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Digitrax DS-54 Installation

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  • Digitrax DS-54 Installation

    Well, I promised my crew I would get the Lehighton crossover working before the next op session. I have to install another DS-54 to get it operational. So here is how I do it.

    First, I am a little different in that I use Switchmaster machines mounted on a Rix Rax 2 bracket. I follow the procedures as laid out by Allan Gartner on his wiring for DCC site. Here is what my machines look like when done as shown by Allan.

  • #2
    Here is the DS 54. One must get it ready to connect to the outside world. Shown below are some plastic standoffs and wood screws from the original Pkg that came with the switchmaster. Never throw anything out. Also shown are the terminal strips used to connect the decoder to the layout.

    I mount my DS-54 on a piece of wood. Anything will do. This is a piece of scrap 1 x 8 I had around. The reason I do this is to perform all the hard work at the workbench. I then have a removable module that I can replace with a spare if needed.


    • #3
      Here are all the parts mounted to the board. I cut some posterboard and mark up the connections to make it easier to wire and troubleshoot.

      The small decoder wires are connected to the 12 terminal barrier strip. Note the four far right connections. They are the positive inputs. They are connected by jumper strips.

      The DS-54 needs an AC external power source. The red on white wires on the left are connected to the small barrier strip. Orange and brown are the colors of my AC power buss that runs around the layout. It is important to keep the connections from these wires consistant so I lable them. The red wire gets connected to my orange buss and the black to the brown buss.

      The screw terminals will be directly connected to my DS-54 buss that I run around the layout. Those wires are blue and yellow.

      Finally here are all the small decoder wires connected to larger # 22 wires to give them some oomph.

      Now you have an easy way to connect this unit to anything else on the layout.



      • #4
        Here is the DS-54 hooked up to my programming track. The wires from the track go to the track input wires on the DS 54 (the 2 screw terminals next to each other). The plug has only the yellow wire coming out the other side. This is the feedback adaptor to allow you to read CV's. This is connected to either rail of the programming track.

        Now I have tried a lot of ways to program these. I used a PR 1 that failed miserably. I could not get it to read back CV's so I could check my prgramming. I finally bought a Loco Buffer 2 from RR circuits, and downloaded the free JMRI decoder Pro software into my laptop. All I can say is OMG. Programming all kinds of decoders just got so easy. Programming the DS-54's worked like a charm. I tried to take a pic of the computer screen, but it would not come out. If you want to make an easy job of this get these 2 very important items!


        • #5

          This is a very important little test tool. It comes from Don Crano's web site. It is 2 LED's with resistors wired to a handset plug. You plug this into the output cells of the DS-54 to test their operation. Since I reprogrammed mine to static, one of the lights should be on and stay on.

          Here you can see when I apply a positive voltage from the white wire, the cell changes state and the other LED lights. This is for a push button. You need a different CV for a toggle switch.


          • #6

            Here is the wire cut to length and a handset plug being crimped to the other end. The most important thing is to make sure each end is the same. If the yellow wire is on the left with the tab up, make sure it is the same when you crimp the other end.


            • #7
              Finally I connected my wires from my temporary panel to the DS-54. Gave it the smoke test and it worked.

              Here is a pic of the crossover that is now working. Tomorrow I will power the LED's. Now thay can stop whining how far they have to travel for a crossover!

              Look red push pins!


              • #8
                I have one simple question. Why didn't you use the new DS64? I was one of the beta testers for the DS64 and I found that under normal conditions that the DS64 was easier to install, easier to program, and cost less.


                • #9
                  Al, I looked at one. I could not figure how to power it. In looking at it it seems that there is a power jack from a wal wort or something. This just seemed easier. Am I missing something/ Your are my Digitrax guru!