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Author Topic: DCC problem  (Read 3577 times)
Grand Skunk

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« on: January 16, 2009, 04:46:46 PM »

Hi:

I recently installed a DCC unit in my Spectrum 2-8-0 loco. Now the head light doesn't work. Do I have to put in an LED? If so is it difficult?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2009, 05:23:29 PM »

Hi Grand,

A bit more information would help.
 
Type of tender, USRA Medium or Vanderbilt?
Brand and part number of decoder?
If the decoder is a plug in, have you tried reversing the 8 pin plug?
Are you running the locomotive on DC power or DCC?
If DCC, brand and part number of command station?

Do the pictures in the following thread help to identify the type of tender and/or PC Board?
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,7439.0.html

For more information refer this page:
http://www.members.shaw.ca/sask.rail/dcc/2-8-0/index.html

Regards
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 01:44:38 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Hunt
?
MBB


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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2009, 05:38:38 PM »

Was the locomotive a "DCC ready" model?
What decoder did you install?
What DCC system are you using?

Did you turn the light on using the DCC system?

If you used the 8-pin socket installed. Then
If your locomotive also runs in the reverse direction of your other decoder equipped locomotives the decoder plug is not correctly installed in the 8-pin socket. Unplug, turn 180-degrees and insert back into the socket. Now pins are in their correct orientation with the 8-pin socket.
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Grand Skunk

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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2009, 04:21:56 PM »

Sorry time to clarify my 2-8-0 problem

It is a Spectrum 2-8-0
the 2-8-0 was DCC plug in 8 pin
the decoder is from NCE through Tony's Trains
the tender is a USRA ((Western Maryland)
the DCC power is Digitrax
I turned the light on many times does not work

otherwise it runs fine

Hope this helps

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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 06:15:17 PM »

Dear Grand

One question still unanswered, did you try unplugging the decoder, turning the 8 pin decoder plug 180 degrees, then inserting the plug back into the socket?

This may not solve the problem, but please report back with the symptoms resulting from turning the plug, such as direction of running and lighting.

Please refer to the two links I posted earlier, and read them thoroughly. If your USRA medium tender is a first production release, it may not be totally compatible with any decoder without modifying the lighting circuitry on the PC board. 

You mentioned the loco runs fine, but is it running the proper direction according to settings on your controller?

Regards

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 06:21:00 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2009, 02:06:11 AM »

Redundant Information Deleted

(Thanks to Joe Satnik - see his post below)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 03:06:18 PM by Jim Banner » Logged

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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2009, 03:54:46 AM »

Whenever I post a reply, then discover someone else has already posted ahead of me with the same information, out of courtesy to the first respondent and to the inquirer, I then delete my post as it serves no purpose.

Besides, there is a warning that pops up when you hit the post button, saying another post has just been added, and encourages us to review our comments before posting. If you notice the second post still exists.

This board would function much better with a lot more teamwork.  Now, does anyone have additional positive suggestions that might help "Grand" with his problem?  If someone else is better qualified, just say so and I'll pass the ball.
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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
mtlatc


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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 10:28:53 AM »

Jim,

I will e-mail you later today. My post are also deleted.
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2009, 11:48:33 AM »

Dear All,

I coined the word "postitulate"  ie "post-it-you-late", ie "you were too late hitting the post button, someone else posted the same info ahead of you." 

This doesn't occur as often, now, because of the "someone just posted ahead of you" warning.  (Many thanks, Webmaster !)   

I would rather see more than one person trying to help than zero.  It's a lively forum, and that's good.

About deleting....PLEASE.... let people know you deleted your info...  modify the same post with "redundant info deleted" or other words.

Do you all know that if you post a new topic, you can also delete the entire thread?

Please PLEASE, don't ever delete the entire thread without notifying or getting permission from those that replied, and posting a new topic explaining why you did deleted the old thread.

I spent many hours wondering if the moderator had censored a thread that I replied to, (did I say something that bad?) when it was the just the original (newbie) poster who thought he'd save some file space..... (which, of course, is not a concern 99.9% of the time.)

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

Edit: grammar (If it weren't for bad grammar, I'd have no grammar at all.)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 11:42:29 PM by Joe Satnik » Logged

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2009, 03:48:44 PM »

If I may repeat one of Bob's questions and add a few more:
- have you tried reversing the plug? 
- did the headlight work well before installing the decoder?
- has the headlight been remapped to another function? (if your decoder allows this
- has the headlight been set too dim to see? (if your decoder allows this)
-have you tried resetting the decoder to factory defaults? (if your decoder allows this)

All these questions may seem arbitrary but really they are not.  There are many possible causes for your headlight not working and the answers to these questions help us and you to figure out why.  I rarely explain the reasons for asking my questions, but in this case I will:
- if the plug is in backwards, the locomotive will run just fine but the headlight will not work properly.
- If the headlight did not work properly on dc then it probably will not work on DCC.
- many decoders allow you to change which button on your throttle controls which function in your locomotive.  Your headlight could, for example, be set to work if the f4 button is pushed instead of the f0 button.  It could even be set so that both f0 AND f4 have to be turned on in order to turn on the headlight.
- some decoder allow you to set headlight brightness.  If you set it too dim, you can't see the light.
- some decoders allow you to choose between headlight types, either LED or incandescent bulbs.  If you accidentally select LED and have a bulb installed, the current through the bulb will be too dim for it to light.
- resetting the decoder to factory defaults MAY set the CVs correctly to allow your headlight to work.  But if your decoder uses a CV to choose between bulb and LED, then it may default to LED, so doing a factory reset may or may not help.

You should also understand now why Hunt asked you what kind of decoder you installed and why "the decoder is from NCE through Tony's Trains" is only part of the answer.  Tony sells something like 30 different NCE decoders.  While I for one would be willing to study the specifications of the one type you installed, just to see if they had any clues, I am not willing to study 30 different types.

If I may close with a quote from Joe Satnik, a quote with which I heartily agree:

I would rather see more than one person trying to help than zero.  It's a lively forum, and that's good.
Joe Satnik
 
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 04:53:34 PM »

Jim
If you read my original post, note that I asked specifically for "Brand and part number of decoder".  I don't care who helps others, my only concern is that they do receive help in a prompt and courteous manner.

I have seen questions drift onto page 2 without a single response, and since I did not have the answer, I bumped the topic back for a fresh view.  I was then told by a member that if I didn't have the answer, to stay out of it.

I agree the more help the better, but the "more" should be in addition to other comments, not just duplicated. I always read the first responder's reply carefully, and give the helper time to collect vital information necessary to resolve the issue at hand. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 04:47:20 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2009, 06:39:48 PM »

Sorry Bob if I missed who asked what first.

At this point, I don't have an answer to this headlight problem either.  Without more answers from Grand Skunk, I won't ever have.  Even with his answers I may not have the final answer for him.  Not yet. 

Sometimes I feel like an old hound dog who is too dumb to let go.  Once I catch the scent, I like to follow through, no matter where the trouble shooting trail leads to.  Just like an old hound dog, I don't stop to bark at every tree just because there might be a varmint in the branches.  And I don't like to make random suggestions, even though one of them might eventually work.  I guess I am also like the old hunter - I want to see the problem squarely in my sights before I pull the trigger.  Maybe that is just me - I also wear a belt and suspenders.

Trying to get it right sometimes (often?) means I don't do well in a world that demands instant gratifications.  "Thorough" is no longer a compliment.  "Thorough" today means "waste of time."  When someone asks "why doesn't my train run?" he has no idea of the number of faults that could result in his problem, which means he has no idea of what it takes to troubleshoot his problem, and which in turn probably means he has no interest in answering questions or trying to follow the logic of a  thorough investigation.  And while we may try to teach him a bit about the concepts of trouble shooting, I am afraid that the answer he really wants is along the lines of "your engine has died.  Bury it and buy a new one."  Or something else as short and snappy.

But we keep on trying.  On a good day, we do manage to pass on a bit of wisdom to someone and it is great to later on see that person passing on that same bit of wisdom to others.  That is what makes it all worthwhile.

Jim (the old hound dog)
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grumpy

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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2009, 01:54:13 AM »

Jim
Sometimes it appears there is a competition going on  to see who can outsmart  whom, or who can supply the answer first . On a forum like this opinions should not be presented as facts . An opinion is an opinion and a fact is a fact . I see to many opinions presented as facts. I think it is important to encourage the new members and some of the older members to make an atttempt to solve some of the problems themselves, in this way they will get a better understanding of how the components of their railway works. Common sense can solve some of the problems and the knowledge that you , Bob and I will include Hunt can work together to supply the correct approach to solving the problems when just plain common sense does not work.
I hate to see this forum develop into a competition to see who is best at solving problems.
Please accept my statement that I am not pointing fingers at anyone.
Don't let this forum get derailed.
[ Every truth has four corners.As a teacher I give you one corner ,and it is for you to find the other three. Comnfucius]
Don Huh?
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