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anthony allen

Programming Loco on DCC for virgins

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Hi all out there on RM web.

 

I have a small DCC layout and I'm using the NEC Power cab and whilst I can get engines to run with sound and light I cannot seem for the life of me to reprogram the individual Loco number on the power cab.

 

I do not have a program track so I would have to do this on the main layout.

 

I know that it is important to remove all engines from the main layout save for the the one you wish to reprogram but I still seem to be struggling.

 

Any good tips out there for Newby's like me?

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Make yourself a programming track

 

buy yourself a SPROG.

 

Download JMRI

 

And make life easy for yourself

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I totally endorse Meil's advice. You will spend far more time "faffing around" by NOT taking up the suggestion. Using JMRI/SPROG as a decoder programming toolkit is a lot easier than you might be led to believe.

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Make yourself a programming track. 

Either fit a DPDT switch, or buy and fit the NCE Autoswitch to separate "main line" from "programming track". 

 

Optionally buy the NCE USB adaptor. Download JMRI and .....

 

In total, comes out at about the same price as a Sprog.  Does slightly different things, so depends on aims. 

 

- Nigel 

 

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I agree.

IMHO JMRI is the best DCC accessory you can use, you then have a tabular record of all the CV settings that each individual locomotive has as well.

Makes life easy setting up sounds & lights etc.

 

Having a seperate Sprog would be my recommendation but as Nigel states, it can be done with just the NCE kit.

 

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If all you want to do is to change the loco address, the NCE Power Cab should be able to do that, no problems, without buying any additional equipment.

You could make up a programming track but if, as you say, you have and are happy to remove everything else from the track, that's not necessary.

If you have a mind to start a more concerted attack on the decoder, then a Sprog/JMRI would be useful, but not essential.

I expect you're following the instruction manual so, when you try to change the address, what happens?

Bob

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Mr. Allen,

As the title of the topic suggests, you are likely to be relatively new to DCC.

You have a small layout and probably a small stud of locos that require unique addresses.

At this stage, your driving ambition will be to have them all individually numbered so that you can command them appropriately.

It will take time for you turn your attention to the speed curve of a heavy freight, the annoyance of train announcements in the goods yard, that one loco goes much faster than all the others on the same speed setting. When that happens, think about a Sprog / JMRI and watch your railway time disappear into messing around with CVs rather than playing trains.

For the time being, focus on a simple address change. Presumably to match the loco running number. That way you don't need to worry about developing a data base to records all the data that, one day, will become an obsession. 

 

So, tell us what the problem is.

Bob

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You should be able to change the numbers using CV 1

 

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8 minutes ago, Alcanman said:

You should be able to change the numbers using CV 1

 

South East North umberland? Are you lost, bonny lad?

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If you only put one loco on the track at a time it's no problem, the powercab can do all the changes you will need. Pressing the PROG/ESC button (bottom left) repeatedly takes you through the options, either "Program on main" or "use program track". You don't need to have separate program track if you only have one loco on the layout, it will treat the whole layout as the program track. The NCE controller gives you step by step instructions - just follow them. There's no particular need to make this more complicated unless you want to.

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My neighbour has an NCE. He removes all the locos except the one for programming. These are the instructions I wrote for him:

1.       Select the loco as normal (for a new loco this will usually be 3)

2.       Press Proj/Esc to get ‘Program on Main’

3.       Press Enter to get Program loco 3 (or change it)

4.       Press Enter to get 1=ADR 2=CV 3=CFG

5.       Press 1 for Set Addr

6.       Press 1 for LONG

7.       Enter long ADDR using number pad for the address of the loco

8.       Press Enter and wait for the normal screen

 

Alternatively find a neighbour like me with a SPROG and JRMI.

 

Hope this helps.

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1 hour ago, RBAGE said:

When that happens, think about a Sprog / JMRI and watch your railway time disappear into messing around with CVs rather than playing trains.

For the time being, focus on a simple address change. Presumably to match the loco running number. That way you don't need to worry about developing a data base to records all the data that, one day, will become an obsession. 

 

 

Bob

If that's happening to you you need to change your focus.

My locos when new get a unique 4 digit address, they are run in and then any CVs that need adjusting are adjusted, that's it.

Unless there's a problem they just remain part of the database on JMRI, which I can use as a guide when I buy a new loco and decoder to use as a starting point.

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A few things which should get you going:

You can only read CVs (including the loco address) from the program track.

If you don't have a separate program track, the whole layout becomes a program track. Any change will just be broadcast instead of being sent to a particular address. This is why all other locos must be removed.

Grriff's list is not quite right, but it is close enough for you to follow. (Forget all about step1.  3 & 4 are slightly wrong).

If the screen says 1=Yes, then Enter=No. You'll see what I mean when you go through the menu.

 

Everything is in the manual, but there is a lot, which is why it is a hard read.

 

I agree with the above posts that JMRI is very helpful, particularly when you expand. It is not but not essential so I would not worry about it...yet.

