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Consisting: Using same decoder address

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, September 6, 2019 11:23 AM

 Plenty of people TALK about it, if they aren't doing it. Making it seem like you HAVE to do it to run multiple locos in a consist. And then the DC guys just point and laugh at how complicated things are with DCC....

                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, September 6, 2019 9:21 AM

rrinker
You're agreeing with me more than you're not - been my point all along that the start, mid, and top speed settings are all you need to get locos plenty close enough for the ones you do have to speed match. If needed, that's all I do.

Yes but that's all anybody has to do to speedmatch. I've been in DCC 15 years, never heard of anybody speedmatching each step one by one to another engine. If the decoder is set to either not use speed curves, or to just use a straightline speed curve, when you raise or lower CV5, the decoder automatically adjusts all the speed steps in between the first (starting) step and the last (highest) step...even if the decoder doesn't have CV6.

Stix
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, September 6, 2019 7:19 AM

richhotrain

So, who uses speed tables and why?

Rich

 

 Anyone with Tsunamis since they don't support CV6 for mid speed. Just one of the reasons I switched to Loksound. Not sure what their reasoning was, as even the good old $11 D12SRJ from NCE supports the 3 step CVs.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, September 6, 2019 6:16 AM

Well ... to be honest I have been trying to get all my locos to match one   Master loco so that I could assign any loco to any train either in a consist or as a helper and they would run the same speed.

Why? Because that’s what I believed you had to do from what I have seen and read in Videos, articles, JMRI demos and forum posts that told me so.

Perhaps I was wasting my time.Indifferent  

Gary

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, September 6, 2019 5:03 AM

So, who uses speed tables and why?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, September 5, 2019 11:47 AM

 You're agreeing with me more than you're not - been my point all along that the start, mid, and top speed settings are all you need to get locos plenty close enough for the ones you do have to speed match. If needed, that's all I do. I do have some VERY different locos that run well together with no adjustments at all.

                                            --Randy

 


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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, September 5, 2019 8:31 AM

rrinker
Because it takes a lot of time to match across all 28 steps of a speed table, especially when you are already using a DCC system that defaults to 128 steps, not a mere 28. For little to no gain.

Um...what? You don't have to speed match each step separately. I don't use speed curves normally. I use CV5 (top speed) to adjust the speed up or down. The DCC system automagically fills in each step (whether 14, 28 or 128) in between step 1 and the top step. CV2 can be used to adjust the starting speed so both engines start together, then use the momentum CVs (3-4) to smooth things out so the engines slowly ramp up to speed and gently coast to a stop together. Doesn't take all that long.

Stix
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, September 5, 2019 7:43 AM

 That is an example where consisting makes more sense than giving both the same address - to replicate that typical prototype practice.

 It's not an all or nothing scenario. It just makes very little sense to use coonsisting when the two locos are coupled with a drawbar and can;t be run independently anyway. Now, if the are TWO sets of A-B units, each A-B drawbar coupled, and you want to run A-B-B-A, now you consist the two sets together, because the sets can uncouple from one another and pull another train as just a single A-B set, or combine with another spare B unit, or another spare A unit and run A-B-A or A-B-B. 

 It all depends on when you are modeling - in the early days of F units when drawbar coupled units were common, the usually stayed together. Seemed to make sense - they had the same inspection and maintenance intervals, so why break them up? Then later the railroads realizes that any fiven B unit fo the same model (FT, F3, F7, etc) was the same as any other B unit of the same model, so if one B unit was down, any available B unit could substitute to get the required horsepower to haul the next train out. Drawbars were repalced by couplers and units could be freely mixed and matched for maximum availability - sitting a working A unit because the drawbar couple B unit was down for repair was an expensive proposition. ANd as the MU systems became standardized across manufacturers, you started to see the really odd lashups that weren't even possible a few years earlier. 

                                     --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by pennwest on Thursday, September 5, 2019 7:23 AM

One interesting use of consisting is for a local train switching an industrial park with both leading and trailing spurs and no run-around. The train has a switcher at each end, running consisted to the park, then broken to use one loco for leading moves, the other for trailing. With a Digitrax 400/500, one throttle has the lead loco, the other the trailing one, and consisted, one throttle runs both. Two button presses to consist or unconsist. No address swapping on the throttle needed. Neat.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 4:24 PM

 Yes, different decoders brands use different ranges for the momentum values, so a value of 10 on one decoder might need to be 40 on another to be equal.

 ANother good reason to standardize on decoders - I don't think I will be buying any more TCS motor decoders for non-sound locos, instead I will get Lokpilots to match the Loksounds in all my sound locos - in addition to all the CVs being the same that way, hen I can also use the Drive Hld on Loksound even if all the locos don;t have sound, because Lokpilot respects the option even though there is no sound to rev up/down.

                                             --Randy

 


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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 3:17 PM

I have found the biggest issue is for acceleration -- deceleration.

I've got locomotives with different decoders that matched speed fairly well, but when I set the acceleration the same for both and ran them in consist, you could hear the wheels on one slipping while it accelerated faster than the other.

It's easy to fix -- took about 5 minutes, but it still needed to be done.

I love the acceleration -- deceleration settings.  I know others who want to control every inch of speed, I like to set a speed and have the locos slowly acc. automatically.

York1 John       

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 2:03 PM

 Because it takes a lot of time to match across all 28 steps of a speed table, especially when you are already using a DCC system that defaults to 128 steps, not a mere 28. For little to no gain.

 I'll save the speed matching for when I want to vastly different locos to run together - then it makes absolute sense, because it allows you to do somethign you can't do with plain DC.

  In the end, most of my locos will be effectvely speed matched anyway, as all the ones that run way too fast as full throttle with have CV5 set to keep the top speed to a realistic value. I may also set the mid speed to create responses suited to the type of service the loco is made for - quicker acel for a passwnger loco, slower for a drag freight loco.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:22 AM

rrinker
Same as I said in my previous reply - all those that say speed matching is absolutely required, were you doing any model railroading prior to DCC?

I guess the question I'd ask in reply is, since it's so easy to get all engines to run the same now on DCC, why wouldn't someone do speedmatching? It's kinda like saying 'well it's 100 degrees out, and my car has air conditioning, but I won't use it since my first car didn't have air conditioning.'

Yes, I was in model railroading about 30 years before switching to DCC. I found Atlas HO engines would generally run well together, and once in a while you'd get lucky and two engines from other manufacturers would work OK together. Some folks spent a lot of time and effort adding resistors to their engines to slow a fast one down so it sorta/kinda ran at the same speed as another engine.

 

Stix
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, September 2, 2019 1:22 PM

 Same as I said in my previous reply - all those that say speed matching is absolutely required, were you doing any model railroading prior to DCC? The club I belonged to way back when is now even bigger and all DCC, but it was strictly DC when I was there, DCC was just being talked about (well, an NMRA standard command control system that is). For open houses, most people just like to see stuff mooving. Stopping, backing up, dropping cars in sidings, that sort of thing bores the casual visitor. So we ran multuple long trains in each direction. 2, 3, even 4 power units on the head end. Speed matching? There is no speed matching in DC, unless you want to use rather large jumps of .7 volts and try to fool around with diodes. We just ran 3-4 of the same brand loco.

 DCC changed none of that, it just gives MORE options. Two locos of the same brand, with the same decoder, will run fine together with no adjustments, unless one is broken or someone really fiffled with the CVs on one decoder. What we get with DCC is the ability to freely mix completely different locos because we CAN speed match - even then, in many cases the same manufacturer will use the same chassis and drive train and fit different shells to make a different model loco, so those still probably don;t need speed matching. When it's different manufacturers, across different eras, so they have different motors, different gearing, etc - they may not run well together, so there you need to do some speed matching.

 And when I do - it's always through the simple 3 steps of CV2-6-5. I won't run any decoders that don't support CV6 for mid voltage. I have yet to find any two locos that need a full 28 step speed table set up to actually run together. Perfect lockstep was not needed for DC, it's not needed for DCC. 

 And if you don't have parallel tracks, just put both locos on the same track, with say a gooot or so between them. Then you can adjust so they don't get further apart or closer together. 

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 2, 2019 8:38 AM

Speed matching?  I thought that this was a thread about consisting.

But, since we are on the subject of speed matching, I almost never do it. But I have had a few instances where two identical locos from the same manufacturer run at different speeds. In those few instances, I do what South Penn does - - test by setting locos to be speed matched on parallel tracks.

Rich

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Posted by gdelmoro on Monday, September 2, 2019 8:23 AM

It seems that some of us believe Speed Matching IS required for smooth running and others do not. I asked the question because other posts on this forum and others firmly believe speed matching is required.  

I believe I once posted asking why the same loco from the same manufacturer with the same decoder need to be speed matched and why the manufacturer doesn’t make sure they run the same before they sell them and was told that it was not possible.

Clearly some of us have had success not speed matching so once I have enough of my track installed I’ll try it out. If I don’t need to speed match that would be great. Perhaps I’ll find that I don’t need to do it ALL the time. 

