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Changing the Volume on DCC engines

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Changing the Volume on DCC engines
Posted by kenben on Sunday, May 12, 2019 6:46 PM

So I've now got 6 engines and there is a big difference in the volume of each. One is real loud. Two are real low. I'm using a NCE PowerCab. So how do I change the volume of the sounds for each engine?

 

THX 

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, May 12, 2019 6:57 PM

I have the Power Cab but all you have to do is follow the instructions for the brand of decoder. Each sound has it's own CV. There is also a CV for the master volume. No big deal. Just tinker. That is what I use to do. Look up your decoder CV list. It will tell you which value to enter on the Cab.

You can Google this and find You Tube videos also. There might be more hints I am not aware of. Many forget that.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 12, 2019 7:26 PM

 

Changing the volume is easy. I am assuming that you are using a separate Programming Track:

1. Select the locomotive by pushing 'SELECT LOCO' and entering the locomotive number and 'ENTER'.

2. Push the 'PROG/ESC' button until the display says "USE PROGRAM TRACK" and press 'ENTER'.

3. Enter "2" to change CV values. The display will say "PROG CV NUM:     ".

4. Enter "63" and press 'ENTER'. The Powercab will read back the current setting for CV 63 which is the master volume control for most decoders.

5. The display will show "---------WAIT---------" for a few seconds and then it will tell you what the current setting is. The locomotives that are loud will likely have a fairly high number, i.e. "220" (255 is the maximum volume). Vise versa with the quiet locomotives. WRITE THAT NUMBER DOWN, i.e. "CV 63=220".

If the locomotive is loud try inputting a number that is about half the value shown. For example, if the decoder is set at volume '220', try inputting '110' and hitting 'ENTER'. Most of my locomotives are set somewhere around '70' for operation at home, but I will turn them up considerably if they are being taken to the club or to a show.

6. Once you have found a suitable volume WRITE IT DOWN, and then hit the 'PROG/ESC' button to exit the programming mode and return to normal throttle operation.

If CV 63 doesn't work you will have to consult your decoder manual, but I'm pretty sure it is the standard CV used for controlling master volume. Note that you can also control the volumes of individual sounds. You will have to consult your decoder manual to determine which CVs control which specific sounds.

Pardon my yelling (use of capitols) but I strongly recommend that you write down the starting value for any CV and the value that you decided to change it to.

Some decoders take longer to make CV changes than others so be patient.

Cheers,

Dave

 

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Posted by kenben on Sunday, May 12, 2019 8:07 PM

Dave- I went into CV63. It was set to 128. Changed that to 200 and ENTER then exited programing. Nothing worked. I have to unplug and plug in my Cab to make everything active again. No change in volume and checking the setting, it was back to 128. I did this with 3 different engines. Same results. All 3 are from ScaleTrains.

And I've noticed with my pretty new Powercab, I have to unplg it a lot to regain all 6 engines RECALL list.

Any other suggestions?

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, May 12, 2019 8:20 PM

kenben,

Do you know what sound decoders are in your locomotives?

Tom

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, May 12, 2019 8:55 PM

Doesn't he have to recycle the power after ENTER?  I know nothing about power cab, just wondering.

Mike.

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, May 12, 2019 9:38 PM

It has been a few years for me but this is the procedure I used. I used Tsunami and LokSound decoders. Adjusted each sound and then the Master volume.

https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/205053409-How-to-view-or-change-a-CV-with-the-Powercab

The only time I had to cycle power was when I reset a decoder to factory specs. That is normal.

I also learned how to do it on the main, BUT, one loco at at time.

Rich

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 12, 2019 9:58 PM

kenben
Dave- I went into CV63. It was set to 128. Changed that to 200 and ENTER then exited programing. Nothing worked.

I'm sorry but I'm not knowledgeable enough to go beyond what I told you. The process I posted has always worked for me. I could speculate on what is going wrong but instead of doing that I will leave it up to the experts to explain how to solve the problem.

I'm sure there is a simple answer.

Dave

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Sunday, May 12, 2019 10:58 PM

I’ve heard this is one of the situations in which I would likely use DecoderPro. It sounds a lot easier than programming CVs. Of course, a lot of people, myself included, don’t use decoder pro because of the initial hassle of setting it up...

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by blabride on Monday, May 13, 2019 9:31 AM

The CV's you want are below,

For Soundtraxx its CV 128

Loksound CV 63

MRC CV 49

QSI CV 52

Broadway Limited CV 133, But I have not been able to make it remember.

Also MTH does have a volume control from the function menu I thing its F6. The more you press it goes up in volume until O then starts back up again.

If your not sure which sound decoder you have, your Power Cab will tell you when you go into programming on the program track. It will be the first thing that pops up if I remember and it will be a code. Each decoder manufacturer has a code unique to them. I can't remember them off hand. But if you google it the name will comeup.

 

SB

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, May 13, 2019 11:39 AM

kenben

Dave- I went into CV63. It was set to 128. Changed that to 200 and ENTER then exited programing. Nothing worked. No change in volume and checking the setting, it was back to 128.

I believe ScaleTrains uses ESU Loksound decoders. For Loksound, the range for the master volume CV is 0-192, and for the individual sounds it's 0-128. I suspect since the number you were trying to change the CV to was larger than what it allowed, it just ignored it.

Stix
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Posted by selector on Monday, May 13, 2019 1:28 PM

Stix nailed it, as I found when I scrolled down to post the very same thing.

Each decoder comes with a manual (available to download at the importer's/manufacturer's site).  Each decoder has CV's that pertain to certain operations and behavioural characteristics.  They also have a lowest number for programming and a maximum number for sounds and other effects.  That is, they have a range of possible inputs.  Many only have a range from 0-15 (QSI, for example). Some have a much broader range with a much higher number.  

One cannot hope to effect a desired performance change in any one CV unless one knows which decoder one is programming and unless one also knows the limits for that CV.  You can't cut the volume in half on a Master Volume CV (whichever CV that may be on any given decoder...it varies!!) when you attempt to change its maximum value to 128 when that is the highest possible volume in the first place.

RTFM!

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Posted by Stevert on Monday, May 13, 2019 2:30 PM

SPSOT fan

 Of course, a lot of people, myself included, don’t use decoder pro because of the initial hassle of setting it up...

 

 
Not to hijack this thread, but I'm curious - What does the initial hassle of setting up DecoderPro involve?
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, May 13, 2019 4:03 PM

Decoder Pro is one of several applications of JMRI

You need a USB interface to "talk" to your DCC system. 

I cannot comment on the steepness of the learning curve, for those that refuse to look at their decoder manual, or claim they are unable to post pictures in the forum, it is probably too steep.

Henry

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Posted by Stevert on Monday, May 13, 2019 8:23 PM

BigDaddy

Decoder Pro is one of several applications of JMRI

 

Oh, I know what JMRI is - I've been using it for 16+ years (PanelPro, DecoderPro, and OperationsPro).

I'm just wondering what are percieved as the "initial hassles" of setting it up.

If there's some particular stumbling block that's preventing a number of folks from using it, I'd be willing to open an issue and birddog it through.

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Posted by DRGWGJCO on Monday, May 13, 2019 8:53 PM

Stevert
If there's some particular stumbling block that's preventing a number of folks from using it, I'd be willing to open an issue and birddog it through.

 

I plan on trying it out in the next month or so will let you know if I have any issues. Seems straightforward enough but looks can be decieving.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, May 13, 2019 10:53 PM

Stevert
Not to hijack this thread, but I'm curious - What does the initial hassle of setting up DecoderPro involve?

