QSI Programmer Hardware & SoftwarePLEASE READ THIS STUFF! I've put things here that are not in the manual, or "gotchas" that are not obvious. Trust me and save yourself a lot of grief (that I went through!!)Overview:Note that my QSI pages are tightly focused on the G scale decoders, the "Revolution" sometimes called the "Magnum", and the newer Titan.There are THREE products: TWO software and ONE hardware/firmware (the actual physical programmer/dongle)Quantum Upgrade software - loads firmware and sound files, the sound files and the firmware are both in the same file. Allows some limited volume setting.Quantum CV Manager software - gives you a graphical interface to all the CV's in the decoder, also local throttles that allow limited running (current limited) and operation.Quantum Programmer hardware - a "dongle" that has a USB interface to your Windows computer to allow the software to functionImportant note about CV Manager versions:The QSI LS Titans were evolving at the time that QSI Solutions went offline. Many new CVs were added to further enhance sound, especially for steam locomotives. To get menu driven support for programming these CVs, you need the Quantum CV Manager that has the "engineering" menu with the "ASR chuff" sub menu. After QSI Solutions left the scene, QS Industries apparently dropped support for these CVs in the CV Manager 3.1.x.x and beyond.Specifically:The Engineering menu first appeared in version 188.8.131.52, this is where the special menus are, like ASR ChuffThe engineering menu is gone from 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11Engineering menu back in 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124Gone again in 126.96.36.199 onNot all versions are available in the install format, the latest install format with the engineering menu is 188.8.131.52So to use all the features of the G scale Titan with the latest chuff and other "tweaks", first install 184.108.40.206 with the installer executable, then overwrite the installed exe file with 220.127.116.11 (this is a program file only) in the program directory where it was installed.Where to download files:QSI Solutions is out of business, but the web site is still up as of early 2021: https://shedaker.wixsite.com/shedakerThe QS Industries site is: http://qsindustries.com/ but no G Scale downloads, nor even the Upgrade program or the CV Manager program. Very weird.There is a groups.io forum with some files: https://groups.io/g/QSIndustries/files but not all the software is there.I manage a groups.io forum, where I have uploaded the program files: https://groups.io/g/QSI-Solutions/files you will find the programming files there. If you need other files, or sound files, post on the forum. Yes you have to join.If you get stuck, email me, but be sure to read the sections below on the CVManager and the Q2upgrade/QuantumUpgrade programs below.Quantum Programmer / "USB dongle"This is the hardware that actually does the controlling and programming.On this end, you can see the red LED, green LED, and the programming connector (to the decoder).The other end has a standard USB type B.Before using: Power supply:I don't know the working voltage range, but 15 volts has been the target voltage from the QSI engineers.The programmer on it's own draws about 62 milliamperes at 15 volts, just idle.I have seen current draw up to about 1/2 amp on average, so if you have the original 400 ma supply, get an updated one, you are likely to have erratic operation on the large scale QSI decoders. QSI started shipping an 800 ma one after I figured out the "mystery" of how much current was necessary.Funny story: I was having programming issues, and a QSI engineer kept claiming that 400 ma was fine. I was watching the current spikes during programming, and they were way over 400ma. A bit more questioning turns out this engineer had been using his OWN supply for years, not the 400 ma supply. After more questioning, he was using a 1 amp supply, so sure, he was not having problems! The 800 ma supply starting shipping as standard right away ha ha!Since these are hard to find new, if you get one, you will most likely need a different power supply, look for 15 volts and about 1 amp. A bit more current is ok, but be careful not to abuse the system, the unit has no over-current protection. Also while the QSI software will allow you "run" a loco, it's easy to overload the programmer in this mode and destroy the output stage. Limit your testing (when powered from the programmer) to sounds only. I can't tell you how many people have destroyed their programmers. You could put a 1 amp fast blow on the output.Using/debugging programmer after driver installation: Firmware version/upgradingYou need to install the software driver first, which makes the programmer available via a "COM" port. The following sections address the selection and installation of the driver. DO THAT NEXT, and then come back here.After installation, you should check for upgrade of the firmware in the programming "dongle" at least when you get one. It's in a really weird place in the programming software.right click on the upper left of the title bar of the Quantum Upgrade window, right on the words "Q2Upgrade" Yes, there is nothing up there, but when you do it, you get a menu you cannot get any other way.Now click on "Quantum Programmer...", click that, and then you get another menu.Click "retrieve firmware version".. you will then see the version in your dongle. If you get nothing back, then you are NOT communicating with the dongle, or it is dead.Also check "get error status"If your firmware version is not 