KB513 Zephyr - Non-USA Power Supply

Note: Zephyr (DCS50) has been superseded by Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) which is available in an EU version that comes with the appropriate power supply.  This article only applies to the original Zephyr (DCS50)Q: I´m a foreign model railroader, and I want to buy a Zephyr without power pack. The instruction manual says that I can use a 18 Volt DC trafo in order to power the Zephyr. Can you suggest a way to connect a Zephyr DCS 50 to German current (220/50)? A:  In the North American market, Digitrax recommends the use of a dedicated PS315 power supply or equivalent for use ...

KB7 Automatic Reversing Sections

DCC Automatic Reversing SectionsVirtually all automatic reversing will fall into 3 categories with the wiring principles for all being the same:1. Reverse Loops2. Wyes3. TurntablesDCC has the ability to automatically reverse sections of track we call Reversing Sections while our trains are running and not affect the direction or speed of the trains. This is because we put a constant square wave AC current on the track and control the trains (locos) by sending messages to them (actually to receivers we call decoders) to tell them what to do such as start, stop, change directions, etc. . We are thus ...

KB520 General DCC Power Supply Information

There are many transformers and power packs that can supply input power for Digitrax boosters & command stations. Most regular DC train control packs do not have enough power to supply the full power potential of the a 5 or 8 amp booster, since they were designed to only run 1 locomotive in a blocked system. To get the full power potential of your booster, you must use a power supply that can supply enough power. Check with your local Digitrax dealer to see which transformers are available. If you are using a Zephyr Xtra, please use ONLY the power supply ...

KB521 What is "Smooth" DC?

The term smooth DC is used to describe the power provided to the layout by conventional model railroad power packs (analog transformers). Traditional model railroad power packs convert household line current into 12-18 volt current to power your model railroad. Voltage is supplied to the track, and as the voltage increases, the speed of the locomotive's motor increases, which makes it run down the tracks at faster speeds. Some power packs put out only AC (alternating current), while others put out DC (direct current) and AC (for accessories such as track switches and building lights). AC powered trains tend to ...

KB614 BDL168, PM42 & SE8C Recommended Wiring Procedure For 44 Pin Connector

  Do you have a recommend wiring procedure for the 44-pin edge connector on the PM42 and SE8C?PM42, PM4, BDL168, BDL16, BDL162 & SE8C use a 44-pin edge connector. Connecting wires securely to this connector requires soldering skills. For connections to the 44 pin connector, Digitrax recommends using 16 gauge stranded wire. For all other soldering connections, Digitrax recommends 14 gauge (AWI) stranded wire for electrical connections on your railroad. 1. Use individual short lengths of 16 gauge wire to connect to the 44 pin connector. 2. Strip and tin both ends of the wire. 3. Bend one end into ...

KB15 HO-Scale Transbay Interwoven Track Plan-Auto Reversing

This H0-scale railroad track plan first appeared in the Atlas Model Railroad Company's book "Six Railroads You Can Build", written by John Armstrong and illustrated by Tad Stepek. This book was first published in 1958 and has been reprinted several times. A classic bowl of spaghetti, the Transbay Interwoven has two reversing loops and a turntable. DC Control For DC operation, Atlas specified three Atlas Controllers (for the reverse loops and the turntable), two Atlas Selectors (to control eight track segments) and ten controllers for the railroad's turnouts. DCC Makes Things Simple With DCC, the wiring of this railroad is ...

KB16 Which Throttle works with which Universal Panel, UR90(IR), UR91(Simplex Radio) or UR92 (Duplex Radio)?

The following chart indicates: Which Digitrax throttle (DT400, DT400R, DT402, DT402R, DT402D, DT500, DT500D, UT4, UT4R, and UT4D) Works with which LocoNet interface throttle panel (Universal Panel, UR90, UR91, and UR92) Under which types of communication (Tethered, IR Mode, Simplex Radio, or Duplex Radio). Throttle Interface Chart Throttle UP Panel Tethered UR90 Tethered UR90 IR Mode UR91 Tethered UR91 IR Mode UR91 Simplex Radio UR92 Tethered UR92 IR Mode UR92 Duplex Radio DT400 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No DT400R Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No DT402 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes ...

KB18 Atlas Up & Over Dogbone

This Atlas Snap-Track layout appears in the Atlas Model Railroad Company's book "Beginner's Guide to HO Model Railroading". It includes a reversing section which can be controlled with a Digitrax AR1. DC Control For DC operation, Atlas specified an Atlas Controller (for the reverse loop), two Atlas Selectors (to control eight track segments) and seven controllers for the railroad's turnouts. DCC Makes Things Simple With DCC, the wiring of this railroad is considerably simpler. Because each locomotive has a unique address, the section insulated gaps and the two Selectors are not necessary. Likewise, the Controller is replaced with the AR1 ...

KB19 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 4 of 11 - Track Plan

In response to a request, here is a semi-official track plan of the Texas & Southwestern: The railroad uses Kato Unitrack: 249mm radius curves 282mm radius curves Seven #4 Right turnouts, configured to be "non current routing" Five #4 Left turnouts, configured to be "non current routing" Two 90° crossings A variety of straight tracks, including the 20-091 Short Track Assortment Three 20-050 Adjustment Tracks Several 24-818 Terminal joiners to supply power to the railroad and to connect the AR1 to the reversing segment Insulated Unijoiners were used to define the reversing segment. Alert readers will note that the tracks ...

KB534 Short Circuit when adding a DB100 or DB150 booster to a DCS100 or DCS200 Command Station

Q:  I recently split my layout in half, with a DB150 acting as a booster powering one side and a DCS100 powering the other. I'm trying to reconnect the bus feeders to the rails, which all worked properly before the split. Now when I reconnect the feeders there is no short indication, BUT when a loco goes over the insulated gap between the two sections, a short occurs. A:  This is a common issue when the first booster is added to a DCS100/DCS200 command station. MOST DCS100/DCS200 command stations come from the factory set with Rail A & Rail B connections that are the opposite ...

KB535 Twisted Feeders- Yes or No?

Some internet experts INSIST that DCC bus wires must be twisted, presumably to prevent crosstalk and interference. Is this required by Digitrax?Digitrax does not require twisted wires on feeders etc, but suggests appropriate wire sizes and keeping feeder run lengths to a minimum because of resistance/power loss issues.

KB536 What is a Programming Track?

Q: What is a programming track? A:  A programming track is a section of track that is used to program the mobile decoders in locomotives.  Sometimes it is called the service mode track or service mode programming track.  It must be electrically isolated from the rest of your layout and connected to the Prog A and Prog B terminals of your command station.  The programming track can be completely separate from the rest of the layout or can be isolated by double gapping and using an electrical switch to allow locos to move from the programming track to the mainline before and after programming.   Usually ...

KB539 AR1 - Special Considerations

  One major consideration is that the reverse section controlled by the AR1 must be longer than the longest train. It is a common misconception that the AR1 will work with an analog controlled ("DC") locomotive; it will not. The AR1 is meant to be used only in a DCC enviroment. The AR1 coordinates the phasing of the reversing section with that of the mainline (non-reversing) section of the layout.  Because a Digitrax layout can be a complex enviroment with detection and transponding, etc. consult the approriate Digitrax user manuals and the Digitrax Tech Support Depot knowledge base.  

KB37 UR92 - Adding More UR92's

Adding UR92s will provide better signal coverage for complex layouts. If you are adding more than one UR92, be sure to connect all of the units before changing the Duplex Group name or channel number or you will have the units automatically re-negotiate these values with each addition. 1. Add the UR92(s) to your LocoNet. (See UR92 Installation articles, below.) 2. After adding extra UR92s, use the DT402D to turn OFF layout track power and then turn track power back ON. This forces all the UR92s to automatically negotiate a common and permanent single Duplex Group name and channel number. ...

KB41 UR92 - Installation/Quick Start

The UR92 is simple to install and begin using in your new or current layout. 1. In most cases a UR92 should be situated near the physical center of a layout and will typically cover a circle of about 300+ feet (~100 meters) across, which will be adequate for most layouts. Some layouts may require additional UR92s for adequate signal coverage. 2. Connect the PS14 DC power supply to UR92 via the DC power jack on the side. The green and red LEDs should blink and then the red LED should stay on. 3. Connect the UR92 to your working LocoNet ...

KB43 DS51K1 - Special Notes on Kato Double Crossover 20210

Kato makes a Unitrack double-crossover, their No. 20210: Kato has advised us that this unit has four solenoids in its base, each operating one turnout point set. Connecting the DS51K1 to the red / black wire pair at the base of the track will damage the decoder since the four solenoids of the crossover will draw more than the rated current capacity of the DS51K1. If you are wiring the DS51K1 internally to this track segment, it is easiest to program each turnout pair to the same address; done this way, activating one track switch address will result in the ...

KB558 AR1 with Two Power Districts

Q: I want to use the AR1 for a reverse loop between two different power districts (i.e. different booster for each connected track). Is this possible or do I need to make a special wiring set-up to do this? SThis diagram shows how to do this The usual rules apply, the AR1 track section must be longer than the longest train you will run.

KB189 Case Study: PUTRA Powering the Kelana Jaya Rail Line (Part 3 of 5)

The Kelana Jaya Rail Line model is a DCC intense layout, using many Digitrax command control components to achieve the goal of training operators of the actual rail line. The railroad was built in the 1990's and many of the Digitrax devices used for the Kelana Jaya Rail Line model have been superseded with improved units. Components used for the Kelana Jaya layout: 28 Mainline turnouts 11 Yard turnouts 39 Tortoise switch machines 84 Dwarf signals (yellow/green, red/green, red/yellow) 38 Mainline block signals 38 Heavy duty SPDT switch relays Digitrax Components Used for the Kelana Jaya layout: 1 DCS 100 ...

KB51 BDL168 - Using In a Reversing Loop

The BDL168 can be used as an autoreversing unit for return loops. One of the BDL168 Detection Sections is connected to the non-reversing area, with the balance of the detection connections being made within the reversing area. Here is a wiring example: Note that an auto-reverse section can only use detection sections that are contained in a BDL168 zone that is correctly set up for auto-reversing.

KB54 BDL168 - Troubleshooting Checklist

Here are several things to check if you are having trouble with the BDL168: Packet Reception Be sure the green ID LED is ON & is “winking” off about every 2 seconds. This means that correctly formatted DCC packets are being decoded from the left most (Railsync) pin of the RJ12 LocoNet socket. For DCC detection, the same DCC packet signal that drives the booster must be connected to the RJ12 socket's left most pin. If you are using LocoNet and you do not see the green LED blinking pattern described, check to be sure that the system is powered ...

KB56 BDL168 - 44-Pin Connector Pinout Configuration

BDL168 Pin Out Configuration: Notes: 1) All connector pins are paired top (component side of the BDL168) and bottom (solder side of the BDL168) except 11/M and 12/N. For 6 Amp current rating with 3 Amp connector pins, track/zone wires must be connected to both pin pairs: e.g. Zone A = pins 1 & A (See Figure below): 2) Letters G, I, O & Q are not used as pin designations on the connector. 3) Power connections should be made to a power supply dedicated to BDL168 use only. Multiple BDL168 units can be supplied by a single shared supply ...

KB58 BDL168 - Connecting to a "Direct Home" Wired Layout

Direct Home Layout Wiring Digitrax strongly recommends direct home wiring where each power district and its booster are electrically isolated. This method of wiring has safety advantages and makes troubleshooting problems easier. In addition, direct home wiring makes detection work more prototypically. With direct home wiring, the BDL168 can determine and indicate whether any of its 4 zones is powered or not (possibly short-circuited) even when there is nothing on the rails in the detection sections. The BDL168 factory-set logic causes the detection sections to show "occupied" if the associated zone's power is off (because in this case, detection is ...

KB607 Resistance wheel sets

Railroad signaling works based on detection of trains on the railroad.  If a train is detected, then the signal system goes into action, setting up indications that let show that the track section is occupied and warn other trains that the section is occupied.  At a grade crossing where a railroad and a highway intersect, the presence of a train starts the crossing signals and lowers the gates in time to stop highway traffic so the train can pass.In the case of real railroads, detection is easy, since the rails are naturally insulated from each other and either a locomotive or ...

