ZIMO "Signal Controlled
For many years, ZIMO DCC systems have been using a second communications level: information is sent from the track section the loco is at the moment to the loco decoder. This information is (in contrast to DCC instructions) not address specific but rather valid for all decoders and may be different in each track section. The ZIMO system can control the MX9 track section modules in the following manner:
Issuing speed limits and stop commands for track sections in front of a “red” signal using the “signal controlled speed influence”, which operates system autonomous (see “SAB” and “ARS” to the left) or with centralized traffic control on a PC (with STP software)
With the help of
the “location dependent function control”, accessories inside a vehicle
may be turned on or off automatically at specific locations on the
layout (e.g. Turns on lights before entering a tunnel);
speed influence can be utilized for block control, routes, hidden
stations and so on. Compared to other methods (brake generators, DC and
asymmetrical stop*)), the ZIMO method offers the most advantages while
avoiding most disadvantages:
System autonomous Block Control
The route is divided into blocks with at least one go and stop section - gapping one rail only. All track sections are connected to a MX9 track section module, which sends their occupancy state to the command station. The command station uses this information to determine the “signal dependent” speed limits and stop orders, which in turn are sent to the track sections by the MX9.
The loco decoders analyze the "signal dependent" information from the track section in question and combine the result with the simultaneously received DCC commands, that is the actual speed of the train is set to the smaller speed command (the signal controlled speed influence can reduce the speed commanded by the engineer (DCC command) but never cause a speed increase). This feature is just one example of what ZIMO can do already, without a computer.
Automated Route Sequence
Here, the signal controlled speed influence method is also used to transfer “position codes”. Thus, the decoder knows at any time in which track section it currently is in. The decoder sends this information together with “routing codes” (a decoder CV that identifies the train as passenger or goods train, for example) to the global detector, via the bi-directional communication.
The command station selects the proper route from the stored route sequences (with correct position and routing codes) which, after verifying that the target track is unoccupied, sets the turnouts and signals and lets the train proceed. Automated station entries, hidden stations and more is possible with this method - an initial step without computer; towards totally protected route control with identical ZIMO hardware and a computer with STP software (STP: see last page).
Automated Operating Sequences (ABA = "Automatische BetriebsAbläufe)
All loco movements and cab commands are recorded during a sample run and stored under a corresponding "AOS" number in the command station. Such an "AOS" sequence can be called up with the cab and replayed repeatedly and exactly as the original recorded version, where timing is also matched to current operating situations by means of "events" (track switches, reed switches etc.), which were also registered during the sample run. For example: shuttle service can be programmed with unknown dimensions - including sound and lighting effects, couple and uncouple, inclusion of several loco's or trains, stop-over, signal and switch operation. "AOS" is the ideal method for exhibitions, operating a branch line in the background, staging yards or light effects in a display case... and at absolutely no cost (software is included in the command station) !