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Programming CV's - DCC - Tutorials - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 09:26 am
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Petermac
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Elsewhere, I've highlighted the problems I'm having trying to get a reasonable performance from my Bachmann "DCC On Board" Pannier tank loco.

I've looked aeround but can't find any advice on where to set the various CV's on this particular loco for optimum performance - others are listed but not this one.

I'm pretty sure I can't change the top speed (CV5) but 2,3,4 and probably 6 can be re-programmed.

Has anyone any experience with this loco and, if so, what values would give me a reasonably prototypical performance for this type of locomotive ?

I could of course, change the chip but if practical, I'd rather keep the existing one in there ................:roll:

In asking this question, it might prove very useful to have a list of settings used by members for the different locos to which we "beginners", can refer.  At least then, we'd have a starting point .........;-)



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 12:26 pm
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diablo
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Does this pdf help at all?

http://www.bachmann.co.uk/pdfs/DCC_onboard_general.pdf

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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 12:58 pm
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Petermac
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Thanks Diablo - it does help a great deal but I find it hard to believe that ALL locos use the same settings ..........:roll::roll:

Assuming they always use the same decoder, common sense would suggest that there ought to be a different value for the main CV's for different locos.  I wouldn't expect to see my little Pannier giving the same performance as a big mainline loco - allowing for the different motor of course.

I'd certainly want to limit the top speed (the chart in your link suggests it is re-programmable but I don't think it is) and I'd want a different speed curve.

I'll see what happens when I re-set the defaults ..............:hmm



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 02:18 pm
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One big problem is that the Bachmann panniers have so many different chassis fitted- some very indifferent .
There are a few useful pages , linked from here - not for the pannier though, but maybe of some help.
http://www.bachmann.co.uk/service/dug.php

Have you remembered to run the locomotive in before really getting to try and set CV's?

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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 04:28 pm
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Petermac
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I did run the loco in Diablo because at that tmie, I didn't have a controller that allowed me to alter CV's - just the EZ Command.

Interestingly from that Bachmann link, it does depend which chip is fitted to the loco.  I have no idea what's in the Pannier but their EZ 36-552 decoder doesn't seem to allow you to alter either CV5 or CV6 so, from the perfomance I'm getting, I'd guess it's that one in mine.

Also, the defaults are different from those on your previous post.

As I said, it's no great problem really, just the £10 odd for the factory fitted decoder plus the £20 odd for a reasonable replacement - should I decide to swap it.  That does however, almost double the original cost of the loco ................:roll::roll::roll::roll:

Take note those who are thinking of buying DCC Ready locos - buy the DCC Ready version and plug your own, better quality chip, in to it - you'll save a copper or two and get far better performance !!!!

Naturally, I'm not talking about sound locos here - I understand they're usually pretty good although I've never bought one.  I have a friendly "sound engineer" in Australia who does mine ...................:cool wink



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 05:09 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Peter

Could you point me to the thread about Panniers please?........meantime:

I suspect that the decoder is the same as the one I installed on 3 new panniers last fall.

These are the settings I used to get adequate performance on Granby .....Bachmann default in brackets

CV 2   Start Voltage                             3                            (3)

CV 3    Acceleration                             3                             (8)

CV 5    Max Speed                              10                          (63)

CV 54  Back EMF                                 27                          (32)

CV 55     "                                           29                          (24) 

This gave a max scale speed of 30 mph.......operationally I rarely go above 20 mph with Panniers

The downside is the inability to alter CV 6 the mid range voltage.......which means you can only get a straight line speed curve.........not the concave curve which gives you slower acceleration initially.

I got ok performance but found the sraight line curve to be a real pain with RR&Co where other locos running the same routine had better chips.....and in the end took them out and replaced them with Lenz.......more expensive but ,in my view, well worth it.

I may use them on some other locos where crawl speed and accurate stopping is less essential

Hopefully you may find these helpful if only as a start point..............I tend to do all this by trial and error remembering always that I can do a factory reset :roll:

:cheers



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 05:28 pm
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Petermac
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Thanks for that John - Ill see what difference it makes. :thumbs

There isn't actually a thread on Panniers, it's just tagged on to the end of one of my existing threads here :

   http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=10218&forum_id=13&jump_to=185100#p185100

You'll remember I'm well known for becoming confused so I thought I'd share my symptoms .................:cool wink



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 05:42 pm
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John Dew
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Ah .......one of your all embracing threads:lol:    Your double slips will be Code 100 insulfrog like mine?  They can be a problem and in some instances I have to ratchet the speed up a bit to get the panniers through.

