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Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Locomotives | PRR NW2
Decoder Settings


This page shows my tweaked settings for running this engine on my home layout, which is a small switching layout where great speeds are never attained. I used DecoderPro to program the Tsunami TSU-1000 decoder in the model. You may want to use these values as a starting point for your engine, and adjust to your preference.

Since this is a switcher engine and since my layout is a small switching layout, slow-motion control is important to me for this model. I tried various things, but these are my preferred settings for speed control. With the setting for CV209, the engines moves at less than 1 scale-mile per hour at speed step "1"! It makes coupling very smooth! I have tried momentum, but I still prefer having the throttle directly control the engine. I think that is especially important for fine switching work.
CV2     = n/a  (DecoderPro Page "Basic Speed Control"; using speed curve, so value is ignored).
CV3     = 0     (DecoderPro Page "Motor"; setting: acceleration rate/momentum: none).
CV4     = 0     (DecoderPro Page "Motor"; setting: braking rate/momentum: none).
CV10   = 0     (DecoderPro Page "Motor"; setting: no BEMF cutout).
CV25   = 2     (DecoderPro Page "Speed Table"; setting: straight line speed curve).
CV209 = 60   (DecoderPro Page "Advanced"; setting: Kp; minimum engine movement value).
CV210 = 1     (DecoderPro Page "Advanced"; setting: Ki; engine reliably moves from speed step 0 to 1).
CV212 = 255 (DecoderPro Page "Advanced"; setting: (default) engine is never MU'd).
CV213 = 6     (DecoderPro Page "Advanced"; setting: sample period).
CV214 = 9     (DecoderPro Page "Advanced"; setting: aperture time).

Here's the scenario using my Digitrax system:

  1. Engine is quiet when layout is turned ON
  2. Throttle to speed step "1" and then back to "0" quickly to trigger prime mover start-up sound.
  3. To silence the engine, press the throttle's "Stop" button to trigger the prime mover shut-down sound.

Note that this only affects the primer mover; other sounds, such as bell and horn, are still functional when the engine is "off". To enable this in the decoder, use DecoderPro to change settings in the "Sound" tab (I was unable to figure out which CVs are affected by these settings):

  1. Set "Auto Engine Start Enable" to "Prime mover starts up at speed step 1"
  2. Set "Quiet Mode Timeout Period" to something other than zero. This is required, although the actual feature does not work as described in the Tsunami manual.

I prefer mine off. A slight horn reverb might be OK (which is the factory default), but I quickly got used to not having it. Reverb on the prime mover sound seemed "odd" sounding to me.
(external link: Phoenix Sound)

Listening to prototype videos of NW2 engines, I decided that the "Wabco E2" horn sounded the closest.

I keep the overall master volume at "35" to keep the sound from annoying me, and others in the house. I try to match up the overall volume of each engine so that not one dominates. I also set the equalizer speaker size to "Small Speaker (1-2 inches)", because the model comes with a round speaker of about a one-inch diameter (located in the front end of the engine behind the radiator).