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Copy LokSound Decoder Info to Another Loco

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Copy LokSound Decoder Info to Another Loco
Posted by Arto on Thursday, February 1, 2024 1:07 PM

I have two Atlas switchers with LokSound Select decoders, an ALCO S2 and RS1.

They don't start up, or slow down/stop the same. It's extremely time consuming trying to figure out what the CV differences are.

1. Is there any way to print out CV from each loco so I can see AND compare CV more easily?

2. Can I simply copy, or write the CV's from one loco to the other? IOW, if I like the way the S2 runs, can I just write that file to the RS1, and then make any minor CV adjustments from there?

(I have a LokProgrammer)

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, February 1, 2024 1:43 PM

Arto,

You might want to consider installing JMRI to utilize Decoder Pro.  It will read & store all the CVs of a given locomotive's decoder into a roster file.  You can then use that file to "write" all the CVs to another locomotive decoder then save the file.

And, should the decoder ever need to be reset, you have a copy of those CVs to re-write them to the decoder.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 1, 2024 1:46 PM

Yes you could read all the settings on one engine's decoder with the Lokprogrammer or (as Tom suggests) Decoder Pro, and then use those settings to reprogram the other one.

But having the same settings in the CVs doesn't guarantee the engines will start, run, and stop together. Each engine has different characteristics, even the same model from the same maker.

Unless you're using speed tables, you really only need to adjust a few CVs:  CV2 (start up) CV3 (starting momentum) and CV4 (stopping momentum), CV5 (top speed) and CV6 (midrange speed). 

I'd suggest starting by programming both decoders with the same settings, then adjust them as needed. I'd suggest CV2=0, CV3/4 both = 15, CV5=200, and CV6=100. 

Then put the engines into a consist and run them together. If one is faster than the other at full speed, reduce CV5 until they run the same. Then try them at half speed, and reduce CV6 in the faster one until they're the same.

If one of them starts moving before the other, you have a couple of options. Add a small amount (like 5 or 10) to CV2 in the hesitant one and try them out. Increase a little at a time if needed. Or, increasing the momentum in CV3 of the fast one will delay it's starting too. Similarly, reducing CV3 in the hesitant one may get it to start sooner. CV4 can then be adjusted the same way so they coast to a stop together.

That all being said, don't drive yourself batty trying to get things perfect! If they start, run and stop together pretty close to each other, that's usually enough for them to be able to work together with no issues.

Stix
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Posted by hbgatsf on Thursday, February 1, 2024 2:29 PM

wjstix

Yes you could read all the settings on one engine's decoder with the Lokprogrammer or (as Tom suggests) Decoder Pro, and then use those settings to reprogram the other one.

But having the same settings in the CVs doesn't guarantee the engines will start, run, and stop together. Each engine has different characteristics, even the same model from the same maker.

But you might get lucky.

I had some Atlas locomotives that I was upgrading to sound with ESU decoders.  I had one consist of matching locomotives and was playing around with CVs on one of them and I messed it up.  I was new to JMRI and didn't realize I should have copied the decoder before doing anything.  I tried to reset to factory defaults and found that the default was a European standard which is different than the US and I made things worse.

Luckily I hadn't done anything with the second loco so I copied that decoder and wrote all the info to the one I had messed up.  I gave a big sigh of relief when I tried it out and everything worked fine.

Rick

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Posted by Arto on Thursday, February 1, 2024 2:41 PM

Thanks guys.

I have JMRI, but it takes an incredibly long time to read and write from/to LokSound decoders, so that's why I got LokProgrammer.

FWIW, using LokProgrammer, I set all values the same for both locos under "DCC Settings", "Driving characteristics", and "Motor Settings" " but they don't run the same. The S2 has a delay of about a second or two when opening the throttle. It coasts to a stop much more slowly. And the speed differences vary considerably as I increase/decrease the throttle.

