The DCC Sagas

The latest exercise has been to fit decoders and LED lamps to my
HST125 which has two power carsof almost identical performance.
The lead car took 30 mins to provide a good working unit. Then the
trouble started!
My reasoning said that the wiring would be identical and it would
suffice to simply reverse the normal direction anf things should be
good.
On the test track this proved to be the case but transfer to the
running track usually showed that the simple act of picking up the
loco caused the direction command to flip.
Equally, switching off the lights prior to this movement means that
they are off - period.
One of the decoders ended up refusing to drive anything although still
programable.
There must be a switch sequence which Bachmann decoders obey to
disable lights (apart from the rather obvious on/off control and the
function 0 select). It must be related to the "go to address 03
command"!
And yes I have verified the wiring etc and run the system using other
decoders! Is there a hidden secret known only to the trade in which
Bachmann 36-553 decoders misbehave so and why are they suddenly so
scarce?
Reply to
Sailor
Loading thread data ...
Well not being one to give up easily I have persevered. Reading all the cv's of the "failed" decoders I found the only changed one to be 29. This sets the direction and also enables dc + dcc. By choosing reverse and dcc only the cv set to 0 (normally 6) and would not reset by selecting normal (default) direction and dc + dcc.
Susequently by resetting the decoder (cv8 set to value 8) and having reset the Elite the decoders were normalised and obeyed the function commands.
To make the unit run I have been obliged to reverse the motor wiring and exchange the ahead and astern connections of the trailing power unit.
My conclusion is that the reverse direction command does not work as cleanly as might be expected when two units are in a consist or sharing the cv1 operator number. This is rather like the Select Unit losing control of acc & decell when in walkabout mode.
Reply to
Sailor
I don't use Bachmann or Hornby decoders. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them; it's just that I've had no problems with Lenz and TCS decoders, and I'm sticking with them in spite of (or even because of) their higher prices.
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
Never had any problems with early Lenz decoders in two power cars. Just to note that they have different addresses and when using together I make sure they going in the same direction before Muing them. This is don on a Digitrax system.
Reply to
Chris
I must admit that my experiments have revealed two very different results for pseudo similar applications. It is absolutely the case that in order to either consist or share an address that each and every cv must be set to the same values. In a "consist" using a third party address the functions appear to be inhibited in the state pre consisting. If using a common address (as for the HST ) all functions are available.
This is an important fact in my view as I have managed to damage two decoders during this exercise.
What I cannot know is the result using other than Hornby controllers with Bachmann chips.
Certainly the consist case explained why it sometimes took 5 or 6 tries to form up with both locos accepting command -- the only stipulation from Hornby being to ensure both units are set to a common direction and have similar performance characteristics.
Reply to
Sailor
There may be some restriction in the low end systems you are using but that's absolutely not the general case for DCC.
Does your command station implement consisting in the command station or do you use advanced consisting in the decoder by setting the consist address CV?
Simply setting two decoders to the same address is not consisting DCC terms. It has a very specific meaning depending on the answer to the previous question.
What's a "third party address"?
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
The Hornby advice is very sound. It is best to make sure they are driving the same way then drive one to other in desired direction to couple then MU the two locos together. Don't know about the nuances of Elite unit perhaps Simon who comes on the group can help you as it very much depends if the MUing is done on the decoders or the command station. I use the command station version on my Digitrax command station.
Reply to
Chris
To answer Chris & MBQ : the consist takes place in the Elite (or Select). I am sure of this because on the odd occasion a loco ( of the pair consisted) does not disengage when commanded. This is overcome by resetting the controller. When I set up the HST or indeed if I were to use any other similar arrangement to replicate Heading & Tailing then I would set both units to the same address as it is after all a reasonably permenent arrangement. When I refer to a third party address it merely reflects the fact that Hornby use higher address numbers for double headed consists and neither original address is used. To me, that makes the operational address to be 3rd party.
One of my early errors was to pair up similar locos fitted with different make decoders. A Bachmann produces totally differing results from the newer Hornby decoders when fitted in the same loco.
Reply to
Sailor
To answer Chris & MBQ : the consist takes place in the Elite (or Select). I am sure of this because on the odd occasion a loco ( of the pair consisted) does not disengage when commanded. This is overcome by resetting the controller. When I set up the HST or indeed if I were to use any other similar arrangement to replicate Heading & Tailing then I would set both units to the same address as it is after all a reasonably permenent arrangement. When I refer to a third party address it merely reflects the fact that Hornby use higher address numbers for double headed consists and neither original address is used. To me, that makes the operational address to be 3rd party.
One of my early errors was to pair up similar locos fitted with different make decoders. A Bachmann produces totally differing results from the newer Hornby decoders when fitted in the same loco. =========================================================
Not so sure if consisting done within Elite rather than the decoder, if you look at manual it says must be in range 0-99, thats the same limitation as put on by consist address of NMRA - CV 19 Consist Address (2 digit) 1-99. Then there are a series of Consist specific CV's such as :- CV 21 Consist Address Active for Functions 1 to Functions 8 - Sets whether Functions 1 to Functions 8 respond to commands at Consist Address in addition to the locomotive address.
Have you tried playing with any of these ? Also if it was done in the Elite then wouldnt need loco on track - have you tried setting a consist without loco. Could also try setup with loco on address 3 as one of consist, then put a different loco with address 3.
Cheers, Simon These would be required if you want to set one loco with headlights and one with taillights.

