DCC loco decoders.

For those that like their electrickery delivered digitally...
User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:29 pm

Just wondering what experiences people have programming a variety of loco decoders.

I have a few T4X decoders with automatic BEMF, but there's very little in the way of programmability in these, so it does take a lot of experimenting to get them to behave. One issue I've regularly struggled with is that a flywheel equipped locomotive , where the decoder first has to overcome the friction of the gears and the mass of the flywheels, and once moving this needs to adjust. This transition is often not smooth and the loco suddenly 'shoots off'. Have you seen this too, and how do you solve it?

I only have experience now with TCS , Tsunami, and QSI decoders (and one NCE decoder purpose made for the P2K SW1200, which is an excellent decoder I have to say, very easy to set up, and the loco works beautifully with it).
Next for me I'd have to try a Lenz and a ESU to see what works best for me. I'm really tempted by the Loksound. (great motor control),and would want that someone in the UK would stock the Loksound Select Direct (currently marketed only in the USA)..

Digitrax? Not sure why not, I hear they are a bit harder to get your head round (hex addressing etc), but JMRI decoder pro might take that barrier away, what are these like?
MRC, no thanks, too many horror stories about them, that I don't want to take the risk, I'll wait until these stories are superseded with ones that tell me that they're perfectly okay now (current designs )

What's your take?
Koos
Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

RaySav
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by RaySav » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:14 pm

Hi Koos,
The ESU Loksound direct is available from Coastal DCC.

http://www.coastaldcc.co.uk

People seem to speak highly of them.

Ray

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:16 pm

That's great thanks,I checked it out, and indeed it's the US version they have in their range, it's the first link I've seen of the 'Select Direct' type being available outside the US, and the price is very reasonable at £80,- indeed. Not too many sound file selections there though, but that's not a show stopper.

I will keep this in mind for my next project (don't need one right now, but in the not too distant future).

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

User avatar
BrianMoore
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by BrianMoore » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:19 pm

Mike R has been using the Loksound Select for a while now.

Brian
Brian Moore

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:33 am

Hi Brian is that the direct replacement for athearn / atlas boards? ( similar to a tsunami)
That's what I am looking for.

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

User avatar
BrianMoore
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by BrianMoore » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:56 am

torikoos wrote:Hi Brian is that the direct replacement for athearn / atlas boards? ( similar to a tsunami)
That's what I am looking for.

Koos
I know there are different versions, but you'll have to ask Mike himself.

Brian
Brian Moore

Mike_R
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by Mike_R » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:34 pm

I bought my Selects from Digitrains, but they are £90 for the six output version.

They come as standard (4 or 6 outputs), micro or direct. The direct fits Athearn and others, see here:

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/loksound/ ... ct-direct/

Check here for the sound projects available:

http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/sounds/loksound-select/

They can be downloaded into the decoders, with the Loksound programmer.
Mine first had a SD70 sound and I wasn't that impressed. Then the SD70ACE sound came out I downloaded that, what a difference!
They run really well and any new locos I get will have Selects for mainline locos, and either Selects or V4 for switchers and local locos.

A video of them:


Mike Ruby

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:37 pm

Cheers Mike,

the Direct is what I am after, and glad to see that it's available in the UK for about 80GBP at the link Ray provided below.

It will be the decoder I'm going to get for some of my advanced orders (2 x SP GP38-2 and a GP15-1), all by Athearn Genesis.

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:02 am

Hi Mike (or others) , do you know if the Loksound file for the EMD 567 engine is a V16 or a V12 engine?
i have a GP35 that is still DC, and I want to fit a decoder, and might as well go straight for a sound equipped one, and it's a good candidate to try out an ESU. I can't find the engine detail in the description, it doesn't say with this file if the prime mover can be selected, so I'm guessing it's just one version, but which one?

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

redbull
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Cookham Dean, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by redbull » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:12 am

torikoos wrote: Digitrax? Not sure why not, I hear they are a bit harder to get your head round (hex addressing etc), but JMRI decoder pro might take that barrier away, what are these like?
MRC, no thanks, too many horror stories about them, that I don't want to take the risk, I'll wait until these stories are superseded with ones that tell me that they're perfectly okay now (current designs )

What's your take?
Koos
Koos
Koos, I've only ever used Digitrax and ESU. I do have one MRC sound decoder in one of my N scale locos - absolute crap! Digitrax decoders are a breeze to program, either using JMRI or via the throttle - they work in the same way as all the others for programming (you have the NMRA to thank for that!). ESU obviously need their programmer for the sound functions, but JMRI is fine for the 'non-sound' CV programming. I haven't tried any of the new ESU decoders, as I've been concentrating on N scale these past few years. I know there were problems with the range after v3.5, but not sure if that has been resolved yet. I have one of the older v3.5's in a South African Class 19D steam loco - it still has the USA 4-8-2 sound file in there, but my long-term project is to create my own sound file with the 'proper' Class 19D sounds, taken from a video I have which has some nice clean sounds, including the very distinctive whistle. That is what I like about the ESU decoders - you can create your own sound files.
Peter Borcherds
Rochelle Intermodal N Scale Modular Layout
http://www.rochelleintermodal.com

User avatar
BrianMoore
Posts: 384
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Plymouth, UK

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by BrianMoore » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:45 am

torikoos wrote:Hi Mike (or others) , do you know if the Loksound file for the EMD 567 engine is a V16 or a V12 engine?
i have a GP35 that is still DC, and I want to fit a decoder, and might as well go straight for a sound equipped one, and it's a good candidate to try out an ESU. I can't find the engine detail in the description, it doesn't say with this file if the prime mover can be selected, so I'm guessing it's just one version, but which one?

Koos
The "Factory" Loksound for early EMD stuff isn't that brilliant. I think we've got a decent tweaked 567 in our GP40s, via a Loksound 3.5.

Brian
Brian Moore

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:37 am

thanks Brian,

I guess i will go ahead and get one in the near future, and then at some stage take it to a meet to get the tweaked file uploaded (if compatible of course).

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

Mike_R
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by Mike_R » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:01 pm

The GP35 is listed under the EMD 567 engine, it doesn't say if that has a turbo or number of cylinders. Some projects have multiple engine selections. Another possibility is the EMD645EF, which is turbo 16 cylinder but a more modern engine.
A 16-567D is on the to do list.
The good think with the Loksound is if a better sound comes along it can be downloaded to the decoder.
redbull wrote:ESU obviously need their programmer for the sound functions, but JMRI is fine for the 'non-sound' CV programming.
The Loksound Select only needs the programmer to download a new sound project. Horn, engine, bell, etc selection is done by CVs. Decoder Pro has decoder definitions for them.

I'm not aware of problems with the V3.5, I must have downloaded to 30+ of them. I've still to get around to having ago with V4, despite buying a couple last year!
BrianMoore wrote:I think we've got a decent tweaked 567 in our GP40s, via a Loksound 3.5.
There is a 645 in the GP40 project.
Mike Ruby

redbull
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Cookham Dean, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by redbull » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:25 pm

Mike_R wrote:The Loksound Select only needs the programmer to download a new sound project. Horn, engine, bell, etc selection is done by CVs. Decoder Pro has decoder definitions for them.
Yes, sorry, meant for new sound projects or adjusting existing projects - volumes & horn/bell selections can be done through JMRI.
Mike_R wrote:I'm not aware of problems with the V3.5, I must have downloaded to 30+ of them. I've still to get around to having ago with V4, despite buying a couple last year!
N0, v3.5 is fine - but I've heard of plenty of problems with the v4.0. But must admit haven't looked at the Loksound YahooGroup and forum for a long time, so am a bit out of touch.
Peter Borcherds
Rochelle Intermodal N Scale Modular Layout
http://www.rochelleintermodal.com

User avatar
torikoos
Posts: 854
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
Contact:

Re: DCC loco decoders.

Post by torikoos » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:22 pm

Mike_R wrote:The GP35 is listed under the EMD 567 engine, it doesn't say if that has a turbo or number of cylinders. Some projects have multiple engine selections. Another possibility is the EMD645EF, which is turbo 16 cylinder but a more modern engine.
A 16-567D is on the to do list.
The good think with the Loksound is if a better sound comes along it can be downloaded to the decoder.
Hi Mike, according to a quick search on Wiki, the GP35 has an EMD V16 567 D3, engine. I guess I'll be happy to order the decoder with the current loksound 567 file, and when the 567D file comes out, have a look at that one.
I have no programmer , but having heard many good stories about ESU, I'd be willing to invest in one in the future, I'm bound to get more ESU decoders at some point.

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest