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New Loksound board?

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While I was bored, online looking at some videos on youtube, I saw this one that pertains to a new board that I thought would be interesting as I need a replacement one for my 141. The dude in this vid mentions a new Loksound board coming out this year with built in stay alive. Anyone know anything on this one? This is the video I was looking at - 

 

Edited by mmie353
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  • mmie353 changed the title to New Loksound board?

I guess this is the product he talks about:

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/loksound/loksound-5-dcc-direct-with-integrated-powerpack/

Personally I don't like hardwired decoders like this as you are committing to leave the expensive sound decoder installed in that particular loco "forever". No swapping loksounds with lokpilots as your fleet changes or whatever. It's also a pain to replace the decoder should it fail and you have to program it on a programming track or rolling road (I like to remove my decoders and programme the programming board (ESU Prüfstand))

I'm any case it looks like it's a north American model and will not be readily available here (though you'll probably be able to find it somewhere if it meets your needs)

Obviously the product might well suit your needs or they wouldn't be selling them so please don't be put off by what I say. Most of this is personal preference. 

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8 minutes ago, murphaph said:

I guess this is the product he talks about:

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/loksound/loksound-5-dcc-direct-with-integrated-powerpack/

Personally I don't like hardwired decoders like this as you are committing to leave the expensive sound decoder installed in that particular loco "forever". No swapping loksounds with lokpilots as your fleet changes or whatever. It's also a pain to replace the decoder should it fail and you have to program it on a programming track or rolling road (I like to remove my decoders and programme the programming board (ESU Prüfstand))

I'm any case it looks like it's a north American model and will not be readily available here (though you'll probably be able to find it somewhere if it meets your needs)

Obviously the product might well suit your needs or they wouldn't be selling them so please don't be put off by what I say. Most of this is personal preference. 

A nice option though for kit or scratch built locos that offers easier lighting integration and keep alive. Would have been handy a few years ago for SilverFox kits and 3D locos.

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I've never built a loco kit but I guess on "one offs" the likelihood of later needing to remove a decoder is minimal, unless it fails.

It's maybe just my OCD. I just like a clean interface between decoder and the permanent wiring of the loco. It also allows a person to whip the decoder out and put in a DC blanking plate to allow the loco to run (natively) on DC (at a friend's or in a club layout for example).

Edit: it also allows an easy upgrade. I will probably initially equip a lot of my locos with lokpilots due to the sheer cost of sound decoders. As and when funds are available, I can upgrade the locos to loksounds and cascade the lokpilots down to coach lighting duties, without having to get the soldering iron out.

Edited by murphaph
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4 hours ago, murphaph said:

I've never built a loco kit but I guess on "one offs" the likelihood of later needing to remove a decoder is minimal, unless it fails.

It's maybe just my OCD. I just like a clean interface between decoder and the permanent wiring of the loco. It also allows a person to whip the decoder out and put in a DC blanking plate to allow the loco to run (natively) on DC (at a friend's or in a club layout for example).

Edit: it also allows an easy upgrade. I will probably initially equip a lot of my locos with lokpilots due to the sheer cost of sound decoders. As and when funds are available, I can upgrade the locos to loksounds and cascade the lokpilots down to coach lighting duties, without having to get the soldering iron out.

Comprendee. I went with Lenz Silver+(€25) for my non-sound locos at the time, now most have eventually become LokSound and a few Zimo's but the sound projects available for LokSound drive better than Zimo which has 'real drive' and is quite prototypical. ESU caught up with their 'full throttle capability a few years ago'. Hope the A class decoder makes use of full throttle feature such as coasting, braking and throttle hold for manual notching.

 

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16 minutes ago, Noel said:

Hope the A class decoder makes use of full throttle feature such as coasting, braking and throttle hold for manual notching.

 

Having been recorded and engineered by the boffins at ESU direct, you can rest assured :)

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate the comments on this one, I am interested in both options a standard board with the 21 pin interface or hardwired. My intention is to get all sound decoders for all my locos, eventually it may happen. Keeping both options open right now, hardwired or get a standard board that will work with my 141 and from there get it going again. I am looking for a board that I can connect up the loco lighting again on it as I do not want something that just wires to the motor and the wheels to a adapter for the decoder. I am looking to get that 141 working by the end of April but I am not in a rush as I have a lot of other things going on at the moment. I may get a fit and decide to troubleshoot why that board is not working.