Assuming the wheels and pick ups are clean and you are satisfied thats not the issue I would fiddle with the CVs to optimise the slow speed performance.......it can be quite therapeutic with a glass of chateau plonk (no doubt something better in your case)

If it still doesnt work bite the bullet and get a better chip and put the installed one in a loco with more pick ups that isnt used too often   



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 06:44 pm
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The double slips are indeed Code 100 Insulfrogs John.  I don't think they do electrofrog doubles .......:roll:

I suspect you're right about the chip.  The more I think about it, the more I realise an 0-6-0 needs all the help it can get and a poor quality decoder isn't the way to go.

Are all your other points electro ?  I've always avoided those because of me electrical inaptitude but I may have to have a re-think.  There's no point in having a super-duper control system if the bits of plastic are going to let you down.  It's the slow running that's so impressive to me with DCC.

I'm going to have a play with those CV's now .....................;-) 



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 08:17 pm
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John Dew
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Petermac wrote: Are all your other points electro ?  I've always avoided those because of me electrical inaptitude but I may have to have a re-think.  There's no point in having a super-duper control system if the bits of plastic are going to let you down.  It's the slow running that's so impressive to me with DCC.

I'm going to have a play with those CV's now .....................;-) 

I have a few legacy insulfrog points used in out of the way sidings but otherwise everything is electrofrog............I would strongly recommend them..........one less area of poor contact to worry about.

I was going to mention this in your layout thread but now seems opportune...........have you made a decision about point motors yet?  If you are undecided about Electro/Insul you should make that decision first because polarity switching is an issue to take into account...................I switched to Tortoise (although I use Peco for insul frog) and again that was a decision I have never regretted

Anyone who can chip a split chassis by correspondence course should not be the least worried about electrofrog points:lol:

Are you powering the points by a separate power bus? How will you be switching them?


 



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 09:06 pm
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At present John, all are operated by the "hand from the sky" but I do need to get motors fitted - it's a bit stupid walking around to switch points when I have such "remote" fun with the locos !!

Having read lots on here about motors, I had decided Tortoise (or Cobalt) is the way to go but the price rather makes my eyes water ....

Because I stupidly forgot to drill any holes in the baseboard for motors on the double slips (rushing without thinking ahead :oops:
), they will have to be operated by surface mounted Peco motors.  On the other hand,  I do have a signal box to place so I could probably hide the odd motor or two under that and have some kind of remote linkage to a couple of them.

If I remember rightly, Tortoise and Cobalt are already equipped with micro switches to change polarity.........:roll::roll:

The motors will be powered by a separate bus - probably running from either an old DC controller or a dedicated transformer.

It's all these "electrical thingies" I need to get down to planning - along with some kind of panel with track diagrams etc. .......:hmm



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 09:32 pm
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Petermac wrote: At present John, all are operated by the "hand from the sky" but I do need to get motors fitted - it's a bit stupid walking around to switch points when I have such "remote" fun with the locos !!

This is perhaps a topic in itself............you will need either a switchboard with switches (Ron will know the name) or studs.......... alternatively you do it by DCC using Lenz LS 150s.......I started doing both but now use DCC exclusively primarily because of RR & Co

You do need to make a call here soon!  Stud and probe is probably the cheapest and easiest and relatively simple to convert later if you wish

Having read lots on here about motors, I had decided Tortoise (or Cobalt) is the way to go but the price rather makes my eyes water ....

Excellent......absolutely the right choice.........I added up the cost of the motor and the switch and a fraction of the time wasted with switch failure and my eyes stopped watering!

You may want to post a which is best thread........a few people have had problems with Cobalt

Both are quite deep......you may need to take clearances into account



Because I stupidly forgot to drill any holes in the baseboard for motors on the double slips (rushing without thinking ahead :oops:
), they will have to be operated by surface mounted Peco motors.  On the other hand,  I do have a signal box to place so I could probably hide the odd motor or two under that and have some kind of remote linkage to a couple of them.



Pas de probleme! The surface mounted Peco motors are quite decorative and will not need disguising (See Ro and Ricks layout threads).......they are finicky to install to get the sweet spot for the throw.......I have done both on Granby when previously installed below surface Pecos failed



If I remember rightly, Tortoise and Cobalt are already equipped with micro switches to change polarity.........:roll::roll:

Correct.......apart from the more authentic blade movement thats the big plus....see above


The motors will be powered by a separate bus - probably running from either an old DC controller or a dedicated transformer.

