Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => HO => Topic started by: rockrailsnsnow on May 19, 2009, 11:55:55 PM



Title: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 19, 2009, 11:55:55 PM
Good Evening,
I have 4 PRR RF-16 sharks ( a-b-b-a)  DCC equipped. A units are  Bachmann #61802.
I can not find any documentation on the decoders other than they are NMRA/NEM compliant.
Specifically, is CV 19 supported?  I would like to advance consist them.
Is there a pdf that can be downloaded that I can not locate listing the CV's  supported?
Thanks in advance.
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 20, 2009, 12:16:44 AM
Hi Michael,
Here's a link to the Bachmann decoder instruction PDF, supported CVs are listed on page 2.  Note that CV19 is supported.

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/ez_content/1_Amp_Decoder_Instr.pdf

Regards.


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 20, 2009, 12:48:05 AM
Bob,
Thanks.  I looked through that PDF, but the decoder in the Sharks are hard wired PCB's, not the 1amp black-wrapped NMRA 8-pin plug-in type.
I was able to write to CV 19 OK, but there is no response to the advanced consist # programmed.  I was able to program a four digit address successfully without any problems in OPS mode.  Am using Digitrax Zephyr with a DT400 for programming.
I was hoping the BachMan would chime in to confirm the PCB has the same specs or if there is some other documentation with different specs and supported CV's.
Cheers,
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 20, 2009, 12:56:11 AM
Michael,
The specs should be the same for the board version. As to programming a Bachmann non-sound decoder with Zephyr, I think the workaround is to "place a 1000 Ohm resistor across the programming track."  Please stay tuned, Jim Banner and others will be in with more details.

I have the Bachmann EZ Command, which means I understand CVs, just not on "speaking terms" with them.  :D

Bob


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 20, 2009, 01:59:49 AM
Bob,
Used that trick before, but I was able to write to cv17,18 and 29 in OPS mode without the resistor, so I assumed if CV19 is supported it would also program without.
I suspect it is a very basic decoder with only the mandatory NMRA CV's active.
Hopefully someone will be able to confirm that, or enlighten me and help figure out what I'm doing wrong.
Thanks,
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 20, 2009, 02:10:13 AM
Jim just logged off, guess he needs his beauty sleep.  :D

If no one else comments, check back tomorrow. Oops, it is "tomorrow".   8)

Good luck and good morning.


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Jim Banner on May 20, 2009, 12:40:26 PM
Hey Bob, a guy's got to sleep sometime!!  As for beauty sleep, that is something I need lots of.

The 1k resistor is required only for reading back CVs on the programming track.  In OPs mode, there is no readback and no need for the resistor.  Without readback, you are never quite sure if a programming step was successful until you try the decoder and see if the desired change has taken place.  If it has not, then either there was an error in programming or the CV that you are trying to program does not exist in that decoder.  As programming other CVs was successful, your lack of success with CV19 indicates that these decoders do not support it.  Fortunately, you have two other methods of consisting available to you - basic and universal.  Unfortunately, universal consisting will take up 4 of your 10 available slots.

I really like advanced consisting.  I can set it up even as the locomotives are approaching one another.  And when it comes to breaking up a consists, all I have to do is clear CV19 without worrying what the locomotive was previously consisted with.

Jim


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 21, 2009, 07:25:14 PM
Hey, Mr BachMan....
Any input as to where I can find/get documentation for these RF-16 decoders, or at least can you tell me which CV's are supported ??????
Thanks in advance,
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 24, 2009, 12:38:40 AM
Hi Michael,
I share your frustration. Having nothing to do today, I searched the net for hours and didn't find any information on the RF-16 CVs. You would think that someone out there would have the list.



Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Rangerover on May 24, 2009, 10:35:06 AM
I'm new at this programming cv's but I've never been able to consist using Bachmann decoders. I do it the old fashioned way also as Jim Banner stated. In fact I haven't found a way to address any cv's with the Bachmann decoder's as far as speed steps either.

That NCE decoder board that Bob recommends seems like the way to go!


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 24, 2009, 10:43:54 AM
Bob,
Thanks for the research and info!
Actually, I think Bachmann has done a great job in supplying a basic decoder.  They seem to operate at 128 ss very smoothly with good speed control and directional lights.  If I find out anything more I will post it.
The truth is I was pleased with their operation, so I installed them into an ABA set of Proto diesels for a friend who just wanted some basic DCC.  Am very pleased with their operation, just would like to advance consist them as he is using the EZ-DCC control.  I suppose I could just assign them all the same address.  Perhaps later this week I can take my DCS50 and laptop and see what I can find/program with DecoderPro.
My sharks are getting LokSound units in the two A's and LokPilots in the B's.  I thought having all four decoders of the same manufacturer would be easier to get them all to play nice together!
Cheers and Thanks and Prayers to ALL who have and are serving our Country!
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 24, 2009, 11:31:58 AM
Rangerover,
FYI...I am able to use universal consisting with these Bachmann decoders on my Digitrax and  NCE system without any problem.  It is the Advanced (CV19) I am wrestling with.  Just wanted that for convenience.
Hope this helps,
Michael
Boalsburg, PA


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Rangerover on May 24, 2009, 11:36:27 AM
Michael

You can consist with them, but I speed match before I address them with Bachmann decoders. If you have the Bachmann disc it describes how to do this.

Remove all other loco's from the track, unless you have a separate program track. Place the forward facing loco on the track, make sure the direction led is forward, program it to the desired entry # (5 example). Remove it from the track.

Place the trailing loco on the track, backwards (if preferred), this time make sure the reverse led is lit, program it to the same # (5). If you desire the trailing loco to be positioned cab forward, make sure the led forward light is lit and enter it.

3rd and 4th loco's or how many in the consist same way.

Put them all on the track connected and go!

Some reason I really don't think this is what you are looking for.

I have no fault with Bachmann installed decoders either for easy out of the box running either in DC or DCC. I just like playing with CV's.




Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Rangerover on May 24, 2009, 11:40:05 AM
Rangerover,
FYI...I am able to use universal consisting with these Bachmann decoders on my Digitrax and  NCE system without any problem.  It is the Advanced (CV19) I am wrestling with.  Just wanted that for convenience.
Hope this helps,
Michael
Boalsburg, PA

OOPS... we entered the same time. Now I understand, you've got me curious though, I have Decoder Pro and going to put one on the track and see. Thanks though, I'm just learning all this stuff!


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 25, 2009, 12:56:56 AM
Michael,
I did some more searching today, this time on the UK sites.

http://www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/bachdieselcvsettings4mm.htm

I have a suspicion that the decoder boards used in Bachmann diesels are intended primarily for the European market. This is a quote I copied from one site.

"Note that this decoder has been designed for the European market where multi-locomotive formations are uncommon and does not support CV 19 consist."

Perhaps this is the reason NCE introduced the Bach-DSL boards as a replacement.


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rustyrails on May 25, 2009, 10:03:42 AM
Features of the decoders with these locomotives  include, 2 and 4 digit addresses, 28 and 128 speed steps, advanced consisting, dimmable lighting, settable acceleration, deceleration, starting speed, and much more.

The above is copied directly from this web site.  Click on E-Z Command, DCC equipped locomotives.  Go figure.

Rusty


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 25, 2009, 01:36:36 PM
That section seems to refer to the EZ Command "system", which includes the EZ Command controller and the EZ Command standard 2 function decoder, both produced in partnership with Lenz. Note the comment, "28/128 speed steps", which applies only to the decoder, not the controller.

Apparently the decoder boards are not a part of the EZ Command "system". I checked one of the boards, there is no indication of manufacturer, only a revision date of 2004. Instructions and specs are available for the EZ Command decoder, but not for the decoder boards.


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Jim Banner on May 26, 2009, 06:40:04 PM
Bob, I was initially puzzled by your differentiation between decoders and decoder boards but I think I have figured it out.  If I am correct, your "decoders" are the general purpose decoders typically packaged in shrink wrap and your "decoder boards" are decoders designed to physically fit a particular type of locomotive and often referred to as "Plug and Play" decoders.  Like scale designations on decoders, the use of a particular decoder is only a suggestion.  What I mean is, if you want to take a decoder that is a light board replacement Plug and Play decoder designed for Kato diesels and put it in a Bachmann steam locomotive, by all means do so, as long as the ratings are adequate, the functions are what you need, and there is physically enough room.

As far as determining manufacturer, you are better off looking into CVs 7 and 8 than looking at the board.  A decoder may have BRAND X printed on the package but the printed circuit board probably came from a different supplier located elsewhere in the world.  The board was probably populated in yet another country half a world away using components from a host of different countries.  What makes it a BRAND X decoder may in part be a physical arrangement of the hardware but more likely is the internal programming that makes the hardware work.  And the owners of the BRAND X name are usually proud enough of their work that they have their NMRA assigned manufacturer code permanently etched into CV8 and their version number of that decoder similarly programmed into CV7.

The above should explain why two very different looking decoders (e.g. one a general purpose, the other a Plug and Play) can have identical specifications while two physically identical decoders can have quite different specifications.  It also helps explain "mules" - decoders that are different from and usually better than what you thought you bought yet do not correspond to any catalogued type.

Jim


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: Yampa Bob on May 26, 2009, 09:04:43 PM
Digitrax refers to the "full length" decoders as "Board Replacement Decoders". If that designation is acceptable to all, then that is what I will call them. LOL

http://www.digitrax.com/prd_mobdec_sdh104k1acombo.php

Of course I totally agree that a board designed for a particular locomotive can be installed in any locomotive if the ratings and functions are acceptable, however a main consideration is available space.

To answer the original question, I was hoping someone with an advanced controller would "read" one of the decoders used in Bachmann standard line diesels, to determine if CV 19 is supported, and CV 7 / CV 8 for the manufacturer.  Lacking that ability myself, all I could do was search the internet and report my findings. (rather lack thereof).

After 3 days of searching, I'm afraid my "bloodhound" instinct has lost the trail.  :D


Title: Re: RF-16 DCC Question
Post by: rockrailsnsnow on May 26, 2009, 11:39:59 PM
Bob, Jim,
I haven't given up on this yet...minor glitch...I gave my old LocoBufferII to the PSU Club, because it would stay in one place, and the external power supply would not be an issue, and they have an old PC at the layout to use.
Meanwhile I bought myself a new LocoBuffer USB and a new MacPro laptop...trouble is I haven't had the time to set it up for the last few months, and now when this came up, I find I must have Decoder Pro back  up and running  (I also have about 6 installs for myself that need to be programed and tweaked.  No happiness yet...I am missing a crucial USB/Serial driver to make the laptop talk with the LocoBufferUSB.  Have been messing around with it for a few days now and will have to get on the JMRI group and look for the answer or ask for help.  Once I have that solved, I'll take it over to my friends layout and read the darned engines and report what I find.
Cheers,
Michael
Boalsburg,  PA