Walk before you run & enjoy DCC. If & when you want more & feel the urge to change a few settings (& back these up without the hassle of writing them down), JMRI is an excellent tool for doing this.

 

Try not to get frustrated. You will soon get the hang of it. We were all new to DCC once.

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4 minutes ago, melmerby said:

If that's happening to you you need to change your focus.

My locos when new get a unique 4 digit address, they are run in and then any CVs that need adjusting are adjusted, that's it.

Unless there's a problem they just remain part of the database on JMRI, which I can use as a guide when I buy a new loco and decoder to use as a starting point.

That hasn't happened to me but I know blokes where it's almost an obsession. 

Address change, speed match for locos likely to double head, turn off functions that are of no use (train announcement etc). Maybe the odd kick start.

Then drive the trains myself. No need for speed curve adjustment if you're the driver.

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Gang many thanks for your comments and I am up and running with three of my four locos all running and assigned long Loco addresses - thanks you all so much!

 

my fourth loco I purchased from ebay and the chap does not know the Loco ID so will need to do a reset but I will ask that on a different topic

 

top work chaps much appreciated here

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1 minute ago, anthony allen said:

Gang many thanks for your comments and I am up and running with three of my four locos all running and assigned long Loco addresses - thanks you all so much!

 

my fourth loco I purchased from ebay and the chap does not know the Loco ID so will need to do a reset but I will ask that on a different topic

 

top work chaps much appreciated here

You don't need to re-set, just programme the number as you have already done. It simply overwrites what is already there.

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really !!! I will try that

 

its the only one I have not been able to move at all since the layout went live -

 

sorry to be thick but if I remove all the other "working" locos from the "main" and then give this  engine a new long address that should do it?

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13 minutes ago, anthony allen said:

really !!! I will try that

 

its the only one I have not been able to move at all since the layout went live -

 

sorry to be thick but if I remove all the other "working" locos from the "main" and then give this  engine a new long address that should do it?

 

This is why I wrote "get a programming track, and get an NCE Auto-switch" - they separate stuff out, so programming is clearer - programming track for Service Mode Programming.  

 

In Service Mode Programming, you don't need to know the decoder address.  You can read it back (it will tell you the address), and you can set the address without reading it if you wish.  

In Service Mode,  anything you write goes to EVERYTHING on the track (hence "remove all locos" in your current setup), and you can only read a single decoder (so two decoders on the track, and the result of a read is chaos).  

 

In Operations Mode Programming (programming on the main), the address of the loco has to be known as the programming instructions go to that specific address.   With Operations Mode, all other locos stay on the track.  (The "Momentum" button on your PowerCab performs Operations Mode Programming changes to the loco under current control).  

 

 

- Nigel

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36 minutes ago, anthony allen said:

Gang many thanks for your comments and I am up and running with three of my four locos all running and assigned long Loco addresses - thanks you all so much!

 

my fourth loco I purchased from ebay and the chap does not know the Loco ID so will need to do a reset but I will ask that on a different topic

 

top work chaps much appreciated here

Set it on track (on its own) and the NCE controller can tell you its address  - from "use program track" then you can reset it.

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thanks chaps - great responses

 

Michael  if I "Set it on track (on its own) and the NCE controller can tell you its address  - from "use program track" then you can reset it."

 

doing that "kills" the "main" obviously how do I get back after I have used the "main" as the programme track to the main again without losing the addresses of the other 3 Ive done - I hope that makes sense!

 

I am a DCC novice but definite convert!

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2 minutes ago, anthony allen said:

thanks chaps - great responses

 

Michael  if I "Set it on track (on its own) and the NCE controller can tell you its address  - from "use program track" then you can reset it."

 

doing that "kills" the "main" obviously how do I get back after I have used the "main" as the programme track to the main again without losing the addresses of the other 3 Ive done - I hope that makes sense!

 

I am a DCC novice but definite convert!

 

Your PowerCab (and layout) does not remember anything.   

Programming is setting (or reading) a value in a loco.   Service Mode programming (program track) will set values to every loco on the track at the moment it happens.  That's all Michael is suggesting.  

When finished with programming, exit from programming, and you're back to running the layout.  Replace all the locos on the track, and run them. 

 

 

I repeat, its a lot simpler to understand with some extra bits to separate the Programming Track from the Layout (main line).

 

 

- Nigel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, anthony allen said:

thanks chaps - great responses

 

Michael  if I "Set it on track (on its own) and the NCE controller can tell you its address  - from "use program track" then you can reset it."

 

doing that "kills" the "main" obviously how do I get back after I have used the "main" as the programme track to the main again without losing the addresses of the other 3 Ive done - I hope that makes sense!

 

I am a DCC novice but definite convert!

I did say you should only have one loco on the track at a time. To get back to normal just press the ESC button (repeat presses if necessary to get back to where you where) or you can just pull the plug out and plug it back in.....

The changes are all made in the loco decoder, nothing in the controller.

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