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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious if anyone else has been using the Massoth Switch Decoders (8156001).  I had picked up a few and just tried them out last night.  the jury is still out on them for me at the moment.  I was using them with some LGB 3-way switches (I have a thread in Traditional Power about using diodes to  get the points where I want them...) and thought they were doing pretty well at first.  But then one of the decoders just stopped working. Rather than going thru the programming bit, I just tried another one (these were set up with the defaults of switches 1, 2, and 3) and now output 2 isn't working.  I'll go back in and check the programming tonight, but since I've been using LGB's MTS software, programming the Massoth Switch Decoders is a bit tedious (due mostly to the software, I know... I know...). 

Well, long story short, I wanted to know if others are using these items and what their experiences were.  What method you were using for programming, settings you were using, etc.

My experiences so far (from one of my posts in the Traditional Power forum, where I needed to bring the issue over here since now I was referring to DCC controls):

PITA (Pain In The A**) #1: Massoth Switch Decoders only control 3 switches per decoder vs. LGB's 4switches controlled. Not a big deal unless you're controlling 4 switches... now I need 2 decoders vs. 1 for LGB.
PITA #2: Programming the Massoth Decoders with the LGB MTS-PC software is spotty at best. I'm sure it's mostly the fault of the LGB software, but Massoth has been bragging that "We are what's insideLGB; The soul of LGB for the last 35 years". And they consider the 8156001 DiMAX Motor Switch Decoder to be a direct (or in their words "Smart") replacement for the LGB 55025 unit. This would have probably been the one instance where using the 55015 handheld remote/programmer would have been a better choice than the PC Programming Module and software.   The LGB MTS software has some pre-defined acceptable values for some CVs if you use the loco decoder section (needed since the Switch Decoder section doesn't really apply to the Massoth Decoder).
PITA #3: The terminal strip in the Massoth Switch decoder has very small holes for inserting wire. It can hold one 18 gauge wire (just barely), but getting two 22 gauge wires in there tried my patience. And I could not insert one 22 gauge wire and the solid wire from the LGB supplied diode into it. I had to wire in the diodes at the switch machines.



Anyone?   Anyone?

thx,

Greg
 

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Hi Greg-

I've been using the Massoth switch decoders.  The LGB computer programming software's database will not recognize Massoth motor/switch decoders.  I have programmed the device using a 55015 universal remote.  I've also used the Navigator in tandem with an 800Z central station.  Before you give up on non-working unit, I'd reprogram the device.  The outputs are capable of driving two EPL drives, so you probably haven't overloaded the output.

I scratched my head about the control of three switches versus the four.  In the end, Massoth traded outputs and screw terminal size for the ability to add contact inputs.  The contact inputs are handy, but I am not sure how many people will use the feature.

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Bob,

I'm with you on the 3 vs. 4 as a head scratcher :) Leave it to ANOTHER German developer to offer less useful features and more complication all in the same unit! At least they seem to have inherited the LGB path to success!

I'll break out the programming insert for my 55015 and give it a go on resuscitating the one unit. Oh, for the love of indirect, or register, or whatever they call it programing. Let's see... the register into 5 and data into, er,, no... the value into 5 and the register into 6...spin on left foot... sacrifice a live chicken...oh, no... the chicken first... then spin... got it!

Oh boy... programming my calculator back in the late 70's (HP41C, yea!) was easier than this! But I digress...

On a more serious note, thanks Bob! (yes, I really am like this pretty much all the time...) :D

Greg
 

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Hi Greg-

If you have a P-updated 55015 you can program in direct mode.  Pressing the halt button will toggle between "P' (register mode programming and "C" (direct mode programming).

You still need to sacrifice the chicken.  And don't forget the programming lock...:)

Best regards,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Bob!

SUBTITLE... SMOKE! We have smoke in the cockpit! We have smoke in the cockpit! Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! We are declaring an EMENRGENCY!!! Roll the firetrucks! Roll the firetrucks!



I was just about to make a smart remark on the programming lock (I didn't forget! 77...) but got interrupted... (OK, I couldn;t remember my login for mylarge scae.com on the kitchen system... :) )

So I break out the programming module for the 55015 (I was going to make another smart remark about finally finding a reason for the "p" upgrade as I don't use many functions so really don't need parallel...") and get it wired in. Green and Orange to my 50111 and hook the White and Brown to the decoder. Gotta look up the "register" version of programming so I get out the 55015 manual and a 55021 manual for reference... We get inerrupted with a phone call, so the unit is sitting connected for 10-15 minutes when, out-of-the-blue, the 55015 starts SMOKING!!!! On the arm of my leather chair!!! I unplug everything as quickly as possible, but now have that wonderful, burned electronics smell wafting through the family room and a 55015 with a big burn mark about a 1/3 of the way up the PCB under the battery cover...

While I love "the smell of napalm in the morning" (thank you Robert Duval in Apocolypse Now)... the smell of burned electronics isn't quite so... romantic.... (and, quite frankly... there is no surfing involved!)

I'm very, VERY close to giving up on LGB / Massoth DCC type controls... (please read an INTENSIVE amount of frustration here!) To paraphrase Jackie Gleason in Smokie and the Bandit... "I'm gonna fly to the LGB factory, find the design engineer of the 55015/MTS, and punch his momma right in the mouth!

Ok... the therapy is no longer working, but I continue... wooosaaaa! wooosaaaa!

One unhappy LGB camper...

Greg

P.S. I let the chicken go. No need for a useless sacrafice! LUCKY CHICKEN!!!!

P.P.S. this IS Texas, so there is little hope for the chicken, just so you know. There is little difference between a "free-range" chicken and a "free-on-the-highway" chicken here in Texas. Just so you know...
 

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Greg-

Don't give up.  I have good news.  MTS4 has been designed to offer 25% more smoke!  :)

Best regards,
Bob
 
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