KB61 BDL168 - Using two boosters

Is it possible to connect my BDL168 across two power districts (Boosters). I envisage using zone 1 & 2, with detection sections 1-8 one one booster (DCS100), with zones 3 & 4, with detection sections 9-16 on another booster (DB150). Will this work? Please refer to the chart below: Note that Pins 1 & A, 6 & F, 13 & P, and 18 & V are identified as "Connection to Booster for Zone *. Each Zone can support up to four detection sections. So, for your application, the DCS100 would be connected to Pins 1 & A and 6 & ...

KB181 Single Programming Track - Multiple Programming Sources

How can I connect my PR3 programming output to an existing programming track on my layout that is already set up for programming and mainline operations? Install a non shorting multi position rotary switch between a isolated section of track, 4-6” longer than your longest engine, and the various desired outputs from command stations and the PR3 output terminals. The following schematic allows a single section of track to be fed by the rail output of a command station, the programming track output of a command station, and the programming output of a PR3. To add other third party decoder ...

KB66 SE8C - Local Switch Inputs for Turnout Operation

SW01 to SW08 are inputs that allow a local switch mounted on the layout to operate the slow motion turnout machine. For example, SW01 when connected to the +VE sensor common (Pin 2 in figure) will reverse the voltages on SMTM1A and SMTM1B to change the position of turnout 1. SW02 controls local turnout 2 , etc. For each connection to +VE sensor common the slow motion turnout machine swaps direction and a Switch message is sent to LocoNet to report the new position of the turnout. This local control can be disconnected by setting OpSw 15 to closed, in ...

KB68 Case Study: Nemo Junction Connecting Signals to the SE8C Part 9 of 9

The Nemo Junction module has a total of seven color light signals that regulate the flow of train traffic through this interlocking plant. Controlling the Signals with SE8C The SE8C is the signal driver, sending current to the various LED's of the color light signals. Each signal is operated via switch commands from the Zephyr. The SE8C has eight Driver Sockets, identified as DRV1 - DRV8. : A Signal Driver Cable (a 10-conductor ribbon cable) is plugged into a SE8C Driver Socket to control as many as four signal heads per Driver Socket. Each signal head can display 4 lighting ...

KB70 Apex & Hypotenuse AR1 Layout Wiring Example

My layout is the Apex & Hypotenuse design, from the Atlas design. I was wondering where would you suggest I wire the AR1. We remember this layout design, if for no other reason than its ingenious complexity. This railroad initially appeared in the Custom Line King Size Plan Book - H0 Railroads You Can Build, originally published by Atlas Tool in 1966. This book was yet another collaboration between the late John Armstrong and illustrator Thaddeus (Tad) Stepek. This railroad must have required a certain level of dexterity by the operator since the reversing segment is actually two different return ...

KB71 DPDT - Double Pole Double Throw Electrical Switch

What is it and how do I find a DPDT?It's an electrical switch; double pole - double throw (DPDT). Here is a schematic of a DPDT: More typically, they look like this: The DPDT is very common to model railroading and found at just about any store that sells electronics.  It comes in a variety of arrangements, with the most common being a DPDT Center-Off switch.  Analog OperationsIn the early days of Direct Current model railroading, reverse loops had to be controlled by hand, and the DPDT was perfect for the job.  The DPDT was wired in such a way ...

KB588 BDL168 - LT5 Tester

There was an error In the BDL168 Instruction Sheet, Figure 6 on Page 19.  The LT5 diagram was incorrect.  This article shows the correct LT5 Detection Sections.  The current on-line version of the BDL168 Instruction Sheet has been corrected. Each BDL168 comes with an LT5 that will help you with layout wiring and troubleshooting for transponding & detection. The LT5 plugs onto the LED header connections of BDL168 and the LEDs on the LT5 light when detection sections are occupied. The status of power to each zone is also shown. In service, the LT5 is plugged in to one of ...

KB610 Turntables

Connecting a turntable to a DCC model railroad is easy.  Each of the tracks approaching the rotating turntable bridge should be wired with the same orientation.  The power feeds through a pair of conductive rings to a pair of electrically conductive brushes that are wired to the rails of the turntable bridge.  DCC power is fed to the turntable bridge through an AR1 Autoreverser; when a locomotive enters or leaves the turntable bridge, the AR1 properly orients the DCC signal.  Some turntable designs have a "split-ring" electrical pickup, where the two electrical contacts that power the two rails on the ...

KB78 Case Study: Nemo Junction - Basic Wiring Part 2 of 9

Although this is a simple railroad, it will have some advanced features. When the railroad's sectional modules are first assembled, the electrical connections are simple. The railroad will be controlled with a DCS50 Zephyr, using a PM42 Power Manager for short circuit protection. One section of the PM42 will control the inner oval of track, a second section of the PM42 will control the outer segment. This is done so that if a train derails on one loop, the train operation on the other loop will not be affected. Because the DCS50 is rated at 2.5 amps, the PM42 must ...

KB80 SE8C - Detection Inputs

Detection Section Inputs DS01 to DS08 (see below) are inputs from occupancy detectors that provide at least +5V (max 22V) when occupied, and 0V when unoccupied. The SE8C sends occupancy messages to LocoNet when these inputs change. If these detection section inputs are not disconnected, they will report “unoccupied”. Occupancy reporting can be turned off by changing OpSw 13 to closed.

KB593 Throttle Knob-Not Responding

Q:  I have three engines lashed together. The sound is coming through . However when I turn the knob there is no response. The engine in the window is blinking and there are two stationary dots above A:  If you are using a DT300 series or DT400 series throttle, make sure that the Track Status Indicator dot in the upper right of the display just below the right throttle knob is on solid.  If it is not on at all Track Power is OFF.  If it is blinking, Track Status is in Idle and the throttle knobls will not move the locos.  To ...

KB82 DS64 - Railroad Control Panel Indicator Lights

I'm looking to wire Tortoise switch machines on a DS64. When the track switch is thrown I want to power 1 color light (non-LED). When the track switch is closed, power a different colored light. Is this possible using the DS64 inputs or the Tortoise connections? The DS64 does not have separate connections for indicator lights for trackside or for a control panel. However, indicator lights can still wired to work with the DS64. Tortoise or other slow motion swith machines can be wired in two different ways. If using LEDs, a two leg, bipolar LED can be connected in ...

KB596 Automatic Reversing and Turnout Control

Q: How do I use the AR1 and automatically control the turnout? I'm confused here. It is good that the AR1 controls the switching of the track power for a reverse loop automatically but it seems the turn out direction also needs auto control. Am I missing something here? Need help understanding...Please explain. A: The AR1 is handles correcting the track polarity mismatch when a reversing section is encountered by a locomotive. When the polarity inside the reverse section does not match the polarity outside the reverse section, the AR1 detects the short circuit and flips the polarity so that ...

KB599 Can AR1 be used to set up automatic back and forth operation?

Q: I am building a new DCC layout that will include a logging spur that is simply a single long piece of track with no loop. I want to have a train go back and forth on this track which automatically reverses when it gets to each end. While the AR1 was designed for reversing loops, can it be wired to simply reverse a train on a straight piece of track? A:  Not in the way that you intend. One of the interesting problems with DCC is that we often still think in terms of DC, where the track polarity ...

KB88 DS64 Option Switches - Overview

The DS64 is a powerful stationary decoder that can be used to control different devices on your railroad. It can be used on both command control and analog model railroads. The DS64 is configured by the settings of different Option Switches (OpSw's), listed below: OpSw01 - Solenoid or slow motion devices OpSw02 - Pulse Timeout, 200ms OpSw03 - Pulse Timeout, 400ms OpSw04 - Pulse Timeout, 800ms OpSw05 - Pulse Timeout, 1600ms OpSw06 - Output Auto Power Up OpSw07 - Factory-default Reset OpSw08 - Regular/Extended Startup Delay OPSw09 - Timeout Option OpSw10 - Throttle/Computer Option OpSw12 - Sensor Input Option OpSw13 ...

KB89 PM42 - Powering with PS14

The installation instructions indicate that a PS14 be used to power the PM42. Is it necessary that I cut the wire from the PS14 so that is can be attached it to the 44-pin connector, or is there a male adapter available for the connection? Yes, currently you will need to cut the wire, strip the ends and solder them to the edge connector of the PM42. Please see the related articles below. Which lead from the PS14 is to be soldered to terminal 3 on the 44-pin connector and which is to be soldered to terminal C? The PM42 ...

KB603 Zephyr - What components are needed to wire a reverse loop?

Since many Zephyr and Zephyr Xtra Starter Sets are used on smaller railroads, a natural choice for setting up an automatic reversing section would be an AR1. If you have more than one reverse loop, then the PM42 is a better choice. These automatic reversing strategies will work equally well for any Digitrax system using any Digitrax Starter Set.  Alternately for larger railroads, an auto reversing booster such as the DB150 can be used for automatic reversing if the section is large.

KB604 Turnouts, Switches, Points & Frogs

Trains run on two rail track.  When a train needs to change to a different or diverging track a track feature called a turnout, switch, track switch, points, frog or other name comes in to play.  The function of this track feature is to move the rails so that the train can change tracks.  When the turnout is "closed" the train will go straight through and when it is "thrown" it will go on the diverging track.   Railroad employees in North America call this track feature a switch. They call the moving parts of the switch the points.  They ...

KB605 DS52 Stationary Decoder Configuration and Programming Jumpers

There are two jumpers on the DS52 stationary decoder board. To properly use your DS52 you must be sure these jumpers are in the correct position. The configuration jumper sets whether your DS52 operates slow motion or solenoid type turnout machines. When the jumper is open it will run solenoid turnout machines. When it is closed it will operate slow motion turnout machines. The programming jumper determines whether the DS52 is in programming mode or not. To program the addresses for the DS52 the program jumper must be closed. For normal operation, it must be open. 

KB613 Throttle Jacks vs. LocoNet Jacks

The jacks on the front and sides of the UP5, UR92, UR91, UR90, and LNRP front panels are Throttle Jacks and should only be used for connecting throttles to LocoNet.  They should not be used to connect to other LocoNet devices.  The jacks on the back of these units are LocoNet Jacks that are used for connecting LocoNet devices to the network.  Technically speaking! These units were designed to have the FRONT jack's second Railsync differential signal run as a diode-or'ed power source (for throttles).  This means that some cable orientations and power loads could cause unexpected operations in downstream LocoNet devices ...

KB609 Automatic Reversing Tips

In earlier generations of model railroading, the reverse loop (reversing section) was the bane of many model railroaders. As the rails of a track come back upon themselves, an electrical short circuit is created. In the analog control world, the solution is to use toggle switches and special wiring to allow the locomotive to move on to the next block. Electromechanical solutions relying on relays and track detectors can also be used to automate reversing on an analog layout. The wye is another example of a reversing section on a layout. One of the advantages of digital command control is ...

KB98 Setting Up a Programming Track with DB150

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 ...

KB611 Using Kato #4 N-Scale Unitrack Turnouts With DCC

Kato and Digitrax recommend the best DCC performance with the Unitrack turnout requires that you set each #4 turnout to "Non-power-routing".  You can do this by changing the position of the screw that sets power routing which is located on the bottom of each #4 turnout.  There are two screw adjustments on a Unitrack turnout, one for making the turnout non-power routing and the other being for setting either "live" or "insulated" frog (the point where the two rails cross)l  Leave the frog screw in the "insulated" position.It should be noted that some N-scale Unitrack production has the routing/non-routing connections mislabeled, with the English-language ...

KB100 DB150 - Track Power On and Off with a DT400 series throttle

How To Turn Track Power On and Off with the DT400 series throttle Turn track power on: Press the PWR Key, then press the Y + Key and the Track Power Indicator on your DT400 series display and on your command station will come on solid. If the track power indicator is blinking, press the Y+ key again to make it solid. Turn track power off: Press the PWR Key , then press the N - Key . The Track Power Indicator on your DT400 series and on your command station will go off. To Exit: Exit PWR mode by pressing the ...

KB101 DB150 Track Power Indications with DT400 Series Throttle

The DT400 series’ Track Power Indicator and the DB150’s track status indicator show whether track power is on or off. The first time you plug in your DT400 series throttle, track power will usually be off. To run trains, you will need to turn on the track power. Look at your DB150 and/or DT400 series to determine whether the track power is on or off. 1. When track power is off: DB150 TRACK STATUS indicator is off DB150 OFF LINE indicator is on and DT400 series Track Power Indicator is off (Track Power Indicator is a small dot in the top line on ...

