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Author Topic: Bachmann and Zephyr CV read  (Read 1882 times)

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« on: January 18, 2011, 12:15:28 PM »

I posted an "I'm stuck" post a few days ago as to why my Digitrax zephyr wouldn't read back CVs from the program track, even with a PTB100. I post a new post because I have an answer from Digitrax of interest.

Digitrax tech support says zephyr will not read back from decoders on Bachmann locos with their factory installed decoders.

One of my prior responses from this site was to run a resistor across the program track, but I haven't had the chance to put that together yet.

Thoughts or comments? Bachmann, what do you think?


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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 09:14:25 PM »

the trouble the zephyr has reading back cvs off the bachmann (and other lenz type0 decoders is the main drawback to this system. others have had success with a 1000 ohm resistor across the rails of the programming track. my experience has been that programming the bachmann decoders without the resistor is a hit or miss thing. sometimes it will work, often it doesn't..... for me this is the only major drawback of an otherwise fine system.....

i have most of my bachmann decoders programmed by a friend with an nce system, which has no trouble reading and writing to them. once i get my programming track set up again i will post here with my results, using my zephyr (dcs50).........

interesting that nobody mentions whether other digitrax systems have the same problems with these decoders......

it should be mentioned here that the bachmann decoders conform to the nmra dcc standards, and the digitrax does not, in this area....

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 11:50:11 PM »

I have never had a problem programming a working Bachmann decoder with my Zephyr as long as I use the 1000 Ohm resistor as suggested to you by Hunt.  However, I always make sure my programming track and the locomotive wheels are clean.  If not, the locomotive may not pick up the programming signals properly from the rails.  I used to use a pair of clips to make sure the resistor was well connected to the rails, just as in the photo Hunt posted.  Now I have a small toggle switch to connect or disconnect the resistor.  Both methods work equally well but the switch is a bit more convenient.  Flipping the switch on for Bachmann locomotives is so easy that I don't even bother trying to read back without it.

I also have Digitrax DCS100 and DB150 command stations.  The DCS100 seems to read back Bachmann decoders just fine, but then again, I use it with a 1000 ohm resistor as well.  The DB150 cannot read back Bachmann decoders because it does not have the circuitry in it to read back any type of decoder.

I am really surprised by Tech Support at Digitrax would tell you that the Zephyr will not read Bachmann (Lenz) decoders are they state quite clearly on their website that it will.  Take a look at this page:


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.

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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 06:37:37 PM »

Thank you gentlemen. Can't tell you how valuable your support system is when there is no one to consult in the Boonies.

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