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mezzoman253

Random start ups of TTS fitted loco's

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Try using a voltage regulating extension lead to supply the command station, this worked for me with my Z21 which would change points at random, also set of locos with 20+ year old chips (lenz 1000's) our mains voltage has spikes which affect the TV and our central heating programmer, so I had an idea what was cousing the problems!

 

regards mikeg

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Thanks Rob H.

Could Richard Croft, JJGraphics and Cravensdmufan please add as much detail requested as possible, then I can send a summary off to Hornby for imvestigation.

I appreciate visiting stock may not be available to interogate.

Rob

 

 

Sorry, I don't have access to the locos at present as I live a long way from where my Grandson lives, and don't see him that often. What I can confirm is that the power supply to the ECoS 50200 is a smooth as silk as it is fed off my computer system UPS.

 

John

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In the other case that I know of which concerned 2 King Class locos and a DoG, all with TTS decoders running on a layout with an ECoS 2.1. The guy'd recently changed from a Hornby Elite to the ECoS. The problems started after the change to the ECoS, and he was asking for help on the ESU forum. He tried all the usual remedies when decoders misbehave with an ECoS but they didn't fix the problem. He then contacted Hornby who advised doing a decoder reset on both the King Class locos, but to no effect. From the way that he wrote his latest post reporting the fix, it sounded like the King Class locos were the ones moving on their own.

 

The owner then realised that the startups only happened when he was running the DoG. He reset the DoG TTS decoder, readdressed it and apparently since doing that the problem startups have stopped happening for this chap.

 

I pass this info on in case it is relevant to anyone else with this problem.

Edited by GoingUnderground

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Thanks for the input Keith, which is interesting as others have also reported this cross fertilisation, where one model is affected by another often only when passing in close proximity, but it has been seen where decoders are on different addresses in a power car/dummy car train situation.

 

It smacks of RF interference but the radiation from a decoder wouldn’t in my experience be enough to induce reaction in another decoder.

 

I shall have to set up a couple in close proximity on my test bench and see if operating one stirs the other.

 

I will add your info to the summary to Hornby.

 

Edit: it has also been reported that there can be ‘rogue’ addresses where a loco or point will misbehave if its address is set at a certain number or multiple of it.

 

Rob

Edited by RAFHAAA96

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Hi,

 

I've had a response from Hornby, but just asking for the type of controller being used. I've let them know and await further communication.

 

Rob H.

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Hi,

 

I've had a response from Hornby, but just asking for the type of controller being used. I've let them know and await further communication.

 

Rob H.

 

Just as important is the firmware revision state of a controller as folk other than Hornby also update their kit which could affect the outcome of any inter-make testing being carried out in each of their back shops.

 

Rob

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Just as important is the firmware revision state of a controller as folk other than Hornby also update their kit which could affect the outcome of any inter-make testing being carried out in each of their back shops.

 

Rob

I did include the firmware version, V3.20, which seems to be the current one, in my mail back to them.

 

Rob H.

Edited by mezzoman253

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I did include the firmware version, V3.20, which seems to be the current one, in my mail back to them.

 

Rob H.

Hi Rob

I'm pretty new to DCC but I had this problem with TTS chips - I only have a small test plank but I found that if one of my locos still had the factory setting of 3 because I hadn't programed it yet, it would cause the other locos to move, as soon as it was programed all was fine, I use a Powercab BTW.

Rob

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Just as important is the firmware revision state of a controller as folk other than Hornby also update their kit which could affect the outcome of any inter-make testing being carried out in each of their back shops.

 

Rob

 

 

Just for info: the Firmware on my ECoS is 4.2.4.

 

John

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Thanks Rob H.

Could Richard Croft, JJGraphics and Cravensdmufan please add as much detail requested as possible, then I can send a summary off to Hornby for imvestigation.

I appreciate visiting stock may not be available to interogate.

Rob

Rob - apologies for the delay in my reply.

 

I list below CV values as requested, but I should emphasise that since adding a Tam Valley 5amp booster to my NCE Powercab and also upgrading the bus wire supply along with putting in rail breaks in the track ovals and using end to end bus wires rather than complete circuits, all my TTS fitted locos have behaved faultlessly. Seems to have cured all previous problems of run aways and the sudden unexpected start ups.

 

In my particular case I now reckon that those problems were caused by my layout wiring rather than the decoders!

 

So you probably will not wish to include my system set up in your report to Hornby.

