Author Topic: DCC basics?  (Read 2114 times)

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Joetrain59

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DCC basics?
« on: March 19, 2016, 11:38:30 PM »
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I just dipped my toe into the DCC pond. Bought a MRC Tech 6 2.0 "sound controller", to adjust some Bmann dual mode locos. So now I have a NW-2 that runs in one direction in standard mode, even when direction switch is changed. (NOT the NW-2 from general discuss page!). In dual mode, loco runs according to direction switch, but no headlights. I would've liked to brighten them up. What I really want to adjust is the whistle on K-4. That Banshee whistle is horrid.
 Is there reference literature for CV values for NMRA compliant decoders?
I tried to make an adjustment for lights after looking at Bmann site, but nothing changed.
 On the other hand, NW-2 does run smoother at start up. (Or just my imagination........).
 Thanks in advance,
 Joe D

mu26aeh

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2016, 11:45:00 PM »
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Not 100% certain how this controller works, but pressing 0 usually turns lights on and off. 

If these are Bachmann engines, a 1K resistor is required to program them using my Digitrax Zephyr on a programming track.  Found that out this past weekend trying to program some engines for Blazeman.

peteski

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 12:18:08 AM »
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Yes, there is a standard defined for a set of basic CV registers, but that is for the non-sound functionality.  When it comes to lighting and sound, things get much more complicated and each manufacturer has a different set of CV registers (and the decoders themselves have different sound capabilities).  You really need to download and read instruction manuals for the specific brand/model of the sound decoders.  Some of those manuals are quite large (the QSI decoder manual for example is over 400 pages!).  :)

IMO, you would have been much better off with an entry-level DCC system  instead of a "sound controller"  which sort of teases you with the expanded DCC capabilities, but leaves you kind of in a gray area between DC and DCC.  :|
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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Joetrain59

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 12:57:21 AM »
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MU, I'll be damned. 0 put the lights on. Yes, Peteski, I know I should probably go for that NCE system that BLW lists. Maybe I'll return the MRC product to Micro Mark, and go for the extra $.
 Joe D

Joetrain59

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 03:04:30 AM »
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Blw has 2 choices.  http://www.blwnscale.com/nce-starter.htm
 Any prefs as to which would be better? Right now, I don't run 2 trains at once. But in the future, if GF and I get a mortgae, larger layout in plans.
 Joe D
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 10:27:19 AM by Joetrain59 »

peteski

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2016, 03:19:24 AM »
+1
Blw has 2 choices.  http://www.blwnscale.com/nce-starter.htm
 Any prefs as to which would be better? Right now, I don't run 2 trains at once. But in the future, if GF get a mortgae, larger layout in plans.
 Joe D

The Power Cab with the display and large keyboard( ITEM # NCE-25 - Price Break / BLW's Best Price $139.95 at the top of http://www.blwnscale.com/nce-systems.htm ). The alphanumeric display and large keyboard make it a breeze to operate trains and program the decoders.  The display is especially helpful when using sound decoders which have more than 10 functions (as most of them do).

That single throttle can operate multiple locomotives (you can rotate between the addresses you punch in).    Later you can add more Pro Cab units (which look just like that Power Cab).
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 03:21:13 AM by peteski »
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Mike C

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 06:23:55 PM »
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The NCE PowerCab is an excellent choice . Very easy to use . Bachmann has the Soundvalue CV's listed on their site, Under the parts / info header , then under the DCC on board link .  Another helpful manual is the Soundtraxx Steam users Guide on the Soundtraxx site .

Joetrain59

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 08:24:12 PM »
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Mike C, I did go to DCC section of Bmann site. Found some tables, but confusing to this newbie. Have to sit and look with no distractions. Thanks for your back-up on the NCE. I will order on 4/1, when SS deposit is made, and I return MRC unit for credit on card.
 Joe D
 

Viperjim1

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 02:49:38 AM »
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Good luck with the no distractions part and you'll love the nce system

peteski

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 11:03:48 AM »
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Don't think you are alone Joe - the large number of configurable parameters in sound decoders, and how they are presented in many manuals makes understanding them all confusing, even to DCC-savvy individuals.  It is just one of the pains dealing with DCC.  As a general rule, the more bells-n-whistles a decoder has, the more complicated it is to customize.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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Joetrain59

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 02:06:17 PM »
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Thanks for the nice words Pete. Unfortunately, with dual mode locos from Bmann, (and others in the future?), it's become a fact of mrr life.
 One question about this MRC product. Should I use this with a programming track? 4 page instructions don't mention it. Unless I missed it.
 Thanks,
 Joe D

peteski

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2016, 03:33:54 PM »
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I'm not familiar with that MRC unit but judging by its intended operation (adding some DCC functionality to a DC layout, without actually running fully in DCC) I suspect that the programming is done in the OPS mode (on main track).  But I'm not sure what you mean by programming track.  Unless there are specifically marked programming track terminals on that unit then you really don't have the ability to have a separate programming track.

The NCE Power Cab does have programming track capability but it uses the same terminals as for the main line track.  Basically when you enter the "program on programming track" mode, the main track becomes programming track for the duration of programming.  So at that point you can only have one locomotive on the track which is to be programmed. If you have multiple locos on the track then they will all be programmed at the same time. That is not a good thing.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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Mike C

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2016, 06:48:42 PM »
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The way I use my NCE system , if I want to use the program track mode , I just make sure all other locos are isolated or off of the layout . Most of my programming is done in ops mode .I do have a smallish layout though .  As far as learning about the CV's it just takes time . I usually look up what I want to change in the manual in order to get the correct CV # . And of course many of the #'s are different from one manufacturer to the next .

Joetrain59

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2016, 10:11:48 PM »
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Got a NCE Power Cab from BLW today. Perfect timing, as GF is going away for the weekend. Haven't taken it out of shipping carton, yet.
 Wish me luck.
 Joe D

peteski

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Re: DCC basics?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2016, 10:40:29 PM »
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Got a NCE Power Cab from BLW today. Perfect timing, as GF is going away for the weekend. Haven't taken it out of shipping carton, yet.
 Wish me luck.
 Joe D

No luck needed - you'll be ok. Just think, you now have a compete, DCC system. You've made the leap!  :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"