Well, I have no idea because I’ve never done it! I guess the reason I haven’t is that I don’t have the USB interface, and I personalply have only DC engines at the moment, so I only need DecoderPro to work on other people’s locos. Since most of the time that’s not what I do, DecoderPro doesn’t get installed!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:14 AM

selector

Each decoder comes with a manual (available to download at the importer's/manufacturer's site).  Each decoder has CV's that pertain to certain operations and behavioural characteristics.  They also have a lowest number for programming and a maximum number for sounds and other effects.  That is, they have a range of possible inputs.  Many only have a range from 0-15 (QSI, for example). Some have a much broader range with a much higher number.  

One cannot hope to effect a desired performance change in any one CV unless one knows which decoder one is programming and unless one also knows the limits for that CV.  You can't cut the volume in half on a Master Volume CV (whichever CV that may be on any given decoder...it varies!!) when you attempt to change its maximum value to 128 when that is the highest possible volume in the first place.

Selector is right and therein lies the problem. There is no universal NMRA setting for volume control that applies to all decoders. Each decoder manufacturer may use a combination of CVs in different ways. So, you need to consult the manual provided by each decoder manufacturer for the applicable CV settings.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:22 AM

SPSOT fan
 
Stevert
Not to hijack this thread, but I'm curious - What does the initial hassle of setting up DecoderPro involve? 

Well, I have no idea because I’ve never done it! I guess the reason I haven’t is that I don’t have the USB interface, and I personalply have only DC engines at the moment, so I only need DecoderPro to work on other people’s locos. Since most of the time that’s not what I do, DecoderPro doesn’t get installed! 

The fact of the matter is that the setup for Decoder Pro is pretty simple and straight forward. If someone has never set up Decoder Pro, it doesn't make much sense to scare others off by stating that a lot of people don't use Decoder Pro because of the initial hassle of setting it up.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:45 AM

richhotrain
If someone has never set up Decoder Pro, it doesn't make much sense to scare others off by stating that a lot of people don't use Decoder Pro because of the initial hassle of setting it up.

Ditto what Rich said!

I wouldn't enjoy the benefits of DCC if it weren't for the ease of programming that Decoder Pro brings to the hobby. Not to mention being able to have a method of instantly re-entering all your decoder settings if you happen to need a reset.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Stevert on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 9:46 PM

SPSOT fan

 

 
Stevert
Not to hijack this thread, but I'm curious - What does the initial hassle of setting up DecoderPro involve?

 

 

Well, I have no idea because I’ve never done it! I guess the reason I haven’t is that I don’t have the USB interface, and I personalply have only DC engines at the moment, so I only need DecoderPro to work on other people’s locos. Since most of the time that’s not what I do, DecoderPro doesn’t get installed!

 

 
Okay, so "the initial hassle of setting it up" really boils down to you not having a use for it.  That's fair, not everyone does.  Unfortunately, the wording of your comment didn't make that very clear. 
 
But did you know you can use it in simulator mode without an interface device (they aren't all USB) to easily determine which CV(s) need to be changed to what value(s) to obtain a desired effect?
 
Or that you can use OperationsPro, also without an interface device, to create paperwork for operating sessions?
 
Or that you can use it to control your room lighting (You'll need a powerline interface for that, but no connection to the layout)?
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 10:36 PM

Yes, I have used Operations Pro, and liked a lot of it, but also had a few issues with it. I didn’t know about the simulator mode, I will need to look in to that!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:53 AM

Once you work with DecoderPro a while it's pretty straightforward, but like any application or program it has it's own quirks. I do sometimes have problems getting it to read and write CVs. It seems like it works great for a while and then, seemingly for no reason, I'll try to program something and it will say something like "no response from decoder". Sometimes it's just the engine being on a dead spot on the programming track, and moving it a fraction of an inch resolves the problem. Other times, I've had to change which slot the cord to the programming track / Digitrax PR3 is plugged into, or change a setting in DecoderPro so it's reading the correct slot. Then it will work again and have no problems for a long time. But I don't think that's unique to DecoderPro, I've had similar issues in the past with say setting up a printer. It's just part of the deal with computers.

Stix

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