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I have a Mantua Loco whose sounds etc are all on the Factory default settings. To enable me to reset some of the CV settings (its way too noisy) do I have to use the programming track or can I do it on the mainline? My system is NCE.
 

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You can do it on either, but when programming on the main you won't be able to read the current values of the CV.
 

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Always use "Programming on the main" or "Ops Mode" for any CV changes other than address assignment. Could save a lot of grief in having to re-programme all CVs in all other engines that are on the tracks at the time. In your particular case, where you find the volume to be an annoyance, as most of us find with the factory defaults, you can adjust what is called the "Master Volume" which usually involves just one CV, and choosing an appropriate value for that CV to reduce the volume to something more tolerable. I routinely halve the maximum value and start from there with minor adjustments, often adjusting individual sounds that tend to intrude. For steam, it's the injectors and safety valve releases (often called 'pop off' in the manuals).
 
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