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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
My name is Mike. I am new to the forum and to model railroading. I am retired from the railroad, where I worked in the Train Control department. I am having a problem detecting my locomotives. I have laid down my track with power. I also have sixteen (16) insulated joints on the “A” rail for detection that is wired from each block to the BDL168. I am using a breakout board to eliminate soldering wires to a 44 pin card edge connector. The power from the command station is coming into the BDL168 and going out to the (A) track. The common Ground on the breakout board is connected (wired) to the command station ground.

I am trying to get my Digitrax BDL168 to detect my locomotive. I have no indication light from the tester at all.
I am getting the seven plus voltage (7+v) coming out of the board, but the power indication light is dark. The light on the BDL168 is blinking green and I have a sixteen volts (16v) power supply connected to the BDL168 board. I need help.

Also my command center is a NCE Power Pro and I am using the Digitrax BDL168 as a stand-alone. The loconet is connected from the BDL168 to the computer using a Digitrax PR4. When I opened up JMRI and navigate to “Loconet”, then down to “Configure BDL168”, I can see the OpSw options, but when I try to read or write to sheet I get the message “Aborted – no response from the device after several tries”
 

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Sometimes the Digitrax boards don't work as advertised. I had an SE8C board for my signal control. It worked fine for everything except when I tried to change my signal system for the signal heads to go dark when no trains were present, the board wouldn't do that. I messed with it for a few weeks before figuring that one out. Got a new board and it did what I wanted it to right out of the box.
The BDL168 should detect a train right out of the box as you have it connected. I would check with Digitrax.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I sent my BDL 168 back to Diditrax and the board was repaired. It took three months, because of hurricane damage to their warehouse. Now the LT5 tester is showing detection on all four(4) lights. What am I doing wrong?
 

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That sure seems to be a very complex device.
Way above my pay grade.

I assume you have seen this video and read
the manual.


Don
 

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You said you were providing 16V to the board? I think that might be over voltage and will cause some problems. Do you have a PS14 or any kind of wall wart that puts out 12 volts DC or less?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To test the board and proper wiring, I isolated a track and jumper it to the BDL-168 and I got the red power indication light and one red occupancy light from the LT5 tester when I put a locomotive on the track, which let me know that the board is powered, wired and working properly.

On my layout I use Bachmann EZ Decoder-Equipped Turnouts. Is there a problem using these turnouts with train detection? My layouts work well with the turnouts, even using JMRI, but the LT5-tester show occupancy for all four sections of isolated track.
 

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Could your detectors be 'seeing' the EZ turnout decoders?
They would draw about the same current as an idle
loco decoder. Is it possible to 'feed' the EZ's off
of a bus that is not a part of your detector system?

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I wire the switches separately, will I lose detection in the crossovers?

PS: Ken, I am using a wall wart that is putting out 13.8v; the manual says the power supply should be between 12-16 volts.
 

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Your turnout stationary decoders should take the
power from your track bus direct from your DCC
controller. The rails on the turnout should take
the power from connected tracks and should therefore
continue to be in your detector blocks.

Don
 

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Some how you need to isolate the power going to the stationary decoders from the track power going to the turnout rails. If you can't then you would need to isolate the turnout and run a seperate DCC rail power to it and the stationary decoder and not have detection.
 

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The decoders, being powered by the rail power means they will be detected. If there is a sensitivity adjustment, you might try adjusting that to remove the decoders from being detected, if you can't isolate them from track power. Otherwise you will have to isolate the turnout and remove it from detection.
 
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