Piko 35013 decoder programming?

J

john493

Registered
19 Jul 2014
18
somewhere
Has anybody successfully programmed ne of these things? I bought one, even though they're eye-wateringly expensive, because they are reasonably weather proof (for California). But I can't for the life of me get it to change its addresses with my NCE controller. I've tried with/without the programming track, with/without the programming link. The LED flashes when I try to rewrite the CVs, but the addresses haven't changed. I follow the procedure in the (poor) manual, and also what their youtube video says. But with no success. Maybe I'm missing some vital step (oh, I did set CV2=77 as well) or maybe the thing is just fundamentally broken.

Fortunately the Digitrax DS64 works well, and is half the price, but it does need to go into a box for even modest weather protection.

Incidentally I also have a Massoth decoder, and I could never get that to program either. I have a couple of ancient LGB decoders which were a pain to program, but it could be done. But one of them died, hence the need for a replacement.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I put my ds64's in inexpensive outdoor boxes, the gray ones used as conduit junction boxes.

I would guess the Piko controller is Massoth, is there a massoth product with the same appearance?

Also I have found that many european switch/function decoders need the programming track disconnected momentarily after programming each CV.

Also what mode are you using to program, remember your NCE has multiple modes, besides direct mode, perhaps you need paged, this is in the NCE manual.

Greg
 
J

john493

Registered
19 Jul 2014
18
somewhere
I'll try the disconnecting the programming track trick, see if that works. But it's on ebay now, let's hope someone with an all-Piko system has a need for it!

It's my understanding that the Piko is actually an Uhlenbrock. It certainly looks different (board layout etc) from the Massoth.

Hadn't thought of using the conduit boxes, I've been using "proper" outdoor boxes from Digikey.
 
J

john493

Registered
19 Jul 2014
18
somewhere
Just tried again, including disconnecting from the track... still no joy. It's strange, when I try to set CV2, it reads back OK. But for CV32 (to set the switch number) it waits for a long while, then says "failed to read CV". The NCE still lets you program it, the light flashes, and the switch motor jolts, so something is happening. But still the switch number doesn't change. I think there must be some secret handshake with the Piko controller that stops it working with any other controller.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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Now you know why I use the Digitrax controller... had same type of crazy issues with programming DCC switch controllers from Train-Li, the ones built into the motor casing.

I have found too many European decoders that do not meet NMRA programming standards, and of course the manufacturer blames it on your DCC system...

Greg
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,224
Ascot
I don't have one, but it has the same connections as an old LGB 4-switch decoder (which was rebadged Massoth) but the CV settings and options are a subset of the Massoth 4-switch decoder, so I imagine it is a rebadged Massoth.
The procedure for programming it is the same as for the old LGB 4-switch decoders, i.e. you connect it to programming output of your command station, put a jumper across two connections to put it into programming mode, and attach a switch motor to the first pair of outputs to provide a load. Then CV programming as usual. When finished removed the jumper and that prevents it from being accidentally re-programmed.
In the manual I can't find any reference to CV2 and 77. You can reset the configuration settings by writing 77 to CV7.
As I said I don't have one so I got all this from the manual:
https://www.champex-linden.de/download_fremddokumente_piko/piko_35013_bda.pdf
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,166
Tamworth, Staffs.
So is the OP trying to set either non-existent CV's, or just has the wrong documentation?
 
J

john493

Registered
19 Jul 2014
18
somewhere
> So is the OP trying to set either non-existent CV's, or just has the wrong documentation?

Neither of the above, as far as I (OP) can tell. I am trying to set CV 32, which according to the documentation and the Youtube video made by Piko is the correct one. It apparently accepts this - the LED says 'A' and the point motor twitches. But the address doesn't change. One oddity is that my NCE controller successfully reads CV2, but times out trying to read CV32 (or any others). I strongly suspect an undocumented, proprietary "secret handshake" between the Piko controller and decoder, that is needed for the setup to work. (And yes, I DO have the programming link in place).

If PhilP PhilP , or anyone else, has successfully programmed this decoder with a non-Piko controller, I would be delighted to know how.

idlemarvel idlemarvel - I'm pretty sure that this is NOT a Massoth, but rather an Uhlenbrock. I have read that, and for sure the board looks nothing like either LGB or the Massoth decoder (which I also have and which also cannot be programmed). I have successfully programmed LGB decoders. But the Digitrax wins hands down. If anybody wants to take either of the others off my hands for a reasonable, but heavily discounted, price, I would be delighted.
 
D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
305
Eastern MA
I found that my older Zimo MX1 needed the timinh changed for the DCC pulses to program some decoders. This unit has 3 different time sets for programming and one does shut off the DCC pulse for a short time. Also found the LGB 55045 will program lower value CV's if needed when nothing else worked.
 
1

1to3

I'm New, Please Be Gentle
14 Sep 2015
60
Did you try with a jumper? They recommend cutting a paperclip. Changing channels to program is pretty simple from what I see. There is a YouTube video showing how...
 
J

john493

Registered
19 Jul 2014
18
somewhere
Yep, tried that. And watched the video.
 
P

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
596
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Did CV 29 (bit 7) get screwed up where it's expecting loco addresses rather than switch addresses?
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Has anybody successfully programmed ne of these things? I bought one, even though they're eye-wateringly expensive, because they are reasonably weather proof (for California). But I can't for the life of me get it to change its addresses with my NCE controller. I've tried with/without the programming track, with/without the programming link. The LED flashes when I try to rewrite the CVs, but the addresses haven't changed. I follow the procedure in the (poor) manual, and also what their youtube video says. But with no success. Maybe I'm missing some vital step (oh, I did set CV2=77 as well) or maybe the thing is just fundamentally broken.

Fortunately the Digitrax DS64 works well, and is half the price, but it does need to go into a box for even modest weather protection.

Incidentally I also have a Massoth decoder, and I could never get that to program either. I have a couple of ancient LGB decoders which were a pain to program, but it could be done. But one of them died, hence the need for a replacement.
Some DCC Command Stations don't produce enough voltage to program certain brand decoders. For example, Massoth puts that warning up front in their DCC decoder installation instructions. A couple years ago I installed a Massoth XL DCC Power Decoder into a customer's LGB F7A locomotive along with a Phoenix PB17 Sound Decoder. I programmed the decoder on my Programming Track using a Piko Central Station (made by Massoth). It all tested out well on my Programming Track and my indoor layout using my Massoth Central Station, but when my customer tried to program the decoder later using his NEC DCC system, he couldn't get it work. I researched it further myself and Phoenix Sound folks advised me that some of the NEC DCC systems don't have enough power to program Massoth DCC decoders. After I advised my customer of this, he borrowed a friend's Piko DCC system, and bingo, he was able to program the Massoth decoder.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,048
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Yeah, actually I'd bet any money that it was not the current/voltage on the NCE, but the common thing that some of the lower function (stationary and lights only) decoders do.... found this after a lot of head scratching, since the NCE is one of the few systems that can do direct, register, and paged programming... (bet you did not know that)..... most systems only do one or 2 modes and do not let you control the modes either, just try direct and if it fails fall back to another mode.

The issue usually is that old school European decoders often need a short disconnect after programming a CV. Finally figured this out when the Zimo people told me my NCE was crap. I programmed a CV then disconnected the track for a fraction of a second and voila!

So, this practice will probably continue as the "unpublished secret" since the immediate response is "your XYZ system is crap and you should buy and ABC system" because the ABC system works.

I have Zimo and NCE, and rarely have found anything the NCE won't program, so when I see a situation like this, normally it is really a poor decoder design, based on this issue from old hardware designs and poor processors, not to mention that REQUIRING a power interruption just at the end of sending the programming command is NOT IN THE DCC SPECIFICATION....

Anyway, when I get hardware like this, I look for another vendor, one that can be programmed by anyone's DCC system, not one that needs some magic, nonstandard programming routine.

Greg
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Yeah, actually I'd bet any money that it was not the current/voltage on the NCE, but the common thing that some of the lower function (stationary and lights only) decoders do.... found this after a lot of head scratching, since the NCE is one of the few systems that can do direct, register, and paged programming... (bet you did not know that)..... most systems only do one or 2 modes and do not let you control the modes either, just try direct and if it fails fall back to another mode.

The issue usually is that old school European decoders often need a short disconnect after programming a CV. Finally figured this out when the Zimo people told me my NCE was crap. I programmed a CV then disconnected the track for a fraction of a second and voila!

So, this practice will probably continue as the "unpublished secret" since the immediate response is "your XYZ system is crap and you should buy and ABC system" because the ABC system works.

I have Zimo and NCE, and rarely have found anything the NCE won't program, so when I see a situation like this, normally it is really a poor decoder design, based on this issue from old hardware designs and poor processors, not to mention that REQUIRING a power interruption just at the end of sending the programming command is NOT IN THE DCC SPECIFICATION....

Anyway, when I get hardware like this, I look for another vendor, one that can be programmed by anyone's DCC system, not one that needs some magic, nonstandard programming routine.

Greg
Hi Greg - Regarding your comment about de-powering a decoder after programming a CV, I've also experienced this requirement. I was programming an old LGB DCC decoder and it wouldn't accept the CV setting. So I remembered that Soundtraxx actually suggests doing this for their large scale DCC decoders after each CV setting. I then did it for the pesky LGB decoder, and wow, it worked. The easiest way to de-power is to just lift up one side of the loco's wheels and then put it back down on the programming track. Welcome to the Wonderful World of DCC technology, as the saying goes.
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,048
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Yeah, what was painful is that very few people know this, and the DCC manufacturers rarely if ever mention it. I do the same thing, but normally I have this issue on stationary decoders, like the DCC switch motors from Train-Li, which of course come from Europe.

I have a PTB-100, which I bought early on listening to the horrors of failed programming, people hooking light bulbs, resistors and other stuff into the program track wiring.

Once I learned a bit more, it helped a lot. The PTB-100 is still in it's original packaging, unopened. Enough said.

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,166
Tamworth, Staffs.
Ok.. For the good of the Forum, I'll bite..

Greg...............?

What's a 'PTB-100' please? :wondering:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,048
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Sorry Phil, it's the Soundtraxx Programming Track Booster that normally solved programming issues on systems where the programming current is not enough, or there are other issues. It is the common recommendation in the US when people have service mode issues.


Has helped a number of people, but I often find that just eliminating other issues I am fine.


Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,166
Tamworth, Staffs.
Thanks Greg..

Sometimes.. It is as simple as turning the lights and smoke OFF! ;)

And yes, I have been caught-out.. :rolleyes::shake: