Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Post all your DCC only problems, solutions and discoverys here.
User avatar
raistlin295
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:04 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby raistlin295 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:11 pm

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to DCC. I do hope this question isn't stupid.

I have a PowerCab and with it I'm able to "start up" a series of sound enabled locomotives by selecting each loco in turn. However, when I re-select a loco that I have previously started, the engine sounds stop.

Is this right or am I doing something wrong please?
Paul

Finsbury Road My Layout

User avatar
SRman
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:26 am

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby SRman » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:45 am

That is normal behaviour. If you select a new locomotive which has previously had functions like lights and sound turned on, then hit the sound function (usually 1 for British outline) as soon as you have pressed the [enter] key.

You can keep two locomotives in the recall stack (memory) and toggle between them using the recall button. To do this, select your first locomotive and turn on the functions you want, then press recall once and select a second locomotive and select the functions you want it to display. Now, by pressing recall, you can swap between these two without losing sound or lights.

Selecting a new locomotive will overwrite the one showing on the display so that becomes the new one in the recall stack. The one that was replaced in the stack will "remember" its settings (lights/sound, etc.) until you reselect it, which is when you need to hit the sound function button very quickly so as not to lose it.

User avatar
sishades
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:08 pm
Location: Burston Norfolk

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby sishades » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:26 am

I had this problem with my digitrax a while back. I would leave an engine ticking over and when it was reselected the sound and lights would go off. There is an option within the Digitrax setup to retain the settings when selecting other locos. Check your manual if there is an equivalent for the PowerCab.
High towards the far post,Howard with a header,Hes done it!Steve Howard has scored for Leicester City,Bedlam here at the Walkers Stadium. the Leeds United players are flat out on the turf in utter despair. Leicester City are going to win again

Martin71
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby Martin71 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:37 pm

Hi

No your not doing anything wrong and if I understand your post correctly you want when you go back to another sound loco you want it to remember what it was doing. If thats correct change CV 124 (this applies to loksounds only) to 6. That will fix the problem.

What this does is it tells the lok to remember all your last settings.

Hope that helps

Martin

BromsMods
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:34 pm
Location: Bromsgrove, Worcs
Contact:

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby BromsMods » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:35 pm

Martin71 wrote:Hi

No your not doing anything wrong and if I understand your post correctly you want when you go back to another sound loco you want it to remember what it was doing. If thats correct change CV 124 (this applies to loksounds only) to 6. That will fix the problem.

What this does is it tells the lok to remember all your last settings.

Hope that helps

Martin


I'm afraid that's only partly true, Martin. Adjusting CV124 will only stop the loco going through its startup sequence. The decoder will never be able to "remember what it was doing" as this is a function of the command system.

There is a partial fix to overcoming a loco stopping in its tracks (sorry, no pun intended!!) with the PowerCab and you would, hopefully, have been informed about this from whoever supplied your NCE starter set. We always include a release note with all systems we sell to advise customers of this update. The fix allows you to reselect a loco and, if it is moving, or has sound activated, this will continue until you try to adjust the speed of the loco. There are ways to minimise the effects of any sudden change of speed, but you will need to activate the sound decoder again, by pressing 1 if it is a Loksound decoder.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models

User avatar
raistlin295
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:04 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby raistlin295 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:36 pm

Thanks for the help chaps :D

I've been convinced to buy a NCE SB3a Smart booster so that I can have a recall stack of 6. That should be sufficient for me :)
Paul

Finsbury Road My Layout

locoworks
Posts: 842
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: isle of man

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby locoworks » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:22 am

so does the recall stack actually keep the sounds going when you recall a loco and adjust something?? or do you still have to press 1 quickly?? it seems a bit of a flaw in the design of things if the sound does one when you reselect it. why does this not happen with lights on non sound ( does it with the lights on sound decoders with the sound off? ) loco's?? and why , just because something has been dispatched ( it still keeps going with noise and lights ) does the decoder see fit to mute everything when reselected?? you'd expect the command station to read the state of the sound decoder and leave things alone like it does with non sound loco's. as the lights on non sound decoders seem to stay on when you reselect a loco ( i think they do anyway???? it has been a while and i cant say i noticed ) would remapping the sound 'on' to F0 solve the issue??

User avatar
SRman
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:26 am

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby SRman » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:14 am

The recall stack holds the locomotive and all settings until you choose to replace that locomotive with another in that recall "slot".

It is probably easier to explain if I do an example with a Power Cab (with two recall memory "slots") using actual locomotive numbers: I have 50 035 and 37 693, and 58 004 all with sound so I'll use those.

I select 50 035 and turn on the lights and sound with F0 and F1. I then press the Recall button and select 37 693 and press F0 and F1. 50 035 continues to run with sound and lights turned on at whatever speed setting I had it on before pressing Recall. 37 693 is idling with lights on. I press Recall again and I now have control of 50 035 which continues exactly as before until I change something like the speed setting. 37 693 continues to idle with lights on as before. I bring 50 035 to a stand, still idling with lights on. I press Recall and start 37 693 moving - it was still idling with lights on. I press Recall and 50 035 is still idling with lights as before, 37 693 continues to move with sound and lights as set. As long as I keep toggling between these two in the Recall stack the settings will remain in memory.

