Mylocosound question?

T

Thornmini

Registered
10 Jan 2020
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Brunswick, GA
I really hope I'm not plowing old ground in this forum but I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere. I recently bought a Mylocosound steam sound card (after watching, listening and reading the truly inspiring Peckforton Light Railway blog) to replace an old Dallee card in an LGB Corpet engine. The Mylocosound board works and sounds great in all respects (at least to my ear and compared to the Dallee) except in one area --- the chuff will not run in "coast". There is only one reference in the Mylocosound instructions under "load sensitivity" which states: "The default sensitivity is two (beeps) and change to one if you want more sensitivity or three or more if the chuff sounds erratic." That is unfortunately the case with my board and engine. The chuffs do not sound right unless I set the load sensitivity to three beeps. To say the least, I am pretty disappointed. I had really looked forward to listen to it chuff heartily and then go into a coast when I backed off the throttle, just like wonderful steam engines in the PLR videos and the terrific Mylocosound setup tutorial. My question is --- why is the chuff erratic at low sensitivity and can I do anything to make the "coast" work? Peter and Rik --- are you there?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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25 Oct 2009
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I really hope I'm not plowing old ground in this forum but I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere. I recently bought a Mylocosound steam sound card (after watching, listening and reading the truly inspiring Peckforton Light Railway blog) to replace an old Dallee card in an LGB Corpet engine. The Mylocosound board works and sounds great in all respects (at least to my ear and compared to the Dallee) except in one area --- the chuff will not run in "coast". There is only one reference in the Mylocosound instructions under "load sensitivity" which states: "The default sensitivity is two (beeps) and change to one if you want more sensitivity or three or more if the chuff sounds erratic." That is unfortunately the case with my board and engine. The chuffs do not sound right unless I set the load sensitivity to three beeps. To say the least, I am pretty disappointed. I had really looked forward to listen to it chuff heartily and then go into a coast when I backed off the throttle, just like wonderful steam engines in the PLR videos and the terrific Mylocosound setup tutorial. My question is --- why is the chuff erratic at low sensitivity and can I do anything to make the "coast" work? Peter and Rik --- are you there?
Watch this vid I have set this to 8 beats to each revolution and it does coast as you turn the speed down as seen around 2.20ish. Have another look at the manual and after Button 7 when selecting 3 for chuff rate after this are further instructions using the buttons on the adjustment remote. This is what you need to play with.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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You also need to sync the chuff Speed, it is in the manual, but I missed it first time through, more than on speed for the chuff.
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
893
23
South Australia
Sorry to hear of your difficulty. The chuff in the steam soundcard is designed to chuff hard when accelerating, softens a bit when coasting and then goes into an overrun sound when decelerating. You can select to trigger the chuff in two ways; off the motor voltage or by using a mechanical chuff timer. The default is off the motor voltage and that is what you are using. So when the voltage is increasing you should get the hard chuff, the softer chuff when the voltage is constant and the overrun when it is decreasing. Sounds simple but, as you have found, it is not always that easy.

The problem you have is that your motor voltage is fluctuating up and down a bit and that is causing the soundcard to bounce between its modes in an effort to keep up. The solution, which you have used, is to reduce the sensitivity by increasing the setting to three beeps or more. That will smooth out the erratic chuffs but may also stop the soundcard detecting small intentional throttle changes, as you have found.

I can suggest two solutions. Firstly, it sounds like the loco is pretty old. Therefore I would get a spray can of electrical cleaner and give the motor a good clean. Hopefully this will reduce the voltage fluctuations and allow you to set the sensitivity back to one or two beeps.

Secondly you could fit a chuff timer, using magnets and a reed switch, so that you no longer have to rely on the motor voltage for chuff triggering.

Let me know how it goes and, if necessary, I can talk to our engineer on Monday and see if we can suggest other solutions.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
 
T

Thornmini

Registered
10 Jan 2020
15
1
73
Brunswick, GA
Thanks Jimmy and Jon --- I probably should have given a few more specifics about my trains. I run battery power with radio control (Locolinc Series 200 transmitter and KLR-202 receiver in the engine). I set the Mylocosound Button 7 Steam Chuff to the first beep (auto chuff based on motor voltage) at 4 beats per wheel revolution as per Rik Bennett's video for setting up the chuff. As per his further suggestion in the video, I set the load sensitivity to the lowest sensitivity setting (one beep) but when I ran the engine, my chuff was very erratic ---- sometimes it would chuff normally for a few seconds, then go very low for a short time, then some non-descript hissing noise, back to loud chuff and so forth. Lowering the throttle did nothing to bring on any coasting. So it seems I have followed the advice you both have given me but I still get no coast.
 
