How to call up an engine if you don't know its number

Spike Morningstar Dec 13, 2016

  1. Spike Morningstar

    Spike Morningstar New Member

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    I have a NCE powercab and I recently got an MTH HO F7 a and b units. (Item #80-2111-1L for a if that helps) I tried to change the long address on the A unit using the instructions in the book. I must have done something wrong because at first I could call up other engines but everything worked except they would not move. If I unplugged the powercab with nothing on the track other engines worked ub=ntil I put the MTH A unit on the track. I can not call up the MTH A unit at all. I started trying different short addresses up to about 22 and decided there should be an easier way. Help!!! Many thanks in advance Spike
     
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky N scale Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Put it on a programming track and do a factory reset (typically, set CV8=8). This will reset the address to the default (03).
     
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  3. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Then reprogram the number to the one you want.
     
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  4. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have the same issue. Does the loco have to on a programing track or will a vacant mainline track do? Jim
     
  5. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    If you have any other trains on the layout, they will be reprogrammed too.
     
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky N scale Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Right - since the loco in question is not responding, you want to use programming track mode (not Ops-Mode "programming on the main"). You want to make sure that only this unit gets the reset command and the new address.

    I have found it much better to do any address programming and "major fixes" on programming track. OpsMode programming is fine for speed matching and lighting changes and other behaviors.
     
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  7. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, I'm the electrical dummy I always thought I was, so no disappointment there. I have Bmann 4-4-0 modern that just sits on the track and makes steam engine noises. I can't get it to run in any direction. I have the basic NCE and I went through the book most of today with no joy. DID I kill my loco's motor somehow? It is only 6 months old and ran perfectly for ten minutes before I put it back the box. Only to pull it out a couple days and now no movement. Jim:sick:
     
  8. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just a suggestion. Since you are new to DCC. Use a Program Track and avoid programming on the main.

    To program on the main: You need to be sure the power to your locomotives sitting in storage are shut down. Otherwise you risk reprogramming all your locomotives. There are guys who do this but they are also able to shut off other train locomotives or motors with DPDT electrical toggle switches. No power on to tracks under other active locomotives....no risk taking.
     
  9. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    Hey Rick, You have it backwards. "Prog. on the Maine" allows you to change CV values on a loco whilst running or stopped, with other locos right on same track. "Use Prog Track" is where you'll mess up other loco programs if they are on same track and, or entire layout is not gapped anywhere. IE. to use "Use Prog Track" (for more serious CV alterations) either all the other locos must be removed, or, best, you have a gapped/isolated section (likely in an engine yard close to you) of track used as a 'programming track' so that other locos will not be a affected...M
     
  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    For the experienced what you say is true and can be done. For a newbie....not recommended.

    On your program track you can install a DPDT electrical toggle switch. Center out Hot to the track. Tie in the regular track power supply to one end of the DPDT and the programming wires to the other end. Now you can program and then test track the locomotive at the flip of a electrical switch. No accidental reprogramming of other locomotive sitting on the main or somewhere else that's Hot on the layout.
     
  11. Josta

    Josta TrainBoard Supporter

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    With my trusty good old-school analog DC common-wired layout, I don't have to worry about any of this which is mostly Greek to me anyways. Just flip an A-B switch, and off the locomotive goes! No fiddling with controllers. lol

    Merry Christmas!

    John

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    John's Layout mystifies me. Trouble free for the most part. There's something to be said for the old Analog.

    Trouble is John, likes a quiet layout so you don't hear the typical sounds that come from all those DCC layouts. Most guys run the sound way to loud for my comfort so I enjoy John's layout.
     
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  13. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    Rick (above/Thur. 5:57). Sorry, but you're incorrect. 'Program on the Main' requires no experience to do it. This includes the newest of newbies. Nothing but nothing here harms the engine being programed nor other engines on the tracks (others don't get affected during POM of selected loco). POM allows simple things such as whistle type, volume, bell speed and things of this sort to be accomplished whilst running or idling..Again, it's 'Use Program Track' where a track either needs to be isolated from rest of tracks by employing gaps in both rails at its start, or if engine is the only engine on layout. In which case entire Layout then can be used as the program track. This requires a bit more knowledge and experience with CV values (maybe)....
    I forget. What DCC system do you use (NCE, Digitrax, Lenz, Bach) ? .... M
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  14. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

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    Rick since he tried the program on the main and it did not work, why not let him try having a separate from the layout programing track?
     
  15. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, this thread is a little crazy... well to the op, if you unplug a powercab, there is no DCC on the rails, and if the other locos run, sounds like you have DC on the rails or something else. Sounds crazy... since the OP has not come back perhaps his problem is solved.

    Also, a few people need to realize some systems will put the entire layout in service mode (programming track), so all of this should be sorted and known before meaningful suggestions can be made...

    Greg
     
  16. ViperBugloss

    ViperBugloss TrainBoard Member

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    Since the original post was made on Dec 13 it is possible that the problem has now been solved. However, I shall add my two cents worth.

    The original post was titled "How to call up an engine if you don't know its number" and the DCC system being used is a NCE Power Cab. The NCE Power Cab uses two programming techniques. One is titled "PROGRAM ON MAIN" and is a write only method. The other is titled "USE PROGRAM TRK" and is read/write method.

    The "USE PROGRAM TRK" method can be used to determine an engine's number by selecting this method and then selecting "STD". This will go through a series of steps in which the values are read and can then be changed if required. This will show the number. With the NCE Power Cab the "USE PROGRAM TRK" method can be done on the mainline, provided there is only one engine on the mainline. I do not know what would happen if this method were used with multiple engines, but imagine asking a group of children to tell you their names and they all shout at once. Alternatively, a separate piece of track can be used and for this it is worthwhile getting a second NCE Powercab Panel and possibly a second power supply.

    A step-up is to use DecoderPro as outlined by DCC Guy in his excellent YouTube video titled "DCC Interfaces". The information pertinent to the NCE PowerCab is at about 3:40.
     
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  17. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, and in addition, you need to be sure it is PS III, and also if I remember right, there are restrictions/limitations to the PS III programming, notably service mode (the programming track) does NOT work, you have to program on the main.

    Therefore if you screw up, the only way to correct it is a full loco reset.

    I have some helpful MTH DCC information here: http://www.elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=324&Itemid=362

    Scroll down to the DCC part.

    Greg

    p.s. you cannot technically call any system "DCC" unless it responds to service mode.
     
  18. ViperBugloss

    ViperBugloss TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Greg.

    I now see that it is much more complicated than "How to call up an engine if you don't know its number?" as the locomotives in question are using a proprietary system, the Mike's Train House Digital Command System (MTH DCS). This problem is going to require specialist knowledge.

    Rob Pearce (aka ViperBugloss)
     
  19. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, basically if you "lose" the DCC address the best thing is reset the loco and then change the address to what you want.

    Greg
     
  20. bnsf971

    bnsf971 TrainBoard Member

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    This is very simple with MTH. On the main, in ops mode, call up address 55. Then set cv55 to 55.
    Remove the engine from power for about 5 seconds. The decoder will be reset.
    Next, call up engine 3, verify it works, the program cv29 to 38. That will set the address to the cab number.
     

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