KB5 DN163A1 - Function Outputs

The DN163A1 is set up at the factory to control six functions. The unit is prewired with two golden-white LEDs set up for directional lighting as F0F/F0F+ for the front light and F0R/F0R+ for the rear light. Functions F1 (Green), F2 (Violet), F3 (Brown) and F4 (White/Yellow) can be used by soldering a wire from the pad for the function you wish to use to the lamp (or other function) you wish to control. The wire colors indicated are the standard color code used in the industry (you can use any color you like). These colors are important if you ...

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 ...

KB11 DH163 Series - Function Outputs

The DH163 series decoders are set up at the factory to control six function outputs. The DH163 is configured to control the forward and reverse lights on the locomotive through the white lead and yellow lead using Function 0 (F0F-forward and F0R-reverse) for directional lighting. Functions F1(Green) and F2 (Violet) are part of the harness for easy hookup. F3 and F4 are also available on the decoder board. These can be accessed by snipping the shrink wrap and peeling it back to expose the solder pads that control these functions: To use these functions, solder a wire from the pad ...

KB17 DN143K2 - Installation Instructions for Kato N RDC's

Photo Courtesy Kato, USA Installation Instructions: The DN143K2 cannot be tested prior to installation in the rail diesel car. 1. Carefully remove the shell from the RDC. Carefully remove the plastic casting from the bottom side of the RDC frame, using a flat bladed screwdriver to pry it loose. 2. Gently remove the white clip that holds the seat panel in place. Remove the seat panel by pushing up gently from the bottom of the frame. The seat panel has clips underneath that are very easy to break, so be careful. 3. Take extra care to notice how the RDC ...

KB430 DT400 - Strange Locomotive Lights

The headlights of my locomotive aren't acting properly. If you can’t control the operation of the lights in your locomotive with the DT400 (in default 128, or 28 speed step mode), be sure that the decoder is programmed in advanced 28 speed step mode. Do this by programming CV29 with a decimal value of 06.

KB537 DN142 - Turning on Back EMF

The DN142 comes from the factory with BACK EMF SPEED STABILIZATION (BEMF) turned off. Follow this procedure to turn it on and to adjust it. Later generations of Digitrax mobile decoders do not require this procedure. Activation: To activate the BEMF feature, change CV57 to a value of 06. This will give good performance with most brands of locomotives. If the locomotive surges while using BEMF use a lower value for CV56. It may also be necessary to adjust CV's 55, 56, & 57 to get the motor performance desired for your particular locomotive. Adjustment: 1. Program CV57 (Droop control) ...

KB27 DT402 - Controlling Functions

The DT402 Throttle will control up to 29 functions in walkaround and radio modes. When operating in IR Mode the DT402 series throttles will control up to 9 functions (F0-F8). The numeric keypad is always active in the normal Fn operation mode. The functions that are currently on for the active loco will be displayed on the top line of the DT402 display. The following figure shows an example of how the display looks when functions 0 and 1 are turned on for loco 1652 on the R Throttle. Controlling Functions F0-F12 1. Determine which throttle you want to control ...

KB540 How do I turn off speed stabilization (Back EMF)?

Q:  Since the back emf torque compensation feature make consisting a real headache, I would like to know how to switch that feature off. Prototype loco's don't have such a thing so that slowing on a grade isn't really a bad thing in a model, either. A:  You can turn turn the speed stabilization on or off with CV57.  The CV value range for CV57 is 0-15.  If CV57 = 0, speed stabilization is OFF.  If CV57 = 15, speed stabilization is fully on.  All values in between let you scale how much speed stabilization you will use with each ...

KB517 Swapping front & rear headlights

Q: My front and rear lights on a steam locomotive (hard wired decoder installation) are connected in reverse. When the locomotive is going forward, the back up light comes on. When the locomotive is going in reverse, the forward light comes on. Can I reverse the lighting effects though programming the decoder or must I disassemble the locomoitve and physically swap the wiring to the lights from the decoder. A: Yes, you can do this with using function mapping in any Digitrax decoder Series 3 or later. If you have an earlier version decoder installed, you'll need to re-wire the ...

KB689 Digitrax Transponding - Overview

Proven technology for bi-directional layout control without the need for modifications to your existing DCC system investment. Know the detection section and/or zone location and identification of any specific locomotive or other rolling stock equipped with a transponding device. Yes, now your dispatcher will be able to know "who you are and where you are"! Location and identification information are updated constantly on LocoNet and can be displayed on a track diagram. Adds operations mode readback of CVs to your layout. Data received by the system from mobile decoders can be used for display, automation, sound processing and much more. ...

KB42 DN163A3 - Atlas N Scale MP15 Installation Instructions

1. Carefully remove the locomotive's shell from the frame (Figure 1, below). Notice the orientation of the shell to the frame so that you can reinstall correctly. 2. To remove the Atlas MP-15DC standard lightboard you will need to loosen the frame screws as shown in figure #1. After the frame halves are loose enough, the standard light board can easily be removed by moving the light board to one side and tilting the lightboard out. 3. Installation of the DN163A3 decoder is the reverse of the removal sequence. With the frames halves still loosened, slide the DCC decoder into ...

KB557 CV29 - Configuration Register Look Up Table Method

CV29 is called the configuration register. It controls the following decoder characteristics: 1.  Whether the decoder uses 14 speed steps, 28/128 speed steps or loadable speed tables.  This affects how smoothly the loco will move and how it responds to throttle controls.2.  Whether the decoder automatically converts to analog mode when no DCC signal is present.  This allows the decoder to operate on a DC layout even though it is DCC equipped.3.  Defines the normal direction of travel for the locomotive. Normal Direction of Travel or NDOT can be changed when the motor connections of decoder have not been connected so that the locomotive runs ...

KB561 Transponding Function Only Decoders

Since 1999, Digitrax has produced function-only decoders with Transponding capabilities.  These decoders make it easy to add transponding and additional functions to locomotives with decoders that do not have transponding or enough functions.  These are useful for customers with older decoders produced before transponding was incorporated into Digitrax decoders.  They are also useful for users of decoders made by manufacturers that do not support transponding.The TF1 is a single output function decoder with Transponding capabilities. This function decoder adds an additional function along with Transponding ID capabilities to an engine with non-Transponding decoder capabilities or adds a single function along ...

KB9 Atlas SD-60 - Installation Instructions

The DN163A1 is a board replacement decoder for Atlas N-Scale SD60, SD60M, SD50 and others. 1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the light board inside so that you can install the decoder in the same orientation. 2. Carefully remove the plastic light shroud at the front of the loco and loosen the frame screws enough to allow the removal of the light board. Lift the board out of the frame. 3. Install the decoder, between the frame halves as shown. The narrow part of the decoder fits between the frame with the frame ...

KB64 Walthers/Life-Like F7

Application Note: Walthers/Life-Like F7 H0-Scale steps needed for the DH163D DH123D decoder installation. Remove packing protectors screwed to coupler pockets: Carefully remove shell by spreading sides at side windows: Here's an alternate method for removing the loco shell - our F7 unit had a particularly stubborn shell. In place of the X-acto knives pictured, we recommend toothpicks or something a little safer.. Remove DC Plug (or a DC Printed Circuit Board in this case) from the wiring harness: DC Plug shown removed: Plug DH123D or DH163D decoder to 9 pin wire harness and mount it as shown: Reinstall loco shell.

KB65 Atlas HO HH 600/660 Installation

Steps needed for the DZ125PS or DZ143PS decoder installation: Remove couplers and carefully remove loco shell to reveal the 8 pin dummy (DC) plug. Remove 8 pin dummy (DC) plug [picture shown with plug removed]. Plug in the DZ125PS or DZ143PS with orange wired #1 pin in pin with triangle marked pin. Detail of DZ125PS or DZ143PS with orange wired #1 pin correctly oriented. Tuck decoder in cab area of loco, replace shell and reinstall couplers.

KB584 DCS100 - Firmware Update?

Q: I have the original DCS100 with the old style non-removable wire connectors. What would I gain with a firmware upgrade? A: Early DCS100s that do not access Functions 9 - 12. If you have a DCS100 that you would like to have updated, please send it to the Digitrax Repair Department for updating. This update is a chip change only and the original style connectors will not be changed to the new style connectors. The circuit boards used for the two different connectors are completely different and are not interchangeable. The DCS100 must be sent to us for this ...

KB74 DN163K0b - Update

Update - Please Read This! The DN163K0 family decoder has been updated to a Gold-finish No Lead version of the K0 family design and has slightly modified function lead connection pads. All other aspects of this decoder are the same as the older version. This addendum details the new function connection points if you wish to use functions beyond the installed LED’s.

KB587 AC Motor Operation

I want to run a small 12V -16V AC motor via DCC and am not sure if you have a decoder for this and if so how to connect up.For Variable Speed:Some Digitrax decoders, such as the DG583S, can be programmed to operate AC motors. When you program CV61 to a value of 004, Digitrax decoders with split field motor drive capabilities will convert their motor leads to drive a "split field" AC motor instead of the default DC motor. This lets you run Maerklin 3-pole AC motors and similar motors in a number of locos built in Europe with ...

KB589 SDN144K0A Installation Questions-Capacitor Installation

SDN144K0A installation question about the capacitorIs the 100microF capacitor needed? Or is it only for use in the Kato E8B unit when both LEDs are removed? If it is part of the installation, what size hole doesit need for mounting? The 100uF capacitor is required for all installations.  The capacitor provides keep alive voltage to the decoder.  This is important when the locomotive runs over a section of dirty track or is traveling through a non powered (insul-frog) turnout.  On non-sound equipped locomotives, typically you will not see the locomotive hesitate or lose power when it encounters dirty track.  With ...

KB591 MicroTrains Z-Scale GP35 Installation Instructions

1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the shell for reinstallation. 2. Carefully remove the motor springs with tweezers. Store these springs in a safe place for later re-use. 3. Slide the factory light board forward to release it from under the clips on the locomotive frame. Be careful not to distort the frame clips as you slide and lift the light board off the frame. 4. Take the DZ123M0 decoder (noting the correct orientation of the frame pads) and slide underneath frame clips as indicated in the Figure 3. You will need to ...

KB598 Z-Scale decoder installation?

I have an extensive collection of Z-scale locomotives (some are older (15-20 years) Z-Scale Maerklin equipment).  Can I convert the locos to Digitrax, or must I buy some other brand of loco to use Digitrax?Maybe yes, maybe no.  It depends upon the size of the locomotive and how much space is inside.There are several Z-Scale layouts that use Digitrax decoders.  Z scale railroaders are very persistent and precise so, they are often able to install decoders where members of other scales would fear to tread.  Digitrax continues to design smaller and smaller decoders aimed at the Z scale market.  Z Scale ...