Now, I still have 37 693 selected (I bring it to a stand for this example) with 50 035 in the second Recall slot. I select 58 004 and press Enter, then select F0 and F1 to turn on lights and sound. 37 693 continues to idle with lights, as does 50 035. I run 58 004 then bring it to a halt. I then select 37 693 again, pressing Enter; as it is no longer in the recall stack, having been "replaced" by 58 004, if I do not immediately press 1 for the sound and 0 for the lights then 37 693 will stop and the lights will also turn off. In the meantime, the "replaced" 58 004 continues to idle with lights but will stop if I reselect it as it is not now in the Recall stack.

I hope that clarifies the situation. With an SB3a or Power Pro box the recall stacks may be increased to up to six "slots" per controller.

locoworks
Posts: 842
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: isle of man

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby locoworks » Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:55 pm

clear and understood, also dissapointing from a user point of view. i don't have many sound loco's and as i have digitrax with quite a few throttles i tend to leave a loco on a specific throttle knob when running. also the DT400's have more than 2 slots available in the recall stacks anyway so it may not be an issue for digitrax users that use the recall stack option? but it has to be said i consider this situation a fairly serious shortcoming of sound in DCC if other systems and sound decoders behave the same??.

gppsoftware
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:34 am

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby gppsoftware » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:03 am

Lenz doesn't have this problem.
You just select a loco and it retains all the settings it last had.

Graham Plowman

User avatar
raistlin295
Posts: 686
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:04 pm
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby raistlin295 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:50 am

Thanks SRMan,

Perfectly clear :)
Paul

Finsbury Road My Layout

Matthew
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:14 pm

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby Matthew » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:08 pm

Even the basic E-Z Commander and the much maligned Dynamis - both from Bachmann - don't have this issue. You can chop and change between locos as much as you want.

User avatar
SRman
Posts: 1086
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:26 am

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby SRman » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:33 am

Every DCC system has its pros and cons. The Lenz systems cost a good deal more than the basic Power Cab. The closest system to the NCE Power Cab for cost and features is the Digitrax Zephyr, which also has its good and not-so-good points. Upgrade to the NCE Power Pro and you have a much more versatile system more comparable to the Lenz and other systems in price and features. Where the NCE in any form wins hands down is in ease of use (IMHO).

The Lenz starter, the Compact, has very limited features but is quite cheap and a good place to start for a very basic system for those who are not sure whether to go DCC or not. Bachmann's Dynamis probably falls somewhere between the Lenz Compact and the NCE Power Cab/Digitrax Zephyr. Biggest downfall for the Dynamis is not being able to read back CV values.

The Power Cab is a relatively low priced starter system and as such is very good and quite full-featured (as is the Digitrax Zephyr also) ... but not perfect! It should be looked at in that light. Compare apples with apples, please.

BananaRepublic
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby BananaRepublic » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:02 am

SRman wrote:The Lenz starter, the Compact, has very limited features but is quite cheap and a good place to start for a very basic system.....

The Compact hasn't been available for some time as it was discontinued a few years ago, but they can be found secondhand on eBay etc.
Regarded as a good introduction to DCC in the past, it's now much less capable or versatile than most present day entry level systems.

gppsoftware
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:34 am

Re: Multiple locomotives with one DCC controller

Postby gppsoftware » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:03 pm

SRman wrote:The Lenz starter, the Compact, has very limited features but is quite cheap and a good place to start for a very basic system for those who are not sure whether to go DCC or not. Bachmann's Dynamis probably falls somewhere between the Lenz Compact and the NCE Power Cab/Digitrax Zephyr. Biggest downfall for the Dynamis is not being able to read back CV values.

The Power Cab is a relatively low priced starter system and as such is very good and quite full-featured (as is the Digitrax Zephyr also) ... but not perfect! It should be looked at in that light. Compare apples with apples, please.


As far as I am aware, the Compact was discontinued quite a number of years ago, so it no longer counts for comparison.

Reallistically though, I believe that the features we are talking about here, namely the retention of current settings of a loco when selecting between locos, are fundamental features that ALL DCC systems MUST correctly implement. ZTC was notorious for similar problems such as lights changing direction when a loco stopped and it seems that NCE has a similar problem with function control.

In my opinion, these are not matters of choice or items which are dependent on the cost of the system: they are fundamental features which ALL systems MUST absolutely implement correctly.
If a range of systems is to be developed in a price hierarchy, then the differences should be in terms of the availability of features provided (eg feedback bus) or they should be in terms of numbers (eg this system remembers 10 items in its stack, this one remembers 20).
ABSOLUTELY NO system should be sold with features which don't work properly and then sold on the basis of 'the next system in the range has it implemented properly'. If they can't implement it ptoperly, they shouldn't implement it at all. To do so is a half-cobbled solution.

I expect ALL DCC systems to remeber loco selection settings while another loco is selected. This is fundamental functionality. ANy system which can't do this shouldn't be on the market. We shouldn't be debating systems or defending our choices on the basis of what they implement properly and what they don't!

I also believe that all of this should be system selection criteria when purchasing. The debate about whether one system is easier to use than another is important, but it isn't important if the system doesn't implement what should be fundamental features properly.

BTW: What the bug in this forum software that causes the edit field of this reply to keep scrolling once I've got more lines than the sixe of the field ? Doesn't it work with IE8 ?

Graham Plowman


Return to “DCC Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests