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QUOTE (upnick @ 7 Jul 2008, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Richard,
I tried the settings on CV 51 and found a value of 37 worked in both directions with a beacon light effect.
I see your view on digitrax decoders now


One quick question if need to trim the wires to fit inside the little body of the loco do the functions lose any data i have programmed into the decoder and need resetting.
Now to paint the body either U.P. of course
or a plain white with orange wasp like striping.

Wiring changes (if done carefully and with loco not under power !) should have no affect on programming.

I find all this programming of CV's a bit quaint, and use a computer interface with JMRI/Decoder Pro; if I want flashing in one direction, I select the relevant tickboxes and drop-lists. For some command systems, the cost of the computer interface is low.
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 8 Jul 2008, 12:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***Actually Nigel, I and many others also use computer related programmes from time to time in relation to DCC, but when a poster asks a simple question the best answer is a simple and direct one.

Which I did with respect to the "cut wires" question.

I see no harm in raising the programming issue as the thread had discussed the vagueness of Digitrax' decoder instructions, and implications of "prodding around" until finding the appropriate value for a CV for a particular decoder.

QUOTE As to Decoder pro, its an excellent and evolving project but doesn't replace the need to know and understand about use of CV's at all, so its not "quaint" or anything else setting CV's directly - it is standard usage for most modellers for other than basic setup which the controller usually takes care of just fine.

Which doesn't really square with various makers of command stations offering "easy" ways to setup decoders.

For example, the often recommended NCE PowerCab, has menu options to get round setting up certain CVs, ( as well as the option of directly setting up a CV by specific number). I guess NCE offered the special options to solve some user interface issues with managing common CV's, and the need to understand bits and binary to decimal conversions. The expensive ESU Ecos command station has a graphical interface for setting up ESU decoders, but comments in manual that one has to drop back to CV values for other makers (their manual admits its complicated and difficult).

I don't think DecoderPro is a perfect solution. Its far from it. I've seen a few other DCC computer interfaces which look better.

But the standard approach to decoder CV setup is close to dialing *#40 (or whatever it is on a PABX) to divert a phone call. 20 years ago, telephone engineers said this was fine for end users. Human factors engineers (including me, at the time I worked for BT) said it was mad, end customers couldn't handle it.

QUOTE I appreciate your preference but you should also consider that many do not want to bother with adding a PC to their hobby or connecting one for the purpose of programming a single loco.

As to simple, yes it is when you use Decoder Pro, however its neither simpler nor more sophisticated for general decoder setup than many current controllers can do directly - and certainly not quicker... After programming hundreds of loco's by knowing and understanding the meaning of CV's I can have most setup changes done by the time your computer has finished booting up and you have even opened Decoder Pro

You are not comparing apples with apples. You are an expert, and know the command structure of CV's in your head, whereas an average user does not.

I think its unreasonable to expect a normal user of DCC to learn CV numbering schema (even just the NMRA basic agreed bits, let alone all the manufacturer specific extensions). The practical reality of current development is that one needs to know a bit about them to get anywhere with DCC (mimium to set decoder address), but I regard that as an unfortunate middle step during the evolution of digital control.

As for a decoder configuration race, that depends on how many CV's you want programming in a single session :). A computer (be it my laptop or a DCC command station) will outperform anyone's typing speed, so the limit is the human selecting/entering values. The interface with the lowest number of keystrokes is likely to win any race with expert users. But, take away the expert users and try again, and the result will be dependent on other factors, including how difficult it is to interpret manuals, make binary-decimal conversions, etc.. I would argue that the interface which offered the options in a well structured manner and without requiring the end user to make calculations or consult manuals is likely to be quickest.

But, we've been here before, and you are certain many users don't want computers anywhere near their trains. I am not so sure; those who I know who've seen decoder setup via a computer seem taken with the idea.

regards,

- Nigel
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 9 Jul 2008, 10:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Nigel

I don't actually think I disagree with you in any way - perhaps my words could have been better chosen though.

Richard,
good we seem to have an agreement.

QUOTE In the end we have maybe 4 types of modellers
Those who simply want to change an address and will never do more (more than 80% of current DCC buyers in fact)
Those who will take the trouble to learn in detail and will buy a system that WILL do all it should because they researched it properly
Those who buy a basic control system and then to get adequate results enhance it with a device such as SPROG or another PC interface device to make up for its shortcomings
Those who embrace PC interaction and use the PC as the basis of their DCC experience

All just modellers - and those differences are no more than the kit vs RTR, hand laid vs peco or any other thing. All choices for the hobby.

All are OK with me.

I'm OK with the above with one minor clarification. Those who research their purchases may well come to the view that a command station primarily for operation, plus separate computer programmer, is the best solution for their needs. Its not using the computer as the centre of the system, just treating it as the programming bench. When running the layout, the programming bench is not present, much like most modellers don't take a lathe to a running session.

When operating/exhibiting, there is a question as to what to do if a loco needs reprogramming. Ideally it shouldn't happen, but things do go wrong. Should one carry the programming bench or rely on the command station capabilities ? But that's no different to any other fault in a loco which needs attention, the modeller has to make a call as to what tools and spares to carry and when to say the fault requires workshop attention.

regards,

- Nigel
 
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