T

Thornmini

Registered
10 Jan 2020
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73
Brunswick, GA
Hello Peter ---- your reply is very appreciated. Thanks for the full explanation on how the chuffing works and you are right that my engine is older. Also, I feel better as it seems I did the right steps to try a get the board to coast. Being on battery power I dismissed voltage problems as a cause but I did not take into account an old or dirty motor as a possible culprit. It does make sense. I'll open the engine up some more and give the motor a good going over and let you know. Again, appreciate the help.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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20 Apr 2017
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the chuff will not run in "coast".
When you have it running, the CH Up/Down buttons on the remote control how sensitive the chuff is to coasting. If you reduce the sensitivity then the chuff still sounds when coasting.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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When you have it running, the CH Up/Down buttons on the remote control how sensitive the chuff is to coasting. If you reduce the sensitivity then the chuff still sounds when coasting.
I think you will find Channel up/down controls the chuff rate as descried in the MLS handbook under button 7 - para 3.
 
ge_rik

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
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Only just picked this up, but Peter has given a much more detailed response than I could have done. I occasionally get the sort of erratic sound that you report, but I can usually overcome it by tweaking the speed control setting on the transmitter just a fraction. However, it sounds as if your problem is more persistent, so maybe Peter's suggestion is the way to go.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on. Thanks for the feedback on the videos btw. Always encouraging to hear when my meanderings and mutterances have been helpful.

Rik
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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I think you will find Channel up/down controls the chuff rate as descried in the MLS handbook under button 7 - para 3.
Au contraire, mon ami. I bought mine from RCS in Oz (good exchange rate from the US,) and here's their manual:
Channel up/down buttons– Load Sensitivity. The soundcard can be programmed to make the engine loud when accelerating and softer when coasting and slowing down. The channel up/down buttons change the level of sensitivity as indicated by the number of beeps when pressed. One beep indicates maximum sensitivity. Five beeps sets minimum sensitivity i.e. the engine will be loud all the time. The default sensitivity is two and change to one if you want more sensitivity or three or more if the chuff sounds erratic.

The CH UP/DOWN works when not in programming mode - i.e. Mute not pressed, and while the loco is actually running; just as the volume controls volume while operating.
I actually sent a video link to Peter Lucas and here's the original (chuff sensitivity set to 2) You can hear the chuff sound cut out on the coasting section:

On this second video the sensitivity has been reduced.


Don't have an MLS handbook! My manual says this about button 7:
Button 7 Steam Chuff. The locomotive chuff can be generated in three ways:
1 beep Automatic chuff based on the motor voltage for two or four cylinders. (Default)
2 beeps Automatic chuff based on the motor voltage for locomotives with three cylinders.
3 beeps Mechanically triggered chuff. For locomotives which have a built in chuff trigger on an axle. The output from that chuff trigger needs to be connected to the F7 terminal on the soundcard. Note that the chuff trigger will function only when there is a voltage on the M1/M2 terminals.


My board is blue - maybe you have an old manual?
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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very interesting stuff, especially how a "dirty motor" can affect the chuffing and coasting. Apparently this affects the voltage read by the board for chuff intensity. Clever, but clearly not the same as BEMF load measuring.
 
PhilP

PhilP

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Now then children! ;)

Actually, you are BOTH correct! :):nod:

In setting mode:
Ch. Up/Down set's beats per revolution..

In Run mode:
Ch. Up/Down is used for 'Load Sensitivty'.. Which is what changes the 'Coasting' effect.
Page 8, below the section for Button-9.

:nerd:
PhilP.

(Typed whilst Greg was posting. Aimed at post's above his. Oh! very-much tongue in cheek :* )
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Au contraire, mon ami. I bought mine from RCS in Oz (good exchange rate from the US,) and here's their manual:
Channel up/down buttons– Load Sensitivity. The soundcard can be programmed to make the engine loud when accelerating and softer when coasting and slowing down. The channel up/down buttons change the level of sensitivity as indicated by the number of beeps when pressed. One beep indicates maximum sensitivity. Five beeps sets minimum sensitivity i.e. the engine will be loud all the time. The default sensitivity is two and change to one if you want more sensitivity or three or more if the chuff sounds erratic.

The CH UP/DOWN works when not in programming mode - i.e. Mute not pressed, and while the loco is actually running; just as the volume controls volume while operating.
I actually sent a video link to Peter Lucas and here's the original (chuff sensitivity set to 2) You can hear the chuff sound cut out on the coasting section:
Taken from a the MLS manual:

Setting the engine running speed. When the loco is in motion, even at slow speed, you can use the channel up/down buttons to set the rate at which the chuff increases with speed. Aim for four chuffs per wheel revolution for two or four cylinder locos and six chuffs per revolution for three cylinder locos.
8
Setting load sensitivity. The soundcard can be programmed to make the engine loud when accelerating and softer when coasting and slowing down. Button 8 changes the level of sensitivity as indicated by the number of beeps when pressed. One beep indicates maximum sensitivity. Five beeps sets minimum sensitivity ie. the engine will be loud all the time. Start by setting the sensitivity to two and change to one if you want more sensitivity or three or more if the chuff sounds erratic. After five beeps the sensitivity will return to one beep.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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Taken from a the MLS manual:
Ah, but I have the RCS version of the Manual. It says my button 8 is Brake Squeal.
https://www.rcs-rc.com/store/PDF/MyLocosound/RCS Steam 17b Jan 1st 2019 Instructions.pdf

