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  • All new stuff to me

    Just starting DCC, and On30. Sat down today first time to do some CV work, and of course didn't get response.

    I have a Digitrax DCS51, and a Bachmann On30 0-4-2 Porter with a stock, pre-installed Decoder and Tsunami sound.

    So, first step is to read the loco's address. I set up a programming track, put the loco on it. I selected 'direct' programming mode. Pressed 'loco' to get 'AD2'. Pressed CV-RD to read the address.

    The AD2 flashes and the loco ticks for about 15 seconds, then the readout displays 'd nr', meaning the DCS couldn't read the decoder.

    I also tried selecting AD4, with the same (no) result. I also tried 'ops' programming mode, and just got a 'busy' response.

    So, any thoughts? I'm sure I'm missing some obvious step, but a little help will get me off TDC! Soundtraxx does mention the possible need for a PTB-100 Programming Track Booster. Is that the issue? Thanks in advance, guys.
    Dragging myself into the 21st century.

  • #2
    After some experimentation, 'ops' programming seems to work, so that's good. Still can't figure out what I'm doing wrong on the programming track.
    Dragging myself into the 21st century.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Digitrax DS51 does prefer (Direct Mode) for the program track. However Ops Mode can also be used. Where you are programming a sound decoder it needs more power to get the DCS51 to read properly, so yes the PTB-100 Programming Track Booster is needed for these type of decoders, and newer decoders on the market to read and write properly. When your loco ticks for those 15 seconds, sometimes moving forward a bit at a time, it means the Loco is being read through your decoder. The d nr message only means you didn't get a good read, due to not enough power to the decoder. The Ops Mode in your DCS51 puts out more power than the Direct Mode for programming track use. This is to give less power to the decoder when programming, and lessens the chance of something burning out while using the program track. So for sound and newer decoder programming, get yourself the PTB-100.

      The SoundTraxx PTB-100 Programming Track Booster is designed to facilitate easy programming of Digital Sound Decoders, which have advanced technologically beyond what some command stations were intended to handle. Most Command Stations were designed to program basic motor decoders and lack sufficient voltage and/or current to handle the needs of more advanced decoders, including most sound decoders. The PTB-100 will raise the programming track output to level adequate for programming without degrading the DCC signal.

      The Soundtraxx PTB-100 is a easy fix and hook-up.




      Louis L&R Western Railroad
      Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks Louis. A PTB certainly is a possibility. $60 and splicing into the power input leads makes it slightly less a desirable solution

        Just to share with all, I contacted the Digitrax Help Desk. They confirmed that Ops mode was needed for Tsunami decoders. They also mentioned a 'blast mode' which supposedly acts like Direct mode. They also suggested Page mode for Tsunamis.

        Anyone remember the early audio hi-fi days, when we had to know the ohm ratings of each component, and had to have pre-amps and such to get everything to work together? This feels like that. Ah well , to paraphrase a motto, "that which doesn't frustrate, makes me smarter"!
        Dragging myself into the 21st century.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by SoCalBobS


          Thanks Louis. A PTB certainly is a possibility. $60 and splicing into the power input leads makes it slightly less a desirable solution

          Just to share with all, I contacted the Digitrax Help Desk. They confirmed that Ops mode was needed for Tsunami decoders. They also mentioned a 'blast mode' which supposedly acts like Direct mode. They also suggested Page mode for Tsunamis.

          Anyone remember the early audio hi-fi days, when we had to know the ohm ratings of each component, and had to have pre-amps and such to get everything to work together? This feels like that. Ah well , to paraphrase a motto, "that which doesn't frustrate, makes me smarter"!


          I like Digitrax and use there DCS 100, BD 150 and many other items, so I'm not bad mouthing them, but it makes since that Digitrax wouldn't suggest a Soundtraxx item like the PTB-100, and just dance around the problem.


          Louis L&R Western Railroad
          Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok, every journey starts with a step and a stumble....

