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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I had previously posted that three of my locomotives seem to have an issue like they were shorting out. I changed out one of the decoders. The locomotive now runs just fine. My eight year old son informed me last night. That him and my grandson were running trains a few weeks ago and it started doing goofy stuff. On the controller. I guess that's why the locomotives were all off the track, LOL. Evidently either the cat or my son or the grandson. Must have done something. And shorted out the track. And ruined three decoders. Fortunately, these were not decoders with sound. Has anybody else ever had anything like this happen? And is there any way to repair the decoder?
 

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I doubt there's any way to "repair" a decoder that has been damaged due to a short or other internal electrical failure. Replacement is the only option.

Do you have a "test track" to which you can connect?
Then try the other two "problem engines", try resets, etc.

My guess is that if you can't get the decoders working again, you'll have to replace them.
 

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I doubt there's any way to "repair" a decoder that has been damaged due to a short or other internal electrical failure. Replacement is the only option.

Do you have a "test track" to which you can connect?
Then try the other two "problem engines", try resets, etc.

My guess is that if you can't get the decoders working again, you'll have to replace them.
I doubt there's any way to "repair" a decoder that has been damaged due to a short or other internal electrical failure. Replacement is the only option.

Do you have a "test track" to which you can connect?
Then try the other two "problem engines", try resets, etc.

My guess is that if you can't get the decoders working again, you'll have to replace them.

I suppose that a track short circuit 'could' damage a DCC decoder, but I really
doubt it. My trains have shorted the track with derails more often than I could count with
nary a Decoder problem. Now if your lads had somehow got a high voltage or
AC current on the track there would be damage. If you find that the decoders were damaged both Digitrax and NCE provide free replacements, even if you did the damage. Determine who made them then Check with their website for instructions.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I doubt there's any way to "repair" a decoder that has been damaged due to a short or other internal electrical failure. Replacement is the only option.

Do you have a "test track" to which you can connect?
Then try the other two "problem engines", try resets, etc.

My guess is that if you can't get the decoders working again, you'll have to replace them.
Yeah, first thing was I tried to test track. And it still was all Goofy. Flickering flashing on the controller. Already ordered three more.
 

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I'm with DonR on this one. If your layout is wired properly, and your DCC set is working correctly, then a short on the track shouldn't matter.

One thing you should probably do is to perform the quarter test. Take all your locos off the track and turn on your DCC set. Go to the point on your layout furthest from your command unit and lay a quarter across the rails (it doesn't have to be a quarter, any conductive object will work). The breaker in your DCC unit should trip. If it doesn't, then either your DCC unit's circuit breaker is faulty, or you need to add additional circuit breaker protection to your layout (this is usually only an issue with large layouts).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, there were three locomotives on the layout Three locomotives have the same problem. Do you consider about 170 lineal feet of track a large layout? I don't have any other circuit breakers. Other than the digitrak controller It's an older digitrax. I believe the digitrax 150. Anyway Haven't had any problems before that. Kind of bummed that I did have a problem. But at least it's not the end of the world. $60 later and all three logos will be up and running again. I believe they're Atlas. And Atherton. Normally, they run really well. Great pullers and really smooth even at low speeds. The kind of really sad part is I had all three of them synced up really well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You mentioned being wired properly. The only thing I have wired To the track is the power leads. From the controller I have no additional drops. For power to the track. I've never noticed any drop in power. Going around the track. But it probably wouldn't hurt to go to the farthest point. And Add a secondary connection. Consider in a few months ago. I added 30 ft.. But Breakers were mentioned. Any suggestions on type of breaker to put in? And where I might get one. Or order one. It definitely would be a good idea I guess. Cheaper to put a breaker in then replace decoders.
 

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From the controller I have no additional drops. For power to the track. I've never noticed any drop in power.
Do you have a power bus under there? A power bus is a pair of heavy gauge wires running the length of the layout with lighter gauge wires going from it to the track, every 10-12 feet should be fine. This is not only for power, it's for short circuit protection. Nickel silver rail is really not a great conductor of electricity, nowhere near as efficient as copper wire is. Without sufficient feeders, your command station may not be aware of a short circuit down the line.
 

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Well, there were three locomotives on the layout Three locomotives have the same problem. Do you consider about 170 lineal feet of track a large layout? I don't have any other circuit breakers. Other than the digitrak controller It's an older digitrax. I believe the digitrax 150. Anyway Haven't had any problems before that. Kind of bummed that I did have a problem. But at least it's not the end of the world. $60 later and all three logos will be up and running again. I believe they're Atlas. And Atherton. Normally, they run really well. Great pullers and really smooth even at low speeds. The kind of really sad part is I had all three of them synced up really well.
Yeah, I would say 170 linear feet on a single pair of feeders is pushing it. I personally would have a bus under the layout and roughly a half-dozen pairs of feeders connecting that to the track.

I use an integrated circuit breaker / DCC booster from Tam Valley Depot (Tam Valley Depot), but you can get small circuit breakers for around $10 from pretty much any electronic supply company.
 
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