Upgrading LokSound DCC Decoders to Full Throttle

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How to upgrade LokSound DCC decoders with Full Throttle.


Today I want to talk to you about the process I went through to upgrade my lock sound decoders while back locks down released some new software that they call full throttle and it’s new decoder software and one of the really nice things about the lock sound decoders is as long as you have a lock programmer you can actually download new software into the actual DCC chip that locks out chip that’s inside your locomotives and effectively upgrade the sounds and the features in that locomotive without actually having to physically replace the DCC decoder that’s in there and so the software came out a little bit ago I just had never gotten around to upgrading my lock sound equipped engines and so but I went ahead and did that over the last couple of days and I wanted to show you the process I went through to do that and talk to you a little bit about the full throttle features so I understand a little bit of why I went ahead and upgraded them and it’s a real simple process real quick it doesn’t take very long for each engine there are a couple little things that I found that aren’t going to work super great for my layout with full throttle just based upon the DCC system that I use and how full throttle works and consisting and stuff and so I’ll tell you a little bit about that because there’s limitation with it it’s not anything with full throttle or the lock sound decoders it’s just the way that my DCC system does consisting really isn’t going to let me take full advantage of the full throttle and so I’ll go ahead and talk to you a little bit about that too before we get to all that let’s head over the yard and I’ll show you one of the engines I’ve already done and explain to you some of the new features in full throttle and why I decided to go ahead and upgrade okay so here’s the engine I previously upgraded with lockdown full throttle so let’s go ahead and start up the engine and see how it performs and say on some.

Okay so the new features that I’m going to demonstrate here for you are dry fold break run eight and coast so before I demonstrate those let me just show you without using any of those features this is how the engine will sound and perform just moving normally through the arc so you can hear there that you really only get up in to notch one notch too kind of thing if you want to move slowly through the art now you can do manual notching but I’ve always found that to be very cumbersome and what drive hold does is it sort of is a different way to sort of think of manual notching by activating Drive hold what you do is you separate the speed of the locomotive from the sound of the locomotive the sound is controlled by your throttle knob going up and down and this speed is essentially locked like almost like a cruise control at whatever point you press in this case f94 drive hold and so you can start the engine off at a slow crawl hit drive hold go ahead and continue to throttle up and the look sort of like the momentum of the engine or and/or the train it’s pulling or is sort of resisting it and then after you get it sort of you release drive hold let it accelerate up a little bit and once it sort of is going to speed that you like you again hit drive hold you can turn the throttle down and almost let it then just the momentum of the engine carry itself forward and that actually is kind of prototypical where you can hear the engine being throttled up and down without it immediately impacting the speed that the engines at and you can do that some with momentum and manual notching but I think this drive hold feature and the Coast feature and stuff are just a lot more clean at least for me and so you can see in here there the differences I was able to sort of ramp up the RPMs of the the engine and put it up into knotch four or five kind of area but still keep the speed real low and then I was able to drop those rpms back down put it in idle and let it just sort of coast along and I did that all with just using the f9 feature you can do something similar with the Coast feature and I’ll show you that here in a minute but let me show you a little bit more with this f9 feature and how it kind of looks and okay guys so that’s sort of the basics of drive hold now before we do any more demonstrations with the model let’s go ahead and do a little bit of railfanning and this way you can watch and listen to some engines throttling up and then do some better comparisons to how the prototype looks and sounds back to the model.

Okay now that we have listened to some of the prototype engines and you’ve hopefully heard and seen their how the sound and the speed are somewhat decoupled because of momentum and the way the engines work the lock sound full throttle helps you imitate that I think a little bit better than doing the manual notching up and down you certainly can do it man you’re not saying like I said before I always just found that a little bit tedious so we talked about f9 and dry hold and how you can use that as like a cruise control to hold your engine at a certain speed while you increase the sound of the engine simulating that the engineer is putting it into higher notches going up a notch 2 3 4 5 6 whatever while the engine is maintaining that lower speed now what I want to go and demonstrate is the run 8 feature which allows you to again decoupled the speed and the sound but it’ll peg the sound up in knotch 8 while you just slowly turn up the speed of the engine now normally you wouldn’t ever want to stop your engine run a activated but I just want to show you that it completely decouples the sound and the speed in which you can even stop your engine to reverse it and it’s going to sit right up there in notch [Laughter] and once you turn run a off the throttle founded just to wherever it would be based upon the actual throttle and speed position and the last full throttle function I just want to mention to you is called Coast and it’s almost the opposite of run eight in which it decouples the speed and the sound but in this case it leaves the sound down at idle while you drive the engine at whatever speed you want to and again it simulates the engines building up momentum and then coasting along the rails again normally you wouldn’t want to be speeding up your engine while you’ve got the toast on but just to show you that you can do that okay now that I’ve sort of talked about what full throttle is the couple different features I like about it and we’ve compared that to sort of some prototypes on how the engine sound and operate let me go and show you how you can make this upgrade if you want to one of the great things about the locks down decoders is you can reprogram them and so you buy the lock programmer and get it all hooked up and running and then just put your engine in this case is the engine I was demonstrating on the programming track in this case and then navigate over to the lock sound web page and start from there and if you want to read a little more about the full throttle they’ve got that on their website they’ve got some videos they’ve done on their own showing sort of some of the features about full throttle.