 

But for information, details are as follows:

 

My system: NCE Powercab v 1.65 upgraded to 5amps with Tam Valley booster.

 

Decoders: (all Hornby TTS are boxed stand alones (no early ones that were removed from TTS fitted locos as supplied by certain sellers).

 

R8118 Class 20 (fitted to older Bachmann 8 pin locos): CV7=132, CV156=159, CV157=5, CV159=159.

 

R8101 Class 31 (fitted to Hornby super detailed, not Railroad locos): CV7=128, CV156 and CV157 “cannot read CV”, CV 159=161.

 

R8102 Class 37 (fitted to Bachmann 21 pin locos using Lais DCC 21 to 8 pin adapters): CV7=132, CV156=147, CV157=6, CV159=147.

 

R8103 Class 47 (fitted to Bachmann 21 pin locos using Lais DCC 21 to 8 pin adapters): CV7=132, CV156=149, CV157=6, C159=149.

 

R8104 Class 60 (fitted to Hornby locos): CV7=132, CV156=163, CV157=5, CV159=163.

 

R3602TTS HST Valenta (factory fitted): CV7=133, CV156=181, CV157=5, CV159=181.

 

Usually I have 6 or 7 TTS fitted locos plus 4 or 5 Loksound and Zimo fitted ones on the layout at any one time - two moving on main lines and one moving around the yard. The 5amp Tam Valley upgrade easily copes with all these, whereas before when just using the basic Powercab starter system it was certainly struggling.  That's when strange things were happening.

 

Can't really add any more, but I shall still follow this topic with interest.

 

Best regards,

 

Vivian

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If changing from the oiginal output, to that of a booster has changed the nature of the problem (eg by curing it) I would expect it to be more due to the shape of the output waveform (and its source's driving abilities) - rather than the layout wiring which hasn't changed ???

 

Eg - as I have shown previously - the output waveform of a Select** is very different form that of a Roco AMplifier or Z21 .... but I do not have examples of all makes so I draw no comparison.  ** and varied dramatically with differing loads.

 

(Beware: as in an earlier cautionary posting of mine  - if a new controller has a higher output current capability than the previous controller - remember to check that the wiring STILL meets the short-circuit protection safety requirement - as larger currents must now be accepted !)

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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to provide the details requested.

 

I have summarised the forum input and collated all the provided data into a spreadsheet which has gone off to Hornby for review, investigation and hopefully feedback of useful suggestion as to what can be done to sort these odd events.

 

As Phil says it may be the larger power supply is providing a stronger (more stable?) DCC waveform and that is the crux of the matter, as this seems to have cured most of the events.

 

Re the Select - I have seen that one of the reasons it is non NMRA compliant is because it does not have a separate Programming output, using as it does effectively POM which is not current limited per the NMRA requirement obviously. I agree the errant waveform can be improved simply by putting a couple of locos on track to load it.

 

Once I hear back from Hornby I will report back to this thread.

 

Rob

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Hi, Today I've been able to prove something I thought may be happening but wasn't sure of, thinking I'd just forgotten to turn a function off.

 

Previously I'd found loco address 4 had a function set when I first turned on the controller, perhaps due to me forgetting to turn it off.

 

So today I turned on the controller, initially set for address 3, and then went to address 4. Function F1 was lit. The loco for that address, a non-sound loco was not on the track.

 

So I turned off the function, turned off the track power, put loco 4 on the track, powered up and cleared F1 and checked no other functions were lit. 

 

Then removed loco 4 and turned off the controller. On switching the controller back on  F1 was lit again on loco 4! 

 

I now have to investigate that problem.

 

Rob H.

Edited by mezzoman253

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Hi, Today I've been able to prove something I thought may be happening but wasn't sure of, thinking I'd just forgotten to turn a function off.

 

Previously I'd found loco address 4 had a function set when I first turned on the controller, perhaps due to me forgetting to turn it off.

 

So today I turned on the controller, initially set for address 3, and then went to address 4. Function F1 was lit. The loco for that address, a non-sound loco was not on the track.

 

So I turned off the function, turned off the track power, put loco 4 on the track, powered up and cleared F1 and checked no other functions were lit. 

 

Then removed loco 4 and turned off the controller. On switching the controller back on  F1 was lit again on loco 4! 

 

I now have to investigate that problem.

 

Rob H.

That's really weird!  I never heard of that before.

