Need help interrogating some decoders

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Bigmet
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby Bigmet » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:23 am

Although you have a basic DCC system, it can still get you a long way toward what you want to achieve.

Install decoder on a loco.
Change address to 3, or anything else you choose, using method available from your DCC system.
Try operation of decoder on the address you have set.
Try altering whatever CVs are available on these decoders / programmable from your system. (Look online for CV's available for the identified R numbers.)

If all the above works, then you are done.

If the decoders are unresponsive, or fail to programme in some respect, then ask for help with trying a reset which your DCC system cannot perform.

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End2end
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby End2end » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:09 pm

And that's where the EZ Command falls over. :lol:
The EZ command cannot program CV's other than changing the address on the loco. As it's only capable of running 9 DCC loco's I'm not even sure if I can reset the decoder number if it's higher than 9. :?
I need to read through some of the literature as to wether it can reset a decoder to it's defaults but I'm not hopeful and I don't have a 4 pin loco to test the 4 pin decoders with.
The saga continues. :mrgreen:
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RAF96
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby RAF96 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:14 pm

I’ll dig into my notes but I know the central blue dot is significant as opposed to a corner coloured dot.
Get back with and edit and full id later.

Edit...
From my notes:
Decoder Version 1.3 (product launch) from approximately July 2008
Identification.. Large Blue dot on MCU chip.
Electronic.. Version 1.2 Firmware.. NMRA APPROVED
1, Interrogation supported
2, Long/short addressing
3, Deceleration/Acceleration
4, CV 29.. functions.. Default direction, DC/DCC mode disable enable (power conversion.)
5, CV 8 read back of manufacturers ID = 48
6, All Programming Modes supported.. i.e. Direct, Paged, Register.. Operate.
Issues, work-arounds and fixes.. DC mode running minor bug.. Loco fails to change direction while running. If loco is brought to a halt, and then the direction is changed and the throttle reapplied, the loco will resume motion in the selected direction.

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End2end
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby End2end » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:25 pm

That's excelent. Thanks Rob. :)
After reading the EZ Command manual again it seems I can change the chip number even if it's higher than 10 but it definatly cannot change CV's / reset the chip to defaults.
Thanks
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Bigmet
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:26 am

That's the place to start, you don't need to know the address on the decoder to reprogramme it to an address your unit can control.

Then you can see firstly whether the decoder is working at all(if it won't re-address it is likely dead, but give it two or three attempts at re-addressing before deciding that) and then provided they take addresses, how well they operate whatever mechanisms you want to put them on. If the operation is satisfactory, a reset is not required.

I know you haven't a mechanism with a Hornby four pin socket, but neither have I. If the decoders work but you still want a reset, and you cannot find anyone else with Hornby four pin socket mechanisms to do the work I'll help, but only if the four pin plugs have been cut off, making the decoder suitable for hard wiring. The eight pin decoder is naturally no trouble, I have many mechanisms that can be tested on. (I have a Lenz 100 system that has programmed so many decoders on friend's locos I have had to delete the (250 capacity) register of numbers three times over the past fifteen years to get it to address new locos! For convenience I would want the decoders to come set on address 3, as that address is 'always present' on the system so isn't moving me toward another register delete and re-entering of all my own loco's numbers.)

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End2end
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby End2end » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:30 pm

Thanks for the replies members. Sorry for the late repost but it's been a terrible last few days.
But....
I think I've come up with a cunning plan but want to run it passed you chaps first. :idea:

My idea is to get hold of a cheap 0-4-0 (now that i've already succesfully DCC'd an 0-4-0 using a 6pin harness), hardwire it to a piece of vero board and from that vero board add different sockets/pins on a loom for different size decoders. This will hopefull help me test ANY decoder I may happen to come across be it 4,6 or 8pin or socket.
I found an ECC liveried 0-4-0 that, if I ever wanted to, I could add the body back on and it would fit in with my "china clay country" style layout.

One of the questions that immediatly pops up is.... Do I have to solder ALL wires from each decoder "socket" to the vero board or just red,black, orange and grey?
Personally I would have thought the 4 wires should suffice but I am no DCC expert. :oops: :lol:
Any ideas of how to actually wire up the vero board would be welcome, remembering that size is NOT a major factor as this will be a DCC TESTER loco.

This idea has stemmed from not wanting to keep opening up my other loco's to avoid damage. I can be a bit hamfisted. :?
Thanks
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TimberSurf
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby TimberSurf » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:38 pm

The other option is not to re-invent the wheel and just buy a tester!
https://www.dccconcepts.com/product/esu-decoder-tester/
Even does sound, drives a motor and caters for ALL types of socket!
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End2end
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby End2end » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:46 pm

It seems it is on back order or out of stock at most places. Is there an upgrade imminant on the decoer tester, or even perhaps an alternative on the market?
Thanks
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roganty
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby roganty » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:25 pm

End2end wrote:It seems it is on back order or out of stock at most places.


There's some available on eBay.

The seller is Peter's Spares, and it's actually cheaper from their website
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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby Roger (RJ) » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:47 pm

The decoder tester is misnamed in my opinion. It doesn't actually do any testing. It's more like a substitute loco with various decoder sockets on board, a motor and indicator lights to allow almost any decoder to be fitted temporarily so that a DCC controller can be connected to it to test the decoder. If your DCC controller can't operate all the functions and read/write the CVs then the decoder "tester" is a waste of time and money.

Bigmet
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:45 pm

Indeed. A DCC 'full system' able to programme and read decoders strikes me as a far better place to start.

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End2end
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Re: Need help interrogating some decoders

Postby End2end » Tue May 21, 2019 1:37 am

I've started to build the decoder tester I was thinking of making.
It can be followed here - viewtopic.php?f=22&t=48176&hilit=decoder+test&start=720#p668418
Thanks
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