Product Support for: Command Stations & Boosters -> All-in-one Command Station/Booster/Throttle (DCS50)

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Everything you need to get started in Digitrax Command Control for a great low price.

DCS50 is perfect for beginning, intermediate and advanced model railroaders. It is easy to use and has tons of features.

DCS50 offers excellent speed control, prototypical consisting, the full range of programming features and much more.

Discontinued in 2010

85 Articles Found for DCS50

KB625 Tower 55 DCC Equipped Locos- Testing a Four Digit Address Reset with DCS50 Zephyr

Testing for Tower 55 DCC Equipped Locos after 4 Digit address programming:Note these instructions are the same for both DCS50 Zephyr and DCS51 Zephyr Xtra1. Press the LOCO key on the DCS50. (The LED display should begin flashing)2. Enter the 4-digit address that was programmed in the procedure above using the numeric keypad. (The LED display should be flashing “####” with the # symbols replaced with the 4-digit address that was keyed in)3. Press the LOCO key on the DCS50. (The LED display should display “####” solid and the locomotive sounds should start up)4. Select FORWARD with the direction knob ...

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

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

KB627 Tower 55 locomotives-Programming a 4-digit address using Digitrax Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr (DCS50)

Note: The programming shortcut for 4-digit addressing outlined in the Digitrax Zephyr manual will not work to program the Tower 55 decoder in any programming mode on the Zeyphr throttle due to a programming timing issue with the DSC50. Please use the procedure referenced in this bulletin to access this feature.Note: If the DCS50 or DCS51 is being used as a command station with a DT400/DT400R throttle connected via the Loconet ports, then the programming shortcut for 4-digit addressing outlined in the DT400/DT400R throttle manual will work to enable the 4-digit address capability of the decoder when using the DT400/DT400R throttle ...

KB824 Testing LocoNet Cables with an LT1 on a Zephyr Xtra DCS51 or a Zephyr DCS50

1. Disconnect the wire harness from the LT1.2. Plug one end of the LocoNet cable being tested into the LT1.3. Connect the other end to the cable into on of the LocoNet ports on your DCS50. Make sure the Track Status Indicator Dot is lit.4. All four LEDs on the LT1 will light if the cable is good. LEDs may not all be the same brightness, this is normal. NOTE: Only three LEDs will light if the Track Status Indicator Dot is not lit.5. If any of the LEDs fail to light, recrimp the plugs on the LocoNet cable and ...

KB826 Zephyr - Adding Another DCS50

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

KB179 Zephyr - Q&A, DCS50 as a Booster

If a Zephyr has been switched to run as a booster/throttle (no command function), can it still be used to program locomotives on the programming track? No, when using the DCS50 as a booster, the programming outputs are disabled. Programming is a function of the command station only, so when the Zephyr is toggled to booster mode, it loses the programming function. If a Zephyr has been switched to run as a booster, does the throttle still work? Yes, but you must assign an unique throttle ID to the Zephyr which is acting as a booster. Assigning Throttle Identities To ...

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

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

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 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 you not use operations mode programming.  Use an electrically isolated programming track for decoder resets to prevent the possibility of resetting all decoders on the layout.  All other programming can be performed on the main track using Operations mode programming.Procedure:1. Place the decoder equipped locomotive on an electrically isolated service-mode programming ...

KB225 Zephyr - Will the DCS50 support a fast clock?

Will the Zephyr support a fast clock? Yes. Because Zephyr is fully equipped with LocoNet, it will work with LocoNet based fast clocks.

KB244 DCS50 (Zephyr) Operating Cheat Sheets

  Digitrax DCS50 (Zephyr) Operating Instructions by Dan Bourque   v1.0 Selecting a locomotive or consist 1.         Press the “LOCO” key (display will flash) 2.         Enter the address of the locomotive or consist - For a consist, the address will normally be the lead locomotive             - For a 3-digit locomotive number, use “0” for the first digit 3.         Press the “LOCO” key again (display will stop blinking) 4.         Move the direction selector on the throttle to either “Forward” or “Reverse” 5.         Move the speed knob until train moves   Dispatching (releasing) a locomotive or consist 1.         ...

