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"Sound Value" (Ha!) decoder issues

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  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: North Carolina
  • 243 posts
"Sound Value" (Ha!) decoder issues
Posted by trnj on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 9:58 AM

I just purchased a Bachmann S-2 with "Sound Value" decoder.  It must be a low-feature "Econami" with fewer features, which is to be expected.  However, the documentation with the engine was almost useless and when directed to the Soundtraxx website, it is clear that the "on board" decoder differs in its CV assigments in many areas.  All my other engines, except for one Atlas HH600, have Loksound decoders (4 installed be me) and so I am a bit spoiled to performance and dependability.  But I could not resist the price of this S-2, probably foolishly.  

I cannot set the engine to any address.  It only responds to "3."  I have set many addresses in engines over the years with no issues.  Now, the prime mover sounds occasionally just goes silent when the engine stops, and F8 only works when utned off!  I have tried the factory reset, via CV8 set to 8, with little success.  I did find a document on-line that gives the default CV's for this S-2 but it does not seem to be accurate.  CV29, for example, is "6," whish seems very improbable.  Any suggestions, short of selling this on Ebay and taking the loss?

  • Member since
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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:08 AM

CV 29 = 6 is a valid value.  That value equates to 28/128 speed steps and dc/doc operation.  Also only allows short address operation.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,567 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 10:46 AM

My Sound Value decoders work fine, but they do not use the Start Voltage CV.  They exhibit jackrabbit starts and don't do too low speed operation.  I fixed this by reducing Vhigh and adding momentum.  I don't want very high top end speed or very powerful pulling anyway, so I really don't lose anything.

My couplers on both of these engines failed almost immediately, but the replacement Kadees are always just downstairs.

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

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 26,685 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 12:21 PM

CV29=6 is the standard default. Matches the default short address of 3.

You could always take out the decoder and put in a Loksound. And add some grabs to get the loco shell up to the new running and sound quality. I will say, it's better I think that they don't put molded on detail and just leave it off. Easier to add it if you don't first have to scrape off all the molded on stuff.

You can probably improve the operation simply by removing the capacitors that are on the motor terminals. They interfere with the motor drive signal and with any BEMF feedback. It won't be up to Loksound level but it should be much better than out of the box.

 Not sure why you should have problems programming it, they are just feature-limited Soundtraxx decoders. There's no keep alive or anything to interfere with programming. If it stalls frequently even though the track and wheels are clean, there may be a pickup issue, which can potentially cause a problem when programming more than just a single CV (like when setting a logn address - that sets 3 CVs) if it gets to a dead spot while in the middle of programming.

                             --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    May 2017
  • 14 posts
Posted by rrbnsf on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1:32 PM

I've had a couple of Bachmann decoders not correctly updateing CV29 when switching to a long address. This was annoying but not a real problem as manually updating it worked.

  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: North Carolina
  • 243 posts
Posted by trnj on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1:43 PM

Thanks to all who responded to this issue with the Bachmann S-2.  I have listed it on Ebay, along with an Atlas RS-32 I was given but which does not fit the period I model.  I plan to save up for an Atlas S-2 instead!  Lesson learned!!

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Michigan
  • 234 posts
Posted by Over50 on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 7:20 PM

Just to comment, I have Bachmann GP7's and S2's all with the sound value decoders. I downloaded a CV value print out applicable for these engines from Tsunami. I've had no problem with 4 digit address programming for these engines and albiet with limited choices I can set the bell ring rate, horn type, momentum, etc. The one prime feature I like that's lacking in the sound value is reverb/echo effect to simulate distance.

FWIW I'm using the Digitrax Empire Builder system on my layout.

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