Got it running! Well almost... one question...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Agatheron, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    Hey all,

    Well, I set up my unitrack, rekeyed two of my #4 turnouts, set up a programming track and set about to run my first two decoder equipped locomotives. I have the Prodigy Express system, which is basically the Prodigy Advance minus the whistles.

    In terms of initial programming, I kept it basic. I was able to rekey my Locos to the displayed 4-digit road numbers, but I did nothing in terms of speed scales or any other issues.

    So... I ran 2 locos on a basic loop with a programming side track. I love how DCC is able to work this way. The only snag I found is when I tried to consist the two locos together. I had positioned each loco facing in the opposite direction intentionally. I brought them together, and then followed the instructions to set up my first consist. However, I discovered that when I was programming the consist, it wouldn't let me key in the direction of the consist to each locomotive. Both were automatically set to "Forward", no matter how many times I hit the "direction" key.

    This created issues when the consist was formed, because each loco tried to pull in their own direction... likely creating an unnecessary strain on the couplers and on the engine itself. I know I could lash them together Elephant-style, but according the Prodigy Express manual it should be able to have one of the locos in the consist run in reverse.

    Am I missing something here... both locos have the Digitrax DN163K1B decoder... and I was wondering if there needed to be some sort of "activation" of the advanced consisting feature...

    Any suggestions?
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    You may have a couple of other settings "wrong way round" on the loco that wants to go the wrong way in your consist, even though you've set that loco consist config as "reverse when in consist". It may be going in reverse + reverse = forward. :)

    Check out CV 19. That is the "consist address", and the last "bit" of the 7 bits is a 0 or 1 which indicates the "relative" direction of that loco in the consist from it's "normal" forward direction.

    Ensure you have both locos going "forward" in the normal operation. Try that.

    Also there is a CV to "reverse the normal forward" Check CV29 to make sure it's set OK.

    Can you see what I mean? You may have a combination of forward/reverse/reverse etc that is making the consist loco go the other way. :):)

    That's where I'd start looking, anyway, to ensure both locos have the same settings in CV 29, and they actually do both go "forward" when not in a consist.

    I'm not familiar with the Prodigy, be remember you want "consist direction" not ordinary "direction". Two different settings and CVs, as I've described above.
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I have Digitrax, but think all will work the same way. Prior to consisting the locos, make sure they both have their direction set to move in the same direction, regardless whether that is forward or backward for either unit. When you have them set to travel in the same direction independently, then consist them, and when you change the direction of the "lead" or "top" loco, the entire consist will change direction as well.
  4. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

    I figured it was something to do with the CV's of the locomotives, but I wasn't sure. In terms of programming CV19 to the right setting, I'm not quite sure if I am comfortable doing it with the Prodigy Express Console. It works the same as the Advance, with a few less features, but setting values (I think) is the same...

    If the last bit is supposed to have a value of 1 in CV19, then it stands to reason that if I assign CV19 to have a value of 1, then everything should work fine... Once it gets into the consist...

    But it's just making sure I can "get back" to what I had before if something doesn't quite work...
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Lets not get confused here. I don't know about cv19. It isn't needed for what you are asking, it may be more than you need to get into for now. cv29 allows you to change which end of the loco is considered the "front" It's intended purpose is to allow you to change, for instance, a GP7 to run long hood forward. Some roads, like the NYC, ran their GPs long hood forward, while the norm was short hood forward. If you install a decoder in a GP, correctly in regard to getting the red/black leads to the correct rails and the orange/grey leads to the proper terminals of the motor, it will run short hood forward. At least the LL ones do, and all should. So if the throttle indicates forward, it will run short hood forward, and in reverse, it will run long hood forward. If you model NYC or any other road which ran long hood forward, and want to have the loco actually run long hood forward while the throtle indicates forward (as oppossed to reverse) you can add 1 to the value which is already in cv29, and all other options controlled by cv29 will remain the same. Some of these options are # of speed steps, analog on/off, etc. I don't know if you are able to read back cv's with your Prodigy unit. It is a nice function. If you cannot, it will require a bit more knowledge to know what value to put in cv29. If you want to wait till you have more experience, fine. You don't need cv29 for your question either!

    If I understand your post, the important thing to do, as I mentioned above, is to make sure the two locos run in the same direction before you consist them. Put them on the track, not coupled. Select one locos address, have it run forward. Select the other, change the throttle as required to make it move in the same directionas the first loco. Now consist them. They will run in the same direction now. If not, the only thing I can guess is that you have already changed a cv, perhaps cv19. In that case, you need to bring it back to its default setting, which you can get from the manual for your decoder.

    Let us know how you make out.

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