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  • Topic: Reading CV's with JMRI in Large Scale

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    • March 1, 2020 3:26 PM EST

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      Reading CV's with JMRI in Large Scale

      Hi All,

           I am trying to read my QSI (Titian) and TCS (WOW501) sound decoders using my NCE PH10-R and JMRI. I have learned from the JMRI, TCS and NCE forums that I need to get a program booster. One person recommended a SoundTraxx PTB-100. Can anyone comment on what they use and how successful they were, particularly with the NCE system?

           Thanks Steve

    • March 2, 2020 12:12 AM EST

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      No you don't necessarily. The TItan works fine (what you read was probably about the first generation LS QSI "Revolution" and really just needed to turn off the voice readback... on the TCS, it's a piece of c**p and it does not read back very well with anything....

      I have had 3 NCE systems and never a problem with the QSI Revolution or Titan. I have one TCS Wowsound, and that reminds me to send it to the manufacturer to get the newest firmware, but it's junk. Wait until you try a custom speed curve.  Use the voice menu and try not to pull your hair out.

       

      Greg

       

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    • March 2, 2020 7:50 AM EST
      • Maryville, Tennessee
         
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      Yes, have 2 WowSounds, one is WOW-121 and this one works great, even added Railcom to it. The other is a WOW501 and it is a pain to get anything working correctly, reading CV's is not good, have used several different Command Stations and not found one yet to read CV's reliably.

      Dennis

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Dennis in East Tennessee

       

    • March 3, 2020 11:43 AM EST

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      I feel, that TCS believed that the "voice menu" was so great, no one would use NMRA service mode. Reading the various forums, does not seem to be the case, i.e. "greatness". I have heard that later versions will work in service mode "more often".

       

      It is strange for a company that has made decoders for such a long time to have these issues, but the WowSound is their first sound decoder. I have extensive experience with TCS in "Z" scale, and ended up throwing them all away, due to issues with custom speed tables and uncontrollable decoders.

       

      Steve, unfortunately there are many "experts" that had an issue 10 years ago, and have not updated their information to be current, and/or (when pressed) don't have first hand knowledge, but are just repeating something they heard from an "expert".

       

      I have a PTB-100 since when I started, DCC was "impossible" outside, and "all sound decoders" needed the booster. It has come out of the package a few times, but never solved an issue. I still have it, in it's package.

       

      If you are still having issues with the QSI, go ahead and describe the issue, I'm sure it can be solved with your stock NCE system. The TCS is something that is hit or miss at best.

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 3, 2020 11:49 AM EST
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    • March 3, 2020 10:32 PM EST

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      Thanks Greg and Dennis for your input. I checked my system using a NCE 408 non sound decoder with a stock large scale motor and both JMRI with the PH10-R work fine reading the sheets. I need to try the QSI Titan again. The first time I didn’t turn off the lights and voice so maybe it was just drawing too much current. Any other suggestions for the QSI? I was disappointed to hear about the troubles on the wow 501 decoders. They seem like they could have been my go to decoder. Greg I know you like the Zimo products but the price is just too steep right now. Are there any other large scale sound decoders you would recommend that would work well with my NCE system in the $150 price range? Dennis what are your favorites? Other folks are welcome to comment on their successful sound decoder purchases.

      Thanks Steve  

    • March 3, 2020 10:41 PM EST

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      You say you did not turn off the lights? In service mode, NOTHING should be across the rails but the decoder, no lights that are not connected to the decoder outputs.

       

      The sound is a situation with certain operations where it cannot respond to 2 commands in quick sequence, the typical example is using the momentum button and the command announcement is on (not sound but the verbal confirmation).... when the loco is talking back to you, it cannot accept another command until it finishes speaking. The NCE momentum button sets CV3 and CV4 in one push with no pause in between. This is the only situation, specifically.

       

      You did not indicate the loco you are putting the decoder in, sometimes a Zimo HO decoder has enough oomph and then you really save a lot. Also, I thought one version of the Zimo LS decoders was $160??

       

      Dan??

       

      Greg

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    • March 4, 2020 7:03 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      MX696S is $160.00 at Trainli.  8 function, 10 watt, 10 volt source, 4 amp total.  Can control motorized smoke unit heat and motors, 4 servos, susi bus, 3 input triggers.

      This board fits real nice in the LGB forney on top of the weight in the boiler.

       

    • March 4, 2020 9:16 PM EST

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      Ok so I am working with a Bachmann Forney with a QSI Bachmann version Titan Q2 decoder plugged into the Bachmann socket. There are no other connections other than the decoder in the socket. All wheels are on the programming track. Using my PH10-R system I address the locomotive and select “PROG TRK” then press 1=STD to read the manufacturer number, “wait” appears on the pro cab. After about 20 seconds “can not read cv” displays. I press enter to get the decoder version and again after the same delay it displays “pag mode, can not read cv”. Not sure what I doing wrong.

      Thanks

      Steve

    • March 4, 2020 10:46 PM EST

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      So to quickly help you, try unplugging the decoder and connect the correct pins to the programming track, i.e. remove from loco.

       

      Note you will have to have a motor connected to the decoder to program it.

       

      If this works, you have either:

      • too long a wire between the command station and the programming track
      • too much track for the programming track or not isolated from rest of layout
      • bad connections somewhere in that range, from the connector on the command station to the decoder
      • dirty wheels
      • dirty rail
      • poor pickup in the loco
      • some other power item connected across the rails, not solely connected to the decoder. (lights, fan, etc. )

      I have no issues programming QSI titans in locos on a 2 foot long programming track with 3 feet of wire.... and I have some wheres north of 60 of them.

