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Can't figure out selection of correct decoder in Decoder Pro

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  • Member since
    February 2020
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Posted by Coastie71 on Friday, June 24, 2022 1:25 PM

Thank you all for your help.  I'm going to try speedmatching the Mainline SD50s and Athearn using the DecoderPro and adjust some sound levels.  I appreciate the clarification and if I experience problems I'll try the LokProgrammer software.

On the F40PH locos with the LokSound V5 I probably will not modify anything.  I did a read all sheets for one of my other locos and I think it took under an hour to read all the info from the loco, but it took 2 1/2 to 3 hours for my Windows 7 computer to read the V5 one.  I noticed it showed Firmware update later than what the original file showed and was needed to increase volume levels.

Well again I want to thank everyone.

Gary (Coastie71)

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Posted by MrMe on Friday, June 24, 2022 8:05 AM

You can also download the (free) LokProgrammer software and use it to your advantage without having to buy the LokProgrammer itself:

  • LokProgrammer has an option to export a list of all CV values to a file. JMRI can import from this file.
  • Lokprogrammer has an option to display a list of CV changes. But I don't think you can export it (apart from copy/paste).

So you could, for example, change some characteristic(s) of your decoder, display the list of changed CV's, and manually change them using your DCC system/throttle (or JMRI).

 

 

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Posted by betamax on Friday, June 24, 2022 6:00 AM

A LokProgrammer can not only load new sound projects, but allows a lot of customizing as well.

You can set the decoder's defaults, so if you have to do a reset, the previous settings won't be lost, and most importantly, update the decoder's firmware.

It is a very powerful tool, and fast too.

Tags: ESU , LokProgrammer
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Posted by hjQi on Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:50 PM

Coastie71
t selected for both ESU LockSound 5 DCC and 5 FX DCC

FX means function only. In this case, it means sound only so no motion control. Apparently, this is not the decoder on your loco.

As Stix said, you can use your educated guess and you could get most what yo need. I had several cases like this and didn't have too much problem.

Jerry

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Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:28 PM

   Hi Gary.

   It is a Loksound decoder. At the bottom of this page are links for CVs, function mapping and horn and bell selection.

https://www.walthers.com/emd-sd50-esu-r-sound-and-dcc-chesapeake-ohio-8570

   The only reason to actually needing a Lokprogrammer is to change sound sets. If you were to put the SD50 decoder into a steam engine then the programmer can change the sound from deisels to steam.

   Pete.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, June 23, 2022 6:38 PM

Coastie71
The Walthers Mainline ones I picked the ESU Misc decoder family and simply the Essential Sound Unit decoder for the Walthers Mainline SD50 (thats what the xml filename says also) as these appeared to be the right ones from the many highlighted decoders.  (Don't know if that means its a LokSound decoder or not)

It is but it isn't.  Supposedly does not have all the features of a Loksound V5.

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Posted by Coastie71 on Thursday, June 23, 2022 2:18 PM

Thanks again for your help/input.  Most of my locos are Walthers Mainline SD50s with ESU digital sound decoders and these are the ones, along with the Athearn SD50 that has the Econami decoder that I will need to speed match.  All the other locos I just want to modify sound levels so I can hear the bell and horn better and turn down the other engine volumes.

The Walthers Mainline ones I picked the ESU Misc decoder family and simply the Essential Sound Unit decoder for the Walthers Mainline SD50 (thats what the xml filename says also) as these appeared to be the right ones from the many highlighted decoders.  (Don't know if that means its a LokSound decoder or not)

The Rapido F40PH does have the LokSound V5 decoder, but for those locos I might not modify anything as the sound on them seems to be very good, but might want to increase horn/bell.

Hopefully I won't have to use LokProgrammer for what I'm trying to do as I'm already intimindated with DecoderPro, but feeling alittle more conformtable with everyones help/input.

Thanks to all again.  Gary (Coastie71)

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Posted by MrMe on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 7:50 PM

The decoder definition is what tells DecoderPro which CV's to display on the various sheets, as well as the text on those sheets for what those CV's control.