LokSound DCC Decoders Explained

But we’re not going to do that so what we want to do is upgrade our files so go ahead and move over to downloads and then click on sound files and then click on this lock sound 4.0 family and lock sound select family of decoders now once you come to this page the the top files here are European sound files and the bottom three files or links are the u.s. sound files now you will need to know whether your engine is equipped with a lock sound v4 decoder or a lock sound select decoder in this case it’s a lock down select decoder so I click on that link and this will bring up all the different sound files you can download into your engines now the easiest way I found to find what you’re looking for is I use the search function in this case it’s an SP 40 – 2 so I’ll type in SP 40 – 2 and it’ll actually come up with there are three different sound files that lock sound has captured that you can put in your engine these are all accurate for SP 40 – 2 s and they’ve got the right prime mover and they have the same type of horns you can go and select but they are not identical that way you don’t have to have every one of your SP 40 – choose sound identical the first two are sort of normal SD 40 – 2 s and the third ones actually one where the exhaust has been muffled some to kind of reduce the noise of it on the prototypes in this case I’m just going to select this first one if you want to find out a little more about it you can expand it and read some of the different prototypes is on there you can see all the different horns that the sound file is going to come with as well as the different bells and some other features on there and then there’s also a tab that says demo sound and functions and you can select on that and you can certainly listen to the sounds if you want to see what they’re going to sound like ahead of time but also it shows you all your function mapping so you know where your different functions are going to be and you can see on here that f9 is the drive hold and f10 is the brake what you don’t see is that f11 and f12 those are not assigned to run 8 and Coast and I assign those to those values because I don’t really use the ones that lock sound has pre-programmed in there and I’ll show you how you we do that when we get into the lock program or once it’s downloaded ok so to download yawn you just go over and click on download it comes up with an agreement make sure you read every word of the agreement before we go down and click on agree download and once you do that it will go ahead and download and depending on how you’ve got the default sending computer set it may ask you if you want to just open the file or download the file and then open it either way it works fine but you go ahead and open that file within the lock sound software and then from there you can begin programming your engine ok and now after this opens up you can go ahead and verify up here that this actually is the file you intended to download.

If you can see where it says ft in the file name that means it is a full-throttle file so now the first thing I always do is change the road number but if you change the road number and then switch it to be long addressing it’ll erase your road number again so if you can remember change it to long address first and then type your road number in and you’ll be all set and in the beginning I talked about I said that there some functions that you if you’re going to use advanced consisting that you selected which functions you wanted it to the consisted units to use this is where you do that and so in this case I’m checking F nine ten eleven and twelve because those are going to be my drive hold break run eight and Coast features and I want all my engines in the contest to go ahead and use those features so once that’s done you can go ahead and click on driving characteristics and I go ahead and adjust momentum as well as this stage and you can turn about full if you want to or I turn it up to about 3/4 of the way and that just gives them a little bit of more momentum than what they come with from the factory ok so now we can go ahead and hit over our head down to the function mapping which we’ll do next and here you can see looking at f9 to start with that that is already set as your drive hold and additionally as well as setting the function to drive hold they’ve also done a disabled to brake sound and that way you don’t get any squealing when you’re traveling real slow f10 is already set as well but I’m going to change F 11 here from their default and then I’m going to switch that to run 8 and then I’m going to switch f12 I’m going to get rid of the dimmer function and switch it to be the coast function and just those couple little checks there and changes that’s all you have to do to change the functionality of that on the coast you could go back and put the silent braking as well that they’ve also got for run whole not sure putting that in is completely necessary but we’ll go ahead and put that in there just so you don’t get any squealing and said it’s a nice at idle speed coast okay and the last thing that I’m going to do in this demonstration here is actually hop over to the sound tab and then reduce the volume down I find that all engines actually sound better if the volume is turned down quite a bit so I’m going to knock my volume down to 50% and then that’s sort of going to be I’m not going to make this into a complete demonstration of all the functionality that you have with this full throttle decoder and the lock programmer there’s certainly lots of additional things you can come in here and tweak and change to change the sounds and change the performance of your engine but it will have to save that for another video so now if you move back up to the upper left-hand part of the screen you’ll see there’s two different right buttons one is a right decoder data and one is a right sound data and for this one we want to do the right sound data and what that’s going to do is going to write all the decoder data all those changes that we just made to the decoder plus because this is an entire new sound file it will write that new sound file information onto the decoder so as you click on that it actually come up with a little warning and a tell you can take about a half hour.