KB600 Rule 17 Headlight Dimming

Rule 17 refers to how a locomotive engineer operates the locomotive's headlights while running the train. Rule 17 is part of a railroad's standardized rulebook.  Rule 17 varies from railroad to railroad. Typically, it requires dimming the headlight when the locomotive is standing in a siding waiting to meet another train, passing through passenger stations or moving within yard limits.  Program CV49 to 104 to set Function 0 to implement Rule 17 dimming.      

KB97 Athearn N-Scale FP45 / F45

What Digitrax decoders work in the new Athearn N scale FP45? We recommend the DN163K1C, following the procedure below. One of our editors was able to successfully install both the Digitrax DN163K1B and DN163K1C decoders in the unit. We have determined that the chassis design requires that the decoder be installed backwards. The only problem this poses is that one additional step has to be taken when programming. Both the DN163K1B and DN163K1C decoders are the same footprint with the exception of the LEDs. The DN163K1B has T-1 3mm LEDs and DN163K1C has surface mount LEDs. When the K1B version ...

KB612 CV13 Analog Functions

Digitrax decoders allow for operation on both Digital Command Control (DCC) powered and on traditional Direct Current (DC) powered model railroads.  Decoders from other manufacturers may or may not have this featureModern Digitrax Decoders are shipped with analog functions enabled to allow you to have working functions on locos on either type of layout without changing any CV values.  (Series 3 decoders and later) When a Digitrax Series decoder with analog functions enabled moves from a DCC track section to an analog track section, the functions that were active on DCC will remain active on DC.  For these decoders, CV13 is ...

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. ...

KB107 Con-Cor N-Scale Aerotrain Decoder Installation

Application Note: Steps needed for installing the DN143IP mobile decoder into the Con-Cor N-Scale Aerotrain "DCC Car". The image above shows the “DCC Car” for the N scale Con-Cor Aerotrain, which is the 1st car behind the loco. It shows the holes in the underbody, above which a speaker can be mounted for a sound decoder installation. The recommended Digitrax sound decoder would be our SFX0416, but to use this decoder the seats will need to be removed. There is a pocket that is 16mm wide, 36mm long and 3mm deep designed for a speaker above the underbelly and under ...

KB112 Reset Procedure for Mobile Decoders

CV08 is the factory reset CV for all FX3 decoders and also the Manufacturer ID CV for all decoders. This procedure is performed on a programming track. To reset all CV values to their factory default, program CV08 to a value of 008/x08 while the locomotive is on the programming track. To reset all CV values except for 28 step speed tables to their factory values set CV08 to a value of 009/x09. Earlier Digitrax decoders must be reset manually, CV by CV. This procedure may or may not work with other manufacturer's decoders. When you "read" the value of ...

KB114 DZ143PS and Seuthe Smoke Units

Your DZ143ps decoder has been suggested for my Broadway Limited Blueline PRR J1a. I want to install a Seuthe smoke generator (#100 10-16v,120ma), which was recommended. I don't want to connect it directly to the track power because it will run all the time. Is there a way to connect it to DZ143PS so I can turn it on and off? Yes. The DZ143 series have a total of four function outputs, two are for the front and rear headlights and two are for additional functions. F1 controls the green wire output of the decoder, F2 controls the purple wire ...

KB628 Performing factory decoder reset using Digitrax DCS100 & DT400 series throttle

Overview:To reset locomotive electronics to factory defaults the user must set CV08 to a value of 08. It is recommended that this procedure be performed on the dedicated service mode programming track using direct mode programming.* Note: This is the only programming procedure that we recommend using the programming track for. All other programming should be performed on the main track using Operations mode programming.Procedure:1. Place the DCC equipped locomotive on a dedicated service-mode programming track.* Note: The rails of this track should be connected to the PROG A & PROG B outputs on the DCS100 command station.2. Set the ...

KB629 Decoder reset to factory default settings using Digitrax Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr (DCS50)

Performing factory decoder reset using Digitrax Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr (DCS50)Overview:To reset a Digitrax decoder to factory defaults the user must set CV08 to a value of 08. It is recommended that this procedure be performed on the dedicated service mode programming track using direct mode programming.Procedure:1. Place the decoder equipped locomotive on an electrically isolated service-mode programming track which is connected to Programming Outputs Prog 'A' & 'B'.2. Press the PROG MODE key until “dir” appears in the LED display.3. Press the STEPS CV key. (The LED display should read “t###” with the # symbols replaced by actual digits)4. Enter “08” using ...

KB120 Decoder Installation in the H0-scale Con-Cor Pioneer Zephyr

Application Note: Con-Cor HO-Scale Zephyr steps needed for the DZ125PS decoder installation Step 1: Carefully remove the body from the frame. There are four clips along each side of the body. (See red arrows) We have found if you start at the rear of the body with a small flathead screwdriver and carefully pry the body outward to remove the back clip, you can move the screwdriver forward to release the others. Once the body is completely removed, carefully lift the light board from its holders on the bulkheads. (See blue arrows) Be very careful as the pins that hold ...

KB123 Function Outputs on the DN163K1D

The DN163K1D is set up at the factory to control six functions. The unit is prewired with two white LED's set up for directional lighting as F0F/F0F+ for the front light and F0R/F0R+ for the rear light. Functions F1 (Green), F2 (Violet), F3 (Brown) and F4 (White/Yellow) can be used by soldering a wire from the pad for the function you wish to use to the lamp (or other function) you wish to control. The wire colors indicated are the standard color code used in the industry (you can use any color you like). These colors are important if you ...

KB124 Kato DD51 Installation of DN163K1D

Kato N-Scale DD51 steps needed for the DN163K1D decoder Carefully remove the DD51 locomotive shells (3) and gray plastic light board retainer from the frame. Carefully remove the factory light board by sliding it toward the back of the locomotive and out from under the forward frame notches. Then gently lift the board out of the frame. Be careful not to bend or damage the motor tabs. Place one or more layers of Kapton tape on the frame underneath the forward frame clip. Carefully remove the motor tabs from the factory light board. The motor tabs attach to the board ...

KB125 Kato GG-1 Decoder Installation of DN163K1D

Kato N-Scale GG1 steps needed for the DN163K1D decoder Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell and light board retainer from the frame. Notice the orientation of the light board inside so that you can install the new decoder in the same orientation. Carefully remove the factory light board by sliding it toward the back of the locomotive and out from under the forward frame notches. Then gently lift the board out of the frame. Be careful not to bend or damage the motor tabs. Carefully remove the motor tabs from the factory lightboard. The motor tabs attach to the board with ...

KB128 Digitrax Mobile Decoders & DC Power

I am getting a DH165LO decoder and a SFX004 Soundbug. Will these function on standard DC power? Yes. The DH165 series has "analog mode conversion"; the default setting is for operation in both DC and DCC environments. There are some that do not want this feature, and it can be disabled by setting CV29. The SFX004 also operates in a DC environment, and the analog mode conversion can be turned off via CV29. If so, how? Early on, Digitrax recognized that locomotives are sometimes operated in DC environments, and the conversion feature was built into the firmware. In practice, those ...

KB129 Recommendation For Small Starter Layout

I have a 4x8 H0 scale layout.  I'm 13 years old and REALLY thinking about switching to DCC, I need to know really fast because I want to ask my parents to get it for Christmas.You wouldn't know by looking at those who edit the Tech Support Depot, but there actually was a time when we too were thirteen, and just starting out in model railroading.  In many ways, we still are thirteen years old; we just can't move as fast.  Consider this photograph from our youth: This little bit of ancient model railroad history dates back to the 1950's, ...

KB131 DCC Install in Bachmann Dash 8

How to add DCC to the new run of Bachmann DCC ready Dash 8-40CW? The current recommendation is for direct soldering, using either DZ125, which controls headlights only or DZ143, which controls headlight and two additional functions. With earlier units, either milling of the frame or a replacement frame was necessary, but the new units have a "DCC ready frame"; the source of this information also points out that Bachmann is using the same model number for both the older version and the newer version, so you should make certain that you have the recent version.

KB137 DN143IP - Installation Notes

Installation Notes: 1. Do not exceed the decoder’s 500mA total function output rating. 2. If you plan to use functions F1 (traditionally a green wire) or F2 (traditionally violet), the return, also called +Common or Lamp Common, should be made via a wire carefully soldered to the Common (or blue) pin indicated as shown in Figure1. 3. To use a function output with an inductive (coil) type load, you must install a kick-back suppression diode across the connections. If controlling a coil type load, such as an electromechanical relay or motor, shutting the device off can cause an inductive kick-back ...

KB138 Installation of DN143IP in Con-Cor N-Scale 4-8-4

The installation will be in the tender of the Con-Cor 4-8-4 locomotive. 1. Carefully remove the tender’s shell from the frame. 2. Remove the factory installed DCC dummy plug. (See photo below) 3. Insert the DN143IP medium plug pins in the socket. Pin 1 will be the bottom right socket when viewed. (See photo below) 4. Replace the tender shell. It may be necessary to trim the underside of the tender top to allow it to snap into place. 5. You are now ready to run your locomotive. The DN143IP is factory programmed to address 03. You can easily customize ...

KB651 What is the Digitrax LocoMotion System?

Your locomotives look like the real thing, Digitrax LocoMotion™ System makes them run like the real thing, too!   128 speed step control.   Smooth deceleration to stop before changing direction when locomotive is reversed. No sudden, non-prototypical stops!   Torque compensation for the smoothest operation ever.   Momentum with acceleration and deceleration settings.   Set normal direction of travel for your loco.   Switching speed feature for quick access to slower switching speeds.   Simple 3 step speed tables are easy to set up.   Advanced 28 step speed tables with 256 level resolution.   Scaleable speed stabilization feature. ...

KB86 Static Electrical Discharge & Mobile Decoder Installations

I noticed on one of the forums that some guy was saying that static discharge was a major problem when working with decoders... Is this REALLY a problem? The operative word is was. Back in the early days, back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, it was an identified problem. Since DCC was not really a player in that era, this means that it involved M

KB146 DZ125IN - Function Outputs

The DZ125IN is set up at the factory to control two function outputs. The DZ125IN is configured to control the forward and reverse lights on the locomotive through the white lead and yellow lead using Function 0 (F0F-forward and F0R-reverse) for directional lighting. Both function outputs can be easily set up with Digitrax FX3 lighting effects or as standard on/off functions with the following operational qualifiers: 1. Forward or Reverse direction of travel, or 2. Whether F0 is on or off, or 3. Both direction of travel and whether F0 is on or off, or 4. Whether the locomotive is ...