            My Bachmann 0-4-2 has started misbehaving. Randomly, without my input, the brake comes on. The brake squeal sound starts. Left alone, it comes to a stop. The power is still reaching the Porter, as the light is on and the blower noise is working. Usually once it's stopped, it accelerates again. Any slight twitch of the throttle cancels this misbehavior. I reset the decoder but the problem persists. Since I have one DCC unit, and one loco for now, I can't isolate the problem by process of elimination.

            1. Does it seem like the Tsunami onboard decoder is the problem?

            2. Or, is the Digitrax throttle malfunctioning?

            3. Is there a CV that needs to be changed?

            I got into DCC to familiarize myself with its characteristics. Looks like I'm getting my wish.
            Dragging myself into the 21st century.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oops, disregard the previous post. I've been initiated into the world of Digitrax Option Switches by Digitrax's tech support. A reset here and a toggle there, and I'm good.
              Dragging myself into the 21st century.

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:


                Originally posted by SoCalBobS


                Ok, every journey starts with a step and a stumble....

                My Bachmann 0-4-2 has started misbehaving. Randomly, without my input, the brake comes on. The brake squeal sound starts. Left alone, it comes to a stop. The power is still reaching the Porter, as the light is on and the blower noise is working. Usually once it's stopped, it accelerates again. Any slight twitch of the throttle cancels this misbehavior. I reset the decoder but the problem persists. Since I have one DCC unit, and one loco for now, I can't isolate the problem by process of elimination.

                1. Does it seem like the Tsunami onboard decoder is the problem?

                2. Or, is the Digitrax throttle malfunctioning?

                3. Is there a CV that needs to be changed?

                I got into DCC to familiarize myself with its characteristics. Looks like I'm getting my wish.


                If you don't have other Locomotives to test their behavior, it is a crapshoot at best to know if it is your throttle or the decoder. At this point I could only assume it is the decoder acing up, and not the throttle, because you stated when you touch the throttle it cancels this misbehavior. This makes me think your throttle throws back a signal to your decoder putting it back in service.

                Maybe other members can shed some light on this problem and their thoughts. I'd hate to have you send back the Locomotive if it isn't the problem after all.


                Louis L&R Western Railroad
                Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:


                  Originally posted by SoCalBobS


                  Oops, disregard the previous post. I've been initiated into the world of Digitrax Option Switches by Digitrax's tech support. A reset here and a toggle there, and I'm good.


                  Well glad that worked out for you!

                  I was typing as you reposted.


                  Louis L&R Western Railroad
                  Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:


                    Originally posted by SoCalBobS


                    Thanks Louis. A PTB certainly is a possibility. $60 and splicing into the power input leads makes it slightly less a desirable solution


                    I understand anyone being uncomfortable about splicing into the DCS-51 power cord. So, optionally, you can purchase and use a dedicated power supply rated at 15 volts DC, 500mA. The maximum input voltage for the PTB-100 is 18 VAC or 22 VDC. Minimum input voltage for reliable operation is 12 VAC or 14 VDC.

                    On the other Digitrax systems, the power wires come in as a pair of wires. On the DCS-51, the power supply plugs in to the unit as one cord. So another way is to tap into these wires and one way to do this without altering anything is to get a matching socket and plug at radio shack - wire the socket to the plug but also connect a second pair of wires to power the PTB-100. Plug the power supply into the socket, plug the plug into the Zephyr, and you are set to go.

                    Connecting the PTB-100 to Digitrax Zephyr series is easiest by just getting a dedicated power supply as stated above. Connect the power supply to the black leads of the PTB-100 as seen in picture. Connect the "command station" (yellow in the photo) leads from the PTB-100 to the Zephyr's "programming track" terminals. Connect the PTB-100's "programming track" leads (orange in the photo) to the track. This works with the DCS50 or DCS51. DCS50 shown.




                    Louis L&R Western Railroad
                    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks again, Louis! A dedicated wall wart power supply is a perfect solution. An extra plug and socket between the PTB and the Zephyr, and it'd be a mobile module! I'll do it.
                      Dragging myself into the 21st century.

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