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  • Topic: Massoth XLS Sound Decoder - Flickering Headlight

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    • September 4, 2019 4:32 PM EDT
      • McLean, VA
         
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      Massoth XLS Sound Decoder - Flickering Headlight

      For DCC Experts: I just finished installing a customer-provided Massoth XLS older version sound decoder into his LGB Mogul locomotive. Everything is working fine in DCC mode but when powering the loco in DC/Analog power, the headlight pulses on-off. There's also a noticable low hum noise in the speaker when applying DC power to the decoder. Connected to the decoder is the standard LGB Mogul's smoke unit, the headlight, a Massoth hall sensor/chuff pulse generator, a Massoth Sound Function Trigger/PCB, and a Massoth volume control "pot." The Mogul owner plans to operate this Mogul on his MTS III layout, but also wants to be able to operate it in DC/Analog power, thus the sound function trigger installed for activating the whistle and bell with track magnets.

      Using either 14 or 28 speed steps causes the headlight/sound humming issue. This older XLS decoder is finicky......I've had to reset it three times when it stopped working during various test runs of the loco, either on my programming track with roller wheels, or on my small 15 x 6 foot indoor layout. I use a Piko Central Station for my test bed/programming track, and a Massoth DCC Central Station/Power Supply for my indoor layout and my new garden railway I'm installing with over 350 feet of track.

      Any CV adjustments suggested to eliminate this light pulsing/flickering would be appreciated!
      Thanks
      Tom

      ____________________________________

      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • September 4, 2019 10:13 PM EDT
      • Shut Up Rooster
         
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      Hah! The only adjustments to a decoder that needed to be reset 3 times I would use would be in the form of a sledge hammer.

       

      I throw away unreliable stuff. Life is way too short to put up with stuff that makes you crazy.

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at September 4, 2019 10:49 PM EDT
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    • September 5, 2019 8:13 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Amen. I am so much better off without her. She is busy driving other people crazy now.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • September 5, 2019 8:46 PM EDT
      • McLean, VA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Hah! The only adjustments to a decoder that needed to be reset 3 times I would use would be in the form of a sledge hammer.

       

      I throw away unreliable stuff. Life is way too short to put up with stuff that makes you crazy.

       

      Greg

      Hi Greg - I contacted Massoth Technical Department in Germany about doing a firmware update on the decoder using my Massoth Service Tool but was told the decoder is too old.....no firmware updates available.  And they didn't offer me any other suggestions about possible CV adjustment to  the decoder for the failure issue.

      So, I'm going to recommend to my customer that I change the CV on the decoder to digital use only.....no Analog power.   That's because I think the decoder failed usually after I had been testing it DCC and then tried to do an operations test of the loco in Analog power mode.  The loco owner told me he wanted to be able to operate his loco primarily in DCC but wanted it Analog ready too......that's why he had me install the Sound Function Trigger to activate the whistle and bell in DC power. 

      Alas, the risk of using someone's furnished dcc decoder when they have previously fiddled with it!

      Tom

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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • September 5, 2019 10:12 PM EDT
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      I hear you Tom. Many people believe that electronics either works or not, but it is indeed possible for it to get damaged just a bit.

       

      My suspicion is that the internal flash memory is weak and is starting to "drop bits".... early flash can do that, and I had a discussion with another major European manufacturer with a different product talk about "bad flash".

       

      Greg

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      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • September 7, 2019 4:08 PM EDT
      • McLean, VA
         
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      Greg - Appreciate your point about decoder flash memory issues.  I broke the news about the Analog issue with the decoder as gently as I could that I recommend he not operate the loco in analog.....he wasn't happy:  "It's disappointing to hear of the decoder trouble with analog operation.  I have Locos from the early 2000's with flawless operation in mts and analog.  The mogul decoder was bought more than a decade later."

       

      But I told him it's his decision whether he wants to try operating his Mogul in analog.  He's also buying from me a Massoth Navigator and Wireless Receiver to connect to his LGB MTS III Central Station.  So, now he'll be able to reset the decoder and adjust some of the CVs if he experiences problems.   I'm not that familiar with the MTS III Central Station's capabilities and whether he'll be able to change all the CVs on the decoder or not.

      Tom

      This post was edited by Thomas White at September 7, 2019 4:09 PM EDT
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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • September 7, 2019 7:31 PM EDT
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      I think that using a Navigator allows full control of all Massoth CV's... seems most of the "brains" is in the throttle, not the central station.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • September 8, 2019 1:02 PM EDT
      • McLean, VA
         
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      I emailed the Mogul owner today that I've completed his sound installation project.  It runs and sounds super.......but only in DCC mode.  I left the Analog features active if he wants to try that mode, but I advised him that continuing to try running it in Analog, and doing decoder resets to achieve that, could cause the decoder to quite working entirely.  And that the only want to run his Mogul reliably in Analog is to replace the decoder with a new Massoth XLS sound unit.

      If anyone would like to see the locomotive's operations and sound demo'd, go to my Website Homepage and there a video I made today of it operating on my outdoor railway.....it's on the far right side "LGB Mogul Massoth XLS Sound Install."  I demonstrate all the sound features while it's standing.  Sounds pretty darn good if I may say so myself!

      Best,

      Tom

      This post was edited by Thomas White at September 8, 2019 1:04 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

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