Hardware Support: Connecting to a Digitrax PR3 (Xtra)
Exactly how the PR4 will be used depends each user's requirements. JMRI may instead be configured to use the PR4 to give general access to the command station including command station programming track and LocoNet.
JMRI does not prefer any one method method over any other method. Which PR4 mode s you use depends on your needs.
Digitrax SE8C terminology
The table below summarizes these methods. That depends on what you intend to do with JMRI.
When the PR4 is configured to act as a programmer, it is connected to a dedicated programming track via the screw terminals on the PR4. A separate power supply, such as the PS14, must be used with the PR4 in this case. This mode of operation can also be used to download sound information into Digitrax sound decoders and, within its limited current capability, run one locomotive to test it.
When used with Digitrax SFX decoders, "neutral mode" allows you to vary the speed without the motor moving the decoder, so you can hear how the locomotive sound reacts to varying speeds.
Hardware Support: Connecting to a Digitrax PR4
Note that Digitrax only guarantees programming for Digitrax SFX decoders with properly installed loads, etc, but our testing has found that the PR4 will work with many common decoders. When configured as a standalone programmer, the PR4 is not able to communicate with the command station or any LocoNet peripherals. The red "X" in the diagram above denotes this limitation. Use the JMRI Power Control or the "Power" menu item on the Throttle's menu bar to turn on track power, and then you can operate the locomotive normally.
The PR4 can only provide very limited current to its programming track, so Digitrax has built a "neutral mode" into their sound decoders. You can still ramp the speed up and down with the throttle and listen to how the sound responds, but the motor won't move the locomotive.
Other decoders, including decoders from other manufacturers, may draw enough motor current to trip the PR4 internal circuit breakers.
This will cause JMRI to mark track power as "off". Just wait a couple seconds and turn the track power back on to recover.
PR4 as a stand-alone decoder programmer
This includes programming decoders on a programming track attached to a LocoNet command station. The PR4 can also be used to connect JMRI to a "Standalone LocoNet" , which may be useful when LocoNet is used for some aspects of layout control while some other control system is use for other aspects.
More information on this advanced topic is available on the Standalone LocoNet page. This is a significant departure from the PR3 design.
See the PR4 support articles at the web links for the PR4.
Make sure to follow the instructions exactly, particularly about the order of installing the drivers and plugging in the device. Note that the PR4 makes use of the PR3 drivers. Digitrax makes its drivers available on its web site on the Downloads page.
Choosing the PR4 operating mode
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In this mode, you may also use a JMRI throttle to select and control the locomotive on the dedicated programming track, subject to the ability of the PR4 to supply sufficient current to the decoder. In this mode, JMRI is able to control decoders connected via the main track outputs and access LocoNet devices and the command station's programming track.
JMRI throttles will not be able to run decoders which are on the command station's dedicated programming track outputs.
If you wish to use the PR4 to provide an interface to a LocoNet which does not have a command station, then select "Standalone LocoNet" as the "command station" type. If you think that several modes may be useful to you, you should consider setting up one configuration profile for each of the useful modes. And to switch to the other mode, you may simply quit JMRI and re-start it, and select the another profile, so that you may perform some other type of work.
PR4 as a stand-alone decoder programmer When the PR4 is configured to act as a programmer, it is connected to a dedicated programming track via the screw terminals on the PR4. In the advanced settings, the speed will be fixed at 57, baud. You should try that first, as it is the most reliable mode.
Only if you can't reliably program decoders using that choice, and only after checking that you're using the right port, should you select "None" for this preference and try again.
Click Save at the bottom of the preferences window, quit the program and restart.
Support: Digitrax LocoNet®
The "connection" preferences should look similar to this image: PR4 Standalone programmer usage suggestions You can use a JMRI throttle to control the locomotive connected to the PR4 dedicated programming track.
To implement that "neutral mode" described above, the PR4 automatically writes CV to 0 or 1.
Digitrax PR3 Install
Unfortunately, this can interfere with the CV programming on some non-Digitrax decoders. If you are using the PR4 with a decoder that uses CV for something, you should either not use a JMRI throttle to run the locomotive on the PR4 programming track, or remember to rewrite CV with the right value just before removing the locomotive from the track.
Open the Preferences window from the Edit menu and configure the connection by: For the " System Connection " setting, select "LocoNet PR4" Under " Serial Port ", select the serial port that's connected to the PR4 In the " Command station type " option, select the command station model which you are using.
Digitrax pr3 vs locobuffer manual
The "connection" preferences should look similar to this image: PR4 as an interface to a Standalone LocoNet The PR4 can also be used to connect JMRI to a "Standalone LocoNet" , which may be useful when LocoNet is used for some aspects of layout control while some other control system is use for other aspects.
The Digitrax PR4 Support page.
Drivers for Windows-based machines may be found at the Digitrax Downloads page.