If you use the wrong definition, it may show CV's which don't exist on your decoder (and make you wonder why they always fail to read), and it may NOT show other CV's (and make you wonder why you can't set something you should be able to).

This is especially true for ESU sound decoders, because (as noted in my earlier post) each sound project has it's own set of CV's.

EDIT: If you want the whole story, look on the JMRI user's list on groups.io. The JMRI developer who has worked with ESU to write most if not all of the ESU sound decoder definitions hangs out there and has posted about the various nuances from time to time.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:06 PM

Ya unfortunately a lot of times when you have Decoder Pro read the decoder, it comes with a series of choices within a particular decoder brand. It's especially annoying if (like me) you have an engine that's had the decoder in it for a while, and you didn't write down anywhere what type it is.

However I've found within the decoder brands their products are usually pretty similar to each other, so if you take an educated guess and select one it usually works out OK. So selecting one of the Loksound 5 options would probably work. Not sure why the Rapido manual says Loksound Select, could be when Loksound 5 became available they switched to that and haven't updated their literature yet.

Keep in mind the speed and momentum CVs, 2-3-4-5 (and 6 if available) are the same on all decoders. You don't need DecoderPro to change them.

Because of all the options they have, I have sometimes have trouble working with ESU Loksound decoders in Decoder Pro (and note it can take a long time for it to read all the sheets!). If you going to primarily (or exclusively) use ESU decoders, you might want to look at getting a LokProgrammer which is designed to adjust and load sounds into LokSound decoders.

p.s. even though it's pronounced "Lock"sound it is spelled "Lok". Guess that's how they do it in German! Huh?

Stix
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Posted by Coastie71 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 12:38 PM

Thank you all for all your help and guidance.  Based on your responses it sounds like even if I had selected the wrong decoder when first entering a new loco (I did use read type from decoder for all the locos) after I select "Read Full Sheet" the actual decoder information will be displayed in DecoderPro and I think you guys said I need to save it after doing that to keep that information and of course when I make any changes.

(Other than DecoderPro making you have to select one of the highlighted decoders, I'm not sure why you even have to select a decoder from their listing in the first place if you can make sure your actual decoder information is inputed simply by selecting "Read Full Sheet"  Sounds to me that DecoderPro documentation should say to do that in all cases just to make sure your actual decoder information is inputed into the program, especially in case you selected the wrong decoder.)

I did load Java 11 before I installed version 4.26.

Pete - I'm glad you made me go back to that Rapido manual as I found on page 4 in real small letters that ESU Locksound V5 decoders are installed.  The manual has no date.  Don't know why they didn't tell you to go to that decoder manual instead of the Select one that they refer you to.  Kind of strange.

Most of my other locos are Walthers Mainline SD50s that their brief pamphlet only indicates they have ESU Digital Sound.  Only my Athearn Genesis SD50 selected the right decoder when first added to the program that matched the exact type listed in the manual.

Going to use the CV8 read to check the NMRA site you guys mentioned.  I noted the Mainline pamphlet does indicate after a CV8 reset the Manufacturer ID will read 151.

Again, I want to thank everyone for your quick and very helpfull guidance.  Sure glad you guys are out there to help.

Have a great day!  Gary (Coastie71)

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Posted by betamax on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 5:25 AM

LokSounds have their own process which must be followed when using JMRI.

Always start with the latest version of JMRI installed, to ensure you have the latest definitions. The next version of JMRI (Version 5) will require Java 11, but the current test versions (4.99) will work with Java 8.

Use New Loco - Read Type from Decoder

This is the most accurate method of determining the decoder model and version installed.

At this point you should read the decoders settings. Use "Read Full Sheet" as this is more effective, and repeat until no CV is highlighted in red. Direct Mode is the fastest method.

Once that is done, make your changes, write them to the decoder, and save the file for future reference.

Programming ESU Decoders

If you decide to update to Java 11, Java 8 must be removed (uninstalled) first to avoid conflicts later. JMRI 5 is planned for summer 2022 release.

