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Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 – Spectrum 4-6-0

Dan asks:

“I use a Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 and was given a second-hand Spectrum 4-6-0 DCC sound-equipped loco. I tried to ascertain the decoder address by setting it up on my programming track, but it keeps showing a DND error message? Any ideas gratefully accepted.”

6 Responses to Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 – Spectrum 4-6-0

  • Herveysays:

    Dan,
    Even if you can’t read the number for the decoders address can you set it to the number of the loco? Try writing the address number you want to the decoder. If that doesn’t work keep reading.

    There are a couple of things that come to mind with your dilemma. If the loco is equipped with a Keep Alive or Current Keeper or any other form of capacitor power maintenance in your locomotive you will most likely not be able to read the applicable CV’s. The capacitors suck up all the limited power your Zephyr is putting out to read and program with. This limited power is a safety thing to prevent damage to an improperly installed decoder so that you can find a problem before setting it on the mainline and potentially fry the decoder. If you ascertain that your loco is equipped with a current keeper the only way to read the CV’s is to disconnect the current keeper. This applies to all CV’s not just the address.

    Alternatively your decoder could be a high draw type that can be overcome with a programming track booster. If you are sure there is no current keeper then this may be all you need. There are a number of different manufacturers of these.

    If you want to go with a trial and error the two most common address are the number 3, which all decoders are sold with as the address, and the locomotive number itself which makes it easy to call up on the roster as all you need to do is read the number off the side of the loco.

    If none of this works the final option is to reset the decoder. his can be done by setting CV8 to a value of 8 but this resets everything. If you can’t do the address change you probably won’t be able to do the reset. If you do this be aware all CV’s will be reset depending on who did the original install you may not want to do this. A custom install will probably have some CV’s modified from the as sold values. In this case the address will be 3.

  • Carl Clarksays:

    Program CV 8 to 8 this will reset to factory default 003.

  • Digitrax website tech support information states:

    “Some Bachmann decoders have difficulty programming and need to have a 1K ohm resistor installed between the PROGA and PROGB outputs during programming.”

  • Dansays:

    I think its high draw thats the problem. I will try the options suggested and will work it out. Much appreciated.

  • Thomas Breansays:

    Dan, I ran into that very same problem. You have to program your loco on the main line. In the Digitrax manual, in my book it is pg 27.
    Programming on the Mainline: Operations Mode Programming. (OPS)

    note: Make sure no other loco is on the track when you do this. OPS mode is write only.

  • Morgan Bilbosays:

    I had the same problem with a DCS50. What I did was buy a SPROG. That programs most any decoder on the market. But the suggestion of using POM is cheaper.

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