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Speedmatching DCC Sound and Non Sound Fitted Locomotives on the NCE Powercab DCC Controller


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2 hours ago, DRS Crewe On A Mission said:

 

That's most interesting and I had a feeling that the type of decoder as well as the motor in individual locos would also play a part in the difference of speed and momentum in individual locos. Except the Dapol Class 68s that I have I think that all the rest of my locos are fitted with the Bachmann 21 Pin 36-557 decoders. I find that the Bachmann decoders operate faultlessly, they respond really well with my current and previous DCC controllers and they are a good all rounder. I only used the Dapol Imperium decoders for the 68s because the 68s require the decoders to have more functions to operate the various type of independently controlled lighting. 

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

 

 

Thank you very much for the reply and the information. 

 

That's what I'm thinking, because I have a variety of different classes of DRS locos produced by various manufacturers it's easy for example to form some trains using the same brand of locos and decoders and just put the locos into a consist, but as Bachmann and Accurascale release the 20/3s and 37s next year this is going to increase the fleet I have produced by different manufacturers and with most likely different motors. 

 

So if I was to leave my wire connected to the layout and all of the locos on it, do I need to programme on the main track or programme on the service track when changing CVs and their values? Provided that I select the correct loco and consist addresses is their any chance that for example CVs and values may end up changed on loco/s that I don't wish to change? If you think that this could happen and it's too risky to use the layout with the loco fleet on, I will try and find somewhere suitable to set up a circuit of track on. That's excellent idea by using cardboard or newspaper if for example I don't want to set up the track on carpet on have the space to put boards on the floor. 

 

Thank you in advance. 

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

Hi Danny,

 

When speed matching it's much better to program "on the main" as you can see the locos moving as you're doing it.  Locos won't move on a program / service track due to the very low voltage created when you select Program Track on your Powercab.  So if you change a speed CV on your Program track you'd have to keep putting  the loco back on the main layout to see the effect of the change.

 

I keep banging on about a circle of track because IMO it makes it so easy as it's compact.  But if you have a roundy roundy layout you could use that.

 

So, I'll give an example:  You have a Bachmann Class 37.  We'll call it Loco A.  You adjust CV5 so that it runs at a scale maximum 90mph.  You then set CV3 to so that it accelerates how you want it.  Then you set CV4 so that it decelerates how you want it.  (Also CV6 for mid speed if your decoder allows it).  Now Loco A is your "standard" Class 37 to which all your other 37s (and any other locos that you want to run in multiple with it) will be matched to. 

 

Put that 37 (Loco A) on your track circle.   Get your second 37 (Loco B) and put it on the track circle opposite Loco A.  Select Loco A and whack it straight up to max speed steps and lightly steady it still with your hand while you select Loco B then whack that up to maximum speed steps and release Loco A from your hand.  So now you have both locos going round the circle, loco B will probably be catching up with loco A quite rapidly.  On the Powercab press PROG/ESC Select Program On Main [ENTER] and make sure Loco Bs address is on the screen (it should already be there as that's the loco you last entered). It says PROG LOCO:  Press [ENTER] then 2 then  PROG CV NUM: 5.  Press [ENTER].  Then you get ENTER VALUE:  Use the thumbwheel to reduce or increase the value of CV5 until you see the loco is going round the circle at exactly the same speed as Loco A.  Press [ENTER] then PROG/ESC to take you back to the start. Voila! :)   That's both locos matched with the same maximum speed.  Then you need to adjust CV's 3 and 4 on loco B to match the acceleration and deceleration performance of Loco A.

 

I hope all that makes sense.  It works because I just did it with a couple of locos while I was typing!

 

A couple of things to bear in mind:

 

1. Make sure that the locos that you are speed matching are properly run in and lubricated and in perfect smooth running condition.

 

2. With sound fitted locos, different suppliers' projects respond differently to throttle settings.  So unless you use the same providers sound for your (for example) pair of 37s then they will usually sound bad running together.  Paul Chetter told me a good tip - that's to mute one of the locos.  

 

3.  Even though you have the same type of loco from the same manufacturer, released about the same time and with identical decoders you may need different CV settings to get them running the same.  From experience I can tell you I have a Bachmann 37 406 and a 37 428.  Purchased brand new from the same shop on the same day.  Both newly released by Bachmann at the same time, and new fresh stock in the retailer at the time.  I fitted identical decoders in each.  For a reasonable maximum speed one needed CV5 =152, the other CV5 = 206 to get them to run nicely together!  How bizarre was that?  So you really do need to take your time and experiment!  But as I said before, once it's done, it's done!

 

In answer to your final question - as long as you're careful and type in the loco addresses that you are speed matching, then no other loco's decoders will be affected.  So yes, you can leave your wires to the circle attached to the main layout.

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Bit of an update. The two Locos are both Mainline 56's and both have Zimo MX637P22 decoders fitted. On the test track, starting them on opposite sides of the track, they are pretty evenly matched but eventually after quite a few minues of running one will catch the other. When coupled together startup can be a little irratic with slight differences in when they take off and kind of nudging each other which can result in a momentary loss of power. I'm a little disppointed with this as they've both got stay alive but the cap's probably aren't large enough. If I pay careful attention lining everything up I can get them to pull nicely at slow speeds, it isn't 'perfectly' smooth though and I do fear for de-rails. I will say that the test track isn't great, its a mixture of steel and nickel rails and the curves are first radius, so on the positive side there should be scope for improvement with properly fitted track. These do look pretty evenly matched, is it possible to get an exact speed match?

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Do most of these replies not overlook the fact that one loco is sound, and therefore almost certainly has a long start-up sequence before it even moves off. Matching them once moving is only half the battle. Some decoders (ESU IIRC) have an ability to include a starting delay on non-sound decoders, for this reason.

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2 minutes ago, njee20 said:

Do most of these replies not overlook the fact that one loco is sound, and therefore almost certainly has a long start-up sequence before it even moves off. Matching them once moving is only half the battle. Some decoders (ESU IIRC) have an ability to include a starting delay on non-sound decoders, for this reason.

 

Well the acceleration (CV3) has been discussed in the thread, and I suspect that was my main issue when using two different decoders. I do know what you mean though, I have another brand new Hornby 56 with a Loksound 5 sound decoder and it won't do anything until its been through its startup sequence. Even when I turn the throttle, I'm not exactly sure when it will take off or how long it will take to get the desired speed.   

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4 minutes ago, njee20 said:

Do most of these replies not overlook the fact that one loco is sound, and therefore almost certainly has a long start-up sequence before it even moves off. Matching them once moving is only half the battle. Some decoders (ESU IIRC) have an ability to include a starting delay on non-sound decoders, for this reason.

That is a very good point.  But in my experience the long start up sequence is when you press F1 to activate the sound.  Once F1 has been triggered and the sound has "settled" (up to about a minute on a couple of projects I have) the sound and no sound fitted locos will move off more or less at the same time on speed step 1 or 2.  There may be a slight delay on the sound one, but at speed step 1/128 then the other will just push or pull momentarily, but hardly noticeable.

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4 minutes ago, cravensdmufan said:

That is a very good point.  But in my experience the long start up sequence is when you press F1 to activate the sound.  Once F1 has been triggered and the sound has "settled" (up to about a minute on a couple of projects I have) the sound and no sound fitted locos will move off more or less at the same time on speed step 1 or 2.  There may be a slight delay on the sound one, but at speed step 1/128 then the other will just push or pull momentarily, but hardly noticeable.

 

I haven't had the sound fitted 56 for long, I've never had sound before. When you say 'settled', is it just a question of listening until the engine sounds like it 'idling'? I get the impression that mine has a brake release and consequentially a slight delay too before moving off. I will pay a bit more attention the next time I run it.

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2 minutes ago, APT Fan said:

 

I haven't had the sound fitted 56 for long, I've never had sound before. When you say 'settled', is it just a question of listening until the engine sounds like it 'idling'? I get the impression that mine has a brake release and consequentially a slight delay too before moving off. I will pay a bit more attention the next time I run it.

Yes, there is usually a air brake release sound before movement with the first speed step - some projects slightly longer than others.  But at speed step 1 or 2 the non sound loco won't be giving the other too much of a push or pull.  Assuming 128 speed steps of course, which I think most people use.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, APT Fan said:

.When you say 'settled', is it just a question of listening until the engine sounds like it 'idling'?

Yes.  On my Coastal DCC Class 47 you have to wait around a minute before the loco can be moved on speed step 1.  You can hear when the sound has eventually settled and idling consistently.

 

As most sound projects have been written differently, trial and error is what's needed I guess.   

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9 minutes ago, cravensdmufan said:

Yes.  On my Coastal DCC Class 47 you have to wait around a minute before the loco can be moved on speed step 1.  You can hear when the sound has eventually settled and idling consistently.

 

As most sound projects have been written differently, trial and error is what's needed I guess.   

 

It is a Coastal DCC decoder! Its very good, although I would like the horn sound to be longer. I have another Mainline 56 on the bench ready for DCC conversion, make a good candidate for testing this when its ready. 

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3 minutes ago, APT Fan said:

 

It is a Coastal DCC decoder! Its very good, although I would like the horn sound to be longer. I have another Mainline 56 on the bench ready for DCC conversion, make a good candidate for testing this when its ready. 

Please let us know how you get on.  I'm interested in others experiences.  I still have a lot to learn regarding DCC especially the JMRI system.

 

All my posts above are from my own experiences and I made a lot of mistakes in the early days.  But the great thing about CVs is that you can't really spoil anything as you can always do a CV8=8 and start again!  Though I wouldn't start playing with non speed CVs on expensive sound decoders for fear of messing up the audio project.

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1 hour ago, APT Fan said:

 

Well the acceleration (CV3) has been discussed in the thread, and I suspect that was my main issue when using two different decoders. I do know what you mean though, I have another brand new Hornby 56 with a Loksound 5 sound decoder and it won't do anything until its been through its startup sequence. Even when I turn the throttle, I'm not exactly sure when it will take off or how long it will take to get the desired speed.   

Exactly, it's nothing to do with CV3, which is only a factor once the loco is moving. You can counter this by only turning the sound on once the pair are moving, but I'd suggest it's not ideal to move to speed step one and have one loco 'pulling' until the other one goes through the start up sequence.

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18 hours ago, cravensdmufan said:

Hi Danny,

 

When speed matching it's much better to program "on the main" as you can see the locos moving as you're doing it.  Locos won't move on a program / service track due to the very low voltage created when you select Program Track on your Powercab.  So if you change a speed CV on your Program track you'd have to keep putting  the loco back on the main layout to see the effect of the change.

 

I keep banging on about a circle of track because IMO it makes it so easy as it's compact.  But if you have a roundy roundy layout you could use that.

 

So, I'll give an example:  You have a Bachmann Class 37.  We'll call it Loco A.  You adjust CV5 so that it runs at a scale maximum 90mph.  You then set CV3 to so that it accelerates how you want it.  Then you set CV4 so that it decelerates how you want it.  (Also CV6 for mid speed if your decoder allows it).  Now Loco A is your "standard" Class 37 to which all your other 37s (and any other locos that you want to run in multiple with it) will be matched to. 

 

Put that 37 (Loco A) on your track circle.   Get your second 37 (Loco B) and put it on the track circle opposite Loco A.  Select Loco A and whack it straight up to max speed steps and lightly steady it still with your hand while you select Loco B then whack that up to maximum speed steps and release Loco A from your hand.  So now you have both locos going round the circle, loco B will probably be catching up with loco A quite rapidly.  On the Powercab press PROG/ESC Select Program On Main [ENTER] and make sure Loco Bs address is on the screen (it should already be there as that's the loco you last entered). It says PROG LOCO:  Press [ENTER] then 2 then  PROG CV NUM: 5.  Press [ENTER].  Then you get ENTER VALUE:  Use the thumbwheel to reduce or increase the value of CV5 until you see the loco is going round the circle at exactly the same speed as Loco A.  Press [ENTER] then PROG/ESC to take you back to the start. Voila! :)   That's both locos matched with the same maximum speed.  Then you need to adjust CV's 3 and 4 on loco B to match the acceleration and deceleration performance of Loco A.