KB147 DZ125IN - Installation Instructions

1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the shell to the frame so that you can reinstall correctly. 2. Remove the 6 pin analog shorting plug and in its place insert the DZ125IN decoder with the correct pin-1 orientation. (There also is a small numeral "1" on the bottom of the DZ125IN near pin-1.) The DZ125IN has 6 pins that insert directly into the 6 pin socket (NEM 651 type) on the locomotive’s PCB. The DZ125’s small size allows the decoder to be easily installed in a variety of European locomotives. For the Kato ...

KB878 14, 28 or 128 Speed Steps-Why?

This article was originally posted on this site in 2006, but the source material dates back much further than that, probably back to the early 1990's, when DCC was an emerging control system. The article discusses non-sound mobile decoder programming operations. Many of the issues discussed in this article are less relevant when using recently produced decoders, but this text still does cover some questions which may be raised when you are using mobile decoders which were manufactured by other companies. These decoders will operate in the Digitrax environment, but you may need to make some adjustments.The earliest Digitrax mobile ...

KB153 DZ125 - Installation Notes

Installation Notes: 1. Do not exceed the decoder’s 500mA total function output rating. 2. We recommend that the Blue wire, also called +Common or Lamp Common, be connected as shown. If you wish to omit the Blue wire in your installation, consult the Digitrax Decoder Manual for more information. 3. The head lamp should be hooked up using the Blue/+Common wire for optimal Digitrax transponding operation. 4. To use a function output with an inductive (coil) type load, see the Digitrax Decoder Manual for more information to avoid damage to the decoder. 5. See the Digitrax Decoder Manual for full ...

KB154 DZ125PS Installation in Kato H0-Scale F40PH

1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the shell to the frame (Figure 1) so that you can reinstall the shell correctly. 2. Remove the dummy plug from the locomotive’s DCC-ready socket. (Figure 2) The jumper plug allows the loco to operate on a standard DC track or in analog mode on a DCC track. Pin 1 is marked for proper orientation of the decoder. 3. The DZ125PS has a short, 1" harness with a DCC 8-pin plug on the end of it. The plug is oriented so the pin for the orange wire ...

KB155 DZ125IN - Wiring Diagram

Note: The connections illustrated above are for purposes of illustration. The NEM socket has six conductors which are arranged in numerical order from 1 - 6: Contact 1 - Motor Connection (orange wire) Contact 2 - Motor Connection (gray wire) Contact 3 - Track Pickup (red wire) Contact 4 - Track Pickup (black wire) Contact 5 - Forward Headlight (white wire) Conatct 6 - Rearward Headlight (yellow wire)

KB156 DZ125 - Function Outputs

The DZ125 is set up at the factory to control two function outputs. The DZ125 is configured to control the forward and reverse lights on the locomotive through the white lead and yellow lead using Function 0 (F0F-forward and F0R-reverse) for directional lighting. Both function outputs can be easily set up with Digitrax FX3 lighting effects or as standard on/off functions with the following operational qualifiers: 1. Forward or Reverse direction of travel, or 2. Whether F0 is on or off, or 3. Both direction of travel and whether F0 is on or off, or 4. Whether the locomotive is ...

KB157 DZ125 - Installation Instructions

1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the shell to the frame so that you can reinstall correctly. 2. The DZ125 has 6” wires that you will solder directly to the appropriate connections inside the locomotive. The smaller size allows the decoder to be easily installed in a variety of locomotives. The bare ends of the wires are wired to the motor connections, power pickup connections and the lights according to this standard. Note: Avoid stressing the solder connections of the wires to the decoder board. If a connection is broken, carefully solder the wire ...

KB160 Rotary Beacon for Athearn MP15 with DH163AT Decoder

I have a Athearn HO Scale MP15 Soo Line and have installed a DH163 decoder. How do I get the rotary beacon to flash? Function Outputs on the DH163AT The DH163AT is set up at the factory to control six function outputs. The DH163AT is configured to control the forward and reverse lights on the locomotive through the yellow lead and white lead using Function 0 (F0F-forward yellow and F0R-reverse white) for directional lighting. Functions F1(green) and F2 (violet) are part of the harness for easy hookup. F3 and F4 are also available on the decoder board. These can be ...

KB624 Which Decoder Should I Use?

Our website offers a Decoder Selector Tool that can be used to find recommendations for locomotives made by different manufacturers by scale and model number.May factors will influence which decoder you choose to use for any given locomotive.1.  The physical size of the locomotive and how much space is available for the installation.2.  The current draw of the motor. 3.  How many functions do you want on the decoder?4. Is there a board replacement decoder available?5. Is there a plug for the decoder built into the loco?6. Do you want a sound decoder?7.  Other decoder features that might be important to you.

KB674 Zero Stretching-Operating a Non-DCC Equipped Locomotive with Digitrax

Digitrax Command Stations can operate one locomotive on your layout that does not have a decoder installed. This loco is called an "analog," "conventional," or "non-DCC equipped" locomotive. To operate an analog locomotive with Digitrax you will use address 00 to send commands to the locomotive.  The magic that makes this happen is called zero stretching. With Zero Stretching, an analog locomotive going forward receives an unusually long positive voltage, followed by a very short negative voltage. The much larger positive voltage ensures the locomotive moves forward. The brief negative pulse causes a low buzzing that will vary with the speed of the locomotive. This method ...

KB164 Choosing a Locomotive for Conversion to DCC

Choose a locomotive that runs well on conventional DC power. Digital decoders cannot compensate for faulty motor operation, poor track pickup, etc. If you are not happy with the way your locomotive runs on regular DC power, installing a decoder will not make it run any better. If there are any mechanical issues with your locomotive, fix them before you install the decoder. Since you have to open up the loco anyway, do a tune up to get it running really well before you put in the decoder. Digitrax recommends using a conductive brush lubricant like Aero Car Technology's "Conducta" ...

KB165 Recommended Tools for Decoder Installation

You'll need a few simple tools when you begin installing decoders: A soldering iron, preferably temperature controlled. Though many installations do not require soldering, you may still need to use a soldering iron to install extras like lamps for special lighting effects. Solder. A small screwdriver for disassembling your loco. Small diagonal cutters for cutting & stripping small wire. Tweezers to pick up small loco parts. Heat shrink tubing for protecting wire connections, this is better than electrical tape. 1. Read the instructions FIRST and PLAN your installation. Have the proper tools on hand. 2. Choose a locomotive that runs ...

KB166 Avoiding Heat Problems With Decoder Installations

Most HO, N & Z Scale model locomotive motors and lamps are designed by the locomotive manufacturers to operate at full speed at 12 volts DC on the track. Digitrax recommends running your DCC command station and boosters at the lowest track voltage possible that provides acceptable operation. The “N Scale (12V)” setting on Digitrax equipment works for most HO, N & Z scale layouts. Some DCC systems made by other companies supply more voltage to the track and are not adjustable. If the track voltage applied exceeds the operating parameters of the locomotive and its lamps, it is possible ...

KB167 9 Steps For Successful Decoder Installation

1. Read the instructions FIRST and PLAN your installation. Have the proper tools on hand. 2. Choose a locomotive that runs well on regular DC. 3. Choose the appropriate decoder for your installation. 4. Test the decoder before installation. 5. Carefully disassemble the loco. 6. Isolate the motor! 7. Follow the decoder's wiring diagram or installation instructions. 8. Test the installation first on DC then on DCC. (If the lights are flashing the first time you apply power, remove the loco from the track and locate the short circuit in your installation.) 9. Customize your decoder by programming individual CVs.

KB681 Can I use non-Digitrax decoders on a Transponding layout?

Q:  Can I use non-Digitrax decoders on a Transponding layout?A: Yes.  If you want to add transponding to a decoder that does not have the feature, add TL1 or TF4 to the decoder.  Some non-Digitrax decoders that use supersonic features are not compatible with transponding unless you switch off the supersonic feature. Digitrax supersonic decoders are compatible with transponding and can be used in supersonic mode while transponding.

KB684 Which decoders work on Transponding layouts?

Q:  Which decoders work on Transponding layouts?A:All DCC decoders can be used on transponding layouts. However, only those decoders with Transponding capabilities turned on will issue a report each time they enter or exit a Transponding Zone.  All current production Digitrax decoders include transponding.Transponding can be added to any decoder by installing a TL1 or TF4.

KB685 Can the Transponding feature be turned off in decoders that have integrated transponders?

Yes. Digitrax decoders with integrated transponding are shipped with transponding enabled but this does not affect the operation of existing layouts not outfitted for transponding.

KB174 Brass Locomotives

I have several old brass locos and they have Pittman motors. I have tried DH163 Decoders and blown two. I believe that they draw excess current that exceeds 1.5amp cont. Is there an HO mobile decoder with the same size physically as DH series, but has higher current ratings? Suggestions? While it is possible that the motor may be drawing too much current, it also may be possible that the motor brushes are not isolated from the frame of the locomotive. It also would be helpful for you to determine the stall current of the locomotive to see if the ...

KB176 Analog Operation of Digitrax Decoders

What about using a Digitrax-decoder-equipped locomotive on a layout having only DC power?It is possible, but analog operation of DCC equipped locomotives is becoming a bit of a rarity. In earlier times some locomotives were delivered from the manufacturer with a DCC decoder in place and a jumper plug was used to select the operating environment. Digitrax still offers a jumper plug for use in some configurations; you remove the decoder and replace it with the DHDP or DNDP. With later generations of decoders, it is possible to operate on a DC layout with the decoder in place. To quote ...

KB177 Function Outputs for DN163A0

The DN163A0 is set up at the factory to control six functions. The unit is prewired with two golden-white LEDs set up for directional lighting as F0F/F0F+ for the front light and F0R/F0R+ for the rear light. Functions F1 (Green), F2 (Violet), F3 (Brown) and F4 (White/Yellow) can be used by soldering a wire from the pad for the function you wish to use to the lamp (or other function) you wish to control. The wire colors indicated are the standard color code used in the industry (you can use any color you like). These colors are important if you ...

KB178 Installing DN163A0

DN163A0 is a board replacement decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, GP38 U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and several others. Shown here is an installation in a GP40-2. 1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the light board inside so that you can install the decoder in the same orientation. 2. Carefully remove the plastic light shroud at the front of the loco and loosen the frame screws enough to allow the removal of the light board. Lift the board out of the frame. 3. Install the decoder, square CPU to the top, between the frame ...

KB693 Test A Mobile Decoder Using an LT1 Decoder Tester

The LT1 is a simple decoder tester. Decoder Testing Instructions1. Prepare the cable for use in the testing procedure, by stripping the insulation from the Red, Green, Black, and Yellow wires. The Blue and White wires are not used and can be cut off the harness.2. Twist the RED and YELLOW wires together. Twist the BLACK and GREEN wires together. 3. Hook up decoder as shown in Diagram 2.4. Use your throttle to select the decoder and run it in the forward direction.5. One of the two center LEDs will light as the motor voltage from the decoder increases. Use ...

KB695 TF4 - Installation Instructions

Installing the TF4 in the Loco or Rolling Stock1. Connect the TF4's RED and BLACK wires to the matching RED and BLACK track feed wires of an installed DCC mobile decoder.2. If the TF4 is used by itself, for example in a caboose or box car without a DCC mobile decoder installed, connect the TF4's RED wire to the right hand track pickup and the TF24s BLACK wire to the left side track pickup.3. No other parts are required to set up the transponder current pulses, since this is self-contained in the TF4.4. Install the lamps using the TF4's blue, ...

KB184 Mobile Decoder Naming Convention and Decoder Numbers

Current production Digitrax decoders use the following numbering system: The first character means that it is a digital decoder. This is always a “D”. The second character indicates the decoder’s physical size. This is based on the smallest "scale" the decoder is designed to fit. This will be a Z, N, H, or G. The third character is the current rating of the decoder. This will be a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. We designate 1.25 & 1.5 amp decoders as 1s and 3.5 amp decoders as 3s for simplicity. The fourth character indicates how many functions, including directional ...

KB697 TF4 - Programming Address, Function Mapping, Configurable Strobe & Effect Rate

Program the TF4's Address & Function Outputs1. Before using your TF4, set its address. This may or may not be the same address as a mobile decoder already installed in the loco or car depending on how you are planning to use the TF4. In the case of TF4's being used as a stand alone transponder or as a function decoder, choose an address that is not the same as another mobile decoder address in use on the layout.2. Connect the RED & BLACK wires of the TF4 to a service mode DCC programmer and program the TF4's address as ...

KB700 TL1 - Programming Address & Function Outputs

1. Before using your TL1, set its address. This may or may not be the same address as a mobile decoder already installed in the loco or car depending on how you are planning to use the TL1. In the case of TL1s being used as a stand alone transponder or as a function decoder, choose an address that is not associated with another mobile decoder address in use on the layout.2. Connect the RED & BLACK wires of the TL1 to a service mode DCC programmer and program the TL1's address as you would any mobile decoder address.Follow the ...

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). ...

KB704 DG583S - Function Outputs

DG583S - Function Outputs 1. Function outputs are rated at 2 Amps each. Do not exceed the decoder’s 5 Amp total output rating. This total includes the motor current and total of all function output currents.2. To use a function output with an inductive(coil) type load, see the Digitrax Decoder Manual for more information to avoid damage to the decoder.3. See the Digitrax Decoder Manual for full details of wiring 12-16V lamps, 1.5V lamps, and LEDs. Lamps that draw more than 80 mA when running require a 22 ohm 1/4 watt resistor in series with the directional light function lead ...

KB708 UT4 - Controlling Functions (Lighting, Couplers, Sounds, etc.)

UT4 Function Control Keys and How they WorkThere are 8 physical keys used to control functions F0-F12 on the UT4 throttle. F1 through F6 and F7-F12 share the same keys.  You will see F1-F6 in black print and F7-F12 in blue print to remind you that you will need to use the SHIFT key to access F7-F12. To use functions F7-F12 you must press and hold down the SHIFT key on the lower left row of the throttle as you press the F7 through F12 keys to activate any functions available on those functions. All the UT4 functions work like other Digitrax throttles. ...

KB709 UT4 - Consisting, MU'ing, or Multiple Unit Operations

Consisting is the action of linking more than one locomotive or power unit together to be controlled by a single locomotive address.  The UT4 is not capable of building or breaking up a consist.  This is handled by a throttle or computer program that is able to build and break up consists and then hand the consist off to the utility throttle operator.  Utility throttles are designed to be simple to use for operators on the railroad.  The UT4 CAN control a consist by selecting the address of the TOP loco in the consist.  It can also control the functions of locomotives within a consist.If ...

KB724 Digitrax SoundFX Decodders on Conventional DC Power

Digitrax SoundFX decoders will automatically operate on smooth DC power unless analog mode conversion has been disabled. The sound will not start until approximately 5 volts is applied to the track.  Due to this characteristic of analog operation with a DCC decoder installed, the start up sound will not play.

KB725 Functions Used for Sound Control

These are the Function buttons for sound control:

KB727 SFX064D Sound Decoder Installation Instructions

1) Connect the Red and Black track wires from the 9 pin Track and Function harness to the locomotive track power connections.2) Connect the function leads that are to be used from the 9pin Track and Function harness. Note that to be able to readback Sound FX CV's a combination of function lead loads of at least 60mA at 12volts should be connected to these function leads. Insulate the unused function leads so they cannot short to the locomotive frame or track power.3) Mount the 28mm speaker attached to the 10pin sound feature harness in an appropriate sound enclosure. Be ...

KB728 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttles - Controlling Functions For Locomotives In A Consist

Even though an individual locomotive is part of a consist and you can’t control its speed and direction separately from the consist, you can still control its function outputs independently as follows:1. Press the LOCO Key and select the address of the locomotive that is a part of consist for which you want to control functions.2. Press the LOCO Key again to select the loco address to your throttle. The speed value will show “cn” to remind you that you can only control functions on the loco and not its speed.3. Use the steps described above to turn on or ...

KB729 DT400 Series Throttles - Function Controls

The DT400 can control Functions 1 - 12.Note: DT400 can access F0-F12 when used with the DCS50 Zephyr or DCS100 Super Chief command station. DT400 can only access F0-F8 when used with a DB150 Super Empire Builder command station.To enter Fn (function) mode:1. Determine which throttle you want to control functions on and make it the active throttle by single clicking the throttle knob or by turning the throttle knob a couple of clicks.2. DT400’s numeric keypad is always active in function mode during normal loco operations. When the mode indicator on your DT400 shows Fn, simply press any number ...

KB730 DT400 Series Throttles - Make F2 Latching or Non-latching

DT400 Series Throttles - Make F2 Latching or Non-latching The F2 button on the DT400 is meant to control locomotive whistles and horns, so it is configured to be "momentary" or non-latching.  This means that the key will activate the horn or other function for as long as you hold the key down and stop when it is released. This was done to facilitate the use of a playable whistle in sound decoders. If you are not using F2 for this purpose on your layout, you can change the way the F2 key on the throttle works so that it latches on and ...

KB224 Momentum settings & DC

In the DZ123 mobile decoder, if CV03 and CV04 (acceleration, deceleration) have been programmed for momentum, will momentum remain active when the decoder is then used in analog mode with pure (not pulsed) DC? Yes.

KB226 Electrical Paths in older locomotives

I have an older Rivarossi Heisler that I have just installed a decoder in. I have 2 other Rivarossi engines, older, with decoders in them and they work. I use them as a template. Anyway, I can't get the Heisler to run. I have the orange wire at one side of the motor and the gray at the other. The red is soldered to the frame and the black is connected to the front screw where I disconnected the light etc. I just soldered the wires together. The motor is OUT of the frame so no short can happen. Can you ...

KB741 DT402 & DT400 Series Numeric Keypad

There is a numeric keypad on the DT402/DT400 throttle.  The numeric keys on the keypad are primarily related to the throttle mode shown in the LCD’s mode indicator area, but can be used for numeric entry and function control in other modes. For example, when the command station is in the Function Mode Fn, the numeric keys are used for function control. When the command station is in the Locomotive Mode,Lo, the numeric keys are used to enter loco addresses. When the command station is in the Switch Mode is Sw, the numeric keys are used to enter switch addresses.In ...

KB749 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle FIND Key

The FIND Key is used in conjunction with a layout instrumented for Digitrax Transponding and locos or cars equipped with transponders to find the location of those pieces of rolling stock on the layout.

KB240 Athearn PA's

I would like to re-power two old Athearn Alco PAs and sandwich a dummy PB in between. I would like to know if is possible /practical to install a sound module in the dummy unit. Actually, there's probably enough room to fit something in the A-units, but you could install sound into the B-unit if there is a way for track power to reach the sound unit. Consider the SoundBug: The speaker diameter is 28mm, or just a bit larger than an inch. You will need to fit the speaker into a baffle and the SoundBug must be programmed to ...

KB758 DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle Function Key

The FUNC Key is used to enter function control mode. Function control mode is the default mode for normal locomotive operation with the DT402/DT400 Series Throttles. Press this key during any throttle task to return to normal loco operation mode with function controls active on the numeric keypad.

KB248 Proto 1000 F-Units

My son & I have PROTO 1000 Diesel EMD F3A-B Sets. The powered locos are equipped with an eight-pin plug for easy decoder installation. Our problem is that we've been looking through books & have no idea what sound card & speakers we are going to need that corresponds with these type of locomotives. I was told that they would need sound cards that are from the "Early Diesel" era. If this is true, please tell me what sound cards,speakers & wires do we need to make this happen? We are fond of F-units, and the Proto 1000 F-units are ...

KB250 DH165K1A - Installation Instructions

DH165K1A Board Replacement Decoder Fits Kato SD40-2, AC4400 1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Note the orientation for proper reinstallation (Figure 1). 2. Remove the four track power pickup wires clipped to the lightboard at mid point (Figure 1). 3. Unscrew the two screws securing the lightboard and lift it from the frame. (Figure 2) 4. Remove the lightboard by pulling it gently straight up, off the motor clips. (Figure 3) 5. Decoder installation is the reverse of what we’ve done so far. Snap the decoder into place over the motor clips. Be sure motor clips are ...

KB251 DH165Q1 - Installation Instructions

The DH165Q1 fits many Atlas, Intermountain, Life-Like & Other factory sound equipped HO locomotives. Installation Instructions - Intermountain F7 example: Removing Locomotive Shell and Disconnecting Lightboard 1. Carefully remove the front coupler and then the locomotive's shell from the frame. Note the orientation for proper reinstallation. 2. Unplug and mark the two track power pickup 2-pin plugs, the motor 2-pin plug and the 6-pin headlight plug(Figure 1) Observe and carefully note the original wire locations! One of the track power plugs and the 2 pin motor plug can be inadvertently swapped when hooking up the new decoder PCB. 3. Unscrew ...

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.

