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Offline dickinsonj  
#1 Posted : 15 February 2021 15:50:02(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
I finally bought a 60216 CS3 to replace my old CS2, which seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by all that it was being asked to do. I love everything about the CS3 -the interface, the screen, the fast responses - except for one problem.

I have been running my layout with my old CS2 for several months now with just a few issues. Everything mostly worked correctly with an occasional trigger of a loco function not initiated by me, and some phantom mfx registrations resulting in Lok-1 entries in the roster. I have read posts from other CS2 users who have the same problems and I have not seen any resolutions. I never figured out what was causing those issues but the CS2 is being asked to do things now that it was not designed to do, such as command up to 32 functions. The US Märklin digital consultants thought that the problems might be due to the limited memory in the CS2, which does make sense. They recommended deleting the problem locos and registering them again, although that did not really change anything. So I decided that it was finally time to upgrade to a CS3.

I bought my CS3 in late January, immediately added 32 gb of flash memory and after a brief familiarization period I swapped it in to replace my CS2. Everything else is the same, with a yard, six mainlines, all C track with a full power bus and three newer boosters and switched mode power packs. My layout is divided into four power sections using the booster in the CS3 and three external boosters (60174/60175) communicating with the CS3 through a terminal. The very first thing that I did was update the CS3 software to the latest version available from Märklin.

I currently have 13 locos registered with the CS3, all of which are running their factory mfx decoders with minimal changes. At this point nothing about my layout has changed except substituting the CS3 for the CS2. But on two occasions some of my locos stopped getting commands from the CS3 while my trains were operating. In both cases I had to cut track power to stop the locos which were running and that condition persisted even after shutting down and rebooting the next day. What appears to be happening is that the CS3 is losing track of some mfx decoders and stops commanding them.

Both times the entries for the affected locos were still present in the CS3 but it did not issue any commands to them. I deleted the non-responding locos from the CS3 and after they registered again they were fine. Strangely it was the same 7 decoders which lost communications in both cases, while the other 6 locos continued to work perfectly. The affected locos range from a few years to a few months old, and they worked perfectly with the CS2.

I am reluctant to return the CS3 and wait for months/years while it returns to Germany, but the current situation is now workable long term.

If anyone has had a similar problem or has found a cause I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for listening!

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.
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by dickinsonj
Offline JohnjeanB  
#2 Posted : 15 February 2021 18:02:32(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: Paris, France
Hi Jim
Just like you I just replaced my 60215 (CS2) by a 60226 (CS3) and I don't have a huge experience with it. It is fitted with a 32 GB card for sounds and back-ups

I noticed that MFX registration was more painful than with the CS2 (I had to move a number of my locos to the programming track) whereby with the CS2 all registration was made with all locos on location.

I also noticed some abrupt switch off by my 60101 (100W power supply) causing a complete cold start to be needed. This never happened with my CS2 (both of them I use in turns).

I had to migrate my directly-connected S88 (6088 and 60880) to one of the Link88 RJ45 buses (1 or 2) by making an adapter cable.

I also observed a funny behavior as I did the following
* created a switchboard-like surface for most of my layout and all went well
CS3-HBF platte.png

* when a created the surface for the steam depot (with a TT) using the normal layout then all went well
cs3_screenshot_2021_02_15_17_10_43.png
BUT when I connected the steam depot to the main layout (invoking interface switches) then all tracks on the steam depot was with bridge-like tracks
cs3_screenshot_2021_02_15_17_16_26.png


You mention you consider sending your CS3 to Germany: Don't unless there is an obvious failure with a well documented failure report in German or in English.
Otherwise they will keep it 3 months and return it to you un-repaired. (happened to me with another item on intermittent problem)
I have 34 MFX locos registered plus some MM2 locos, cranes, etc.

Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline marklinist5999  
#3 Posted : 15 February 2021 18:52:12(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 274
Location: Michigan, Troy
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
I finally bought a 60216 CS3 to replace my old CS2, which seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by all that it was being asked to do. I love everything about the CS3 -the interface, the screen, the fast responses - except for one problem.

