If you're a long-time reader and you also get MRH's weekly email, you may have recognized the photo with the "Bachman steamer sound upgrade" link. Yup - today's "Friday Fun" is especially fun since the weekly email featured one of my past posts!
Check it out here and join the conversation
* * * * *I've often said that ops sessions are one of the best ways to tease out problems with your equipment, and my last session was no exception.
I use ESU decoders exclusively in the diesels that operate Shoreline trains and the Full Throttle feature - which allows you to ramp-up the prime mover sound while maintaining the motor drive independently - makes it easy to simulate the starting of a heavy train. But I discovered that you have to be a little careful with how you do the programming - especially if you start moving functions around (which is super easy to do with ESU's Lokprogrammer software).
|My ESU decoder mapping|
As you can see (if you click on the image), I've remapped the Full Throttle functions (Drive Hold and Independent Brake) to functions 5 & 6, respectively. That way, they'll show up on the screen on my NCE "dogbone" throttles (the LCD only shows the first 6 functions). I also (thanks to Roman) changed the sound default to default "on" so that whenever a Shoreline operator acquires a road engine, it doesn't automatically shut down the prime mover.
So far so good. Everything was running well - until someone wanted to run a two-diesel consist with the Full Throttle feature. Turned out, only one of the locomotives in the consist would respond to either Drive Hold or the Independent Brake - and it'd literally drag along the other engine. After a bit of troubleshooting, I figured out the problem.
I'd forgotten to make sure those functions would respond to the consist address(!) Yup - the checkboxes for functions 5 & 6 (Drive Hold and Independent Brake) weren't checked.
|My ESU Consist Functions|
Decoder programming can be a hobby in itself, and it's way too easy to go down yet another rabbit hole in this hobby. But knowing at least a little bit makes the engines run so much more realistically and, fortunately, ESU's Lokprogrammer makes these little adjustments super easy. Once you know what the problem is . . .