Model Train Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to DCC, in fact i just started messing around with my N Scale stuff for the first time in 15 years and didn't know it existed until a few weeks ago. Being very intrigued by the possibilities i jumped into buy a MRC Prodigy Express set up. I have built a 3'x4' N Scale layout with two loops and one switch track connector. (will post pictures soon) I thought I wired correctly but the engine just shudders very slightly. I did buy a new engine "Atlas Master Line N 47681 EMD GP38-2" and installed a "Digitrax DN163A0 Plug-N-Play Decoder". Like I said I'm lost, i don't know where to begin trouble shooting.
Did I install the decoder wrong?
Is my wiring wrong?
Do I need more equipment ie. boosters or something?
Lost Lost Lost.
I heard this is the place the Pros dwell for mundane questions.
Any and all help would greatly be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,608 Posts
Um it could be a bad decoder install job or bad wiring. We won't know without more details and pictures. You should not need any boosters on a layout of that size. Boosters are only needed if more amps are needed for example in HO scale one amp will run about two to one train so if you wish to run more trains then that you would need a booster. If you are looseing power because the layout is so large you just need more feeder wires not more boosters. This is by far the most unknown thing about DCC and so many people never rrealize that and buy a lot more boosters then they will ever need because of it.

So without more pictures or descriptions that is as far as we can help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,062 Posts
First off welcome! Second did the layout run good with DC or did you even try it with DC? If you were DC were you set up in blocks or just one big layout?

If you had it set up as one big layout and it ran fine with a DC pack then your layout is not the issue. Look at the connections and or the loco. Attach the DCC command station to a piece of test track and try the loco on it. If the loco runs here then it should run there too. If not then check the wiring again. Is anything shorting? If so that will cause the booster to turn on and off over and over. Make sure nothing is shorting inside the loco, it is really easy to happen on N scale stuff.

Massey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Answers & Pictures, hope for more answers

Hey All,
Thanks for quick responses. Ok i checked the contacts on the engine to the decoder. They seem a little suspect however the only way i see in rectifying that is solder. Just haven't attempted yet.
The layout you see is two ovals (inner, outer), both ovals have two busses from the booster. One connects to both loops in the corner by the booster and connects again at the opposite side. The switch track connecting the two loops also has a connection. (i read that depending on the brand of switch track current doesn't flow to the spur side)
Anyway there has been a new development. When i put the engine on the track it shutters ever so slightly only noticeable by touch. i took the engine off the track and turned it around and it started moving right along. however other than the DCC Unit being ON nothing i did with the CAB mad any difference. (No speed control, No stopping, starting, lights, any control what so ever)
Lastly, to answer the DC question. This is a brand new layout, and i haven't even seen my DC controller in 15yrs. Probably got sold with all my collector Star Wars toys against my wishes. haha. So starting from scratch with a new DCC system.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,608 Posts
well the wirring will be exaxctly the same for a DCC layout as a DC layout would be except for the exclusion of blocks and the wires that go from the program track side of the control box that go to the track, the track that is the programming trck needs to be isolated from the other mainline track. It is possible that if you didn't have this programming track isolated when you ran the engine you have fried the decoder which would explain the loss in control and mean you have to reinstall a new decoder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
GC53,
The picture is misleading. even though the program wire is hooked up to the booster it is not hooked up to the track in anyway. I haven't even laid my program track yet.
Would there be any other reason for burning out a decoder? I followed the directions provided with the decoder to the letter. Both the engine and decoder are brand new.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,608 Posts
It is possible the decoder came bad or you mis installed it and fried it. I have done this before and could swear I had done it by the book. I will need pictures and maybe a video to determine for sure though which one it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,062 Posts
I am thinking you have a short in the system somewhere. Try attaching the track power to a section of flex track off the layout and see if the engine works there. If so you have a short, if not then take the engine to some where that has a known good DCC set up, like a train hobby store, and see if it works on their layout and if not then the decoder is fried or needs better connections.

Massey
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top