KB102 DB150 Track Voltage Adjustment

The actual track voltage supplied by the DB150 can be adjusted. To do this, you must open the DB150 case (this will not void your warranty). 1. Open the DB150 case. Remove the black screws on the top and bottom of the case and slide the gray front panel off. Be careful to avoid disturbing components other than the ones described below. 2. Locate the small yellow trimmer potentiometer behind the LocoNet B Jack and Scale Switch. 3. Use a small screwdriver to turn the potentiometer clockwise to increase the scale voltage setting. Turn it counter clockwise to decrease the ...

KB785 DS51K1 Bi-polar Stationary Decoder

Stationary Decoder for use with a single Kato Unitrack bi-polar turnout machine or similar device   Simple hook up and set up.     Kato Unitrack compatible bi-polar drive.     DCC compatible.    

KB616 HO layout and 8 amp boosters

I was planning on purchasing the Digitrax Super Chief Radio 5 amps but several members in the club told me to buy them Super Chief Radio 8 amp for my HO Layout.  They said you will need the power when you start expanding.Question:Is it ok to use the 8 amp version for my HO layout?Answer:Yes it is fine to use 8 amp Digitrax boosters on your HO layout.  The choice between 8 amp and 5 amp command station/boosters, it is a question of how much power your railroad is likely to consume on your railroad as it is built today.  ...

KB103 Troubleshooting DB150 Shutdowns

If the DB150 unit shuts down occasionally due to a track short circuit: 1. Correct the short circuit condition and the booster will resume normal operation. 2. Turning off the booster when a short occurs is not necessary since it will re-start automatically when the short is cleared. If the DB150 unit shuts down frequently: 1. Move the DB150 so that the heat sink has a flow of cool air. 2. Place the DB150 out of direct radiant heat like sunshine or a room heater. 3. Try direct cooling by using a small fan to blow air onto the heat ...

KB621 Power Management Overview

Power Management is a concern on every layout.  With Digital Command Control, the main concern is that enough power is supplied to evey track section on the layout so that the digital signal is transmitted to the decoders in the locomotives and turnouts.Each locomotive uses power from the track, some for the motor, some for headlights and other functions and some for the command control electronics in each locomotive.  More electrical power is necessary to run more locomotives on the layout.  Digitrax boosters provide between 2.5 amps & 8.0 amps.  A small N Scale or HO Scale layout with two to ...

KB623 Wiring Protocol (What Color Wire Goes Where?)

In order to simplify our wiring diagrams, instruction sheets and general model railroad wiring, the following wire colors are suggested for wiring layouts and accessories.

KB113 Boosters and Power Management

What is the difference between boosters and power management? A Booster is the device that provides the electrical power to the railroad. Most Digitrax command stations have a combined booster. The command station generates the DCC signal then sends it through a booster to the layout. A small model railroad may only have the command station and booster, while a large railroad will have numerous boosters. Multiple boosters provide more power to larger layouts.Additional boosters receive the DCC signal from the command station via LocoNet. Power management usually refers to the devices which act as circuit breakers and power distributors. ...

KB115 DS64 - Powered Frogs

Can I use the DS64 to power frogs in Atlas turnouts with solenoid ( code 83 ) type switch machines? No, the DS64 does not have internal contacts to provide power to the frogs. This could be done by using a switch machine with its own contacts; these have been made by NJ International, Tenshodo, PFM and others. Another alternative would be to use the Atlas Snap Relay. The Snap Relay is a solenoid device like the switch machine, but instead of throwing the turnout, it throws a set of electrical contacts. The relay is wired in parallel to the switch machine, ...

KB116 Small Layout Booster Requirements

Do I need an additional booster if I run isolated sections through a PM42 or can I use one Zephyr?  This is a small layout design (5X9) and looking to make it as simple and safe as possible.This is really a question of how much power your railroad requires.  You don't state what scale you are operating in, so a 5x9 in H0 might only have three or four locomotives, while a 5x9 in N-Scale might have fifteen or twenty locomotives.Initially, you will be making an estimation based upon your power requirements and the output power of the 2.5 Amp ...

KB117 Notes on Kato HO-Scale Unitrack Turnouts

Kato recommends, and Digitrax concurs, that the best DCC performance with the Unitrack turnout requires that you set each turnout to "Non-power-routing". Kato has offered a variety of turnouts in their H0 Unitrack line.381-2840 - LH, 490mm Radius, selectable operating mode with power or non-power routing.381-2841 - RH  490mm Radius, selectable operating mode with power or non-power routing.381-2850 - LH, #4, power routing only.381-2851 - RH, #4, power routing only.381-2860 - LH, #6, live or insulated frogs, power or non-power routing. 381-2861 - RH, #6, live or insulated frogs, power or non-power routing. These model numbers are current as of ...

KB122 Atlas H0 Turntable

  I have an "old" vintage mid 1970's Atlas Turntable and I need to know how to wire the bridge track using DCC. Does it need an autoreversing unit or not?No. The Atlas H0 turntable is an evergreen for the model railroad hobby. It was easy to install and simple to wire, making it quite popular.Power is fed to the turntable bridge by connecting the track power feeds (black and red) individually to two screw terminals; these terminals are built into the portion of the Atlas turntable base which also includes the turntable manual crank handle. The turntable itself is ...

KB127 Slip Switches

The slip switch is a track element that has both a crossing at grade and also a set of movable points which allow trains to both cross another track and also change track.  The Crossing The crossing allows tracks to cross each other at grade.  The Slip SwitchThe more complex slip switch allows trains to both cross and to change tracks: In the schematic below, you will note that the slip switch is more compact than ordinary turnouts.  As a result, they are often found in high track density areas such as passenger terminals, where space is at a premium. ...

KB130 Using PM42 to correct shorts caused by thrown switches

Q: If my layout is experiencing short because of a thrown switch, how can you reset the switch using DCC? Many Digitrax operators use the PM42 Power Manager, which provides protection to four power sub-districts. One segment of the PM42 is used to control track switch power, with the balance being used for train power. When the inevitable happens and a train runs into a thrown switch, resulting in a short, the PM42 shuts down the track power in that segment, while the track switch power is maintained, allowing you to throw the offending switch. Because the PM42 isolates only ...

KB601 No Track Status Light - Things Aren't Working

One of the basic problems encountered with command control systems is when things simply are not working.  Period.  Even after vigorous exhortation on your part, and perhaps even some enthusiastic train table banging, nothing is running.  At this point, it is time to gather your wits and your patience for a debugging session.   The first step to determining how to proceed is to determine if the problem with the electronics or with the layout?  The tendency is to blame the electronics, after all it is a black box.  But don't jump to conclusions so quickly! Be patient and follow the ...

KB135 DB200+ - Troubleshooting Heat Shutdowns

If the DB200+ booster shuts down frequently: 1. Move the DB200+ so that the heat sink has a flow of cool air. 2. Place the DB200+ out of direct radiant heat like sunshine or a room heater. 3. Try direct cooling by using a small fan to blow cool air onto the heat sink. 4. Lower the track load current. 5. Reduce the input voltage from the transformer. If the DB200+ beeps 4 times and shuts down briefly and then comes back on again, it is probably being run too close to its pre-set current limit. To solve this problem, ...

KB136 DB200+ - Autoreversing Booster

To make the DB200+ an Auto Reversing Booster follow the following steps: 1. Remove input power from the DB200+ by turning off the Input Power Supply. 2. Move the Mode Switch to the center P/R or OP position 3. Restore power to the DB200+ by turning on the Input Power Supply. Use the below diagram as a guide to configuring the DB200+ for Reverse Loops. Please note that for Auto Reverse applications the DB200+'s Mode Switch is set to the center P/R or OP position. Also note the DB200+ connections to the track- the DB200+ track connections are NOT directly ...

KB139 Powering the DS52

Can the DS52 be powered directly from a 13.8 v DC external power supply instead of the rails? No. Screw Terminals 4 & 5 are used to not only supply power to the DS52 from the track but also are the path that is used to both program the DS52 and to operate the DS52 via a throttle or computer program.

KB149 DB200+ - Track Voltage Adjustment

The actual track voltage supplied by the DB200 can be adjusted. To adjust the track voltage, you must open the DB200 case (this will not void your warranty). 1. Remove the DB200 input power & disconnect all DB200 leads. 2. Remove the two screws on the top and bottom of each side of the case. 3. Slide the gray front panel off the DB200. 4. Be careful to avoid disturbing components other than the ones described below. 5. Locate the small yellow trimmer potentiometer behind the LocoNet B Jack and Scale Switch. 6. Use a small screwdriver to turn the ...

KB151 Technical Note About DCC Booster Output Ratings

Digitrax boosters have maximum output current limits of either 5 or 8 amps. The actual continuous output current that your booster will provide to the layout depends on several factors including the input supply voltage, the ambient room temperature and air flow over the booster's heat sink. Higher input voltages increase the amount of heat that must be dissipated by the booster's heat sink. If the heat sink does not get enough air flow to allow for heat dissipation, the booster will eventually reach an over temperature state and shut down. A small fan blowing across the heat sink on ...

KB673 DS64 Stationary Decoder-Power & RailSync

  Can a DS64 be powered from the LocoNet RailSync lines? No.  The LocoNet cable is used only for LocoNet commands. The DS64 must be powered via the rear modular connector (12-14 volts AC or DC) OR via the AUX power 12-16 volts DC using AX1(-) and AX2(+) on the circuit board at the front of the unit. It is also possible for the DS64 to get it's power from the track hooked to Trk A and Trk B terminals, but experience has proven that this power source may not be reliable in certain situations.  NOTE: Use only the rear power jack or ...

KB676 Mobile Decoder Programming Overview

Programming is the process of setting the configuration variables (CVs) in your decoder to the appropriate values that will make the locomotive perform the way you want it to.  The first CVs that most people change are those that set the locomotive decoder's address.  The mobile decoder in your locomotive usually comes pre-porgrammed to a factory default address of "03".  Once you add a second locomotive, you will want to change the this new locomotive to another address.  Not doing so will result in both locomotives operating at the same time when you send commands to address 03.Likewise, there are a ...

KB168 Layout Lighting and DCC

What's the best method to handle structure and street lighting with a DCC layout? If I put in bus wiring for my lighting can it interfere with the DCC signal? Unless you have stationary decoders that control the structure and street lights, there is no need for connecting these lights to your DCC wiring. In fact, doing so will add additional power consumption without any of the advantages of command control. These additional power consumers take away available power for your locomotives, controlled cars and stationary decoders. Should I use a completely different power source like an old power pack? ...

KB171 PR3 - Stand Alone LocoNet Interface Applications

Under what conditions can the PR3 be used as a Stand Alone LocoNet Terminator? The PR3 is so designed so that it can be configured to act as a stand alone LocoNet controller in the event that a Digitrax command station is unavailable for the control of a series of LocoNet compatible devices. There are two major situations that would require the PR3 to act as a stand alone LocoNet controller. The first situation is where one of the many advanced features offered by the LocoNet and the various LocoNet compatible devices is desired to be used on a layout ...

KB686 LocoNet Includes A Layout Feedback Bus

If you want to use Transponding for bi-directional layout communication and are using Digitrax LocoNet, you will not have to add any "feedback bus" since this is already incorporated into LocoNet's design! If you want to use Transponding with a non-LocoNet system, you will need to add LocoNet. Non-Digitrax control systems require a separate feedback bus for the layout to achieve more limited types of bi-directional communication anyway so, you can simply add LocoNet instead of that feed back bus.

KB968 Common Rail Track Detectors With Digitrax

We have a number of customers who are running Digitrax alongside their existing block detection circuitry. There are numerous block detection schemes and circuits, and we cannot cover all the variations here. Generally, it is necessary to isolate the block detector power supply and ground system of your existing block detector system from that of the Digital boosters. The most common detectors use "back to back" high current diodes to sense block current-draw. Detectors with "opto-isolated" or relay outputs will generally have no problem sensing current draw of a loco, etc., on the DCC current, and will signal the occupancy ...

KB690 Turnouts and DCC

"Turnout" is a civil engineering term for what railroaders call a "switch".  In the model railroad environment, we often use the word turnout to avoid confusion with the electrical term "switch".  On the railroad, throwing a switch usually only means one thing, while "Throw the switch" on a model railroad could mean operating a light switch.Probably the best answer is to consistently use one type of turnout.  The notion of a "DCC Friendly" turnout is a myth; the standard answer in the past has been: "If it worked on DC it will work on DCC". In the end, which turnout ...

KB692 Testing LocoNet Cables with LT1 Tester

To Test LocoNet Cables With an LT11. Unplug the wire harness from the LT1.2. Plug one end of the LocoNet cable you want to test into the LT1.Note: When making your own LocoNet Cables, it is important to make them in a consistent manner. At Digitrax, the white wire is always on the right side of the plug when the plug is viewed with the clip at the top.3. Connect the other end of the LocoNet Cable being tested to any powered Digitrax Booster’s LocoNet Port A or B. Be sure you have at least one Digitrax throttle plugged in ...

KB286 LocoNet Cable Connectors

Previously, we have recommended RJ12 connectors for LocoNet cables. While there have been online sources such as Digi-Key, Mouser and others, they have become harder to find locally. There now appears to be a easily available alternative. Many national big-box home improvement stores have RJ11 6P6C meaning they are 6 position 6 conductor and can be used as RJ12 although labeled as RJ11. These must not be confused with four conductor connectors since LocoNet has six conductors. You will need the connectors, the six-wire flat cable and a crimping tool. We paid $20.00 in February, 2008, for such a tool ...

KB185 Common Rail Wiring and Converting the Clinchfield

I'm helping a friend rewire an existing layout from analog to digital. You might be familiar with the layout, it is the original Clinchfield layout that Model Railroader built back in the late seventies, believe it or not. The layout, of course, is blocked for analog through DPDT switches which have been eliminated. I was able to repair the wiring back to original using the drawings that MR printed. The layout uses common rail wiring, this is what I have to work with, and to rewire using home run wiring would be a MAJOR rework, not doable. I was able ...

KB701 UP5 Layout Installation and LocoNet Connection

1. The UP5 Universal Panel is designed for mounting on the fascia board of the layout. Cut a hole approximately 2.5” W x 1.5” H in the fascia board. Insert the UP5 through the hole with the face plate on the front of the fascia board. Attach the UP5 face plate to the fascia board with four #6 screws. Note: The UP5 uses the black screws to mount the front fascia plate.2. Connect the UP5 to LocoNet using pre-tested LocoNet cables. There are 2 LocoNet Jacks located at the back of the UP5 board for connecting LocoNet devices on your layout. ...

KB702 UP5 Power Supply and Track Indicator Connections

Hooking up the UP5's Power Supply (Optional but highly recommended to make sure LocoNet voltage is adequate to control large layouts)The optional power supply (PS14) can be connected to one or more UP and/or UR panels to provide additional power for LocoNet operation and for battery saving power to any Digitrax throttle that is plugged into any of the powered panels.1. Plug the PS14 into the DC jack located on the side of the UP5 circuit board.2. Connect the +Common point on each additional board (located between the two LocoNet jacks) to the powered board with 22AWG wire (Figure 2). ...

KB703 UP5 Front Panel Installation

While it is possible to use RJ12 telco jacks as throttle jacks on LocoNet, the UP5 is much simpler to use and looks much more professional on the front of the layout. The UP5 is shipped as a kit that must be assembled.  You will need to attach the front panel to the circuit board using the screws provided as shown below before installing the entire unit on your layout.  If your front panel does not fit at a "perfect" 90 degree angle to the circuit board, this is will not affect the functionality of the unit.Make sure to line up the Track ...

KB193 Brake Sections

Braking sections are sections of track which will cause a DCC equipped locomotive to stop automatically. The simplest way to do this is to set up a track section where the power is turned off. This has two disadvantages. First, since there is no power, the locomotive lights will be off when the train is stopped in the section. Second, the lead loco in a consist stops as soon as it hits the dead section. Other locos in the consist will push the dead loco forward. In a long consist, you could get a situation where the last loco in ...

KB971 PM42 - Power Input Requirements

Can I combine the power input requirements for PM42's with other units for economy?Digitrax recommends each PM42 module to have its own seperate power source. The criteria for choosing a power supply for the PM42 is any power source that can deliver 12-15V AC or 13.8-15V DC with a minimum of 125 ma. The Digitrax PS14 meets the minimum power requirement of a PM42.It is possible to power more than one PM42 from a single power source. When powering multiple PM42's special care must be taken to insure identically phasing of all PM42's and ample current availability to power all ...

KB197 The Layout - Some thoughts on troubleshooting

  The most common problems on the layout that will impact your DCC system are electrical short circuits. If you find that you cannot get the Track Status light on your command station to come up, or there are numerous beeps from the booster, then disconnect one of the Rails from the booster and the problem should be apparent. There is an electrical short in your layout wiring. The quarter test is the BEST diagnostic tool that you have! With your DCC system up and the Track Status ON, create a short circuit across the rails of the layout every ...

KB200 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 8 of 11 - Programming Track

One special feature on the Texas & Southwestern is a built-in programming track. The programming track is located in a short section of track in the small engine terminal of the T&SW. This track has both rails insulated from the rest of the railroad. It uses a Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) toggle switch to select what purpose this section of track is used for. When the toggle switch is set in one direction, the track has DCC power on it. When the toggle switch is aligned in the other direction, the track is now connected to the programming terminals ...

KB202 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 9 of 11 - Zephyr Heat Build Up

From the start, the Texas & Southwestern was built with DCC in mind. The T&SW was built from the ground up by an individual with considerable model railroad experience, but an issue arose that defied explanation. The T&SW was meant to be operated with a DCS50 Zephyr, and the layout support structure was enlarged slightly to fit the Zephyr into one corner of the railroad. As it turned out, the cozy corner space for the Zephyr turned out later to be a bit too cozy. The bottom of the Zephyr has ventilating slots to help cool the unit’s electronics. As ...

KB203 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 11 of 11 - Future Expansion

As originally conceived, the Texas & Southwestern was set up with a very simple DCC system. The railroad uses a DCS50 Zephyr as its command station and booster. The Zephyr is connected to a central power bus, and all tracks, stationary turnout decoders and the automated reverse loop unit are connected to it. Likewise, the LocoNet connections are a series of simple cable connections starting at the Zephyr and ending at the last Universal Panel. The T&SW works well with this arrangement, but there are additional devices that will enhance the operation of this railroad. Digitrax PM42 Power Management System ...

KB204 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 7 of 11 - The Reverse Loop

The Texas & Southwestern has a reversing loop, and DCC insures reliable and simple operation of trains in the reverse loop. This reverse loop is handled with a Digitrax AR1 Auto Reversing Controller. The automated features of the AR-1 make for seamless train movements, but an issue quickly arose. Because a reverse loop in a traditional DC-powered model railroad environment required manual operation, the track insulating gaps for the loop were usually located for the convenience of the operators. So the track gaps of the original track plan were situated to keep this inconvenience to a minimum. Note also all ...

KB205 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 6 of 11 - Wiring the Railroad

This section discusses the installation of the physical wiring of the Texas & Southwestern. Underneath the completed Texas & Southwestern are various wires and cables which allow you to operate your railroad. Initially, seeing all these wires can be intimidating, but as you will note, they have been grouped and bundled so that identifying the individual wires is easy. There are two groups of wires under the railroad; one group, the power bus, delivers power to the tracks and to the stationary decoders that operate the track switches. The other group of wires is the black cable for LocoNet and ...

KB206 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Paft 5 of 11 - Powering the Railroad

Good DCC practice means good planning for the electrical needs of the railroad. Here, we talk about the power needs of the Texas & Southwestern. Anticipating Power Consumption The core of the Texas & Southwestern's DCC control system will be the DCS50 Zephyr, which is very appropriate for a small railroad. Zephyr has 10 "slots", memory locations in the command station each holding an active decoder address. Rated at 2.5 Amps, the Zephyr should also be enough to handle the power needs of the railroad, but if more power is needed, then T&SW can easily be expanded with an additional booster ...

KB461 DT400 & DT402 - Programming CVs other than address

In addition to the locomotive address, there are different Configuration Variables (CV's) that have been defined to handle many characteristics you might want to use for your locomotives. These include operational characteristics such as acceleration, headlight functions and others. The manual for each decoder type has a complete listing of CVs that are available in specific decoders, what they do and the suggested values for each CV. Simpler decoders have few CVs while advanced decoders may have many different CVs 1. Place the decoder equipped locomotive you want to program on the programming track If you are using operations mode ...

KB208 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 2 of 11 - Background

With this section, we will talk about the practical realities of building a model railroad with DCC. We chose Dallas, Texas as our locale, in part because so many great model railroaders came from Dallas, names that may not be familiar to you but people who helped make the hobby into what it is today. Texas is big; any Texan will tell you so. But even when allowing for Texan pride, the ordinary outsider develops an appreciation for Texas size. From the piney woods of Lufkin in the east to the rough mountains of Big Bend, from the high plains ...

KB209 Amps To Run Your Railroad

Fortunately, most DCC railroad wiring is very simple and easy to install. One critical point for any DCC system is power consumption, how much power an individual Booster is able to deliver. The available power is measured in terms of Amperes or Amps. The higher the Amp rating, the more power is available to run your layout.Amps have often been compared to water pressure in a pipe. When the pressure is low, turning on one faucet will draw from that water pressure. As more faucets are opened, the water flow from each faucet drops. One solution is to turn off ...

KB210 Modular Track Systems

An important series of developments in model railroading have taken place that makes it much easier to enter the hobby and enjoy it right away.  DCC is part of that process since it makes it easier to handle the train operation aspects of the hobby.  Other improvements have been the ready availability of correctly decorated locomotives and cars, scenery systems such, and, most importantly of all, advanced track systems.  Where it once required hours to get your model railroad’s track in proper operating form, the new modular track systems have greatly simplified things.  Everything just clicks together.These modular track systems ...

KB213 LocoNet Adapters LA1 & LA2

The first Digitrax system to use LocoNet was Big Boy. Each Big Boy system came with a LocoNet Adapter 1 (LA1) or LocoNet Adapter 2 (LA2). Documentation for these units was minimal, but is included here. LA1 LA-1 came with a simple card: LA-1 LocoNet Adapter Use this cable to connect your DB100 to your DT200 command station unit and to your LocoNet command bus. The LA-1 allows you to connect more than one throttle to your Big Boy System. You only need one LA-1 in a Big Boy System. If you are upgrading to Big Boy from Challenger, you ...

KB615 Soldering Basics

Basic tools for soldering: a soldering iron, solder, wire cutters, wire strippers, tweezers, heat sinks, etc. This photo does not show an example of desoldering braid which is useful for touch ups and removing mistakes. If you are building a model railroad, you will need to learn to solder. This skill is used for attaching track feeds to the rails to provide power to the layout, for installing decoders in locomotives, for building locomotives and signals and much more. Manufacturers minimize the need to solder where ever possible by using screw connectors, board repalcement decoders and plugs for installing decoders. ...

KB207 Case Study: Texas & Southwestern Part 3 of 11 - The Railroad

Based upon a layout designed by the late, great John Armstrong which appears in the classic book, 101 Trackplans for Model Railroads [Kalmbach Publishing, 400-12012, still in print], this railroad combines different elements to offer varied model railroad operations. At the center right of the railroad is the Union Passenger Station. From this station, trains can operate out & back, which is to say that a passenger train leaves the station, goes out onto the circular main line and eventually comes back into the station after passing through the reverse loop. Another passenger train can operate point to point, meaning ...

KB732 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttles - Emergency Stop (Entire Layout)

To stop everything on the layout, press the PWR Key followed by the N - Key while the track power is on. This will turn track power off and will cause all locos to stop. Press the PWR Key followed by Y + Key again and the locomotives will start running again at the same speed they were running prior to STOP mode. To exit PWR mode, press the PWR Key or the EXIT Key.

KB221 Locomotive Operation & Reverse Loops

If Engine "B" is operating on the main line when Engine "A" enters the main line from the auto reverse loop, will Engine "B" change direction or will Engine "B" continue its journey?With DCC, the reversing of locomotive direction takes place within the locomotive, and only when it is commanded to do so.  If you grew up in a DC model railroad world, it's easy to forget this feature of DCC.  When Engine "A" transits the reversing section and returns to the mainline, any "change" will have been to coordinate the track polarity of the DCC track current present on ...

