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Loco/Train Shuttle Control (DCC Sapphire Decoder) Using Non Hornby DCC Controllers

Loco/Train Shuttle Control (DCC Sapphire Decoder) Using Non Hornby Brand DCC Controllers

In part of this two part series, we looked at programming the R8145 Hornby Sapphire Decoder using the Hornby Elite DCC  Digital controller. So in this part two of this series, we’ll look at how to program the shuttle mode (Auto Cycle mode) using other brand DCC controllers. So to recap on the Hornby Sapphire decoder from part one:

The Sapphire decoder has numerous lighting function modede effects, fuel similation mode & also what we’ll be looking at today, is the shuttle mode. On our Scale Model Scenery demo layout ‘Dunn Street Yard’, we’ve set up a Hornby class 121 DMU bubble car with a Hornby Sapphire decoder & programmed it to run in shuttle mode. This has a number of you have seen at the Satfford show & Glasgow show, in action. Once set up the DMU drives it’s self without needing any one on the controller to drive it. A handy feature to use on say a branchline on your layout for example.

The Sapphire decoder is supplied as 21 pin direct plug in decoder, but also incdudes with it is a 21 to 8 pin conversion plug. This allows it to work on 21 pin & 8 pin DCC ready socket fitted locos. Hornby list the shuttle mode option as a Auto Cycle Mode in the decoder hand book & also on the Hornby Elite DCC controller.

The Sapphire decoder comes supplied with a little booklet which lists the various features of this decoder, a table that lists CV (Configeration Variables) & options. Looking through this booklet can as to how to set you the Shuttle Mode (Auto Cycle Mode) can leave folk scratching their heads. More so if using another non Hornby brand DCC controller. The images below show how the CV’s are listed in the hand book. The ones we are interested in here for the Shuttle Mode we’ve highlighted in the orange boxes.

Programming the CV’s to set up Auto Cycle/Shuttle Mode

On a DCC controlled layout it’s recommended that you have a separate programming track to the rest of the main layout trackwork. So start with placing the locomotive/DMU etc on the programming track. The table below shows the CV’s used for the Shuttle mode & hopfully go some way to explaining what each CV does.

Event Discription Time Delay Until Event one EVENT ONE Event One Duration EVENT TWO Event Two Duration EVENT THREE Event Three Duration EVENT FOUR Event Four Duration
CV’s Used For Events

Hours CV121

Minutes CV122

Seconds CV123 

Speed Forward Direction CV124

Speed Reverse Direction add 128 to the value of CV124

Hours CV125

Minutes CV126

Seconds CV127

Speed Forward Direction CV128

Speed Reverse Direction add 128 to the value of CV128

Hours CV129

Minutes CV130

Seconds CV131

Speed Forward Direction CV132

Speed Reverse Direction add 128 to the value of CV132

Hours CV133

Minutes CV134

Seconds CV135

Speed Forward Direction CV136

Speed Reverse Direction add 128 to the value of CV136

Hours CV137

Minutes CV138

Seconds CV139

                   
  • So to set the time delay before the shuttle mode begins, use CV’s 121, 122 & 123 to set the time.
  • To set the speed & direction in event one the start of the shuttle mode use CV124 for forward direction & for reverse add 128 to the value of that CV128.
  • To set the duration of event one use CV’s 125, 126, 127 to set the time.
  • To set the speed & direction of event two use CV128 for forward direction & add 128 to the value of CV128 for the reverse direction.
  • To set the the duration of event two use CV’s 129, 130 & 131 to set the time.
  • To set the speed & direction of event three use CV132 for forward direction & add 128 to the value of CV132 for the reverse direction.
  • To set the duration of event three use CV’s 133, 134 & 135 to set the time.
  • To set the speed & direction for event four use CV136 for forward direction & add the value of 128 to CV136 for reverse direction.
  • To set the duration of event four use CV’s 137, 138 & 139 for the time.

So for example on our demo layout we want the DMU train to wait 10 seconds from when auto cycle shuttle mode is activated. Then travel for 30 seconds from the fiddle yard to the station. Wait 20 seconds at the station & then change direction of travel, travel back for 30seconds from the station to the fiddle yard. Wait for one minute & then repeat the whole process again. In the table below shows which CV’s we’ll program to do this.

Start of Shuttle Mode  time sequence >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>>
Description of Events

Shuttle Sequence Start

(Delay start By 10 seconds)

Train departs the fiddle yard

Direction Speed & Time Of Travel

Event One


Train reaches station and stops & waits

Stop & Waiting Time

Event Two


Train Changes Direction & Departs For The Fiddle Yard

Direction Speed & Time Of Travel

Event Three


Train Reaches The Fiddle Yard & Stops

Stop & Waiting Time

Event Four


Cycle Of Events Now Stop. 

The events can be programmed to repeat the whole events cycle. (See next table below this one)

 

CV Settings For Time Speed & Direction

CV 121 = 0

CV122 = 0

CV123 = 10

 Direction Forward & Speed CV124 = 50

Travel Time 

CV125 = 0

CV126= 0

CV127 = 30

Direction Forward & Speed

CV128 = 0

Stop & Wait Time

CV125 = 0

CV126 = 0

CV127 = 20

Direction Reverse & Speed

CV132 = 280

(128 + 80 = 208)

Travel Time

CV133 = 0

CV134 = 0

CV135 = 30

 

Direction Forward & Speed

CV136 = 0

Stop & Wait Time

CV137 = 0

CV138 = 1

CV139 = 0

 

 

So in the table above can be seen how to program & set up the program of movements or events. We now need to be able to turn the program of events on & off as needed to allow the train/dmu etc to be driven elsewhere around the layout. To turn on the Auto Cycle after programming the Events, we need to activate CV140 which turns the Auto Cycle of programmed  on or off. The two tables below shows what features & settings CV140 offers.

CV140 CV Decimal Value Setting
Cycle of Programmed Events (Turned Off For Manual Control)   
   
Single Event Cycle  (To Run The Programmed Events Just Once)  
EVENT 1 Only – Run Once. Set CV140 to… 1
EVENT 1 Then EVENT 2 – Run Once. Set CV140 to… 2
EVENT 1, Then EVENT 2, Then EVENT 3 – Run Once. Set CV140 to… 3
EVENT 1, Then EVENT 2, Then EVENT 3, Then EVENT 4 – Run Once. Set CV140 to… 4

 

Repeat Event Cycle ( To repeat the Cycle Of programmed Events)  
EVENT 1 Then EVENT 2 – Repeat Continuously. Set CV140 to….  10
EVENT 1, Then EVENT 2, Then EVENT 3 – Repeat Continuously. Set CV140 to… 11
EVENT 1, Then EVENT 2, Then Event 3, Then Event 4 – Repeat Continuously. Set CV140 to… 12

 

When ‘Repeating the programmed Events’ is set, the ‘Programmed Event cycle’ will repeat from the start of the first event that has been enabled in thw cycle. So for example if you have enabled the ‘Event time delay’ then the timed event delay will only be carried out once when CV 140 is turned on for the first time. To recap the event time delay setting CV’s are CV’s 121, 122,123. If a loco, or DMU etc has been programmed with the autocycle & CV 140 is left turned on, then the loco if lifted off the track & then replaced back on the track, will revert back to the start of the event time delay & then proceed to carry out the auto cycle programmed events.

Hopefully this article will help unravel the mysteries of the Auto Cycle Shuttle Mode CV settings & soon get you with those have a loco or DMU fitted with the Hornby Sapphire decoder, up & running on shuttle mode.

 

Happy modelling. 

 

 

 

 

 

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