Thanks Alan and Cap'.
I spent a fair bit of time with them today and think that a good bunch of running in has helped their performance a lot. I'm still confident that the front pony trucks aren't really picking up track power, and the locos still throw themselves off out of contact with the programming track once in a while as they jerk around, but for pulling passenger consists from A to B with only a little shunting, it works quite well. I'd like to pop one open to see if there's space for a capacitor, but that'll have to wait.
So just to confirm - no one that has pulled their pony truck off has a spring on the boss applying some downward pressure on the trucks? They seem to track pretty well, so I'm guessing the contacts are providing enough pressure; just not apparently getting a lot of electrical contact.
With this, they work extremely well as unpowered frog detectors
Oh, when cleaning the wheels again (this time with 91% isopropyl alcohol) I found that the white tyres are painted with something that the alcohol acts as a thinner for, so be warned
Once I was happy enough with their running, I quickly found the default function assignments a little annoying. I'm unsure why F2 (which is non-latching function on every Digitrax, NCE and phone based throttle I've used, being intended for the horn/whistle) was used for the left hand marker light, given that this results in the whistle being located in inconvenient F11 and my only being able to wink the left marker light with F2. F3 would have appeared to be the better choice.
So I read the entire function page in Decoder Pro. The defaults for the rows I was interested in are as follows
7: Forward, F1 -> Aux1
8: Reverse, F1 -> Aux4
9: Forward F2 -> Aux2
10: Reverse F2 -> Aux3
11: F3 -> Sound Slot 2 (long whistle)
19: F11 -> Sound Slot 4 (short whistle)
Since I model the Main South line, I always have both marker lights on, so I changed the above as follows
7: Forward, F1 -> Aux1, Aux2 // Both front marker lights
8: Reverse, F1 -> Aux3, Aux4 // Both rear marker lights
9: F2 -> Sound Slot 4 // Short whistle on F2, not direction sensitive
10: F2 (no action) // Override the previous Aux3 rule
I'm providing these in case anyone wants to make the same change without having to read the entire sheet in Decoder Pro (which takes a long time for something like a Loksound V4
). I made the changes directly to a blank sheet for my second loco without reading first and just wrote the changes on the sheet, which worked fine.
If you wanted to be able to independently control both markers, I'd change rows 9 & 10 to Fwd & Rev F3 (same action) and row 11 to F2 (play sound slot 4, short whistle) and move the long one either to F11 or some other desired function.