Actually while I am on that topic, would anyone by any chance have a circuit diagram for that board? If it is a component that is defective or if there was an issue with one of the tracks on the board, I could maybe solder a wire on it to jump the defective track? On the board it advises it is a bachmann ba035. 

Edited by mmie353
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I don't have a schematic but there's very little on those boards to go wrong and if you are comfortable soldering you will almost certainly be able to repair it. Have you tried just reflowing all the solder joints? There's a very good chance there's a dry joint and before you start trying to debug it you would be done reflowing the joints in 2 minutes. What is the exact symptom of failure? Is it completely dead or just some functions aren't working? 

Even without a circuit diagram you will be able to check continuity from the MTC21 socket to most of the various components. You can find a pinout diagram like this:

https://images.app.goo.gl/RcW1oMsB1i1nEVf18

And then check for continuity from the pins to things like the pickups/wheels (there will probably be capacitors between the motor and 21MTC pin (on the Bachmann board) so you shouldn't expect DC continuity from socket to motor as the capacitor "blocks".

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2 hours ago, BosKonay said:

Having been recorded and engineered by the boffins at ESU direct, you can rest assured :)

Thanks Stephen, In the past ESU were not famed for their focus on prototypical driving capabilities just the sound tracks. Their recent 121 project failed in this respect (ie no braking, coasting nor any 'ESU full throttle' driving features). Really Looking forward to sound equipped A classes with the innovative features on the loco such as magnetic decoder hatch, keep alive, speakers, lights, etc, no to mention the precision body and stunning chassis detail.

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4 hours ago, BosKonay said:

Handy reference here 

A_Class_DCC_functionality.pdf?v=16034625

like01.gif

Thanks for that info that looks great. F5,6,8,& 13 look like the prototypical drivers biz! :) F28 looks interesting, but I presume F5-Throttle hold converts the throttle inputs to notching commands while drive hold is enabled. 

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@murphaph thanks dude, I did not reflow the solder but I figured it I am going to attack this thing and if I can get a diagram for it, I would spend a few hours on it and look at doing that and if that failed, move on with a meter and start looking into it. It is dead, the loco will not move, I jumped the terminals on the motor with DC power directly and the motor ran so that is why I am thinking there is something up with this board that is in it. We shall see but I need to get a rolling road as I had some test track up and that is all put away for now, once I have that done is when I will be looking to take another stab at it. 

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Do you have continuity from the pickups to the PCB? You can quickly check continuity between the front and rear left and right wheels respectively. You should have continuity between wheels on the same side (I can't remember if both wheels on each bogie have pickups but definitely both bogies have at least one set of pickups. This will quickly establish if a wire has broken inside loco between pickup and PCB. You may have already eliminated this when you "jumped the terminals" (it's not clear exactly what you jumped).

If you have continuity from wheels to PCB terminals and the decoder works in another loco and you have continuity from the PCB terminals to the motor, then yeah the PCB is defective but there's hardly anything on it to break. The little transistors if present (will be marked Q1, Q2 etc.) have nothing to do with motor control, those will be for function outputs. The capacitors or inductors that may be present in the motor control circuity can actually be removed if using DCC only. The output of the motor pins can be bridged directly to the terminals on the motor. In older locos people usually strip all the capacitors and inductors out when converting to DCC. But I think it's actually unlikely any of these have failed. A dry solder joint is the most likely cause of failure of the PCB, especially the surface mounted 21pin socket that is subject to mechanical stress when the decoder is inserted and removed. A quick touch of the soldering iron on every joint is what I'd do first after checking for basic continuity.

If the loco is completely dead (ie headlights and marker lights also dead) then I'd be amazed if the problem isn't the continuity between pickups and PCB or at the 21pin socket. I've had both pickup wires break at the bogie end on MM locos so it happens.

You should be able to troubleshoot this without any test track or rolling road if you have a multimeter.

