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Sound slots, indexed cv’s confusion

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Sound slots, indexed cv’s confusion
Posted by Davidarps on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 9:29 AM

I’m just an average guy with an average brain. Not a technical engineer by any means. But these sound slots and volume cv’s with a ESU LokSound 5 decoder really has me frustrated. What is a sound slot and how do you use it? To change sound volumes you have to enter “index” cv 31 to 16 and “index” cv 32 to 1. Does that mean to just enter the regular number 31 with a value of 16 and the same with cv 32? And then enter the cv 275 and then the value? All this is after I find sound slot 3 wherever that is.

Sorry for the rambling on but I’m a 73 year old guy just trying have fun with my trains

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 3:02 PM

 Sounds slots are the "tracks" - like a record. Sound slot 1 might be the prime mover, sound slot 2 might be the horn, sound slot 3 the bell, sound slot 4 the dynamic brake, etc. Mainly this is only a concern if developing your own sound projects - and frankly I have neither the time, the equipment, or the access to real trains to do such a thing.

Indexed CVs are exactly as you say. The index allows one CV, in your example CV 275, to do more than one thing (because if every setting had its own CV, there's be over 4000 CVs, and most DCC systems can't access something like CV3042. SO you set the index CVs to the values specified, and then set the actual CV. 

It's kind of like having a bunch of drawers, each with a number (you are in drawer 275). Inside drawer 275, there are those dividers like in those little tackle boxes everyone uses to store small parts. The index CVs tell you which of those little cubbies you are putting something. So drawer 275 might have 20 sections, the index tells you which particular section you are accessing.

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Posted by Stevert on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 3:16 PM

Use JMRI/DecoderPro. It's point-and-click in plain language on your computer screen. You don't have to understand indexed CV's, or bits or bytes, or...

And it's timely, as the guy who writes the LokSound definitions just made major updates for the ESU V5 decoders.

If you managed to get onto this forum and post, you can handle installing JMRI. Lots of good tutorials around, and the JMRI User's list is a great place to get help - The folks who actually write it (including the guy mentioned above) frequent that list:

http://jmri.org/

https://groups.io/g/jmriusers

Davidarps

Sorry for the rambling on but I’m a 73 year old guy just trying have fun with my trains

I'm only a few years behind you, but I still wouldn't want to have to make do without JMRI.

EDIT: Fixed link typo.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 4:45 PM

I think this is the relevant page for the OP to change the volume of the horn

It looks to me that the actual sound slot is an unnecessary and confusing term that is of no help to the newbie.  If you have a car with a stick shift, you need to know when 3rd gear is.  You don't need to know the gear ratios in the tranny unless you are building a race car. 

It looks to me, once he sets the index CV's properly, it's just a matter of trying different values into CV 275 to get the volume he wants.

Henry

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 4:54 PM

I share the original poster's pain.  I finally gave up trying to change anything.

After reading these responses, I see that it is time that I get JMRI.  I have not done it yet because I didn't know that with my NCE, I need to purchase a USB connection to get to my laptop.

I really appreciate this forum and appreciate you experienced modelers who take the time to help people like me.  You may not hear it often, but I really do thank you for your help!

Saints Fan John

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 5:05 PM

York1
After reading these responses, I see that it is time that I get JMRI.

Normally I'm a tech guy.  I built my last desktop computer just a couple years ago, but I have no inclination to learn JMRI.  I do have a lokprogramer but I don't use it as much as I could.  We are only talking about changing 3 CV's.  I can do that quicker than I could type this post.

Henry

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 5:24 PM

BigDaddy
It looks to me that the actual sound slot is an unnecessary and confusing term that is of no help to the newbie.

Unfortunately, Henry, the Sound Slot is an important part of the ESU Sound file structure. Unfortunate, too, is that ESU doesn't make it easy to understand.

Each "sound project" i.e. the particular locomotive "sounds" that you want occupy different sounds in the various "slots" or tracks as Randy explains.

You have to look up the "sound project" that is loaded onto the decoder, then refer to the listing here to know the exact configuration (default) of that sound project:

http://projects.esu.eu/projectoverviews/18

For the SD-70 Sound Projest the sound slot assignments are different from the ESU documentation you posted above:

 ESU_SD-70 by Edmund, on Flickr

As I mentioned in my earlier reply you can see the (F2) horn and bell are together in one function, thus both sounds "play" when that function is pressed.

Yes, JMRI has much improved ESU capabilities in more recent releases. The Lokprogrammer, once you get the knack of using it, is even easier to make changes or customize your decoder operation.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 7:31 PM

gmpullman
For the SD-70 Sound Projest the sound slot assignments are different from the ESU documentation you posted above:

As Model Railroader Bart Simpson would say: "Carumba" 

Slot 3 and CV 275 are the same, is slot 331 CV 499 horn #2? or is it some other type of horn?

gmpullman
As I mentioned in my earlier reply you can see the (F2) horn and bell are together in one function, thus both sounds "play" when that function is pressed.

I remember the thread that said that is how it is, prototypically, but I don't see how they are linked in your table.

Henry

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Posted by Davidarps on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 7:38 PM

Well thanks to everyone for the helpful comments. I briefly visited the JMRI website and didn’t want to get in over my head. I think I should revist it and jump in with both feet.

I do know that if I need another sound decoder it will be another Soundtraxx tsunami 2.

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, June 05, 2019 8:18 PM

Davidarps
I briefly visited the JMRI website and didn’t want to get in over my head.

You can download JMRI and play around with Decoder Pro without having a DCC/USB interface. At least it will give you some feel for what's there and how things fit together.

IF you don't already have JAVA installed on your machine you should download that first. Then do the JMRI install.

I use Decoder Pro all the time and I'll bet I only use about 20% of all the features, maybe less. Once you get the hang of the roster section of the program you'll see how nice it is to have a record of your locomotives, what decoder is in them and any other notes you want to make and save.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 06, 2019 8:51 AM

BigDaddy
I remember the thread that said that is how it is, prototypically, but I don't see how they are linked in your table.

In the chart in Ed's example, you'll see that there are two numbers in the 'sound slot' column for Function Key F2 ("3,31"). That means that there are two sounds occupying that 'slot', so when you press F2, both sounds will come on. In another part of the LokProgrammer set-up, you can assign non-sound functions to the the F keys, so you could have say the ditch lights come on when you press F2, along with the horn and bell sounds.

I've tried using DecoderPro with ESU decoders, but not had great luck getting it to read everything correctly. I finally bit the bullet and bought a LokProgrammer, and it does make things a lot easier to understand. ESU sound decoders have hundreds (thousands?) of possible options, and without a LokProgrammer getting things set up the way you want just by entering CVs manually is pretty hard.

Stix
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, June 06, 2019 11:50 AM

wjstix
you'll see that there are two numbers in the 'sound slot' column for Function Key F2 ("3,31"). That means that there are two sounds occupying that 'slot', so when you press F2, both sounds will come on.

Ok I get that, but why not use the Bell#4 sound slot there, if that is what the second sound is?

Henry

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, June 06, 2019 1:22 PM

BigDaddy
I remember the thread that said that is how it is, prototypically, but I don't see how they are linked in your table.

I mentioned it in the other thread about the horn/bell conundrum, sorry — I'm getting the threads mixed up.

gmpullman
I see the horn is both in sound slot 3 and 31. That might be the link that turns on the bell. Try removing F1 from Sound slot 31 and see if that separates the bell from the horn.

BigDaddy
Slot 3 and CV 275 are the same, is slot 331 CV 499 horn #2? or is it some other type of horn?

My screen-grab is only part of the CV/function/sound slot list. The horn and bell type selection are part of the prime-mover sound project found at the link I provided above.

Here is the horn selection:

Recorded from a EMD SD70MAC 

File also contains an "Isolation Switch" Mode on F15 when Standing Still. 
Pressing F15 while not moving will lower the prime mover to a "Low Idle" and lock the motor. F15 must be turned off to begin moving. 

Another Mode is "Reverser In Center Position". When pressing F24 while stopped, the motor will lock so you can throttle through the notches like the prototype in neutral. F24 must be turned off to begin moving. 

