CS3 Trials and Tribulations

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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
LGB 55025 Multidecoders and CS3

It took some experimentation but I got LGB 55025 multidecoders to operate EPL switch motors with the CS3. One needs to create a TrackBoard then populate it with at least one turnout. This lets you set the decoder parameters. The first multidecoder defaults to "A" with addresses A.1 through A.4 Adding an additional turnout to the TrackBoard allows a second multidecoder "B" to be added with addresses B.5 through B.8. The "B" decoder can then be edited using the programing track to change its starting address to "5" as described by Muns elsewhere in this forum. The "Stop" button may have to be cycled to get the CS3 to read the 55025 CVs and change the start address. Once the decoders are in the system turnouts or other devices can be added or deleted from the decoder's range of addresses. I did not try changing any of the 55025 default settings except the starting address.

The EPL turnout motors are operated by touching the graphic depiction on the TrackBoard. The straight route is shown in green when selected and the diverging track is depicted in red if it is selected. The non-selected route is shown in gray. The turnout setting toggles back and forth with each touch of the graphic depiction. One note: I did have to swap the orange and white leads on the two EPL turnouts I used for testing to get the graphic depiction to coincide with reality. Overall, it seems like a good system. You can depict your layout on the TrackBoard including any typical solenoid operated devices such as signals and fixed uncouplers. The devices are operated by touching them on the display. The 55025's use track power to operate. This should not be a problem for intermittent power drains like solenoid devices provided the maximum 5 amps of current is available. Continuous power drains like lights, etc. are probably best put on a separate booster if they're to be operated by decoders.

A couple of notes on the iPhone mobile app. I could not display the CS3's graphic layout depiction on the Mobile App. Decoder connected devices can be operated by the App, but they appear as keyboard switches. Also, the iPhone Mobile App appears to be limited to 48 devices/addresses, not the 128 devices that the CS3 allows. Also, there is a bug that causes iPhone Mobile App to default showing the diverging route as being selected whether true or not if for some reason the wireless connection to the CS3 is lost and remade. This does not affect the CS3's TrackBoard display which shows the actual state of the devices. I don't know if this is also true for the Marklin Mobile Tablet App or the Android App.

Hopefully, They'll get around to updating the Mobile Apps in the not too distant future. The iPhone version was last updated in July of 2013.

Phil S.
 
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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
594
377
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sorry Muns, I credited PhilP for the 55025 programming info by mistake.

I edited original post to correct the attribution. I'm new to this forum stuff and did not recognize the editing features available. PhilP thanks for pointing them out to me.

PhilS
 
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duncan1_9_8_4

duncan1_9_8_4

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Does the CS3 track diagram allow for main to main crossovers (2 sets of points) to be worked from one address, and is the position still reflected on the diagram when they are changed?
 
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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
594
377
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I don't think more than one device can be assigned per address. There is a warning message that come up if an address is already assigned. However, the crossover you describe can be created using a "route" which can throw multiple turnouts with a single command.
 
duncan1_9_8_4

duncan1_9_8_4

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Shame, on my dads old MTS setup and now his massoth setup, he has two point motors working off one address.
 
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MTheStrong

MTheStrong

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Shame, on my dads old MTS setup and now his massoth setup, he has two point motors working off one address.
You could connect the 2 point motors to the same sockets on the 55025. This would mean that both sets of points would change together at the same time, however you would not be able to change them individually. On balance I prefer to have each motor to have its own address and then set the route accordingly.
 
ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

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24 Oct 2009
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Shame, on my dads old MTS setup and now his massoth setup, he has two point motors working off one address.
Two issues here:

1) Nothing to stop you assigning the same DCC address to multiple point decoders, if they're the single-channel type. I expect certain multi-channel decoders will allow you to assign the same address to multiple outputs (rather than hard-coding as address, address+1, address+2 etc.)