KB255 DH165K0 - Installation Instructions

Preparation 1. Carefully remove the locomotive's shell from the frame. Note the orientation for proper reinstallation. (Figure 1) 2. Remove the four track power pickup wires clipped to the lightboard (2 on each side) (Figure 2) Carefully pull the brass motor clips from under the track power "staples" on the lightboard. 3. Unscrew the lightboard screws to release PCB from the frame. Decoder Board Installation 4. Physically secure the DH165K0 decoder PCB with the lightboard screws. 5. Attach the four track power pickup wires by shortening and stripping each wire (2 on each end) and soldering these wires to each ...

KB256 DH165A0 - Installation Instructions

1. Carefully remove the locomotive's shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the circuit board inside so that you can install the decoder in the same orientation. (Figure 1) 2. Remove the 10 black plastic plugs from the lightboard that secure the wires to the PCB. There are 4 plugs (retainers) on each end and 2 on the side for the motor connection. Remove the red and black wires, carefully noting where each wire originally connected to the PCB. Remove the lightboard itself by pinching the black plastic release tabs and pulling the board up and off of the ...

KB257 DH165L0 - Current Regulator Bypass

The DH165L0 decoder F0F and F0R headlight functions are factory configured with an onboard current regulator for the factory-installed low voltage bulbs (or LEDs) when using a maximum DCC track voltage of up to 16Volts. To bypass the current regulator and use 12V to 16V lamps with the DH165L0 on F0F and F0R, bridge each of the two pair of solder pads as shown on the back side of the decoder in the figure below. The circuit board is marked with F and R adjacent to the soldering points. Bridge between the two F points for a higher voltage bulb ...

KB258 DH165L0 - Soundbug Installation

Installation of the SFX004 SoundBug into a DH165-Series decoder is easy, but it does require some care. The SoundBug must be properly oriented to the decoder. Here, the DH165L0: Here, an installation in a Proto1000 DL-109. In this orientation, the SoundBug sockets are to the right on the DH165L0 decoder: The SoundBug is plugged into the sockets of the DH165L0 decoder: Because the DL-109 is a diesel locomotive, it will not need the white synchronization wire. Everything is fitted into place. The SoundBug is shipped with a small piece of foam to protect the pins of this decoder. You may ...

KB259 DH165L0 - Installation Instructions

DH165L0 fits Life-Like GP7, SD60 and many other locos with Life-Like DCC medium plug arrangement. 1. Remove locomotive shell, noting the orientation of the circuit board inside. (See Figure 1) 2. Unplug the the manufacturer’s DCC socket from the pins on the factory board. Remove the two screws that hold the board in place. (See Figure 2) Lift out the factory board and save the two screws for future use. 3. Insert the locomotive’s DCC socket onto the pins on the Digitrax DH165L0 decoder board. In this orientation, Pin 1 (the orange wire) is the lower left pin and Pin ...

KB774 DT400 How to Run an Analog Loco on Address “00”

'It is possible to operate one conventional DC locomotive at Address 00.  In many cases, this is the first locomotive that beginners use when they first get their command control system.  In other cases, this locomotive is one which cannot be easily converted to DCC.  Regardless, although it is possible to use your Digitrax system in this way, it is not a recommended approach.1. Place an analog locomotive (one without a decoder) on your layout.  While the analog loco is sitting still, you will hear the characteristic “singing” caused by the DCC track signal when it is applied to analog ...

KB278 Marklin Z-Scale

I have an extensive collection of older (15-20 years) Z-Scale Maerklin equipment. Can I convert the locos to Digitrax, or must I buy some other brand of loco to use Digitrax? Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends upon the size of the locomotive. We are aware of several European Z-Scale model railroads that use Digitrax. We also know of a very large Z-Scale railroad in Washington, DC that uses Digitrax. This particular railroad is a model of Swiss prototype, so the locomotives are all electric-types; there seems to be enough room inside for a decoder, especially the new DZ125 series ...

KB388 DZ121 for the N-Scale Life-Like SW1200

Prior to Disassembly Test the Decoder All Digitrax decoders are tested for proper operation before they leave the factory, but sometimes strange things happen. Therefore to insure your decoder is covered under our warranty policy, please give it a thorough test BEFORE you cut the wires. Test Run the Locomotive Be sure it runs correctly in both directions with no unusual noises or binding in the motor-gear train. If it checks out OK, then: Get Ready Before you start, get your tools and supplies together for this project. You will need the following items: DECODER TESTER - Such as the ...

KB285 Mars Light in a Proto 2000 PA-1

I'm trying to install a DH123D decoder in a Life like P2K PA loco and make the mars light work. HELP! Because the DH123D is a two-function decoder (front headlight, rear headlight), it may not be the best decoder choice for this locomotive. In practice, some PA's had only one headlight, thus there would be no Mars light. The DH123D would be an appropriate choice for those locomotives. Typically, eastern railroads would just have one headlight; think Pennsy and Southern Railway. Western railroads, because of higher train speeds, often used warning lights such as the Mars Light or Pyle Gyra-Light; ...

KB901 Configurable Strobes CV49 & CV50-DZ121 Decoder

Configurable strobes are controlled with CV49 & CV50. CV49 controls the White Lead   CV50 controls the Yellow Lead The value programmed for each CV consists of 2 digits, the first digit controls the conditions under which the light will be active.1x=Reverse, if 1 is the first digit then the light will be on when the locomotive is in reverse2x=F0 Qualified, if 2 is the first digit then the function will be active when F0 is on and off when F0 is off4x=Direction insensitive, if 4 is the first digit then the function will be On in either directionThe second ...

KB288 What is a SuperSonic Decoder?

Digitrax decoders with numbers ending in "3" have SuperSonic™. Decoders control the locomotive's speed through Pulse Width Modulation. When these pulses are within the human hearing range, it can cause some buzzing in some locomotives.CV09: SuperSonic™ The SuperSonicTM feature allows you to adjust the PWM (pulse width modulation) frequency of your decoder to reduce the humming noise that is characteristic of the DCC signal. Digitrax decoders that have this feature are shipped with the value set at 000/x00 or maximum PWM. To change this value, you can set any value from 000/x00 (max) to 255/xFF (min). Use of this feature ...

KB289 What are CS Functions?

CS (configurable strobes) are function outputs can be set up to be simple on/off functions or as single or double pulse strobes. The CS option was available in very early decoders where there were not enough resources to allow for full FX functions.

KB290 What are FX Functions?

Many locomotives feature warning lights that are designed to make a train more visible to the general public. FX Functions are function outputs that incorporate 4 FX generators for prototypical lighting effects such as Mars lights, ditch lights, Pyle Gyra-lights, rotating beacons, single and double pulse strobe lights, and random flicker.

KB291 What does FX3 Mean?

All current Digitrax mobile decoders have FX3: all function outputs incorporate FX generators for prototypical lighting effects full function re-mapping so you can choose which function (F0-F12) controls each function lead

KB292 Features of Series 3 Decoders

 Digitrax Series 3 Decoders include the following features and more: FX3 Function Outputs Supersonic motor drive for quiet operation Support for all DCC programming methods One-Step decoder factory CV reset Motor isolation protection White or Golden Yellow LEDs on decoders that come equipped with LEDs Operations mode read back capability for CV read back on the main line

KB293 Digitrax LocoMotion System

What is the Digitrax LocoMotion(™) System? The LocoMotion(™) System is available with many decoders. It offers: 128 speed step control Smooth deceleration to stop before changing direction when locomotive is reversed Torque compensation for the smoothest operation ever Momentum with acceleration and deceleration settings Set normal direction of travel for your loco Switching speed feature for quick access to slower switching speeds Simple 3 step speed tables are easy to set up Advanced 28 step speed tables with 256 level resolution Series 3 decoders have smooth scaleable speed stabilization feature

KB295 Using the SFX004 SoundBug with Other Decoders

The SoundBug track connections are shown below: The SoundBug is assigned the same address as the mobile decoder, with the only shared CV's being the address (CV01), the Configuration Register (CV29), and the headlight and momentum settings. Sound projects loaded into this decoder may be operated independently of any other DCC motor or function decoder. If another non-Sound FX compatible DCC decoder is connected to the track leads then CV readback of SFX004 Sound CV's and PR3 SoundTest modes may not be possible. Note that it is always possible to Write CV values using Operations mode or a Service Mode ...

KB296 SFX004/SFX006 Installation Instructions

Note the SFX006 is identical.  These instructions pertain to both Soundbugs.   1) Identify the correct orientation and mounting side of the DH165 series Decoder with SFX004 Soundbug Socket to plug this sound module into. There is text saying "SFX here" etc,. The SFX004 must only be mounted from the correct side and orientation, for each of the DH165 host decoders. 2) With correct orientation noted from step 1, align the dual row of SFX004 connector pins to the matching holes in the DH165 host PCB. Apply gentle and firm pressure behind the SFX004 connector to engage the pins until ...

KB298 SFX0416 - Wiring Connections

Wired Mobile Decoder with SoundFX™+Accessory type functions for most HO scale Locomotives.

KB299 SFX0416 - Use with other DCC decoders

Wired Mobile Decoder with SoundFX™+Accessory type functions for most HO scale Locomotives. The sound project loaded into this decoder may be operated independently of any other DCC motor or function decoder. If another non-Sound FX compatible DCC decoder is connected to the track leads, then CV readback of SFX0416 Sound CV's and PR3 SoundTest modes may not be possible. Note that it is always possible to Write CV values using Operations mode or a Service Mode programming track, even if CV Read is inoperative. If the connected function loads are insufficient for CV readback with a PR3 or an incompatible ...

KB300 SFX0416 - Installation Instructions

Wired Mobile Decoder with SoundFX™+Accessory type functions for most HO scale Locomotives. 1. Connect the Red and Black track wires from the 7 connector Track and Function leads to the locomotive track power connections. 2. Connect the function leads that are to be used from the 7 conductor Track and Function wire set. Note that to be able to readback Sound FX CV's a combination of function lead loads of at least 60mA at 12volts should be connected to these function leads. Insulate the unused function leads so they cannot short to the locomotive frame or track power. 3. Mount ...

KB302 DN163M0 - Function Outputs

The DN163M0 is set up at the factory to control six functions. The unit is prewired with one golden-white LED (shown in figure below) for the headlight and set up as Function 0 (F0F-forward). Function outputs F0F/Yellow, F1/Green, F2/Violet, F3/Brown and F4/White/Yellow are available on the decoder and can be used by soldering wires from the pads indicated to the lights (or other functions) you wish to control. CAUTION: When adding function wires, be very careful that the wires you add do not come into contact with any other pads or components on the board where they might create a ...