This file is also equipped with a Smart Start feature that cycles the prime mover on and off at intervals of your choice if the throttle is left at Idle and the loco is stopped. 

Smart Start (Sound CV14): 
CV168=0 No Smart Start Cycle - Default 
CV168=1 - 3 Minute Cycle 
CV168=2 - 6 Minute Cylcle 
CV168=3 - 9 Minute Cylcle 
CV168=4 - 12 Minute Cylcle 
Etc..... 
CV168=255 - 765 Minute Cycle 

Horns (SoundCV9): 
CV163=0 Nathan P5 
CV163=1 Nathan K5LA 
CV163=2 Nathan M3H 
CV163=3 Leslie RS-2M 
CV163=4 Nathan K3HA 
CV163=5 Nathan K3L 
CV163=6 Nathan K3H 
CV163=7 Nathan K5H 
CV163=8 Nathan P5A 
CV163=9 Nathan P5 (Old Cast) 
CV163=10 Nathan M3RT1 
CV163=11 Leslie S3L 
CV163=12 Leslie S5T 
CV163=13 Nathan K5LR24 
CV163=14 Leslie S5LR24 

Bells (SoundCV10): 
CV164=0 EMD 8475495 Steel Bell 049 
CV164=1 EMD 8475495 Steel Bell 066 
CV164=2 EMD 8475495 Steel Bell 068 
CV164=3 Graham-White E-Bell 006 
CV164=4 Graham-White E-Bell 009 

Brake Squeal (SoundCV11) 
CV165=0 Composition Shoe #1 
CV166=1 Composition Shoe #2 

Air Dryer (SoundCV12) 
CV166=0 GP60 Air Dryer 1 
CV166=1 SD60E Air Dryer 2 
CV166=2 SD70M-2 Air Dryer 3 
CV166=3 SD70MAC Air Dryer 4 Hide description

By making changes in CV 163 – 166 you can modify the behavior of the primary sounds.

Regards, Ed 

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Posted by York1 on Thursday, June 06, 2019 1:34 PM

I think that if you look at the previous posts, you will see that for those of us new to all of this, it seems like rocket science.

I think I will study a while, and then I might decide it is just not going to happen for me.  I will be content with the horn button on the NCE controller.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 06, 2019 2:40 PM

Davidarps
To change sound volumes you have to enter “index” cv 31 to 16 and “index” cv 32 to 1. Does that mean to just enter the regular number 31 with a value of 16 and the same with cv 32? And then enter the cv 275 and then the value?

As I understand it, ESU decoders have so many options that to work them all in they have to have hundreds of CVs - many more than a typical decoder uses, and so many more than most non-ESU DCC systems / programmers can read or change.

So yes, to access and change the value of CV 275 you would need to first program CV 31 to a value of 16, then CV 32 to 1. That sort of 'shifts gears' to the higher CVs, so you then can program CV 275.

If you then wanted to change say CV 276, you'd have to do the same process with CV31 and CV 32 again before changing CV 276.

BTW the LokProgrammer software is a free download. Seeing it might make it easier to understand, even if you can't use it program without the LokPrommer hardware. For example, I believe you can load the software with the sound project that your engine uses, make the changes that you want, and then review the list of CVs to see what CVs need to be reprogrammed to get the same result.

Stix
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Posted by Stevert on Thursday, June 06, 2019 5:33 PM

wjstix

 Davidarps

To change sound volumes you have to enter “index” cv 31 to 16 and “index” cv 32 to 1. Does that mean to just enter the regular number 31 with a value of 16 and the same with cv 32? And then enter the cv 275 and then the value?

 

As I understand it, ESU decoders have so many options that to work them all in they have to have hundreds of CVs - many more than a typical decoder uses, and so many more than most non-ESU DCC systems / programmers can read or change.

So yes, to access and change the value of CV 275 you would need to first program CV 31 to a value of 16, then CV 32 to 1. That sort of 'shifts gears' to the higher CVs, so you then can program CV 275.

