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Decoder Programming prob?

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  • Member since
    February 2007
  • 25 posts
Decoder Programming prob?
Posted by bunker45 on Monday, March 17, 2008 9:24 PM
I am attempting to program an athearn plug and play and having lots of problems.  I am using a Super Chief.   I installed a DH123D, and put everythign back together. I ran the engine on the O3 address to make sure it worked.   Then progressed to giving it the address (4 digit). I followed the steps used earlier on a similar loco and decoder. (about 20 min. )  1 select program, choose 4 digit and program in the address. 2 then I have to move and adjust CV 29 to 38. so it will accept the 4 digit.    Loco will do nothing either on 03 or the 4 digit address programed in.  the "reverse" light is lit and I am not able to change the light direction or turn it off.   I tried following the directions in the instructions for resetting the decoder, and that didn't seem to work.   I tried reprogramming with a different 4 and 2 digit address to no help.   Any help will be greatly appreciated. thanks chuck Ruffing Clyde, OH
  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,642 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, March 17, 2008 9:36 PM

I can't speak about the Super Chief, but I have no difficulties programming all the various decoders I have on my layout with my SEB's DB150 and a DT400 regular throttle. I do use a segregated track for the addressing because I use Paged Mode for that, but once the new address is confirmed and the engine can move about with it, I switch to Ops and do what other changes I wish to make.  However...............I don't have any of those decoders.  I hear that you sometimes need a resistor bridging the rails, or you need a programming booster.

Sorry I can't be more helpful...but you will get other answers.  As far as I can tell, you are doing everything correctly for my system.

-Crandell

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: SE Minnesota
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Posted by jrbernier on Monday, March 17, 2008 10:23 PM

  What throttle are you using?  With a DT400, after selecting 4 digit and keying in the address; you should be able to press ENTER and the 'Y' right away to change CV29 - then EXIT.  I have programmed dozens of DH163's and DH123's this way.  You are doing this on the 'program track' - Right?

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • 25 posts
Posted by bunker45 on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:59 AM

Yes, i am using a dt400.  I am just programming on the main line.  I take all the locos off the track (not that many yet) and program.  will programming work better if I was using a programming track? 

 If I set it up, hook that track to the system, is there something I need to do to let the system know I am programming beyond just setting the new loco on the track and begin programming?

thanks

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,642 posts
Posted by selector on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 11:30 AM

I do all addressing...only...on a short section of track that I call a programming track.  It happens to be the lead to my turntable.  It has its own set of feeders and is gapped at each end...the lip of the turntable and at the last turnout that accesses it.  In all, it is about 22" long.  There is no special wiring or no changing posts.  All I do is flip a SPDT switch to cut power to the rest of the layout and then enter Paged Mode.  Digitrax says to use Paged Mode when doing the addressing, so I do...and I get results with three different makes of decoders so far.  Once the address has taken (I close out of paged mode and enter Ops to change CV 29 to 38/34), I can restore power to the layout and run the locomotive while I configure momentum and sounds to my liking.

It sounds to me like you are not getting a real change to the CV29.  I have not had good results using the "Y?" process when promped, so I just developed the habit of leaving Paged Mode as soon as the DB150 cuts power to the rails upon pressing "enter".  I restore power with the "P" and "Y", and then enter Ops.  When I set CV 29, and then exit programming, and then dial in the new address and engage it on the throttle, I always, and do mean always, get control. 

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • 25 posts
Posted by bunker45 on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:10 PM

Thanks guys. I got her to work!!!  I just installed a program track, and it worked the first time.

I do have another question.  The new Athearn engines, both will not begin moving before the controller dial says 20 or so.  They will hum, but not move.  Do I need to adjust a cv for 128 or is this normal.  My atlas begin moving right away.

 If I need to adjust, how do I do that,  I am confused by looking at the decoder book.

chuck

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 154 posts
Posted by greendiamond on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 2:49 PM

Could be some acceleration momentum in CV3 needs to be removed, or additional start voltage added to CV02 StartUp voltage.

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 22,642 posts
Posted by selector on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:41 PM
With the engine alone on level track, open CV 02 and programme it with a value of 35.  Exit programming and then try the first click of the throttle for speed.  If it dashes of, you can halve the input to 17 and try again. If it hums and won't move, halve upward and try 26, and so on.  At some point, the engine will just begin to jerk into motion at a given setting, and that should be your V-Start for that engine.
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Kansas
  • 808 posts
Posted by jamnest on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:59 PM

I have a Digitrax Chief (DCS-100) and several DH-123 decoders.  I just installed two of them in Athearn SD-50.  You need to set up a programing track.  If you program on the layout, you risk overwriting the CVs on other locomotives on the layout.  My programing track is a short section of track on my workbench.

I use Decoder Pro to do the programing rather than my DT-400.  I would highly recomend that you purchase a Digitrax MS-100 (RS-232 port) or USB Locobuffer to interface your Digitrax DCS-100/Loconet with your computer, via Decoder Pro (down load for free).  Decoder Pro allows you to use menus to input CVs to your decoders.  You can save the settings.  If a locomotive starts acting weird, I put it back on the programing track, boot up Decoder Pro and re-write all of the CVs back to the decoder.  Decoder pro will also page your decoders and allow you to check current CVs.

In addition you can use your computer as additional virtual throttles for your Digitrax system with Decoder Pro.

Jim, Modeling the Kansas City Southern Lines in HO scale.

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 416 posts
Posted by UpNorth on Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:33 AM
 bunker45 wrote:

Thanks guys. I got her to work!!!  I just installed a program track, and it worked the first time.

I do have another question.  The new Athearn engines, both will not begin moving before the controller dial says 20 or so.  They will hum, but not move.  Do I need to adjust a cv for 128 or is this normal.  My atlas begin moving right away.

 If I need to adjust, how do I do that,  I am confused by looking at the decoder book.

chuck

Simply program the decoder in OPS mode, on the main line.  Change the CV 02 as he says but do it on the main. That is the nice part of having OPS mode programming. You can't read back but at least you can test it right away.

Set your DT400 at a speed step and put the DT400 in OPS mode programming and fire off the change to CV 02. The engine will move. If it leaps just lower the CV 02 value.

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