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Digitrax Throttle

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  • Member since
    July, 2013
  • 137 posts
Digitrax Throttle
Posted by starman on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:12 PM

I have a Digitrax system with a DT402 throttle.  The throttle has numbered buttons for the numbers 1 through 12.  I also have a new steam engine with 28 different sounds.  How do I select a sound above number 12, using my DT402 throttle.  Thanks for your help.

Jack Fletcher

  • Member since
    January, 2001
  • From: SE Minnesota
  • 6,776 posts
Posted by jrbernier on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:25 PM

  Go to page 33 of your throttle manual.  It describes accessing the upper functions.  If you do not have the manual, it is a free download.

  That said, I rarely use anything other than F0(headlight), F1(bell) or F2(whistle).  The rest of the sounds tend to be things like 'couple clank' or 'all aboard'....

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

  • Member since
    July, 2013
  • 137 posts
Posted by starman on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:59 PM
Thanks a lot.  I forgot I had a manual just for my throttle.  After looking around a little, I found it.  I checked out page 33 and found exactly what I wanted.  You are no doubt right in that most of the sounds won't be used, but I did want to hear them.
 
Jack
  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 6,663 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:40 PM

starman
You are no doubt right in that most of the sounds won't be used, but I did want to hear them.

You can reassign sounds (or lighting) to lower function buttons if you find some that you want to use more frequently. I have done that with some lighting functions and substituted them with some of the lower functions that I don't use often, or at all, such as some blower fan, dynamic brake or automatic grade crossing horn sounds.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    July, 2013
  • 137 posts
Posted by starman on Thursday, July 12, 2018 7:46 AM

That sounds like a good idea!  I assume that the Throttle Manual will tell me how to do this.

Jack

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,476 posts
Posted by selector on Thursday, July 12, 2018 8:47 AM

Yes, the throttle is the device that needs 'function mapping', as it is properly called.  The decoder doesn't care which button is being pushed, it just wants the correct command for whatever function you want it to undertake on your, the operator's, behalf.  Mapping that command, with its resultant and desired function, is what you do with the throttle.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: SE Michigan
  • 847 posts
Posted by fmilhaupt on Friday, July 13, 2018 5:21 AM
For the general case of moving a function to a button that's more convenient, most people I know have found it best to re-map sounds to functions in the decoder and leave the throttle buttons alone. Typically you'll use many different locomotives with a throttle, and it's a far more enjoyable experience running trains if you know that pressing F5 always has the same effect. Since it's the decoder inside the different locomotives that makes function setups vary, it makes more sense to make all of the locomotives respond the same, as much as possible.
 
If I have five locomotives that dim the headlight when I press F4, and one that has that function on F6, it makes more sense to me to reprogram the one that uses F6 so that it behaves like the rest. That way, any throttle I pick up will work the same with any locomotive I want to use.
 
How you reprogram sounds to different functions will vary from decoder manufacturer to decoder manufacturer. The decoder's manual, will be more useful for information on how to reprogram a specific decoder. Using software such as JMRI can make this MUCH easier.
 
Most sounds and functions can be remapped in most decoders, but some decoders have functions, like audio-assisted programming on a TCS sound decoder (F8), that cannot. One layout owner I know who uses TCS decoders actually removed the F8 key from his EasyDCC throttles so that his operating crews couldn't mess with the decoder programming. Accidentally or otherwise.
 
If you reprogram the decoder's function mapping, any throttle you use will be able to access the remapped function using the same button. If you have a throttle that can have its function keys remapped (NCE's Cab04, Cab05 and Cab06 come to mind) and reconfigure the throttle so that, for example, the F4 key triggers the function that was originally F20 in the decoder, you've created a special case you now need to keep track of. If you want pressing F4 to trigger F20 on every locomotive you ever try to control with that throttle, though, no problem. If you have more than one throttle, you'd ideally want to set up all of them to behave the same way, as well.
 
As it is, Digitrax throttles don't support reprogramming the function keys to send different function codes from the throttle. The Advanced throttles (the ones with a display) can be used as part of reprogramming the decoder, though.

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org

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