I don't expect them to be exactly the same all the time under all conditions but the differences in start up and decelaration are kind of a bug-a-boo for me. Quite honestly, in the "old days", my locos that I "blueprinted" the drive train ran more smoothly and started at lower voltages than what I've seen with DCC (I'm not a newbee). So, right now I'm at a transition stage - I want to to figure out how to get these things operating the way they *should* (IMHO). It just seems to me that the basic DCC settings mentioned above should get me in the ballpark with two locos from the same manufacturer, same decoder, similar dates of manufacture, same settings, but it's not not even close. Just trying to figure out what's wrong.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, February 1, 2024 4:38 PM

Yea, there's a LOT of CVs to read when it comes to Loksound decoders.  Mine generally take  about 1 hr.

So, as mentioned, pick the locomotive that you want to emulate, read its CVS, copy it to a roster file, then copy that file to the other locomotive.  At that point you can determine where to go from there.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, February 1, 2024 5:27 PM

That's why I love my QSI decoders.

Lights, sound, action as the stage manager would say.

Programmer???

We don't need no stinkin' programmer.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, February 1, 2024 7:48 PM

   Arto.

  You have one glaring problem from the git to. The S1 switcher is geared from the factory to a lower gear ratio over the road switcher. Giving each the same CVs will not get them to run the same at all. If you can run them continuously (loop of track) put the S1 behind the RS1 and run them at top speed. Using POM for the RS1 lower CV 5 until they run close to the same. Then throttle down to half and adjust CV6 until they run close. Don't worry about starting CV2. You will have to adjust momentum probably on the S1 to keep them smooth on start and stop.

   Then after all that take each one at a time and put them on the Lok programmer and read the CVs (the little green arrow box) when you exit out a window will ask to save changes. Click yes. Now the programmer will use those CVs for defaults.

     Pete.

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Posted by Tophias on Thursday, February 1, 2024 9:03 PM

Arto

Thanks guys.

I have JMRI, but it takes an incredibly long time to read and write from/to LokSound decoders, so that's why I got LokProgrammer.

FWIW, using LokProgrammer, I set all values the same for both locos under "DCC Settings", "Driving characteristics", and "Motor Settings" " but they don't run the same. The S2 has a delay of about a second or two when opening the throttle. It coasts to a stop much more slowly. And the speed differences vary considerably as I increase/decrease the throttle.

I don't expect them to be exactly the same all the time under all conditions but the differences in start up and decelaration are kind of a bug-a-boo for me. Quite honestly, in the "old days", my locos that I "blueprinted" the drive train ran more smoothly and started at lower voltages than what I've seen with DCC (I'm not a newbee). So, right now I'm at a transition stage - I want to to figure out how to get these things operating the way they *should* (IMHO). It just seems to me that the basic DCC settings mentioned above should get me in the ballpark with two locos from the same manufacturer, same decoder, similar dates of manufacture, same settings, but it's not not even close. Just trying to figure out what's wrong.

 

OK, so you probably can guess where I'm going with this. This is another reason why I prefer Soundtraxx decoders. Just my preference.

Regards, Chris 

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Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, February 1, 2024 11:35 PM

  Chris.

  I have zero difficulty getting my Loksound decoders to play nicely with other makes and models. But I can give you a great reason why I'm partial to the ESU product. I bid and won a great deal on a factory painted brass 2-10-0 in brand new condition. The same time I ordered an ESU 21 pin decoder and buddy board for it with the sound file loaded. The day the locomotive arrived, the UPS driver knocked and when I opened the door my heart sank. In his hand was a box that looked like it was run over by a forklift. There was tape over the busted out side with pieces of tender crushed and sticking out. I said I can not accept this. Please return it and let the shipper fight with UPS for the claim. I cancelled the credit card charge and received my money back and the seller claimed the insurance. That decoder is now in an ALCO PA-1. Can't do that with a soundtraxx.

  Don't get me wrong. Not knocking Tsunami. They're good at what they do. But using a few mouse clicks I can remap anything on the LS. With a Tsunami, you need an engineering degree and a book like the encyclopedia. I've tried remapping with decoder pro but wasn't satisfied.

     Pete.