Perfect

It's all these "electrical thingies" I need to get down to planning - along with some kind of panel with track diagrams etc. .......:hmm



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 Posted: Tue Aug 28th, 2012 10:27 pm
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Petermac
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Thanks for that John - thread on point motors started. :thumbs

I'm a bit of a knobs and dials person so motor control will be more "conventional" than the Lenz LS150 - for now at least .............:roll:

Because of the above, I think I will go down the "switch" route rather than the stud and probe.  I also think it's a bit easier to follow the route setting by throwing switches - a bit more "positive" for my aged brain !!  As I think I've said before, I'm more of a "mechanic" than an "electrician" ............:???:   I have a vision of LED's showing the route on a panel but, at present, it is just a "vision" ........:hmm


There will be no "double decking" anywhere where there is pointwork so, unless the motors are over 3ft deep, there shouldn't be any problems with clearances. :cheers

Re-setting the CV's on the Pannier has improved it considerably but it does still run away with itself .........  It seems to run at a suitable speed on throttle notch 5.  Any higher, and it's off.  Maybe the decoder only has 14 speed notches .......:roll::roll::roll:

I think I'm going to have to swap it for another TCS like the one fitted to the V2.  As you say, I can use it elsewhere and it hardly cost me much hard earned cash :cheers




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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 05:17 pm
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Hi Peter

I thought I would reply to your post about CV settings here.

V2..........these are the settings .........TCS default in brackets

 CV 2   Start                                    1       (0)

CV 5    Max                                    100     (0)

CV 6    Mid Point                              0       (0)

Looking at this I suspect I didnt change the settings from the previous loco (an ineffective County) so I may make some adjustments later but for now, as I said, the performance was fine.
 

Pannier.....did you reset all the CVs I listed?     CV 5 set to 10 should have controlled  the max speed and the changes to 54 and 55 should have adjusted the Back EMF to account for a the size of the Pannier (the default settings by Bachmann are one size fits all)

Upgrading the chip is a good idea but meantime fiddling/experimenting with the CVs on both the main (F7) and programming track (F8)  isnt a bad learning experience.

I standardised my panniers on the 2 function Lenz Standard and I can thoroughly reccommend them.....they are about the same price or even less than a DP2X and very easy to fine tune.

Am away until Monday......last boat trip

:cheers:cheers



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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 07:02 pm
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Hi Peter, are you sitting comfortably, large glass of a red liquid in hand - good.
I have two Bachmann 3F Jinty's. One fitted with a Hornby R8249 decoder and the other with DC Concepts Stay alive decoder, there is a noticable improvement in loco handling. With no changes to the default settings the DC Concepts slow handling is a lot better - at twice the price I suppose it should be. But both still are not happy with insulfrog double slips.

Now take a good gulp of the red stuff.
Using a pin vice with a drill small enough to fit through the point tie bar hole, dirll through the tie bar hole, and on through the underlay and baseboard. Now throw the point the other way and do the same again. On the underside of the base board join the dots with a pencil. Now for the tricky bit, probably best avoiding the red stuff now, I use a Dental burr in a dremel remove the base board material, stopping when you get to the underlay ( I use 6 mm ply for the baseboard top, with 4mm foam insulation for the underlay). I then used a scalpel to cut away the underlay enough to gain access to the tie to allow a seep point motor to operate the point.

For point control I use MERG DCC accessory Decoder (Pulse Outputs).  Powered from the 16v AC from an 40year old H&M Duette. Only the command signal is used from the DCC output, which is handy as I use an NCE PowerCab.

Go on grasshopper, you know you can do it.

Paul



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 Posted: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 10:51 pm
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That sounds like an excellent solution Paul- why didn't I think of it ....................:roll::roll:

I'll certainly give that one a bash - I need a new excuse to open a bottle .........."Just doing points darling" .............:doublethumb:cheers.


John, I did reset all the CV's you mentioned.  I did expect the top speed to be reduced dramatically but it's not.  I'll have another "play" and see what I can achieve.

Thanks also for the V2 CV's - I'll try those out too. :thumbs

Enjoy your sail - is she lifted out for the winter ?



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 Posted: Wed Sep 5th, 2012 11:29 pm
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Petermac wrote:
John, I did reset all the CV's you mentioned.  I did expect the top speed to be reduced dramatically but it's not.  I'll have another "play" and see what I can achieve.

