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Reply to "Decoders, Smoke, and Couplers"

DarrellR posted:

  1. You wrote "... I designed a simple 2-channel MOSFET power switch board". Did you ever post this design? I'm interested in PWM of a smoke heater unit as you describe in your post.

No, I haven't posted that yet. I'll see if I can get something put together.

Your use of the LokSound AUX outputs to control the smoke heater and fan was critical to me for selecting the LokSound L as the DCC decoder for a dead-rail conversion of a Sunset 3rd Rail UP "Late" Big Boy originally with TMCC. I needed a DCC controller that will operate the fan-driven smoke unit, so your post was decisive for me. Since you mention the LokSound XL in your article, I read the "Reference Manual for LokProgrammer" downloaded from here, and under section "11.2. Special Settings for LokSound XL" it states "…The function „Smoke Generator“ cannot be connected to the AUX outputs.”  I was warned off using the XL version because of this, and the L version seems well-suited O, but others might want to use the XL version. Do you have any experience/info that the XL's AUX output can be used for fan-driven smoke units as you describe in your post? It might be I am misinterpreting the manual's statement, and you can set me straight.

Smoke setup is one area where the otherwise outstanding ESU documentation is woefully lacking. A lot of what is written appears to assume you are exclusively using one of their smoke units. I had to basically reverse engineer all of the decoder configuration steps I describe above, especially for the steam chuffs. So it's awfully hard to say if a specific smoke-related function can be assigned to a given output on a particular decoder.

That said, I use the XL in a couple engines, and have them configured to drive the smoke outputs as I describe. They are both diesels, however, so they don't need the chuff. The project setup for the XL in the Lokprogrammer does have the same smoke unit settings and function outputs as the L, though, so I imagine it would work.

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