If you then wanted to change say CV 276, you'd have to do the same process with CV31 and CV 32 again before changing CV 276.

BTW the LokProgrammer software is a free download. Seeing it might make it easier to understand, even if you can't use it program without the LokPrommer hardware. For example, I believe you can load the software with the sound project that your engine uses, make the changes that you want, and then review the list of CVs to see what CVs need to be reprogrammed to get the same result.

 

In JMRI, the V5 definition/roster entry has 2035 CVs and 9895 Variables. (A V4 definition/roster entry has "only" 1016 CVs and 4410 Variables.) There are also roughly 60 CV's/variables that JMRI doesn't (yet) read. Which slot is used for which sound can also vary, depending on the sound project in question.

So do I really want to keep track of all that just to lower or raise the volume of one sound? Or even use the LokProgrammer software to "figure out" which CV's I have to change (does it give you the correct order for setting the indexed CV's)?

And I already have a dual-purpose programming/computer interface device, so why should I buy a LokProgrammer?

Personally, I would I rather just use my existing device and three mouse clicks: One to drag the volume slider up or down, another to write the change to the decoder, and a third to save a record of it should I ever need to reset the decoder, or use the same settings in another loco, or whatever.

JMRI makes it that easy.

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Posted by Davidarps on Thursday, June 06, 2019 5:38 PM

I really appreciate all great comments and suggestions. I think the light in my head was finally turned on. A lot of issues were cleared up. I did download JMRI and watched several videos about it. Still need to get the usb interface.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:07 PM

Stevert
And I already have a dual-purpose programming/computer interface device, so why should I buy a LokProgrammer?

Well, one plus is you can update the firmware and/or the sound files to your Loksound decoders anytime you want - i.e. if you have a Loksound decoder to update.  Since Loksound is one of my two go-to sound decoders, the LokProgrammer is worth the investment for me.  If Loksound isn't one of your preferred sound decoders then - yea, why would you by it?

LokProgrammer doesn't replace JMRI, Steve; it's just a different resource.

Tom

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Posted by Stevert on Thursday, June 06, 2019 8:25 PM

tstage

 

Stevert
And I already have a dual-purpose programming/computer interface device, so why should I buy a LokProgrammer?

 

Well, one plus is you can update the firmware and/or the sound files to your Loksound decoders anytime you want - i.e. if you have a Loksound decoder to update.  Since Loksound is one of my two go-to sound decoders, the LokProgrammer is worth the investment for me.  If Loksound isn't one of your preferred sound decoders then - yea, why would you by it?

LokProgrammer doesn't replace JMRI, Steve; it's just a different resource.

Tom

 

 
Tom,
 
I'm aware that the LokProgrammer (or more accurately, the LokProgrammer software) isn't a replacement for JMRI.
 
But all the OP wanted to do was change the volume.
 
He also mentioned that if he ever needs another sound decoder it will be "another Soundtraxx tsunami 2" (emphasis added), so we have to assume he already has at least one. And, that statement also makes me think ESU might not be his "go-to" sound decoder any time soon.
 
With all that in mind, I still think JMRI and an interface device that works with *his* DCC system is a better choice for the OP.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, June 06, 2019 8:48 PM

wjstix
BTW the LokProgrammer software is a free download. Seeing it might make it easier to understand, even if you can't use it program without the LokPrommer hardware.

A couple screen shots may help

No idea what the F = true statements mean, but when you click on each horn on the right, the left side of the screen populates with information on that horn.

Edit;  There is a hole in my knowledge here.  When I go to the radio Decoder button, Sound Slot 3 is horn pack 1.  The preview, sounds exactly the same, no matter which horn I choose.

Henry

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 06, 2019 10:44 PM

I should point out I just hooked up my LokProgrammer last weekend, so I hope I don't sound like I'm trying to pretend to be an "expert" by any means! But I did find it quite intuitive, and was able to finally get my Rapido GMD-1's lights to work the way I wanted them to and remap some F-keys.

BTW a nice feature is the "Driver's Cab" option. I know Digitrax Soundloader software does something similar, where you can test the lights and sounds on the programming track - but with ESU, you can actually make the engine move too!

