KB98: Setting Up a Programming Track with DB150

This article was last updated on Jan. 9, 2012, 3:51 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

If you want to change the address or other settings of your locomotive decoders, you must set up a programming track.

It is very important that the rest of your railroad can be isolated from the DB150 and the programming track when you are programming a locomotive.


Decoders are programmed when the DB150 command station sends programming information to them through the rails.

There are two basic ways of programming decoders.

Service mode programming
broadcasts a message to all DCC equipped locos that are on the track.

Because this is a broadcast method, you will need to set up a programming track so that the programming instructions only go to the loco you want to program.

For many decoders, the addresses can only be programmed using service mode programming.

Service mode is used to program all other CVs as well.

Operations mode programming
(Ops Mode) is done on the layout with programming directed to a specific decoder address.

Ops mode programming is used to program all CVs allowed by the decoders installed in the locos while they are running on the layout.

This means that you can program some CV's without using a programming track.

To simplify programming for both service mode and Ops mode, we recommend adding an electrically isolated programming track to your layout for programming purposes.

Because Ops Mode programs a specific locomotive address, it is useful for making minor changes while your locomotive is on the railroad.

Service mode programming must be done on an isolated segment of track.

Please see the example below:

Note that the DB150 is operating as a command station and booster.

The DB150 can also be configured as a booster only, but you cannot program decoders in that configuration.

Programming is a function handled by the command station.

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