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Offline dwptravel  
#1 Posted : 13 March 2023 15:44:14(UTC)
dwptravel

United States   
Joined: 13/06/2010(UTC)
Posts: 19
Location: Washington DC
Has anyone had experience using a Piko loco with a SmartSound 5.1 Decoder, which is MFX and is supposed to work with Marklin AC? I have the NCTD Sprinter #4007 Diesel Loco, and I find it is very undependable in operation. I have it entered as a loco with MM (it supposedly has MFX and would register automatically, according to the Piko instructions), but sometimes it works when I turn on the CS3 (and it is great when it works) but probably more than half the time it doesn't. And by doesn't, I mean no running, no sound, no lights, no response at all. It is just not responding and I can't discern any reason. I will try locating lost MFX items, and also reading the decoder, and neither makes a difference. Sometimes when I hit "stop" and then turn power back on it starts running, or if it was running, will stop. It usually works fine when I use the Piko Z21 as a running system instead of the CS3.

Incidentally, I have pretty much sworn off Piko and any other 3-rail brand besides Marklin, with the one exception of Mehano. I liked that Piko seemed to be trying to do more current Era VI, which is what I want on my layout, but I have had one issue or another with almost every one. Piko service is pretty nonexistent, and parts not available has been my experience. So far, I am unimpressed with the Piko decoder. They should have just used ESU. So I will pony up the extra dollars and buy Marklin that works.
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Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 13 March 2023 16:17:53(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,179
Location: DE-NW
I am quite happy with my Piko locos, but the mfx in their new decoders is crappy.
When a new Piko loco arrives, I disable mfx in the loco and assign a DCC address. This works reliable for me.

To do so, disable mfx in the CS3 temporarily and program the loco using DCC to disable mfx in the decoder.
Once mfx is disabled in the loco, you can enable mfx in the CS3 again and continue to use and program the loco using DCC.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline marklinist5999  
#3 Posted : 13 March 2023 17:07:26(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 2,704
Location: Michigan, Troy
Good to know.
Offline franciscohg  
#4 Posted : 13 March 2023 18:28:44(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,242
Location: Patagonia
Yes yes yes, i also always disable thé mfx on Uhl (Piko) and Zimo. Works bad and you just get automatic registering. All advance mapping and configuration must be done by DCC means.
Regards
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
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Offline marklinist5999  
#5 Posted : 13 March 2023 19:44:13(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 2,704
Location: Michigan, Troy
Zimo new mfx are anemic also? I put my Roco 78749 MX 645 sound, not mfx. br 218 on my CS3's prgram track, and opened the configure menu to raise volume, but it was already set at the 255 max. I could hear the decoeder responding when I lowered it below 245.
I know that ESU M4 (mfx decoders) have no problems.
Offline H0  
#6 Posted : 13 March 2023 20:15:36(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,179
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
I know that ESU M4 (mfx decoders) have no problems.
ESU decoders where the first mfx decoders ever. Märklin followed several years later and their mfx decoders had quite a few teething problems.
Piko implemented just a little bit of mfx and they still have massive teething problems.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline franciscohg  
#7 Posted : 13 March 2023 20:24:47(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,242
Location: Patagonia
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
Zimo new mfx are anemic also? I put my Roco 78749 MX 645 sound, not mfx. br 218 on my CS3's prgram track, and opened the configure menu to raise volume, but it was already set at the 255 max. I could hear the decoeder responding when I lowered it below 245.
I know that ESU M4 (mfx decoders) have no problems.




Yes, Zimo MS decoders just Register itself in mfx, less troubles than with Uhl, but you are also not capable of doing mapping in the CS3. So, all the programming must be done via Software and Mxulfa, with the deactivation of mfx included.
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
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Offline mario54i  
#8 Posted : 13 March 2023 21:00:24(UTC)
mario54i

Italy   
Joined: 28/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 276
Location: Torino,
I have a Piko Ae4/7 with Piko sound 4.1 decoder that goes in one direction when controlled through mfx and in the opposite in DCC. Anyone noticed this? I disabled mfx (bit 5 of CV12)
thanks
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Offline dwptravel  
#9 Posted : 15 March 2023 14:43:10(UTC)
dwptravel

United States   
Joined: 13/06/2010(UTC)
Posts: 19
Location: Washington DC
As a partial update, I put the Piko loco on the live main track (I had forgot to hit “Stop”), and off it goes running fine. Until it derailed on a curve, which seems to have something to do with the articulated center of the rail car, but is a common Piko problem for me. Then it became totally unresponsive again. I will try doing the DCC later.
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