 

I hope all that makes sense.  It works because I just did it with a couple of locos while I was typing!

 

A couple of things to bear in mind:

 

1. Make sure that the locos that you are speed matching are properly run in and lubricated and in perfect smooth running condition.

 

2. With sound fitted locos, different suppliers' projects respond differently to throttle settings.  So unless you use the same providers sound for your (for example) pair of 37s then they will usually sound bad running together.  Paul Chetter told me a good tip - that's to mute one of the locos.  

 

3.  Even though you have the same type of loco from the same manufacturer, released about the same time and with identical decoders you may need different CV settings to get them running the same.  From experience I can tell you I have a Bachmann 37 406 and a 37 428.  Purchased brand new from the same shop on the same day.  Both newly released by Bachmann at the same time, and new fresh stock in the retailer at the time.  I fitted identical decoders in each.  For a reasonable maximum speed one needed CV5 =152, the other CV5 = 206 to get them to run nicely together!  How bizarre was that?  So you really do need to take your time and experiment!  But as I said before, once it's done, it's done!

 

In answer to your final question - as long as you're careful and type in the loco addresses that you are speed matching, then no other loco's decoders will be affected.  So yes, you can leave your wires to the circle attached to the main layout.

 

Thank you very much for such a detailed response. I really appreciate it. 

 

That's excellent and it has helped my understanding so much. I have just thought of one last question. So when I have locos A and B running around the track and I'm undertaking the speedmatching, should I be judging the value/s that I should be changing on the CVs for each loco just purely by judging on how fast they are going around the track and how fast one loco is catching up to the other? Or is their another way in which I should be judging on what numbers to enter for the new values?

 

That is really bizarre that the 37s were bought from the same manufacturer, same batch, at the same time and fitted with the exact same decoder and they both required different values to run them together with speedmatching. I would have never have known these thins if you and others hadn't of told me. Speedmatching really is a learning curve. 

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

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Thank you very much to everyone for all of the replies and the info. It's greatly appreciated. 

 

If I manage to sort out the speedmatching I will either let the sound loco start up before moving it, speedmatched with the other non sound loco, or I won't operate any of the sound functions until the pair are moving together and then I will start using the sound features, once both locos have got moving. 

 

Thank you. 

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

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1 hour ago, DRS Crewe On A Mission said:

 

Thank you very much for such a detailed response. I really appreciate it. 

 

That's excellent and it has helped my understanding so much. I have just thought of one last question. So when I have locos A and B running around the track and I'm undertaking the speedmatching, should I be judging the value/s that I should be changing on the CVs for each loco just purely by judging on how fast they are going around the track and how fast one loco is catching up to the other? Or is their another way in which I should be judging on what numbers to enter for the new values?

 

That is really bizarre that the 37s were bought from the same manufacturer, same batch, at the same time and fitted with the exact same decoder and they both required different values to run them together with speedmatching. I would have never have known these thins if you and others hadn't of told me. Speedmatching really is a learning curve. 

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

You need to judge the speeds with your eye Danny.  The numbers are usually a bit meaningless, especially if you're using different brand decoders.

 

I am actually conducting some experiments right now.  I have a Loksound v4 Legomanbiffo consisted with a Bachmann non sound decoder (both Class 37s, but that's irrelevant for the exercise).  I've speed matched both in CV3 4 and 5.  I'm pleased to report that they both move off together on speed step 2.  Neither moves on step 1.  There is no snatching when the noise of the air brake release is heard.  So all is well in that regard. Also both cruise along nicely at all speeds.

 

But I have come across one problem (nothing disastrous!) , more of which later after I've done a few more tests.  Further report later.

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OK folks - well I spent a few hours speed matching a couple of Bachmann 37s, just as an experiment really.

 

Originally both were sound fitted, so I took one Loksound out temporarily, and replaced it with a non-sound decoder.