KB626 DCS50 Zephyr 4 Digit Address Worksheet

For Tower 55 and other locomotives that require 4 digit address to be programmed using CV17 & CV18 instead of the normal Digitrax Throttle Automated method.To determine the values to program into CV17 and CV18, please complete the following worksheet before beginning the 4-digit address programming procedure.1. Write the 4-digit address to be programmed into the decoder here: _____________2. Take the 4-digit address from step 1 and divide by 256. (Result from step 2 = ____________)3. Take the digits to the left of the decimal point in the result from step 2 and add 192. (Result from step 3 = ...

KB355 PM42 Short Circuit/Auto-Reversing Failure when used with DCS50 (Zephyr)

PM42 Short Circuit/Auto-Reversing Failure When used with Zephyr (DCS50) The PM42 is designed to control 4 independent power subdistricts that can be set up as either a “Short Circuit Manager” (the factory setting) or as an “Auto-Reversing Controller.” The PM42 factory setting for trip current is 3 amps. The trip current can be modified to settings from 1.5 amps – 12 amps to accommodate the needs of your system. In addition, each of the 4 power subdistricts can be set for slow, regular, faster or fastest short circuit management. While a trip current of 3 amps will work with most ...

KB988 Using PM42 with Zephyr/DCS50

Problem: PM42 Short Circuit/Auto-Reversing failure when used with Zephyr (DCS50)The PM42 is designed to control 4 independent power subdistricts that can be set up as either a “Short Circuit Manager” (the factory setting) or as an “Auto-Reversing Controller.” The PM42 factory setting for trip current is 3 amps. The trip current can be modified to settings from 1.5 amps – 12 amps to accommodate the needs of your system. In addition, each of the 4 power subdistricts can be set for slow, regular, faster or fastest short circuit management.While a trip current of 3 amps will work with most boosters, ...

KB819 Zephyr - Customizing Operation with Option Switches

The DCS50 is set up at the factory to run right "out of the box", but the DCS50 does have several operational options that you can use to customize the perfomance of your railroad.  It should be noted that: Most customers never have any need to change these options.Changing DCS50 Option Switches1. See the DCS50 Option Switch Table that follows to decide which option switches you want to change.2. Press the PROG key. The display shows the last decoder programming mode used by the DCS50.3. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used by the DCS50 and ...

KB580 Zephyr Xtra - Making DCS51 or DSC50 a Booster/Throttle

How to disable command station capability in a DCS51 (Zephyr Xtra) or DCS50 (Zephyr) so it will operate as a booster and throttle without command station capabilityIf you have outgrown your Zephyr Xtra or Zephyr and have moved up to a more powerful command station, you can disable the command station capability in your DCS51 or DCS50 and continue using it as a booster and throttle in your system.Digitrax operators who upgrade from Zephyr to more powerful command stations for their systems can change Zephyr into a Booster/Throttle by setting OpSw 02 to closed. Changing DCS51/DCS50 Option Switch 02 to closed to disable command station capability: ...

KB858 Zephyr - Shutting Down & Resuming Operation

When you are finished with your session, you should shut down the DCS50 by turning off power to the system.Shutting Down DCS50 Zephyr1. Bring all locomotives on the layout to a stop by setting set the Throttle Knob for each loco to STOP. 2. Turn track power off: Press the POWER key, the DCS50's Track Status Indicator Dot will go off. The display will briefly display "Po" followed by two characters, the Po means power off, the two characters indicate which software version is installed in the unit. The display will automatically revert to showing the last loco address selected ...

KB829 Zephyr - Decoder Speed Step Settings & Status Editing

The Digitrax DCS50 Zephyr is set at the factory to send 128 speed step commands to all mobile decoders.If you have a non-Digitrax decoder that can’t run in 128 speed step mode, you can change the number of speed steps the DCS50 sends to that decoder so that you will be able to control the decoder. This is called status editing the decoder. When you status edit a decoder, the DCS50 will send a different format to that specific decoder address without affecting the 128 speed step operation of Digitrax decoders and other 128 speed step decoders on the railroad.NOTE: ...

KB854 Zephyr - Brake Operation

To use the pre-set braking rate to stop and start a locomotive: Move the Direction Control Lever [ 2 ] to the BRAKE position, the Brake Indicator Dot will begin blinking and the loco will slow down to a stop at the brake rate you have set up in the Zephyr DCS50. As the loco slows to a stop, the Brake Indicator Dot will change from blinking to steady on to let you know that the brake is on.Move the Direction Control Lever to the FORWARD or REVERSE position and the loco will accelerate at the programmed brake rate to ...