I found it actually takes about 20 minutes on my system but with that once you know you just go ahead and click on next and it will complete 20 minutes half hour later and you’re finished okay so you can see there it’s real easy to upgrade your decoders now in the beginning I mentioned I had kind of an issue with it and that issue is is the DCC system I use which is a digit rax super chief system great system I really liked a lot but the way it handles consisting or latching multiple units together is through what’s they term Universal consisting essentially this is where the command station itself takes care of the consisting the engines don’t really know that they’re in a contest and the problem with that or the one of the limitations of that especially with full throttle is that function commands when you have engines that are in the contest function commands are only going to be interpreted by the lead locomotive and the reason for that is when you play the your Bell or your horn or have a feature like that turn on a Mars light those types of functions you only want occurring and you lead locomotive you don’t want the horn playing on every locomotive in your conscious when you hit the horn button I thought that works really well and it’s great I want it is things like this full throttle or I’ve got set as f 9 10 11 12 well those are all function commands and so when I activate say the drive hold f9 on my engine the only engine in the contest that would activate drive hole with lead Inge and the other engines would continue based upon their actual throttle here you can see two engines are getting speed matched and they’re set to run together they’re in a contest and they drive together perfectly fine now this is not using any of the function commands this is just normal contest thing like I’ve always done on my layout which because it’s digitrax is universal concept so now although I do the same thing but in this case I’m going to use the function commands for Drive hold and engine 78 47 is the lead engine in this contest so you know so that function is only going to apply to 78 47 it’s not going to apply to 6328 and so now I’ll do sort of the same movement going backwards but this time I’m going to engage drive hold f9 and when I do that then I’ve only got apply in the lead unit so that when I throttle back down then you hear that sound drop down 6328 goes ahead and throttles its engine down and stops whereas 78 47 continues to to go at the speed I’ve got it set at even by the speed I had it at when I press drive home okay so now we’ll do the same thing yet again except now I’ve actually swapped out my DCP systems and I’m using a NEC power tab which uses advanced consisting and so now I’ve built up the contest but unlike universe for conferencing now the engines actually know they’re in a contest and based upon those functions that we checked when we wrote the decoder information it knows it should apply the F nine ten eleven and twelve functions to the other decoders and locomotives in the contest so that now when I go ahead and move the two engines and engage drive hold with f9 both engines both the lead engine and the consistent engine both respond appropriately and so if you’re using a system that uses advanced consisting you can consist them together you can use your drive hold and run eight and brake and all those other functions and they’re going to work awesome for you just like they would in a single engine but if you use a system that uses Universal consisting you’re not going to be able to do your contest in the way you normally do and get those functions you leave it at the try and force it into advance consisting by doing some things or you just would not be able to use those functions so not going to get in all the detail here is that the purpose of this video all right guys and with that we’re going to wrap things up I hope you enjoyed the video hope you liked it don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and as always keep running your trains keep enjoy them don’t catch it the next update



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akr3985fan says:

Thank you Very much for Sharing I'm getting a KATO N Scale Engine Soon! with Loc Sound It's the SDP40P Santa Fe.. Does this Engine possibly have these Features.. This Decoder was installed By KATO's Staff.. it's a Kobo shop Engine… Thanks for your Time..

Scott Downey says:

This is why ESU is miles ahead of other decoder manufactures. This is why I like the NCE system.

Danny Holt says:

Nice tutorial Kevin! I didn't understand the difference between universal and advanced consisting until now. I hope your layout repair is going well. Will you be showing us a video on that soon? Thanks. Cheers, Dan

AlanCSXFan says:

I use advance consisting with our digitrax system ah the club. Basically it changes the cab number to share the same number for engine control and which ever function you tell it to use. The bad part is you can't split up the consist to run your engine separate or with a different engine.

William Arseneau says:

Very instructive, thanks!!

William Arseneau says:

No problem. ….

Skip Duld says:

will u be able to use this on other decoders or just LOKSOUND?

Tom Makofski says:

Great video, hope you put more out using the ESU decoder and programer. One question. . . . is there a way to adjust the acceleration (speed) sound to get the notching sound sounder as you turn the throttle up? Hope this question makes sense.

MRLTrains says:

Great video Kevin. I may have to try one of those. As the trackwork on my new layout approaches completion I'll be prepping locos for the notch 8 run up the Mullan Pass at 12 mph. Consisting is key so I run NCE. But I'm still looking for the right sound decoder to simulate the slow climb at full power. I agree with you about manual notching. Keep up the great vids. Chris

RussianRailroad says:

Awesome! Subscribe!

Paul Kirkman says:

Very nice video Kevin. You did an excellent job showing the prototypes and your own locos as well. So when do you start at ESU ? HA HA. Just kidding. One of your best traits that I like about your videos is that you are not afraid to point out negatives about a product. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.

mojavedc10 says:

Very informative. Thank You

Seaboard Central says:

Thanks for sharing this video Kevin. I needed help figuring out how to use my LokProgrammer. Glad I bought an NCE system that supports Advanced Consisting! Tim

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