I have been running my layout with my old CS2 for several months now with just a few issues. Everything mostly worked correctly with an occasional trigger of a loco function not initiated by me, and some phantom mfx registrations resulting in Lok-1 entries in the roster. I have read posts from other CS2 users who have the same problems and I have not seen any resolutions. I never figured out what was causing those issues but the CS2 is being asked to do things now that it was not designed to do, such as command up to 32 functions. The US Märklin digital consultants thought that the problems might be due to the limited memory in the CS2, which does make sense. They recommended deleting the problem locos and registering them again, although that did not really change anything. So I decided that it was finally time to upgrade to a CS3.

I bought my CS3 in late January, immediately added 32 gb of flash memory and after a brief familiarization period I swapped it in to replace my CS2. Everything else is the same, with a yard, six mainlines, all C track with a full power bus and three newer boosters and switched mode power packs. My layout is divided into four power sections using the booster in the CS3 and three external boosters (60174/60175) communicating with the CS3 through a terminal. The very first thing that I did was update the CS3 software to the latest version available from Märklin.

I currently have 13 locos registered with the CS3, all of which are running their factory mfx decoders with minimal changes. At this point nothing about my layout has changed except substituting the CS3 for the CS2. But on two occasions some of my locos stopped getting commands from the CS3 while my trains were operating. In both cases I had to cut track power to stop the locos which were running and that condition persisted even after shutting down and rebooting the next day. What appears to be happening is that the CS3 is losing track of some mfx decoders and stops commanding them.

Both times the entries for the affected locos were still present in the CS3 but it did not issue any commands to them. I deleted the non-responding locos from the CS3 and after they registered again they were fine. Strangely it was the same 7 decoders which lost communications in both cases, while the other 6 locos continued to work perfectly. The affected locos range from a few years to a few months old, and they worked perfectly with the CS2.

I am reluctant to return the CS3 and wait for months/years while it returns to Germany, but the current situation is now workable long term.

If anyone has had a similar problem or has found a cause I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for listening!

Dick, I just got my CS3+ late January. I also installed the short update that was available. I only have 2 MFX lcos, and 1 MFX+. I had no trouble. No problem registering older FX or MM ones either. It came from Texas. Serial number suggests a date of manufacture judging by numbers as either Feb. of 2020, or April 2020. There are only 2's. 4's, and a 20 in it denoting the week and month of the year.

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Offline dickinsonj  
#4 Posted : 15 February 2021 19:37:31(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
You mention you consider sending your CS3 to Germany: Don't unless there is an obvious failure with a well documented failure report in German or in English.
Otherwise they will keep it 3 months and return it to you un-repaired. (happened to me with another item on intermittent problem)

Yes Jean, I agree that sending it back to Märklin would be my very last choice. If the source of the problem is the CS3 it is more likely software than hardware in my opinion anyway. I would suspect other components on my layout, but this problem just started after moving to the CS3. I guess it could be a compatibility issue like you saw with your S88, where it is not working and playing well with a booster or one of my decoders. I initially had all of my mfx equipment registered on the CS3 but after the first problem I only registered the 13 items currently under power, hoping to narrow down the source of the problem. It seems unlikely that seven decoders went rogue at once, particularly since they have worked fine with the CS2, in some cases for several years.

I always register on my programming track because I had some problems doing that on my main track with the CS2. I had an odd registration event just this morning. I deleted my new catenary maintenance car, which had fallen out of communication with the CS3. But then it would not register on the CS3 again, even after a reboot. So next I put it on the programming track with my CS2 where it would turn on functions but not turn them off again! So I deleted it and registered it again on the CS2. After that when I tried registering it again on the CS3 it worked correctly. Strange behavior.

That track diagram behavior you saw was odd. I was about to make my first track board when this other stuff started, so I am pushing that back for now. I have read other posts about the challenges of getting a track board set up and working correctly on the CS3. If it does not become more reliable than it currently is I won't need a track board anyway!


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 dickinsonj  
#5 Posted : 15 February 2021 19:39:48(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
I just got my CS3+ late January ... It came from Texas.