KB552 Can you have two command stations on the same layout?

Q: Can you have two command stations on the same layout? A: No. If you try and run with two command stations you will experience what we usually refer to as "shocking, horrifying results." Two command stations on a single layout is often a problem with modular layouts. You can disable the command station capability in Digitrax Command Station/Boosters so that you can use them as boosters only to add more power to your layout.For the DCS100 to disable command station mode:1. Set Op switch 2 to "c" 2. Set Op switch 5 to "t" 3. Set it to auto ...

KB831 Zephyr - Error Messages

The DCS50 Zephyr displays three types of error messages: Short circuit shutdown occurs when the DCS50 detects a short circuit in the power district where it is connected to the layout. This can be a loco that has derailed or picked a switch or some other conductive material lying across the tracks. In this case you will see “o”s walking across the display from left to right. Once the short is cleared, the DCS50 will resume normal operations. Current overload occurs when the DCS50 has reached its 2.5 Amp current limit. In this case you should run fewer locomotives or ...

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 ...

KB857 Zephyr - Status Editing

QUICK INSTALLATION Notes for users with decoders not made by Digitrax:1. The DCS50 command station operates in 128 speed step mode. If you are using a locomotive with a decoder that does not have 128 step capability you will have to adjust either the decoder or the DCS50 so that both are using the same number of speed steps to communicate. We call this procedure status editing. You can status edit each individual decoder or you can change the DCS50’s system default by setting the DCS50’s Option Switches 21-23 and run all of your decoders with fewer speed steps to ...

KB843 Zephyr - Reading Back CV Values

Your DCS50 can read back the CV data values programmed into your decoders. You will use your programming track for reading back CV data values.To read back CV values using a programming track:1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to read back is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key to enter programming mode. The Zephyr DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Once the mode you want to use is on the screen you can go to step 3.For example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG Key when the following screen appears:3. ...

KB861 Zephyr Hook Up As Easy As 1-2-3

These simple instructions will help you get up and running quickly. A full description of all controls and technical reference information are included later in this knowledge base. This section assumes that you are using a new set straight out of the box.1. Hook up the wires from the track to the RAIL A & RAIL B terminals on the DCS50. Insert the wire from one rail of the track into the RAIL A terminal on the back of the DCS50. Insert the wire from the other rail of the track into the RAIL B terminal. Turn the screw counter ...

KB579 Zephyr Xtra - Reset to Factory Default

  To reset the DCS51/DCS50 to factory settings: If you change command station option switches and experience unexpected results, just set OpSw 39 to “c” (closed) to reset the unit to the original factory settings. 1. Press the PROG key. The display shows the last decoder programming mode used. 2. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used and its commanded position. 3. Use the numeric keypad to enter the number of the Option Switch you want to change; in this case 39. 4. Press the "c/-" key to set the OpSw to closed and reset DCS51/DCS50. 5. Press ...

KB828 Zephyr - Switch Mode

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

KB513 Zephyr - Non-USA Power Supply

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

KB832 Zephyr - FULL Message

If Zephyr DCS50’s display shows FuLL this means that it has reached the limit of 10 locomotive addresses that it can manage at one time. If you want to select additional addresses, you will need to release one or more loco addresses before you will be able to select other locomotives to run.The DCS50 runs a “purging” routine that helps eliminate addresses that have not been used for a period of time to make slots available for running other addresses.If you see this "FuLL" message while you are operating, you can release locos that you are no longer using by ...

KB864 Zephyr - Control Panel

The front panel of the DCS50 Zephyr has a throttle knob & direction control lever, indicator lamps & display, which give status indications and operate your railroad. Before you select and run a locomotive, take a few minutes to look at the DCS50's controls and display.1. The Throttle Knob is the large silver and black knob on the right side of the DCS50. The Throttle Knob controls locomotive speed from STOP to FULL speed. Turn it clockwise to increase speed and counter clockwise to decrease speed.2. The Direction Control Lever is the small silver lever (located on the left side of ...

KB849 Zephyr - Jump Ports-Using DC Power Packs as DCC Throttles

DCS50’s Jump A & B ports can host two DC power packs that work as additional throttles to control DCC locomotives.You begin with an operating DCS50 attached to your layout.   In addition to the throttle built into the DCS50, you can create a LocoNet to add additional Digitrax throttles and other Digitrax devices.  Jump Ports:You can also connect up one or two smooth DC power packs as shown in the following illustration.  These power packs must also be powered, since the Zephyr jump throttle connections detect the voltage level from the individual power pack(s) and makes adjustments to the command control ...

KB856 Zephyr - Setting Speed Limit

To control the speed of a locomotive:1. Select the loco address on the Zephyr.2.  Place the reverse lever [2] into either forward or reverse.3. Turn the Throttle Knob  [1] clockwise to increase speed and counterclockwise to decrease speed. Setting Speed LimitsYou can limit the speed on any locomotive controlled by the DCS50. This feature is very useful if you are running your layout with young children who want to make the trains GO FAST!!! By setting a reasonable speed limit on the throttles used by the children, everyone can have more fun with the trains.To set a “speed limit” for ...

KB4 Zephyr Quick Start Guide

DCS50 Zephyr - Quick Start Guide 1. Unpacking Your ZephyrUnpack your box and locate the DCS50 Command Station and the PS315 power supply. 2. Before You BeginBefore proceeding to the next step, make sure the Throttle Knob is turned all the way to “STOP” and the Direction/ Brake lever is set to “BRAKE”. 3. Connecting the Pieces TogetherOn the back of the DCS50, locate the gray screw terminal strip. On this strip, locate the two terminals labeled “RAIL A” and “RAIL B”. Attach your layout track wires to these terminals. It does not matter which is which. 4. Turn on ...

KB820 Zephyr - Frequent Shutdowns

If the Zephyr DCS50 repeatedly shuts down briefly and then comes back on again, it is probably being run too close to its pre-set current limit of 2.5 Amps or it may be overheating due to restricted air flow to the bottom of the unit. In this case it may clip or mutilate some outgoing packets of information to keep the track current within acceptable limits.To solve this problem, reduce the track current load by running fewer locomotives or setting up additional power districts and adding more boosters to provide more power for the layout.  With more sound decoder equipped ...

KB862 Zephyr - Rear Panel Connections

Zephyr Rear Panel Connections1. RAIL A & B - for connecting the DCS50 to the rails on the layout.2. PROG A & B - for hooking up the programming track. Section 16.1.3. JUMP 1 & 2 - for connecting one or two smooth DC power packs to the systemfor use as additional throttles. Section 25.24. POWER IN - plug in the PS315 here.5. LOCONET PORTS A & B - for connecting the DCS50 to other LocoNetdevices for expanding your layout.6. YOUR LAYOUT -  You can connect Zephyr to most existing layouts.

KB837 Zephyr Xtra and Zephyr - Multiple Unit Locomotive Operations

  MU (Multiple Unit) OperationsIt is not uncommon to see two, three or even four diesel locos pulling in consist at the front of a train. Sometimes, there is a locomotive added in the middle of the train or at the end of the train to give “helper service” to the head end locomotives. This is called Multiple Unit Operation or MU operation. With DCC, each locomotive is separately controlled. But in the case of MU'ing we would like to have more than one locomotive address controlled by a single throttle to simplify MU operation.Your DCS50 uses universal consisting to ...

KB850 Zephyr - Set Up A Service Mode Programming Track

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

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 ...

KB846 Zephyr - Programming Mobile Decoder CV's Other Than Locomotive Addresses

There are many different CVs that have been defined to control operating characteristics of your locomotives. Your decoder manual has a complete listing of CVs that are available with specific decoders, what they do and suggested values for each CV. Programming these CVs is simple:1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG Key to enter programming mode. The DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. As you press the PROG Key repeatedly, you will cycle ...

KB253 How do I get started with my Zephyr?

I've recently purchased a DCS50 system to run my HO trains. Since I'm new to the hobby I'm throughly confused on what parts I need to wire my 4 x 8 foot track to my control box. How many feeder lines do I need and what size do you recommend, and how do I hook these up to my control box? What size does bus wire do I need and how do I connect all this to my system? So far, all the articles just make recommendations general terms without specifics. I have purchased 2 terminal clips but have yet ...

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

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

KB468 Zephyr - Consisting Tail to Tail

Q:  I'm wanting to know how to MU two locomotives together that are in a tail to tail configuration. I know that this can be done with a DT400 but not sure how to do it with the Zephyr. A:  Make sure all the locos in the consist are traveling in the same physical direction on the track (both going to the left or to the right). Remember that "reversing" takes place in the locomotive not on the track, so it is important that the engines be traveling in the same direction when they are MU'd.  This is the same ...

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

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

KB845 Zephyr - Operations Mode Programming

Programming On The Mainline: Operations Mode ProgrammingOperations Mode Programming [Ops Mode] lets you program CVs in DCC locomotives equipped with Extended Packet Format decoders while they are on the mainline.  This is handy for situations where you want to make an adjustment to a specific locomotive while it is in service.  There are also situations where mobile decoders from other manufacturers can only be programmed in this manner. A typical use for Ops mode programming would be to change the acceleration rate (CV03) or the deceleration rate (CV04) of your locomotives to simulate the weight and braking capability of the ...

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 ...

KB677 How to program a locomotive address with Zephyr Xtra

This procedure should be done on an electrically isolated programming track1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key on the DCS51/DCS50 to enter programming mode. The DCS51/DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. If you press the PROG key repeatedly, you will cycle through the following choices:      PAGE     PHYS     dir     OPSFor example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG key when the following screen appears:Each time you press the LOCO key the ...

KB848 Zephyr - Changing a Locomotive Decoder's Address

1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key on the DCS50 to enter programming mode. The DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. If you press the PROG key repeatedly, you will cycle through the following choices: PAGE   PHYS   dir   OPS For example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG key when the following screen appears:Each time you press the LOCO key the display will toggle between Ad2 and Ad4. ...

KB14 Switching Layout Examples

At first glance, the typical switching railroad would not seem to be a good candidate for DCC operations. Yes, there may be only one locomotive on many of these railroads, but that locomotive can still benefit from DCC. By adjusting the starting, mid-range and maximum speed values of this locomotive, you get very good slow speed control, perfect for the switching railroad. And, of course, if you add a second locomotive, then DCC becomes the clear choice because you are not longer having to throw toggle switches just to move around the yard. The DCC environment also gives you turnout ...

KB418 Bachmann EZ Command Compatibility

I used now an Bachmann EZ Command and I will turn to Digitrax because my layout grow to fast, can I use my engine (Bachmann decoder)with an Zephyr starter set.Bachmann's site says that EZ Command is a DCC system, so you can use your decoder equipped Bachmann locomotive with any DCC system, including DCS50 Zephyr.

KB559 Lenz & Atlas decoders show d-nd

Q:  My Atlas DCC N-Scale locomotives that are equipped with factory installed Lenz062xf, Lenz063xf or 'new' Atlas decoders will not program using the DCS50 in any mode, either on the OPS track or Program track. I know the system works because I can easily program every Digitrax decoder loco that I have, but if I put an Atlas DCC factory loco on the programming track I get the 'd nd' error code There are decod

KB847 Zephyr - Programming Display Table

This is a table of the various DCS50 Programming Displays.  There are four programming methods available in with Zephyr, which are displayed in the left hand column.  The right columns show the display for each type of method:

KB821 Zephyr-Exit Key

HELP!!!!!!!!If your Zephyr DCS50 display isn't showing you what you expect based on the manual, press the EXIT key to return to normal operating mode. Also make sure that the "Power" is on. Then try the throttle task again. If you think you might have made an inadvertent change to one of the factory settings in either the decoder or the command station, try resetting everything to the factory settings and try the task again. Please see the related articles (below).

KB458 DT402 & DT400 - Read Back CVs

The DT402 & DT400 can program and readback CVs with the DCS100 or DCS200 (Super Chief) or the DCS51 or DCS50 (Zephyr). You must use the programming track for this unless you are using Ops Mode with transponding installed to allow for Ops Mode readback.  Infrared and simplex radio throttles must be plugged in to LocoNet to read back CVs & their values.  Duplex radio throttles do not have to be plugged in for reading back CVs.Systems with a DB150 command station (Super Empire Builder) are not able to read back CV Values programmed into decoders. To read back CV values: 1. Place the decoder ...

KB859 Zephyr - Locomotive Direction Control

Changing Locomotive Direction with DCS50 Zephyr:Move the Direction Control Lever [2] to FORWARD or REVERSE to change the direction of the loco address running on the throttle. To determine the direction of a loco that is not moving, simply look at the position of the lever. You can move the lever quickly past the BRAKE position with no adverse effects. If you change direction while a loco is moving it will slow down to 0 speed and then speed up to the commanded speed according to the decoder’s programmed CV (configurable values) for deceleration and acceleration.

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

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

KB543 Zephyr - Programming the DS54 CV's

Changing of the value of a DS54 Configuration Variable using your Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr(DCS50) is easy if you follow the steps listed below. 1) Disconnect the DS54 from the LocoNet, aux power source, all inputs and all outputs. 2) Short the pins of the Enable Link. 3) Connect the DS54 track terminal inputs to the Zephyr isolated programming track. 4) Connect the yellow (feedback) wire from any DS54 Output (A, B, C or D) to either rail of the Zephyr isolated programming track. 5) Zephyr Programming Steps.  6) Remove yellow (feedback) wire connecting the output connector to the Zephyr isolated programming track. ...

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 ...

KB844 Zephyr - Programming Error Messages

When you are programming decoders, there are a few error messages you may encounter.There are many causes for these error messages but most can be solved by checking the following:1. Be sure the programming track is connected properly to the DCS50.2. Be sure a decoder is correctly installed in the locomotive with all motor and pick up connections made correctly.3. Be sure the loco with decoder correctly installed is making electrical contact with the programming track and that it remains in contact with the programming track until programming is complete.  Check to see if the track is clean and the ...

KB863 Zephyr - LCD Display

The DCS50’s LED Display is made up of 4 digits/letters on the main part of the screen and 4 Indicator Dots across the top of the screen.  When you are running a locomotive, you will see the address of that locomotive in the display and the Function Indicator Dot will be lit. This means that the throttle knob will control speed, the direction lever will control direction and braking and the number keys will control the functions on the locomotive. You will see the following display if you are running loco address 1873 on your local throttle.The LCD has three ...

KB834 Zephyr - Releasing An Address From A Throttle

DCS50 Zephyr has ten "slots" available for train control.  When you are finished running a locomotive address, release it from your throttle so that it is available for other throttles to select and run and so that your command station will have room to run other addresses.To release an address from a throttle:1. With the loco address selected on the throttle, use the Throttle Knob to set the locomotive’s speed to STOP.2. Press the LOCO key to release the address from your throttle immediately. The address will begin to flash in the display.3. Press the EXIT key to dispatch the ...

KB341 Bachmann DCC Turnouts

To program Bachmann's E-Z Command® Decoder-Equipped DCC Turnouts follow these steps: 1. Connect the turnout (or wye or crossover) to a powered section of track (Rail A & B)2. Verify Track Power is on.3. Press and hold the programming button of the E-Z Command® turnout/wye/crossover until switch toggles twice (release programming button).  The turnout is now in programming mode. 5. Press Switch button on the Throttle. 6. Select the desired address on the Throttle (1-100 for this device). 7. Press OPTN button if using a DT40x series Throttle or the CV-WR key then the EXIT key on a DCS50/51.  The ...

KB660 DT300 - How To Select Loco Addresses

Each DCC decoder that is installed in a locomotive is assigned a unique address. To select a locomotive and run it on either throttle, you must know the address assigned to the decoder. Digitrax decoders are set up at the factory with the “default” digital address of 03. This means that when you take a Digitrax decoder out of the package and install it in your loco, you can select address 03 on your throttle and run the decoder. The first Configuration Variable (CV) programmed by most DCC users is the decoder’s address since it is not very useful to ...

KB152 DS64 - Troubleshooting

The DS64 is a powerful stationary decoder. If you have tried to program this stationary decoder and are having problems, there are several things that you can do before contacting Tech Support for further help. Is the DS64 receiving enough power? The DS64 can be powered in several different ways. Although it is possible to power the DS64 from track power, this has been a source of problems for many operators due to low voltage. This typically arises on a railroad that is using power in excess of the capacities of its power supplies. Have you programmed all four addresses ...