KB303 Installing DN163M0 in Micro-Trains' FT

1. Carefully remove the locomotive's shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the shell for reinstallation. 2. Carefully remove the plastic light shroud by gently prying up the tabs on either side of the frame and lifting the plastic piece off the frame. 3. Slide the factory light board forward to release it from under the clips on the locomotive frame. Be careful not to distort the frame clips as you slide and lift the light board off the frame. 4. Place the small piece of kapton tape provided with the decoder on the loco frame, wrapping it around ...

KB304 Kato RDC's and DN143K2

Photo Courtesy Kato, USA The DN143K2 replaced the earlier DN122K2 as a custom decoder designed for the Kato RDC in N-Scale. This is not a particularly easy installation and there have been some reports of problems with the headlights. Paul Lator has some experience with this installation, and this may be of help to you: "The wiring with the DN143K2 works well if you do not route the wires over the top of the seating in the RDC, rather completely disassemble the unit, mount the decoder in it's designated location then run the wires through the drive shaft tunnels. Place ...

KB312 DH165A0 - Light Bulb Problem with Athearn

I have a DH165AO decoder and Sound Bug and am installing the decoders into an Athearn SD70 Locomotive.The motor controller works and the sound as well. However, I am unable to get the lights to work. I connected the wire leads exactly as they where on the Athearn light board. Athearn uses twin forward and rear 1.5 volt lights yet the DH165AO will not power the bulbs. It will power one bulb at either end but not two. The single bulb setup glows very brightly but for a short time. So I tried using the 47 ohm resistor in parallel ...

KB838 Zephyr - Function Operation Troubleshooting

If the function you want to operate does not respond, check the following:1. Is Track Status [4] on? If not press the POWER key to turn it on. 2. Did you select the correct loco? If not, select it now.3. Is the function you want to use installed in the loco? If not, you may need to install it. Most new locos have a head lamp/backup lamp installed, but most do not have any additional lights or sounds installed.4. Change the position of the Direction Control Lever and see if the lamp comes on in the other direction. If the ...

KB839 Zephyr - Making Function 3 Non-latching

The DCS50 Zephyr normally treats Function 3 as an on/off function unless you set it up as a non-latching function like Function 2. This means that F3 can be used either as a normal function operating as an "On / Off" switch, or to control a function that only requires a momentary activation like some couplers.To set up Function 3 as a non-latching function, set the DCS50’s Option Switch 6 to closed as follows:1. Press the PROG key. The last programming mode used by the DCS50 will be displayed.2. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used ...

KB840 Zephyr - Functions F0-F8

DCS50 Zephyr can control Functions F0 - F8. Most DCC mobile decoders have function outputs that you can use to control lamps, LEDs, sound, smoke generators and other on/off devices installed in your locomotives. Most locomotives made today come with a head light and sometimes with a rear light, too. With DCC, these are controlled by the decoder’s function outputs. You can also install additional DCC controlled lighting such as cab lights, Mars lights, ditch lights, rotating beacons and others on your locos. The addition of these functions can add to the fun and realism of your locomotives.You must have ...

KB841 Zephyr - Functions

DCS50 Zephyr can control Functions F0 - F8. Most DCC mobile decoders have function outputs that you can use to control lamps, LEDs, sound, smoke generators and other on/off devices installed in your locomotives. Most locomotives made today come with a head light and sometimes with a rear light, too. With DCC, these are controlled by the decoder’s function outputs. You can also install additional DCC controlled lighting such as cab lights, Mars lights, ditch lights, rotating beacons and others on your locos. The addition of these functions can add to the fun and realism of your locomotives.You must have ...

KB141 Wiring Harnesses

I have numerous locomotives I wish to convert to DCC. In order to spread the cost out over time I would like to install the connector/harness and add the decoder at a later date. Is it possible to buy the connector/harness assembly separately? Yes, there are several harnesses which are part of the Digitrax Easy Connect systemThis System Included the:DHWH - 9 pin to bare wires wire harnessDHDP - 9 pin dummy plugs to convert for analog operationDHWHPS - 9 pin to DCC medium plug short harness 1"DHWHP - 9 pin to DCC medium plug long harness 3"DHAT - 9 pin ...

KB347 American Wire Gauge

American Wire Gauge (AWG) is a U.S. standard set of wire conductor sizes. The "gauge" is related to the diameter of the wire. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter and the thinner the wire. Typical model railroad copper bus wiring is AWG number 12 or 14. Connecting wire is often 20, 22, or 24. European color coded wiring practice often calls for "9" gauge wire, or approximately 3mm diameter wire. They also use smaller wire for runs from stationary decoders to individual devices. The smaller the diameter the wire, the more resistance; this means that a larger ...

KB349 Decoder Ready Locomotives?

When purchasing a loco that says its decoder ready, exactly what is implied? Does this mean wires can be wired into the numbered locations and nothing else is needed except to remove jumpers?As with any technology, it takes time for standardized terminology to become established.  Although DCC is almost twenty years old, there are still some gray areas with descriptions.  It really depends upon the individual manufacturer, and within one manufacturer's product line there can be variances also.  There are several types of locomotive decoder installations and you may find that these terms are not applied by all manufacturers in ...

KB350 Older Proto 2000 Geeps

Do you have a reference for wiring Proto 2000 older geeps with a decoder (not necessarily sound)? We actually have several Life-Like Proto's sitting around for conversion to DCC, including an older GP-18, older FA's and such that date back to the days when DCC was just a twinkle in AJ's eyes. Overall, converting these locomotives will be fairly easy but there are a few things to watch for. Make sure that the decoder has enough capacity to match the current demands of the locomotive mechanism.  You must measure the stall current of the locomotive to determine this.   Make ...

KB353 Sound Decoders and the white cam lead

I don't understand what the white cam lead gets hooked up to. Some model steam locomotives are equipped with, or can be equipped with, a cam arrangement which coordinates the sound to the rotation of the drivers creating chuffing. As the wheels turn, a switch opens and closes, operating the chuff sound produced by the sound decoder. The white wire goes from the decoder to a microswitch which is operated by a cam that is mounted on the axle of one of the drivers. In operation, when the white wire senses the DCC track signal, it operates the chuff sound ...

KB356 DH165A0 - Headlight brightness

I am installing a DH165A0 in an Athearn SD70. The head light outputs are a nominal 30 ma (with the link cut). The bulbs were of course a bit lower in their current demands and were very bright for a short while. Is there any way to lower the current output from 30ma or do I need to add a resistor in line with the bulb to drop the voltage output? Of course if it is supposed to be a regulated current output this might be a problem. The DH165A0 has a constant current source for F0F and F0R, so ...

KB364 DH165A0 - Function Outputs

The DH165A0 is set up at the factory to control six function outputs. The DH165A0 is configured to control the forward-headlight F0F/white lead and reverse-headlight F0R/yellow lead for directional lighting. These two headlight function leads are current regulated for LEDs or lamps, with factory setting of approx 15mA, with no resistors required. Cut the ADJ link to increase headlight current to approx 30mA (see figure below). Functions F1 (Green), F2 (Violet), F3 (Brown) and F4 (White/Yellow) are full track voltage and can be used by soldering a wire from the pad for the function you wish to use to the ...

KB365 Proto 1000 - The Stuff They Don't Tell You

"I had two Proto 1000 RDC's that I wanted to convert. After opening up the first one, I did what I usually do, yanked out all the circuit boards and such, threw them over my shoulder and commenced to hardwiring the decoder into the unit. Everything went fine, and I took it with me to a friend's railroad to enjoy what I had done. After I got there and played a bit, my friend commented that wasn't it neat that the Proto 1000 series has wiring connections on the circuit board in the locomotive, making things considerably easier. Wiring points?" ...

KB366 Some Thoughts on Decoder Installations

There was a time when every mobile decoder installation was a custom installation. In those early days, we were just feeling our way along, trying to find ways to make the existing supply of decoders fit into locomotives which had been designed in a different era. Fortunately, things have changed along the way, and in many cases, the Digitrax Decoder Selection Guide will list your locomotive. But many locomotives are not listed because they are too new or are too generic for a special listing. So, from time to time, you will have to "wing it" just a bit to ...

KB880 Installing Digitrax Wired Decoder in Kato N-scale AC4400CW

This article courtesy of Ken Bessler, concerning installation of a decoder into earlier Kato C4400W's.  Current produiction of these locomotives use DN163K1C or similar board replacement decoder.I wanted to convert my 2 new Kato AC4400CW's to DCC but there were several problems:1) The recommended PnP decoder, DN163K1a has a chip right where a shell component is. Using this decoder requires shaving off the plastic retainer clip under the exhaust stack. IMHO this is not good as it leaves too little support for the stack.2) My dealer was out of stock of the PnP decoders.3) A quick look inside the loco shows ...

KB369 Walters Cornerstone Swing Bridge DCC Conversion

What do I need for DCC control of a Walters Cornerstone Swing bridge? Image Courtesy Wm. K. Walthers We do not have any direct experience with this particular bridge but after a little research, this is what we recommend.The instruction sheet which comes with the 933-1050 Motorizing Kit is quite vague.  "The unit runs on DC power.  Hook the wires up to the DC contacts on a transformer with a maximum voltage of 12.  If you hook it up to a variable speed transformer, do not exceed 12 volts.  The gear ratio is 320:1."  That said, it is still a ...

KB882 Installation of Digitrax Wired Decoders in Bachman Plus HO ABA F7s

This note addresses the installation of an H0-Scale wired decoder into Bachmann Plus ABA F-7s; it calls for using a DH140, which has been retired.  Current decoders such as the DH123 or DH163 or similar wired decoders can be used. Just finished up doing a few HO Bachmann Plus F7's, ABA's to be exact. Thought maybe some of you might be interested in how the DCC conversion went on these.They are an easy conversion!1.  The full stall current for these ranged from 500-700 ma for each loco . I selected Digitrax DH140 for the A units and a DH120 for the B ...

KB883 Installation of Digitrax Wired Decoder in Bachmann Spectrum N Scale F40PH

This application note is courtesy of Michael K. Perrin, and addresses the installation of an N-Scale decoder in the Bachmann F40PH (now discontinued).  This note calls for using either DN93 or DN140, both of which have been discontinued.  Current decoders such as the DZ125 or DZ143 and other similar N scale decoders can be used.1) Cut a place for the decoder in the back recess in the frame. Because this is a "sandwich" frame there is no room for the decoder without using a saw or Dremel tool to make a cavity for the decoder. (This is the hardest part of the ...

