Topics

programming CV

Lee Phillips
 

What are CV's and how do I program them ?

Brian Lewis
 

Oh Gosh! This is going to stir up a can of worms.

If you do not know what you are doing, then leave the decoder at the manufacturer's default settings - it should run well at these settings. But you will probably find that the acceleration/deceleration and the top and mid speeds are not what you want.  So proceed cautiously as follows, noting every default and changed setting, as you go. Be sure you know the CV number and value that returns the decoder to its default setting. It is your layout, so do what you want, but this is how I begin.

First I look at the top speed - CV5. It is probably set at 0 or 255 and for me, is too fast. I have 30+ locos and on these no CV5 is set above 120.

Then adjust CV6 - the mid speed. I normally set it at around 40% of the value of CV5, e.g. if CV5 is 120, then CV6 will be set to 50.

Then consider acceleration/deceleration. Generally speaking, you want the loco to slow down slightly quicker than it accelerates. As my layout is essentially a 26 foot shunting plank, I use 3 for acceleration - CV3 and 1 for deceleration - CV4.

How does the loco start on control setting 4? (You are using 126 speed steps aren't you, rather than 28)? At this setting the loco should move away prototypically. If not, set CV2 to 40, test it and then adjust up or down until you are happy.

Really until you have gained some knowledge you should leave everything else alone.  But in truth I do adjust other CVs, as follows, basically because most of my locos are old and are not equipped with modern motors.

CV9 adjusts the EMF sampling rate. I start at a setting of 88.

CV56 adjusts the PID control. I set this at 99.

CV57 deals with track voltage. I set this at 140.

CV58 can improve mid speed performance, I set this at 200.

CV65 adjusts the 'kick' rate at startup. I set this to 25.

CV116 sets the kick rate. I set this to 2.

CV117 sets the kick strength. I set this to 25.

CV123 helps prevent jerky starts. I set this to 24.

Now I stress yet again, these settings work for me. I am as equally sure there will be folk out there who will be horrified at this. So, as 'tit for tat' emails, (which this elist does specialise in occasionally), bore me, this is my one time comment and I will leave others to add as they please.

My final piece of advice is to search the Internet for JMRI and Decoder Pro. I do all my adjustments via a computer, which not only makes adjustment, but also stores your settings.

Have fun.

On 18/05/2019 00:11, leenbeau@... wrote:
What are CV's and how do I program them ?
--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

Richard_vanRaay
 

aThanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. I learnt a lot.
Cheers.
Richrd.

Tom G.
 

Brian,

Thank you. Very informative. Good info to save. 

Thanks.
Tom

On May 18, 2019, at 6:11 AM, Brian Lewis <brian@...> wrote:

Oh Gosh! This is going to stir up a can of worms.

If you do not know what you are doing, then leave the decoder at the manufacturer's default settings - it should run well at these settings. But you will probably find that the acceleration/deceleration and the top and mid speeds are not what you want.  So proceed cautiously as follows, noting every default and changed setting, as you go. Be sure you know the CV number and value that returns the decoder to its default setting. It is your layout, so do what you want, but this is how I begin.

First I look at the top speed - CV5. It is probably set at 0 or 255 and for me, is too fast. I have 30+ locos and on these no CV5 is set above 120.

Then adjust CV6 - the mid speed. I normally set it at around 40% of the value of CV5, e.g. if CV5 is 120, then CV6 will be set to 50.

Then consider acceleration/deceleration. Generally speaking, you want the loco to slow down slightly quicker than it accelerates. As my layout is essentially a 26 foot shunting plank, I use 3 for acceleration - CV3 and 1 for deceleration - CV4.

How does the loco start on control setting 4? (You are using 126 speed steps aren't you, rather than 28)? At this setting the loco should move away prototypically. If not, set CV2 to 40, test it and then adjust up or down until you are happy.

Really until you have gained some knowledge you should leave everything else alone.  But in truth I do adjust other CVs, as follows, basically because most of my locos are old and are not equipped with modern motors.

