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chris

DCC Function Numbers

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My winter projects of lighting upgrades have presented my with a small dilemma. I now have several different types of lights on trains, so much so that it's hard to remember which function button does what on each train.

The only light that is standard is Function 0 which is used for directional head and tail lights.

Along with directional lighting I have cab lights on a couple of locos, coach lighting on a Pacer, door warming lights on a Sprinter and my voyager has a parking light function (taillights on at both ends). In future I plan to add the abilty to switch off the taillights on a loco, as it the case when its no running light engine.

Before I go any further I need to decide which function number will switch which light. I know that there are standard numbers for sound, but I'm not heading that direction (at the moment) so I'm happy use those numbers.

I think I'll go with

  1. Cab Light
  2. Door warning
  3. Parking lights
  4. Coach lighting
  5. Kill taillights

Although no train will have all these functions, making them them same on all trains should be helpful.

Out of interest, only one of my RTR trains have used more than the head/tail light function, my latest Bachmann 66 had the cab light on button 1. I get the feeling that the manufactures are reluctant to add features that can't be used on DC. This is a shame because if DCC enhancements worked out of the box then there would be more reason for people to go DCC.

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chris said:

...I know that there are standard numbers for sound, but I'm not heading that direction (at the moment) .....

And will we have long to wait for this I wonder? :)

I do like sound, more so with diesels than with steam loco's, but I rarely use the additional sound functions other than the occasional 'whistle' or 'toot toot' when no-ones about. I don't really need to memorise what functions produce what sounds as it's normally just F1 for the sounds on/off, and F2 & F3 for the whistles. F0 puts on/off the lights and that's as much as I would use.

Your lighting upgrades really do look the business and how on earth you manage to fit the ones above the doors I really don't know. I've seen other people's attempts at adding additional lights and lighting control but that mass of wires convinces me that it's not something I should ever attempt.

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The tiny nano lights are difficult to work with, but with practice you learn and improve. I added them to my 142 Pacer last night and simply surface mounted them on the roof with the wires going through 0.5mm holes. That part went well, but I did have a soldering iron in contact with the body work incident :oops: If this had happened to a model I like (the Hornby Pacer is poor) then there may have been tears.

I've still got a couple of wires to carefully solder up in the motor car and then the Pacer will be complete, with Functions 0 (head/tail) 2 (door warnings) and 4 (coach lighting) all working.

Just because I can... I think I will program F8 on the dummy car and F9 on the motor car to turn on the coach lights. This will allow me to turn them on separately.

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I found a very fustrating quirk when programming my 142 Pacer.

When assigning function numbers to wires I ended up with the door warning lightings coming on and off when changing direction and then the headlights simply didn't work. I couldn't work out what was going on and with one of the decoders in my HST playing up I basically gave up on it :?

I've been building Metcalfe kits for the last week.

This afternoon I've had most of my trains on the programming track assigning my new standard function numbers to them. I left the Pacer until last. In what turned out to be a stroke of luck I managed to reprogram the dumby car in such away that the same issues manifested themselves. After the initial frustration I did manage to work out what was going wrong. The ZTC decoder doesn't need to be told to work the forward/reverse lights, it just does it. If you do try and program it to do so then strangeness ensues. I rolled back the changes on the dumby and got that working again. The motor car required a factory reset to get it working, but it is now working as required.

Phew.

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mick said:

And will we have long to wait for this I wonder? :)

I do like sound, more so with diesels than with steam loco's, but I rarely use the additional sound functions other than the occasional 'whistle' or 'toot toot' when no-ones about. I don't really need to memorise what functions produce what sounds as it's normally just F1 for the sounds on/off, and F2 & F3 for the whistles. F0 puts on/off the lights and that's as much as I would use.

Your lighting upgrades really do look the business and how on earth you manage to fit the ones above the doors I really don't know. I've seen other people's attempts at adding additional lights and lighting control but that mass of wires convinces me that it's not something I should ever attempt.

\ said:

..I know that there are standard numbers for sound' date=' but I'm not heading that direction (at the moment) .....[/quote']

I know you don't like using the sound too often Mick is it because of the neighbours? If they were to complain you could always ask if they'd prefer heavy metal music blaring and thumping away. I know which I'd prefer.

My neighbours have kids who constantly throw balls against the fence or over into my place. If they complained about the locos sounds I'd tell them 'you do what you want to in your garden and I'll do what I want to in mine'.

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I sorted out another annoying quirk today.

The warning lights for the doors on my DMUs are programmed to FO2. This is fine and lovely and works nicely, apart from on my iPhone/iPad throttles. On these deceives you press button 2 and they come on but turn off when you release the button, i.e. take your finger off. So either I get a brief flash or I have to hold the button down for as long as the trains is in the station.

While programming a unit I had a hunt around in the preferences and finally found a setting that made FO2 momentary on the WiThrottle software. I unchecked the box and all is well.

I guess its for a horn or bell or some other sound function.

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I've recently added lights to my two Northern Belle Class 47s. These work top and tail so their lighting requirements are slightly different. The loco at the front needs its headlights on and no rear lights, while the loco at the back requires its taillights but no headlights. A function to "kill taillights" wasn't appropriate. What I required was separate control of the lights at each end. I drew up a logic table to consider every possible combination of lights a loco may require. That became surprisingly complicated. I chose to use the 4 function wires on the chip to control the four sets of lights (cab 1: head and tail; cab 2: head and tail). This way I could program them as I see fit. I could have assigned them a function each (e.g. 1, 2, 3 and 4) and turned them on as needed, but changing direction would have required a lot of button pressing. I've assigned Cab 1 to function 0 and Cab 2 to function 1, and made them both directional. If the loco is running light engine I switch on 0 and 1 to get head and tail, if it is hauling a train I switch on either 0 or 1 depending which end of the train it is.

Seeing this thread has reminded me that function 1 should be standardised as a cab light. I should reprogram the cab 2 lights to function 6.

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