Thanks also for the V2 CV's - I'll try those out too. :thumbs


That is weird Peter.......................did you "read" the CVs back on the Programming track to check they had changed? Alternatively you could  try CV 5 at say   100    then  50     then  20 and finally 10 if there isnt a noticable difference in the top speed maybe the decoder is duff

If you havent seen this thread it may be of interest.......if only because of the comments about Lenz standard


http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/60802-tcs-dp2x-uk-in-a-bachmann-pannier-setting-up-for-shunting/page__fromsearch__1



Enjoy your sail - is she lifted out for the winter ?
It was a great week end thank you.......although it was a bit breezy at times on the open water.......It was a sort of last of the summer wine fun regatta.

  We dont haul out here......nowadays we winterise the boat but the club holds both cruises and races thru fall and winter with evocative names like Snowflake, Iceberg and Hot Rum which we used to do (I remember cleaning snow out of the cockpit of the 24' boat we used to race...........I am now older and wiser.......and there is too much modelling to do!



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I did read them all back John and yes, they had all changed. :???::???:

I had another go last night and used the following settings:

CV 2 - 20
    3 -   5
    4 -   6
    5 - 50
    6 - 20

54 and 55 were left at 27 and 29 respectively.

The result was, she "hummed" on throttles 1 to 3 but virtually no movement, at 4 she sort of inched forward very slowly - almost as if she had dirty wheels, on 5 she accelerated quite rapidly to a decent "yard" speed.  The maximum throttle at which she ran realistically was around 8 or 10.

What I need her to do is:  Start moving (visibly) on lower throttle settings - 1 or 2
                                     Be more responsive to the bottom end throttle settings - I think what I mean is closer but noticable speed changes on the low end throttles for shunting duties.

I can easily live with using a maximum speed limit of around throttle 9 or 10 provided she's more responsive to the lower numbers.  It's at the bottom end that she's so disappointing.  I actually don't know which decoder is in the beastie so don't know how many speed steps there are.  Is this "readable" ?

I also ran the V2 and there's definitely a problem with the trailing bogie.  I'm reasonably happy with the CV's but I'll have to examine the wheels on that bogie.  It almost always derails on points in reverse and sometimes forwards.  I may have to replace the wheels because one of them doesn't seem to be round .....................:roll::roll:

It's worth bearing in mind that I don't, at the moment,  have a long run to test on so can't let them "have their heads".



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Petermac wrote: I did read them all back John and yes, they had all changed. :???::???:

Sorry ......just checking


I had another go last night and used the following settings:

CV 2 - 20
    3 -   5
    4 -   6
    5 - 50
    6 - 20.....................I didnt know you could change CV 6 with the supplied decoder...see earlier posts......its not listed in the on board PDF............are you certain about this? If it is available a decent speed curve is achievable

54 and 55 were left at 27 and 29 respectively.

The result was, she "hummed" on throttles 1 to 3 but virtually no movement, at 4 she sort of inched forward very slowly - almost as if she had dirty wheels, on 5 she accelerated quite rapidly to a decent "yard" speed.  The maximum throttle at which she ran realistically was around 8 or 10.

She crawled ok on DC? The wheels and track are clean? The pick ups are ok?


What I need her to do is:  Start moving (visibly) on lower throttle settings - 1 or 2
                                     Be more responsive to the bottom end throttle settings - I think what I mean is closer but noticable speed changes on the low end throttles for shunting duties.

I can easily live with using a maximum speed limit of around throttle 9 or 10 provided she's more responsive to the lower numbers.  It's at the bottom end that she's so disappointing.  I actually don't know which decoder is in the beastie so don't know how many speed steps there are.  Is this "readable" ?

CV 29 Bit 1     1 = 28/128 speed steps which is the default             0 = 14 speed steps

I think the issue here is .....how much time do you want to spend on what, I think, we have agreed is not a very good decoder........particularly if you intend to replace it with a better one.

It is however a good learning exercise and if you are stubborn like me and dont want to be beaten by the chip this is what I would do

Reset all the CVs to the factory default............set  CV 8 to 08 (incidentally the sheet says the decoder may have been shipped with settings other than the default!!!:shock::shock::shock:)  Nevertheless I would do this.....a reset does help sometimes

Remember you will have to re enter the loco address or use 03
 
Then I would just focus on establishing the correct value for the start voltage by advancing it in increments until it just crawls at speed step 1..............once this is done we can fine tune the other CVs


I also ran the V2 and there's definitely a problem with the trailing bogie.  I'm reasonably happy with the CV's but I'll have to examine the wheels on that bogie.  It almost always derails on points in reverse and sometimes forwards.  I may have to replace the wheels because one of them doesn't seem to be round .....................:roll::roll:

I had this trouble initially it went away when I tightened the retaining screw a little. The wheels can be removed easily I recall............I would "borrow" a set from your 2-6-2 tank and see if that works



It's worth bearing in mind that I don't, at the moment,  have a long run to test on so can't let them "have their heads".