       

       

      ____________________________________

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


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    • March 5, 2020 7:57 AM EST
      • Maryville, Tennessee
         
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      Steve Mitchell said:

      Thanks Greg and Dennis for your input. I checked my system using a NCE 408 non sound decoder with a stock large scale motor and both JMRI with the PH10-R work fine reading the sheets. I need to try the QSI Titan again. The first time I didn’t turn off the lights and voice so maybe it was just drawing too much current. Any other suggestions for the QSI? I was disappointed to hear about the troubles on the wow 501 decoders. They seem like they could have been my go to decoder. Greg I know you like the Zimo products but the price is just too steep right now. Are there any other large scale sound decoders you would recommend that would work well with my NCE system in the $150 price range? Dennis what are your favorites? Other folks are welcome to comment on their successful sound decoder purchases.

      Thanks Steve  

       

      For a non sound decoder I have used the TCS G8 decoders, they work well, also the NCE 408 is very good.
      Have not used many Sound decoders and thought the WOW501 was going to be a go to product as the WOW121 works well in my Bachmann Forney.

      Dennis

       

       

      This post was edited by Dennis Cherry at March 5, 2020 7:57 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      Dennis in East Tennessee

       

    • March 5, 2020 10:52 AM EST

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      Dennis, not to be a spoil sport, but try a custom speed table in a TCS decoder, you will probably find what I did, is the math internally causes weird responses as you increase and decrease speed. I did not have any trouble with CV2, CV5 settings, only the custom speed table.

      Of course, it seems that many LS people do not use this, I do to facilitate consisting any loco with any other, and calibrate for exact scale speed, but then I am somewhat nuts ha ha.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • March 5, 2020 6:21 PM EST
      • Maryville, Tennessee
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Dennis, not to be a spoil sport, but try a custom speed table in a TCS decoder, you will probably find what I did, is the math internally causes weird responses as you increase and decrease speed. I did not have any trouble with CV2, CV5 settings, only the custom speed table.

      Of course, it seems that many LS people do not use this, I do to facilitate consisting any loco with any other, and calibrate for exact scale speed, but then I am somewhat nuts ha ha.

       

      Greg

      Well I have to revise my opinion now about the WOW501's

      I have been working with a club on building a new layout, You know them as the Chattanooga Model Railroad Club.

      They decided in using a new system and not the ones everyone else uses in the US. They wanted to go more advanced in technology.

      Well I bought one for myself after using one of theirs for over 1 year.

      With all the discussion here and my comments of the past, decided to try the new Command Station to read CV's.

      I am getting 100% CV's reads out of it on my Pardee & Curtin Shay #11 using JMRI DecoderPro.

      I am so happy now and really LOVE this CS.

      Can you guess which CS I bought?

      This post was edited by Dennis Cherry at March 6, 2020 7:45 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      Dennis in East Tennessee

       

    • March 6, 2020 12:06 AM EST

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      No, I am anxious to hear!

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • March 6, 2020 10:39 AM EST

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      For the money, the NCE has the most modes for the programming track, but I did encounter some European stuff that was really hard to program. My friend Dan Pierce was always telling me about Zimo.

       

      I did finally find out something very important, that many European DCC devices need the power interrupted for a short time after programming a CV. I was having difficulty with some DCC switch machines and that helped.

       

      Later I needed more output than the 10 amps of the NCE (I have a couple of trains that will sustain 10 amps continuously) and started looking at the Zimo for that, at up to 20 amps. After purchasing, I found the many programmable/adjustable settings on the programming output, etc. It is a quantum leap above what my beloved NCE can set. That explained why Dan could program stuff easily that I had some difficulty with.

       

      So, now I have both systems.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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


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    • March 6, 2020 2:10 PM EST

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      Last night I removed the QSI from the loco attached a motor to it and did the 1=STD read for the manufacturer and got a read back of 113 and a version 3 which seem right. When I used JMRI to read the sheets I got almost all red indicators back with a lot of “no locomotive found error 301”.

      thanks Steve

    • March 6, 2020 5:52 PM EST

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      I have not used JMRI a lot on the QSI Titans as I have the QSI programmer, and it has a nice menu-based system very much like JMRI, but all the advanced items are in the templates, and it has templates of steam vs diesel, and accommodates the HO, O and Large Scale units.

       

      You should be able to use the Quantum software with your NCE hardware.... the Quantum CV Manager software is free. I will have to look at what support JMRI has, which may be missing something.

       

      JMRI likewise supports the QSI programmer hardware as well as the NCE hardware.

       

      In JMRI, did you pick the QSI Version 9, and then the Titan G? If not, that could be an issue.

       

      I don't remember if JMRI can use the various service modes, or it just goes direct, as opposed to register or paged mode.

       

      Greg

       

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 6, 2020 5:57 PM EST
      ____________________________________

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


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    • March 7, 2020 5:48 PM EST

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      Dennis: Looks like a good value and capable of expansion and updates. There is no mention of what service modes it supports though, since we are talking about hard to program decoders, or installations.

       

      Steve, what decoder did you specify in JMRI and what firmware is in your Titan? (Just to be sure, your Titan and 3 separate green blocks of screw terminals, right?

       

      Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 7, 2020 6:41 PM EST
      ____________________________________

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


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    • March 7, 2020 8:30 PM EST

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      Greg, I used the QSI Quantum Programmer (USB) to read the decoder version. Quantum Upgrade software comes back with the following;

      Model 3107

      Class Steam

      Sound set 1000

      Version 8.9.10

      Build Date 08/27/13

      Last Modified 05/29/16

      Hardware 7022 (FX-LS)

      The paper work with the decoder calls it a "Titan Q2-FX".

      In JMRI I used : QSI Industries

                                   QSI Ver. 8

                                       Titan-G Steam (Bachmann)

      Thanks Steve

      This post was edited by Steve Mitchell at March 7, 2020 8:30 PM EST
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