So did mine - maybe it is something in the water there. BigGrin
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 dickinsonj  
#6 Posted : 15 February 2021 20:36:49(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
A clarification on what I thought was strange behavior when registering my problem locos. I had deleted them all but forgotten to electrically isolate four of the locos. So while registering one model on my programming track the CS3 was actually registering all five of them simultaneously, with four of them sitting on the mainline. Apparently when that occurs it does not show the series of registration messages that I expected. But they are all there and functioning properly now, so it was user error in this case, and not the CS3! BigGrin

Now for some run time and seeing what happens next. I will report back soon.

Thanks for the inputs!
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 kiwiAlan  
#7 Posted : 15 February 2021 21:07:58(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
before you start totally blaming the cs3 i would upgrade to firmware in the decoders.

Download the software for the 60971 programmer to your Windows PC and connect to the cs3 with it across your local network. Also make sure your cs3 has upgraded itself to the most recent level as well.

Just remember, if you send it back to Marklin the first thing they will do is make sure the cs3 software is at current level, then check it with locos fitted with decoders at the most recent firmware upgrade.

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Offline JohnjeanB  
#8 Posted : 15 February 2021 22:39:34(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: Paris, France
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
That track diagram behavior you saw was odd. I was about to make my first track board when this other stuff started, so I am pushing that back for now. I have read other posts about the challenges of getting a track board set up and working correctly on the CS3. If it does not become more reliable than it currently is I won't need a track board anyway!

In fact, my fault, Märklin recommends to select either the normal track board ("Platte") or the control desk ("Stellpult"). Probable reason: they know about remaining bugs
I did because the layout looks so much better using the "Stellpult" but it poses a real problem when having a turntable.

Long story short: once you have spent the time to set the 'layout" right, then it is very OK
Cheers
Jean


My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline dickinsonj  
#9 Posted : 15 February 2021 22:57:37(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
before you start totally blaming the cs3 i would upgrade to firmware in the decoders.


I totally agree Alan. I thought of that this morning, because this is the kind of behavior you would expect with a system with mismatched software versions. I will update all of my decoder's firmware, starting with the locos which are giving me the most trouble. I would never send the CS3 back to Märklin unless I could determine a definite hardware failure.

My CS3 is up to date and I already have the 60971 software on my laptop, so that should be doable. I tried using the CS3 to do that the other day, but I did not have my laptop on that local network, so of course it did not work. As soon as I catch up on our massive snowfalls, that will be my very first chore.

You have helped me figure out enough stuff that soon you can say that you are running a MRR remotely in North America! BigGrin

Cheers,

Jim
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 dickinsonj  
#10 Posted : 16 February 2021 00:47:37(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
In fact, my fault, Märklin recommends to select either the normal track board ("Platte") or the control desk ("Stellpult").

Thanks for the tip Jean. Those are examples of the level of knowledge that make this stuff all work and can be hard to figure out sometimes. I find that Märklin software works well once you understand exactly how it works but the information needed to get there can be difficult to find.

Luckily going with my gut seems to work pretty often, which is a sign of a good interface design as far as I'm concerned. BigGrin

Cheers

Jim

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 dickinsonj  
#11 Posted : 21 February 2021 16:12:05(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
I'm not sure if this adds much, but here is one more bit of information on this problem. This is getting more frequent and has occurred the last two times I ran my trains. Yesterday after deleting and then registering the mfx locos with my CS3 again I made a restore point. Later that same day it lost communication with the same seven locos plus a lucky new addition of my S 3/6, which had not been on my track earlier. I have been trying to not run more than one or two of the suspect decoders at once, so that I can avoid the chaos of multiple trains running without my ability to control them.

Today I restored from my backup and now they are all back to normal functioning, at least without the hassle of deleting and registering them again. That seems to indicate that something is going wrong within the CS3 to the registration data for these eight decoders. Maybe the mfx assignment has changed to a different address? I guess I can compare those before and after it happens the next time. My catenary maintenance car was not on my track when this happened a few days ago, but it still went out of communication with my CS3, so it was not some strange interaction between it and the decoders.

I am still on board with the firmware fix suggested by Alan but I am doing some needed upgrades to my home network and my Windows box right now. I should be able to try upgrading the firmware in some of these decoders soon and I will see if that helps. Maybe I should remove that memory card from the CS3 because I wonder if that might be degrading my CS3's memory in some way.
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 JohnjeanB  
#12 Posted : 21 February 2021 16:29:33(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: Paris, France
Hi Jim
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
Today I restored from my backup and now they are all back to normal functioning, at least without the hassle of deleting and registering them again. That seems to indicate that something is going wrong within the CS3 to the registration data for these eight decoders.

Restore a CS3 means all MFX registration addresses are restored.

What may happen is a conflict of MFX addresses (2 locos with the same MFX address). In this case the CS3 is not properly talking to one or both locos. Sooner or later it will try to change the addresses to solve the conflict. In this case it is better to have those locos on the programming track while all other locos are on the layout (main power). This is because on a large layout, registration of all MFX locos will not happen (at least by my layout)

A restore of a backup prior this address conflict solving will bring back the old addresses in conflict and so force the CS3 to sort again the conflict.

Sorry for the long speech but a restore may bring problems if at the back-up time all locos were not properly talking to the CS3
Cheers
Jean


My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by JohnjeanB
Offline dickinsonj  
#13 Posted : 21 February 2021 17:19:42(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Sorry for the long speech but a restore may bring problems if at the back-up time all locos were not properly talking to the CS3


Yes Jean, I totally agree!

I am limiting what I have on my track as I work through this situation to reduce problems like that. I had all of the working locos on my main track when I re-registered the problem locos on my programming track, one after the other. Then I checked that all 11 locos were responsive to the CS3 before I did the backup. After the eight locos stopped being commanded by the CS3 again, I restored to that working configuration and again verified that all 11 were fine. I have now recorded the addresses of the locos when things are working correctly and it will be interesting to see if they have changed the next time this happens. I also removed the SD card in case it was causing memory issues in the CS3.

I suspect that you and Alan are both leading me to the same possible fix. If one of the decoders which needs new firmware is not communicating properly with the CS3, then the addresses could be getting mangled when the conflict is resolved. I should be ready to update decoder firmware sometime later this week, and I will report what happens. Interestingly all of the decoders affected are relatively new, while some which are not affected are 4-6 years old. There is some clue there too, but I don't know what it is.

I love input on this stuff which is how I finally get it fixed. No need to apologize about long speeches that contain useful information. 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.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by dickinsonj
Offline dickinsonj  
#14 Posted : 04 March 2021 19:11:41(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
I have an update but not any definite answers.

After I realized that just restoring from a backup fixed my lost mfx loco problem, things have settled down and the system has become more stable. Twice I have restored from the latest backup and all of my locos were recognized and controlled once again.

The only major change that I made was to remove the SD expansion card that I had inserted in the CS3. I thought that extending the memory might make the system more reliable but in fact it might have made it less stable. Since removing the memory card I have not had any phantom registrations or loss of control of any locos.

I do still see the state of my turnout at position come up wrong when the CS3 first boots up. The turnout is at the straight position but it shows it set to take the turn - in other words red. Once I set it back to green it stays that way until the next time I start up, when it almost always shows it red again.

I know that the problem going away with the SD card removal does not prove that was the cause, but it has been several weeks now since this problem has occurred, which is progress.
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.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by dickinsonj
Offline JohnjeanB  
#15 Posted : 04 March 2021 19:29:58(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: Paris, France
Hi Jim
It may very well be that a failing SD card may cause trouble to the mother unit (jamming the data bus or the address bus I don't know).
So if for back-up or sound storage purpose you could try with another SD card.
I know it does not mean much but my CS3 uses a 32 GB SD card all works fine
Keep up the good work (If I may say that)
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by JohnjeanB
Offline ocram63_uk  
#16 Posted : 05 March 2021 10:21:50(UTC)
ocram63_uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 438
Location: England, Suffolk
as a drastic and ultimate solution I would restore the CS3 to factory settings but first remove all the locos from the tracks and remove the 32 GB card as well when you do this.

This done start adding them one by one via the programming track and see how it goes and if it starts misbehaving in this way.

Software and peripherals will always present issues even in the best of architectures !!!
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Offline dickinsonj  
#17 Posted : 05 March 2021 15:27:17(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: ocram63_uk Go to Quoted Post
as a drastic and ultimate solution I would restore the CS3 to factory settings...