KB223 Walthers Turntable (933-2829)

  I have just purchased a Walthers 90' turntable that is DCC ready [sic]. How do I connect this? It appears to have a LocoNet connector. Any help would be great. Walthers manufactures two different turntables in H0; the 933-2829 is an automated turntable with full track indexing. While both can be operated in the DCC environment, the Walthers turntable is not DCC ready in the manner that you assume. What appears to be a LocoNet connector is actually the connector for the turntable's proprietary controller. Full documentation for this turntable is available at the Walthers web site.

KB227 Zephyr - Braking District?

I have a Zephyr control station and I would like to set up a Braking District as shown in your PDF sheet in the Basic DCC issue section; you show a DCS100 connecting through a modified LocoNet cable to a DBxxx booster -- can this same setup be used with a Zephyr system? No. The braking district described here uses Super Chief and a second booster to create a braking district. Super Chief is configured by toggling OpSw47 and connecting it to a second booster that is properly configured. Because Zephyr does not have an available OpSw47, and because there ...

KB229 Running Multiple Layouts On One Command Station

I am building a layout that will have two completely separated track plans; not connected with each other by any track. I am running one layout with a Super Chief that has one AR1 reversing controller.  I would like to run the second layout with the same throttle. It will have a reversing loop, as well as a turntable.  I have thought that I could run the second layout with a booster and a couple of AR1s or PM42.My questions is, will I have any problems with the reversing loops, especially if one on each layout is triggered at nearly ...

KB230 BDL168 - Power Districts and Transponding

Is it possible to add a pair of PM42 Power Management Modules between the command station Rail A/Rail B outputs and run the resulting output from the PM42's on as many as 8 sets of Rail A/Rail B Wires to 8 isolated power Zones? These isolated power zones could have their Common Zone (Rail A) Wires running through RX1 transponding receivers connected to an RX4 ribbon cable running to the BDL168 for the purpose of interfacing with the SurroundTraxx Multi-Train Sound System. If this is possible, it would only require 5-6 of the DS lines on the BDL168 to be ...

KB231 Zephyr - What does "SLP" mean on the DCS50?

What does SLP mean on the DCS50? The "slp" message on the DCS50 means that the unit thinks it is temporarily in sleep mode. This may occur if the LocoNet data line is grounded for more than 1/8 of a second. You may initially try to exit Sleep Mode by cycling the "Exit" key on the DCS50, or powering down and repowering the unit. If this problem continues, you must check your LocoNet for a shorted connection.

KB745 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle CLOC, "c" Key-Clock Display or closed

The CLOC, "c" Key is used to toggle between displaying and not displaying the current fast clock time. It is also used to issue c (closed) commands when the throttle is in Switch mode.In the case of turnout control:c=closed, when a "c" command is sent, the turnout is set for the main line with routing through the straight leg of the turnout.

KB746 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle OPTN, "t" Key- Option or thrown

The OPTN t Key is used to enter the Option Mode to set throttle and system options. It is also used to issue t (thrown) commands when the throttle is in Switch mode.In the case of turnout control:t=thrown, when a "t" command is sent, the turnout is set for the diverging route through the curved leg.

KB747 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle PWR Key-Power

The PWR Key is used to enter power mode for turning layout power on and off. Once you press this key, you will be prompted to use the Y+ key to turn power on or the N- Key to turn power off.  The PWR Key is also used to turn on and off the flashlight feature. The flashlight LED will be on as long as you hold down the PWR Key.

KB756 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle SWCH Key

The SWCH Key is used for entering switch control mode. Once this key is pressed, you will be prompted to select a switch address and issue a thrown or closed command. Switch control mode is used in normal operation for operating turnout machines and in set up mode for setting up option switches in the throttle and command station.

KB761 DT400 Track Power On-Off-Stop Indicator

The DT400 display LCD includes a small star shaped dot which indicates the status of the track power. No indicator = System track power is OFF (Press PWR followed by N-)Indicator On Steady = System track power is ON (Press PWR followed by Y+)Blinking Indicator = System is in “STOP” and track power is ON (Press PWR followed by Y+ and Y+ again)

KB263 Programming track outputs and notes on Ops Mode vs. Service Mode programming

  What is the difference between programing on the layout using Track A and B and using a dedicated programing track using Pgm A & B. Is there a difference in voltage, packets, protocol between the two? Programming Track Broadcast programming, also called service mode programming, uses a programming track. The programming track is electrically separate from the rest of the railroad, and is connected to the "PROG A" and "PROG B" terminals of your DCS100/200 or Zephyr (Xtra) command station.One major advantage to a programming track is that many systems can read-back the Configuration Variables (CV's) that are in ...

KB778 DT400 Series Throttle Turning Track Power On & Off

The track power indicator on your DT400 shows whether track power is on or off. If the track power indicator is lit then track power is on. There is also a Track Power indicator on your command station.To Turn Track Power On:If the Track Power Indicator is not lit, turn track power on as follows:1.  Press the PWR Key2.  Press the Y + Key and the Track Power Indicator on your DT400 display and on your command station will come on solid. If the Track Power Indicator is blinking, press the Y+ Key again to make it solid and turn ...

KB268 Powering the SE8C

What are the power requirements of a SE8C? Any power supply that can provide 12-15 volts either AC or DC with a minimum current rating of 100 ma is all that is necessary to power a single SE8c. Digitrax recommends the PS14 for powering the SE8c. A single PS14 has the ability to power two SE8c’s. When connecting multiple SE8c’s to a single power source the total maximum current requirement of the power source is computed by multiplying the number of SE8c modules by 100 ma (Example: 3 SE8c’s would require a 300 ma power supply - 3x100=300). The edge ...

KB781 AR1 Auto-Reverser Trip Current Adjustment

The tuneable trip current (TTC) adjustment allows you to set the current at which the reversing section reverses when the train crosses the gap into the section. This allows you to improve the operation of your reversing sections.The tuneable trip current is adjustable from .25 amps to 8 amps. Turning the TTC screw clockwise increases the current trip point and turning the TTC screw counterclockwise decreases the current trip point. The total adjustment is approximately one half revolution of the TTC adjustment screw. The TTC adjustment is made using a full load on the reversing track--the total number of locomotives/cars ...

KB782 AR1 Auto Reverser Installation Instructions

The AR1 is usually located close to the point where the gaps are cut for the reversing loop. The length of the reversing loop is determined by the maximum length of the train that will use the loop.1. Turn off track power. (Note: Failure to turn off power before connecting your AR1 may damage your AR1.)2. Connect Track Power from Rail A and Rail B mainline to the AR1. Rail A connects to terminal 5 and Rail B connects to terminsl 4.3. Connect the wires from the reversing section to terminals 1 & 2 on the AR1. (Note: terminal 3 ...

KB783 DS51K1 Stationary Address Programming

This procedure is best done after installation of the decoder to the turnout.  The process is "blind", so it is easier to program this decoder after installation because you can then test the operation of the turnout with its new address.  The DS51K1 can be installed into the base of the turnout or attached to the bottom of the layout near the turnout.1. Turn off track power and temporarily connect the yellow programming wire from the DS51K1 to the same rail as the black wire.2. Turn on track power.3. Using your throttle, select the address you want to program into ...

KB784 DS51K1 Stationary Decoder Installation

The DS51K1 is designed specifically for Kato N-Scale turnouts.  Kato manufactures both a #4 and #6 turnout; one DS51K1 will control one Kato turnout solenoid.  In cases where there are two turnouts in a crossover track arrangement, you must use two DS51K1s, each assigned to the same address.Installation of the four decoder wires requires soldering skills.  And, just to make things interesting, Kato uses the colors of black and red for their turnout control wires, while Digitrax uses black and red for the power and data bus.  You will make four connections, two connected to the turnout motor and two ...

KB273 DS64 - Fulgurex Switch Motors

For some reason it is not possible to successfully operate Fulgurex point motors with a DS64. Tortoise work fine. We have determined that the Fulgurex motor draws too much current for the DS64. Published sources describe the Fulgurex motor as needing 400 Ma for operation, which is well beyond the capacity of the DS64. When the DS64 tries to operate Fulgurex motor, the excess current draw appears to be a short circuit and the DS64 shuts down to protect itself. The Tortoise, while also a slow motion point motor, is "on" all the time since it is a stall-type motor. ...

KB276 DS64 - Push Buttons

In addition to controlling turnouts via LocoNet with your DT400 throttle or with a computer program such as Railroad & Co., you can use local push buttons to operate turnouts. These buttons can be mounted near a particular turnout on the layout fascia or on a local track diagram. In this way, train crews can operate a turnout with a push of the button. The momentary push buttons are connected to the DS64 inputs marked S1, S2, S3 and S4. The return connection of each push button is made to "+COM. Here, a momentary button is connected to operate Turnout ...

KB277 Powering LNRP

I have purchased an LNRP, UR90, and 4 UP5s. I have noticed the LNRP seems to have a solder point between the two LocoNet jacks as the UR90 and UP5.Can all of these be connected to the same 12 volt power supply? No. It is important that each LNRP has its own power supply. As noted in the documentation that comes with the unit, "the LNRP drives the power and Railsync signals on the standard LocoNet cable segments, so each LNRP should have a DC input of +12V to +18V at up to 250mA supplied on the side DC power ...

KB279 Button Control of Kato Turnouts

I have my Kato Switches hooked up to a standard switch panel with toggle momentary switches. Can I hook up the DS51K1 stationary decoder in addition to this wiring? In other words, if hooked up the DS51K1 to the Kato Switch Machine that was already wired to another source to throw the switch, would the momentary power damage the decoder when it is operated by the standard control panel? I would like to operate these switches via DCC and by the control panel. In this situation, it would appear that using a DS64 configured for Kato turnouts (solenoid turnouts) and ...

KB282 Auto Reversing Mistakes

Problems occurring on most auto reversing sections are a result of improper wiring or gapping. Digitrax auto reversing units such as the PM42 or AR1 require a "hard" short which means there must be good current flow to both sides of the gaps, on the reversing section side and on the "normal" side. Our experience has been that over 90% of reversing section problems are a result of improper wiring or improper gaps. Another 5% is a result of improperly wired or configured auto reversing units. It is poor practice to put the gaps immediately behind a switch (turnout in ...

KB798 DS64 - How To Run A DS64 Route

How To Run a Route with DS64:1. Select the Switch Address that corresponds to the Top Address of the route you want to run.2. Issue a Closed or Thrown command depending on which you set up in the route table.Note that if you are using an actual switch address as your top address and you send the opposite closed or thrown command from that set up in the route; you will operate that switch address only and not the route.For example: If you set up Switch Address 50 as your Top Address by sending a Thrown command, you’ll need to ...

KB799 DS64 - Setting Up Routes With DS64

How To Set Up Routes Using Your DS64NOTE:  During this procedure the DS64 must be connected to an active LocoNet with an active command station.1. Press and hold down the STAT button on your DS64 until the green LED begins to blink quickly. You are now ready to set up a Route.2. To program the DS64 Route Number, use your DCC throttle in Switch mode to select a Switch Address from 1 through 8 and issue a Closed or Thrown command. This lets the DS64 know which of the 8 available routes you are setting up. This is NOT the ...

KB800 DS64 - Using A Virtual Top Address for Routes

When you program the DS64, you must program all four outputs, even if they are not connected to anything.  A "Virtual" top address can be used to avoid conflicts with actual turnout addresses and other routes. To create a virtual top address use a switch address for your top address that is not used to operate an actual turnout on the layout. The advantage of this is that you can consistently use either the "thrown" or “closed” command to operate all routes, making it easier to remember which position goes with which route to make them work. Since DS64 routes ...

KB801 DS64 - Automated Routing

Automated Routing with DS64   Routes are a way of operating a preset combination of turnouts to predefined positions using a single Switch command. Route tables hold the Switch Address and position information that make up the Route that operates when a single command is issued. The DCS100 Super Chief can store up to 32 individual routes that consist of a "Top" address and 7 additional turnout addresses and their positions.  The DS64 has a route table that can hold up to 8 individual routes that consist of a "Top" address and 7 additional turnout addresses and their positions. Sensors ...

KB802 DS64 - Route Table

Use this table as a planning guide for setting up a DS64 for route control.

KB803 DS64- Output Type Static or Pulse-Option Switch 01

Determines The Type of Turnouts You Can OperateOpSw 01 defines the output type (static or pulse) for the decoder. Thrown (factory default) for pulse output mode to operate three wire (twin coil type) PecoTM or Atlas Snap SwitchesTM or two wire bi-polar type turnout machines such as Kato Unitrack, AristoCraft, or LGB.Closed for static output mode to operate slow motion (stall motor) type turnouts such as Tortoise or Switchmaster.

KB804 DS64 - Set Up Using Option Switches (OpSw)

DS64 is set up by setting Option Switches (OpSw)This is how to set option switches on the DS64:1. Begin with your DS64 powered up. Turnouts can be either connected or not.2. On the DS64 press and hold the OPS button down for about 3 seconds until the red OPS LED and green ID LED begin to blink alternately. This indicates that the DS64 is ready to change the option switches.3. Using your DCC throttle, select the Switch Address that corresponds to the OpSw number and send the Closed or Thrown command corresponding to the setting you have chosen. Refer to ...

KB805 DS64 - Setting Board ID for Additional DS64s

When using more than one DS64 in a DCC environment, you must assign a Board ID to each additional DS64 so that each one has a unique Board ID.You will need to set the DS64's board ID if you are planning to use the DS64's 8 inputs with a computer, system throttle, or other smart device on your layout that needs to know when a turnout has been manually thrown or closed via a particular DS64.You can use the 8 inputs on the DS64 to control the operation of the 4 outputs that control your turnouts.  For example, you can ...

KB806 DS64 - Stationary Address Programming

If you have more than four turnouts, you will need to program the addresses.The DS64 has 4 Output pairs labeled 1R & 1G, 2R & 2G, 3R & 3G, and 4R & 4G.  The DS64 is shipped from the factory with these outputs programmed as Switch Addresses 01, 02, 03, and 04 respectively. You can set the Switch Address of each of these four Outputs to any value from 01 - 2048.NOTE:  During this procedure the DS64 must be connected to an active LocoNet with an active command station.1. On the DS64’s control panel, press and hold the ID button ...

KB807 DS64 - Slow-motion turnout machines & crossing gates

Hook up for slow motion type turnout machines & crossing gates.Note: Multiple turnout machines of the same type can be operated on a single DS64 output.For example, you can run 2 Tortoise or Switchmaster machines on a single DS64 output.Note: If you find that your turnout is operating “backwards” simply switch the + & - wire connections to achieve correct operation.Note:  The outputs can be configured to drive a grade crossing signal.  See Knowledge Base article.

KB808 DS64 - Choose either solenoid or slow motion turnouts for a single DS64

Can I mix solenoid & slow motion turnout motors on a single DS64?No.The DS64 is configured for either for solenoid turnouts (the default setting)  OR slow motion turnouts. Only one type of turnout motor can be used on any particular DS64.If you have both slow motion and solenoid controlled turnouts on your railroad, different DS64s must be used for each type of turnout. 

KB809 DS64 - Connecting Solenoid-type Turnout Machines

Once you have set up the DS64 to operate the type of turnouts you will use, the next step is to hook up the turnouts to the outputs of the DS64. Each type of turnout machine has specific requirements for wiring.Note: The DS64 is configured for either for solenoid turnouts (the default setting)  OR slow motion turnouts. Only one type of turnout motor can be used on any particular DS64.Note: Multiple turnout machines can be operated on a single DS64 output.For example, you can run 2 Peco or Atlas Snap Switches on a single DS64 output. Up to 4 Kato ...

KB810 DS64 - Resetting to Operate Solenoid Type Turnouts

At the factory, your DS64 was set to control solenoid type turnout machines that use a single pulse output for operation. If you are using solenoid type turnouts, you can install the DS64 “out of the box.”  If you have reconfigured your DS64 for stall motor type turnouts, the DS64 can be reconfigured back to solenoid type turnout motors.1. Connect the DS64’s ‘TRKA’ and ‘TRKB’ terminals to your track. No turnouts should be connected to the DS64 at this time.2. On the DS64 press and hold the OPS button down for about 3 seconds until the red OPS LED and ...

KB811 DS64 - Setting Up to Operate Slow Motion Type Turnouts

At the factory, your DS64 was set to control solenoid type turnout machines that use a single pulse output for operation. If you are using slow motion turnout machines, like the Tortoise or Switchmaster, that need a static type output to operate, you’ll need to reconfigure the DS64’s outputs before hooking up your turnouts.To set up your DS64 to operate stall motor type turnouts:1. Connect the DS64’s ‘TRKA’ and ‘TRKB’ terminals to your track. No turnouts should be connected to the DS64 at this time.2. On the DS64 press and hold the OPS button down for about 3 seconds until ...

KB813 DS64 - Connecting to LocoNet

DS64 can be used as a LocoNet device. The two RJ12 sockets (above, left) on the back of DS64 are LocoNet Ports for connecting your DS64 to LocoNet.  Either can be used to connect to LocoNet, with the other being used to connect to other LocoNet devices.

KB814 Powering DS64

  There are three different ways to power the DS64.  Track power (Trk A and Trk B), Auxiliary power (AX1(-) and AX2(+)) and power through the rear modular power connector.  Connect the Trk A and Trk B screw terminals of the Power and Track Connections to the corresponding Rail A and Rail B track connections.  The PS14 power supply can be used with Auxiliary or the rear modular power connector.  The DS64 requires 300mA for proper operation.  Only one DS64 can be powered per PS14.  A generic DC power supply between 12-16vdc and 300mA can be connected to a DS64 ...

KB816 DS64 - Overview

DS64 Quad Stationary Decoder      The DS64 is a Stationary Decoder for use with 4 slow motion, solenoid, or bi-polar turnout machines Simple to hook up and configure   Controls 4 individual turnout machines: EITHER4 Slow motion turnout machines, such as TortoiseTM by Circuitron or SwitchmasterTMOR4 Solenoid-type turnout machines such as three wire (twin coil type) Peco or Atlas Snap Switches or two wire bi-polar type turnout machines such as Kato Unitrack, AristoCraft, or LGB turnouts with capacitive discharge capability  Support for up to 8 routes   Screw terminals make installation easy   Use with any LocoNet Compatible System   ...

KB308 PM42 - Local Annunciation

How can I remotely monitor the input and output status of a section of the PM42 that is configured to act as a circuit breaker at a remote location? The final output stage, of each section, of the PM4 or PM42 is a DPDT relay. The contacts of this relay act in a similar fashion as the contacts of a DPDT toggle switch. These inputs and outputs can be monitored in a variety of ways. Three common monitoring devices are a LED (with appropriate resistor), a lamp (of the appropriate voltage), or an optical coupler (with appropriate resistor). The following ...

KB825 Making LocoNet Cables

LocoNet typically supports a total cable length of up to 2,000 feet with no two devices connected by more than 600 feet of cable. LocoNet wiring is totally free-form. We do not recommend looping LocoNet back on itself.Making your own LocoNet Cables is simple and cost effective. LocoNet wiring consists of readily available wire and connectors. LocoNet uses flat 6 conductor wire and 6-pin RJ12 connectors. This kind of wiring is typically used for telephone wiring. Most Digitrax dealers can make up LocoNet cables for you. If you plan on wiring a large layout, you may want to invest in ...

KB826 Zephyr - Adding Another DCS50

You can add a second Zephyr to add more power and an additional throttle on the DCS50 and two additional Jump ports for using DC power packs to control DCC locomotives.  You will need to change Option Switch 02 to c (Closed) on the second (and any additional DCS50s you might choose to add to the layout as well).  The diagram below shows you how to do this.

KB828 Zephyr - Switch Mode

Switch Mode is used for sending commands to accessory decoders and for changing Option Switches (OpSw) in your DCS50. The most common use of switch mode is for operating turnouts (track switches).To change the position of a turnout:This note assumes that you have already installed and programmed turnouts and turnout decoders on your layout.  Each turnout is connected to a stationary decoder that controls the operation of that turnout.  There are several different stationary decoders for this purpose such as DS64 and others.  Please see the related articles below.1. Press the SWITCH Key. 2. The last switch address selected by ...

KB326 DCS100 and DB150 - Power Supply

The two "POWER IN" terminals on all Digitrax boosters & command stations are the power input connections. Digitrax recommends the PS514 to power the DC200 and DB150.  Set the voltage setting on the PS514 to 16.8v or 19v.  The PS2012 can also be used to power the DCS100 and DB150.  The "Y" cable provided with the PS2012 has an embedded 5 amp current protection.  The PS2012 can also be used to power the DCS200.  The "Y" cable is not suitable for use with the DCS200 since it has an 8 amp. output. When powering your layout, make sure that all polarities and ...

KB331 Brake District Set-Up using DCS 100, DCS210 or DCS240 and a second booster

When DCC locos enter a brake section with braking on, they will receive braking commands from the command station instead of normal DCC operating commands. DCC locos in this braking section will come to a stop. When you throw the switch to allow normal DCC commands, the DCC locos will resume normal operation. Once the DCC loco has left the brake section under normal DCC power, simply return the switch to the break position so that the next DCC loco will stop in the section. This is useful if you want to have trains stop at stations around the layout ...

KB337 Powering the 8 Amp Chief

I have read that the amperage of the power supply should match the amperage rating of the booster / command station. Yes, from the standpoint of putting more than 8 Amps of power into an 8 Amp Chief is not going to make a difference since only 8 Amps is going to come out. Less than 8 amps in is only going to result in that same amount (roughly) out; thus, a 5 Amp power supply will only yield 5 Amps out, even though the system is rated at 8 Amps. The DCS200 Super Chief is rated at 8 amps. ...

KB850 Zephyr - Set Up A Service Mode Programming Track

Your DCS50 has two sets of DCC outputs. This means that you will be able to program decoders using one set of DCC outputs while the layout is running on the other set of DCC outputs. When you hooked up your DCS50 to the layout, you used the RAIL A & RAIL B connections to the track. Now we will use the PROG A & PROG B outputs to set up a service mode programming track.NOTE: The programming track is powered for programming only and cannot run locomotives. You will have to manually move your locomotive on to the track ...

KB851 Programming Methods-Service Mode and Operations Mode

Two Programming Methods Are Supported by Digitrax Command Stations:Service Mode Programming is done on an electrically isolated programming track. Using this mode, the command station broadcasts programming information to all decoders on the program track.  Within Service Mode programming are Paged, Direct and Physical Mode.Because these are a broadcast modes, we must isolate the decoder we want to program from the others on the layout by using a separate programming track that is connected to the command station for programming but not powered for operation of the locomotive. This mode works with all DCC decoders. This is the most commonly ...

KB344 PM42 - Programming

On Page 9 of the instructions (under 5.0 Op Sw Set Up) I am to connect my DT400 throttle to my powered PM42 . . . 1. Does “powered” mean having the PS-14 power supply to the PM42 connected and energized? Yes. We took another look at the documentation and it means that the PM42 should be operating with its own power supply. What you are doing is using the DT400 to program the internal controls of the PM42; to do so would require that the PM42 be in its operating state, thus the power supply. The DT400 is merely ...

KB352 Powering your Digitrax Command Control Railroad

Digital Command Control (DCC) has specific electrical requirements that must be provided for your layout control system to operate properly.Input PowerAll DCC systems require an external power supply.  Digitrax manufactures several power supplies for our command stations and boosters: The 3 Amp PS415 (the Zephyr Xtra power supply) The 5 Amp PS515 for all Digitrax 5 amp command stations and boosters The powerful 20 Amp PS2012 can be used for multiple 5 and 8 amp command stations and boosters  Additionally, the PS14 is available to power various other devices for your railroad.  Digitrax strongly encourages you to use our power supplies to insure satisfactory ...

KB865 DB200+ - 8amp Booster Instructions

The DB200+ is the 8 amp booster. It has NO command station capability. This booster was designed for adding power to layouts that run lots of locos and for large-scale layouts where power requirements are heavy.DB200+ Control PanelNOTE: DB200+ front panel graphics may vary from those shown here.  Internally the booster is the same. These instructions are written for both versions of graphics as well as the DB200+ OPTO optoisolated version of the booster. About the Green Jumper WireEvery DB200+ is shipped with a green jumper wire on the front panel Booster Terminal Plug connecting Synch & Ground or ‘Config ...

