We had a question at the NMRA Meetup last weekend about adjusting decoders so that different locomotives start at the same spot on the throttle, and a follow-up question about matching speeds between locomotives.
George Zapalac found the handout from Tom Pearson's DCC Minute at our February 2013 Meetup that covered this exact topic, which I've attached below. (Thanks, George! And Tom!) If you have any questions, please feel free to post a reply.
(Also, as I mentioned in the Meetup, I highly recommend using JMRI to deal with decoder programming. Filling out a form on a computer is MUCH easier than programming via throttle. Maybe we can do a JMRI clinic at a future Meetup? (hint hint!))
Discussions related to wiring, electronics, DCC and so on.
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Just because two locos are closely speed matched without a load does not mean they will pull identical loads at the same speed. A case in point are pushers on a grade. Finer tuning may be necessary to operate reliably and the consist may need to operate with the same load (number of cars or motive power location in a train, for example) to have the desired result. A good rule is to use the same loco manufacturer and general condition of the units being matched.
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