KB33 Programming Soundtraxx Tsunami Decoders with Digitrax Zephyr

Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) and Zephyr (DCS50) systems can program Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders using Blast Mode Programming on the Mainline.  Blast Mode Programming will program EVERYTHING sitting on the main line track so, you MUST remove everything from the track that you are not programming or use an isolated piece of track connected to Rail A & B. Track power must be on during Blast Mode Programming. You will not be able to read back CVs using Blast Mode Programming.  To use Blast Mode Programming with Zephyr, close Option Switch 7.  1. Press the "PROG" key. 2. Press the "SWCH" key. ...

KB833 Zephyr - Dispatching Locomotive Addresses or MUs

Dispatching is a special feature incorporated in the LocoNet "language" to meet the needs of operators that wish to enforce a strict discipline in how operators gain access to locomotives during an operating session.Dispatching also lets you run MUs with basic throttles (such as the Utility Throttle series) that can't set up their own MU's and run four digit addresses on basic throttles that only have two digit capability (such as UT1 and UT2). It also lets you have newcomers run trains on the layout without giving them access to the entire operation.When you dispatch a locomotive address or MU ...

KB842 What are CVs (Configuration Variables)?

CVs are decoder memory locations that hold loco address, operational  configuration and performance settings. Adjusting them to customize the performance of a specific locomotive is one of the main advantages of DCC over DC running. - Doug StuardThese are special storage locations or "pigeonholes" in your mobile decoders. By programming various CVs, you can control each decoder's performance characteristics. CVs store information like the decoder's short address, long address, start voltage, mid-point voltage, loadable speed tables and many more. Once you have programmed these characteristics, the decoders "remember" them until you change them again. Most manufacturers use a similar set ...

KB780 DT400 Features and Specifications

DT400 is designed to maintain a close similarity in function & feel with Digitrax DT300, DT200, & DT100 series throttles. This family resemblance makes it easy to add new throttles to your Digitrax Command Control System and be able to use them in ways similar to the existing throttles that you are already used to. DT400 can be used with any Digitrax LocoNet System or other LocoNet compatible DCC system.   User friendly Multi-line Backlit LCD with easy to read icons and messages.   Prompts in the display guide you every step of the way. To make operation easy and ...

KB823 Zephyr - Clear and Shut Down System

Shutting Down Your Zephyr when you are finished running.Some users prefer to release all addresses active in their system before shutting down. This can prevent unexpected results when you power up the layout again.  There are two ways to do this. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________To release addresses one at a time (this is optional):1. Press the LOCO key. 2. Enter the loco address on the numeric keypad. The display will flash the Function Indicator Dot and the loco address. Press the LOCO key again.3. Set the Throttle Knob to STOP.4. Press the EXIT key.5. Repeat for all locos/addresses used in your session._____________________________________________________________________________________________________Alternately, you can clear all ...

KB531 MRC AD310 Mobile Decoder

Q:  Using Digitrax systems to program an MRC AD310 decoder is especially confusing because the MRC Command 2000 uses several "switches" and "levers" rather than standard CV numbers. A conversion chart for the 10 possible MRC engine addresses would be a wonderful help to us old-timers. A:  The documentation available from the manufacturer of this decoder is incomplete. Many older decoders such as this one are not able to recognize all the digital packets in use by more modern DCC Systems. What we have learned is the MRC AD310 is: Programmable up to 127 (1~127) locomotive addresses Programmable for either 28 or ...

KB835 Zephyr - Stealing A Locomotive

Another way to describe "stealing" is "sharing"; it is a process where one operator can mutually control a mobile decoder with another operator.This feature can be useful for training new operators or supervising engineers who insist on breaking the speed limit. The supervisor can "steal" a locomotive that is selected on a trainee's throttle and be able to closely supervise that locomotive's control, taking over when necessary. The supervisor can gain instant override control without having to physically "grab" the trainee's throttle. This lets you have unskilled visitors participating and enjoying operations without too much anxiety for either party.If you ...

KB869 Troubleshooting Guide for Digitrax Command Station or Booster Problems

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

KB270 Broadway Limited Locomotive Shuts Down Zephyr

I have a Broadway Limited Import diesel locomotive equipped with factory DCC and Sound. Every time I turn on my Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 the engine starts to short out. It begins to slow down and then jerks a little and sometimes it stops completely. My Zephyr shows a line of flickering zeros across the dial and the engine decoder number even flickers on and off at times. I have checked all terminal connections and for foreign matter on the track but have not had any success in solving the problem.I have taken all cars off the track to make sure ...