KB867 Using Cat 5/6 Cable On LocoNet

Shielded otr Unshielded Twisted Pair like cat5/6 is not recommended for LocoNet.  This kind of cable can causes problems due to capacitive load. These issues were observed during the National N Scale Convention in Louisville, KY on a large layout using Twisted Pair cables.  The issues were resolved when the cables were replaced.

KB869 Troubleshooting Guide for Digitrax Command Station or Booster Problems

Before sending your Digitrax Command Station or Booster in for repair try these simple steps to see if you can “bring it back from the dead” and save a possible trip to the repair shop.1. Nothing is respondingIf there are NO LEDs lit on the front panel of the Command Station or Booster: Check the power supply to the unit to make sure that it has not been knocked loose in the power socket and that the socket is powered. Check the connections from the power supply to Track A and Track B connections on the front of the unit ...

KB455 Route Basics - DCS100 or DCS200

You can use your DT400 series throttle with a DCS100 or DCS200 to set up routes that are triggered by operating a single turnout address to make it either c (closed) or t (thrown). Setting up and operating routes is similar to consisting locomotives because you can cause more than one unit to operate based on a single command sent to the system. We call the turnout address that other turnout addresses are “consisted” to, the TOP address. To operate a route, use Sw (Switch) mode to select the TOP turnout address in the route and move it to either closed or ...

KB368 DS64 - Peco PL-10 Turnout Motor

I am trying to wire my new layout (N gauge) using the DS 64 with Peco switch machine PL10. The PL10 has four wires to be attached. My question is: Do I need to attach all four wires or just one set of wires? The PL-10 is a coil-type switch machine with double solenoids. One solenoid is activated to make the track switch throw in one direction, and the other is activated to throw it in the other direction. All four connections are required, with one for each solenoid being common and the other two being for the individual coils. ...

KB372 LNRP - Design

Q) You are offering a Loconet Repeater Module LNRP. Is it an RailSync Booster, too? There is no description in the PDF-File about this attribute. A) The LNRP boosts (and separates) the Railsync "Standard" outputs from the master command station ("Protected" Railsync), so if there is a problem with this separated "Standard" Railsync copy, the master Command Station is unaffected along with other devices like track boosters that need good Railsync copies. This boosted Railsync is also over-current protected and the LNRP will turn off an overloaded "Standard" Railsync and automatically retry re-powering, so when the fault clears the "Standard" ...

KB373 LNRP - Installation & Operation

Installation: Figure 1 shows the general arrangement for connecting one or more LNRP's to configure a LocoNet based system for operation. Note that the LNRP's drive the power and Railsync signals on the "standard" LocoNet cable segments, so each LNRP should have a DC input of +15V to +18V at up to 250mA supplied on the side DC power jack. Note that the shaded cable connections are made from the protected network side connections of the LNRP units to the components that are on the "protected" or high reliability part of the System. The other solid cable connections are the ...

KB916 PM42 and AR1 - Setting PM42 Sensitivity

When using the your PM42 with an AR1 Auto Reversing controller do not use the "fastest setting" in the Short Circuit Sensitivity Settings section:

KB384 Zephyr Xtra and Zephyr - Can I add a booster?

Q:  Can I add a booster to my Zephyr? A:  Yes. Since the DCS51 Zephyr Xtra and DCS50 Zephyr are equipped with LocoNet, adding additional boosters is easy; you simply divide your railroad up into power districts and add the boosters and their individual power supplies. These are connected together using LocoNet cables. Because the Zephyr Xtra is rated at 3 amps and the Zephyr is rated at 2.5 amps: most boosters have higher ratings, you may want to have the Zephyr control a smaller area that has fewer power consumers (locomotives, lighted passenger cars), such as a main line ...

KB904 BDL16x Series-Detection-Planning Worksheet

The BDL16 Series Detectors can be complicated to program.

KB905 BDL162 - Increase Detection Section Threshold Sensitivity

How do I Increase BDL162 Detection Section Threshold SensitivityThe BDL162 has Option Switch settings to control detection sensitivity. The factory setting is OpSw19=t for a threshold sense for DCC occupancy of approximately 22 Kohms minimum. Changing OpSw19=c will set the threshold to 10 Kohm minimum. See the BDL162 instruction manual for details on setting the Option Switches. These settings will accommodate most layouts, though there may be circumstances when a higher threshold is desired, for example, in a high moisture environment or with G scale operations outside.To raise the threshold even further resistors can be added into the wiring between ...

KB396 SE8C - Can you operate more than one slow motion turnout from one output?

Q:  Can the SE8C slow motion turnout controllers operate multiple turnouts from one output? A:  No. The slow motion connection was originally intended to be used with single slow motion drives for semaphores, part of the overall design of the SE8C signal driver. Since only one semaphore is operated, the circuitry was not designed to handle heavier loads than that single drive.

KB909 Track Voltage Measurement on DCC Layouts with Direct Home Wiring

Track voltage on DC (analog) layouts can be measured from rail to rail.  However, with DCC layouts that use direct home wiring as recommended by Digitrax, this method of measurement does not work with most voltmeters.Track voltage (output from the booster to the rail) on DCC layouts with direct home wiring can be measured as follows:1.     With the system powered up and with the TRACK STATUS LED on, use your throttle to select the analog address 00 and set the speed to 00.2.     With a multimeter set to the 20 volt DC scale, measure the voltage from RAIL A ...

KB493 Digitrax AR1 or Circuitron AR-1

  Digitrax AR1 is a DCC Automatic Reversing Controller.  We have become aware of another product of a similar name that may cause our customers some confusion. Circuitron makes an automatic reversing unit called the AR-1 that is used for automatic reversing of analog powered trains. The Digitrax AR1 is not the same device and does not work in the same way.

KB913 Adding Radio or IR

Adding duplex radio, infrared or simplex radio to your existing Digitrax system is simple because of LocoNet.InfraRedYou probably already own a DT300, DT400, UT4 or DT402 series throttle. All of these are "InfraReady." These all come with two IR emitters pre-installed. All you have to add for IR operation is one or more UR90 Infrared Receivers to your layout. Most layouts require multiple UR90s because the infrared signal is line of sight. This means that your receiver will need a sight path to the throttles.Simplex RadioDigitrax throttles with an "R" at the end of the part number are simplex radio ...

KB404 UR90 Infrared Receiver Frequently Asked Questions

How Many UR90 Infrared receivers will I need?One UR90 should provide complete coverage if your room is typical, with a hard surface floor and finished walls and ceiling. However, several things can cause the need for additional UR90s, such as: larger room, odd shaped room, acoustical ceiling, carpeted floors, or book shelves or other things on the walls that can interfere with the infrared signal. How many more you'll need depends on how many of these "impediments" are in your layout room. This Infrared signal should be considered to be line-of-sight, but the IR signal does reflect off of other objects, thus the concern ...

KB411 AR1 with BD4 for Block Detection

How do you wire an AR1 with a BD4 so that you get block detection within the reverse loop and without the BD4 permanently detecting the AR1? It should be wired with the AR1 between the power source and the BD4. All four detection sections of the BD4 will have to be inside the reverse loop.

KB413 Power and Control Bus Wiring

I still don't understand the bus stuff. Wires come from the command or booster and run under the track layout and have feeders coming off. I understand these feeders connect to the track. Where do you connect the wires coming from the power source? (ie: Zephyr) Is there a particular place on the track layout it is to connect to?The power connection for the command station and boosters is directly between the power supply and these units.  It is not connected to the track!  Please see the diagram below: In this case, the Zephyr is the Command Station and Booster ...

KB419 How far apart to locate boosters

Q:  Your recommendation is to have a DB150 booster at no more than 50 foot intervals. Will one booster handle all track in that 50 foot area, i.e. a passenger terminal throat with many turnouts and switches? A:  The "50 foot intervals" applies to the maximum distance which boosters can be located from each other. This is a conservative recommendation.  You should consider how much power will be consumed in a district when locating boosters around the layout. If your power district is a single track railroad stretching over hundreds of feet of linear distance, boosters should be placed at 50 ...

KB583 Programming output voltage and Bachmann decoder programming

Q:  I have a Digitrax Chief system. I wired the programming track as per the manual, using PROGA and PROGB outputs on the DCS100. I turned on the system and checked the track voltage with a Tony Trains RRamp meter, the mainline read 14.2 volts. The programing track did not read anything. I then checked the two wires coming from the DCS100 and they did not have any readable signal. A:  The programing track connected to PROG A and PROG B will NEVER have track power on except the very instant the program message is sent.  So, you would not ...

KB594 Is Digitrax signaling and detection equipment compatable with other DCC systems?

Q: I have a Lenz Set 100 and was wondering if I can use my DCC system and use the Digitrax signaling and detection components. What about other DCC systems?A: Yes, Digitrax detection and signaling will work with any DCC system.  You will need to install a LocoNet network for the LocoNet components to communicate with each other and use a PR3 or MS100 to interface with a computer running software such as Railroad and Co. 

KB950 Equipment Recommendation: Multiple reversing districts

I have multiple reversing districts, do I have to buy a separate booster for each one?You can run more than one reversing district off a single booster, but there is the potential problem that might arise is if you have more than one set of wheels crossing more than one set of gaps at the same time. In this case, the booster will detect a short and shut down (unless the polarities just happen to be matched up in which case you won't see a problem). We recommend that you use the AR1 Auto-Reversing unit or the auto-reversing capability of the ...

KB963 Transponding With Other DCC systems

Will I be able to use Transponding with other DCC systems?Yes. You will have to run LocoNet, instrument your layout and install TL1 or TF4 or transponding decoders in your locomotives. You can then use a computer on LocoNet to display position and ID information for transponder equipped locos. LocoNet will run independently of your existing non-LocoNet system.

KB967 Is a separate "feedback bus" needed for transponding?

I understand that LocoNet is used for transponding "feedback."  How can Digitrax systems handle both DCC and transponding without interfering with other track level communication and without adding another communication or feedback bus like other system have to do?LocoNet is a true network with future expandability built in. Part of that future is here now with transponding. LocoNet was engineered from the very beginning with things like this in mind.If you are already using Digitrax LocoNet, you will not have to add a "feedback bus" since this is already incorporated into LocoNet's design! If you are using transponding with a ...

KB714 Loconet Overview

LocoNet is Digitrax's method of communication between LocoNet compatible devices on a model railroad layout.  LocoNet compatible devices are designed to work together on the network, and in some cases can also accept DCC commands from  the track, but often go beyond the scope of simple DCC train control.   LocoNet is a peer-to-peer Ethernet type multiple access network.  Because of its design architecture, it is very robust and powerful.  Layout implementation is simple and wiring is free form with minimal limits. LocoNet is designed to run an unshielded 6 conductor ribbon cable.  Digitrax recommends using flat, six-conductor telephone wire ...

KB457 DT402 & DT400 Switch Mode - Turnout & Switch Operation

  What is Sw (Switch) Mode? Switch mode is used by throttles for sending commands to accessory decoders and for changing option switches in your LocoNet system. The most common use of switch mode is for operating turnouts.Switches are either thrown or closed.To change the position of a switch or turnout: 1. Press the SWCH key to enter switch mode. When you enter Switch mode, the throttle knobs & direction keys continue to control the loco addresses running on the throttle. Loco speed is displayed on the bar graph and loco direction is displayed on the direction indicators for each ...

KB970 How does LocoNet Work?

LocoNet's "ethernet like" architecture seems interesting and more advanced than the systems used by other DCC manufacturers. But, at the numbers we are talking about (a few controllers and perhaps 10-20 decoders), does it really make a difference?If your system operates with a few throttles and other devices attached any of the commercially available systems will work today. But what about tomorrow? Remember when a hard-drive bigger than 32Mb seemed excessive- and remember when DOS had to change to 16bit FATs/ directories? Also, the LBA access change at 540Mb also once seemed unthinkable!!The network structure of LocoNet is very important ...

KB459 DT402 & DT400 - Busy or Fail Message During Programming

A  “Busy” message during programming means that the system is temporarily busy.  Simply try the task again.  When the system is no longer busy, you will get a “Good” response. A  “Fail” message during programming means that there is a problem with the locomotive on the programming track.  Check to be sure the loco's wheels are making good contact with the programming track.  Make sure that the decoder is properly installed in the locomotive.   Make sure the connections to the programming track are secure.  Make sure the programming track is powered. 