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I must get it on a table again and take another look at it. I had DC power to the track and I had crocodile clips connecting from the track to each terminal on the motor, not at full power but the motor came to life, I was troubleshooting it in DC as I never placed a DCC chip on it yet. If it will not work in DC mode, then no hope at all for DCC. I spent like a few minutes on it as I was testing out each loco I have brought. I have been collecting locos since the baby GMs were launched by PM so to get them all testing, I did not have time to stick with it as I wanted to get the test track taken up again and I figured, I will get back to it.  

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Ah ok I thought you were using DCC. The DC blanking plug is inserted in the DCC socket I take it?

I suspect you'll find it's just a couple of broken solder joints at the pickups to be honest. It's far more likely to be that than a defective component on the PCB and testing continuity from front left to rear left and front right to rear right wheels will quickly tell you without even taking the loco apart 🙂

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes sir when I had my test track hooked up, I had a DC controller on that for testing all my locos, I did swap the DCC blanking plate to verify that there was no issues with the one that was in the loco to rule that out. From what has happened with some of my models, I know that I need a rolling road to hook up to DC when I get a model that is not DCC fitted. Soon as I have a chance to check on it again and troubleshoot the circuit, we can see what is going on. 

Edited by mmie353
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On 27/3/2021 at 5:23 PM, Noel said:

Thanks Stephen, In the past ESU were not famed for their focus on prototypical driving capabilities just the sound tracks. Their recent 121 project failed in this respect (ie no braking, coasting nor any 'ESU full throttle' driving features).

As I said before, Full Throttle features no longer need to be built into Loksound V5 sound files as it is now a logic function in the decoder’s firmware. It merely needs to be “switched on”. I did this with my own MM 121 decoders.

On 27/3/2021 at 9:44 PM, Noel said:

Thanks for that info that looks great. F5,6,8,& 13 look like the prototypical drivers biz! :) F28 looks interesting, but I presume F5-Throttle hold converts the throttle inputs to notching commands while drive hold is enabled. 

F28 needs to be activated to use “manual notching” on the decoder. 
F5 is Drive Hold.

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Yeah with a Lokprogrammer it's trivial to turn on full throttle. I map all mine like the Americans do as to me these are American locos, so F9 is drive hold etc. but that's personal choice. I want to have things so the same F buttons do the same job (insofar as possible) on all my locos.

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18 minutes ago, murphaph said:

Yeah with a Lokprogrammer it's trivial to turn on full throttle. I map all mine like the Americans do as to me these are American locos, so F9 is drive hold etc. but that's personal choice. I want to have things so the same F buttons do the same job (insofar as possible) on all my locos.

Yeah, even without a Lokprogrammer it can be done by adjusting a couple of CV’s. 
I standardise the mapping on all my decoders too. It’s great knowing that every loco can be controlled using the same function keys.

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@mmie353, if your loco has been in storage you might want to check the backs of the wheels and the pickup contact points are clean and not covered in oil. Unlikely they are all affected but you never know until you test. Checking continuity from each wheel to the pcb is the place to start.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An update.. an a thanks @murphaph for the pin breakout for the 21 pin adapter. I fixed my 141. If someone reads this and use it as a guide to repair your own model, I will not take any responsibility what so ever if you damage your locomotive. Applying this fix is completely at your own risk.

I was testing the contact between the 21 pin socket and the 4 points I need to worry about as the directional LEDs work so using a multimeter to test for continuity,  pin 17 to the contact on the PCB board at "M-" had issues as "M+" to pin 18 was fine. I then checked to see what component pin 17 connects to and it seemed to be a resistor that is soldered from the back of the board. I then tried to touchup the solder at the contact for pin 17 and it failed. I ended up getting a wire from an old Hornby DCC decoder and soldering it to pin 17 and the resistor on the motherboard without getting solder on a neighboring pin on the 21 pin interface and I did a test with the multimeter and it worked. I placed the loco on the tracks and she finally is running. 

141.PNG.d6d3bb02400e483ecae1b46db0c91408.PNG

Ran the loco in for an hour, I have to test with DCC yet but I am hopeful I have no problems with it. 

 

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