CV9 adjusts the EMF sampling rate. I start at a setting of 88.

CV56 adjusts the PID control. I set this at 99.

CV57 deals with track voltage. I set this at 140.

CV58 can improve mid speed performance, I set this at 200.

CV65 adjusts the 'kick' rate at startup. I set this to 25.

CV116 sets the kick rate. I set this to 2.

CV117 sets the kick strength. I set this to 25.

CV123 helps prevent jerky starts. I set this to 24.

Now I stress yet again, these settings work for me. I am as equally sure there will be folk out there who will be horrified at this. So, as 'tit for tat' emails, (which this elist does specialise in occasionally), bore me, this is my one time comment and I will leave others to add as they please.

My final piece of advice is to search the Internet for JMRI and Decoder Pro. I do all my adjustments via a computer, which not only makes adjustment, but also stores your settings.

Have fun.

On 18/05/2019 00:11, leenbeau@... wrote:
What are CV's and how do I program them ?
--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

vincent marino
 

I concur with Bryan educate yourself on JMRI and all your CV issues and even ones you didn't know you had (consist) will be resolved. 


On Sat, May 18, 2019, 9:37 AM Brian Lewis <brian@...> wrote:

Oh Gosh! This is going to stir up a can of worms.

If you do not know what you are doing, then leave the decoder at the manufacturer's default settings - it should run well at these settings. But you will probably find that the acceleration/deceleration and the top and mid speeds are not what you want.  So proceed cautiously as follows, noting every default and changed setting, as you go. Be sure you know the CV number and value that returns the decoder to its default setting. It is your layout, so do what you want, but this is how I begin.

First I look at the top speed - CV5. It is probably set at 0 or 255 and for me, is too fast. I have 30+ locos and on these no CV5 is set above 120.

Then adjust CV6 - the mid speed. I normally set it at around 40% of the value of CV5, e.g. if CV5 is 120, then CV6 will be set to 50.

Then consider acceleration/deceleration. Generally speaking, you want the loco to slow down slightly quicker than it accelerates. As my layout is essentially a 26 foot shunting plank, I use 3 for acceleration - CV3 and 1 for deceleration - CV4.

How does the loco start on control setting 4? (You are using 126 speed steps aren't you, rather than 28)? At this setting the loco should move away prototypically. If not, set CV2 to 40, test it and then adjust up or down until you are happy.

Really until you have gained some knowledge you should leave everything else alone.  But in truth I do adjust other CVs, as follows, basically because most of my locos are old and are not equipped with modern motors.

CV9 adjusts the EMF sampling rate. I start at a setting of 88.

CV56 adjusts the PID control. I set this at 99.

CV57 deals with track voltage. I set this at 140.

CV58 can improve mid speed performance, I set this at 200.

CV65 adjusts the 'kick' rate at startup. I set this to 25.

CV116 sets the kick rate. I set this to 2.

CV117 sets the kick strength. I set this to 25.

CV123 helps prevent jerky starts. I set this to 24.

Now I stress yet again, these settings work for me. I am as equally sure there will be folk out there who will be horrified at this. So, as 'tit for tat' emails, (which this elist does specialise in occasionally), bore me, this is my one time comment and I will leave others to add as they please.

My final piece of advice is to search the Internet for JMRI and Decoder Pro. I do all my adjustments via a computer, which not only makes adjustment, but also stores your settings.

Have fun.

On 18/05/2019 00:11, leenbeau@... wrote:
What are CV's and how do I program them ?
--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Brian,

Kudos for writing this so clearly.  I have been learning about CVs by trial and error (mostly error), and most of what I have read on the subject is pitched above my head.  Your note is a great guide for beginners like me.  I am saving it for future reference.

Thanks

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Lewis
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2019 6:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] programming CV

 

Oh Gosh! This is going to stir up a can of worms.

