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Offline gcanton  
#1 Posted : 23 December 2019 20:12:06(UTC)
gcanton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/06/2004(UTC)
Posts: 61
Location: Hampshire, UK
After searching and understanding Google translation I've made some progress getting my first MSD3 decoders to play ball.

Random sounds seem happiest if they are not also assigned to a function button.

The random sound settings have 4 variables in the latest firmware, firstly a 1 to switch it on, a variable for duration which seems to do little as 1 but even 2 is a good length for a SIFA tone and 4-5 for coal shoveling or injectors, third number is the sound slot in the decoder, not the sound number you have assigned it. If you hover your mouse over the sound in the list it shows the file size and allocated slot, the 4th digit is the all times, only static or only whilst running.

The 21 pin connectors need to be treating with respect as the pins are on the programmer and decoder adaptor board bend easily and unless I have misunderstood stuff the only way to actually check the decoder is to remove it from the programmer and plug it into a loco or decoder tester. Perhaps better way is to mount it in the holder and connect the cables to the programmer terminals but then the wires can drop off with excessive handling. Perhaps that is a win for ESU that you can mount it in the loco and still programme including sound albeit a lot slower.

The things still going less well are I cannot download music to the decoder. I give it a MP3 or WAV it loads to it in the programmer and plays it in the MSD3 programming software on my PC but just plays shash back from the loco. The other fail is getting the auto calibration loading 77 into CV 7 to work. I am working in ESU world talking to it with an Ecos, would a mobile station be better, if so which generation would I need as I have an early one as an extra handset for the Ecos.

Otherwise the sound quality is very good on clips from the Marklin library which has a lot of odd stuff and the programming is easy for the bits I've got to work so far.

They are also very good value and compact.

The HO decoder makes a powerful partner to the chunky cube speaker supplied with the LGB decoder. They would be a useful spare part to source but I know there are similar offerings out there to explore.

Has anybody got the own sounds or auto calibrate to work? Especially without a Central Station.

Generally how do others find the MSD3 family as aftermarket units to play with?

Graham

Edited by user 30 January 2020 18:57:00(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by gcanton
Offline costing  
#2 Posted : 23 December 2019 20:58:06(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 103
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Hi Graham,

For custom sounds please see my findings documented here: https://www.marklin-user...1-Custom-sounds-in-mSD-3

Auto calibrate kind of works. Well, it does but it's still a mystery to me what the motor type field values actually mean. But a few attempts (sometimes just re-running the calibration procedure only) usually yield a good result.

In my experience the decoder is quite nice overall. As you say, programming is very fast after having removed it from the loco. And I even managed to attach keep alive capacitors to it, in spite of the documentation provided :)

Something I miss is access to functions 16+. With custom sounds one quickly reaches the limit of function mapping. And this I don't get, new locos come with many more functions from factory, why aren't they supported on the standalone decoders?

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24, BR 233), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline costing  
#3 Posted : 27 December 2019 16:37:37(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 103
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Originally Posted by: costing Go to Quoted Post

Something I miss is access to functions 16+. With custom sounds one quickly reaches the limit of function mapping. And this I don't get, new locos come with many more functions from factory, why aren't they supported on the standalone decoders?


I stand corrected. I've fiddled a bit with the programmer software tool and found that more function rows show up if you click on the function setup button and assign an icon for example to one of the extended functions. Then you can assign actions to them in the usual way.
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24, BR 233), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline gcanton  
#4 Posted : 30 December 2019 18:58:06(UTC)
gcanton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/06/2004(UTC)
Posts: 61
Location: Hampshire, UK
Hello Costing

I found one answer to the function limits to keep it manageable is use the random sounds as you have running, still or both. Static, injectors, coal shoveling, hammering are good as they play rarely so not to be silly. Running, grate shuffling and Sifa work well.

The memory space soon gets full though.

The announcements are much better quality than the running sounds, certainly for T3. I shall check other similar locos for less toylike chuffs. I have still failed to get either CV7 to work or my own sounds into the decoder but I will try one fresh from the box one before I change CV's next time.

It is winter but a HO MSD3 ran my Maxi S'Vreneli with 4 wagons (my ideal load as it looks OK and heavy loads might wear the now difficult to replace motors and gears) happily in the garden today. I have kept the smoke unit off the decoder on the existing switch partly to reduce the load on the decoder and partly to stop people running with it on and no smoke fluid.

Did you connect your home made stay alive to the +5volts or the +U and ground? I need to add one and paying half the cost of the decoder for a Marklin one seems expensive.

I think I make my life more difficult by running an Ecos and programming with the Marklin 60971 stick rather than a CS2 or 3.

I did have to turn off the AC and DC options as after running on some dirty track the loco thought it was on AC or DC and ignored the controller but it has been very wet and my current leakage was about 250ma to the ground with nothing on the track which interfered with the M4 registration so it was not ideal conditions. I wanted to check the load to see whether to do more conversions over the coming months. With lights, sound it is about 700mA so should OK for the HO decoder. Proper Gauge 1 will need a 55029 and I've fitted one to an E91 too and having learnt a lot since need to go back and redo it.

