Author Topic: Railpro Controlled by DCC  (Read 3513 times)

nodcc4me

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2017, 01:11:51 PM »
Chris, how does the SD60 run by itself? If you are having the same erratic running problems, then it is most likely an internal problem. If it runs well alone then there may be a setting adjustment that you haven't already tried, like the maximum current value?
Al

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TwinStar

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 01:54:47 PM »
Well.....I spent my time last night installing my 2nd module (LM-3S) in an older Athearn RTR SD60 that had a WOW decoder.   It was my WOW experimenter to see if I wanted to go down that road. The sound was great but the motor control was awful, especially for consisting. So it was an easy pick for converting to RP. 

Anyway, after installing the LM-3S, I spent the rest of the night testing/playing with RP consisting using the CI-1 and simulator throttle. I had problems getting smooth starts when setup as DPU (One lead loco and 1 pusher behind 15 cars). I would slowly increase the throttle and eventually the loco would "jump" into action. Sometimes the pusher moved first. Other times they would jump at the same time, or the slack would run in and out a few times until they settled on the same speed.   I tried all different settings with Acceleration, Deceleration, and load.  My final conclusion is that the Athearn SD60 needs some work.  It's a real growler so I'm guessing there are some drive train issues. Lots of "stiction" that need to be overcome to start moving.   Tonight I'm going to move the LM-3S into a Proto2000 SD60 (a proven smooth runner) and see if it works better.   The only other thing I could think of is the simulator (rolling the mouse wheel) does not have the fine control the HC has?  I plan to purchase an HC soon but for now it's only the CI-1 and computer.

Hopefully I'll time to run those "DCC functions in consist" tests tonight too. I got too sidetracked last night :(

Stay tuned!
Chris

Chris:

I used to have an SD40-2, a GENSET, and a GP-15 power set that I would switch UP's Centennial yard in Ft Worth, TX with. I can assure you that the real 1:1 locos will bump into each other before they settled into load sharing the cut. It was absolutely horrific if the hostlers had cut in a road jack for transfer to the next yard. And it was even more exciting when the GENSET (ex-U boat) would burst into flames.

Your Athearn might have issues but you can expect them to bump a bit when powering up even with quality scale power.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 02:16:33 PM by TwinStar »
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

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KPack

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 01:58:39 PM »
Chris - I've had the same problems with Athearn in particular.  I've found that if they make a lot of noise then there is way too much friction.  I've tried Nano-Lube, but honestly I like something a little heavier.  I have some plastic gear oil that is fairly thick.  I have to change the start voltage and Full Load Motor Current after I use it, but it quiets the gears right down and makes the locomotive run smooth as butter.

The HC-Sim doesn't have as fine of adjustment as a normal HC does, but it's likely not contributing much to the roughness you are seeing in the SD60.  That's a locomotive drivetrain problem.

-Kevin

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 01:59:33 PM »
Quote
And it was even more exiting when the GENSET (ex-U boat) would burst into flames.

Lol, that's awesome.  Can we model that in scale?

TwinStar

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 02:15:03 PM »
Quote
And it was even more exiting when the GENSET (ex-U boat) would burst into flames.

Lol, that's awesome.  Can we model that in scale?

It happened routinely. RJ Corman had a rep in the yard full time fixing the half dozen or so that we had. The State of Texas had sunk a ton of taxpayer money into the program. Fortunately the SD40's just kept loading and making power. I finally quite stopping the train when they went into Smores mode and it pissed the yard master off to no end.

I suppose an LED and one of the six pin outputs could work...
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
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Alan

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 03:49:56 PM »
I suppose an LED and one of the six pin outputs could work...

Awesome idea! Rob the LED out of a cheapo flickering candle and put it in the stack. Add a wisp of black and orange painted cotton and you have yourself a Smores mode loco. I have got to try that.
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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2017, 01:16:51 PM »
Thanks for all the great comments.   Results from last night.....

Took the LM-3S out of the Athearn RTR and put it into a Proto2000 SD60.   Updated to 2.03 and loaded 710 ULT sound.  Ran much smoother than the Athearn.

Consist testing in DCC:   Currently the only way I can consist RP locos in DCC mode is to use smart phone/Engine Driver/JMRI  or to set the DCC addresses all the same.   I am unable to get RP locos to respond to any NCE consisting,  Advanced or Old Style.  I figured the Advanced would not work, but I thought the Old Style would.  Apparently NCE Old Style is not Univeral Consisting as I thought.  If it was, it should work. I'll investgate further.  DCC guys will know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you I'll add an explanation at the end of this post.    I do not have Digitrax or other brand DCC systems to test so maybe one of you guys can work along with me?

