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Thread: Experiences with your ESU LokSound Select DCC decoders and Locomotives

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    Quote Originally Posted by westfalen View Post
    The new drop in decoder will be going in all my Atlas and IM SDs and if the decoder for the upcoming Atlas GP30 and 35 is going to be available as a separate item all my geeps will get them too.
    I'm interested to see how Atlas handles the speaker on those, and how hard it will be to replicate the arrangement to retrofit older non-sound, but DCC ready versions. How are you guys handling the speakers on GPs? I've been put off by milling a frame (one of the reasons I built a sound car instead), but maybe I just need to get over it.

    Also, for you guys who are successfully speed matching these with non-sound decoders, are you able to do that speed matching with the LokSound feature turned on that makes the prime mover sound increase before the loco starts moving, or do you have to turn that feature off to get the speed matching to work?

    SBS4DCC has a bit more information here (top of the page is the ESU literature, the additional info is at the bottom): http://www.sbs4dcc.com/tutorialstips...tionnotes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    Also, for you guys who are successfully speed matching these with non-sound decoders, are you able to do that speed matching with the LokSound feature turned on that makes the prime mover sound increase before the loco starts moving, or do you have to turn that feature off to get the speed matching to work?
    Nobody has mentioned this yet, I am wondering the same thing. Drive hold would have to be off, and momentum matched I suppose
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessemer Bob View Post
    Very glad to hear. Majority of my non sound Atlas units have those decoders..

    Did you have issues consisting with momentum, or did you dial the ESUs back?
    Bob,
    Dial the momentum back to 0 before speed matching. Many guys find it is critical to evaluate each locomotive at speed step 1, or speed matching is harder. I require all locos run within 2 mph of each other at step 1. All other speed steps I require within 1 MPH.
    I put the command station display to %speed reading. Locos are set to 128 steps and matched at 28 different throttle settings. Thus: throttle step 1 is 1%, step 2 is 4%, step 3 is 7%, step 4 is 11%, etc. Using the speedometer I do each loco by itself. I have a well tuned "master" loco all others are set to. Naturally, the master loco is LokSound select micro equipped.

    After matching, I MU the engines and work CV23, 24 to set consist momentum/deceleration. A little fiddly, but do-able.
    Chris

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    Another note:
    Since I do the matching using a speedometer, meaning each loco is done separately, the delay before a LokSound releases brakes and moves has no effect on the process. I set the throttle to the %speed setting and don't touch it. Once the LokSound engine brakes release it moves. Non Loksound engines aren't on the track since they are speed matched by themselves. They get matched using the speedometer to set the curve to make the speeds the same as the master loco for each throttle position. Do not try to match 2 or more engines on the track at the same time. It will work eventually, but is a slower process if the drive-trains and/or decoders are different. Most of us just give up after a while when we try it that way.

    HO engines tend to be easier in multiples. I don't recommend speed matching N scale the same way. I think N scale drive-train/motor and decoder performance varies too much. Certainly in my fleet going back many years. Many of my early 90's era Kato/Atlas units are still working out on the railroad and speed matched. Some have had 3 or 4 different decoders over the years.

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    Drive Hold:
    With my mixed decoder consists, F9 Drive Hold is disabled for obvious reasons. We use Run 8 and Coast functions to adjust prime mover sound, and leave the throttle to adjust motor speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    Also, for you guys who are successfully speed matching these with non-sound decoders, are you able to do that speed matching with the LokSound feature turned on that makes the prime mover sound increase before the loco starts moving, or do you have to turn that feature off to get the speed matching to work?
    You will have to turn off that delay feature.
    HAROLDN212

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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    I'm interested to see how Atlas handles the speaker on those, and how hard it will be to replicate the arrangement to retrofit older non-sound, but DCC ready versions. How are you guys handling the speakers on GPs? I've been put off by milling a frame (one of the reasons I built a sound car instead), but maybe I just need to get over it.
    I have done several Atlas Geeps with MRC sound decoders (hopefully to be replaced with ESU) and there is space under the decoder board at the rear for a sugar cube speaker with a cut down sound box, the same applies to the ESU 73100 in Intermountain SDs so I'm hoping I can do the same with the GP decoders.

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    I put the 9X16mm speaker in the cab of my installs. When I get to one of my GPs I'll post a how to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    Iím not a big fan of locating them in the fuel tank for 2 reasons. The first is the amount of metal you have to remove, less metal in the frame reduces reactive effort and pulling power. The other is having the magnet so low. The time I tried mounting a speaker there it picked up loose metal shavings (club layout, I donít know it it was motor metal or rail metal, but it all ended up on the speaker magnet. I put my capacitors in the cab. It works for me.

    I should also add that I drill out all my fans and use etched metal ones. This not only looks better, but the sound travels up the inside of the shell and sounds like it is coming from the center of the engine. Iím sure you get a similar effect even with a cab mounted speaker.
    I understand the concern, but surprisingly enough, even after all the milling you really don't lose that much weight with the newer, lighter frames once the install is done. And with a good 9X16mm sugar cube speaker you don't need to cut out the fans or do any body drilling. As always, do as you wish, just what I've learned as of late.

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    Has anybody used JMRI for speed matching with these decoders yet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCentral View Post
    I understand the concern, but surprisingly enough, even after all the milling you really don't lose that much weight with the newer, lighter frames once the install is done. And with a good 9X16mm sugar cube speaker you don't need to cut out the fans or do any body drilling. As always, do as you wish, just what I've learned as of late.
    I superdetail all my engines so the fans happen right off the bat. Besides the massive appearance difference, the sound difference is quite noticeable, even with the 9x16mm Knowles speakers and speaker boxes I’m using. I’ve done the side by side comparison, so you can’t talk me out of it.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    I superdetail all my engines so the fans happen right off the bat. Besides the massive appearance difference, the sound difference is quite noticeable, even with the 9x16mm Knowles speakers and speaker boxes I’m using. I’ve done the side by side comparison, so you can’t talk me out of it.
    I haven't done a side by side, I might have to try that. I certainly am not trying to talk you out of it, I was just trying to say that holes in the shell weren't necessary as before, but, I will see if it sounds even better to me with the setup I've been doing as I also enjoy super detailing my locos. I'm also always looking for ways to improve the sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessemer Bob View Post
    Has anybody used JMRI for speed matching with these decoders yet?
    Yes. I use the 28 step table, and I can't say it's very different from doing any other locomotive. It's all the other CVs that are scary!
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainboyh16-44 View Post
    It's all the other CVs that are scary
    Thats what is worrying me about jumping into sound... But then I am sure down the line it will be habit.. A few hours watching YouTube and I'll be good to go.

    Just waiting on a few Speed Matching videos on LokSound with JMRI, so far just found a few with Lok programmer. Then again I guess I could just go that route, I think TCS decoders can be done on the Lok programmer as well.
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    Dumb questions..

    Is there a CV to change and if so to what value to change the default direction of the Loksound decoders?

    I would like my N&W unit to run long hood forward as they did in real life
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    For Select and V4, Try setting your CV29 value at x+1, where x=your current CV29 value. Adding 1 to the value sets CV29 bit 0 to reverse motor.
    Read the CV29 value first and write it down. If things don't seem to work, you can restore your original value.

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    Not new to N scale, but returning after a long (40 year) hiatus... but am new to the forum and new to the world of DCC. My first foray into DCC and sound is a Kato Union Pacific FEF-3 #844, with factory DCC and Loksound (Loksound Select, according to Kato USA and Loksound support). I wanted to share my Loksound experience with this loco, in the event anyone else encounters the same issue. Please forgive the verbose post... but I wanted to include the backstory and steps in my solution.

    When I received the loco this past summer, my layout was still in planning stages, so I built a little 5 ft test track, including a 16" curve just to see how it would look on that radius. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it ran, and blown away by the quality of the sound. Things have really changed since I left N-scale 40+ years ago.

    I finished completed the twice-around main line on my layout in early October... and in first trials, the loco ran great. I had no cars for it to pull, so my first tests were just "dead heading" around the main line. The problem I encountered didn't really show up until I accumulated some rolling stock... half a dozen MTL heavyweight passenger cars and some MTL freight cars. The loco could not pull even a small train (4 heavyweights, or 8-10 freight cars) smoothly up my grades (~avg grade is ~1.5%, max is ~1.8%).

    At first, I thought the wheels were slipping, so I did what I could to even out/lower the max grade... with little effect on performance. Eventually, it became clear that the wheels weren't slipping, rather the speed was surging when running up hill under load, at anything above ~5 smph. The surging was even noticeable on level track when pulling a heavy load (everything I had). In searching the web, I found several threads on various BBs documenting similar issues with the earlier, TCS decoder-equipped, run of FEF-3s, but no reference to similar issues with the newer Loksound release. These posts pointed me in the direction of the back EMF (B-EMF) motor control being the culprit.

    Using the ESU B-EMF autoset feature did not help... in fact it made things worse... surging and chattering at low speeds. It also became clear (after I reset the decoder to defaults, and then entered B-EMF values suggested in the manual), that the default CVs from the manual did not correspond to those that the loco shipped with... after a LOT of trial and error (directed by a post I found on the web on setting B-EMF for Loksound v4 I found on-line), I still hadn't solved the problem... so I called Kato USA (had to wait untl after the holidays, because the tech guy was out). Once I reached Kato USAs tech support, the tech didn't know what CV defaults the engine shipped with... and suggested that I contact Loksound support directly. Alec at Loksound was very helpful, and gave me the factory default CVs for motor control and B-EMF, several of which differed significantly from those listed in the manual. They definitely improved low speed running, but still surged under load at main line speeds.

    After reading thru the manual again, I decided to try adjusting the "load compensation" CV56, which uses feedback from the motor to maintain constant engine speed (motor RPMs) under load. Both the manual and factory defaults have CV56 = 255 (range is 0-255), which is full on load compensation thru the entire speed range. I started decreasing this value... which would effectively turn off load compensation at higher speeds. Eventually, I settled on a value of CV56=32, which, if I read the manual correctly, would reduce load compensation to 0 at 12.5% of full throttle (25/255=0.125), which I calculated to be ~15-16 sMPH with my current settings. This seemed to solve the surging problem... and I can now pull a decent train (actually, it will pull everything I have, which is 7 heavyweight passenger cars, 18 freight cars, and a caboose) up any grade on my layout. The side effect of adjusting CV56 is that the engine will now slow noticeably pulling a heavy load upgrade, and will speed up when coasting downgrade... but not to an objectionable amount, and isn't this what happens in real life?

    I think there might be room for a little more optimizing, but for now, I am once again happy with my FEF-3 (I'll create a new topic for a mechanical issue I faced with the FEF-3, and how it was solved). I thought it might help someone else if I posted the CV settings I got from Loksound along with those I am using now.

    From Loksound / My settings (description):
    CV2=3 / 3 (starting voltage)
    CV5=64 / 64 (max speed)
    CV6=64 / 64 (med speed)
    CV49=19 / 19 (extended configuration)
    CV51=0 / 0 (I slow)
    CV52=4 / 6 (K slow)
    CV53=140 / 125 (Reference voltage)
    CV54=48 / 50 (K mid)
    CV55=85 / 150 (I mid)
    CV56=255 / 32 (load compensation)
    CV124=24 / 24 (extended configuration)
    Last edited by NDave; 24th Feb 2018 at 07:19 PM. Reason: typos and spelling

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