So, nice equipment, popular in the UK and Europe. Lots of capability, nice looking throttles, high quality construction, lots of features, etc.

But you may find the overall "flavor" on this page is somewhat negative. This is based on fact. In the typical German way of thinking (and I am 1/4 German), "we know the best way". Well, it's not. In an attempt to simplify programming, often the built in programming aids will change other CV's that are unwanted. Also there are many poorly documented functions or things that just do not work.

Also the addition of MFX functions usually add an unwanted wrinkle, although this is not Massoth's fault.

One of the big negatives is actually one of their big selling tools, the Massoth Service tool. In a nutshell, the idea is great, the execution is terrible. It is a collection of "templates" that you apply to get a particular configuration. Simple. You don't need to know CV's is the goal.

In practice, it's more problematic than helpful overall in my experience. Why?

  • There appears to be variations in decoders and not all templates work. This could be poor testing, but the result is not good.
  • Worse, I have found that MANY fundamental things do NOT work as documented in the decoders.

The Massoth service tool and templates

The idea is you use the their PC module for programming, and that hardware in conjunction with it's firmware and the Massoth service tool software on your computer makes the programming environment. Furthermore, the use of "templates" is what most people use.

The graphical user interface (GUI) shows pages of the template, and the settings, not necessarily the actual value used.

In theory this makes things easy, without requiring in depth understanding of the CV numbers and values needed, and the template also should program everything you need.

In practice this is often a huge source of issues, with never-ending updates to templates, firmware and software. I've been reading a number of forums and it is a mess, honestly. Basically if your template does not give you the desired result, you are up the creek. There are people totally consumed with "fixing" templates.

I'm going to give a first hand experience to back up what I am saying, but if you go to ANY Massoth forum, you will instantly see for yourself what I am saying is true.

So my first experience is that recently there was a person who bought a decoder, programmed for the chuff trigger to be on the second input. NO ONE was ever able to solve the problem, despite getting 4 different experts involved. It flat does not work. It took months for every new expert to come to that conclusion. Templates did not work, individual programming did not work.

To really make things crazy, the owner received a programming sheet (output from the service tool) indicating the individual CV settings from the authorized Massoth dealer who programmed the decoder. Many of these settings had values that were not "legal" for that CV according to documentation, and many also were CV's that were not even documented period for that decoder.

Now, did the authorized Massoth dealer not know what he was doing? Was the template wrong? Was the version of the decoder wrong? Who knows, what a mess, months later not resolved for a simple change for input 2 instead of input 1 for the chuff treigger..

Another common side effect of the templates is that programming a function very often will cause something else to stop working, and often it is these poorly documented functions, or even undocumented functions of certain CV's. There are many cases of apparent interaction between CVs that should NOT affect each other.

Again, if you have trouble believing this, find a Massoth forum and read the posts, even the experts have these issues, thus you will find that "templates" that set many CVs at the time are very popular, and the average Joe needs to take these on faith. Most people do not want to be experts, but even they fall at the mercy of this situation. There are other limitations, again in the effort to simplify the user interface, but often they cause more problems.

So the bottom line is if you wish to purchase a Massoth system, do not do it for the templates and service tool. If you are thinking of using their decoders, remember you may be at the mercy of these issues, and changing from defaults might make you crazy. Make sure that if you will customize things, you have a support group.

If you want this level of quality and rich features, I would strongly encourage you to evaluate a Zimo system and decoders.

Massoth system

I will document these components here. There are very few dealers in Massoth in the USA, one of which I cannot recommend, from the number of customer issues as well as my personal experience, so I won't name anyone here. You will find out quickly who is knowledgeable and who is not to be trusted.

eMotion S decoder (sound only)

This section came about trying to help someone who bought a pre-programmed decoder in the US, and wanted the chuff trigger on the AUX 2 input. No one could get it working, and in the end it was not possible, and about 4 people attacked the problem. Spending time with this over the initial purchase, and getting help from the fine people on GScaleCentral, and the dealer and then a person here stateside who makes a living of Massoth installs, showed me what a mess this is.

The customer was supplied with an extensive sheet of what the CV's were set to by the dealer, and a lot of them do not make sense, as you read below


as received, no response from the decoder, issued reset CV7 = 55

CV 195 was set to 55, a nonsense value, set to 1


F1 is whistle crossing sequence

F2 is bell

F3 is "all aboard announcement"

F4 is whistle, triggered every on to off or off to on

F5 is a pulsing steam sound

F6 is sound on, and must transition from off to on to get sound

F7 nothing

F8 is some mechanical sound and mutes chuff


So far, the system always chuffs with speed steps, the reed switch contacts will add extra chuffs when touched together

Have not been able to stop the autochuff..




Further, after setting CV195 correctly, then you need to specify the clock 2 input to be “hooked” to the chuff sound.


reads as 2


CV 149:

Bit 4 shoiuld be 0, for standard contacts. and that register is on page 59, that bit 4 of CV149 must be 0 … again looking at the supplied CV dump, CV 149 was apparently set to 111, which is  1101111, indeed bit 4 is zero, so that checks out.

The setting was:

  • random generator on
  • standing phase noise active
  • load dependent sound
  • cylinder valves open at start of movement
  • contacts standard
  • automatic side noises active
  • start signal delay on



CV 191:  for setting the contacts for triggers (191 is "Clock 2")

Clock 2 sounds should be controlled by CV191, page 49, but here is where things are not quite clear… CV191 should be set for the “chuff” sound, and it is set to sound #2 (by the way Clock 1 is set to sound #1) (need to read the value of 191 and see if changing it affects the chuff)

What I have not found is these values of 1 and 2 relating to making a chuff sound. Nowhere in the manual are these values for 191 and 190 mentioned… which range from 0 to 12… (zero means no sound), apparently I need the sheet for the specific sound file mapping 1-12 to the sounds. Clearly #2 is chuff, because it is working and in CV 191

So on to the Clock 2 input, although there is some confusing reference to Clock 1 on the bottom of page 14.


CV 195:

Called RPM control, should be set to the number of "chuffs" per magnet, a setting of 0 is "controlled by speed steps". In this case the user wants a setting of 1, since he has 2 magnets, but they are on the tender wheels, which turn about twice as fast, so he should get approximately 4 chuffs per driver revolution


CV 196:

Note also that CV’s 196 and 198 can “tune” the chuff duration… page 49, 196 is the duration of the chuff.

based on the CV dump they are NOT at the default, 196 is set to 255, and per the manual on page 49, the range of values 0 to 32 with 28 as a default… this alone could mess things up, the value of 255 usually means all or nothing, or not set..

I've just been given a suggestion that setting 196 = 0 should turn off the autochuff...  this is not in the manual.... did not work



This should set the pause time between the chuffs (in relation to the chuff duration)

should be set to between 0 and 16 with a default of 1, but the CV dump says it is set to 36, another red flag.



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