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Speed Step One? "Virtual Throttle"?

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  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: San Diego
  • 953 posts
Speed Step One? "Virtual Throttle"?
Posted by stokesda on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 6:17 PM

Thought I'd give the new DCC forum a try with a question that's perplexed me for a while...

I've read about setting the starting voltage for a loco by adjusting it so the loco will barely start to move at speed step one. Problem is, I have a Digitrax Zephyr, which as you know has the "rheostat" style knob and no digital throttle display, so I have no idea when I have dialed in speed step one. Isn't there normally 128 speed steps? How can I be sure I'm not on speed step two? Or is there a way of displaying the speed step on the Zephyr that I haven't figured out yet?

I thought maybe a way around this would be to use Decoder Pro to set all the speed steps the same minimum value, then play around with the starting voltage setting until the loco starts to move. If all the speed steps are set to the same value, I don't have to worry about the position of the throttle knob. I haven't tried this yet, though, so I don't know if it will work or not (anybody done something like this and had it work?)

Also, I was wondering if there is a "virtual throttle" or throttle emulator somewhere out there you could use to actually run the locomotive from your PC via the LocoBuffer cable. Mainly so I could control the speed and decoder functions from the PC instead of the Zephyr or a handheld plug-in throttle. I know there are programs that you can use to run the "layout" (turnout switches, signals, etc), but I haven't come across a simple throttle emulator yet. Of course, the whole point of this goes back to my original problem of not being able to see what speed step I have dialed in - I figured a throttle emulator would solve this problem without my having to by a DT400 or something. And it seems like such a common sense thing to have, I would think somebody would have developed one by now.

Thanks.

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 6:51 PM
JMRI(the software package that Decoder Pro is part of) does include an on screen throttle.
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Kansas
  • 808 posts
Posted by jamnest on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 7:24 PM

If you have access to Decoder Pro, don't buy a DT-400.  I have a Digitrax Chief use the Decoder Pro virtual throttles. YES, throttles, plural, as you can have multiple virtual throtles open in Decoder Pro.  I use the virtual throttles frequently when I want to break in a locomotive, or to orbit trains around the layout if I am in the layout room working on a project.

JIM

Jim, Modeling the Kansas City Southern Lines in HO scale.

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: San Diego
  • 953 posts
Posted by stokesda on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 11:39 PM

Ah-HA! I knew there had to be a virtual throttle on there somewhere! Thanks, guys.

OK, so I found the throttle function on Decoder Pro. But it looks like a simple slider bar from 0-100%. Is there a way to know what speed step you're on?

Sorry for the seemingly dumb questions Dunce [D)], but I have only installed Decoder Pro and haven't been able to really put it to use yet (too many other priorities around the house), so I'm not really familiar with all of its bells and whistles yet.

But if my dumb questions can just help out one person out there somewhere, then I've done my job! Big Smile [:D]

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Johannesburg, RSA
  • 36 posts
Posted by daveb on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:33 AM

 The speed steps can be displayed as follows:

Right click on "Control Panel".

Click on "Properties"

In "Edit Speed Control Window", change to "Display Speed Steps" 

The throttle can then be saved as whatever name you wish.

Dave

 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 396 posts
Posted by UpNorth on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:59 AM

.. He means ..  With the JRMI virtual throttle open, put your cursor over the slider itself  and  do a right button click. Select properties and you can change the throttle to speed steps or have it follow in real time.  Real time means the throttle will respond right away to slider mouvement intead of waiting for you to release it.

You can also change the function keys. Right click on any function key.  Just don't hit visible because the button will dissapear on you. No problem thow, just don't save the change. 

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: San Diego
  • 953 posts
Posted by stokesda on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 9:58 PM

Sweet! Got it!

Thanks to all who replied. My worries are over! I'm in business, now!

Big Smile [:D]

Dan Stokes

My other car is a tunnel motor

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