cable (CA-COM)

Connects DCC Tester to a standard computer serial port. Modular 6-pin plug on one end, DB9 on the other end. Used for updating unit's Firmware.

Price

$9.00

Add PRICOM RS-232 Serial Cable to Cart

 

Take a look at the following measurements and see how handy this little guy can be.

Brief introduction to the features. (Click on a screen for larger image)

Quick Summary

A good quick-view into your DCC system from ALL LEVELS.

Displays a simple PASS/FAIL for the following parameters:

Track Voltage   Bit Timing        Bit Errors

Packet Timing   Packet Errors   Packet Rate

Bit Summary

A good quick-view into your DCC system from the Bit Level.

Displays the Total Bits Received, Total Bad Bits Received, then calculates a Bad Bits Ratio to let you see how your system is running.

A Peak-To-Peak Track Voltage is also displayed.

Bit Totals

Detail showing the Total Bits, as well as the Total ONE and Total ZERO bits.

Bit Timing

This screen displays the Current Length, Minimum Length, and Maximum Length for both the ONES and ZEROS. If you use Zero Stretching for non-decoder equipped locos, you will see the Zero Time go up significantly.   (This Screen not available in the Lite Edition)

Bit Errors

With the Bit Errors Screen, you can quickly see any errors broken into 3 categories. Bit Too Short means that the bit time was too short to be recognized as a valid bit. Bit Too Long means that the bit time has violated the DCC Standard for maximum bit time. Bit Between is a transition that is somewhere between a ONE and a ZERO.

Packet Summary

The Packet Summary Screen gives a quick snapshot of the Packet Statistics. Measurements include: Total Packet Count, Bad Packet Count, a Ratio of Bad to Good Packets, and a Packet Rate Measurement.

Packet Lengths

The Packet Lengths screen is quite useful to see the distribution of Packet Lengths.

As you can see in the sample screen, the tested system was only sending 2-Byte packets which means only 2 digit addressing was used. The tested system was actually only sending throttle updates to locos 1-32.

Packet Errors

The Packet Error screen displays Total Packets, Bad Checksums, Bad Preambles, Packet Too Long, and if the DCC Pocket Tester Buffer Overruns.

Address Summary

This screen shows the Address status at a glance. Total Address Count and also the number of Broadcast Packets is displayed along with a Ratio of Broadcast Packets. The Lowest Address and Highest Address being sent on the rails is also displayed on this screen. Both 2-digit AND 4-digit addresses can be used at the same time (NCE).

Data Summary

A quick-look at the types of Commands being send on the DCC Rails. Categories include Total Count, Speed Command Count, Mobile Function Packets, Analog Packets, Decoder Reset Command Count, Decoder Idle Command Count, and Broadcast STOP Command Count.

Mobile Address List

This screen shows the total number of Packets Addressed to each of the Addresses on the list. Only addresses in use will be listed here. Simply scroll up and down to find the loco you want. Both 2-digit AND 4-digit addresses can be used at the same time (NCE).

Mobile Monitor

The Monitor allows you to see all the data being sent to the selected Mobile DCC Address. The Current Speed, Speed Step Mode, Direction, Lights On/Off, F1-F12 On/Off Status,  as well as the new Analog Playable Whistle packet, and total Bytes Received. Use the Up and Down keys to select the loco of interest and see what it is being told. No more questions about mapped functions!

Accessory Address List

This screen shows the most recent 32 accessory addresses used, and the total number of Packets Addressed to each. The list is sorted chronologically with the most recent command placed at the bottom. Use the Up and Down keys to scroll this list.

Accessory Monitor

Displays the current state of the most recent 32 accessories controlled. The list is sorted chronologically with the most recent command placed at the bottom. Use the Up and Down keys to scroll this list. Will display simple Closed and Thrown status as well as Extended Accessory signal state values.

Ops-Mode Address List (new in v1.5)

Displays the most recent 32 Ops-Mode programming packets, and the number of packets sent to that Address and CV combination. The list is sorted chronologically with the most recent command placed at the bottom. Use the Up and Down keys to scroll this list.

Ops-Mode Monitor (new in v1.5)

Displays the value written for the most recent 32 Ops-Mode programming packets. Each line represents a unique Address and CV combination. The list is sorted chronologically with the most recent command placed at the bottom. Use the Up and Down keys to scroll this list. Will display Writes, Verify (read), as well as Bit Manipulation instructions.

Serial Dump     (This Function not available in the Lite Edition)

Allows you to send the complete DCC Stream out the RS232 Serial Port as readable TEXT! Baud rates are selectable, and we even provide filtering functions to 'block' data you don't want to see. You can turn off all the filtering and see EVERYTHING on the Rails! All you need is a Terminal program such as Hyper Terminal included FREE in Windows.

Click here to see an expanded view!

Loconet Checker  (not usable with the Lite Edition)

Utilizing the DCC Tester Serial Dump and new Statistics mode, the LocoNet Checker allows you to control, capture, sort, and display all the DCC Traffic in a beautiful table display! This program uses the DCC Tester as the capture front-end and the power of your PC running Windows to store and display the details! You must see this program! No LocoNet connection is needed, just a DCC Tester!

The Loconet Checker software is written by Stefan Trachsler, and can be downloaded FREE from his web site.

Click here to see an expanded view!

For a more complete description of the DCC Tester: Download The Users Manual

As you can see from the above descriptions, this is THE TOOL TO HAVE when you own a DCC Control System. Next time you are at a club meeting, working on your layout, or testing that new Power Booster, make sure you have

THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB.

The PRICOM Design DCC Pocket Tester!

 

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