 

So, I got the locos speed matched OK but then I hit a couple of problems:

 

1. At first I opted for a Bachmann non-sound decoder, one that I purchased maybe 10 years ago when I first started out in DCC.  But when I came to put them in consist the non sound loco didn't move at all!  I was using the "Advanced consist"  option on the Powercab.  After a couple more tries I swapped it for another Bachmann but still no joy.  Then I realised that the early Bachmann decoders may not support "Advanced consist" so I tried the "Old Style consist" option, and it worked.  But the problem is "Old style" only supports 28 speed steps.  Not ideal!  So I swapped  the decoder for a more modern Hattons 21 pin, speed matched that and the two locos running together were very good, but not quite perfect.  My Legoman sound chip in the 37 is quite an old one and to trigger a burst of sound you have to quickly wind up the throttle then drop it back rapidly.  Well of course the non sound decoder didn't like that too much!  So I need to look at mid speed CV6 and also CVs 3 and 4 again.  Using a more recent Biffo version would be easier, as you can trigger engine sounds while holding the locos speed constant using F8.   

 

2.  At certain mid speeds there was a slight fighting between locos, but only on the sharp curves under my hidden sections.  I have a feeling this could be cured with BEMF adjustment.

 

So all in all quite a good experiment to prove it can be done, but it really is trial and error.  I might do a bit more tomorrow.

 

I really must investigate the speed curves / JMRI option further. 

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On 19/11/2020 at 16:47, cravensdmufan said:

You need to judge the speeds with your eye Danny.  The numbers are usually a bit meaningless, especially if you're using different brand decoders.

 

I am actually conducting some experiments right now.  I have a Loksound v4 Legomanbiffo consisted with a Bachmann non sound decoder (both Class 37s, but that's irrelevant for the exercise).  I've speed matched both in CV3 4 and 5.  I'm pleased to report that they both move off together on speed step 2.  Neither moves on step 1.  There is no snatching when the noise of the air brake release is heard.  So all is well in that regard. Also both cruise along nicely at all speeds.

 

But I have come across one problem (nothing disastrous!) , more of which later after I've done a few more tests.  Further report later.

 

On 19/11/2020 at 19:55, cravensdmufan said:

OK folks - well I spent a few hours speed matching a couple of Bachmann 37s, just as an experiment really.

 

Originally both were sound fitted, so I took one Loksound out temporarily, and replaced it with a non-sound decoder.

 

So, I got the locos speed matched OK but then I hit a couple of problems:

 

1. At first I opted for a Bachmann non-sound decoder, one that I purchased maybe 10 years ago when I first started out in DCC.  But when I came to put them in consist the non sound loco didn't move at all!  I was using the "Advanced consist"  option on the Powercab.  After a couple more tries I swapped it for another Bachmann but still no joy.  Then I realised that the early Bachmann decoders may not support "Advanced consist" so I tried the "Old Style consist" option, and it worked.  But the problem is "Old style" only supports 28 speed steps.  Not ideal!  So I swapped  the decoder for a more modern Hattons 21 pin, speed matched that and the two locos running together were very good, but not quite perfect.  My Legoman sound chip in the 37 is quite an old one and to trigger a burst of sound you have to quickly wind up the throttle then drop it back rapidly.  Well of course the non sound decoder didn't like that too much!  So I need to look at mid speed CV6 and also CVs 3 and 4 again.  Using a more recent Biffo version would be easier, as you can trigger engine sounds while holding the locos speed constant using F8.   

 

2.  At certain mid speeds there was a slight fighting between locos, but only on the sharp curves under my hidden sections.  I have a feeling this could be cured with BEMF adjustment.

 

So all in all quite a good experiment to prove it can be done, but it really is trial and error.  I might do a bit more tomorrow.

 

I really must investigate the speed curves / JMRI option further. 

 

Thank you, as always for the reply and the info. 

 

I thought it might be judging with the eye, as opposed to actually reading numbers on the controller. I know exactly what you mean, I had the same experience in 2017 when I bought my NCE Powercab controller and then I realised that the old version of the Bachmann 21 Pin Decoder wasn't compatible with the new controller. As a result every time I increased the speed step when moving each loco the lights would go on and off and I couldn't even add locos to or create a consist with the old type Bachmann decoders. So I had to buy quite a few of the new style Bachmann decoders to allow the lights to operate normally again and so that I could add locos to and create consists again. 

 

Thank you for all of the help. It's greatly appreciated. 

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Danny. 

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