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Need help with Decoder Pro

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  • Member since
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Need help with Decoder Pro
Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:09 PM

 
I’ve been using Decoder Pro for about a year and once I got the hang of it it has worked flawlessly until yesterday.  I bought a Digitrax TL1 Function only decoder and I can’t get Decoder Pro to program it.  The TL1 is listed in the program and it loads correctly.  I tried and hour last night and three hours this morning.  I’m running MRC Prodigy Advance², I have several Digitrax decoders and I’ve never had a problem programming them with Decoder Pro.
 
Decoder Pro doesn’t seem to read the decoder and the program locks up as well as locking up my Prodigy Controller when I try to write or read the decoder.
 
I was able to program the TL1 manually using my Prodigy controller.  The Digitrax TL1 manual leaves a lot to be desired.
 
Decoder Pro is working through my Prodigy, I tested it with a MRC, Soundtraxx and two Digitrax SDXH166 decoders to make sure every thing was working.  Read and write works OK with everything but the TL1.
 
I have the TL1 decoder working as advertised by using the Prodigy Controller for programming, I’m just wondering what I’m doing wrong in Decoder Pro.
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:13 PM

Hi, Mel

I remember having some issues with function-only decoders and I think it was Randy that suggested placing a resistor across the rails of the programming track.

At the moment I don't recall what value but it doesn't take much. Maybe 100Ω?

Without a motor in the circuit it seems the command station/decoder Pro has some problems and the resistor can fool it into thinking there is a motor. I presume you have lights wired to one of the output functions already? I think there needs to be a load there, too.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, February 10, 2018 3:01 PM

I put a 100 ma bulb across the track and there is no difference, still doesn’t work.
 
The TL1 is driving a 5 volt micro relay (176Ω coil) with a pair of 620Ω resistors paralleled in series with the relay connected to the blue and white wires, the relay draws .0299ma at 3.87 volts. The voltage on the blue/white wires with the relay energized is 13.58 volts. (Fluke)
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 7:02 PM

RR_Mel
I put a 100 ma bulb across the track and there is no difference, still doesn’t work.

I'm not much help in that situation, Mel. Sorry...

I don't recall if I have any TL1s in any of my equipment. I've done a few TCS FL2s over the years and the resistor across the programming track rails is what worked for me.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:11 PM

I finished my project and put it in service this evening and everything works as planned.  I reprogrammed the TL1 with the proper DCC address using my Prodigy controller.  Still can’t get Decoder Pro to work on the TL1, works great on everything else. 
 
By using F4 I can turn on and off the interior lights on my passenger cars.
 
This is my Southern Pacific Daylight Baggage car with my battery on board lighting power supply.  It provides 4 volts DC to power all 11 cars for filcker free lighting.  I can park my passenger train without power to the track with all lights on by using the latching reed switch relay override.
 
 
 
I used a latching reed switch to override the DCC controlled relay for DC operation.  I run dual mode, DC or DCC, not simultaneously.
 
 
I was surprised that the TP4056 charge board charges the Lithium cell faster from DCC than DC.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, February 11, 2018 12:28 PM

 It probably won't read without an additional load on the program track. Regular decoders pulse the motor to the Ack pulse, but of course there is no motor connection on the TL1. It is supposed to also use the F0 output, I think that is mentioned buried in some tech support depot article somewhere - but LEDs will probbaly not draw enough current either. If the throttle programs it, JMRI should to -  just forego reading sheets, just write the sheets you change and it should be OK.

                                      --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 RR_Mel on Sunday, February 11, 2018 4:07 PM

Randy I tried using a 100ma bulb across the red and black and that didn’t work.  What I don’t understand is if my MRC Prodigy can program the TL1 manually why can’t the Decoder Pro program it.  I’ve never had a problem using Decoder Pro going through my Prodigy before.  I tried the write page changes button and Decoder Pro locks up at CV1, same thing on read.  On read it also locks up my Prodigy controller.
 
I started with F0 in Decoder Pro so that isn’t the problem.  I used 03 and F0 with my Prodigy and it worked first try.  I changed the DCC address and set it to F4 and it’s working perfect.  I thought Decoder Pro might work after it was programmed and it does, I can trip the relay using the F4 button in throttle mode.  Decoder Pro still won’t read or write to it but it will operate the relay. ????
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Huron, SD
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:19 PM

After 20some years as a computer programmer, if I had a beer for every time I said "This has never been a problem before" I would be able to...

Actually, I'm pretty sure I DID (eventually) have a beer every time I said "This has never been a problem before".

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:20 PM

 Hmm, very strage, as the JMRI people will always insise, all JMRI does is emulate the throttle, which is why the opposite IS true - if you can't program or so somthing with the throttle, JMRI won't magically fix it. But for the throottle to work but JMRI not to is just strange. I don't have a TL-1, or anything hooked up to try it anyway, to see if it's a system specific issue.

 You are using the same program mode in JMRI as you are with the throttle, right? Program track vs ops mode, and then direct/page/register?

 A bulb across the program track probbaly won't do it, you need a resistor. To try a bulb it should go on the blue and white.

 Not that there's a lot to set anyway, it's all listed in tables in the instruction sheet. CV61 and 64 for what F key, CV49 to one of the values for an effect, and CV62 for the speed of an effect. Don't know how they could make it any easier to understand. TF4 is a bit more complicated because there are 4 function wire outputs.

                                      --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
    January, 2009
  • 2,882 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:08 PM

I tied a pair of 47Ω 1 watt resistors in series across the track and it’s still a no go.  I figured that the 12 volt 100ma bulb would work as good as a resistor for a load.  I wouldn’t think a load across the track would be the answer, the Prodigy does the digital stream to the decoder and it’s working.  I figured the problem is in the JMRI interface because the Prodigy Control unit will program it using it's handheld.
 
I fiddled around with the program for a couple of hours trying different combinations and finally gave up.  I tried a half dozen Digitrax decoders and everything works but the TL1.
 
The funny thing is the Decoder Pro will operate the TL1 from using the throttle F4 button so it’s talking to it.  
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,612 posts
Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 12, 2018 7:00 AM

 Well, sending DCC commands over the rails is a lot different than 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.

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