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Digitrax throttle starting value question

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Digitrax throttle starting value question
Posted by DAVID SMITH1234 on Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:33 PM

i have a Digitrax DCS 200 and the digitrax 402d throttle.  All my locos don't start until I reach a value of 12 out of 99 on the throttle display.  All 30+ of my locos start at this value.  Tried 28 or 128 speed steps on a bunch of locos same thing.  Not a big deal but it would be nice if they started moving at 1 or 3 (if in 28 steps)

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:54 PM

 What decoders are in the locos? ANd what brnad locos are they? That;s kind of odd they all have that high a start voltage, but if they are all Athern BB or something like that, it's possible. You want to adjust CV2, start voltage. Best way is programming on the maon (Ops Mode in the Digitrax manual, Po on the display when selecting program modes. Put the loco on the track and turn the throttle to 1 or 2. Then hit PGM until the display shows Po. Select CV2, and then put a value in, say 5. If the loco still doesn;t move, change it to 10. Keep making it larger until the loco moves. Then make it smaller by 1 at a time - say you go 5-10-15 and when you put in 20 it moves. Unless you were extremely lucky, 20 is probably too much, but it didn't move at 15, so the ideal value is somewhere in between. There's no 'trick' to this, it's pretty much trial and error, see what works. If all the locos behave pretty much the same, once you set one, you have a decent starting point for the next one - if the first one works out to be 18, just go right to 18 with the second loco, and adjust up or down from there to find what's best for that loco.

                                               --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 DAVID SMITH1234 on Thursday, December 28, 2017 11:26 PM

Every kind of loco and decoder known to man.   From plain jane Digitrax DH126 right to the newest and greates loksound or tsunamis.  I should have been more clear.  Adjusting CV 2 doesn't change the fact that they start moving at 12 just changes the speed they start out with.  Tried a dozen or more locos, CV 2 just makes it when they first start to move either fast or slow depending on the CV value.  This system when i first got it the locos would start moving at a throttle value of 1 but I must have changed a system setting or maybe it is just a glitch in my system.  You can actually hear the motor at throttle step 12 come to life and start it's mild purr or growl on every loco, so it seems there is no voltage sent to the electrical motor of the loco before 12.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, December 29, 2017 10:46 AM

 Can't think of what setting that may be that appears to not even send speed commands on the DCC signal until you get that far up - this is normally a decoder function, if it gets a speed command it sneds power to the motor, but it may not be enough to move on step 1. 

 Unless you've managed to program speed tables into them - on one with a long address (128 or higher), set CV29 to 34, that's just 28/128 steps and long address, no DC and no speed table.

 You can always just reset the whole system if somehow you managed to make a system level setting. Change the switch on the front to OpSw, then dial up Switch 39 on the throttle (Switch not loco), and hit Close. Power it all down, set the switch back to Run, turn iot back on. This will reset everything to factory so you will be at 22 slots instead of 120 if you previously changed that, and all memory will be cleared.

 Also try resetting one of the decoders and see if it runs normally on address 3. On most of the Digitrax ones this would be setting CV8 to 8. That will also get rid of any speed table if one got set.

                                              --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 Paul3 on Friday, December 29, 2017 11:21 AM

David,
Is your throttle set up for 14 or 128 speed steps for new addresses?

When you scroll your throttle knob, do the percentage numbers go 01, 02, 03, 04, etc., or do they go 06, 12, 18, 24, etc.?

Because it sounds like something is set for 14 speed steps.  I've played around with it, and the first step (out of 14) is Idle.  The second speed step is the first one that starts moving the engine.

With regards to the speed steps, you have three variables: in the decoder, in the throttle, and in the brain.  Make sure all three are set for 128 speed steps, and see what happens.

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Posted by DAVID SMITH1234 on Friday, December 29, 2017 5:32 PM

They used to go up 1 at a time but now they go up by 3s?  Must be a system setting that I have messed up, maybe I will try the system reset posted above.  Thanks guys!  Didn't know there was a reset for the system, lord knows how many times I have used the loco cv8 reset when I mess up!