Consist functions in DCC mode:   I confirmed that all RP locos in a DCC mode consist will respond to all function commands issued to the consist.  I guess we'll have to talk to Tim about this. You don't want all lights on or 3 horns blowing.

RP Consist testing using RP Simulator:   Consist testing went better with the change in locos, but still not to my satisfaction.  Here's the setup.  Proto2000 SD60 with LM-3S (ver2.03) in the lead.  Proto2000 GP30 with LM-3 (ver 2.03) trailing.    Much smoother starts than the Athearn.  The "jump" start is gone.  The new problem was the trail unit lagging.  Seems the lead unit was always being slowed down by the trail.  Example: DPU one loco on each end of a 15 car cut of covered hoppers.  Lead would start moving and stretch until tight and then stall. Had to continue increasing throttle to get trail to start moving.  Same results when operated in reverse direction.  Tried changing accel, decel, kick start,  start speed, top speed etc.  Finally started manually lowering motor load setting and starting getting better results.  The SD60 was auto testing around 670 on average.  The GP30 was averaging around 340.    I'm thinking the SD60 wasn't seeing enough load change at only 15 cars.  Anyone familiar with those P2K SD60 knows they are real stump pullers!  I dropped it to around 500 and saw better results.  By then it was bed time so I'll go at it again tonight.  In the mean time, I'm open to consisting tips and tricks from you experts.

 Overall I love the RP system so far,  but my limited testing hasn't gotten me to consists that run better than my DCC.  Of course I do spend a ton of time speedmatching. That's what I'm trying to get away from. I'm probably pickier than your average modeler, but I have to be. I run 40-60 car trains with mid train helpers and pushers on a 2.2% mountain pass. Things have to be good to keep from dumping a $1000 on the floor  :o

DCC Consist Types - High level overview
- Basic:  All locos are programmed to the same address.  Hence they all respond simultaneously.

- Universal:  The DCC command station sends out consist commands to each loco address in the consist, 1 address at time.   ie:  locos 100, 200 and 300 are in consist. A throttle change will send a command to each loco address in sequence. Hey 100, move fwd.  Hey 200, move fwd.  Hey 300, move fwd.

- Advanced:  A single consist address is assigned and written to CV19 in each decoder of the consisted locos.  The command station issues commands to the single consist address (not loco addresses) and all locos with that consist address will respond.  They still have their unique loco address but will not respond to commands to move when they have a consist address assigned.  All other functions such as sound or lighting will respond to the loco address. Only commands to move are ignored.
 
If the NCE Old Style consisting was a true Universal style, I see no reason why RP locos would not respond since they're address is being sent out by the command station. Further investigation forthcoming.

Regards
Chris
Modeling the Mullan Pass in 1995

KPack

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 03:04:05 PM »
Chris - with your RP consist it sounds like you've encountered the rare occasion where manually setting the FLMC (Full Load Motor Current) is necessary.  I have two locomotives that fall into that category.  Both heavily modified drivetrains that required that I manually adjust the FLMC in order to properly 'detect' changes in load in the consist.  99% of the time you will not need to do this, but thankfully the feature is there in the rare case that it's needed.  I don't recommend manually changing the FLMC routinely...usually running the automatic setting once or twice is all that is necessary.

Also, the locomotive you have as the leader will determine the behavior of the consist.  Meaning that each locomotive has a unique FLMC, start speed, etc and the others in the consist will change their behavior to work best with that leader.   You'll notice that when some locomotives lead you will need more throttle to get the consist moving, whereas with others it won't take much at all before the wheels start to turn.  It's all dependent on the lead.  Nothing wrong either way here, it's just the load-sharing doing its thing.

-Kevin

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 03:11:50 PM »
Kevin,  thats good to know.  I was wondering if the other locos would “change their behavior” on things like accel, decel or start speed. 

The trail unit was definitely lagging the consist.  The SD60 with the 15 cars went through the speedometer faster without the SD30 in consist.

Chris
Modeling the Mullan Pass in 1995

KPack

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2017, 04:21:27 PM »
Also be sure that if you make any changes to the locomotives that could affect their current draw (lubing, polishing, weight, etc) that you run the FLMC setting again.  I was going to ask, did you run the FLMC setting when you switched the LM-3S to the new loco?  I assume so, but I wanted to check.

-Kevin

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2017, 05:31:00 PM »
Kevin. Yes I ran FLMC auto test a couple times. 
Averaged about 670.
So to manually tweak I assume I would lower the number for better load detection is this correct?
Chris
Modeling the Mullan Pass in 1995

KPack

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Re: Railpro Controlled by DCC
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2017, 06:35:31 PM »
Usually yes.  Test it both ways (higher and lower) to see what works best for that particular locomotive.

-Kevin