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Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with any of Rapido's locomotives. The RailPower 1300 is notorious for voltage spikes and it WILL destroy your locomotive. There is no “if” about it. We will try to help you if we have the parts, but we are not responsible for locomotive damage due to voltage spikes in your power supply. As well, we will not repair any locomotive damaged by an MRC 1300-series controller (or any other "train set" DC controller) unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will soon reoccur. “Train set” DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives.
If your model arrives with damage or there is any other issue, the best thing to do is to call our support team. They take care of all of our warranty repairs and they are all swell guys. The toll-free number is 1-855-LRC-6917 (1-855-572-6917) (outside North America, +1 905-474-3314 or 905-474-3324).
THE FOLLOWING ISSUES RELATE TO PRE-2015 RELEASES OF THE FP9A AND FP9B LOCOMOTIVE. LOCOMOTIVES RELEASED FROM 2016 ARE MADE FROM NEW TOOLING IN A NEW FACTORY AND FEATURE WITH ESU DCC SOUND DECODERS.
The ESU LokSound decoders fitted to our HO F9B locos utilize F8 to turn on the sounds. On our FP9A locos the sounds come on automatically on sending a throttle signal.
This can create an issue when the locos are run together in consist as pressing F8 would mute the A-unit while at the same time turning on the power in the B-unit.
The solution is to program the following CVs in your F9B (in this order):
CV31 = 16
CV32 = 2
CV387 = 32
This will make the sounds in F9B come on during powering up, so the sound will already be running when your FP9A starts to growl. Both units will then respond to sound commands together.
There is a small bug in the sound file that causes the engine to stop when it is moving with the sound on and you press F8 to turn the sound off. This set of CVs corrects this problem.
Please program the following CVs in this order:
CV31 = 16
CV32 = 3
CV303 = 0
This will solve this issue.
Adjusting Decoder Functions
Our FP9 locomotives feature a Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder that has been custom made to our requirements. one of the features that we have incorporated into the decoders is what we are terming the "Straight to 8" function. By pressing F3 when you start accelerating the sounds will automatically ramp up through the notches until they reach Run 8 - full throttle. This feature allows you to duplicate either a hard accelerating passenger train or a hard lugging freight train.
On page 11 of the FP9 manual (download link below) we mention that the sounds will throttle down to idle as soon as you start to decelerate. Unfortunately, the final programming did not quite work out as we intended! When throttling down from full speed the sound setting will remain at full throttle until speed step 0 is reached if F3 is active. Turning F3 off while running will return the the decoder to normal sound operation and the prime mover sounds will notch down normally with a reduction in throttle setting.
If you would like to have the motor sound go directly to idle as soon as the throttle is reduced then simply program in a little deceleration momentum (CV4) (We suggest trying a value of 50 to start - see the manual for your DCC system on how to do this. Higher values will increase the distance that the train coasts). Once you have added the momentum then just shut the throttle off and allow the train to coast into the station - just like the real thing! Of course, this may take a little practice to get the distances correct, but real engineers have exactly the same issue!
Function Mapping and CV Settings
Soundtraxx has provided a function mapping chart for those who would like to have this information for their own programming. Unfortunately it came too late to be included in our manual, but you can download the PDF file here.