KB480 PM42 - Power Management Circuit Breaker Control

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

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 ...

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

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

KB385 Compatibility of LOK Sound decoders with Digitrax

I have a DCS50  Zephyr system.  I'm having a great deal of problems with it when I try to run (2) loco's equipped with LOK SOUND and DCC decoders (by ESU).  What happens is that it cuts in and out 3 to 5 times on each revolution of the train. I see it cutting out on turnouts sometimes, but not on straight track.  And sometimes when the loco's are on a hard pull, like at a sharp uphill curve.  When they cut out it just isn't the loco's, but the entire railroad.With the addition of the sound electronics, power consumption ...

KB860 Zephyr - Selecting and Running your DCC Locomotive

To select and run a DCC equipped locomotive with a known address follow these steps:1. Set the DCS50's Throttle Knob [1] to STOP. 2. Place a DCC equipped locomotive (one with a decoder installed) on your digital layout that is controlled by your DCS50. In this example we assume that you have a new Digitrax decoder that is factory programmed to address 03. If your decoder is using a different address, simply use that address as you follow these instructions.3. Check the DCS50's Track Status Indicator Dot [4] to be sure that track power is turned on. Press the POWER ...

KB351 Broadway Limited - Blueline Locomotives

Overview: Broadway Limited has issued a new line of H0-Scale locomotives called "Blueline". These locomotives are equipped with sound decoders that can be operated in a conventional Direct Current environment. They also are fitted with an 8-pin DCC Medium plug to allow for conversion to a DCC operating environment. Among other decoders, Broadway Limited recommends using our DN143IP mobile decoder for this purpose. Converting these locomotives is simple, but programming a 4 digit address can be a challenge. BLI has a support page which indicates that changing the locomotive address and other CV's can be done in OPS Mode (also ...

KB676 Mobile Decoder Programming Overview

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

KB159 Lots of Locomotives, Few Operators

  My layout is in N scale, with an 85 foot double track main, a 12 track storage area, small yard, and engine facility. The layout measures 10 X 14 with two helices. There are a total of 34 engines, many of which are with their trains in the storage area. All of the already made-up trains (11) have two or three engines on them, ready to be brought up via a helix to run on the railroad. Currently, the road is divided into six parallel blocks (DC); 12 blocks in all. In the future, I plan on adding a ...

KB69 Nemo Junction - Connecting BD4 to the SE8C

BD4 Output Each BD4 is situated between the PM42 Power Manager and the railroad. The DCC signal passes from the DCS50 Zephyr, through the Power Manager, through the BD4 to the track to the locomotive. When a locomotive (or equipped car) is present in a track segment, the BD4 also sends out occupancy information, in two ways. Occupancy Information Output LED1 The LED1 10-pin header is for testing the status of power to the rails and block occupancy with the LED indicator which is included with the BD4. The LED1 can also be used for panel indicator lights using LED's. ...

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

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

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

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

KB352 Powering your Digitrax Command Control Railroad

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

KB870 Troubleshooting Guide for Digitrax Mobile Decoders

Before sending your Digitrax mobile decoder in for repair try these troubleshooting steps to see if you can “bring it back from the dead” and save a trip to the shop and possible repair charge. As with troubleshooting anything, begin checking what could be wrong methodically. Write down your observations as you work through the list to solve the problem.The most common "repair" problem we see in our repair department is decoders that are programmed incorrectly.Many decoders we receive for repair have been programmed with CV values that cause them to seem to have a problem. The good news-bad news ...

KB987 General Command System Troubleshooting and Tools

This article stops in a strange place??  We need to find the rest of it and split it up into meaningful chunks.  Also needs meta stuff Troubleshooting in General:Regardless of the guides, manuals, tips, suggestions, experts or whatever, troubleshooting can occasionally degenerate into a vast chasm of darkness and confusion.  It would be impossible to cover all the areas that have, can or may cause problems. This is a general guide to identifying and resolving problems with Digitrax Complete Train Control.  Keep Good Records:Although it may seem to be a pain while setting up your Digitrax system, keeping layout records ...