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Posted by Paul3 on Friday, December 29, 2017 8:38 PM

Check your throttle's programming.  There should be a setting for "new types", and you want it set for 128 speed steps.  Hit the "OPTN" key on your throttle and scroll through the options 'til you get to it.  Change it to 128 steps and then hit "ENTER".

Also, check the "status edit" for your DCC addresses.  To check that, hit loco and punch in the number you want.  But instead of hitting "ENTER" or "LOCO" to actually select the DCC address, hit the "EDIT" button.  The display will change to show the various kinds of speed steps that are available.  Use the knobs to choose "*128", then hit "ENTER" and it should set you up if nothing else does.

I've done this in the past on sound decoder engines to simulate the 8 notches on a real diesel.  For example, status edit an old QSI sound decoder for 14 steps, then put in a little CV03 starting momentum and max out the CV04 coasting momentum.  Using only the plus and minus keys on the throttle gives one a very realistic feel for the loco, as you can quickly notch up the prime mover, get it rolling, then drop it back to idle and watch it coast along.  F7 is the air brake.  For emergency stops, just go all the way to "00" on the throttle and the engine will stop, canceling out the momentum effects of CV04.  It can be a lot of fun, especially on a commuter run with lots of stops.

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Posted by DAVID SMITH1234 on Friday, December 29, 2017 11:27 PM

Wow there is so much I don't know about DCC.  That programming sounds like fun to operate?  Thanks for the tips!

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Posted by willy6 on Saturday, December 30, 2017 10:42 AM

I have Digitrax and the old dt400 throttle controller. As a novice DCC operator, I have experieced more than enough malfuntions in the system because I pushed the wrong button on the controller and it is frustrating. In my case, I need to add the Microsoft technique to my throttle that says "are you sure?" everytime I push a button.

trains
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Posted by selector on Saturday, December 30, 2017 11:52 AM

willy6

... I need to add the Microsoft technique to my throttle that says "are you sure?" everytime I push a button.

 

As do I.  I use the DT400 throttle still.  When I enter programming, and other locomotives are 'listening' on the powered rails, I make darned sure, checking twice, that I have pressed the program button three times and that it displays "PO" for Ops Mode, before I alter a single CV variable.  I only get reminded to do this once a year on average.  It's a tough lesson, but....somebody has to learn it. 

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, December 30, 2017 3:28 PM

David,
Playing around with the momentum effects w/ 14 speed steps can be fun, just make sure you have a loco that has a braking feature like the old QSI boards found in original BLI Paragon (1, that is) and older Atlas Gold engines.  Otherwise, your engine will coast and coast and it'll take forever to stop it without hitting the emergency button.  Not all DCC sound engines have a brake (they all have the sounds of braking but not all have the action of actually slowing down), which to me is a shame because it can be a lot of fun to mess around with.

willy6,
It's just something you have to do over and over again.  Use it daily for a while, then use it weekly.  Don't put it away for 6 months because you'll forget.  It happens to all of us.

selector,
Actually, you want to make sure you've got the correct address in the throttle if you're going for programming on the mainline (Po).  If you have no address selected...oooh, bad things happen.  At my club, it only took three instances of every engine being programmed to the same address before we made a rule about "No Programming Addresses on the Layout; Use the Programming Track Only for That".  Smile

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Posted by selector on Saturday, December 30, 2017 4:05 PM

Paul, I heeded the advice of you and Randy and others who are savvy about DCC when I made my turntable's lead switchable, or able to be isolated.  I made that my addressing track and did some programming on it. 