2.0.5, then you should be able to upgrade the firmware. This is the latest firmware as of 2021Now if everything is good so far, we can check the "final stage" of the programmer, the connection to the decoder. Click on the "Diagnostics..." menunow you get the menu below:Click the "Measure Baseline Current" button.You should see something between 2 (decoder only) to about 15 (maybe some lights)ZERO means that there is no connection detected, either you are not connected to the decoder, or the output of the programmer is bad (broken)very high, like over 100 means you have a dead short (either short circuit across the output, or the programmer is bad or the decoder is bad.Installing the hardware driver on Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 11This can be a real pain in the ass. The driver needed seems to vary also with the version of the CV Manager softwareDo not plug in the dongle! You need to install the software first!The driver will not install on windows 8 or 10 with the normal install. Part of this is because it is unsigned, and Windows 8 and 10 won't allow this by default. The other part of the difficulty is that it needs to be installed in a troubleshooting / compatibility mode for windows 8/8,1First, have the silabs driver already downloaded and in it's own subdirectory (unzip the file). The file I use is from the QSISolutions site named: qprog_usbdriver_winxp_3_2.zipNow, you need to put your computer into a special mode to accept unsigned drivers. This mode is called "allow unsigned drivers" You will set this up, the computer will reboot, and after installing the driver, this special mode will go away after the next reboot. Note well: if you don't get the driver installed and you reboot, you need to start the procedure over.Please note: some newer versions of the programs may need a different driver, I found this on the newer CVManager. Since I use the Titan ET features, I use the older driver.Driver versions vs o/s and CVManager versionsOn windows 11, and latest QSI programs, Silabs CP210x USB to UART Bridge, version 10.1.10.103, dates 1/8/21 Put computer in the mode to allow unsigned drivers (windows 10):One way is to do this is:Open the action center (you should know what this is otherwise google it)go to all settingsthen update & securitythen recoverythen advanced startup.Your computer will reboot, and then after some time you will be prompted with a menu with following options.ContinueTroubleshootTurn offChoose TroubleshootThen the following menu appears:Refresh your PCReset your PCAdvanced OptionsChoose Advanced OptionsThen the following menu appearsSystem RestoreSystem Image RecoveryAutomatic RepairCommand PromptWindows Startup settingsChoose Windows Startup Settings, then Click Restart.Now the computer will restart and the boot menu appears.Choose: “Disable Driver signature Enforcement” from the menu. Now windows will start and you can do the installation of the driver that is not signed.Windows 8 procedure:Here is a link to the procedure for Windows 8 with pictures: http://www.craftedge.com/tutorials/driver_install_windows8/driver_install_win8.html(why in the heck are you still running windows 8?)Earlier windows:You can install the driver on XP, Vista and Windows 7. Nothing special, except there is/was a different driver for Vista 64 bit.Now to install the driver (windows 10):Sometimes you need to log in as the actual local administrator user. By default, this user is often disabled. Google "enable administrator user windows 10"I still do the troubleshooting way, but some people can directly install from here.Clearly, navigate to the folder where you unzipped the driver.Then right click on the installer executable: QP_USBXp_Installer.exe and select "troubleshoot compatibility"I pick the "troubleshoot program", then tick the boxes for "earlier versions of windows" and "requires additional permissions"On the operating system selection, I pick Windows 7This is pretty much the most bulletproof method. Sometimes you don't need all of this, sometimes you do.Once the software installs, THEN plug in the programmerIf you get stopped from running the program, you can change the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\EnableLUA to 0 in regedit. you will probably have to reboot.For using the 18.104.22.168 CV Manager, the usb driver I have installed is a USB device, called "Quantum Programmer", version 22.214.171.124, with a date of 2009_11_1Installing Quantum Upgrade and Quantum CV ManagerThere's rarely an issue with these installs, just accept the defaults. If you have trouble installing it, try troubleshoot compatibility as in the driver install, and drop back to Windows 7.Be sure you use an install xxx.exe file the first time, as it installs the dll needed by the program. There are updated program files that are distributed as .exe, but they do not do the full install, so you do the install, and then you can copy the newer program version (the .exe file) to the same directory it was installed in. If you get stuck, email me.Q2Upgrade / Quantum Upgrade(Original name was Q2Upgrade, then later renamed to Quantum Upgrade)This is the program used to load the firmware and sound file to the decoder. It is all one file.I have not found any issues using the latest released software on the LS Titans.Distributed as both full install package, and program executable only. You need to do the full install first, you can overwrite the exe with a later version.Last full install I have is version 126.96.36.199, and latest executable is 188.8.131.52, this is what I use.Quantum CV ManagerRemember you must load the proper "blank" file