Thanks to all for your posts.

Gary

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, August 30, 2019 6:50 PM

 Never ran locos in MU before DCC Stix? There's no speed matching in DC, and people did it all the time - basically by getting two locos fromt he same manufacturer, with the same motors and gear ratios. 

 Slight pushing and pulling is to be expected, it will even out with the load of a train, as each loco will pull what it has to. Speed matching is most definitely NOT always required - it's a good thing to have so you CAN run prototypical consists without worrying that one loco is a recent release Athearn Genesis and the other is a 30 year old Atlas model. 

 Two from the same manufacturer, wiutht he same decoder in them? Unless something is wrong with one of them (damaged motor, over or no lubrication, broken pickup so it stalls all the time) they will run close enough that no special settings are needed. Also assumes both decoders are programmed the same way, one doesn't have twice the momentum, or the start voltage cranked up, or something like that. 

 I've never had a problem with both (or all three) locos having decoders with BEMF turned on, either. Could be the decoders I use, but they don't get into shoving matches with the BEMF making them oscillate like crazy. 

                                       --Randy

 


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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, August 30, 2019 6:20 PM

I buy mostly clunker locomotives to restore.  One of my things is restoring clunker locomotives, I really enjoy making them look and run better than new. 
 
As I run both DC and DCC modes on my layout I speed match my locomotives during the restoring process for DC operation then they don’t need any tweaking in DCC mode.  I try to match them to not gain or loose more than one locomotive length in 120’ of track.  So far out of close to 70 restored locomotives only a couple don’t meet my standard.
 
There is a speed difference pulling my 3½% grades but the average over the 120’ is very close.  Most loose a bit up grade then gain a bit down grade.
 
I can mix and match any of my locomotives even steam with diesel.  The only exceptions are my specialty locomotives, 4-4-0s (Golden Spike), 0-6-0 switchers and Shays.
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
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Posted by wjstix on Friday, August 30, 2019 4:09 PM

gdelmoro
How do you speed match the two locos?

On my FT sets, I've used a separate ID for each, then put them in a consist so I can run them at the same time on parallel tracks to see how they run, and adjusted the CVs of one so they match the other. Then both get assigned the same address.

gdelmoro
Is speed matching not needed when using the same address or does the drawbar eliminate the need?

Speed matching is almost always needed, even with two engines from the same manufacturer. Two engines that run at different speeds won't run well together, regardless of whether they're connected by drawbars or couplers, or what their ID numbers are.

gdelmoro
Can you remove couplers and install a drawbar?

Yup, Stewart FTs come with two drawbars, a short one for close-coupling, and a longer one to allow operation on layouts with sharp (like 18"R) curves. The same screws that hold the couplers in place hold the drawbar.

gdelmoro
If not speed matched doesen’t one loco constantly push or pull the other.

Yup.

Note that as designed, the real FTs were only set up to be A-B (or A-A) sets with drawbars between the A and B units. EMD jerry-rigged up a coupler for ATSF.

Many railroads found one FT A-B set wasn't enough horsepower for a typical mainline freight, and an A-B+B-A set was too much, so bought F2 and F3 A units after WW2 to create A-B+A sets that were 'just right'.

Stix
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Posted by tstage on Friday, August 30, 2019 3:39 PM

Gary,

The FTA-B is a Stewart and both have the same decoder installed in them.  When I originally tested both of the A & B units separately but using the same address, they ran perfectly in-sync so no speed matching was required.  The Stewart F3 (with F2 Highliners shell) I added later on with the same decoder did require some speed matching.

As long as the speeds of the locomotives are close, you don't really need to speed match.  A little pulling or pushing is perfectly fine.

Tom

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, August 30, 2019 10:21 AM

 My FT-B is actually the one with sound (because the sound chassis that was on sale was for a B unit), my FT-A has a TCS T1 decoder. The B unit has a Loksound. Speed match? They are the same brand loco, same motors and same gears, and both decoders have excellent motor drive. I screwed the drawbar together and gave them the same address. That's "speed matching"

 My main club loco consis is an Atlas Trainmaster with QSI sandwiched between a pair of P2K GP7s with TCS T1 decoders. Too many people fat finger addresses and ignore any messages on the throttles trying to tell them that someone else is using that address, or it's in a consist, so we generally do not allow anything other than assignign the same address. So that's what I did with my 3 locos, and set the lights so the middle unit, the Trainmaster, has no lights lit, and only the light facing out on the Geeps lights in direction of travel - so there's no light shining off the next loco sort of thing. And that's all I did - no speed matching. They run fine together. I didn;t even adjust the momentum, because if you drive them correctly, they all move at the same time. If I try something silly, like crank the throttle from stop to full, then the Geeps will drag the Trainmaster a bit. Or try to. Likewise suddenly going from track speed to stop, the TM tries to push the Geeps. But normal throttling up or down - they run fine together. The run for hours at a time during shows, no overheating or other issues.