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Posted by MrMe on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:07 PM

<Snip original post>

TL;DR

DecoderPro reads CV's 7 & 8 to identify a decoder. For ESU, it reads (one? a couple? I forget...) more (that are not NMRA-defined).

IF a JMRI volunteer has written a decoder definition that matches those values, DecoderPro will select that match.

Sometimes a manufacturer will use the same firmware version in multiple decoders (same functionality but different form factors, etc) In that case, all JMRI can do is recommend the decoder family.

Sometimes a manufacturer will bump up the firmware level on an existing decoder (family). Someone has to find that out and update the definition in DecoderPro.

Finally, some manufacturers (ESU) manufacture blank decoders, where every single sound set gives it a different "model number", and for which there is no default set of CV values. So for each sound set, someone has to write an individual decoder definition. With the 1000's of CV's in an ESU sound decoder, that takes a fair amount of (volunteer) effort.

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Posted by wrench567 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:56 PM

   Hi Gary.

 Is there a date on the Rapido manual? The Loksound select has not been manufactured in many years. On any decoder if you read CV8 it should give you a manufacturer code that is set by the NMRA. On their website you will find a chart that will decifer the CV8 code to the manufacturer of the decoder. Reading CV7 will give you the version number of the firmware on the decoder. An Email to the decoder manufacturer will get you very close.

 The Loksound 5FX is the larger brother of the HO/N size decoder. The nano, micro, Loksound 5, and FX are different from factor decoders but use the exact same firmware and software. If in doubt for HO just pick the 5.

  When you select read all sheets or read full sheet Decoder Pro (DP) will do just that. Reads what is programmed in the decoder at the current time. When you select a tab such as volume and reed the sheet it reads and displays what is on the decoder now. Say you want to turn the master volume down by half. You will either have a box with numbers or a slider or both. You make a change for example master volume is at 200 and you change it to 100 DON'T forget to write changes. DP has to write the new values to the decoder for it to work.

   Hope this helps.

      Pete.

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Posted by dennis461 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:45 PM

Can you open a loco and find a model number on the decoder?

 

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Can't figure out selection of correct decoder in Decoder Pro
Posted by Coastie71 on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:08 PM

I have another thread/discussion that I started about a week ago under General Discussion and I think most people who already commented to my questions about consisting and speed matching will probably not be revisting that discussion.  I think I needed to start another new topic discussion that's related, but more specific to how DecoderPro determines the decoder that's in the loco.

Not sure that DecoderPro is reading the right decoder when I select read from the decoder.  Example:  I recently purchased two Rapido F40PH locos and just tried to have them inputed into DecoderPro and it selected for both ESU LockSound 5 DCC and 5 FX DCC, but the manual and Rapido's websiste indicates to use the ESU Locksound Select manual and nothing about Locksound 5, so is DecoderPro selecting the wrong decoder or is Rapido manual/website incorrect?

I'm also unsure if I'm actually selecting the right decoders for all my other locos, espcially when I get way too many choices and can't find any specific information from the manual, etc.  I'm afraid I'm selecting the wrong decoder or not the specific decoder and therefore, not really getting the right settings for the actual installed decoder, which in turn will probably result in more problems than they solve, especially when speed matching or adjusting volumes.

I asked DecoderPro to select the decoder from the installed decoders for all my locos, but without knowledge of the specific, not general information, which is all I can find on company websites/manual like it being a Tsunami decoder, I never know that I'm selecting the right decoder.  I had only one loco where I had enough information form the manual to determine that DecoderPro selected the actual installed decoder as the only choice.  Again, most of the times it selected dozens, if not more choices. so that was basically useless.

Also, once I select the decoder I think it might be, when I select program and ask for it to read all from the decoder, does it overwrite the possible wrong chosen decoder information with the information in the actual decoder?

I'm using the latest full version of DecoderPro 4.26 and all my locos were purchased within the past two years and they all had installed sound decoders.

I really appreciate any help anyone can provide.  Thanks

Gary (Coastie71)

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