Thursday, July 13, 2017

Function Mapping - What Do YOU do?

I posted this over at the Model Railroad Hobbyist site, but wanted to be sure and get input from those of you here that don't make it over there . . .
So - what functions do you use the most and what buttons do you have them assigned to?
I've been having a good time playing around with my new LokProgrammer and have been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to change function mapping.
Perhaps TOO easy . . . because I just can't decide how I want to map the buttons.
I have an NCE system and am using Select decoders with Full Throttle. Unfortunately, the independent brake is on F10 (which requires the shift key) and the "hammerhead" throttle display only shows the status of the first 6 function keys (I know when I'm plugged into the cab bus, I can hit the EXPN key to get the status of the other keys, but that doesn't work when I'm operating wirelessly). So I've been playing around with different function key button assignments, especially for the Drive Hold and Independent Brake.
Here's where I'm at so far:
  • F0 Direction Headlights
  • F1 Bell
  • F2 Horn
  • F3 Coupling/Uncoupling
  • F4 Dim Headlight (Rule 17)
  • F5 Drive Hold
  • F6 Independent Brake
  • F7 Both Headlights Dim (yard switching)
  • F8 Startup/Shutdown/Mute
  • F9 Compressor
  • F10 Fan
  • F11 Switching Mode
The line I'm modeling is pretty flat, so I don't need dynamic brakes and the Run8 & Coast features aren't really necessary.
Figuring many of you are further down the road on this than I am and have much more operating experience to glean from, I'd love to hear what functions you use most and what buttons have you assigned them to!

PS - and not to mix threads - but while working on this I've been fooling around with the programming in an old Atlas S-2 (with the cast-on detail) that has an almost-as-old MRC Atlas S2/S4 sound decoder w/speaker in it. I'm considering installing a LokSound Select and iPhone speaker instead. Should I "waste" a great decoder/speaker on an old unit that at least has SOME sort of sound already? #askingforafriend



    I have three decoder/engine combos myself, and boy, do they sound crappy! I know the engine details aren't as nice as the later "free-standing detail" release of the same engine, but oh, they are horrible decoders. If you have the time and the money, spend it! Once I have the money, I'm gonna weather them, maybe add a few free-standing details that wont ruin the factory paint job, and away we go! (plus, I need tips from you about how to fit it all in there!). Of course, you could just sell them as is, and maybe use the cash toward better (newer) engines, or more decoders?

    Once I got to hear one inside Dave Ramos' newer S-2, I knew there was no other choice of what to get for future decoder purposes (oh, the sweet, sweet sound of a Loksound ALCo decoder!).

    Looking forward to that future blog post, hint, hint!


    1. Hey Ralph! Thanks for comin' on over and leaving such a fun comment :^) Suffice it to say in the over 3 years(?!) since this post, I *have* decided to put a Loksound in that engine. Unfortunately, it's over at Bill Schneider's (he agreed to do it for me) and, um, has been for about 3 years(!!) Guess I gotta get it back from him! But yes, I have ALL Loksound in my diesels (except for one rogue Atlas High Hood) and LOVE them! Thanks again for stopping by & hope you'll rummage around the site a bit and find something helpful - or at least entertaining! Cheers!

  2. Chris - LOL, I didn't even notice the date on that! Way to be observant! Regardless, I despise my MRC decoders so much, I won't even run those engines! And THAT'S a problem, because I need their pulling power! Luckily, my two Baldwins with Loksounds can tide me over....

    Always enjoying your posts no matter WHEN they are originally posted,