Yes - that will be my last resort if I can't fix this another way. I recently had a new idea about what could be causing the problem and after some more investigation I will post again. I don't think the SD card is the culprit and since everything else is the same right now I put it back just to be sure. I am also ready to start updating decoder firmware, but I want to hold off a bit until I have more time with things as they are.

Thanks for the input.

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 dickinsonj  
#18 Posted : 05 March 2021 15:32:31(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
I know it does not mean much but my CS3 uses a 32 GB SD card all works fine.


That is helpful Jean. The card is a top quality one and new, so I don't think it was the culprit. At this point I have been flailing about a bit trying to get the system stable. Unfortunately that has meant changing more than one thing at a time, which make diagnostics difficult. As a software developer and debugger I know to only change one thing at a time but when my trains don't run I can get a bit desperate for a solution. BigGrin
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 rbw993  
#19 Posted : 05 March 2021 16:05:28(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 793
Just a thought Jim,
I was having some bizarre behavior with my CS2. Mfx re-registrations and the strange code about invalid mfx registration. Also loco's not responding to control signals. In the end I replaced one of my 60174 boosters and all has been well. I have since upgraded to a CS3 and hooked the CS2 to it. I also have the SD card installed and have had no mfx issues since the booster change and CS3 upgrade.

Regards,
Roger
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Offline dickinsonj  
#20 Posted : 05 March 2021 17:31:59(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: rbw993 Go to Quoted Post

I was having some bizarre behavior with my CS2. Mfx re-registrations and the strange code about invalid mfx registration. Also loco's not responding to control signals.

That sounds familiar Roger, particularly with my new CS3. I only had the invalid registration problem on my CS2. That seems better managed on the CS3 because it never results in a phantom Lok-1 entry in my roster. The first time I discovered that on my CS2 I was up around Lok-1(15) or so! But I have seen the screen saying the decoder had been read on my CS3, when only registered mfx locos were on powered track. I think that could have caused this by changing the address registrations in the CS3.

I also have wondered about a booster as the cause, since they are necessary for communication from the locos back to the CS3. I have three external boosters and I also use the one built into the CS3, and I don't yet know how to diagnose which one might be a problem.

I also need to update my decoder's firmware as Alan suggested and that could easily be a source of this behavior as well. I have been in the process of upgrading my internet service and I am finally approaching normal and workable speeds. ThumpUp I also just bought a new laptop which is vastly nicer and faster than the one I had been using with the decoder programming software. Right now I am just waiting for the next rainy day to set things up to do that, since my CS3 is not normally connected to my main network.

The problem is very random, which makes this tougher. I'm sure that the cause is still out there but right now I am running six trains and everything is working flawlessly. We will see how much longer that continues. BigGrin
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 bph  
#21 Posted : 07 March 2021 13:55:33(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post

That sounds familiar Roger, particularly with my new CS3. I only had the invalid registration problem on my CS2. That seems better managed on the CS3 because it never results in a phantom Lok-1 entry in my roster. The first time I discovered that on my CS2 I was up around Lok-1(15) or so! But I have seen the screen saying the decoder had been read on my CS3, when only registered mfx locos were on powered track. I think that could have caused this by changing the address registrations in the CS3.

I also have wondered about a booster as the cause, since they are necessary for communication from the locos back to the CS3. I have three external boosters and I also use the one built into the CS3, and I don't yet know how to diagnose which one might be a problem. (the forced update requires an internet connection)

I also need to update my decoder's firmware as Alan suggested and that could easily be a source of this behavior as well. I have been in the process of upgrading my internet service and I am finally approaching normal and workable speeds. ThumpUp I also just bought a new laptop which is vastly nicer and faster than the one I had been using with the decoder programming software. Right now I am just waiting for the next rainy day to set things up to do that, since my CS3 is not normally connected to my main network.

The problem is very random, which makes this tougher. I'm sure that the cause is still out there but right now I am running six trains and everything is working flawlessly. We will see how much longer that continues. BigGrin


I assume you have checked, but dos your boosters and track format processor have the latest firmware? (the track format processor had and an mfx fix in the latest update.). You could also try a forced update on the cs3, to eliminate that something went wrong with the latest update.

As for locomotive firmware updates, it's quite easy to do them on the CS3, unless there is a specific need for 3.2.2.1, you can get 3.2.2.0 on cs3. The cs3 is also able to update firmware on older mfx decoders if they have updates. I don't think you need an internet connection to do firmware updates as long as you have the latest firmware installed. I don't think the mdecoder tool 3 software can update older mfx decoders (gen 1 and 2).

A suggestion to get your cs3 on the network is to use a Powerline Network Adapter. their speed is not as advertised, but more than enough for the cs3.

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Offline dickinsonj  
#22 Posted : 07 March 2021 14:54:15(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post
I assume you have checked, but dos your boosters and track format processor have the latest firmware?

Yes, all of my software is up to date, including the TFPs. I do plan to update all of the decoders which can be updated. The mDT can only update the newer (gen 3) decoders AFAIK and only ones not locked from the factory. I don't fully understand the firmware update process but I will sort that out when it is time. The few that I have checked using only the CS3 have not found any available updates even when the CS3 was connected to the internet.

It takes an adjustment to connect my Märklin electronics to the internet, but it is not difficult. I just have not had the time available recently.

I have my SD card back in and no problems. I did not really think it was the source of the problem but I just wanted to cover all my bases.

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions.

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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bph
Offline bph  
#23 Posted : 07 March 2021 15:48:52(UTC)
bph

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Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post

The few that I have checked using only the CS3 have not found any available updates even when the CS3 was connected to the internet.


Did you check the dropdown menu? you have to actually click on the grey field to get the dropdown option and see if there is an update. (red ring)
firmware1_r.jpg

Them you should get something like this: (it's worth checking the other options as well, but usually they are empty)
firmware2.jpg

Offline dickinsonj  
#24 Posted : 07 March 2021 16:02:47(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post
Did you check the dropdown menu? you have to actually click on the grey field to get the dropdown option and see if there is an update.


Good question. I think that I clicked in that field, but maybe I didn't. I will check that again and see if any updates are just shy and hiding in there. lol

I also want to check for system updates again before I proceed, since it has been a few weeks. I also don't know how to force an update if one is not shown, but I will look into that as well.

Cheers
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 kiwiAlan  
#25 Posted : 07 March 2021 17:29:49(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
I do plan to update all of the decoders which can be updated. The mDT can only update the newer (gen 3) decoders AFAIK and only ones not locked from the factory.


Wrong.

You can update the decoder firmware in (almost) any mLD3 or mSD3 decoder. I believe there is also limited upgradeability for mLD and mSD decoders with the mDT.

What you cannot update in a factory fitted decoder is the sound programming (I haven't tried changing CVs to modify functionality on one of these yet).

I say you can update the firmware in almost any decoder as there are decoders with functionality for which Marklin has not released an update. Examples of this are the Insider Rangier Crocodile with the new telex coupling. I haven't tried it recently, but it wouldn't update just after I received it even though the mDT claimed to have a more recent version of software available than was loaded on the Crocodile. I suspect that all the locos with the new telex coupling are in the same category.
Offline dickinsonj  
#26 Posted : 07 March 2021 19:15:52(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
You can update the decoder firmware in (almost) any mLD3 or mSD3 decoder. I believe there is also limited upgradeability for mLD and mSD decoders with the mDT.


I was basing that on the fact that when I mount any decoder except for an mSD3 or mLD3 on the programming stick and try accessing it with the mDT software on my laptop all I get is a message saying that it is not an upgrade decoder. From what I can tell you can't use that software to do anything to these decoders, but perhaps I gave up too quickly. I don't understand Märklin's game with locking the factory decoders, unless it is to force us to buy upgrade decoders to be able to manage them properly.
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 bph  
#27 Posted : 07 March 2021 23:00:29(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
I do plan to update all of the decoders which can be updated. The mDT can only update the newer (gen 3) decoders AFAIK and only ones not locked from the factory.


Wrong.

You can update the decoder firmware in (almost) any mLD3 or mSD3 decoder. I believe there is also limited upgradeability for mLD and mSD decoders with the mDT.

I say you can update the firmware in almost any decoder as there are decoders with functionality for which Marklin has not released an update. Examples of this are the Insider Rangier Crocodile with the new telex coupling. I haven't tried it recently, but it wouldn't update just after I received it even though the mDT claimed to have a more recent version of software available than was loaded on the Crocodile. I suspect that all the locos with the new telex coupling are in the same category.


I had some decoders with 07.xx firmware that would not update with the mDT3 software and USB tool. but I could update them on the cs3 directly. After that, I did not bother anymore with firmware updates on the mDT3. so I didn't think the mDT3 could update the firmware in gen1 and 2 decoders, but i might be wrong. I in the firmware catalog on the pc there are no firmware files for 07.xx or 2.xx decoders only for gen3 decoders.

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
before you start totally blaming the cs3 i would upgrade to firmware in the decoders.
Download the software for the 60971 programmer to your Windows PC and connect to the cs3 with it across your local network. Also make sure your cs3 has upgraded itself to the most recent level as well.


If I understand you correctly, you are able to use the mDT3 software and update the decoder firmware through the cs3, (without taking the decoder out of the locomotive).
I would appreciate it if you could explain how you do that. as if that is possible then I'm doing something wrong.
I have not been able to use the mDT3 software to update the decoder firmware through the cs3. yes, I can program an msd3 decoder project through the cs3 and have done so several times, but not firmware. The firmware option in the mDT3 is greyed out unless there is a decoder mounted in the USB tool on the pc.

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#28 Posted : 08 March 2021 17:03:20(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
You can update the decoder firmware in (almost) any mLD3 or mSD3 decoder. I believe there is also limited upgradeability for mLD and mSD decoders with the mDT.


I was basing that on the fact that when I mount any decoder except for an mSD3 or mLD3 on the programming stick and try accessing it with the mDT software on my laptop all I get is a message saying that it is not an upgrade decoder. From what I can tell you can't use that software to do anything to these decoders, but perhaps I gave up too quickly. I don't understand Märklin's game with locking the factory decoders, unless it is to force us to buy upgrade decoders to be able to manage them properly.


I'm basing this on the writeup in the decoder manual. Ah, now checking the manual i see I have got it wrong. You can use the mDT software to load sounds through a 60801 programmer to an mSD decoder. Blushing Blushing Blushing

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#29 Posted : 08 March 2021 17:05:30(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post

If I understand you correctly, you are able to use the mDT3 software and update the decoder firmware through the cs3, (without taking the decoder out of the locomotive).
I would appreciate it if you could explain how you do that. as if that is possible then I'm doing something wrong.
I have not been able to use the mDT3 software to update the decoder firmware through the cs3. yes, I can program an msd3 decoder project through the cs3 and have done so several times, but not firmware. The firmware option in the mDT3 is greyed out unless there is a decoder mounted in the USB tool on the pc.



That is my understanding from section 5.1 of the mDT software manual.

I must admit i haven't tried it myself thus far, but the time is getting closer ... Scared
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Offline bph  
#30 Posted : 08 March 2021 18:17:27(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post

If I understand you correctly, you are able to use the mDT3 software and update the decoder firmware through the cs3, (without taking the decoder out of the locomotive).
I would appreciate it if you could explain how you do that. as if that is possible then I'm doing something wrong.
I have not been able to use the mDT3 software to update the decoder firmware through the cs3. yes, I can program an msd3 decoder project through the cs3 and have done so several times, but not firmware. The firmware option in the mDT3 is greyed out unless there is a decoder mounted in the USB tool on the pc.



That is my understanding from section 5.1 of the mDT software manual.

I must admit i haven't tried it myself thus far, but the time is getting closer ... Scared


Ah, that section (5.1) is only for programming a decoder with a project, not firmware update. (Firmware is not a part of a project).
have done decoder projects that way several times, through a cs3, and it works quite nicely. But firmware updates that way does not work, as far I have been able to figure out.
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#31 Posted : 08 March 2021 21:12:29(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post

If I understand you correctly, you are able to use the mDT3 software and update the decoder firmware through the cs3, (without taking the decoder out of the locomotive).
I would appreciate it if you could explain how you do that. as if that is possible then I'm doing something wrong.
I have not been able to use the mDT3 software to update the decoder firmware through the cs3. yes, I can program an msd3 decoder project through the cs3 and have done so several times, but not firmware. The firmware option in the mDT3 is greyed out unless there is a decoder mounted in the USB tool on the pc.