Jimmy, I think you have the different UK Manual.
http://www.mylocosound.com/linked/plc009_steam_instructions_uk.pdf
Interesting - the American manual says what mine says - 8 is brake squeal. The UK manual says it is chuff sensitivity!
http://www.mylocosound.com/linked/plc009_steam_instructions_us.pdf

Wonder which version of the board the OP actually has? In any case, whether it is CH Up/Down or Button 8, we have given him the solution. >:)
 
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T

Thornmini

Registered
10 Jan 2020
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Brunswick, GA
Well --- I'm back. Following Peter's advice I took the motor totally out of its case and cleaned it thoroughly with electrical cleaner (including removing all old grease, etc.) and tested it -- it ran very smoothly. While the motor case was open I cleaned the entire case and removed all old grease and debris from everywhere including the gears. With all components back to their virgin condition, I then re-greased and re-oiled (gently! -- no slathering) where it was required and then re-assembled the motor case. Tested the motor again, still great. Took my time and re-assembled the chassis, rods and all the running gear (making sure my quartering was just as perfect as I could get it), re-tested (with direct power, no r/c or sound) --- still running like a top. Finally added the r/c receiver and Mylocosound board, crossed my fingers, set the load sensitivity to one beep. Started the engine and the chuff started with wheel movement --- but as I increased the throttle, the chuff started to cut out again. As I continued testing, throttling up or down, the normal chuff would start and then cut out, in irregular spurts. Mind you this result was considerably better than my first experience but obviously not quite there. Trying the load sensitivity at two beeps resulted in slightly better performance but still erratic. At three beeps, the chuff sounded great and operated just as Peter described in his reply above. So, overall, yes, the chuff became slightly better at load sensitivity one and two but I could not detect any sense of a real "coasting". HOWEVER, my LGB Corpet motor and running gear have not been this clean nor have run so well since they came out of the box!! Now there's the silver lining to this little cloud of mine. All further advice now welcome --- and thanks to all who have answered. Mike
 
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Bill Barnwell

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got two birds with 1 stone so to speak
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
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Well I'm glad we got your loco running better although disappointed that it did not solve your problem.

We have done some research and are wondering how old your KLR-202 receiver is. The original KLR-202s had a PWM frequency of 500-2000Hz whereas modern receivers are around 20KHz. The Locolinc web site describes the Series 200 transmitters as The original Locolinc family was designed with a modular approach in mind. That is a typical locomotive receiver consists of an RF receiver and a control board. The design of the Locolinc Series 200 allows existing systems a convenient compatible path of operation by using a unique converter module to replace the RF receiver. We are wondering if "the unique converter module" is affecting the motor voltage in some way that the soundcard does not like.

One way of checking would be to put the loco on blocks for static running, disconnect the KLR-202 from the motor and connect a model railway controller in its place. Then power up and see if the problem still exists. If the broken chuff on one beep disappears then the KLR-202 is the problem.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
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South Australia
By the way, the confusion over button allocations probably relates to different versions of the soundcards. The current blue soundcard has the brake squeal on TV remote button 8. The older green soundcard, which was superseded two years ago, had the chuff sensitivity on button 8.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
 
T

Thornmini

Registered
10 Jan 2020
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Brunswick, GA
Thanks again Peter. I have my engine on a static run stand so I can try your suggestion and test the engine without the receiver. I'll let you know. By the way --- while I was running the engine a little while ago, with the load sensitivity at 3, at start up the chuff was nice and throaty but after about five seconds the volume lowered even though I was still accelerating the throttle. Even if I decelerated and then accelerated again, the chuff volume never increased and always stayed at that mid-range volume. I tried this a number of times with the same result. The way I understood your great chuff explanation, I thought that the chuff volume would always increase while throttling up. Am I mistaken? Also, while testing, I would stop the engine while I thought something through. I then noticed that after a few minutes (I never really measured the time) the background steam hiss would stop and the engine would go totally silent. I assumed the hiss would always stay on when the engine was idle. Is the shutdown normal because the battery power was always on? Some more things to think about ---- Sorry?
 
T

Thornmini

Registered
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Brunswick, GA
Peter ---- I'll be hornswoggled!!! I'm not sure exactly what that means myself but it otherwise certainly means you are absolutely RIGHT! I did exactly as you said and --- no more problem! The chuff works just like in Rik's video. The Locolinc Series 200 transmitter is fairly new and communicates with the receiver via wi-fi which dramatically expands the distance you can control your trains. As you said the old receivers had a small RF board wire connected to them for radio reception. To use the new transmitter you have to exchange the RF board with the "unique converter module" to receive wi-fi. I got the new transmitter just about six months ago and am still in the process of changing out RF boards on all my 15 engines --- just a couple more to go. So now my question is ---- is it the new "unique converter module" or is it the old KLR-202 receiver that is giving us the problem? Or both? What do we do now? Btw, the steam hiss actually shuts down after about a minute and a half ---this time I timed it.