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Discussion Starter #1
LGB's MTS Central Station 1 limits ID numbers to 8.

LGB's MTS Central Station 3 limits ID numbers to 23 (or 22).

Others go up to 128 and beyond.

I am curious as to how others figure out what numbers to give their locos especially when they have more locos than there ID numbers available?

I am not comparing one systems benefits over others and I have no intention or desire to replace my existing equipment although I might add to it. This is about how to figure out how to get the most efficiency out of what I already have.

My real concern is just looking for ideas of how to keep track of which locos have what ID numbers - especially when you cannot actually see the loco you are wanting to take control of.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Jerry, back in the 90's when I seen the LGB rep putting numbered tags on the engines for identification, I decided MTS wasn't for me. I have a system that is NMRA compliant and supports 4 digit addressing. With 4 digits available, it's not a problem to use the engine number as the address.
 

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Yep, in fact having 4 digit addressing was one of my mandatory items in a DCC system.

Back to Jerry's question, you are kind of stuck. If you have more locos than numbers than you have to have duplicates.

can your MTS system use both long and short addressing? Does it even know about it?

If you can do short and long addressing then you can switch to an "Available" long address, but you have to have to program.

Will the MTS system program new address "on the main" or do you have to use the programming track?

Regards, Greg
 

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it is hard to pick numbers when you are limited like you are ......

like most others I do 4 digit ........and use the loco number

in your case can you pick the first or last numbers of the loco and have them not be all the same ?

what ever you do always do it the same so it is not has hard to pull up a number when running .....

I also put a small dot on the bottom of the loco with the number so if it has not been run in a while and I cannot make it go I have it handy .......

and when running I make a few cards with a roster of what locos are running and the loco number ....... and some with what f-keys do what so others can run with little problem
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As with many of my DCC questions I sometimes do not quite know how to phrase my questions because I am not aware of many of the possible answers.

My situation is pretty much a worst case scenario in that I have combinations of Central Station 1's (serial only), Central Station 2's and Central Station 3's along with a quantity of locomotives that have identical locomotive numbers (I seldom change anything from factory original so I have several FA-1's, FB-1's, F7's, Moguls, Mikados, 2-4-0's etc. that are factory duplicates so they have duplications of Locomotive numbers). Many if not most of them do not have decoders so are not a problem.

I realize there is no simple solution - there may be multiple solutions needed for different locomotive locations.

My current thoughts are to treat them as I do under analog. With track power different switches energize different locomotives (trains) so I may need to keep a list of locomotives indexed by a geographical or numeric identification of the siding they are parked on.

Since I tend to run similar era locos at the same time I may make Loco ID's in some sort of order according to locomotive type which should work as long as the number of decoders per loco type stays below the Central Station 2 & 3 limits.

While my situation may not be "normal" there must be other large layouts out there that are still running under Central Station 2 & 3 limits. My Central Station 1's will normally be used on displays or children's/visitors layouts where the smaller number of Loco ID's should be sufficient. Rather than try to figure things out for myself I wanted to first see if someone (maybe a club or other group layout) has worked something out.

One question is whether something like the Massoth Navigator could access 128 loco ID's (with a LGB Central Station 3) without disabling anything about compatibilities of LGB remotes with loco ID's under 23?

The low price of the MRC AD322 decoders has complicated things by making it so cheap to add additional decoders (Loco ID's).

I don't know what short and long addressing is other that it must refer to numbers higher than 128 which I am sure is the LGB maximum.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

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Posted By Jerry McColgan on 10/26/2008 8:46 AM
As with many of my DCC questions I sometimes do not quite know how to phrase my questions because I am not aware of many of the possible answers.

The low price of the MRC AD322 decoders has complicated things by making it so cheap to add additional decoders (Loco ID's).

Thanks,

Jerry

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Hey Jerry,

If you run out of places to put decoders, and need to offload some of them, let me know...I might could take a few off your hands...lol

michael
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Posted By Michael Tollett on 10/26/2008 4:22 PM

Hey Jerry,

If you run out of places to put decoders, and need to offload some of them, let me know...I might could take a few off your hands...lol

michael






Hi Michael,

I've installed a few in Al's locos. We are working on making our layouts "visitor friendly" so that we will have decoder ready locos and remote controls for visitors to run their (or our) trains when they visit.

Al & Ted were over a week ago and Mark was over Friday. We've been talking about having a "Running Day"on a Saturday each month when anyone can come over and run trains. With MTS/DCC we could have several people running on the same mainlines and even include battery powered locos if anyone wanted to.

It would not be difficult to put a decoder into a loco or two for you if you are interested. I think you are already running decoders in different gauges and if so you probably have the controls you would need to run Large Scale DCC at your place.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Posted By Jerry McColgan on 10/26/2008 5:58 PM

Hi Michael,

I've installed a few in Al's locos. We are working on making our layouts "visitor friendly" so that we will have decoder ready locos and remote controls for visitors to run their (or our) trains when they visit.

Al & Ted were over a week ago and Mark was over Friday. We've been talking about having a "Running Day"on a Saturday each month when anyone can come over and run trains. With MTS/DCC we could have several people running on the same mainlines and even include battery powered locos if anyone wanted to.

It would not be difficult to put a decoder into a loco or two for you if you are interested. I think you are already running decoders in different gauges and if so you probably have the controls you would need to run Large Scale DCC at your place.

Regards,

Jerry




Hey Jerry,

I checked out the MRC site. Those are just the diesel decoders, so that would work for my F units. Only thing I'd need to pick up to run my Digitrax unit would be an 8amp booster; Daryl has one on the shelf I've been considering for a while now.

Sounds like you guys have been busy. I'm sure if y'all start having "running days", they'll be fun and I'm sure y'all would enjoy them.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Posted By Michael Tollett on 10/26/2008 7:46 PM

I checked out the MRC site. Those are just the diesel decoders, so that would work for my F units. Only thing I'd need to pick up to run my Digitrax unit would be an 8amp booster; Daryl has one on the shelf I've been considering for a while now.


Hi Michael,

The decoders include diesel sounds but in most of my installations I do not use the sounds at all. I simply wire the decoder between the track pickups and the locomotive so the decoder runs the loco as if it was on track power but with the throttle (and smoke unit, lights etc.) being controlled by the decoder.

It is possible to do a full installation so the lights etc. are controlled by the decoder but since I still want track power operations and my simple installation allows for a DPDT switch to totally take the decoder out of the circuit.

The DPDT switch also allows the loco's track powered sound systems to work when I revert to track power.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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I use the standard 2 digit addressing as I have had very little overlap in the last two digits of the road number. In cases where there is a duplicate ( I have two RS3's that are both numbered 2099), I fudge one of them. In once case, it was easy to renumber a Bachmann BH which was #49 to #48 with just a little brass paint. I have two Shays that are numbered 5 but they run on two different layouts so I set their addresses both at 5.

I keep a spreadsheet of each loco, it's address, what is in it and what functions it supports that I can refer to in case I forget what I did.

If two digit addressing ever becomes a problem, it would be easy to put a 4 digit address into CV17 and CV18. The DT400 throttle figures this out and automatically changes CV29 to enable 4 digit addressing.
 
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