If you do not know what you are doing, then leave the decoder at the manufacturer's default settings - it should run well at these settings. But you will probably find that the acceleration/deceleration and the top and mid speeds are not what you want.  So proceed cautiously as follows, noting every default and changed setting, as you go. Be sure you know the CV number and value that returns the decoder to its default setting. It is your layout, so do what you want, but this is how I begin.

First I look at the top speed - CV5. It is probably set at 0 or 255 and for me, is too fast. I have 30+ locos and on these no CV5 is set above 120.

Then adjust CV6 - the mid speed. I normally set it at around 40% of the value of CV5, e.g. if CV5 is 120, then CV6 will be set to 50.

Then consider acceleration/deceleration. Generally speaking, you want the loco to slow down slightly quicker than it accelerates. As my layout is essentially a 26 foot shunting plank, I use 3 for acceleration - CV3 and 1 for deceleration - CV4.

How does the loco start on control setting 4? (You are using 126 speed steps aren't you, rather than 28)? At this setting the loco should move away prototypically. If not, set CV2 to 40, test it and then adjust up or down until you are happy.

Really until you have gained some knowledge you should leave everything else alone.  But in truth I do adjust other CVs, as follows, basically because most of my locos are old and are not equipped with modern motors.

CV9 adjusts the EMF sampling rate. I start at a setting of 88.

CV56 adjusts the PID control. I set this at 99.

CV57 deals with track voltage. I set this at 140.

CV58 can improve mid speed performance, I set this at 200.

CV65 adjusts the 'kick' rate at startup. I set this to 25.

CV116 sets the kick rate. I set this to 2.

CV117 sets the kick strength. I set this to 25.

CV123 helps prevent jerky starts. I set this to 24.

Now I stress yet again, these settings work for me. I am as equally sure there will be folk out there who will be horrified at this. So, as 'tit for tat' emails, (which this elist does specialise in occasionally), bore me, this is my one time comment and I will leave others to add as they please.

My final piece of advice is to search the Internet for JMRI and Decoder Pro. I do all my adjustments via a computer, which not only makes adjustment, but also stores your settings.

Have fun.

On 18/05/2019 00:11, leenbeau@... wrote:

What are CV's and how do I program them ?

--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

PennsyNut
 

I concur with all. But need to add. The first thing I did when starting with a new loco fresh from the mfgr, imptr. On a programming track, using either Page or Direct, reset the loco number from 3 to whatever you want, usually the loco number. That's about 99%. Then, while on programming track, read the CV's for those basic ones, CV 3,4,5&6. "Write them down". What I tried doing at first, was to go ahead an change some. But found it better to just leave the loco number on and take the engine to the running track. Using Ops mode, change one number at a time. Example was CV 5. When satisfied you have the right number in CV 5, "Write it down". Then do CV 6. Same, when satisfied, WRITE IT DOWN. Continue on with CV 3 & 4. When done with these 4 (CV 5, 6, 3, 4). Leave the engine alone. Play with it. Run it until you are totally satisfied. Those numbers written down, the original and your choices. They are you bible. Retain in someplace secure. I use a binder for the paper and also an excel file on the PC. All back up. The other CV's can wait until you are more comfortable with them. IMHO, that's as far as I went. Even with my sound loco. My next step with the sound loco is the bell and whistle. Those require the locos manual to get the right CV's. Again though, before changing any others, go back to the programming track and read the original settings for each CV you are interested in. Be sure to record/write/input on PC. I can not emphasize this enough! Now this should help everyone. And if you disagree, please do so.
Morgan Bilbo, still learning, but getting better at DCC

Lee Phillips
 

Many, Many thanks for all the information. However, the DCC engine came with a CD and has  All of the CV"s listed.  I just don't know how to get into them.  I am using a Digitrax control system.  Thanks again for your help
Lee

Tom O'Hara
 

 Hi...

I would strongly recommend that you search for one of the books on introductory DCC. Then study the section on how to program CVs until you are comfortable with changing one and what is accomplished when you do change one. After that, practice when one engine until you are comfortable with the process. You can always reset the engine and start over with the factory settings, but you need to know how to do the reset.... which is part of the "how to set CVs." 