KB884 Wired Decoder Installation in Atlas/Kato GP30/35

These instructions detail the installation of a wired Digitrax decoder (a DN140 in this example, but many wired decoders may be used) into an Atlas GP35 manufactured by Kato prior to September, 2007.  These units are marked "Japan" on the bottom of the locomotive.  Units marked "China" use a board replacement decodr such as the DN163A2.Installation DiagramNotes:A. Be sure motor leads (Gray & Orange) do not touch frames & have protective insulation in place.B. Be sure frame is straight & mechanism is correctly reassembled & can turn freely without binding.Wired Decoder Installation InstructionsFollow these steps for decoder installation with either ...

KB885 Wired Decoder Installation for Athearn Locomotives

This installation covers how to install a Digitrax decoder with wires in any Athearn HO locomotive.  Use either our DH123 (headlight functions only) or DH163 (headlights plus additional functions) for this installation.*** Note: This installation is based on installing a Digitrax wired decoder in an Athearn Dash 9-44CW. The process is similar for any Digitrax mobile decoder with wires. The instructions are also easily applicable for any Athearn locomotive.These instructions assume that you have already run the loco and have established that it is working properly before beginning installation. Remember, installing a decoder in a locomotive will not improve its ...

KB886 Installation of Digitrax Wired Decoders in a Kato GP35 Diesel HO

Note: These instructions cover the hardwired installation of any Digitrax decoder with wires into a Kato GP35 H0 Diesel. Currently, the recommended decoder for current production GP35's from Kato are the DH163K0 board replacement decoder.  Using the board replacement decoders are much simpler and cleaner installation than the one described here.Tools Needed for Decoder InstallationYou'll need a few simple tools:1. A soldering iron, preferably temperature controlled.2. Solder3. Screwdriver4. Small diagonal cutters for cutting and stripping small wire5. TweezersMotor Isolation for Kato GP35Carefully remove the loco's shell and weight.To isolate the motor, disconnect the brass strips (motor brushes) from the track pick up ...

KB887 Digitrax Decoder Installation For PROTO 2000 E8/E9 in HO Scale

This installation procedure is for the DIGITRAX DH163/DH123 decoder. Alternatively, you can use a Digitrax DN142 in this installation. If you use the DN140 the installation will require fewer engine modifications because of the smaller physical size of the decoder.Note any decoder of smaller physical size can be used in this installation.  DN135D, DN163, DZ123, DZ125, DZ143 are all possibilities. After removing the shell from the locomotive chassis, note the color and location of each of the various wires.  All connections must be soldered with rosin core solder and insulated with shrink tubing.We will locate the decoder in the forward ...

KB888 Installation of Digitrax Decoders in HO Scale Atlas RS1, RS3, RSD4/5

Many thanks to Bob Dattore for this application note!This app note details using a DN142 decoder for the installation.  This decoder is no longer in production but the following decoders would work as well:  DN135D, DN163, DZ123, DZ125, DZ143.  Any decoder that is small enough to fit could be used.The Problem:  Atlas RS1's (and RS3's & RSD4/5's) are hard to install Digitrax decoders in. There is no easy drop-in or light board replacement with back-emf capability.I have installed several Atlas Dual Mode decoders in these popular hard to fit narrow, low hood diesels with ease, by replacing the original light ...

KB890 Installation of Digitrax DH121 in Bachman Hogwart's Express

Many thanks to Dick Sutcliffe, Superintendent BR &T Railway Co. for this application note!Install the DN121 in the tender   1. The tender is easy to open by removing two screws so you can pull the decoder out and put in a plug when running on DC layouts.   2. Use a piece of styrene to raise the decoder off the weight.   3. Notch the front edge of the tender frame to bring the wires through to loco (all power pick up is in the loco).   4. Split the loco frame to isolate the motor brushes, remove the contact springs in the ...

KB893 Athearn N-Scale P59PHI Installation Instructions

The Athearn N-Scale P59PHI was not designed for a plug 'n play or board replacement installation therefore, a wired installation will be necessary. This installation is straightforward if you follow the instructions provided below. There is plenty of room inside the locomotive for this installation. See the Digitrax Decoder Selector on our home page to determine which current production decoder is recommended for this installation. Athearn N-Scale P59PHI Installation Instructions for Digitrax Decoders:1. Remove the locomotive's shell. Note which end of the frame is the front and which is the back.2. Remove the light board that is installed on the ...

KB894 Proto 2000 E6/E7 Mars Light Installation

Remove the 8 pin dummy plug from Lifelike Proto 2000 light board.Before installing the decoder in the locomotive, unsolder the yellow wire from pin 2 and re-solder it to pin 3 (empty pin) on the decoder harness plug board.  We strongly recommend that you mark the decoder and/or harness so that you will remember that you have modified it.  If you use the decoder and/or harness modified in this manner in a different locomotive, your lights will not work correctly. Plug the decoder and harness into the light board in the locomotive.Program CVs as follows:  CV33 = 001, CV34 = ...

KB895 Digitrax Decoders with AC motors and "Lionel" Type E Units

Using Digitrax Decoders with AC Motors and Lionel Type E UnitsThis application note shows how Lionel users and other users of AC motors can use DCC to run their layouts.This example shows a wiring diagram for an AC universal motor with two-wire field coil. For this type of motor you must add a bridge rectifier to control the polarity to the motor's field coil.  This type of motor is found in AC locos built from the 1950s through today.Some Lionel type AC locos have motors with three wire field coils and an E Unit.  Half of the coil is used ...

KB896 Athearn Genesis SD70-Adding A Decoder and Setting Up Ditch Lights

Athearn Genesis SD70s came factory equipped with a Digitrax designed light board. The board is NOT a DCC decoder. If you want to add a decoder and have alternating ditch lights the following steps are recommended: 1 - Remove locomotive shell; 2 - Remove dummy nine pin plug from wire harness and insert Digitrax DH163D on the harness; 3 - Remove the wires of one of the ditch light bulbs from F1N and F1P and solder them to F2N and F2P; 4 - Program CV51 to 106, CV52 to 107 and CV63 to 40. 5 - Reinstall locomotive shell.F2 on ...

KB897 Roundhouse "Critter" Decoder Installation

1) Remove locomotive shell following Roundhouse instructions.2) There are two large diodes, one on each side of the rectangular light board. Remove them.3) The two LEDs are wired to this light board, one on each side with black and gray wires on each LED. Reverse the black and gray wires on the board from each LED (gray to where black was and black to where gray was.4) Remove the dummy eight pin plug and insert the eight pin DCC medium plug of a Digitrax DZ1xxPS decoder with the orange wire going to #1 on the light board.5) Reinstall locomotive shell.FAILURE ...

KB900 DZ121 - Short Address Programming Notes

Short Address Programming Note When programming the short address (CV01) in your DZ121, the decoder will automatically set CV19 to 0, CV29 to 0, CV 55 to 80, CV56 to 30 & CV57 to 0. This is done to insure compatibility with DCC systems that only recognize short addressing (2 digit mode). When using long addressing (4 digit addressing) these CV's are not affected.After changing the short address (CV01), you will probably want to change CV29 to 06 or another appropriate value based on your operations. You can do this on the programming track or, if you forget, you can ...

KB902 Scaleable Speed Stabilization (Back EMF) in Digitrax Decoders

Speed stabilization is a feature that causes the decoder to run the locomotive at a somewhat constant speed according to the throttle setting. This means that if you set your throttle to 21% of total speed, the decoder will force the motor in the locomotive to maintain a constant speed at that level no matter what the track gradient or the load on the locomotive. The SD9 is an example of a US prototype that employed a load compensating type of control technology. Many modern European locomotive prototypes use some form of load compensation of the prime-mover in response to speed ...

KB907 Ditch Lights with FX Decoders

Flashing ditch lights can be set up with several CV's. Using 1.5 Volt Bulbs or LEDsIf you use 1.5 V bulbs, you must install a current setting resistor with a minimum value of 100 ohms for each bulb.Typically a 560 ohm 1/4 watt resistor works well for a grain of rice bulb and a 250 ohm 1/4 watt resistor works well for a grain of wheat bulb.Lower resistance values will increase the lamp brightness. If you use LED's be sure the polarity is correct when you hook them up & install a current setting resistor for each LED. Typically a ...

KB398 Installation Instructions - Kato Nscale SD90/43MAC Locomotive

1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. Notice the orientation of the light board, so that you can install the new decoder in the same orientation. 2. Carefully remove the factory light board by sliding it toward the back of the locomotive and out from under the frame clips. Then gently lift the board out of the frame. Be careful not to bend the motor contacts. Apply a small piece of Kapton tape to saddle area of the frame above motor. 3. Install the DN163K2 decoder by angeling it slightly as you insert the front corners into the forward ...

KB399 Installation of DN163K2 in Kato RS2 Locomotives

The DN163K2 will fit into the Kato RS2 and RSC2 locomotives with the same frame design. The decoder is also installed using these same steps in the SD90/43MAC. Kapton tape should be applied in the saddle area of the frame above the motor to prevent shorting. Install the DN163K2 decoder into the frame by tilting it slightly as you insert the front corners into the forward frame clips. Press the decoder motor clips down over the motor contacts and slide the decoder board forward and press the board down into the frame. Be careful not to bend the motor contacts ...

KB912 LT-1 Decoder Testing Procudures

1. Strip the insulation from the red, green, black and yellow wires on the harness. The blue and white wires are not used and may be cut off the harness if you wish.2. Twist the red and yellow wires together. Twist the black and green wires together. 3. To test motor operation, hook up the wires according to the directions in the Digitrax Decoder Manual. One of the two center LEDs will light as the motor voltage increases from the decoder. Change direction and the other LED will light. 4. To test other decoder functions connect the LT-1 to the ...

KB401 Life-Like N-Scale GP18 Modifications needed for the DN163K2 decoder

The Life-Like GP18 locomotive can be modified to accept the DN163K2 board replacement decoder. The locomotive samples used by Digitrax for this instatllation needed to have the frame engagement clearance slots under the cab on the fireman-side widened about 1mm towards the rear of the locomotive (long hood end). This can be done with a small file or Dremel type tool, to allow the decoder to properly engage the casting with the power tab on this side. The engineer-side slots are OK to fit the decoder power pickup tab on this side. Be sure to check the motor tabs are safely ...

KB402 Is having back-EMF more "dangerous" to the motor?

Scaleable speed stabilization (back EMF) compensates for load by providing more voltage to the motor.  If there is a mechanical problem with the locomotive that greatly increases this load you can prevent damage to motor by setting CV57 to limit how much throttle can be added due to BEMF.Digitrax Scalable BEMF uses CV57 to control how much compensation authority the BEMF control loop has.  The higher CV57 is (0-15 range) the more back-emf the control loop can crank in; a value of 0 effectively turns off BEMF compensation.  The value in CV57 takes into account the different throttle levels as ...

