Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby RodTT » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:08 am

Does anybody have knowledge of Zimo sound CVs?
I have installed a Zimo MX648 with a sugarcube speaker into my SP GP9, complete with the Zimo GP9 sound project.

I have CV266 (master volume) set to 65 which is apparently the highest Zimo recommend, but ideally I'd like to increase the engine/turbo sound volume. Can the speaker be damaged by setting CV266 higher and is there a maximum I shouldn't go beyond?

Also I've noticed in the Zimo manual that there are lots of CVs to do with turbo and engine sound (e.g. 280, 387, 365-371) and I've experimented a bit but with no appreciably different results. Sometimes there seems to be a difference but next time I switch the sound on it seems to have reverted to the original settings. Could this be down to limitations in the particular project?

Basically I'd like the engine and/or turbo sound to increase steadily with the loco speed instead of 'fading' in between notches, prototypical though this might be. The speaker is only tiny and I want to make the most of what is there. Can anyone advise what to tweak?

Apparently the Tsunamis have CV 116, engine exhaust control, to reduce the number of speed steps per notch, and I think it's maybe something like this I'm looking for.

Many thanks
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby RodTT » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:56 am

I've realised that whatever I was trying wouldn't have worked because the DCC system I have (Roco Multimaus) can't program CVs above 255. So I'm going to have to use the Zimo 'pseudo-programming' to fiddle things and see what results I get.
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby RodTT » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:59 am

I used the pseudo-programming, where you 'trick' the decoder into setting a CV other than the one you're telling it, and I was able to fiddle around with various volume settings.
The trouble is, after a switch-off, no matter what I try, the sounds have all reverted to their original settings. I can set other things like acceleration and max. speed, but anything in the higher CV values doesn't get retained. So either pseudo-programming doesn't work and I need a DCC system that recognizes CVs over 255, or it's a limitation of this particular sound project.
I've posted on the Zimo forum but haven't had any replies.
Any ideas?
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby dileTTante » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:56 pm

The easiest solution is to accept the sound the way it is. If you don't want to spend more money then that might be your only choice.

The cheapest tool to do what you want probably is the basic Sprog at 50 pounds.
https://sprog-dcc.co.uk

The software to operate it is available free of charge.
https://www.jmri.org

A costlier tool is the Roco Z21, which can program decoders and is supposed to be capable of installing sound for Zimo decoders. I haven't tried sound installation yet. This is done with the Maintenance software provided free of charge by Roco, but is only for Windows. It works on Linux with Wine emulator. Z21 web site says updates and firmware updates can be done on some Zimo decoders.
You can run trains with the Z21 using your Multimaus or with an phone or tablet. If your control box for the Multimaus is the one I think it is, then it can be used as a booster with the Z21.
https://www.z21.eu/en/downloads/software-tools

Programming through the Z21 can also be done with JMRI, but I think installing sound files can't. I have been using the Z21 with JMRI on Linux and have a number of Zimo decoders. My needs aren't complicated so I don't have the experience to help you. The top accomplishment was adjusting the chuff rate for a three cylinder locomotive.

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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby RodTT » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:22 am

Thanks for that.
I've had the Multimaus for about 6 years and it has served my needs up till now. It can't read CVs but as I make a note of what I set that hasn't been an issue.
Still, I'd have thought the pseudo-programming should work (which it does before the power is cut off).
But you're right - I don't think it's a problem worth throwing money at, especially as I can't be sure of the outcome. Having said which, I've thought about a Sprog on and off over the years just to have a bit of a play.
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby MacG » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:44 am

The cheapest way ist to aks a friend with a DCC system if he can do the changes. Here is this the usual way.
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby dileTTante » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:40 pm

I never heard of 'pseudo-programming' before this and decided it must be called 'pseudo' for a good reason.
This page discusses Zimo's 'pseudo-programming' and says the settings disappear when power to the decoder is turned off.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/zimo-cv-266/

It quotes Zimo documentation and gives a link to the PDF.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/zimo-cv-266/

The poster says the information about pseudo programming is on page 68. I suspect his quote is out of date because page 68 now says:
zimo p68 wrote:The “CV #8” – procedure for handling these CV sets:
Normally, the CV #8 contains the manufacturer identification number, which is “145” in ZIMO’s case. That value cannot be changed and is the reason why this CV can also be used for pseudo programming (pseudo because the entered value is not really saved) to execute various actions.
CV #8 is about a decoder’s HARD RESET (which is standardized for all decoders) as well as the programming of CV sets (only for ZIMO decoders).

Page 42 of the PDF has this:
zimo p42 wrote: “Incremental Programming” of sound CV’s, an alternative to “normal” programming
Configuration variables (CVs) for optimizing sound effects can of course be programmed in the conventional manner by changing CV values using the cab in service mode (on the programming track) or in operational mode (on the main track), but many can alternatively also be programmed by “Incremental” programming.
This method is not suitable for CVs where individual bits need to be set independently.
The “incremental programming” is a special process of the “operational mode” programming with the following fundamental principle: the CV’s are not programmed with an absolute value (as is normally the case) but rather the current value of a CV is being incremented or decremented by a fixed value (defined in the decoder for each CV).
The function keys of the cab temporarily serve as instruments for the incremental programming, which means they cannot be used for function output actuations during that time. The function keys are temporarily assigned for this task with the “Pseudo-Programming” CV #301 = 66, which changes the function keys to INC and DEC keys, first for CV #266 (that is the CV number derived from the value + 200).
Having no experience, my guess is that the sound values you want must be programmed properly and then possibly re-mapped to functions your Multimaus can handle.
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby RodTT » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:46 pm

It's referring to page 68 of the 2013 Zimo manual, see below. There is no mention that the settings disappear when the power goes (indeed it makes no sense that they should), only that 'Pseudo-programming' mode is deactivated on switch-off unless you set it in a certain way (which I've tried):

"Special procedures for DCC systems with limited CV range:
Configuration variables #266 to #500 are used for the selection and allocation of sound samples as well as other settings. Programming CV’s in this range is no problem for high-level systems (such as the current ZIMO DCC systems) both in “service mode” or “operations mode”.
There are however many DCC systems in use (some still in production) that can only access CV’s up to #255 or even worse to #127 or CV #99. For such applications, ZIMO decoders offer an alternative way of reaching higher CV’s via lower numbers.
This is done with an initial “Pseudo-Programming” of CV #7 = 110 or = 120 or = 130 which increases the CV numbers about to be accessed by 100 or 200.
For example: If programming CV #266 = 45 is not possible, programming CV #7 = 110 followed by CV #166 = 45 executes the desired programming of CV #266 = 45
or
if neither CV #266 = 45 nor CV #166 = 45 is possible, programming CV #7 = 120 followed by CV #66 = 45 also leads to the result of CV #266 = 45.
The initial CV #7 – “Pseudo-Programming” state – remains active for further programming (which means CV #267 is entered as #167, CV #300 as #200 and so on) until the decoder is powered down.
ATTENTION: After re-booting the system, the “Pseudo-Programming” is lost, that is programming CV #166 is indeed accessing CV #166 again.
See below to prevent this! The “Pseudo-Programing” can also be stopped without power interruption with CV #7 = 0 which means that the programming reverts back to the original CV #166. Using as an initial “Pseudo-Programming” CV #7 = 210 or 220 achieves the same results as above but remains active even after the system is powered down. This state can only be cancelled with CV #7 = 0, which is important to remember in order to program lower CV’s again."

By this description what I've been trying (fiddling around with CV7 before setting others as described) should work.
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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby dileTTante » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:51 am

It is clear that I don't know enough about this to help at all. I wish I did, and am trying to learn. Since the 'pseudo programming' was designed to do what you want to do, then it should work, especially since Roco and Zimo are associated. I have read a lot from discussions of this and from the Zimo manual, but I can't suggest anything that you probably haven't seen for yourself.

MacG's idea is good, but it would consume a lot of the other person's time, and it might spread germs.

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Re: Tweaking Zimo MX648 for GP9 project

Postby MacG » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:05 am

dileTTante wrote:... MacG's idea is good, but it would consume a lot of the other person's time, and it might spread germs.


We program at meetings (cracker-barrel/regulars' table and exhibitions). At the moment we have a break, no meetings in the next two months. It's a hobby and can wait. :wink:
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