PS thank you so much for your swift and helpful response to my PM .....I will reply shortly

Kind Regards





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John Dew wrote: Petermac wrote: I did read them all back John and yes, they had all changed. :???::???:

Sorry ......just checking


I had another go last night and used the following settings:

CV 2 - 20
    3 -   5
    4 -   6
    5 - 50
    6 - 20.....................I didnt know you could change CV 6 with the supplied decoder...see earlier posts......its not listed in the on board PDF............are you certain about this? If it is available a decent speed curve is achievable

It appears to be changeable John - at least, when I alter it and read back, I get my new values........

54 and 55 were left at 27 and 29 respectively.

The result was, she "hummed" on throttles 1 to 3 but virtually no movement, at 4 she sort of inched forward very slowly - almost as if she had dirty wheels, on 5 she accelerated quite rapidly to a decent "yard" speed.  The maximum throttle at which she ran realistically was around 8 or 10.

She crawled ok on DC? The wheels and track are clean? The pick ups are ok?

She was bought as "DCC Fitted" so I don't know.  Wheels and track have been thoroughly scrubbed with everything I could lay my hands on (and some things I couldn't :roll:).  The only things I haven't checked are the pickups (:oops:) although, as there are probably 6, it's unlikely to be causing too much of a problem.  Nevertheless, I'll double check them ..........


What I need her to do is:  Start moving (visibly) on lower throttle settings - 1 or 2
                                     Be more responsive to the bottom end throttle settings - I think what I mean is closer but noticable speed changes on the low end throttles for shunting duties.

I can easily live with using a maximum speed limit of around throttle 9 or 10 provided she's more responsive to the lower numbers.  It's at the bottom end that she's so disappointing.  I actually don't know which decoder is in the beastie so don't know how many speed steps there are.  Is this "readable" ?

CV 29 Bit 1     1 = 28/128 speed steps which is the default             0 = 14 speed steps

I'll check that - I understand from what I've read, other settings will depend on this ..............(p.s. How do I read the "bits" once I get to CV 29 or do they just appear on screen ? :???:)

I think the issue here is .....how much time do you want to spend on what, I think, we have agreed is not a very good decoder........particularly if you intend to replace it with a better one.

It is however a good learning exercise and if you are stubborn like me and dont want to be beaten by the chip this is what I would do

At the moment, I'm a bit like you John - I bought the thing as DCC and I'd expect it to run pretty reasonably with the chip they sold me but .......I am wavering ...........:???::???:  I really don't want to spend too much more time on it only to find I've got to change the chip anyway .........but I'll give it one or two more attempts.  It is indeed a very good learning exercise - I'm starting to see "performance" rather than meaningless numbers. :thumbs

Reset all the CVs to the factory default............set  CV 8 to 08 (incidentally the sheet says the decoder may have been shipped with settings other than the default!!!:shock::shock::shock:)  Nevertheless I would do this.....a reset does help sometimes

I thought the reset was CV8 to 33 or something .........:shock:

Remember you will have to re enter the loco address or use 03
 
Then I would just focus on establishing the correct value for the start voltage by advancing it in increments until it just crawls at speed step 1..............once this is done we can fine tune the other CVs

That seems like a very sensible move - I'm out tonight but I'll try it tomorrow .............:thumbs


I also ran the V2 and there's definitely a problem with the trailing bogie.  I'm reasonably happy with the CV's but I'll have to examine the wheels on that bogie.  It almost always derails on points in reverse and sometimes forwards.  I may have to replace the wheels because one of them doesn't seem to be round .....................:roll::roll:

I had this trouble initially it went away when I tightened the retaining screw a little. The wheels can be removed easily I recall............I would "borrow" a set from your 2-6-2 tank and see if that works

Another good idea - why didn't I think of that ............:???::???:



It's worth bearing in mind that I don't, at the moment,  have a long run to test on so can't let them "have their heads".

PS thank you so much for your swift and helpful response to my PM .....I will reply shortly

Kind Regards




Many thanks for all your help John and for the earlier RMWeb link - some of those guys don't seem too impressed with the TCS offerings although I'm sure fitting a Lenz Standard (of which I have 2 :thumbs), in here, might be like trying to get a quart into a pint pot .....:hmm

p.s. Do you like the colour scheme in this post ................? :cheers:cheers



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