2) Problem is the CS3's layout diagram software presumably doesn't let you have two turnout icons assigned to the same address as that would be confusing, but you get round that by setting up a route as phils2um has suggested. How are routes represented on the layout diagram?
 
duncan1_9_8_4

duncan1_9_8_4

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Just been watching a few decent videos on YouTube about the CS3. Regarding adding points, what is the difference between Instalation Decoder and Multi Decoder? Which would the correct choice be for working 4 independent points off one Masoth Switch decoder, and how is each of the four points a signed a number i.e. 1 2 3 and 4? I may be trying to run before I can walk.
 
ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

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Not very clear from reading the online manual, but my guess would be an Installation decoder is a single channel decoder, and a Multi Decoder has multiple output channels (such as Maerklin's M83 four channel decoder which is probably what they're expecting you to use). Presumably the software assumes a Multi Decoder has a start address and the following channels are offset from this? When setting up a turnout there seems to be a choice of "Existing Multi Decoder", so presumably when you add a new Multi Decoder that takes the first address, then Existing lets you use one of the follow-on addresses of the decoder.

This is all guesswork on my part though. To be honest, the more I look at the manual, the more I think the CS3 would not be for me. It seems too much geared toward Maerklin components (understandable). I'll stick to the PC based JMRI for layout diagrams and accessory control etc.
 
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duncan1_9_8_4

duncan1_9_8_4

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I have taken the plunge and bought the CS3. I am initially very very impressed. Taking it slowly and just adding locomotives at the moment. But one thing I don't find very clear, just say I want to change a loco running number from say, 3 to 15, how is this done? Or do you just change it on that locos edit page via the programming track? Thanks.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Wish I could remember a Month or two back was busy sorting out Loco DCC numbers for the Humplet on his new CS3. Hated the thing but he loves it so.... But I am sure that I did them on the Main which if I remembered correct is a big improvement on most of the systems that will change every loco that is on the line. But Humplet does have a Programming Track so I could be wrong. But yes I did use the Edit Page as you say. However with these things there could be another ootion.
JonD
 
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duncan1_9_8_4

duncan1_9_8_4

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Since I got my CS3 up and running the headlights on my locos have become irratic to say the least. I presume this is down to speed steps? But how to change them? In idiots language. They are ok on my dad's Massoth system.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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If it is speed steps you need to change CV29. This is a tricky CV to set as there are many settings controlled by individual bits. There is a helpful calculator here:
http://www.2mm.org.uk/articles/cv29 calculator.htm
Bit 1 ("on" for 28 steps) is the relevant bit.
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

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25 Oct 2009
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Does the CS3 allow you to run a loco configured for 14 steps provided you set it up that way when you input that loco's data, like you can on the Massoth system, or will it ONLY run locos that have their decoders set for 28 steps.....? Headlights either flicking on and off with every change in speed step, or not working at all, is almost certainly down to the speed step settings being different as you've surmised.

Jon.
 
MTheStrong

MTheStrong

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Does the CS3 allow you to run a loco configured for 14 steps provided you set it up that way when you input that loco's data, like you can on the Massoth system, or will it ONLY run locos that have their decoders set for 28 steps.....? Headlights either flicking on and off with every change in speed step, or not working at all, is almost certainly down to the speed step settings being different as you've surmised.

Jon.
Why would you want to run a loco with 14 speed steps when using the CS3? My CS2 was capable of running locos with 14 speed steps. This was only a temporary measue because I was using an MTS 2 as a back up until I became familiar with the CS2. I have now converted all my locos not fitted with an MFX chip to run with 28 speed steps. You do not have to configure a loco fitted with an MFX chip.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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If it is speed steps you need to change CV29. This is a tricky CV to set as there are many settings controlled by individual bits. There is a helpful calculator here:
http://www.2mm.org.uk/articles/cv29 calculator.htm
Bit 1 ("on" for 28 steps) is the relevant bit.
That is one of the most useful things I have seen for using 'Bit' CV's. I once had it described by a friend who was a Techie IT Guy (or so he thought) that only managed to completely confuse the issue for me and it was many years before I finally got it. The simple answer he should have given was:-

"look at the parts you want, add the numbers for each part and that is the value to use".

