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Author Topic: DCC turnouts not working...  (Read 4072 times)
jowalmer

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« on: June 15, 2009, 05:18:34 PM »

I use Bachmann DCC turnouts throughout (the #6 crossover is the bomb!).  NCE Powercab is the controller.  I have 9 locos.  Every time I run the Athearn DCC Ready which has a Digitrax decoder installed, all of the DCC turnouts stop receiving signal and will not switch from the controller.  This occurs only with this one loco mentioned above runs on the track.  unplugging and replugging power to the controller resets and all is fine again.

I've noticed this exact turnout problem once before with another loco when I was running it DC on address 10 with an EZ Command.  I posed the question here, someone suggested to stop runninng the DC loco.  That fixed the problem.  However, my current problem is when running this DCC loco.

I've peeked inside the loco thinking that maybe there was a wire loose causing some kind of short.  I found nothing.  The loco runs flawlessly and I am stumped.  Any suggestions?

Jim
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 10:11:26 PM by jowalmer » Logged
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 11:44:50 AM »

Try this.

Power down system.

Put loco on rails. 

Power up system.

Try switching the turnouts. 

Run the engine back and forth, not going over any turnouts.

Try switching turnouts.

Run the engine through a turnout. 

Try switching turnout. 

Run engine through the other route of the turnout. 

Try switching turnout. 

Let us know results. 

Did you see any wheel or undercarriage arcing, sparking while running through turnouts?

Thanks.

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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2009, 12:29:13 PM »

how many turnouts do you have? Are they all controlled by the accessory button on the power cab? My thinking is that if you have too many turnouts, ie, decoders, that the power cab can't handle the load. The athearn diesel may be taking more power to run than your other locos thus causing a switch problem.
    I use the power cab, but my turnouts are atlas code 83 and I use digitrax ds-64's to control them. The ds-64's have their own power supply so my engines are all ways getting full power.
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jowalmer

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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2009, 04:13:58 PM »

In respect to the 2 responses above, firstly-thanks.  Last night i ran a test and it is as follows:

I powered up the system; tested turnouts-all were fine; I placed the athearn on a section of straight track; tested turnouts-all were fine; powered up the athearn to throttle position 1 of 126; throttled back to zero (the loco had barely moved); turnouts now didn't work.  This was all done while two sound locos were idling.  I'll try it again tonight without any locos powered up, however, i suspect it will not make a difference.

It makes no difference whether the loco crosses a turnout, the problem begins the moment power/signal is given to the loco.  On the layout are 2 #6 crossovers and 7 regular turnouts, all DCC and all Bachmann.

I will try tonight the decoder in a different loco to see if the problem follows the decoder or whether it is limited to this loco.

Jim
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jowalmer

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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 11:55:05 AM »

Ok, problem solved.  It was the decoder.  Maybe next time I'll run tests before posting???  Thanks for your help.

Jim
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 07:11:19 PM »

Great!
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 06:50:01 AM »

Dear Jim,

Glad you solved your problem. 

You may be interested in this thread on decoder testers:

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,5584.0.html

Hope this helps.

Dear PD,

Why is Madison Square Garden round?

To hold the boxing rings, of course. 

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
   

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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 01:15:09 PM »

Thanks Joe. I always wanted to know. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 04:26:22 PM »

Jim, would you have posted your results if you had done your tests first and found the answer?  I am guessing probably not.  And the rest of us would never have learned what you learned.  This board can help people not only by answering question that they ask but also by telling them new things you have discovered for yourself.

Jim (another one)
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jowalmer

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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2009, 09:35:37 PM »

Ok Jim, good point.  Now for the news:

I'm right back where I started; I thought it was the decoder but appears to be something else.  This is what happened the night I ran the test with no other locos on.  I switched the decoder from the problematic Athearn (let's call this loco 1) with a decoder from an Athearn that had no problems (let's call this loco 2).  After the switch, loco 1 worked fine and loco 2 now had the same problem.  hence my conclusion that the problem was the decoder. 

However, the next day loco 1 had the problem again and loco 2 was fine AND no, there is no such thing as gremlins.  they are not responsible and they did not swithc back the decoders.  Everyone following this???

Then, I took a closer look at loco 1 and discovered that one of the wires that attaches to the circuit board sitting on top of the motor had a fraid wire with one strand magnetically stuck to the motor.  The wire had was supposed to go through a hole in the circuit board then held in place with a little black press-on retainer.  well most strands were through the hole except for one.  I fixed that and still have the problem.

As i write this, I am wondering if i should re-switch the decoders to see if that makes a difference.  Anyhow, this is really frustrating as loco 1 is an amtrak that my son loves to run and loosing DCC switching is a big bummer.

Any other comments???  Thanks.

Jim
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jowalmer

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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 11:33:05 AM »

READ THIS

If you have followed this thread, you will have seen that the DCC turnout issue was thought to have been resolved.  Then I learned that it wasn't.  Now I submit to all that it has now been resolved.  Here is what I have concluded:

The loco with the problem was assigned to short address '9' on the NCE Powercab.  As it turns out, anytime I give throttle to any loco assigned to address '9' the problem occurs.  To resolve this, I no longer use address 9 for any loco.

I believe that this issue may have something to do with Bachmann using address 9 on the EZ Command to trigger the switching mechanism on these DCC turnouts.

Jim
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 08:33:57 PM by jowalmer » Logged
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 11:42:30 AM »

Jim, I'm glad you found the answer
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jowalmer

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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 08:34:23 PM »

Yeah, me too.
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