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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had the pleasure of a bad decoder that wouldn’t reset, after it was installed in a locomotive. The forward and reverse light were both on, and wouldnt respond to be being turned off either.
I had looked at buying a decoder tester, but had the parts to build one. I used a decoder buddy, and 9 pin connecter (to test 21 pin, and 8/9 pin decoders. 4 LED’s, 2 white (forward/reverse), 1 green (function 1), and 1 red (function 2), enable me to test and program a decoder. The power to the box is from the layout, via spade connecters. A Bachmann motor is also wired in to test motor functions. The box is from a dollar store...cheers
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Discussion Starter #4
Using the decoder buddy simplified the construction of the tester. I could have taken it one step further with a 8 pin female, but the 9 pin connector works fine for most instances. The decoder buddy has more points to solder to should I want to test more functions, but in reality aux 1 and 2 are the ones I use the most ((strobe lights, ditch light effects).. I had scene a tester on line, but the cost/shipping was a deterrent. This project took a hour to construct, as I kept the wiring long and there was ample room to solder...cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I installed a 8 pin female plug, (beside the 9 pin plug) as I purchased some 8 pin direct decoders (no wiring harness used on decoder). I also added a “strain” relief, as one of the power wires broke.
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