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DCC CONSISTING WITH SOUND

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Noel
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Enjoyed a running session earlier with a pair of Murphy Models CIE 181 class locos double header both running sound as an advanced DCC consist. Setting up an advanced consist is really easy on NCE, no CVs need to be manually managed. Baby GMs double heading was common in the 1960s and early 1970s until the 071 class arrived. Enjoy.

 

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44 minutes ago, DJ Dangerous said:

What is an Advanced Consist?

It's a straight forward process of pairing two locos to run together (double heading) on your layout. 

Basically, you log your two preferred loco numbers under one, on your controller. When you enter this number, both locos will work together. It's easily cancelled when you want to run each loco individually again.  

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6 minutes ago, JasonB said:

It's a straight forward process of pairing two locos to run together (double heading) on your layout. 

Basically, you log your two preferred loco numbers under one, on your controller. When you enter this number, both locos will work together. It's easily cancelled when you want to run each loco individually again.  

Some DCC systems have a setup menu that will easily set up a consist for you without having to manually setup CV19 in each loco. USA layouts can have consists with many locos (3-8). In this part of the world double heading (ie a pair) is the most, except for the early days in cork, when 3 steam locos used to be used to pull the cork-dublin express up the hill out of cork through the tunnel. Once up the hill one of the locos uncoupled and returned to cork yard. The GSWR 800 class were built to handle this by themselves and were amongst the most powerful steam locos in Ireland or GB, rivalling even the GWR castles for tractive effort if not the speed of the LMS princesses, nor LNER A4s.

PS: An alternative to using DCC consisting is to simply give two locos the same DCC address (ie but make sure they both travelling the the same direction for 'forward' CV21).

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3 minutes ago, DJ Dangerous said:

So as opposed to giving both locos the same address, which is a basic or universal consist (?), your controller acknowledges the advanced consist and sends the same signal to both addresses?

:) Something like that. It's a while since I read up on the detail of how its implemented. But the important thing is functions are passed to both locos, but can be filtered too so that only the lead loco receives specified functions.

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On 25/10/2020 at 10:42 PM, Noel said:

An alternative to using DCC consisting is to simply give two locos the same DCC address

Apologies Noel, and without trying to sound smart, but I've no idea what 3 steam locos pulling a Cork - Dublin train up a hill and out of a tunnel has got to do with anything.  

Maybe I'm confused, but DJ asked what a DCC consist was, which my reply seemed to cover, as stated by you above. I'm fully aware you can have more than two locos in a consist, and when you dig deeper into it, it's possible to send individual signals to each loco. Again, I was trying to simplify my answer without complicating things.  

It's the last time I'll bother to post a comment on the topic again.  

Edited by JasonB
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There are a number of different ways of consisting locomotives.

Basic Consisting:  where you programme each loco with an identical address.

Command or Universal  Consisting: Where a consist is set up in the Command Station.

Advanced Consisting: Where a consist is set in the individual decoders.

The set up/interface depends on the specific DCC system.

Tony Trains Guide to Consisting describes the individual systems in greater detail.

https://tonystrains.com/news/complete-guide-to-consisting/#:~:text=Basic consisting is the simplest,each have there own decoders.

I used to use Universal Consisting for operating a American N gauge layout with multi-unit consist of up to 4 locos, but was effectively limited to 4 consists due to Command Station capacity.

I used Digitrax, the advanced Throttles are set up to control two locos with separate speed and direction controls which is very handy for setting up and breaking down consists.

I usually used the train number as the consist address and could control the lead loco headlights separately from the consisted loco. 

I avoided changing acceleration and braking from the default decoder settings it was extremely difficult to custom match individual loco acceleration and braking settings within a consist and lead to problems with train handling.

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So an Advanced Consist is where the two decoders are set up so that the locomotives have the same running characteristics, but the controller doesn't actually know that the locos are running in consist?

Whereas in a Command or Universal Consist, the individual decoders don't have to be configured to match each other, as the Controller manages both decoders to keep the locos running smoothly together?

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1 hour ago, DJ Dangerous said:

So an Advanced Consist is where the two decoders are set up so that the locomotives have the same running characteristics, but the controller doesn't actually know that the locos are running in consist?