It would be very handy to have someone near that you could visit or someone you could call on the phone. You could be talked through the setting CV process in a few minutes.

Then you can get into the pros and cons of setting particular CVs, which is highly engine-dependent and highly personal. This is basically play-time where you can do it with the throttle of your system, or you can get into JMRI (not essential but convenient for many folks.)

Once you are really relaxed about changing CVs, you can spend lots of time listening to and watching the results of your changes. You'll probably want to start with adjusting volumes and whistle/horn choices, but then you'll find about 12 zillion modifications you can do. Ignore these until you are comfortable with the basics. Then maybe you can try Brian's suggestions and move on to others.

...Tom

--
... Tom

Tom O'Hara
 

I felt that might be the problem. So let me say again, that you need to find a human that will do it in person or get on the phone with you. I have done this more than once with EasyDCC and NCE, with which I am familiar. But a couple of times, a friend has called me about Digitrax; and I have dug into the manual on line to find out how to do it. We got him going via the phone. So see if you can find that Digitrax stranger/friend to get on the phone and let him talk you through it. Seriously,  10-15 minutes and you'll have the idea. You will then be able to start playing. 

Incidentally, please not me. I am tired of having to relearn Digitrax every year or two. Two systems are enough to keep me confused!

Happy trails!

...Tom

On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:08 AM Lee Phillips <leenbeau@...> wrote:
Many, Many thanks for all the information. However, the DCC engine came with a CD and has  All of the CV"s listed.  I just don't know how to get into them.  I am using a Digitrax control system.  Thanks again for your help
Lee



--
... Tom

Lee Phillips
 

Thanks, Tom
By trial and error and going over and over the CD that came with unit, I am slowly picking it up
I am 83 and slow to pick up on some of this computer world.
Got lazy with my O ga.
I promise I want call you😉😉
Lee
Regards,

On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 1:45 PM Tom O'Hara <tomohara5@...> wrote:
I felt that might be the problem. So let me say again, that you need to find a human that will do it in person or get on the phone with you. I have done this more than once with EasyDCC and NCE, with which I am familiar. But a couple of times, a friend has called me about Digitrax; and I have dug into the manual on line to find out how to do it. We got him going via the phone. So see if you can find that Digitrax stranger/friend to get on the phone and let him talk you through it. Seriously,  10-15 minutes and you'll have the idea. You will then be able to start playing. 

Incidentally, please not me. I am tired of having to relearn Digitrax every year or two. Two systems are enough to keep me confused!

Happy trails!

...Tom

On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 11:08 AM Lee Phillips <leenbeau@...> wrote:
Many, Many thanks for all the information. However, the DCC engine came with a CD and has  All of the CV"s listed.  I just don't know how to get into them.  I am using a Digitrax control system.  Thanks again for your help
Lee



--
... Tom

Lee Phillips
 

Got it !
And thanks again

On Sat, May 18, 2019 at 12:09 PM Tom O'Hara <tomohara5@...> wrote:
 Hi...

I would strongly recommend that you search for one of the books on introductory DCC. Then study the section on how to program CVs until you are comfortable with changing one and what is accomplished when you do change one. After that, practice when one engine until you are comfortable with the process. You can always reset the engine and start over with the factory settings, but you need to know how to do the reset.... which is part of the "how to set CVs." 

It would be very handy to have someone near that you could visit or someone you could call on the phone. You could be talked through the setting CV process in a few minutes.

Then you can get into the pros and cons of setting particular CVs, which is highly engine-dependent and highly personal. This is basically play-time where you can do it with the throttle of your system, or you can get into JMRI (not essential but convenient for many folks.)

Once you are really relaxed about changing CVs, you can spend lots of time listening to and watching the results of your changes. You'll probably want to start with adjusting volumes and whistle/horn choices, but then you'll find about 12 zillion modifications you can do. Ignore these until you are comfortable with the basics. Then maybe you can try Brian's suggestions and move on to others.