KB972 PM42 Usage On A Non-Digitrax DCC System

If I use a non-Digitrax compatible system, what features of the PM42 Auto reverse/Short Circuit Managers (SCM) will I lose?The PM42 can be used as a stand alone Auto reversing unit and Short Circuit Manager with many other non-Digitrax systems, but for systems without LocoNet capability a number of networked management features will not be available.For example, the PM42 sends out real-time, event driven (non-polled) information to the LocoNet about fault problems and resolution, auto reverse actions and also identifies the affected sub-districts. This allows other devices, such as PCs, the Digitrax Signaling system, Digitrax Transponding or other detection and ...

KB973 Using PM42 With Other Systems

The PM42 was specifically designed to work with Digitrax Direct Home wired layouts. Any system that is configured this way will work with the PM42 with no interoperability issues. For example, CVP uses interoperable booster connections.The PM42 can be used with a DC system if it is hooked up in the negative ground return path, or even a Marklin AC digital (trinary) booster. It is possible for the PM42 to be used with most DCC systems. Digitrax has no control or knowledge of each specific non-Digitrax system and how it may interact with the PM42.

KB974 PM42 - Power Drop During Short Detection

My PM42s seem to correctly trip on track shorts and auto-reverse reliably, but the power briefly drops out during these events, and when the PM42s attempt a fault recovery into a persistent short circuit, why is this?No power on earth can stop the track voltage of the booster from collapsing to a low value when a true short circuit is present. This is simply Ohm’s law in action!Actual track voltage seen depends on: the loop resistance of the short circuit, the current capacity of the booster and power supply and whether the Booster employs "smart" fault detection and recovery along ...

KB975 PM42 - adjusting the PM42's current settings?

Use a throttle to change the PM42's Option Switches 01, 02 and 09 as detailed in the PM42 instruction manual. The PM42's trip current threshold can be set at a value from 1.5amps to 12 amps. Always use the lowest possible setting, consistent with good operation and reliable short circuit detection and recovery. Higher current settings are not "better." We ship the PM42 with a moderate current trip threshold of 3amps so it will work on most DCC boosters and layouts with no changes.This is because some boosters cannot supply enough current with the track feeder resistance to reliably allow ...

KB590 Q&A - Powering DS64

  Q:  How do you connect more than one DS64 to a single power supply like a PS14 to power them or do you need a separate power supply for each DS64? A:  One power supply can be used if it can provide adequate power for all the DS64s it is powering. The PS14 has a built-in circuit breaker; when it exceeds its capacity, it will shut down, cool off and then start up again. If you are experiencing this behavior then you need to add one or more PS14s to provide enought power for the DS64s you have connected. Our recommendation of one ...

KB477 PM42 - Third Party DCC Command Systems

  Q:  Can I use a PM42 with a non-Digitrax DCC Command system? A:  The PM42 was specifically designed to work with Digitrax Direct Home wired layouts. Any system that is configured this way will probably work with the PM42 with no interoperability issues. Digitrax has no control over or knowledge of each specific non-Digitrax system and how it may interact with the PM42. The PM42 can be used as a stand-alone auto-reversing unit and short circuit manager with many third party DCC systems, but for systems without LocoNet capability a number of the networked management features will not be available. ...

KB478 PM42 - Power Management of an Auto Reversing Section

Q:  What is the preferred way of protecting a reverse loop with circuit breaker management and still having automatic reversing? A:  There are two ways of protecting a reversing section with a circuit breaker and reversing section controller. 1.  Use one PM42 (circuit breaker manager) and one AR1 (automatic reversing section controller). 2.  Use two PM42s (one as a circuit breaker manager and one as a reverse section control). The following diagram displays both methods: a) The first method (left), is where one section of a PM42 configured for circuit breaker operation feeds one or more AR1s (automatic reversing section controller), or b) The second method ...

KB479 PM42 - Auto-Reverse Section Protection with Circuit Breaker Manager with a Single PM42

Q:  Can two sections of a single PM42 be configured to perform both the task of a circuit breaker and also automatic reverse section control for a single reverse loop? The PM42 can be configured so that one section of the PM42 is used for circuit breaker operation, feeding into another section of the same PM42 which is configured for automatic reverse section control. In the field, this configuration has been found to be unreliable in some layout configurations.  If you are having problems getting this to work in your setting, we recommend using an AR1 to handle the automatic reversing secion.  The ...

KB480 PM42 - Power Management Circuit Breaker Control

Q: What is the basic configuration and OpSw settings for a section of the PM42 when configured for circuit breaker control? A:  The PM42 is a 4 section multi-purpose device where each of the four sections can be individually configured to act as either a circuit breaker, or automatic reverse loop controller. The PM42 monitors the current flow to the rails and interrupts the connection when it senses that the current demands exceed the upper allowable current level determined by the User controllable Option Switch (OpSw) settings. The power flow of a layout's command control system starts with the command station, or ...

KB481 PM42 - Automatic Reverse Section Control

  Q:  What is the basic configuration and Option Switch (OpSw) settings for each of the four sections of the PM42 when configured for automatic reverse section control? A:  The PM42 is a 4 section multi-purpose device where each of the four sections can be individually configured to act as either a circuit breaker, or auto-reverse section controller or DPDT relay. When configured as an auto-reverse section controller, the PM42 adjusts the rail phasing of the reversing section it controls whenever a locomotive, or car with metal wheels, bridges the gaps between the rails of that reverse section and an adjacent non-reversing section ...

KB483 Bushby Bit - Disable Normal Switch Commands

Q: What's a "Bushby bit"? A: In your command station, OpSw27 can be toggled to disable normal switch commands, a.k.a. the "Bushby bit." This allows the layout operator to use an attached PC to handle switch control logic. Under normal conditions, advanced throttles can be used to operate turnouts which are controlled by LocoNet-connected stationary decoders. The factory default setting for OpSw27 is "t". Toggling OpSw27 to "c" takes this control away from the individual throttles and gives it to a controlling computer. Such an application would be a railroad with CTC control, where the train movements are directed by ...

KB484 DS64 or SE8C for Slow Motion Turnout Machine Control?

Q:  We will be using your SE8C's for signaling. Should we use the SE8C to control our slow motion switch machines, or should we use your DS64s for that function? A:  Both products will do the job. How you plan to use them on your layout will help you decide which is better in your situation. Here are some things to consider in making your decision:The SE8C will drive 8 slow-motion switch machines while the DS64 will drive four. If you have a large number of switch machines in a specific area, the SE8C might be a better choice, since the ...

KB486 PM42 - Programming Op Switches with a DT400 series throttle

Q:  How do I program the PM42 Option Switches (OpSw) with a DT400 throttle? A:  The PM42 OpSw settings are used to set up the PM42, adjusting the trip current, short circuit management (including sensitivity), and/or auto-reversing. Note: The factory default setting on all PM42 OpSws is “thrown” or “t”. Follow the steps outlined below to program the OpSw settings of the PM42 using the DT400 series throttle with any Digitrax command system. 1) Connect the PM42 to a DCS50, DCS51, DB150, DCS100, or DCS200 with a standard LocoNet cable. 2) Connect the PM42 to an external power source; Digitrax ...

KB487 PM42 - Programming Op Switches with a DT300 Throttle

  Q:  How do I program the PM42 Op Switches with a DT300 throttle? A:  The PM42 OpSw settings are used to set up the PM42, adjusting the trip current, short circuit management (including sensitivity), and/or auto-reversing. Note: The factory default setting on all PM42 OpSws is “thrown” or “t”. Follow the steps outlined below to program the OpSw settings of the PM42 using the DT300 throttle with any Digitrax command system. 1) Connect the PM42 to a DB150, DSC050, DSC100 or DSC200 with a standard LocoNet cable. 2) Connect the PM42 to an external power source; Digitrax recommends the ...

KB488 PM42 - Programming Op Switches with a Zephyr (DCS50 or DCS51)

  How do I program the PM42 Op Switches with a DCS50 (Zephyr) throttle? The PM42 OpSw settings are used to set up the PM42, adjusting the trip current, short circuit management (including sensitivity), and/or auto-reversing. Note: The factory default setting on all PM42 OpSw's is “thrown” or “t”. Follow the steps outlined below to program the OpSw settings of the PM42 using the keypad of a Digitrax Zephyr. 1. Connect the PM42 to the Digitrax Zephyr with a standard LocoNet cable. 2. Connect the PM42 to an external power source; Digitrax recommends the PS14. Note: Before entering Switch Mode ...

KB490 LocoNet Architecture - Network Topologies

LocoNet is a peer-to-peer local area network, a communication network that is similar to communication networks used in today’s computer industry. There are five types of computer network topologies: star, bus, tree, freeform and ring.  The only prohibited configuration for LocoNet is the ring.  LocoNet should never be looped back on itself.Note: In the diagrams below, CS represents a Digitrax Command Station and the M represents any LocoNet compatible module or device.1.  The Star Topology is where all devices are connected to a central hub by individual legs. 2.  The Bus (Daisy Chain) Topology is where all devices are connected to ...

KB338 AR1 or PM42 with turntables

  Can the AR1 or PM42 be used to power the track of a turntable? This track section would be electrically isolated from the surrounding tracks which would all be powered from the same booster. Yes. A good number of our customers use either the AR1 or one node of a PM42 to handle turntable powering issues.

KB1007 PS2012 - Overview and Installation

Regulated power supply delivers more power with less heat for more efficient booster operation. Operates up to 4 Five amp boosters. Scale selectable for use with N, HO or large scale. DC Ammeter. On/Off Switch. Integral cooling fan. Design coordinated for use with Digitrax products. One "Y" Cable (P/N YC52) Included for convenience with dual 5 amp protected outputs All secondary devices must be properly fused on their power input leads for their rated capacity. For example if you intend to use the PS2012 to drive a 5 and an 8 amp booster, you must input fuse these devices for ...

KB496 LocoNet - Do I Need To Make It A Loop?

Q:  Can I loop LocoNet?  Is there any benefit to doing so? A:  LocoNet should NOT be looped back on itself.  The design of LocoNet allows branching in different directions, but LocoNet must not be set up as a loop or ring topology.

KB497 BD4 - Connecting to an SE8C

  Connecting BD4 to an SE8C? The BD4 is a block occupancy detection device designed as an add-on device that can take advantage of the LocoNet hosting capability of the SE8c signal decoder. It is connected this way: The installation of a BD4 is relatively simple. Looking at the BD4, you will find a 5-point terminal block on one end and two (LED1 and DS1) 10-pin (5x2) headers on the other. There are three termination areas: a) The 5-point terminal block (left) is for the interconnection between the rail power source and the rails. b) The LED1 10-pin header is ...

KB505 Command Station Audible Beeps - DCS100, DCS200, DCS240, DB150

The DCS100, 200, 240 and DB150 use several beeps and clicks that can be used as diagnostic tools that will help you debug a number of error conditions.   DCS100/200 Audible Sounds 1 Beep           DCS100/200 has powered on successfully or has sent a programming command. 3 Beeps         A loco address has been "purged" due to non-use. This is informational only and is normal. 4 Beeps         Booster short circuit shutdown. Fault Alarm. 6 Beeps         Command station already present in system. When two command stations are operating on the same system, you may experience unexpected results. 7 Beeps         DCS100/200 CMOS battery low ...

KB507 SE8C - Signals On Non-DCC Layouts

Q: I would like to know about SE8C and signals on non-DCC layouts. A:  The SE8c is a signal driver for your layout. You can operate signals manually with any LocoNet Throttle and Command Station. Or, in your case, the SE8c can drive signals automatically with detection and compatible computer software such as RailRoad & Co. or JMRI.You will need detection devices to identify the presence of trains, a computer interface such as the PR3, a computer program supplying the signaling logic and the SE8c driving the signal heads themselves. Note that in a LocoNet environment, the SE8C supports detection: DS01 ...

KB511 Direct Home Wiring

Direct Home Wiring: A wiring system where the DCC booster powers each rail via an individual wire.  Each booster is wired to it's own track power section and there is no electrical connection between boosters. This means that each power district is double gapped and is connected to it's own booster.  The boosters are in turn connected via LocoNet to the command station providing one source of commands for the entire layout.Digitrax recommends using only Direct Home Wiring for all Digitrax layouts. Non command control layouts typically use common rail wiring as part of their control method. This means that one rail ...