Graham
Offline costing  
#5 Posted : 30 December 2019 21:50:31(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 103
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Hi Graham,

The stay alive should be connected just after the bridge rectifier, so between GND and VCC (+Ub on the decoder schematics). That way it can supply both the logic and the motor with power. If you have large rotating mass and only sound interruptions are a problem you could provide power only to the logic circuit via the +5V. I had them stopping dead on the tracks so I went with the former option.

The custom circuit is a simple one, taken from the ESU LokSound V4.0 manual, page 26, or simply (top part of):
Keep alive circuit

It's just a resistor + diode in series with the actual capacitor. Pay close attention to the direction of the diode, it is supposed to quickly release the current from the capacitor in case of a power loss. While charging the capacitor the current flows through the resistor, thus limiting the spike when the capacitor is charging up (a large cap without this limiter can trip the short circuit sensing in your base station).

You should select capacitors of at least a few V more than your supply, as large as the inside of your loco can fit. I have used 25V caps between 2200uF and 10000uF (power supply is 20V but modulating the signal and the loco bridge rectifier bring it down to ~17V at the GND-VCC pins).

By carefully filtering through digikey / mouser / conrad etc you can find newer models that are smaller in volume for the same capacity, or you can even filter by the dimensions that limit your application. Ebay is a good source of just a few particular ones when you know what you need. If you have room you can fit more caps in parallel with each other, and of different capacity values even.

The Marklin power pack is quite nice in itself. I think it uses low voltage supercaps and voltage boosters. Overall they are more efficient at the same size. Apart from the high price, the size was actually a bigger problem for me, I couldn't fit them in any loco without radical changes to them.

The decoder specs indicate up to 1.6A max overall current draw, but see the breakdown by output to see what the current limits are. 0.7A sounds quite reasonable, I had a loco drawing this much in H0 the other day, no problems there.

I can't say about the CS2, 3 or Ecos. Myself I'm running on DCC++ without any automatic registration features. Actually this was my reason to get involved with mSD3 / mLD3 : I wanted plain DCC protocol support ... I disable the unused protocols, which is probably a good idea in the light of the problems you are seeing.

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24, BR 233), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline gcanton  
#6 Posted : 30 January 2020 19:23:29(UTC)
gcanton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/06/2004(UTC)
Posts: 61
Location: Hampshire, UK
I have found custom sounds work best if I do nothing but let the Marklin software mangle my WAV and do not try to help with Audacity. So I have a gauge 1 E91 that plays 30 seconds of Big Train.

if you do not know it.

One to turn off when the children find it at an exhibition and annoy the neighbours.

I find my ECos needs to have the "currentless" option on to reliably talk to the decoder once it is installed to tweak CV's.

That enabled be to get CV7 to work, again mostly.

The HO decoder in a Maxi loco seems happy on my indoor test track. Picture below hopefully. Less than 700ma uphill with light and sound. Transients on the ECos display of under 1500ma and it runs full speed for a period of time with no issues. It has 1 in 40 gradiants and 600mm curves to be a worst case with a realistic load.

I have squeezed 6800uf of stay alive in the bottom of the Maxi loco. When it stops raining I can test if it helps on the bird droppings etc outside.

So unless you want Railcom the MSD3 family look a good affordable option.

IMG_20200130_175013.jpg
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by gcanton
Offline dickinsonj  
#7 Posted : 09 February 2020 19:22:22(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,232
Location: United States
Can anyone share the process to adjust the chuff rate for a current gen Märklin decoder?

The chuff rate is way, way too fast on my 39911 Challenger. I'm sure it is controlled by a CV but I can't find any references to it and any guidance would be a big help. It is probably the same as an mSD/3 but so far I can't find my English version of the manual for one of them.

Update: I found the manual online and it looks like it is CV 57 - I guess it is time to try playing around with that!

Thanks in advance.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline ktsolias  
#8 Posted : 09 February 2020 22:39:32(UTC)
ktsolias

Greece   
Joined: 01/05/2016(UTC)
Posts: 426
Location: Athens
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
Can anyone share the process to adjust the chuff rate for a current gen Märklin decoder?

The chuff rate is way, way too fast on my 39911 Challenger. I'm sure it is controlled by a CV but I can't find any references to it and any guidance would be a big help. It is probably the same as an mSD/3 but so far I can't find my English version of the manual for one of them.

Update: I found the manual online and it looks like it is CV 57 - I guess it is time to try playing around with that!

Thanks in advance.


Yes is CV 57 and CV 58, the default values for mSD 60975 is CV 57=30 and CV 58=90

Costas

Offline dickinsonj  
#9 Posted : 10 February 2020 01:00:28(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,232
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: ktsolias Go to Quoted Post

Yes is CV 57 and CV 58, the default values for mSD 60975 is CV 57=30 and CV 58=90

Costas


Wow - thanks for the quick response Costas. ThumpUp

My loco had CV57=45 and CV58=110. The mSD/3 manual said that CV57 was for locos without wheel sensors and CV58 was for those with them, but it is clearly more complicated than that.

I tried settings in the range of 5 to 200 for CV57. The rate of chuffs would go up even higher but never below the rate at 45, so I just left it there. As delivered its chuff rate was almost exactly twice what it should have been, which made it sound ridiculous running next to my old Big Boy with wheel sensors.

Then I randomly tried reducing CV58 from 110 to 55 and it is not too bad now. It could go back up just a little, but it is close. A good first go I would say. BigGrin

Thanks again for the help Costa - this forum rocks! ThumpUp

Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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