 

What type of non sound decoder is in the loco with address 4?

 

Just wondering, could you try using long addresses instead?  May cure the problem (a long shot, I know!).

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Hi, Today I've been able to prove something I thought may be happening but wasn't sure of, thinking I'd just forgotten to turn a function off.

 

Previously I'd found loco address 4 had a function set when I first turned on the controller, perhaps due to me forgetting to turn it off.

 

So today I turned on the controller, initially set for address 3, and then went to address 4. Function F1 was lit. The loco for that address, a non-sound loco was not on the track.

 

So I turned off the function, turned off the track power, put loco 4 on the track, powered up and cleared F1 and checked no other functions were lit. 

 

Then removed loco 4 and turned off the controller. On switching the controller back on  F1 was lit again on loco 4! 

 

I now have to investigate that problem.

 

Rob H.

Update:-

 

I've done this several times now and address 4 always has a function operated when the controller is first switched on.

 

So I've reprogrammed the decoder in that loco to 7430 (37 430) and address 4 is now clear.

 

I then repeated what I'd done before and no functions were on in that address 7430 or in address 4. 

 

All 4 loco's, 3 sound and one non-sound are sitting on the track with no functions activated. After 50 minutes nothing has stirred.

 

Rob

 

Edit to address question above:- DCC Concepts DP4SAP

Edited by mezzoman253

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Update:-

 

I've done this several times now and address 4 always has a function operated when the controller is first switched on.

 

So I've reprogrammed the decoder in that loco to 7430 (37 430) and address 4 is now clear.

 

I then repeated what I'd done before and no functions were on in that address 7430 or in address 4. 

 

 

I would ask your system maker to investigate why Address 4 always has a function turned on when the system is powered up.   Could be something you're doing, or could be a fault at their end. 

 

Your experiments seem to indicate the problem comes from the command station.     

 

 

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I would ask your system maker to investigate why Address 4 always has a function turned on when the system is powered up.   Could be something you're doing, or could be a fault at their end. 

 

Your experiments seem to indicate the problem comes from the command station.     

 

 

Hi, I'd agree with that and it's probably me doing something wrong rather than the controller. But I will pop them an email. 

 

Thanks,

 

Rob H.

 

Edit to update elapsed time, nearly 3 hours now and no random startups or movement of any loco.

Edited by mezzoman253

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Have you tried a reset on the errant kit. I have occassionally had a controller playing silly beggars and sorted it with a reset.

Rob

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Have you tried a reset on the errant kit. I have occassionally had a controller playing silly beggars and sorted it with a reset.

Rob

No, I haven't as yet. I'll have to read the manual for that. I've sent an email to Signa-Trak with a brief explanation and referred to this thread. So I'll await a response whilst reading up on a reset.

 

Rob H.

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Precised commentary from Hornby ref my summary of events sent to them about this thread...

 

[... the condition of the track DCC power signal is probably the key. Your summary and spreadsheet seems to lead to this conclusion… the electrical characteristics of the “DCC system” could be changed in subtle ways by small or large changes in the system...which could affect the DCC signal condition... including the power supply.

...If there were “real” bugs in the TTS PIC code the issue could be reproduced at will once a trigger is known... we have carried out extensive testing re reports from users in the past... and carried out fixes which were required in order to deal with a “real” issue… we also have carried out “apparent fixes” to get round issues with some controllers “normal operation,” which can only be described as an “interpretation” of the NMRA guidelines re designing for DCC.

... installation of a bus-wire system gets round any chance of breaks in track continuity as a result of poor fishplates, etc...use of insulated rail joiners to break closed track loops is recommended but only when a proper bus-wire system is installed, else it may add to unreliability of track power if the track is the sole transmitter of power/DCC signal.

...resetting a decoder and/or controller is always a good first step in resolving a problem.]

.................

 

From that we users can glean that a more than adequate power supply allied to a proper track bus-wire system is key to getting a solid DCC signal onto the track. Interesting that they recommend a break in any continous track loops but only if a bus is installed. The reason being that a closed track loop fed from a single source can feed both ways and any unreliable track joint(s) would compromise that dual route, whereas a bus-wire bypasses any dodgy connections and the IRJs in the track loops act to prevent any signal distortion, I suppose by way of a closed track loop emulating an antenna. There has been previous forum talk that if terminators/snubbers/etc are installed they should be tuned to the track length to properly damp this antenna effect - this is outwith my scope of knowledge to comment further.

