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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, new to this forum, but I have an N-scale layout using a MRC Prodigy Advance controller. I have one locomotive (Broadway Limited Imports N 3869 P3 NW2 Diesel Locomotive, Southern Pacific #1424 (Equipped with Paragon3 Sound/DC/DCC with Rolling Thunder) that I can read on the programming track, but I can't seem to program any of the CV including changing the address. It reads as address 3, but I'm trying to change it to 103! It seems to be taking to changing the address, as it nudges after setting the address on the program track. But when I put it on the main track, enter address 103, nothing happens. If I read it again, back on the program track, the address comes up as 3 again! Any suggestions, I think I have tried just about everything in my limited knowledge.
 

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Programming track outputs are frequently much lower voltage to protect decoders if there is an issue. MRC's definitely are. Sometimes, the addition of a sound decoder, especially if it has a capacitor on it, means that the programming track doesn't get enough juice to actually program the decoder. The long term fix to this is to add a programming track booster, but in the meantime, try removing all your other locos from the main track and program on the main. If that works, you've found the problem.
 

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Another possibility is that "103" isn't in the allowable range of that variable Try a 4 digit number (add a leading zero if necessary).
 

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Try a hard reset first, CV8 to "08". Be sure to remove track power immediately upon pressing 'enter', and then restore power to the track. It's worth the 20 seconds it will take...who knows.
Then, go into 'broadcast" mode if there is such a thing or equivalent. In fact, if you try Add "00" in broadcast mode, or paged mode, you might get better results....might....mebbe.

I think an email to BLI might be in order. I had a query to them on Saturday and got a reply just this morning, so they're out 'n about.
 

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Could it be a matter of entering 'long address' or 'short address' in the screen first ? I haven't run a train in about 7 years due to relocating twice... Planning a small shelfie. I seem to recall needing to do that on my NCE PowerCab, then entering the new address...Whatever it was I did, I never had any prob like this with the 4 locos I ran..All are BMann, 3 steam, 1 RS3 re-addressed to their cab numbers..AND I did it by using the whole layout as a program track, first removing the other three; no dedicated program track..so, maybe it's your Prodigy, not your BLI diesel..If you could obtain a 2nd DCC loco you surely would know which one it is...M
 

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I do all my CV programming by hand, so I have to flip bit 5 of CV29 to change the address. Basically if bit 5 is zero then it uses the short address, and set to one uses the long address... but wait! You have to switch bit 5 to the opposite in order to change the address. So if I want to change the short address (CV1) I have to set bit 5 to 1, write the new address to CV1, then flip bit 5 back to 0 so the new address is actually used.

You guys and your fancy programmers. You don't know what you're missing out on! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Programming track outputs are frequently much lower voltage to protect decoders if there is an issue. MRC's definitely are. Sometimes, the addition of a sound decoder, especially if it has a capacitor on it, means that the programming track doesn't get enough juice to actually program the decoder. The long term fix to this is to add a programming track booster, but in the meantime, try removing all your other locos from the main track and program on the main. If that works, you've found the problem.
OK, so I removed all the other loco's from the main track. Programmed on the main track and it worked, ran under the new address of 103! But as soon as I created a consist with this and two other loco's and tried to run it, it wouldn't move. Cleared the consist, and tried to run it as address 103 and nothing, you guessed it, the address was back to 3 again!???? Totally stumped!
 

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After you program it, do you take the loco off the rails for about 10 seconds?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
After you program it, do you take the loco off the rails for about 10 seconds?
Ummmm No! After I programmed it on the main line, I was able to run it using the new address right away! It was fine until I tried to make a consist with it using the new address. Nothing! Then I put it on the program track and "read" the address and it came back as the default "3"!
 

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So is it possible that in that decoder, address #103 is reserved for consists? Did you try a 4 digit address?If not, try it and see what happens.
 

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So is it possible that in that decoder, address #103 is reserved for consists? Did you try a 4 digit address?If not, try it and see what happens.
The ***** of it is, in order program this loco, I have to do it on the main track, which means taking my other loco's (6) off the track to do it! But I'll try it and see what happens.
 

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Address is a "short" address. You have to go into CV29 and adjust for that.
 

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This is where lots of confusion can happen. I believe that the programming is using hex based numbers, in that case 0103 is really 256+3=259 base 10. If it's all base 10 then 103 is indeed a short address (less than 256). I believe that when I "Program" the locomotive address 759 into the decoder and it actually displays back 759 its all really in hex notation, the actual decimal address is 1881, but I would not recognize 1881 as engine 759. It's easier to think in Hex if you need to program a particular bit.
 

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Not sure why ya want to throw that stuff out there about the hex numbers. It might be clear to you but for a new guy, maybe just help him out with the basics of how to program the decoder using the programming tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not sure why ya want to throw that stuff out there about the hex numbers. It might be clear to you but for a new guy, maybe just help him out with the basics of how to program the decoder using the programming tools.
:) Thanks D&J! So, If I wanted to use address 103, should I set CV29 to 34 and then enter the address as 0103?
 

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Sorry guys, but I can't believe all the trouble most dcc'ers go through with "programming".

Change an engine number?
To any other possible number you want?
It can be done in 3 seconds with the Roco z21 app.

a. Put loco on track
b. On the "programming" page of the z21 app, in the engine number area, touch the "read" button.
c. z21 app reads the decoder and displays the engine number
d. touch the number to change it, keypad appears
e. delete existing number, enter new number using keypad
f. touch "program"
Done.

No calculating or changing "bits".
No fooling with any of that stuff.
Just hit "read", enter new number, hit "program".
Why do it any other way?
 

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It's the question about 103, is it a long or short address, it all depends upon the base of the numbers you enter.
 

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Any system, once ya get used to it is easy to use, but it's a learning curve ya have to go through. Nobody who is new to the hobby can just pull any of these systems out of the box, plug it in and program up a loco with barely looking at the keypad, but for some reason, that's what it sounds like some of you are trying to imply.
Yeah, you like your system. I get it, but it's not the end all system of systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Any system, once ya get used to it is easy to use, but it's a learning curve ya have to go through. Nobody who is new to the hobby can just pull any of these systems out of the box, plug it in and program up a loco with barely looking at the keypad, but for some reason, that's what it sounds like some of you are trying to imply.
Yeah, you like your system. I get it, but it's not the end all system of systems.
I have also been in contact with BLI and they can't figure it out either! So they are thinking it's a decoder problem, not a programming problem! They want me to send them the decoder back in exchange for a replacement decoder... So that's what I'm going to do! Thanks for all the suggestions, help, and feedback, it was very much appreciated!
 
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