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BLI Paragon 2 SW 1500 Reversed Headlight Operation

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BLI Paragon 2 SW 1500 Reversed Headlight Operation
Posted by Mmbushnell on Monday, May 13, 2019 3:40 AM

I have 2 BLI SW 1500 Paragon 2 switchers (Models #3320 & #3323) that have headlight problems.  The headlights operate in reverse to the loco direction -- when loco is in FORWARD operation, the REVERSE headlight burns, and vice versa.  This occurs on Digitrax system, on NCE system, and when operating via SPROG 3.  

Extensive adjustments of CVs and multiple resets to factory default settings, using DECODER PRO, have not corrected this problem.  

Otherwise, both locos operate satisfactorily.  

Any suggestions would be welcome.  Thanks in advance. 

 

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Posted by tstage on Monday, May 13, 2019 11:57 AM

Have you adjusted CV 29?  Read the value: If it's an even number increase it by one (e.g. 34 to 35); if it's an odd number decrease it by one (e.g. 35 to 34).  That will reverse the direction and correct the issue.

Tom

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, May 13, 2019 12:09 PM

First, Welcome to the MR forums, hope you stick around!

This is a major issue if you ask me! I’m not an expert in programming decoders by any means, but I know often people set headlights so they are non directional (that is what the prototypes did after all). If you did this there would not be a problem anymore!

You could try TStage‘s fix. I have no idea if it will work or not but it’s so simple it’s worth a try. You could also try resetting the decoder. Again Unlikely to do much but so simple why not try!

There is likely a way to fix this just by going into JMRI and messing with a bunch of stuff, but again I have no idea how to do this.

I personally would send this back to the factory, if you have a warranty and if you got it new. This is a major issue that BLI needs to fix. Even if you don’t send it back do contact BLI and see if they can guide you through fixing it. No idea what their costumer service is like but it’s worth a try.

Hope this was helpful!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, May 13, 2019 12:30 PM

Changing CV 29 will reverse the headlights but also reverse the engine, so you won't be any better off.

You need to modify the FOF and FOR bits to swap how the two functions are controlled.

Do the engines have an F on one end of the shell?   That should be what the manufacturer thinks is the front.  Some railroads run long hood as forward and short hood as reverse, but this is not a consistent rule.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, May 13, 2019 12:35 PM

Changing CV 29 by one number will make the engine go backwards when your DCC system tells it to go forward, so I don't know if that really fixes the problem. Since Paragon 2 came out a while ago, did you perhaps buy these engines used? Might be someone adjusted the lighting CVs to be reversed.

BLI uses several CVs to set the lights, so it's harder to set up then with some decoders. Their engines I think normally come set up for Rule 17 lighting, so the headlight is bright when moving, but dim when stopped. If you don't want that, set CV 159 to 0. It looks like CV 160 controls the headlight(s) with a range of settings of 0-3. I would just start by setting CV160 to 0 and see what happens, if that doesn't work, try 1 etc.

http://www.broadway-limited.com/support/manuals/Paragon2techDiesel[1.11].pdf

 

Stix
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, May 13, 2019 12:38 PM

I wonder if for some reason the wires for the headlights have been mixed up on the places that it attached to the decoder. If this is problem (I hope it isn’t) you COULD fix it youself, but the manufacture really should be the one to do this so I’d send it back if possible.

MisterBeasley

Do the engines have an F on one end of the shell?   That should be what the manufacturer thinks is the front.  Some railroads run long hood as forward and short hood as reverse, but this is not a consistent rule.

That should be what the manufacturers do, but on lower end models they don’t always do that. Grrrrr, it forever annoys me!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by Mmbushnell on Monday, May 13, 2019 3:23 PM

First of all, thanks for the warm welcome and the many responses and suggestions. 

One loco was purchased NEW from a reputable online vendor, the other purchased REFURBISHED directly from BLI.  I’ve had both locos for about 3 years, and seldom operate them, so the headlight malfunction was just a tolerable minor nuisance.  But recently, I’ve decided it was finally time to get correct operation.  

I’ve been playing with DCC since 1995, when I purchased a Digitrax SUPER CHIEF set-up, and am reasonably familiar with a range of decoders, especially Tsunamis.  I have used the Tsunami diesel tech manual as a reference, but BLI’s practice diverges from Tsunami in many respects, headlights among them. 

Both SW 1500s have an “F” on running board of the long hood end.  I hoped to cure the headlight misdirection by adjusting CVs.  One of the first things I tried was setting CV 29 Bit 0 to 1, which made the loco operate cab-first In FORWARD, but the headlight on the long hood came on.  And vice versa.  So no cure there.  

I’ve used Decoder Pro’s reset to factory defaults, then write to decoder evolution several times without correcting the problem, on both locos.  Poot! 

I also tried resetting CV 33 from its factory setting of 1, first to 2, then to 3, then to 0, again without any change in headlight malfunction.  Boo hoo!  Tsunami decoders use CV 33 and CV 34 to control F0(f) and F0(r), but BLI does not follow this practice.  

I’ve also fiddled with CV 159 without beneficial outcome.  After all is said and done, I’m inclined to think this is an internal hardware problem – miswiring of the two lights.  But as yet, have not ventured to check this possibility out.  I’ve inquired to BLI for technical advice, shortly before my forum post, and am waiting for their response. 

Again, thanks to everyone for suggestions and advice.  I'll post again if I get a fix to this vexing fault. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:46 AM

Switcher locomotives like the SW1500 normally do not run in consists. But, you could check CV19 in each locomotive to see if it is set up for consisting. The factory default for CV19 is a value of zero which clears the consist.

You might also check CV230 which is the DCC Easy Consist function on the Paragon 2 decoder. The factory default for CV 230 is a value of zero which clears the consist.

If CV230 does have a value greater than zero, if you clear the consist by setting CV230=0, then you need to check and possibly correct the value of CV229 which controls directional light functions in a consist.

Rich

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 8:16 AM

Mmbushnell

One loco was purchased NEW from a reputable online vendor, the other purchased REFURBISHED directly from BLI.  I’ve had both locos for about 3 years, and seldom operate them, so the headlight malfunction was just a tolerable minor nuisance.  But recently, I’ve decided it was finally time to get correct operation.  

Do you have a warantee registered on the one with the problem?

If so you may want to send it back, sounds like it’s not used much so hopefully you won’t miss it while you wait for it to come back in the mail.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by wvg_ca on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 8:33 AM

you could always physically reverse the connections on the motor  ,  ie; swap the top and bottom wire leads ... ??

probably take the least amount of time ?

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 9:18 AM

On some decoders, you have to use more than one CV to set the lights to do what you want. As I mentioned in my earlier post, CV 159 appears to just control whether or not you want "Rule 17" lighting (light/lights are bright when moving, dim when stopped). If you turn Rule 17 lighting off by changing CV159 to zero, then you would adjust CV160, which controls how the headlight(s) function. Doing just one or the other doesn't get it done, you need to do both.

Keep in mind too that Decoder Pro might not have all the correct info for doing a factory re-set on Paragon II decoders.

Just to ask the obvious, Decoder Pro will have a page that includes the light settings. Have you tried changing anything there, rather than just changing the CVs? One of the advantages of Decoder Pro is you can adjust things without needing to fiddle with the underlying CVs; it does it for you.

Stix
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Posted by Mmbushnell on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 11:23 AM

 

wjstix
Just to ask the obvious, Decoder Pro will have a page that includes the light settings. Have you tried changing anything there, rather than just changing the CVs? One of the advantages of Decoder Pro is you can adjust things without needing to fiddle with the underlying CVs; it does it for you.

I've been using Decoder Pro for a number of years now, and use both the individual pages, such as the "Lights" page, as well as the "CV" page, depending.  The CV page allows direct comparison of CV values between the D/P register, and the value actually assigned on the loco's decoder.  It also allows changing a single CV directly.  I use this approach when sequencing through a number of possibilities for a single CV.  

Elsewhere, I have received an initial response from BLI, to my inquiry about headlights operating backwards. 

 
Their response was disappointingly simplistic.
  1. Reset CV 8 to 8, which supposedly would cure the problem.
  2. Provided a link to an on-line discussion of CV 29.  
  3. Disclaimer about JMRI and DECODER PRO. 

 

 

Oh, well! 
Meanwhile, the General Manager has gently suggested that deferred maintenance and upkeep issues in and around the Headquarters facility might be more worthy of my present attention.  
//  Michael

 

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Posted by nealknows on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 12:43 PM

Interesting issue. My BLI SW1500 Paragon 2 has it when the engine switches direction forward to reverse, the headlight dims, it does not go out. Same when it running in reverse, then switch to forward, the light dims; it does not go out. One of my pretty knowledgeable railroaders whom I run trains with said its typical. 

Anyone else experience this?

Neal

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 12:48 PM

nealknows

Interesting issue. My BLI SW1500 Paragon 2 has it when the engine switches direction forward to reverse, the headlight dims, it does not go out. Same when it running in reverse, then switch to forward, the light dims; it does not go out. One of my pretty knowledgeable railroaders whom I run trains with said its typical. 

That’s rule 17 lighting, and I think you just need to adjust a CV (someone just mentioned it above) to put it back on direction headlights.  Of course it is more prototypical for headlights to be independently controled and dim when in reverse...

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:12 PM

If possible, I set up all my engines that way - light is bright in the direction of travel, opposite light is dim. The default for most model engines is the light is bright in direction of travel, the other is off - very rarely seen in the prototype.

BLI engines sometimes have used a different version of "Rule 17" lighting where the headlight is bright when moving, but dims when stopped. I think most if not all of the BLI steam engines I have came that way from the factory.

Stix
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Posted by Steven Otte on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:27 PM

I would go with wvg_ca's suggestion. The motor leads may be swapped. Un-solder the green and orange wires from the motor, and reverse them.

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Posted by Mmbushnell on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:51 PM

Steven Otte
I would go with wvg_ca's suggestion. The motor leads may be swapped. Un-solder the green and orange wires from the motor, and reverse them.

With all due respect, if there is unsoldering/resoldering to be done, I'd be more inclined to attack the leads to the respective headlights.  

Why?  Other than the headlight issue, both locomotives operate normally, especially compared to other BLI NW 2 switchers with similar electronics.  Which is to say, the loco goes FWD when I give it a "FWD" command (so long as Bit 0 of CV 29 = 0), and goes REV when given a "REV" command.  The automatic horn signals (2 for FWD, 3 for REV), which I have actuated, also follow suit appropriately.  If I were to reverse the motor leads, maybe the motor would operate "backwards" to suit the headlights, but then the auto horns would be backwards.  

Better to realign the wiring for the headlights, if that's even a feasible option.  Otherwise, I'm fear that this might be an intractable situation, while retaining the BLI electronics.  At this juncture, I'm reasonably certain that my issue is not to be cured by reconfiguration of CVs.  

I have noted another Forum discussion apropos replacing BLI electronics with aftermarket decoders, another option, should I get that ambitious.  

//  Michael 

 

 

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:10 PM

Steven Otte

I would go with wvg_ca's suggestion. The motor leads may be swapped. Un-solder the green and orange wires from the motor, and reverse them. 

Swapping the motor leads will work insofar as the locomotive will then move in the opposite direction, and since this physical swap of wires will have no effect on the lighting function, the lighting should correspond to the direction of travel by the locomotive.

The problem with this, though, is that the locomotive will then be moving in the opposite direction for which it was intended, since the OP has indicated that both SW 1500s have an “F” on running board of the long hood end. By swapping the two motor wires, the SW 1500s will now move forward on the short hood end. This can be cured by a change to CV29, but then you are back where you started with the reversed lighting functions.

I still think that this is a CV issue.

Rich

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:39 PM

Steven Otte
Un-solder the green and orange wires from the motor, and reverse them.

Steve,

I'm assuming you meant gray & orange for the motor leads???

Tom

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 9:09 PM

tstage
Steven Otte
Un-solder the green and orange wires from the motor, and reverse them.

Steve,

I'm assuming you meant gray & orange for the motor leads???

Tom

 

I would swap the white and yellow lighting wires instead of the motor wires.  The bulbs would swap, but the motor direction would not.

Lights are generally easier to work on, because they are on top while the motor is below the decoder.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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