 

I hope this has helped explain why it is thought these odd events are happening and what can be done to preclude them and assure forum members that Hornby do take such problems seriously and actively work to sort them out.

Rob

Edited by RAFHAAA96
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Precised commentary from Hornby ref my summary of events sent to them about this thread...

 

[... the condition of the track DCC power signal is probably the key. Your summary and spreadsheet seems to lead to this conclusion… the electrical characteristics of the “DCC system” could be changed in subtle ways by small or large changes in the system...which could affect the DCC signal condition... including the power supply.

...If there were “real” bugs in the TTS PIC code the issue could be reproduced at will once a trigger is known... we have carried out extensive testing re reports from users in the past... and carried out fixes which were required in order to deal with a “real” issue… we also have carried out “apparent fixes” to get round issues with some controllers “normal operation,” which can only be described as an “interpretation” of the NMRA guidelines re designing for DCC.

... installation of a bus-wire system gets round any chance of breaks in track continuity as a result of poor fishplates, etc...use of insulated rail joiners to break closed track loops is recommended but only when a proper bus-wire system is installed, else it may add to unreliability of track power if the track is the sole transmitter of power/DCC signal.

...resetting a decoder and/or controller is always a good first step in resolving a problem.]

.................

 

From that we users can glean that a more than adequate power supply allied to a proper track bus-wire system is key to getting a solid DCC signal onto the track. Interesting that they recommend a break in any continous track loops but only if a bus is installed. The reason being that a closed track loop fed from a single source can feed both ways and any unreliable track joint(s) would compromise that dual route, whereas a bus-wire bypasses any dodgy connections and the IRJs in the track loops act to prevent any signal distortion, I suppose by way of a closed track loop emulating an antenna. There has been previous forum talk that if terminators/snubbers/etc are installed they should be tuned to the track length to properly damp this antenna effect - this is outwith my scope of knowledge to comment further.

 

I hope this has helped explain why it is thought these odd events are happening and what can be done to preclude them and assure forum members that Hornby do take such problems seriously and actively work to sort them out.

Rob

Thanks very much Rob for collating the information and submitting it to Hornby. And very well done Hornby for responding so quickly with such an informative reply.

 

It more or less confirms my theory that reliability of decoders (and not just TTS) is achieved by adequate and stable power supply to tracks by means of a good non circular bus wire and plenty of feeds (who said DCC was just a case of feeding two wires into a layout?!) and of course clean track and wheels. I noticed an immediate difference after I upgraded my layout wiring and upped the system amps.  Kevin from Coastal DCC told me some time ago that decoders can get confused if the bus wire and track circuits are in a continuous loop.

 

I also find it is important with TTS to fine tune each decoder to suit it's loco by means of adjusting the relevant CV's, particulary those associated with CV150.  I have got ultra smooth running as a result, equal to any of my "high end" decoders. Also, don't assume that for example one Bachmann 47 will need the same CV settings as another Bachmann 47!

 

There are those that will criticise TTS but I have found the products excellent after careful adjustment and upgraded speakers  Sure, it all takes a little time, but well worth it.

 

Looking forward to the new releases for classes 08 and 50!   

Edited by cravensdmufan

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There are those that will criticise TTS but I have found the products excellent after careful adjustment and upgraded speakers  Sure, it all takes a little time, but well worth it.

I think most criticism of TTS is unfair. They do lack some functionality of an ESU or Zimo, notably less fine motor control, less concurrent sounds & no advanced consisting but they are also less than half the cost.

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I've heard back from Fraser at Signa-trak, and he hasn't found anything during his investigations. I'm still waiting on Hornby, but I think this is not a TTS problem after all.

 

Rob H.

Edited by mezzoman253

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For what it’s worth, I’ve had 3 locos running with Loksound decoders for several years with no issues. This week I finally managed to fit a TTS decoder into a Hornby Railroad 9F.   All seemed fine for several days, but yesterday, with no warning, the 9F , which was idling in a siding, suddenly took off at full speed and required swift “hand of God” intervention to prevent a major collision.

I have a Sprogg 3 controller.  Seems unlikely that this was a coincidence, and that more likely the TTS is less tolerant of noise.

I do have it set to the default 03 address.  I assumed that was ok since my other 3 locos have different addresses.

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I had a couple of class 40 tts locos and both were prone to suddenly shoot off at full speed. Never found the casue but they were the only locos to do it

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