If you play a bit of maths you will find that none of the variables you use in any order will duplicate a final possible value. That CV Calculator will prove this.
JonD
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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North Essex
Why would you want to run a loco with 14 speed steps when using the CS3? My CS2 was capable of running locos with 14 speed steps. This was only a temporary measue because I was using an MTS 2 as a back up until I became familiar with the CS2. I have now converted all my locos not fitted with an MFX chip to run with 28 speed steps. You do not have to configure a loco fitted with an MFX chip.
I can see why you'd reprogram all your own loco stable to 28 steps, Martin, there is no reason not to as you say.... but say a visitor brings a "guest" loco to run on your line, and it is one that happens to have (say) an LGB factory-installed decoder that is set to 14 steps, maybe because the guest runs an MTS system himself? With a more traditional DCC system such as Massoth, you can just create a "temporary" loco profile on the Navigator to allow that loco to be run on 14 speed steps. You mention that this was still possible on the CS2...... has that option been removed from the CS3?

Jon.
 
MTheStrong

MTheStrong

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I can see why you'd reprogram all your own loco stable to 28 steps, Martin, there is no reason not to as you say.... but say a visitor brings a "guest" loco to run on your line, and it is one that happens to have (say) an LGB factory-installed decoder that is set to 14 steps, maybe because the guest runs an MTS system himself? With a more traditional DCC system such as Massoth, you can just create a "temporary" loco profile on the Navigator to allow that loco to be run on 14 speed steps. You mention that this was still possible on the CS2...... has that option been removed from the CS3?

Jon.
Hi Jon,

I do not have a CS3 yet so cannot comment directly on it. My understanding, talking to German colleagues, is that the CS3 is compatible with the CS2 so it should be possible to run a loco with 14 speed steps.

Regards

Martin
 
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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
594
377
Ann Arbor, Michigan
HI All,

I got my LGB ABe 4/4, model no. 21393, with factory MTS decoder (no sound) running up to snuff a couple of days ago. This was a big leap for me as it was my first attempt at setting CV's in a decoder and I was wary of what the result might be! It turned out to be quite straight forward with the CS3.

The lok was put on a programming track as the CS3 does not support programming on main (POM) for DCC decoders. The existing configuration values were read by the CS3 and presented in a menu. First I changed CV29 from the factory setting of 4 to 6. This changes the number of speed steps to 28 from 14 while maintaining the ability to operate in analog systems. There are two ways to change the setting with the CS3. The value can be set by tapping the box in particular CV's menu line that shows the current value. This opens a window that allows one to step up or down with +/- buttons or, alternatively, tapping the displayed value opens a further keypad that allows entering the desired value directly. The next box over on the main menu line for the CV shows a bitwise representation of what the value is set at. This is very useful to verify a setting on a CV like CV29 where each bit represents a function being either on or off. The bits are shown as either open circles (off) or grayed circles (on). The second method of setting the CV is by touching each bit's circle which will toggle it between off and on. I tried this but it is awkward. The bits are too close together and it is difficult to change only one with my fat fingers.

While I was at it, I changed the decoder address, CV1, from the default "3" to "34" which is the railcar's road number.

I also fixed an issue with the railcar's top speed which was quite slow in digital operation. CV5 was originally at a very low number (I seem to remember something like 32) even though the LGB manual shows a factory setting of 255. I set it at 128 which seems to give a visually realistic top speed to the railcar.

The top speed issue presented a question that someone out there may be able to answer. Does the track voltage affect the top speed? The Marklin PS outputs 19.3V to the track as read on the CS3. I believe the LGB MTS systems put 22V or 24V to the track. Would a lower CV5 value (in other words the original low value) be appropriate for a higher track voltage?

Phil S.