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Trouble with DecoderPro (updated)

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Trouble with DecoderPro (updated)
Posted by scubaterry on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 10:30 AM
I have a 2 yr old Compaq laptop, windows XP. I have the latest JAVA and JMRI installed. When i click on the DecoderPro or PanelPro icons I get a small window that has the JMRI logo and another text window that is scrolling like crazy saying something about Loconet and an unexpected exception? I ordered a USB LocobufferII and it should be here by the end of the week. But of course it is no good if I can't get DP to work. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Tks

Terry in Florida
Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by shay6 on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 10:45 AM

Terry- I'm no expert, but I think you have to have the locobuffer hooked up when you launch JMRI.  The software goes out looking for the locobuffer and gets confused when it cannot find it. 

 

Try hooking the locobuffer and then launching the software and I bet it will then work.  I use NCE so am a little unfamiliar with the locobuffer setup.   

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Posted by scubaterry on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 11:00 AM
Tks for the info. I was wondering if that was required? Makes sense and I will give it a try when my Locobuffer gets here. Ifigured it was probably something very simple.

Terry in Florida
Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by jalajoie on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 11:17 AM
 shay6 wrote:

Terry- I'm no expert, but I think you have to have the locobuffer hooked up when you launch JMRI.  The software goes out looking for the locobuffer and gets confused when it cannot find it.   

I am afraid this is not the answer, I have Decoder PRO on a Vista computer not connected to any DCC system and it works

David M Bedard wrote a tutorial on how to use Decoder Pro without a connection to a layout

http://www.trains.com/trccs/forums/1207458/ShowPost.aspx

Jack W.

Jack W.

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Posted by mavrick0 on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 11:25 AM
Mine does the same thing but does open up the decoder table and I can still go in and check or update anything I want.  The black screen just keeps scrolling constantly while I'm working away.  I haven't hooked up my MS100 yet to see if it stops but I'm sure that's all it's looking for and can't find it obviously.
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Posted by jfugate on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 4:32 PM

If you have set DecoderPro's preferences to be looking for a certain vendor's command station then it gets very unhappy if it can't find that connection. Either get a live connection to the command station you specified in the preferences via a computer interface and cable -- or change the preferences to be a simulated connection.

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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Posted by CSX Robert on Saturday, February 9, 2008 7:33 AM
 scubaterry wrote:
I have a 2 yr old Compaq laptop, windows XP. I have the latest JAVA and JMRI installed. When i click on the DecoderPro or PanelPro icons I get a small window that has the JMRI logo and another text window that is scrolling like crazy saying something about Loconet and an unexpected exception? I ordered a USB LocobufferII and it should be here by the end of the week. But of course it is no good if I can't get DP to work. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Tks

Terry in Florida


I did some experimenting and replicated the error you are getting. If in the preferences, I select MS100 for the interface and (None) for the Serial port, I get the same results that you do. There may be other combinations that cause the same problem. Unfortunately, if this happens, DecoderPro never finishes loading and you can not easily change the settings. I even tried uninstalling and reinstalling JMRI, and this did not reset the settings. The only way I found to reset the preferences is by deleting the file that they are stored in(you could also edit the file by hand if you know what changes you want to make). On my computer, the preferences for decoderpro are store in the file "DecoderProConfig2.xml" in the folder "C:\Documents and Settings\USER\JMRI". If you log onto your computer with a username, "USER" in the folder path would be replaced by your username. The preferences for other JMRI porgrams are stored in seperate files in the same folder, for example, the preferences for LocoTools is stored in "LocoToolsConfig2.xml". If you get the preferences reset, then you can set the layout connection to "LocoNet Simulator" to be able to run the program until you get your USB LocoBuffer.
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Posted by scubaterry on Saturday, February 9, 2008 10:14 AM
Tks to everyone that provided insight into my problem in particular Robert. Sounds like you spent some time working on it and I appreciate it.

Something I wasn't real clear on is that I never got the chance to make any changes to the program because it never would load. However since, I have installed the drivers for my Locobuffer USB and it works just fine now when the locobuffer is connected?????? And when I go back and start Decoder Pro without the Locobuffer now it loads just fine it just takes about 30 seconds. So I think you were on the right track Robert once it loaded and I set the correct parameters it seems to work fine.

It sure makes programming the Tsunami's much simpler. I have several loco's that have a DSX and a Digitrax 163 motor decoder and I am trying to figure out how to program each independantly with DecoderPro without actually disconnecting one of them. I use the lock feature on the 163 but I don't think the DSX decoders have the lock feature. Anyway things are looking good and comments on programming the dual decoder issue would be appreciated.

Terry in Florida
Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, February 9, 2008 10:45 AM

Terry,
  That is a common problem that usually occurs because DecoderPro cannot communicate with the serial port that was specified in the preferences.

  The rapidly scrolling messages are the program's repeated attempts to re-try that communication.  Depending on the various factors (mainly the computer's speed), DecoderPro may work, but more likely either DecoderPro or the computer itself will become overwhelmed by those attempts and will eventually hang.

  Robert hit the nail on the head with both the fix (delete your DecoderProConfig2.xml file) and the prevention (specify LocoNet Simulator until you get your LocoBuffer USB).

  When that LocoBuffer USB does arrive, proper installation of the drivers will cause Windows to assign a Com Port to it.  That Com Port is what you will need to specify in your preferences when you re-configure DecoderPro (and PanelPro) to use the LocoBuffer instead of the Simulator.  More info here:  http://www.rr-cirkits.com/locobuffer-usb/XP-driver-install.html

  Three other related points on the subject:

1)DecoderPro and PanelPro use separate config files, allowing you to set different preferences for each. Therefore, this problem can occur in one, the other, or both.  To fix PanelPro, you would delete your PanelProConfig2.xml file.

2)The LocoNet Simulator selection can be used, instead of an actual layout/DCC connection,  no matter which brand of hardware you eventually plan to use with JMRI.  Note I said “hardware”, because JMRI also works with several non-DCC systems such as Dr. Chubb's C/MRI.

3)There is a very active, and very helpful Yahoo! Group for JMRI.  Besides a friendly and helpful bunch of JMRI users, several of the developers frequent the list and provide help and hints:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jmriusers/ 

HTH,
Steve

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Posted by scubaterry on Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:04 AM

Tks Steve. I hooked up the LocoBuffer USB yesterday and it loaded fine.  Once loaded as you mentioned I got the correct port from the Device driver page.  Once programmed with the correct port in my case port 5 it works great now with or without the Locobuffer hooked up.  Programmed two Tsunami's last night.  What a difference having DecoderPro.

Terry in Florida 

Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by Woofda on Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:51 AM

If you purchased locobuffer -usb does it connect directly to the track or do you have to go through a Digitrax system? I have a NCE Power Cab system and got the locobuffer-usb setup so that I could connect my computer to the track or power cab and use decoder pro that way.  I think the guy selling me the Locobuffer did a great sale job but the two are not compatible like he told me.

I plan on upgrading my NCE system to Power Pro and I know that it can be connected to a computer. I think by an rs32 plug

Any help would be appreciated.

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Posted by scubaterry on Saturday, February 9, 2008 12:29 PM
Woof
You plug the Locobuffer USB into a USB port on your computer the other end into the locobuffer module and then you have a phone plug four wire connector that connects to your system. Either to your main line track or programming track. As far as compatible?? I suspect you would have to have a Loconet compatible system for it to work as is. I am only familiar with Digitraxx so I can't talk much about other systems. Maybe someone else can chime in and give you more pertinent info on your particular system and a possible work around.

Terry in Florida
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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, February 9, 2008 4:00 PM
 Woofda wrote:

If you purchased locobuffer -usb does it connect directly to the track or do you have to go through a Digitrax system? I have a NCE Power Cab system and got the locobuffer-usb setup so that I could connect my computer to the track or power cab and use decoder pro that way.  I think the guy selling me the Locobuffer did a great sale job but the two are not compatible like he told me.

I plan on upgrading my NCE system to Power Pro and I know that it can be connected to a computer. I think by an rs32 plug

Any help would be appreciated.

Woofda,

  No, the LocoBuffer will not work with any NCE system, only Digitrax and a few others (such as the Intellibox, I believe) that have licensed and implemented Digitrax's LocoNet.

  NCE is supposedly coming out with a USB adapter for the PowerCab, although exactly when is anybody's guess.  It's been what, two years now, since it was "announced"?

  You are correct though, in that the Power Pro has an RS-232 (9-pin serial) port which can be used for a computer connection.

HTH,
Steve

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Posted by claycts on Saturday, February 9, 2008 6:19 PM

Short falls that you MAY have.

1. I had to get the booster for the program track to handle some QSI and MRC sound units.

2. Getting to carried away with the new found power to control ALL cv's in seconds.

I did my layout with Panel Pro and run that in Decoder Pro that is the best of both worlds.

Good choice!!!Big Smile [:D]

Take Care George Pavlisko Driving Race cars and working on HO trains More fun than I can stand!!!
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Posted by steve58 on Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:13 PM
 Stevert wrote:
 Woofda wrote:

  NCE is supposedly coming out with a USB adapter for the PowerCab, although exactly when is anybody's guess.  It's been what, two years now, since it was "announced"?

 

 

Maybe soon.

http://litchfieldstation.com/xcart/product.php?productid=524027&cat=81&page=2

**** 'course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong ***********
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Posted by ShawneeHawk on Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:53 PM
I just bought a new Sony laptop with Vista, and would like to install Decoder Pro in the next week or so.  My system is the NCE Power Pro 5 amp.  I need a USB to 9 pin to connect to the command station, right?  Thanks in advance.
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Posted by claycts on Sunday, February 10, 2008 10:54 AM

Check for Compatability with your system. Join the JMRI Yahoo group and get the latest information. I have Digitrax BUT our other club builder has NCS and could not get it to work at all.

Would love to know how Vista does with it. Remember that this is a JAVA program that runs Decoder and Panel Pro.

Take Care George Pavlisko Driving Race cars and working on HO trains More fun than I can stand!!!
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Posted by gandydancer19 on Monday, February 11, 2008 12:15 PM

ShawneeHawk,

Yes, that is correct.  However, not all USB to RS-232 serial adapters will work.  I have heard that Keystone has a good one and I just bought it.  It works with my digital camer's serial connection where others didn't, so I am hopeful that it will work with my NCE PowerPro.  Right now my stuff is packed up for a move so I can't test it out.  It was really easy to set up too.

Elmer.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

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Posted by bawbyk on Thursday, February 14, 2008 1:45 PM

Go to http://jmri.sourceforge.net

to get all sorts of information about decoderPro and what it works with.

Bob

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Posted by jfugate on Friday, February 15, 2008 10:55 AM

With an NCE Pro system you need to use a 9-pin data cable, not a 9 pin modem cable. The modem cable has the send and receive wires reversed, which will make the computer interface connection not work.

I also use the Keyspan USB to serial adapter and it works like a charm. I was leery of cheap USB to serial adapters ... I've read various posts by people trying to get a cheap adapter to work, so I just plunked down my change for the Keyspan USB adapter and it worked with no hassles. 

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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