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Running lights with the Z1-8+

Setting the running light mode

The Z1-8+ is able to switch the function outputs in any order as running light or flash running light.

 

All Z1-8 are configured as turnout decoder in the initial state.

The autonomous control of running lights is only possible with the decoder of the all-in-one class.
Use a Z1-8+

To operate a running light with the Z1-8+, proceed as follows:

  • Connect the LEDs of the running light with the decoder (see Single-LED-mode for more details)

  • Switch into the sequence operation mode:

Configuration variable Value to set
Function of the CV

CV60

8

CV60 determines how the Function outputs are switched. By default these are accessory commands (CV60 = 4).

CV58

0

Any number of function outputs can be activated simultaneously.

With these settings the decoder will switch A0 on after connection to the power supply. After 250 ms the light changes to A1, then to A2 and so forth, until A0 is switched on again after A7.

A connection to the track signal is not required for running lights.
The track signal is only needed for changing of the configuration variables. Afterwards, the decoder can be used in any (digital or analogue) installation - or even completely off any model railway.

Changing of the operation mode of the function outputs and their characteristics

Qdecoder support a variety of configurations to their function outputs, which can be altered for individual or all function outputs. (The full range of possibilities is described on the support pages.)

Options for modifications include:

  • 1.) Change in the duration of individual light impulses
    Configuration variables Switch on time for the function output Function of the CV

    CV116 / CV3

    A0

    The calculation of configuration variables is described in detail for flashing operation.

    CV126 / CV127

    A1

    CV136 / CV4 A2
    CV146 / CV147 A3
    CV156 / CV5 A4
    CV166 / CV167 A5
    CV176 / CV6 A6
    CV186 / CV187 A7
  • 2.) Inserting pauses in the cycle
    If there should be a pause after a 'on' phase of a function output and before the running light continues / restarts, than the output must be programmed with pulse operation and a pulse count of 1. For example, if there should be a pause of one second after expiration of the original running light before it restarts with A0, the following CVs need changing:
    Configuration variables Value Function of the CV

    CV189

    100

    The off time of the pulse at A7 is 1 second (100 * 10 ms)

    CV190

    1

    After one pulse the function output A7 will be switched off
    (and control is given to the successive A0)
  • 3.) Running light with dark phases
    If the described pause is programmed for multiple or all function outputs, the 'running' light does not run anymore, but the lights flash incoherently. If the times for the individual outputs is chosen differently, it results is apparently random lights. Combined with multiple starting points for the running light (see below) one has a very vivid light backdrop which, irrespective of the digital controller, is active as long as it is powered on.
  • 4.) Multiple pulses with one lamp / LED
    A function output that is switched to pulse operation can of course send multiple pulses within a running light sequence.
    If CV190 is set to 2 in the above example 3), the light will run from A0 to A7. After a pause of 1 second A7 flashes again and another second later the running light will restart with A0.
  • 5.) Multiple rotating lights
    There is a sequence control configuration variable for each function output:
    Configuration variable valid for function output Default valueFunction of the CV
    Bit 7 Bits 6 ... 0

    CV121

    A0

    1 1 129
    • Bit 6 ... 0 (values 0 to 127):
      They define which function output is next in the sequence.
    • Bit 7 (value 128 or 0)
      Contains the information if the function output should be switched on (bit is set) or not when the power supply is turned on.

    CV131

    A1

    0 2 2
    CV141 A2 0 3 3
    CV151 A3 0 4 4
    CV161 A4 0 5 5
    CV171 A5 0 6 6
    CV181 A6 0 7 7
    CV191 A7 0 0 0
    If bit 7 is set in the sequence control CVs for multiple function outputs, the running light will start at multiple outputs simultaneously and run through the sequence independently from each other.
    If on default values bit 7 of CV161 gets set, two lights will run in parallel through the LED sequence. The following outputs will be on together:
    • A0 and A4
    • A1 and A5
    • A2 and A6
    • A3 and A7
    Just as a side node (and at the risk of total confusion): if the activation times of the function outputs are significantly different, it can happen that a running light 'catches' the other and they will then merge together.
  • 6.) Multiple independent running lights
    If the running light sequence CVs get changed as follows:
    Configuration variable valid for function output Default valueFunction of the CV
    Bit 7 Bits 6 ... 0

    CV121

    A0

    1 1 129
    • Bit 6 ... 0 (values 0 to 127):
      They define which function output is next in the sequence.
    • Bit 7 (value 128 or 0)
      Contains the information if the function output should be switched on (bit is set) or not when the power supply is turned on.

    CV131

    A1

    0 2 2
    CV141 A2 0 3 3
    CV151 A3 0 0 0
    CV161 A4 0 7 7
    CV171 A5 0 4 4
    CV181 A6 0 5 5
    CV191 A7 1 6 134
    then two converging running lights are created, similar to version 5). However, the running lights are independent, and they will never merge.
  • 7.) Expiration of running lights
    An interesting variation is the 'expiration' of running lights. The last function output will be switched into a non-ending operation mode - continuous or flashing operation. The running light will go from the first function output through to the modified last one, which will flash permanently or simply stays switched on.
    In combination with a signal aspect generator the running light can then be restarted or revered back to the starting point (for example with a accessory command).
  • 8.) In principle it is possible to change the order of activation for the function outputs. This is hardly useful for stationary running lights. If the order is to be changed, the LEDs will be connected to the decoder in a different order. However, in combination with a signal aspect generator this is quite different. It can dynamically modify the order of the running light. On occasion I will create an example with nested sequences, that will change each others activation order and pulse duration. The result will be quite close to a completely random switching of the function outputs.
But that is enough for now. The imagination should have had enough food and the play instinct was given free rein Unschuldig.
 

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