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Posted by mvlandsw on Friday, February 2, 2024 12:31 AM

Setting the momentum CV's 3 & 4 to zero before speed matching takes that variable out of the equation. After the speeds are set then add any desired momentum.

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Posted by Tophias on Friday, February 2, 2024 8:15 AM

Pete, I'm surprised the UPS driver even bothered to ring the door bell. That package should have been returned to the sender no questions asked. Glad it worked out for you financially, but too bad you missed out on a gem

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, February 2, 2024 8:56 AM

Arto
Quite honestly, in the "old days", my locos that I "blueprinted" the drive train ran more smoothly and started at lower voltages than what I've seen with DCC (I'm not a newbee).

Just a thought...if you're testing engines on DC, most DC engines in recent decades come with a green 'lightboard' that routes the first few volts of power to the headlights. The idea being you can turn the power down enough that the engine quits moving, but the headlight stays on..."constant lighting". This means such an engine is always going to need more power to start than an old engine without the lightboard. 

Arto
It just seems to me that the basic DCC settings mentioned above should get me in the ballpark with two locos from the same manufacturer, same decoder, similar dates of manufacture, same settings, but it's not not even close. Just trying to figure out what's wrong.

It could be there's nothing 'wrong' per se. Even two engines that are the same engine from the same maker could have different running characteristics.

You could check the settings to make sure you didn't accidently change a CV that turned on speed curves - that usually turns off CV 2, 5 and 6 so changing those CVs won't do anything. Perhaps try doing a factory reset on both engines and then try setting the CVs so each engine has the same settings, and see how they work together.

Stix
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Posted by snjroy on Friday, February 2, 2024 9:16 AM

When speedmatching two different engines, I often need to go to the speed tables using decoder pro. Differences between engines often require finer adjustments.

Simon

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Posted by Arto on Sunday, February 4, 2024 4:03 PM

Thanks everyone. Problem solved!

Played around with the max speed on the RS1 and then the momentum CVs. They both accelarate/decelarate together real nice and pretty much run at the same speed depending how fast they're going. Good enough for now and much better than what they were.

Now if I can only get the lights on the S2 to operate like the RS1 (Forward:headlight ON/rear off and vise versa. Right now it stays ON both directions and the rear light is too bright. Changing the CVs according to the documentation make any difference)

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Posted by know2go on Thursday, February 22, 2024 10:49 PM

Hi, if you have a lokprogrammer, you can export the good loco's CV file, and load it onto the second (must be identical) loco.

However, it won't change anything about sound. CV file will only restore factory default controls of the decoder.

If you want to restore the sound, you can ask the manufacturer to provide you the sound file for that loco. They can use 'we transfer' to send it to you. However, they usually lock the sound file to the decoder serial so it only installs on one decoder and cannot be shared.

Installing a sound file from a different type loco, will most likely cook the decoder and it's warranty.

Hope this helps,

A

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Posted by IC_Tom on Friday, February 23, 2024 12:25 PM

wrench567

  Chris.

  I have zero difficulty getting my Loksound decoders to play nicely with other makes and models. But I can give you a great reason why I'm partial to the ESU product. I bid and won a great deal on a factory painted brass 2-10-0 in brand new condition. The same time I ordered an ESU 21 pin decoder and buddy board for it with the sound file loaded. The day the locomotive arrived, the UPS driver knocked and when I opened the door my heart sank. In his hand was a box that looked like it was run over by a forklift. There was tape over the busted out side with pieces of tender crushed and sticking out. I said I can not accept this. Please return it and let the shipper fight with UPS for the claim. I cancelled the credit card charge and received my money back and the seller claimed the insurance. That decoder is now in an ALCO PA-1. Can't do that with a soundtraxx.

  Don't get me wrong. Not knocking Tsunami. They're good at what they do. But using a few mouse clicks I can remap anything on the LS. With a Tsunami, you need an engineering degree and a book like the encyclopedia. I've tried remapping with decoder pro but wasn't satisfied.

     Pete.