                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by SouthPenn on Friday, August 30, 2019 9:42 AM

I have consist that has the same address and have been running them that way for years. To speed match the engines I set one engine up the way I want it run. Then I put another engine on a parallel track. With both engines having the same address, I run them beside each other and set the second engine to match the first. I can remove the second engine and add a third, fourth, etc. Time-consuming but it works. None of my engines have sound so that is not an issue. By setting CV-29 on the trailing 'A' unit to have forward the opposite direction as the lead engine, the lights work fine.

But most of the consist I run now have RailPro radio controllers in them. Press the 'consist' button on the handheld controller, pick your lead engine, then pick the other engines in the consist. If you have an 'A' unit on the rear, to can change the forward direction with two button pushes. Done. The lead engine becomes the master and all the other engines speed match to the lead. Automatically and on the fly. 

As an experiment, I had nine engines in a consist. Three at the front, three in the middle, and three pushers on the rear. In between were 20 coal cars that were heavily weighted. The consist ran great. No surging or pulling, just smooth running. Even uphill and downhill. The spacing between the coal cars stayed the same.

I don't run my DCC engines much anymore.

  

South Penn
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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, August 30, 2019 6:58 AM

How do you speed match the two locos?

Is speed matching not needed when using the same address or does the drawbar eliminate the need?

Can you remove couplers and install a drawbar?

If not speed matched doesen’t one loco constantly push or pull the other.

I would love to be able not to have to speed match.

Gary

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Posted by joe323 on Thursday, August 29, 2019 6:21 AM

Well you learn something new every day in this hobby 

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by Paul3 on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:48 PM

Brammy,
It sounds like you're in my club as we do the same thing.  Smile  The club reserves 00-99, 100-0199, and 9900-9983 (the highest Digitrax goes), but any other group of 100 numbers are available to members.

We keep a list on a clipboard near the programming track that lists all number groupings and who has what.  That way, if you find a loco and don't know who owns it, simply reading it's address will tell you the owner's number.  To get those 100 numbers, all a member has to do is sign their name on any un-used group of numbers.  Simple.  And if they need more than 100 numbers, they can sign up for another 100.  We haven't run out yet.

As for "basic" consisting (programming multiple engines to the same address) we do it all the time for train shows because:

1) You never have to worry about a loco dropping out of consist.
2) In a noisy show environment, having multiple engines blow the horn is actually a good thing.
3) Saves memory in the DCC system and improves performance by having less info flowing over the network.

At our club, having 10 trains running is no big deal, and if each one has 4 engines...well, it's easy to see why running 10 addresses might work better than running 40 addresses.

 

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 7:20 PM

 But since the A and B are coonnected by a drawbar, they aren't coming apart during a session, so why bother with a consist? You can't pick them up and move them to another layout without redoing the consist, either. With them both on the same address, it's really just one loco.

Different story when connected with couplers so they can be mixed and matched.

                         --Randy


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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 5:35 PM

Hello All,

What the OP is talking about is known as simple consisting- -multiple units with the same DCC address.

joe323
Never saw a B running by itself.

The rotary snowplow train on my pike has a single B-unit that is used to push the plow.

This B-unit is sandwiched between the snowplow and the steam generator car at the head end.

Many B-units were fitted with control stands so they could be operated independently of the master A-unit in yards.

I have an A-B-B Royal Gorge consist with a trailing A-unit for prototypical operation.

Each unit in this MU has it's own address.

Yes, I understand the simplicity of a single address for a MU. However, when I need to split the consist it's a matter of deleting or adding a unit to the consist.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 6:40 AM

Since I only have 1 F7 A & B units it makes sense to use the same address for both. Never saw a B running by itself.

 

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, August 26, 2019 12:07 PM

If you have only 2 digit addressing give the units in a consist the same number.

If you have 4 digit addressing, the units are drawbar connected, only only one of the units will ever be a leader, then give them the same address if you want.

If you have 4 digit addressing, and either unit can be used as a leader, then address them individually and advance consist them.  That way you just acquire the lead unit and all the forward/backward, headlights, horn, bell stuff will operate correctly.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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