to start with, otherwise some options will be grayed out. (FILE...OPEN/NEW)Pick the proper model number of hardware, if confused, pick the LS and the closest file you can find, "respecting" a Q2FX vs. a Q3 file.If you still cannot access the CV's you "need" then go to the "Options" menu and then "Enable All CV's". Danger, you may enable cv's that your hardware does not have so be careful, i.e. don't mess with chuff settings on a diesel!Very important, after version 3.0.x.x, the "Engineering Menu" was removed. There's all kinds of cool features there, I have not explored them all, but I would stay at these versions, and not go to 3.1.x.x unless you are using the Q2FX files. I'm using 3.0.General programming tips:First, when in doubt check your electrical connections.Make SURE there is nothing else on the programming track, lights in tenders always on, etc. This is the number one problem people have.Try using Quantum Upgrade and "get locomotive information", or the upgrade menu, and "test compatibility"When programming, the original QSI Revolution and the new QSI Titan must have a motor connected at a MINIMUM, and I strongly recommend a speaker.If you cannot get past 40% in the beginning of programmin, it means no communication or response at all, 40% is the first programming command.A tip is to read the baseline current of the programmer hardware on the setup:0 current means no connection to the decoder or the programmer is damaged.Likewise 255 means something is wrong like a dead short on the programming track or the programmer itself.I've seen 9 to 30 ma as a baseline.To read the baseline current, right click in the Q2Upgrade window title bar... yes, way up in the title bar. A new menu pops up... select Programmer... and here's a menu you can see various data, and where to check and update the firmware... now hit diagnostics... here's where you can read the baseline current.Quantum Revolution specific notes:During the confidence test or programming, given 15 volts dc input, the Quantum 2 boards program at about 100-110 milliamperes (average), I did not measure peaks.The flash address range in sectors (you will see this during programming) is up to fffif you cannot erase the flash, typically it means you have some extra load on the programming inputs/trackAt the end of the programming cycle, apparently the program:calculates the checksum of the source filereads the flash and calculates the checksum of the decoder flash memoryif successful, "upgrading subsystem flash" showsFinally, if all else fails, remove the board from the loco completely, and only connect to the Track + and Track - inputs.NOTHING ELSE.Titan specific:Programming issues:During the confidence test or programming, given 15 volts dc input, the Titan boards program at about 100-120 milliamperes (average), I did not measure peaks.The flash address range in sectors (you will see this during programming) is up to 18fIf you cannot erase the flash, typically it means either some extra load on the programming inputs/track OR that you do not have the motor load connected. (The Titan is different from the previous QSI unit in that the minimum configuration for programming is the programming (track) inputs AND a motor. I've used an 11 ohm resistor with success, although most motors may present a 4 ohm or less load. (my reasoning is that it just needs the circuit complete, not the full load of a motor, and the lighter load may cause less variation in the power supply, since the standard power supply is low current and unregulated.)One common failure is right at the end of the programming cycle. It can fail even if you have run the confidence test. The confidence test apparently only reads the flash, does not test read and write.At the end of the programming cycle, apparently the program:calculates the checksum of the source filereads the flash and calculates the checksum of the dflashNo sound?Don't forget to press F6 twice if no sound, this is the "startup" command, many sound files have this.If after programming, you cannot sound the horn, you may have a sound file where the horn is in the second speaker. Either put in a second speaker or "move" the horn fader to include the first speaker. (I found this out in my e8... turns out you want the horn in the second speaker, since the "first" speaker is way back in the body, when you add a second speaker, it will be closer to the front, where the horns actually are)All Q3 diesel files contain dual prime movers, but are set for single prime mover by default. In order to activate the second prime mover simply increase CV52.11 (Motor2 Volume) to your preferred level. I recommend setting the stereo controls so that CV116.10 (Motor 1 Balance) = 127 and CV116.11 (Motor 2 Balance) = 255 for optimal stereo separation between the two motors. Programming hardware setupBelow is a simple setup with a motor and speaker and the socket. I'm holding a connector that lets me use the speaker plug on the Revolution (by the "I" in QSI on the programmer dongle) or change to a couple of wires that let me screw in to the Titan terminals. Al this is on a small board, the speaker is in the top of a spray paint can. A more sophisticated setup below. This one has a socket and also DIP headers to screw into Titans that have had their pins cut off. Notice that I have both speakers there to confirm programming between them. At the front you can see the jack for power and the usb socket.Inside, I just removed the programmer from it's housing to make an easier installation into the box, but you could leave it in the housing and just cut a bigger hole in the cigar box.