In my previous post I should have made it clear I meant that I have mistakenly only pressed the 'program' button once, meaning I was now in Paged Mode. I attempted to do Ops programming, but forgot to keep pressing that 'program' button until Ops mode was the one offered..  Naturally, every loco getting bus power got the same command and dutifully executed it.  Fortunately, I only do that rarely, but I do ask myself, when trying to programme a given locomotive, "Am I really sure I want to push this 'enter' button?  Am I sure I'm in Ops, and not Paged?"  When I forget, not only do all the decoders get zapped, but so do I. Crying

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, December 30, 2017 4:12 PM

 Remember, the DB150 does not have a dedicated program track, so if you program in anything but Ops Mode, anything connected to track power will be programmed. The OP has a DCS200, so if he selects Paged or Direct mode programming, locos sitting on the main line are safe, the program signals only go to the program track terminals on the base unit. Ops mode works the same on both systems - the loco on the main with the selected address gets the program commands.

                                            --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 Drumguy on Sunday, December 31, 2017 10:16 PM

Any chance it’s something as simple as not enough feeders or dirty track? I’m guessing not—you’ve probably already ruled this out—, but if this happens starting all locos from one area(I.e. an engine terminal), what happens elsewhere on the layout?

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Posted by DAVID SMITH1234 on Monday, January 01, 2018 1:54 AM

No it's not that, it happens everywhere equally.  I also run my Centerline cleaning car quite regularly as I have a couple of sound locos that seem real finicky on slightly dirty sections.  Layout is 13 x25 and all my DCC  track power bus wires are 14 gauge. I will try the system reset after the holidays are over.

 

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Posted by mfm37 on Monday, January 01, 2018 11:07 AM
When you select an address what do you see on the display? It should show 128 for normal 128 speed step operation. If it does not show 128 on the display read the manual section titled "Status Editing" Status editing tells the command station to send commands to an individual address in different speed step modes. this is page 98 of the current manual. You could allso set Option Switches 21, 22, and 23 to "T". I have a feeling #21 has been changed to C by mistake. Making them all T will set the command station up to run 128speed steps on all address selections. You will find the procedure for doing so on your manual in the section titled "Option Switch Set Up" Page 42 of the current manual.
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Posted by DAVID SMITH1234 on Monday, January 01, 2018 9:32 PM

mfm37
When you select an address what do you see on the display? It should show 128 for normal 128 speed step operation. If it does not show 128 on the display read the manual section titled "Status Editing" Status editing tells the command station to send commands to an individual address in different speed step modes. this is page 98 of the current manual. You could allso set Option Switches 21, 22, and 23 to "T". I have a feeling #21 has been changed to C by mistake. Making them all T will set the command station up to run 128speed steps on all address selections. You will find the procedure for doing so on your manual in the section titled "Option Switch Set Up" Page 42 of the current manual.
 

thanks, will try that later this week when all the holiday visitors are gone.

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Posted by UpNorth on Friday, January 05, 2018 3:12 PM

Going up by 3's is an indication you are sending commands in 28 step mode.  If you were in 14 step mode, it would be going up in 6's.

There are two places in the Digitrax System were Default Status Edit values are determined/defined : Command Station and Throttle.

Command Station via OPSw 21,22,23. This is for any "NEW TO Command Station" decoders; one he has never seen before and not assigned a slot too.

Then there is the Throttle default Status Edit value as defined in the throttle options. This value overrides the Commmand Station's "Default Status Edit " value. This is also only relevant to "NEW to Command Station " decoders  AND AFTER ANY COMMAND STATION RESET because then ALL decoders are "new" to Command Station...

The bad part about the Throttle's "Default Status Edit value"  is it is NOT displayed...

On a "NEW-to-command-station"  decoder you select, the throttle will display the Command Station default (which could be 128). If one does not hit the EDIT button, the Throttle's "Default Status Edit value"  will be writen out (which could be 28) when you hit the LOCO button  and you will not be made aware of the change.  

So the issue could be both Command Station and or throttle. So check both.

You will have to either "Clear all mobile info and consists"  or correct each decoder entry manually. Simplest is clear and start over.

Marc 

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