That is my understanding from section 5.1 of the mDT software manual.

I must admit i haven't tried it myself thus far, but the time is getting closer ... Scared


Ah, that section (5.1) is only for programming a decoder with a project, not firmware update. (Firmware is not a part of a project).
have done decoder projects that way several times, through a cs3, and it works quite nicely. But firmware updates that way does not work, as far I have been able to figure out.


OK, but it must be possible as the decoder firmware files are part of the cs3 firmware update. I don't see this as being a sensible thing to do if it can't be done as the space would be better occupied by other items such as loco icon files.

Offline bph  
#32 Posted : 08 March 2021 23:13:15(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post

If I understand you correctly, you are able to use the mDT3 software and update the decoder firmware through the cs3, (without taking the decoder out of the locomotive).
I would appreciate it if you could explain how you do that. as if that is possible then I'm doing something wrong.
I have not been able to use the mDT3 software to update the decoder firmware through the cs3. yes, I can program an msd3 decoder project through the cs3 and have done so several times, but not firmware. The firmware option in the mDT3 is greyed out unless there is a decoder mounted in the USB tool on the pc.



That is my understanding from section 5.1 of the mDT software manual.

I must admit i haven't tried it myself thus far, but the time is getting closer ... Scared


Ah, that section (5.1) is only for programming a decoder with a project, not firmware update. (Firmware is not a part of a project).
have done decoder projects that way several times, through a cs3, and it works quite nicely. But firmware updates that way does not work, as far I have been able to figure out.


OK, but it must be possible as the decoder firmware files are part of the cs3 firmware update. I don't see this as being a sensible thing to do if it can't be done as the space would be better occupied by other items such as loco icon files.

I agree it's logical for it to be able to work that way. It might come in a future update?. But it might also that way for a reason, eg should the network connection fail during such an update it might cause damage, but with proper programming that should not be a problem.
as for now, the most sensible way is to use the cs3 to update the firmware update to eg. 3.2.2.0. but if 3.2.2.1 is needed for one of the fixes, you have to remove the decoder from the locomotive and update it using the USB tool in the PC and mDT3 software. (or unless you have a cs2?). I also find it a bit surprising that the cs3 can not download the latest decoder firmware directly, but instead it's bundled with the cs3 software.

Hopefully, dickinsonj will find some updates or solutions that will enable him to eliminate his problem.

Offline dickinsonj  
#33 Posted : 09 March 2021 00:50:53(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: bph Go to Quoted Post
Hopefully, dickinsonj will find some updates or solutions that will enable him to eliminate his problem.

Thanks for the helpful flow of ideas on this. I am sorting through a few things and I will report what eventually solves the problem. The gods of Märklin are happy right now and all is working perfectly. I think I have a much clearer picture of the firmware update world of Märklin now too, in all of its strangeness and beauty. BigGrin

The weather where I live has unexpectedly become perfect, so it will be a few days until I get back to this, but I will let you know what I learn pertinent to this process. I can see the utility of bundling it all together from a software distribution and version control perspective, but that means that the firmware loaded from the CS3 will always, by design be a version or two behind. I need to get better at removing decoders from those 21 pins without bending them if I need to put them all on my USB stick.Cool

Hopefully clarity will follow. I often find Märklin software to be somewhat oddly designed but very functional once you figure out how to use it. 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.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by dickinsonj
bph
Offline kiwiAlan  
#34 Posted : 09 March 2021 01:13:17(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,838
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post

Hopefully clarity will follow. I often find Märklin software to be somewhat oddly designed but very functional once you figure out how to use it. ThumpUp



I found this with a number of European originated items, not just German ones. The ones I remember specifically are test instruments from the Philips company in Netherlands. The various instruments from them seemed to require setting up in a manner that was alien to my way of thinking. You could get it to work, but not the way you wanted.

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