(I enjoyed finding that some of the higher F-keys that I hadn't accesed before were set up by those wacky Rapido hosers with several sci-fi sound effects, like the Tardis from Dr. Who, and several Star Trek ones - a phaser, the transporter - even Scotty!)

Stix
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, June 07, 2019 2:07 PM

 JMRI has no way of knowign what soudn is in what slot for a particular project either. So you ahev no idea which volume CV you need to adjust to change say the air compressor sound on a given decoder. Only if someone has created definitiong for EVER project available - and with so many locos comign out I can't imagine anyoen can actually keep up with this.

 Loco A might use sound slot 3 for the prime mover, Loco B might use that for the bell, Loco C might use that for dynamic brakes. Same CV adjsuts the volume for soudn slot 3, regardless of what actual sound file is sitting in that slot, but you absolutely need that mapping table liek the one posted for the SD70 to know which one to change.

 A major correction, the reference to the horn and bell, it's not slot 331, it's slots 3 AND 31, so when you press the assigned F key, it plays the soudns in BOTH of those slots. It probably should be represented better int he table, but the two values are separated by a comma. The two CVs for the volume of each slot are seperated by a comma - hopefully whoever typed that up got them in the correct order. 

 Loksound is the ONLY decoder (at elast commonly available outside of Europe) that is even remotely as configurable as this. There are NO limits to what F key can operate what sounds and/or what physical wires. Withotu writing actual code (the Digitrax sound decoders, you can do this same sort of thing, but you actually have to fully write a program to do so). Just by fillign out specific boxes (CVs) you cna assign keys to soudns and wires with various conditions. Downside is you need some 2000 CVs to hold all that (though in less complex loco definitions, many of those will be empty). Only the Lokprogrammer can actually set all these with decent speed - in addition to standard NMRA DCC programming, Loksoudn has their own proprietary method for transferrign large amounds of data (so you can load sound files - if you had to use just the NMRA standard to load a sound file, it woudl take a week top copy that much data to the decoder). If you aren;t changing sound files, you don;t NEED a Lokprogrammer, but it sure helps. Even the fastest NRMA programmers, like the SPROG, are super slow compared to using a Lokprogrammer.

                                            --Randy


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

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, June 07, 2019 4:20 PM

Re Indexing with ESU decoders, a (possibly?) helpful analogy might be this...think of a building with several floors, and a number of rooms on each floor. Rooms 1 to 128 are on the first floor, so if you want to go to one of them, just go in the front door and walk to the room you need to go to. Rooms 129-256 are on the second floor, and rooms 257-384 are on the third floor. If you want to go to a room higher than room 128, you have to take the elevator to the appropriate floor. CV 31 and 32 are kinda like the elevator; it enables you to access the higher number CVs, like accessing the rooms on the higher floors of the building.

Of course, you don't need a LokProgrammer to use an engine equipped with an ESU decoder, but you may have to live with some lights and sounds not being exactly how you want them. I was OK running my Rapido GMD-1 without being able to access all the options or set some things exactly like I wanted them, it still worked fine. Now I really bought the LokProgrammer so I can buy blank decoders and add sound projects to them myself, but since I do have it, it's really nice to be able to take advantage of all the options my ESU-equipped engines offer.

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Posted by Stevert on Friday, June 07, 2019 5:33 PM

rrinker

 JMRI has no way of knowign what soudn is in what slot for a particular project either. So you ahev no idea which volume CV you need to adjust to change say the air compressor sound on a given decoder.

It's not hard to figure out for the major functions/sounds.

For example, F8 mutes the loco, by effectively setting the master volume to zero. So you look at the function map and see that F8 controls Slot 1. So Slot 1 is the master volume. Repeat as necessary for the other sounds.

rrinker

Only if someone has created definitiong for EVER project available - and with so many locos comign out I can't imagine anyoen can actually keep up with this.

I believe the mapping is contained in the sound project itself, so with the right code JMRI can dynamically create the correct layout. My understanding is that Dave Heap (JMRI) and Matt Herman (ESU) are collaborating on this. 

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