Reply to
simon
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
Hi Simon,
I based my surmise on the fact that neither of the loco addresses will respond individually when control is transferred to a consist address and functions are not controllable in this mode. The fact that blocks can occur on ex consist addresses also indicates to me that the control is indeed set into the controller. These are the times when I have needed to reset the Elite to clear the glitch. I have accidentally made up a double head when both loco were off the track but only one of them played! I have yet to succeed in a DH first time. CV21 does not play any part in my limited need for functions at present.
The basic question is always there -- How do the 7 y.o. + fans manage ? Or, is there always someone to hand unlike the early days of OO in my own 1940s experience?
Reply to
Sailor
Hi Simon,
I based my surmise on the fact that neither of the loco addresses will respond individually when control is transferred to a consist address and functions are not controllable in this mode. The fact that blocks can occur on ex consist addresses also indicates to me that the control is indeed set into the controller. These are the times when I have needed to reset the Elite to clear the glitch. I have accidentally made up a double head when both loco were off the track but only one of them played! I have yet to succeed in a DH first time. CV21 does not play any part in my limited need for functions at present.
The basic question is always there -- How do the 7 y.o. + fans manage ? Or, is there always someone to hand unlike the early days of OO in my own 1940s experience? ==============================================
Think its more likely a co-operative setup where the decoder has the consist address as well as its primary address an information as to what functions to allow when in a consist. Then the controller knows that theres a consist in operation so will not forward requests to the primary address. Decoders may accept commands for either address. So when you reset the Elite it doesnt tell the decoders to end the consist, they dont care. The other pointer is the difficulty you are having in setting a consist. if it was controller only then would expect would work first time every time.
As a matter of interest, are your locos on the main for setup and did you need a special unit to cope with dodgy French power supply or is it the same as UK ?
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
When playing with CVs I always stay on the set up track and switch off the main. Setting DH etc is done on the Main through the "Operate" prog route. Our power is the same as yours -- a great deal of yours comes from the French Nuclear Plants. The sole difference is the use of standard Euro Skts/plugs (another UK opt out).
I air these issues here because my comms with Hornby and Bachmann whilst harmonious rarely get an answer to the question asked -- just like our own dear politico friends! At the moment I am unable to buy Bachmann 553s as no one has stock and no one knows the root cause. Until I get to properly understand the tricks of the trade I am reluctant to spend heavy money on control systems or decoders; We are still suffering from the 30% + loss in income inflicted by the antics of our last dear pm (and I pay UK tax) so these things fall into the luxury class at present.
Peter
Reply to
Sailor
And vice-versa (but not so much nuclear) when they reverse the current flow in the cross channel interconnect. One reason why changing the UK to the same time zone as Europe (i.e. double summer time), thus aligning the peak periods for power consumption, is a stupid idea.
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
I doubt if you really mean Euroskts and plugs which are two pin ungrounded things. France tends to use a socket which is very close to the German originated Schuko . Its close enough that some plugs have been designed that will fit both .Between the two and the plugs that fit both it does seem the most prevelant in Europe but they are not Europlugs. A perusal of this site will show that even within Europe there are still many variations.
formatting link
G.Harman
Reply to
damduck-egg
When playing with CVs I always stay on the set up track and switch off the main. Setting DH etc is done on the Main through the "Operate" prog route. Our power is the same as yours -- a great deal of yours comes from the French Nuclear Plants. The sole difference is the use of standard Euro Skts/plugs (another UK opt out).
I air these issues here because my comms with Hornby and Bachmann whilst harmonious rarely get an answer to the question asked -- just like our own dear politico friends! At the moment I am unable to buy Bachmann 553s as no one has stock and no one knows the root cause. Until I get to properly understand the tricks of the trade I am reluctant to spend heavy money on control systems or decoders; We are still suffering from the 30% + loss in income inflicted by the antics of our last dear pm (and I pay UK tax) so these things fall into the luxury class at present.
Peter
================================================ I'm in a similar financial situation till get a job ;-)
Am very tempted to get a couple of locos out and try this myself ! However, seems to me your first problem is that controller/decoders are taking so much effort to set up in a consist. Best to start with a known configuration, what decoders are you using and which controller ?
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
Having lived here for 20 years and travelled from south Iberia to north Estonia and over into Hungary I have yet to find myself unable to plug in! The sole place where I needed an adaptor was in Switzerland but that was a one off. No modern connections of 16A rating are unearthed and all modern domestic distribution systems use line & neutral leakage trips. This has the effect of making a safe system no matter how the wires are fitted. This was the original system developed by SWEB as many parts of Bristol which had been DC until WWII wrecked the Corporation generating station. There were no earths and fitting them was a huge task and beyond the pocket of most people in 1950! I use the term Euro plug as it has common features and I know of no other correct name for them. My 50 years in the proffession often caused me to despair at the antics of the I.E.E. and their often irrational changes to regulations.
Reply to
Sailor
Seems complicated compared to Digitrax where you dial up both locos then then press the MU+ button to add a loco 2 to loco 1 and if you want more dial up loco 3 then select loco 1 and press the MU+ button. Use the MU- button to remove loco's. I think they call it universal consisting as it does not require the decoder to do anything as the command station does all the signalling to the decoders involved in the consist.
Reply to
Chris
If you are an admirer of SWEB who got on with the job of electrifying a very large rural area in a reasonable time scale in the 50's and 60's (our mains arrived in 64. The Lister Starto Matic along with many neigbouring gennys was bought by a dealer and sent to Brazil) then you will find this site interesting.
formatting link
Apology's if you know about them already.
G.Harman
Reply to
damduck-egg
Thank you for this site! I lived very close to Beaconsfield Rd as a boy and Counterslip was also part of my youth. I am also a fan of lister Generators having bought several in my Engineering role -- I was responsible for a DC powered ship which was built that way some 20 years after the marine world had gone over to AC but at least it was total computer controlled and logged.
Reply to
Sailor

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.