...Tom

--
... Tom

PennsyNut
 

Lee: being 83 is not a bad thing. I'm 80. And had been an armchair modeler for too many years. Just restarted a new layout and DCC. And that's why I wrote about how I went about it. Using online tools can help, and I worked my way through the CV's with just the manuals and YouTube. Check for online videos that show how.  I have a Zephyr and do those CV's one at a time. No fancy computer stuff - yet! And no one to come and help me. So if I can do it, so can you!
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Mike Hoggard
 

Well done Morgan. I am 87 on Saturday and am building my first model rail layout in the loft. It is 12ft x 15 ft. And I use Roco multiemaus as my system. I might upgrade later. I have 30 locomotives fitted with decoders and four of them with sound. My biggest problem theseays is reading the small print in instruction manuals. I can still climb the loft ladder into the loft so that,s good. Mike Hoggard
--------------------------------------------

On Sun, 19/5/19, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:
Q
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] programming CV
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Date: Sunday, 19 May, 2019, 16:21

Lee: being 83 is not a
bad thing. I'm 80. And had been an armchair modeler for
too many years. Just restarted a new layout and DCC. And
that's why I wrote about how I went about it. Using
online tools can help, and I worked my way through the
CV's with just the manuals and YouTube. Check for online
videos that show how.  I have a Zephyr and do those
CV's one at a time. No fancy computer stuff - yet! And
no one to come and help me. So if I can do it, so can
you!
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Joseph A. Correro, Jr.
 

I am only 73, but I have a lot of learning to do!

Jody



"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"


On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 7:45 PM Mike Hoggard via Groups.Io <swingfour=btopenworld.com@groups.io> wrote:
Well done Morgan. I am 87 on Saturday and am building my first model rail layout in the loft.  It is 12ft x 15 ft. And I use Roco multiemaus as my system.  I might upgrade later.   I have 30 locomotives fitted with decoders and four of them with sound.  My biggest problem theseays is reading the small print in instruction manuals.  I can still climb the loft ladder into the loft so that,s good.  Mike Hoggard
--------------------------------------------
On Sun, 19/5/19, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:
Q
 Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] programming CV
 To: w4dccqa@groups.io
 Date: Sunday, 19 May, 2019, 16:21

 Lee: being 83 is not a
 bad thing. I'm 80. And had been an armchair modeler for
 too many years. Just restarted a new layout and DCC. And
 that's why I wrote about how I went about it. Using
 online tools can help, and I worked my way through the
 CV's with just the manuals and YouTube. Check for online
 videos that show how.  I have a Zephyr and do those
 CV's one at a time. No fancy computer stuff - yet! And
 no one to come and help me. So if I can do it, so can
 you!
 Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC






Scott Nelson
 

To reply directly to your questions:

A "CV" is a "configuration variable".  In decoders, they have a number of things that can be configured.  That configuration is done via numbered CVs.  For example, the "primary address" is configured via CV 1.

There are many ways to program CVs.
  • One way is to program using a throttle via the command station, such as your Digitrax system.  You didn't mention which Digitrax system or the throttles you have, but the manual that came with your Digitrax system should tell you how to do that.
  • Another way is to use hardware/software combination to program CVs.  For example, using a LocoNet to USB converter (like Digitrax's PR4) and JMRI's Decoder Pro.  If Decoder Pro knows about the particular decoder you are trying to program, it can take those CV values and make them more "user friendly".  For example, Decoder Pro might give you a bunch of checkboxes to choose some options from instead of you trying to do binary arithmetic and converting from binary to hexadecimal and/or decimal. 

PennsyNut
 

Mike: First, thanks for the response. My answer for you. Whenever I obtain something new, I immediately go online to see if I can download the manual. Digitrax is great for this. Get as many manuals downloaded as you think you "might need". Then, you've got the zoom to help read. I am at the place in my life where I use the OptiVisor just to read paper books. The prescription glasses only do so much. And. I do this for everything, especially Air Conditioners. LOL
Morgan Bilbo, getting better at DCC