Setting the decoder

I will set the decoder using the LokProgrammer. It would be possible but much harder with a simple hand remote control like my Lenz LH90.

Note 1: this page would be better located in the Electronics section, but it is also the logical continuation of the preceding page. It can however be used for programming any ESU Lokpilot or Loksound V4 decoder.

Note 2: if you don’t want to worry too much, see the end of this page right now…

What I want to get

I want to get the following operation:

In all the following manipulations, it will be necessary to configure the index, which makes it possible to increase the number of CVs although this number is limited by the DCC standard. Unless otherwise stated, this index will be equal to 4098, which is obtained by making CV31 = 16 and CV32 = 2. Be careful to take this into account, because otherwise you write in other CVs!

Lighting the white lights by F0, the reds by F1

Nothing very complicated (!) We start by looking in the table on the left of page 55 of the manual (Standard Mapping) for the reference lines corresponding to the keys F0 and F1. There are two numbers per key, one for forward (fwd), the other for reverse (rev).

Table page 55

For F0, these are lines 5 and 6; for F1, 7 and 8. These numbers are shown in the table on page 50. I have carried the key numbers over to this table to avoid round trips and I have framed the F0 key lines as an example.

We must now specify which outputs will be controlled the keys in question. This is to be specified in the CV K (Physical Outputs). The “alphabetical” CVs CV A to CV L are not real CVs. The previously identified lines should be consulted for actual numbers. How do we know that the CV to modify is the CV K? Well, we learn it this time by consulting the table at the bottom of page 53! It shows that this CV must contain the value 1 for the front lights, 2 for the tail lights, 4 for the AUX1 output (front red lights for me) and 8 for AUX4 (rear red lights for me). Simple, isn’t it?

Table page 53

Back on page 50, we see that the CV K of line No. 5 (F0 fwd) is CV330. This key must control the front white lights; so we have to put the value 1 in this CV:

CV330 = 1

For F0 rev, the appropriate CV is 346, which must turn on the rear white lights:

CV346 = 2

Let’s go a little faster now. For F1 fwd (line 7), the CV is 362, which must turn on the red rear lights (AUX2):

CV362 = 8

Finally, for F1 rev (line 8), the CV is 378, which must turn on the front red lights (AUX1):

CV378 = 4

Lighting all lights, white by F2, red by F3

There is nothing more complicated than before. Locating the lines for the keys F2 (9 and 10), and F3 (11 and 12). The CVs K of F2 are CV394 and CV410. Whatever the direction of travel, F2 must light the front (value 1) and rear (value 2) white lights:

CV394 = CV 410 = 1 + 2 = 3

Same for F3 (CV426 and CV442). Whatever the direction of travel, F3 must light the front (value 4) and rear (value 8) red lights:

CV426 = CV 442 = 4 + 8 = 12

Note that if we operate both F2 and F3, all the lights, both red and white, will be on! Why not, this can help check whether all lamps work!

Lighting cabs

Always the same method. The CVs K of F4 are CV458 and CV474. The cabs are on AUX3 (rear, value to apply 16) and AUX4 (front, value 32).

CV458 = 32

CV474 = 16

It remains to specify that the cabs must switch off when the locomotive starts. There is therefore a condition to add, which can be expressed as “the front cab lights up IF the machine is stopped”. How to express “machine stopped”? Let’s go back to page 51, Table Conditions block. We read CV A = 2 for Loco stops.

Table page 51

The CV A of the key F4 fwd is CV449 (table on page 50, do you still follow?) The initial value of this CV is not 0, but 4, which means (page 51 and above) Direction is forward. Yes, that’s the case. So let’s add the value 2:

CV449 = 4 + 2 = 6

Similarly, the CV A of the F4 rev key is CV465. Not surprisingly, the initial value of this resume is 8, which means (p.51) Direction is backward. So let’s add the value 2 too:

CV465 = 8 + 2 = 10

It can be checked that the cab turns off immediately when the machine starts. I tried to see if it was possible to delay the extinction, but I didn’t find anything.

We see that conditions to add to a function command, conditions corresponding to a logical AND (IF…), are programmed in CV A to I of each key.

Turning lights off on the coupling side

Let’s take the example of the back coupling. In this case, if the machine is moving forward, the rear lights, red, must be off (the front ones, white, remain lit). On the contrary, if the machine is in reverse, so pushes, the white lights, also rear, must be switched off, the red remaining lit in the front, because they are at the end of the convoy.

Let’s summarize. For the moment, the rear whites are controlled by pressing F0 rev; the rear reds by F1 fwd. If I want to switch them off by pressing F7, I must add the condition: these lights will be lit IF F7 is NOT actuated. What is the condition CV regarding F7? Always p. 51, we find CV C = 8: Key F7 is Off. For the key F0 rev, CV C is CV339; for F1 fwd, it is CV355.

Table page 51

CV339 = CV355 = 8

Conversely, if I want to switch off the rear whites or reds by pressing F8, I must condition their lighting to F8 NOT actuated, i.e. CV C = 32: Key F8 is Off. For F0 fwd, CV C is CV323, for F1 rev, it is CV371:

CV323 = CV371 = 32

You managed to follow so far without catching a headache? Do you agree with my reasoning? Still, it does not work! For this to work, you have to swap the values!

CV339 = CV355 = 32

CV323 = CV371 = 8

I did not try too long to understand, because I was also on the verge of a breakdown. It works, it’s the main thing. But it leaves me a taste of intellectual dissatisfaction.

Visual programming

It is possible to program (almost) everything that has been described in a much more “user-friendly” way by using the Decoder / Function Mapping section of the LokProgrammer software. Why do I say it only at the end? Because those who don’t have the LokProgrammer will be obliged to follow the “absolutely not user-friendly” method…

Visual programming

The manual method has some interest, though: