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Rule 17 Loksound Decoders (prototype variation)

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Rule 17 Loksound Decoders (prototype variation)
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:07 AM

The Rule 17 Loksound discussion is interesting.  A variation occurred to me.

How can you set up the lights so that they work like the real ones?  Meaning, each light can be set (by you/me) to FULL, DIM, OFF.  And not have any "auto-switching".

Right now, I'm thinking of Loksound, in particular.  That's because that's where the original topic started, and because I'm installing a Loksound decoder right now.

It would be interesting to also do it with other decoders.

 

I note that Loksound, for one, can have class lights that cycle through three colors and off.  Maybe that ability could be used.  You could cycle through FULL, DIM, OFF.

 

I just visited "Fallen Flags".  They have copies of operating manuals for various diesels.  The GP9 one says there are circuit breakers that control the front and rear twin headlights.  It is not clear whether there are two breakers or four.

There is also a dimmer switch.  Center position APPEARS to dim any headlights that are on.  To the left, there is a position that SEEMS to be MEDIUM BRIGHT REAR.  And to the right, a position that SEEMS to be MEDIUM BRIGHT FRONT.  These latter two positions seem to me to partially dim either the front or rear headlights--the other headlight staying bright.  I am not seeing a position on the dimmer switch where there is no dimming at all.  This PERHAPS is the straight-down position.

I am being cautious about making assumptions, as you can see.

There is also an MU switch for headlights.  Its operation seems very clear.

 

Perhaps recreating the above potential prototype operation is not necessary.  I, for one, would be happy with that cycle-through option I mentioned.  For EACH headlight.

Ed

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Posted by Mark R. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 6:08 PM

Regarding the full / dim / off aspect, I feel a button for full and a button for dim would be more effective than cycling through the three aspects. For example ....

When starting out, you'd have to press the button twice to get the headlight on bright (off to dim to bright). You pull into a siding and want to dim your light - two more button pushes (bright to off to dim). Back to bright from dim would only require one button push though (dim to bright).

Using the usual function mapping for headlights, one for headlight and one for dim, those same processes would require fewer button pushes. Headlight on ? - one button push. Dim the headlight ? - one button push. Back to bright ? - one button push.

In comparison, for the sequence of turning the headlight on / dim the light / back to bright / then off, the cycling version would require six button pushes and the separate buttons would only require four. Is that a deal breaker ? .... probably not.Is it more prototypical ? ... again, probably not as with a three position off / dim / bright switch, you can select between dim and bright without having to also cycle through off.

I know .... picky picky. Just pointing out the facts. Smile, Wink & Grin

All that being said, is it do-able ? Yes and no. Definitely no with the Loksound Select series. Could be done with the Loksound V4.0 as it gives you access to the sound schedule. That cycling feature is done utilizing sound slots to perform logical functions, so you would also have to figure out the program coding to make it work. But that's the beauty of the Loksound V4.0 .... ANYthing is possible.

Mark. 

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, November 11, 2017 9:10 PM

 The 2 buttons per light method could work with any decoder that has 4 available function wires, and a bit of external circuitry. There are certainly enough function keys to burn, evne with sound, after you take care of the normal sounds there are plenty of keys left over (unless you really want barnyard sounds, station calls, and train crash sounds). The only problem is that anything above F9 or F11 is less than convenient because you have to shift or double shift to get to the next 'page' of functions.

 Now the kicker - most of this applies to switch engines workign int he yard. Who's usually the mose overworked guy on the layoout? The switcher engineer. So now you will have them have to hit the function buttons every time they stop and change direction to adjust the headlights, adding more work to an already overworked position. It so seldom comes up for a road crew where anything you can do to lengthen the run time is usually welcome. On road engines I'm content to have 2 buttons and let the direction be automatic, because a road engine doesn;t reverse all that much. No auto-dimming when stopped, you have to hit the second F key to dim the light.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Mark R. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:30 PM

Real switch engine operators aren't changing the lights every time they change direction. Lights on, on both ends, done. Smile, Wink & Grin

Mark.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, November 11, 2017 11:11 PM

I have heard that switch engines just leave their lights on dim all the time.  During the day.  Probably at night, too, unless they need to see better.

Since all my switching is done during the day, I would just leave my switcher's lights on dim.

I think the point of dimming on the road is to not blind the oncoming train, while still indicating there's a train ahead.

 

On the Loksound Select Direct I just installed, there's 4 additional auxiliary outputs.

Going very kluncky (sp?), here:

One output (1) is full bright for front, one (2) is dim for front, one (3) is full bright  for rear, one(4) is dim for rear--four buttons.

So, for the front:

1 & 2 off:  front lights off

1 on, 2 off:  front light full on

1 off, 2 on:  front light dim

1 & 2 on:  front light full on

 

 

Any reason that won't work?

 

Ed

 

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:52 AM

7j43k
Since all my switching is done during the day, I would just leave my switcher's lights on dim.

Rapido ships their locomotives with a default "Switching Mode" (usually F12 on the Full Throttle decoders) that illuminates both headlights at dim and drops the top speed for better control. Of course you can map that to a lower slot.

I don't know what CVs they set but the option is there. The ESU manual mentions switching mode but does not include the headlight settings, unless I'm missing it.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 12, 2017 11:03 AM

gmpullman

 

Rapido ships their locomotives with a default "Switching Mode" (usually F12 on the Full Throttle decoders) that illuminates both headlights at dim and drops the top speed for better control. Of course you can map that to a lower slot.

I don't know what CVs they set but the option is there. The ESU manual mentions switching mode but does not include the headlight settings, unless I'm missing it.

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

THAT is very interesting.  I'll have to save the concept in the mental bin and see what I can do with it.

I would suppose that, if a train were in a siding waiting for another to pass, the operator could "press F12" and dim the headlights.  The other features of the Switching Mode" would not need to come into effect.  After the pass, press F12 again and come out, I guess.

Hmmmm.....

Of course, there are those locos that aren't ESU equipped (more dot-dot-dots).

 

Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, November 12, 2017 2:57 PM

Rapido also has F7 assigned to headlight dimming— without the switching mode. Whichever headlight is on will be dimmed 50% by tapping F7.

There are SO many variables available it is really tough to keep track of them all.

I really have not had the time or ambition to customize the sound and lighting functions on my locomotives. Seems like a daunting task at the moment.

Another sticking point is headlight operation on MU-ed locomotives. Many of the road switchers I operate wind up having too many headlights on, sometimes shining into each-other (nose-to-nose). Just another detail I will have to address someday.

I'm not really a big fan of watching YouTube videos but I do subscribe to Matt Herman and the ESU series. Hopefully he will explain some of the features and how to program them. Is there a function button to can the "music"?

Good Luck, Ed

 

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Posted by Mark R. on Sunday, November 12, 2017 7:17 PM

7j43k

So, for the front:

1 & 2 off:  front lights off

1 on, 2 off:  front light full on

1 off, 2 on:  front light dim

1 & 2 on:  front light full on

 

So then you would have that sequence doubled up on 3 and 4 for the rear light ? So then you have to remember 4 buttons and the proper combination of both pairs to operate the lights .... that would make my head hurt. 

All you need is one button for the front, one buttom for the rear and one button to dim. The dimming feature on decoders dims whatever function is turned on. You can't push a button to dim the front without dimming the rear, and vice versa.

In your scenario, you could add a higher resistor, or set the brightness to the desired level to create independant dimming on its own button. 

Sounds to me like you are overcomplicating the process.

Mark. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 12, 2017 8:10 PM

Mark R.

 

Sounds to me like you are overcomplicating the process.

Mark. 

 

 

Yeah, probably.

I believe ESU's decoders can do what you describe.  They say so in their instructions.  They just don't say how to do it.  Clearly.

 

Ed

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Posted by Mark R. on Sunday, November 12, 2017 8:58 PM

Doing something like that just relying on the manual is detined to fail unfortunately. The easiest way to do this kind of "fancy stuff" is to download their Lokprogrammer software onto your computer. You can then visually play with all the settings and parameters much easier.

If you have an actual Lokprogrammer, you can then just upload it to the decoder. If you don't have the hardware, under the TOOLS section, you can select SHOW CHANGED CVs which will give you a list of CVs to change in the decoder to accomplish the changes you made on screen. Then just manually change the CVs using your own DCC system.

Mark.

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 12, 2017 9:01 PM

Thanks Mark,

I'll have to think on that.

 

Ed

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