Author Topic: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?  (Read 375 times)

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Dave V

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CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« on: April 22, 2019, 10:44:29 AM »
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Just as the subject says...  I have a now-ancient Digitrax Super Empire Builder set that still works fine.  Unfortunately the DB150 that came with it doesn't support CV readback.  It did come with a DT400 throttle which, with the right command station, can do CV readback.  When I was an N scale guy I rarely did anything with the CVs beyond assigning addresses so I never gave thought to the lack of CV readback capability.

Now, however, I've tricked out all the Digital Dynamic Effects (DDEs) on my Sountraxx Tsunami decoders in my Blackstone engines.  As I add new locos--or in the case of K-27 462, replace a toasted decoder--I want to be able to see the dozens and dozens of CVs I've modified and to what.

I'm hoping someone here can recommend a work-around.  I was outbid on an upgraded command station and I'd like to keep the solution under three figures if possible.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 10:48:09 AM by Dave V »
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MK

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 11:38:33 AM »
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The cheapest immediate way is probably to get a used Zephyr.  As the new Zephyr Express(?) DCS52 comes on the market there should be a few people trying to get rid of their old ones.

You also might be able to use JMRI along with the DCS150 DB150 and read the CVs even though the DCS150 DB150 can can't read them directly.  I think JMRI packet sniffs the Loconet transmission but I could be completely wrong about that.  If this works, a simple laptop can get you going for pretty much next to nothing.

Edit: I'm having a great day at the keyboard!  :)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 12:11:35 PM by MK »

Dave V

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 11:42:51 AM »
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The cheapest immediate way is probably to get a used Zephyr.  As the new Zephyr Express(?) DCS52 comes on the market there should be a few people trying to get rid of their old ones.

You also might be able to use JMRI along with the DCS150 and read the CVs even though the DCS150 can read them directly.  I think JMRI packet sniffs the Loconet transmission but I could be completely wrong about that.  If this works, a simple laptop can get you going for pretty much next to nothing.

DCS150?  Not sure what that is.
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MK

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 12:03:22 PM »
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Sorry, typo, DB150.

Dave V

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 12:04:35 PM »
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I have a PR3 for JMRI interface...back when I was using WiThrottle.  I wonder if it can help...
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MK

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 12:12:26 PM »
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It probably can.  I would give it a shot and see.  Nothing to lose.

bandmj

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 12:39:33 PM »
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The PR3 can be used in a stand alone mode, no need for command station, just a computer with JMRI and short pc. of track and you are ready to go, sounds like you have used it before, so should not take much to get it up and going. 

nstars

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 02:44:20 PM »
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The PR3 is the way to go for CV read back. With the DB150 it’s never possible.

Marc
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 03:44:36 PM by nstars »

CodyO

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 09:47:27 PM »
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Adding to the echo your best bet is the PR3 for standalone programming.

Can be a bit annoying but I got a sweet set of roller stands that help out alot when adjusting CVs using the JMRI GUI.
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conrad

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 10:48:11 AM »
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I have a BD150, PR3 and JMRI and use the program track for most of my programming.  I have no problems with non-sound decoders but I can't get good results with sound decoder.  So, for Digitrax sound decoders I use their SoundLoader software. It works fine and has the advantage of installing many different sound files (I have a sound box car).  However, for my (don't laugh) MRC sound decoders I just use JMRI for OPS mode mainline programming and just look/listen for the results.  It works just fine.  Wish I had ESU or Zimo decoders and  programmers but cost is an issue.

reinhardtjh

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 11:15:22 PM »
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I used JMRI, a laptop and a PR3 with a couple of long Kato Unitrack straights for programming for a long time.  Worked with Digitrax, TCS, Lens decoders just fine.  I also had no problem with the ESU decoders in the Atlas ALCo S2, but I couldn't program a BLI Paragon 2 PRR M1a/b for anything.  I tried the trick of using a 20v P/S (I have the original PR3 which was designed for up to 20VDC, not the PR3 XTRA which is good up to 16VDC) which helped but wasn't 100% (closer to 80%).  So I switched to a SPROG2 and the laptop and that has worked with everything so far.

So using the PR3 should work for just about everything except some sound decoders.  Or get a SPROG2 and then you don't have to cannibalize your JMRI connection to the layout and you shouldn't have to worry about programming sound decoders without adding a programming booster.
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Dave V

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2019, 11:23:54 PM »
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Since all my decoders are Soundtraxx Tsunamis, I'm a bit daunted by what you guys are reporting... 
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conrad

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2019, 11:05:16 AM »
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Don't be daunted.  The DB150 does not read back CV's so I agree with Reinhardtjh that a SPROG II ($110 or less) and a laptop with JMRI (free) is the way to go.

Use that for programming and your Digitrax equipment for running the trains.

reinhardtjh

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2019, 02:52:12 PM »
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Since all my decoders are Soundtraxx Tsunamis, I'm a bit daunted by what you guys are reporting...

What's got you concerned, Dave?  Between everyone here we should be able to allay any fears you might have.
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Dave V

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Re: CV readback with a Digitrax DB150...how?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2019, 03:23:01 PM »
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What's got you concerned, Dave?  Between everyone here we should be able to allay any fears you might have.

Just that it might not work.  But I have about two hours today to mess with it, so let's see what happens!
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