Whereas in a Command or Universal Consist, the individual decoders don't have to be configured to match each other, as the Controller manages both decoders to keep the locos running smoothly together?

I don't remember whether I got round to using Advanced Consisting as I was introduced to the concept shortly before I dismantled the N Gauge layout because of a house move several years ago. At the time I was experimenting with JMRI https://www.jmri.org/help/en/html/apps/DecoderPro/Tour.shtml for decoder programming and may have used Decoder Pro to set up consists before the house move.

Universal Consisting should be adequate for all except a large Irish layout as small Bo Bos were usually multi-united in pairs, consists of several locos would be exceptional if they ever run.

Universal Consisting gives an identical speed and direction command to each loco in the consist, the individual locos in the consist should have similar operating characteristics or speed, acceleration and braking settings individually programmed so that the can run together

I usually consisted locos with the same or similar running characteristics in a single consist as in my experience it was very difficult and time consuming to programme a consist of 3-4 locos with dissimilar characteristics to run together.

In general I did not mix different manufacturers locos in the same consist as Atlas, Bachmann & Kato locos had completely different operating characteristics and did not run well together.

While each loco had a separate decoder a pair of locos which were used on banking duties (which always ran together) were programmed with the same decoder address.

 

 

Edited by Mayner
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3 hours ago, DART8118 said:

What does a beginner need to know about mixing a 4-function decoder in one loco and a full sound decoder in the second loco, for mixing different decoders from different manufacturers, and for mixing locos from different manufacturers?

TIA.

8118

I'll give this my best shot and hopefully answer the question you are actually asking: Assuming you have a double header pair (ie two loco consist), with the lead loco having a sound decoder, and the second rear loco having a non sound decoder

  1. Using a sound decoder in one loco and a non sound decoder is not a problem and seems very sensible and saves cost
  2. The number of functions in the non sound decoder doesn't really matter unless you want to match all the lighting functions of the loco with the sound decoder (ie in case the rear loco needs more than 4 functions to match the lighting on the first/front loco). Ideally you'd match decoders from same manufacturer such as an ESU LokSound in lead loco and an ESU LokPilot in the read loco, this is so you can setup both decoders to have similar motor settings (ie start voltage, acceleration and deceleration, etc).
  3. The most important thing is to select two almost identical loco models so that their motors, gearing and mechanical speed match each other at different throttle settings. Otherwise you will need to manually use CV settings in each locos decoder to make their throttle speed curves match.
  4. Some DCC systems combined with some manufacturers decoders have setup menus to configure this semi-automatically. Some even have an auto learn feature where the second loco's decoder using load and BEMF will self configure its own CV settings to match the speed, accelaration and deceleration curve of the lead loco. This is very rare
  5. The simplest way to consist is to pair two almost identical locos, and use the same manufactures decoder versions in both. That way you should not need to manually configure matching speed curves, and they will just be mechanically well matched.
  6. For example: ESU LokSound in lead loco + ESU LokPilot decoders in rear loco with CV 2,3,4,5 and 6 all set identically
  7. For anybody interest in advanced DCC stuff read up on CV19, 21,22,23 and 24. The NCE system we have looks after the basics automatically.

Here's a useful guide that should apply with any DCC system.

https://tonystrains.com/news/complete-guide-to-consisting/

NCE way: 

https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001112643-Setting-up-an-Advanced-Consist-the-NCE-way

I understand DCC controller systems such ESU eCos and Roco Z21 systems have menu options to automate speed matching of mechanically different locos to each other. The NCE system we have has a really easy to use Consist menu that so far has worked simply with no learning needed pairing MM baby GMs (eg 141+141, 181+141, 121+121, 121+141, or even a pair of 071s). Easy peasey.

It might sound complicated, but basically consisting is where a DCC system sends one throttle instruction to what it thinks is one loco, but it is actually received by two decoders in two locos. You can cheat it using a simple consist by giving two locos the same DCC address, but that's a PITA because you cannot then use those locos independantly. In the video at the start of the tread it showed two locos with their own addresses temporarily becoming a DCC consist and operating as one until the consist is deleted. On the NCE system a consist is deleted by either a) clearing the consist, or by b) deleting any loco from the consist. A consist is given a temporary address usually starting at 127. Thus any instruction sent to 127 is sent to the other addresses in that consist list (eg 182 and 181 in the video above). Hope this makes sense. Its like having three walkie talkies on the same frequency, one person talks, two others receive and hear the message.

