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Problem with Digitrax Decoder

Richard has HO scale and wants to hear from others:

“I have two Digitrax decoders that I have sent back to the company for repairs at least 5 times.  They said there must be something I am doing wrong and they refuse to help me, but I have two other engines which are running fine on the layout as well. Each time I get the decoders back they test fine on my Ulrich Decoder tester, then when I hook them up to the engines they stop, and the red light on the testor comes on. Am I missing an hv number or what am I doing wrong?”

2 Responses to Problem with Digitrax Decoder

  • Jay Rosssays:

    There are two possibilities of issues that come to mind here. Be sure that your locomotive’s motor is completely electrically isolated from the chassis. The decoder’s output to the motor is processed from the power received from both left and right rails. If either pole at the motor is in contact with either rail, it will create a short path, that can ruin your decoder.
    Also, it is important to know that your locomotive’s power demands do not exceed the decoder’s power capabilities. Example: If your locomotive takes 1.5amps to run, and your decoder is only rated for 1 amp, then the decoder will be overloaded and possibly damaged trying to handle too large a load. Many older locomotives, especially open frame (non can motors) will draw lots of current. Be sure to select the proper light bulbs that won’t exceed the function outputs rating also.

  • Frank Whittlesays:

    Have you tried switching one of the engines that is working with one of the dodgy decoders, at least this will tell you whether the decoder is faulty or it’s the engine.

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