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Author Topic: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders  (Read 392 times)

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Offline degsy_safc

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Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:57:42 PM »
Hi all,

Just a quick question.

Have 2 locoís (Farish CL20 & Farish CL37)  and 1 DMU (Dapol CL156) - anyway have just changed the decoder in the DMU powered car for a Zimo MX617N and it works a treat. On the Z21 set on the program on main it reads the decoder, identifies it and gives me some driving characteristics I can change.

So I then put the CL20 on the same section of track, no other locoís on the track at all, this is also equipped with an MX617N  - but the Z21, says that no loco is detected. If I select the CV for the loco, in this case #2 I can drive the loco no problem. The same for the CL37 although that was already DCC equipped with Iím guessing a Bachmann chip.

Any idea why the latest MX617N In the Dapol shows the driving characteristics, but the other locoís donít?

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline jpendle

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 11:28:14 PM »
Hi Derek,

I think because the Z21 uses Railcom to allow reading of CV's for Program on Main.

I have a DCC Specialties PSX-1 circuit breaker and it filters out Railcom so I have never been successful using POM with my Z21.

Assuming you have the Z21 (as opposed to the z21) then why not use the programming track output?

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Online Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 07:18:01 AM »
As John said, "RailCom".   In the Zimo equipped locos, a CV change will turn on RailCom.   

For decoders which lack RailCom, you don't get read-back on the main line.   So, for reading, need to use the programming track.

Decoder makers who support RailCom include:  Zimo, Lenz, ESU (version 4 lokpilot and loksound, and later), and a few of the lesser known European brands.   TCS say newer decoders support RailCom, but not checked any.   


 

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 09:00:41 AM »
Hi Derek,

I think because the Z21 uses Railcom to allow reading of CV's for Program on Main.

I have a DCC Specialties PSX-1 circuit breaker and it filters out Railcom so I have never been successful using POM with my Z21.

Assuming you have the Z21 (as opposed to the z21) then why not use the programming track output?

Regards,

John P

Hi John

Yes itís the Z21 black box version.

But it works with the DMU which has a Zimo MX617N, but it doesnít read the Class 20 which also has a Zimo MX617N.

So surely it should read both of those decoders on the main track, I can understand it not reading the class 37 which has a Bachmann chip installed.

I will be installing a program section, just havenít got round to doing that just yet.

Cheers Derek

Cheers Derek

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 09:04:37 AM »
As John said, "RailCom".   In the Zimo equipped locos, a CV change will turn on RailCom.   

For decoders which lack RailCom, you don't get read-back on the main line.   So, for reading, need to use the programming track.

Decoder makers who support RailCom include:  Zimo, Lenz, ESU (version 4 lokpilot and loksound, and later), and a few of the lesser known European brands.   TCS say newer decoders support RailCom, but not checked any.   


Hi Nigel - 2 of the 3 chips I have are the Zimo MX617N, one in the DMU and one in the class 37. The only one that gives me the option to adjust the driving characteristics on the main is the DMU. The class 20 doesnít read at all on the main and yet itís the same chip as that in the DMU.

I will install a program track section when I lay the next bit of track on the layout, but I canít understand why 2 identical chips will not act in the same way?

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline stevewalker

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 11:03:59 AM »
Is bit 3 of CV 29 set? The Zimo manual states that that turns Railcom operation on and off in the decoder. Could you have it enabled on the DMU and not the Class 20?

Online Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2020, 11:49:16 AM »
As John said, "RailCom".   In the Zimo equipped locos, a CV change will turn on RailCom.   

For decoders which lack RailCom, you don't get read-back on the main line.   So, for reading, need to use the programming track.

Decoder makers who support RailCom include:  Zimo, Lenz, ESU (version 4 lokpilot and loksound, and later), and a few of the lesser known European brands.   TCS say newer decoders support RailCom, but not checked any.   


Hi Nigel - 2 of the 3 chips I have are the Zimo MX617N, one in the DMU and one in the class 37. The only one that gives me the option to adjust the driving characteristics on the main is the DMU. The class 20 doesnít read at all on the main and yet itís the same chip as that in the DMU.

I know, that was clear in the earlier message.  As, I and Steve and John have said,  the first suspect is a setting. That's not to say there isn't another factor, but setting is the place to start looking.   There are several CV's to set RailCom, including CV29 (which gets changed a lot in setting other aspects of control). 

"Identical" in model number does not mean identical.  Zimo regularly update firmware on their decoders (and end users can update it from the Zimo website).   Plus there are CV settings which can be different.   

-  Nigel

Offline jpendle

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2020, 04:36:15 PM »
Hi Derek,

I've just noted that you have said reading back 'driving characteristics'.

By this I assume you mean the specific button on the Z21 app that reads back the first 6 or so CV's for you.

I have found that function to be hit and miss, even on the programming track and I use nothing but Zimo decoders, for example with one loco I'll get a response after a few seconds and the second loco I try will time out.

I would try just reading a single CV, CV2 for example, on both the Zimo equipped locos and see if that works with POM.

If that doesn't work then you need to check CV29 to make sure Railcom is enabled.
This will also highlight a nice feature of the Z21 App, a lot of system expect you to enter a decimal number here, so you have to be able to convert binary to decimal to program this CV. But the Z21 also allows you to change individual bits as well and for CV29 the app tells you what each individual bit does.

BTW the programming track can be any old piece of spare track, it doesn't have to be connected to the rest of the layout.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline jpendle

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2020, 04:50:51 PM »
One other thing.