 

Edited by Noel
lexdysia
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18 hours ago, JasonB said:

Apologies Noel, and without trying to  sound smart. . .

No problem. Hitch hikers guide to easy setting up a DCC consist. The procedure will vary with other DCC controllers (eg Lenz, Roco, eCos, Gaugemaster, Digitrax, etc) but the principle remains the same. NCE setup menu makes it very easy and takes care of automatically setting any CVs that may or may not be required.

 

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7 hours ago, DART8118 said:

What does a beginner need to know about mixing a 4-function decoder in one loco and a full sound decoder in the second loco, for mixing different decoders from different manufacturers, and for mixing locos from different manufacturers?

TIA.

8118

To work in a consist the two or more locos must have very similar running characteristics. Basically this means that the need to pretty much ensure that each loco accelerates and decelerates at the same rate and that they all drive at the same speed for a giving setting of your controller.  Otherwise you can have the locos fighting against each other when running. Generally the Murphy Models locos are very consistent and run very well together so it's not too much of a worry.

Decoders can get complicated. It's usually best to run the same brand of decoder when possible as they have similar running characteristics. The reason for this is that motor settings and acceleration and deceleration can be handled differently in different brands.  I usually run sound in all my locos and I have standardized on Loksound decoders for all of my models. For the 121's it would be best to pair the sound decoder with the ESU Lokpilot which is the non sound version that MM is supplying.

Hope that helps!

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Many thanks everyone for the replies.  All very helpful and informative and appreciated.  I have an NCE Powercab since 2014 and have only used about 20% of its functionality.  I have reduced the volume on one loco to about 40% level by adjusting CVs.  If I now put that loco into a consist and later remove it from the consist would there be issues with the settings on its sound CVs?  I know I lost recall settings when I reset the sound volume CVs (might have been cab CV) so just wondering if the same might happen when exiting a consist.

Thanks again in advance

8118

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37 minutes ago, DART8118 said:

Many thanks everyone for the replies.  All very helpful and informative and appreciated.  I have an NCE Powercab since 2014 and have only used about 20% of its functionality.  I have reduced the volume on one loco to about 40% level by adjusting CVs.  If I now put that loco into a consist and later remove it from the consist would there be issues with the settings on its sound CVs?  I know I lost recall settings when I reset the sound volume CVs (might have been cab CV) so just wondering if the same might happen when exiting a consist.

Thanks again in advance

8118

No that should be fine, just remember to delete/clear the consist before removing the loco from the layout so CV19 is cleared properly in both locos. And the locos will respond to their own addresses on somebody else's layout (ie decoders don't still think they are in a consist).

PS: On NCE - Suggest never use the daft momentum button on the cab. It's a disaster because it overwrites CV3 & 4 values in decoders which can upset some sound programmes which have been designed with specific default acceleration and deceleration profiles to match notching thresholds or steam chuffs. 

Edited by Noel
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2 hours ago, DART8118 said:

Many thanks everyone for the replies.  All very helpful and informative and appreciated.  I have an NCE Powercab since 2014 and have only used about 20% of its functionality.  I have reduced the volume on one loco to about 40% level by adjusting CVs.  If I now put that loco into a consist and later remove it from the consist would there be issues with the settings on its sound CVs?  I know I lost recall settings when I reset the sound volume CVs (might have been cab CV) so just wondering if the same might happen when exiting a consist.

Thanks again in advance

8118

Putting a loco in and out of consist wont affect any other settings on the decoder. The only thing to remember is that the loco will not respond to it's original address while the consist is set up. Setting up a consist sets CV19 to the consist number. CV19 overrides the regular loco address so it will only respond to the consist address so as Noel said this needs to be cleared for the loco to run normally under it's address. You can also clear a consist by setting CV19 to 0 in each loco. This is a handy thing to know in case you forget the address of the consist!

On a side note when locos are in consist any function buttons you press will activate the functions on all locos in the consist. So if you press the horn it will sound in all locos. This can be annoying for some people! Decoders can be set up to change this but it gets complicated.

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