TCS FL4 Reverse Direction Issue

trptman Feb 27, 2019

  1. trptman

    trptman New Member

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    I'm attempting to program the FL4 decoder before mounting it in a loco. I'm using DecoderPro and Sprog3 and am able to set the lighting effect on each function without issue. However, the functions only work when the function is set to both directions or forward direction. When I put a function into reverse direction, it will not light up at all regardless of the direction set on the throttle. Separately, I'm testing a Loksound Micro Select and don't have any issues with direction. Any suggestions on things I can try for the FL4? Thanks!
     
  2. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Trpt, are you programming on the main? I did an fl4 for lighting in 4449 a few weeks ago, and didn’t have any issues programming my reverse light, nor for Mars to turn off in reverse.

    I just “did it” in jmri. Probably because I didn’t know any better, lol.

    Are you writing changes, or sheets?
    I found that because of the lack of feedback /ack , I had to write sheet to ensure the setting took, then I’d flip the track power off and on, and it would be working as expected.
    Doing the resistor on one of the light outputs as suggested in the manual did NOT work at all for me, thus the blind on the main as write sheet approach.
     
  3. trptman

    trptman New Member

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    I've been writing in various combinations - single CV, changes on sheet and whole sheet. I do get feedback as the light flashes for each CV written and can alter the light effect without difficulty. I agree that, like you, I have been unable to read the decoder and have tried various combinations of resistors without results. I've also tried changing to programming mode and putting the JMRI connection to the Sprog in sprog mode - no difference.

    The other thing I'll note is that when I put a function in forward direction only, the throttle direction doesn't make a difference - that is the light will remain on when putting the throttle in reverse.

    I think tonight, I may try to reset the FL4 and start over - not a big deal. I've tried so many changes to CVs that I'm not sure what I messed up, so it may be better to start over and test each change carefully.
     
  4. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like the address isn’t taking, to me.
    Have you considered putting the loco this will be paired with on the track so it can ack for you?
    Or a completely different one?
    I put my 6104 f3a on the track when I did the fl4 address change, then removed the fl4 and wrote all sheets for the correct entry/ the correct address etc back to the f3a.

    Also, you do have the fl4 as it’s own roster entry in jmri, correct? Mine for example is named “z lights 4449” so it goes to the bottom of the roster, jmri can’t apparently handle multiple decoders in one roster entry.
     
  5. trptman

    trptman New Member

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    No difficulty changing address and using either the short or long address. I've been programming the decoder using a separate roster entry and with nothing else connected to the track except the FL4. The lights respond find to the throttle buttons as long as the function has been programmed to both directions.
     
  6. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    I apologize for asking but, are you sure you aren’t seeing the default DC override on the lights?

    I think you’ve got the right idea, reset it fully.
    But you might consider putt8ng a loco on the track so something responds to the acks. Can always go back and write all sheets on the loco to put it back the way it was after.
     
  7. trptman

    trptman New Member

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    I reset the decoder tonight and proceeded to make each change individually and test each one before proceeding to the next change. I got it working the way I intended. Onizukachan - thanks for your responses.

    For what it's worth, I have a few notes that may help the next person working on one of these decoders. I'm using JMRI version 4.12. First, attach an led with resistor to one of the outputs - every time a CV is written successfully, it will flash - very helpful feedback. Second, when changing the Function Map, make sure to write the entire sheet. I made the mistake of initially writing just the changes and it left some old settings in some of the CVs and got some weird results as I tested using the function keys. You can confirm the setting are right by comparing the CV settings after changing the Function Map to the TCS manual and/or pressing all the function keys that shouldn't respond to make sure it doesn't light the output.

    Next, on the Lights sheet, some of the wire effect drop-downs aren't matched to the correct CV setting. For example, when the purple wire is set to constant dim for both directions (CV52=44), Auto Mars shows in the drop-down. I recommend setting the effects by using the CVs directly.

    In order to lock the decoder with multi-decoder installs on the same loco using the same address, a recommended practice is to set CVs 15 and 16 which this decoder supports. When they match, you can make changes. When they differ, the decoder is locked. Each decoder in the loco will have a different value for CV16. In order to set CV15, you need to use the Simple Programmer to change this CV. The key here is to set the Mode to Ops Byte.

    Lastly, I struggled to figure out how to change the decoder address. Every time I attempted to make the change, the led would light indicating the CV was being written, but the throttle would only respond when the address was the default of 3. What finally worked was changing the preference to Sprog from Sprog Command, using the programming track option with the Direct Bit. I may not have needed all three of those, but at least, it is working now.

    Next up, is to finish the preliminary set up on the Loksound decoder (almost done), and test the two together. After that, I'll be ready to install the decoders and leds in the loco!
     
  8. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Man, I’m glad to hear it all worked out. I didn’t realize you didn’t have anything connected!
    I can tell you One thing it does NOT do well with LEDs is dimming, recommend dimming via additional resistor, or via tinted canopy glue.

    Cab interior is dimmed via canopy glue method and numberboards via extra 220 ohm resistor.

    If you will be using mars light, I put the settings that worked for me (603 LED) in my home thread below, along with a video.
    Once it is installed, it’s pretty easy to tweak those. All the numbers interplay though, so as you change brightness, the cycle speeds up or slows down a partial step also.
     

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