KB926 CV55, CV56 & CV57 - Scaleable Speed Stabilization (Back EMF)

Some Digitrax decoders offer scalable speed stabilization (also called back EMF) control to help smooth out operation in the low end of the speed range.  This feature can be beneficial especially in N scale switching situations especially when the decoder can select how much of this effect to implement (scalable speed stabilization).  Speed stabilization is a decoder feature that can be used with any DCC system.  Most Digitrax decoders that support this feature are shipped with scalable speed stabilization turned off so, to use it you will need to set program them to use this feature.  Other Digitrax decoders are ...

KB933 Motor Isolation Protection FX & FX3 Decoders

FX3 decoders have motor isolation protection. If the decoder senses that the motor is not isolated, it will not run the motor. In this case, you will be able to control the loco’s functions but the motor will not work.FX decoders will blink the loco's lights when power is first applied to the decoder to warn you of a short circuit in your installation. If you see the lights blinking, immediately remove the loco from the track, locate the short circuit and correct the problem before proceeding. Do not leave the loco on the track with blinking lights because eventually, ...

KB934 CV50- CV52, CV62-CV63 & CV113-CV116 FX3 Special Light Effects

Decoders with FX3 features have 8 user configurable, independent special effects generators.  All current production Digitrax Decoders use FX3 function features. These are set up by programming CV values as described below.  If your decoder is not a Series 3 decoder, please check the spec sheet to determine which type of functions it supports.FX3 functions incorporate FX generators with additional dynamic and static qualifiers.  FX3 functions are fully remappable so they can be controlled by any function key on your system.  A master light switch can be set up to turn off all lights on a locomotive. Functions associated with advanced ...

KB935 CV49-CV56 - FX Special Effects

Decoders with FX function features have 4 user configurable, independent special effects generators. All current production Digitrax Decoders use FX3 functions so this article is not applicapable to these decoders. CAUTION: Decoders with FX3 function generators use different CVs to control the decoder outputs. All current production Digitrax decoders use FX3 function CVs. Before using these CVs to program your decoders make sure that they are FX and not FX3 decoders.The Real FX effects are set up by programming CV values as described below.F1/F2 NOTE: If using DH142, DN142, DN141K2, DN149K2 series decoder, when F1 is set up for FX, ...

KB370 LED Lights in Locomotives

I have this N-scale Proto A/B unit. I went to install the decoder in the A unit to the headlight, its an LED. My question is that once it was wired up and place on the track, I hit my headlight function and the light lit up then burnt out. This is my first wired decoder I ever installed with a head light. Can you tell me how to properly wire the led headlight to the DZ123 decoder so the light doesn't burn out? In looking at the DZ123 Decoder sheet, it suggests that I check the Decoder Manual for ...

KB941 CV49, CV50, CV61 - Setting Up Configurable Strobes

Configurable strobes are set up using CV's 49, 50 and 61. Configurable strobe function leads can be programmed with a limited number of simulated lighting effects similar to FX effects but without as many options. Configurable strobes are offered in those few Digitrax decoders where there was not enough "code space" to provide full FX features.CV49 controls F0 Forward, the white function lead. CV50 controls F0 reverse, the yellow function lead.CV61 enables the configurable strobe operation.To set up configurable strobe lights:1. Program CV61 with the CV value "01" to enable configurable strobe operation.2. Program the CV value for CVs 49 ...

KB942 CV61 - Non-directional Headlights, Transponding, & Split Phase Motor Drive

Characteristics Controlled by CV61:Some Digitrax Decoders use CV61 (one of the manufacturer specific configuration variables) to give you the following options:  Non-Directional Headlight Operation, Transponding Enabled or Disabled, & Split Phase Motor Drive for Märklin AC and Lionel Type motors.The look up table below shows the effects of different CV values that you can program into CV61.  CV values are shown in hex & decimal are the same in this case.TABLE 61: CV61 Values CV 61 Value Non-directional headlights Transponding Split Field Motor/AC 00 No No No 01 Yes No No 02 No Yes No 03 Yes Yes No 04 ...

KB943 Functions on Mobile Decoders

Digitrax decoders have outputs that can control lamps and other on/off devices installed in your locomotive.  These are called functions.  Functions are things like: lamps, sound units, smoke units, etc. All Digitrax decoders are equipped with two or more function outputs that are used to turn functions on and off.Decoder function outputs can be:1.   Leads (wires) attached to the decoder that are used to hook up external functions.  See Table I below for wire color codes used on Digitrax decoders.or2.   Pre-wired function outputs that hook up by just plugging in the decoder. This is the case for decoders that ...

KB944 Decoder ID CVs-CV07, CV08, CV105, CV106

Several CVs are reserved for identifying your decoders.CV07 is the manufacturer's version ID. Manufacturers can use this CV to store information about the part number or version number of the decoder. In some decoders this is a read only CV, in others it is a read/write CV. Where CV07 is read only, the information loaded by the manufacturer will be available. If CV07 was read/write, the value may have been changed and will not necessarily be what the manufacturer originally loaded into the decoder.Version IDs do not necessarily represent code changes made to decoders and they may or may not ...

KB75 DN163K0b - Installation Instructions for Kato F-3

DN163K0b Installation Instructions for Kato F-3 1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame. 2. Remove the black plastic cab seat panel by gently pressing in at the sides. 3. Carefully remove the plastic plug that retains the brass motor clips and bend the brass motor clips up and away from the circuit board. 4. Slide the circuit board forward to release it from the clip on the locomotive frame and lift the board off the frame. 5. Remove the brass pickup rail from one side of the locomotive, being careful not to bend it. Wrap a small piece ...

KB964 Analog Loco on a Transponding Layout

Can I still operate a non-decoder equipped locomotive on my Transponding layout?Yes! Transponding will not affect operation of an analog loco (one without a decoder) on address 00. The analog loco will not transpond since it is not transponder equipped.

KB965 Non-Digitrax Decoders-Transponding Layout

You can simply add a TL1 or TF4 to locos with decoders made by other DCC manufacturers. In the case of some supersonic decoders made by other DCC companies that are not transponding compatible, you will need to turn off the supersonic feature when you want to use transponding. Digitrax supersonic decoders are compatible with transponding and can be used in supersonic mode while transponding.

KB966 Transponding-Adding Transponding to Locos

Once you have instrumented your layout for transponding, you simply add transponder equipped locomotives and you are ready to go. Digitrax decoders have been shipped with transponding included since 1999.  All current production Digitrax decoders are transponder equipped. Older Digitrax decoders models without transponders and decoders made by other manufacturers can add this capability by installing a transponder such as the TL1 or TF4 to existing DCC locomotive installations.  These transponders also add functions to the loco.

KB466 What is Stall Current

Stall Current is the max current draw in amps for a motor when it is stalled. This is important in determining which decoder to install in a locomotive. Why is Stall Current important? In the conversion of analog locomotives to DCC, how much current the locomotive draws is a major factor in decoder selection. Decoders are grouped by their ability to handle the electrical load that flows through them to the locomotive motor. The Ampere (Amp) is the unit of measure for electrical current used by the locomotive. The current draw of most HO can motors is between .5 and 1.5 ...

KB979 Locomotive Sockets and Plugs for Decoder Installation

The NMRA has already adopted a set of recommended practices for standardized sockets and plugs in N, HO, and Large scales. Many new HO locomotives are being made with this socket. Any command control manufacturer is free to make a decoder or other device that will plug into this socket whether it is a DCC decoder or not. In addition Digitrax makes board replacement decoders for many HO models to make installation even simpler.The N-scale socket and plug arrangement that was adopted is based on a European design that works well for many European locomotives.  Unfortunately, this design does not work in some US ...

KB469 Locomotive not included in Decoder Selector

Q:  I have an HO Bachmann Alaska EMD GP40 (Bachmann item #63548) that I have kept in the box for about a year. I recently received a Digitrax Zephyr and I want to put a decoder in the locomotive. I used your reference guide and did not see it listed. Does that mean it's not available? A:  There are many reasons why a particular locomotive is not listed in our database.  The most common is that we have never been asked about that particular model.  There are so many new models it is a difficult task to keep up with ...

KB485 One decoder controls two locomotives

Q:  Can one decoder be wired to run two engines, such as an A-B unit that do not get separated? A:  Yes, as long as the current capacity of the decoder is not exceeded. We recommend that you check the stall current of both locomotives before installing a decoder that will handle both. Note that you can control two locomotives with decoders as a consist or MU lash-up so that you do not have to use a single decoder to control both locos.Issues we have seen with using a single decoder to run two locos together:1.  Make sure your wiring between ...

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.

KB254 DH165K0 - Function Outputs

The DH165K0 is set up at the factory to control six function outputs. The DH165K0 is configured to control the forward-headlight F0F/white lead and reverse-headlight F0R/yellow lead for directional lighting. These two headlight function leads are current regulated for LEDs or lamps, with factory setting of approx 15mA, with no resistors required. Cut the ADJ link to increase headlight current to approx 30mA- see fig 5. Functions F1 (Green), F2 (Violet), F3 (Brown) and F4 (White/Yellow) are full track voltage and can be used by soldering a wire from the pad for the function you wish to use to the ...

KB504 Kato NW2 Installation Instructions

Move to decoder installation section? on main site or set up decoder installation notes in TSD?DN123K3 Kato NW2 Installation Instructions 1. Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the frame (Figure 1). Notice the orientation of the shell to the frame so that you can reinstall correctly. 2. To remove the Kato NW2 standard lightboard you will need to remove the motor clips first. The NW2 Motor clips can be most easily removed by rotating the motor gently so that the circular motor brush caps release the motor clip. Next pull the motor clip directly off each side of the lightboard. ...

KB506 Mars Light

Q:  I have a DH163D decoder. How do I program it so the Mars light works? A:  Any function output on Digitrax FX decoders can be set up for any FX effect by programming its associated FX CV to the appropriate FX CV value. For example, if CV52 (the FX CV for F2), is programmed with a CV value of 002, the violet wire F2 function output will be a Mars light when F2 is turned on for this decoder address and the decoder's direction is forward.

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 ...

KB509 Narrow Gauge Decoder Selection

Q:  As an HOn3 advocate and new to DCC with early PFM engines (2-6-0 & 2-8-0 motors in tender and some smaller ones) what would be the suggested decoder (am not sure am identifying the part correctly) that would be used in these engines? All I have seen so far identifies items used in H0 standard gauge. A:  Digitrax has many happy Narrow Gauge customers.  You'll need to consider three things to join their ranks.1.  The physical size of the decoder, because narrow gauge engines are smaller than Standard Gauge locomotives. Since your space is limited, using smaller decoders is the solution. Digitrax ...