 

And yet, Soundtraxx plays quite nicely with Decoder Pro.  You can't remap a steam to a diesel decoder, but you can re-map everything else with a few clicks.

It's ironic, because I was once told by someone at Soundtraxx that JMRI was "faulty software."  For being absolutely free, it does a good job.  Soundtraxx plays better with JMRI than any of the big three.  If they had spent as much time developing a decent software GUI instead of piling everything into Blunami, things might be a lot easier.  Instead, their documentation tries to teach hexidecimal to everyone.  In that part, I agree with your comments - which is a big reason JMRI is so popular.

I have nothing against LokSound and their software GUI is superior, once you buy the programmer.  It is away from the preferred NMRA standardization, which may be why Soundtraxx plays so nicely with JMRI.  Heck, Soundtraxx should be paying JMRI for the equalizer sliders in JMRI.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, February 26, 2024 9:10 AM

If you're just adjusting the lighting features using JMRI, you can just open the page for lighting and have DecoderPro just read the settings on that page, then adjust as needed and save changes. You don't have to have it sit for an hour reading all the decoder settings.

BTW Loksound decoders take up to an hour to program if you're doing the whole decoder, with sound files and everything, using a LokProgrammer. To do other things like changing lighting settings only takes a minute or two. 

Stix
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Posted by wrench567 on Monday, February 26, 2024 12:33 PM

IC_Tom

 

 
wrench567

  Chris.

  I have zero difficulty getting my Loksound decoders to play nicely with other makes and models. But I can give you a great reason why I'm partial to the ESU product. I bid and won a great deal on a factory painted brass 2-10-0 in brand new condition. The same time I ordered an ESU 21 pin decoder and buddy board for it with the sound file loaded. The day the locomotive arrived, the UPS driver knocked and when I opened the door my heart sank. In his hand was a box that looked like it was run over by a forklift. There was tape over the busted out side with pieces of tender crushed and sticking out. I said I can not accept this. Please return it and let the shipper fight with UPS for the claim. I cancelled the credit card charge and received my money back and the seller claimed the insurance. That decoder is now in an ALCO PA-1. Can't do that with a soundtraxx.

  Don't get me wrong. Not knocking Tsunami. They're good at what they do. But using a few mouse clicks I can remap anything on the LS. With a Tsunami, you need an engineering degree and a book like the encyclopedia. I've tried remapping with decoder pro but wasn't satisfied.

     Pete.

 

 

 

And yet, Soundtraxx plays quite nicely with Decoder Pro.  You can't remap a steam to a diesel decoder, but you can re-map everything else with a few clicks.

It's ironic, because I was once told by someone at Soundtraxx that JMRI was "faulty software."  For being absolutely free, it does a good job.  Soundtraxx plays better with JMRI than any of the big three.  If they had spent as much time developing a decent software GUI instead of piling everything into Blunami, things might be a lot easier.  Instead, their documentation tries to teach hexidecimal to everyone.  In that part, I agree with your comments - which is a big reason JMRI is so popular.

I have nothing against LokSound and their software GUI is superior, once you buy the programmer.  It is away from the preferred NMRA standardization, which may be why Soundtraxx plays so nicely with JMRI.  Heck, Soundtraxx should be paying JMRI for the equalizer sliders in JMRI.

 

   I have a lot of respect for ESU. I still have the original blue case programmer that gets updated just like the new ones. That is remarkable for anything electronic to remain relevant almost 25 years later. Any other consumer product would have been obsolete by five years. Their software, sound files, and other information remains free to the consumer. You don't even need a programmer to use their software. It gives you the CVs to change manually to configure decoders the way you like to.

   While I don't have anything against Tsunami and WOW. They do what they are supposed to do. I'm rather new to JMRI and have configured decoders with it. It still will not update any firmware or change sound files. But I like the fact that it retains the settings in an easy to use roster. And if I retire or sell a locomotive, I can easily delete it from the roster. The only problem I have ever had is the old BLI Blueline with JMRI. And an original Sountraxx sound only decoder. But I have since upgraded most of them to ESU.

       Pete.

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