When you are programming/reading the CL156 do you have both cars on the track and do they both have decoders set to the same address, which would be typical?
If you do then that could get confusing, because you don't know which decoder is responding to you. Although you imply that just the driving car has the Zimo decoder so there's a good chance that the dummy car has something which may not have Railcom turned on.
It would still be an issue on the programming track though.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline tutenkhamunsleeping

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2020, 06:43:55 PM »
Derek,

I feel your pain, Zimo have been irritating me lately too!  Assuming bit 3 of CV29 is switched on (as others have mentioned) the most important CV for RailCom on a Zimo is CV28 which should be set to a value of 3 if you want things to work as they should

Ex-factory Zimo chips are supposed to be ready-to-go on the RailCom front, but consistency seems to have gone out of the window of late so it pays to check.  Or do a factory reset on the programming track.

If it just won't work properly then you presumably have a faulty decoder.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 06:46:19 PM by tutenkhamunsleeping, Reason: Blind typist »

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2020, 07:03:46 PM »
Is bit 3 of CV 29 set? The Zimo manual states that that turns Railcom operation on and off in the decoder. Could you have it enabled on the DMU and not the Class 20?

Hi Steve - dunno mate, will check that tomorrow, good call  :thumbsup:

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2020, 07:07:23 PM »
As John said, "RailCom".   In the Zimo equipped locos, a CV change will turn on RailCom.   

For decoders which lack RailCom, you don't get read-back on the main line.   So, for reading, need to use the programming track.

Decoder makers who support RailCom include:  Zimo, Lenz, ESU (version 4 lokpilot and loksound, and later), and a few of the lesser known European brands.   TCS say newer decoders support RailCom, but not checked any.   


Hi Nigel - 2 of the 3 chips I have are the Zimo MX617N, one in the DMU and one in the class 37. The only one that gives me the option to adjust the driving characteristics on the main is the DMU. The class 20 doesnít read at all on the main and yet itís the same chip as that in the DMU.

I know, that was clear in the earlier message.  As, I and Steve and John have said,  the first suspect is a setting. That's not to say there isn't another factor, but setting is the place to start looking.   There are several CV's to set RailCom, including CV29 (which gets changed a lot in setting other aspects of control). 

"Identical" in model number does not mean identical.  Zimo regularly update firmware on their decoders (and end users can update it from the Zimo website).   Plus there are CV settings which can be different.   

-  Nigel

Thanks Nigel,

Funny thing I was sitting in the garden this afternoon enjoying the sun and I had a lightbulb moment that the Zimo in the Class 20 may have been a different Ďissueí number to the one in the DMU as you said in your post a different firmware version.

Another good call  :thumbsup:

Cheers Derek

Cheers Derek

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2020, 07:22:11 PM »
Hi Derek,

I've just noted that you have said reading back 'driving characteristics'.

By this I assume you mean the specific button on the Z21 app that reads back the first 6 or so CV's for you.

I have found that function to be hit and miss, even on the programming track and I use nothing but Zimo decoders, for example with one loco I'll get a response after a few seconds and the second loco I try will time out.

I would try just reading a single CV, CV2 for example, on both the Zimo equipped locos and see if that works with POM.

If that doesn't work then you need to check CV29 to make sure Railcom is enabled.
This will also highlight a nice feature of the Z21 App, a lot of system expect you to enter a decimal number here, so you have to be able to convert binary to decimal to program this CV. But the Z21 also allows you to change individual bits as well and for CV29 the app tells you what each individual bit does.

BTW the programming track can be any old piece of spare track, it doesn't have to be connected to the rest of the layout.

Regards,

John P

Hi John,

Itís both the driving characteristics (the first 6 CVís as you say) and also manually reading the full range of CVís on the main track.  The Zimo in the DMU reads the chip for everything but the class 20 doesnít want to play ball. Iíll need to check that railcom is enabled on the class 20, guessing it isnít, Iíll check tomorrow and report back.

You are right in regards to different chips in the DMU power car and dummy and that was based on your recommendation ages ago to me - the dummy has a Guagemaster ruby in it and both are configured to the same address. However Iíve looked at the power car on its own without the dummy on the track and it reads the CVís just as well.

With or without the dummy car I know itís the zimo being read as the Z21 tells me the manufacturer is Zimo.

I did notice that the respective binary bits can be changed when I first tried the Z21 just after Christmas when I first bought it, quite neat I thought.

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline degsy_safc

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2020, 07:32:23 PM »
Derek,

I feel your pain, Zimo have been irritating me lately too!  Assuming bit 3 of CV29 is switched on (as others have mentioned) the most important CV for RailCom on a Zimo is CV28 which should be set to a value of 3 if you want things to work as they should

Ex-factory Zimo chips are supposed to be ready-to-go on the RailCom front, but consistency seems to have gone out of the window of late so it pays to check.  Or do a factory reset on the programming track.

If it just won't work properly then you presumably have a faulty decoder.

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the additional info - again Iíll look tomorrow, might try a factory reset on the class 20 after setting CV29 for railcom on if it isnít already. The decoder shouldnít be faulty though as it does everything else just fine, switches the lights in the right direction and starts and stops with an acceleration value that Iíve set previously, it doesnít just take off. So the class 20 decoder is letting me write values but not letting me read them.

Just realised Iíll not be able to check CV29 or 28 for that matter, Iíll just have to write the necessary values and hope they have been stored.

Interestingly everything does seem to be pointing to railcom as you and the other guys have suggested, like you say itís odd that both chips are not configured exactly the same - peculiar.

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Online Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Roco Z21 Black & loco decoders
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2020, 08:02:44 PM »

Just realised I’ll not be able to check CV29 or 28 for that matter, I’ll just have to write the necessary values and hope they have been stored.


In the case of RailCom not-working, you can either guess or be certain.   It cannot be hard to connect a short bit of track to the programming outputs, read values and know what is going on. 
 

- Nigel


 

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