DCC – How To Reset The Decoder

DCC- How To Reset Your Decoder back to Factory Default

Answers to DCC’s difficult questions.

My decoder appears to have died on line and how do I get it back? 

Bob Ellis. aka PowerSteamGuy 1790, has provided us with some answers to the more difficult questions regarding DCC.   You’ll need to explore his blog to see what all he shares.     Go to: http://powersteamguy1790snewjjje.blogspot.com/2015/04/dcc-default-decoder-reset-values.html,   of The New JJJ&E   

Let’s say you get to a model railroad club and you discover someone else has programmed their locomotives to the same ID numbers you have.     Not good.     You need to know how to reprogram your decoders in the locomotive to new numbers.      Most hand held control throttles have instructions on the backside that you can follow to make the needed change.   You can also find instructions in the directions that came with the decoder.

Some anomaly  is at work and manages to cancel out the decoder as in deprogram it. The decoder killing phenomena.   A unpleasant realization when it hits your decoder doesn’t respond.    In most cases you can save it by going back to factory default.    I know this isn’t fun but necessary.

The most daunting question some of our local BVMR’s has is,  how do you reset the decoders back to factory default?   Your asking the same question, am I right?   How do you get the decoder back up and operating….again!  Order a new one?    Trash it and go back to Analog DC?    Yep, we managed to screw a few up and the good news is we managed to  get most (but not all  of them) back-up and working.   Downside:   We have one to many decoders that don’t respond and I fear we may never get them reset to factory default and operating again..   To many locomotives sitting on the dead line waiting for repairs.

Keeping in mind that DCC, is or will soon be old school technology.   Now did I have to go and say that?   No but it’s true!    How old is DCC?   Oh about 20 years old and getting older as you read this.

Most of us contribute the cause of non-working decoders to operator error.    Ted Freeman contributes it to short’s either in the switches or on the layout.    More on this in Shorts – Cause and Affect.

Operator Error:

Programming on the main (when we don’t know how)  and the infamous finger drag can wreak havoc.    All  without the aide of Mr. Murphy and those ever present Gremlins.       I recommend you build yourself a program track and do your programming on the isolated piece of track.    Get some experience under your belt and you can graduate to programming on the main.    Cautiously!

Of course the manual that came with your particular DCC system, is the first place to look for answers. Most can be resolved by simply reading and following directions.     I know who reads instructions?

Look for “How to reset your decoder back to factory default.”   You will need to find the correct  CV to zero out and then add in the correct number aka value  into  your decoder.   IE., CV 19, is the key in most cases but because manufacturers made their decoders differently the CV and value may also be different.    It depends on the decoder and how the manufacturer designed it.

Here are some values you may find helpful.

Manufacturer                          ID #  In CV8                                 CV Value for                                                                                                                                    reset.               Lenz                                                        99                                                  CV8 = 33

NCE                                                        11                                                  CV30 = 2

Digitrax                                                12                                                  CV8 = 8

LokSound (ESU)                               15                                                  CV8 = 8

Train Control System                   153                                               CV8 = 8 or CV30 = 2

SoundTraxx: DSDLC, DSXTsunami       1141                           CV 30 = 2 CV8= 8

MRC (New)                                                           2143                           CV125 = 1

Courtesy of Bob Ellis and Ted Freeman.

I can only hope this helps.


A New Common In Town

New Common:     A New What? 

Yep you heard me right.    A brand new common.

I couldn’t help but respond by saying:   What the…. WELL….uhh…err…HELL?      I know, I know it’s a family show.

Yes!   There is a new “Common” in town.     A New Common?     What are they thinking?   It will only make it more difficult to communicate in various model railroad discussion circles.

If you think the issues over the old analog DC, Common was bad enough wait until newbies and oldsters try to talk rationally about the new Common.   Ayee yie yi!

Some  fiddle dinking  idiot came up with a new Common.   Sheez, can’t they let a really bad thing… die gracefully?

There is a new tethered  “Common Wire” to allow the packets of DCC information to  leave the hand held control,  via  the command station, out to the boosters, over the track and  arriving at the targeted decoder controlling a locomotive or motor.    As I thought about it, it became clear,  you/we need some type of communication, a wired in connection that allows packets of information to   “FINALLY” arrive at the properly addressed locomotive.    They could have called it anything else but a fricking “Common”.      A  “Command Control Tether” would be my choice but they didn’t ask me.    Dam them for bringing back the “Common”.    Although, in this case for a different purpose.

Who did this?     Ask the boys and girls at Digitrax about the new common?

The thoughts and opinions shared here are mine.   I know, I know it’s a family show.   What?  I’m not allowed to show my temperament once in a while.?      Hey, it works and works well so why should I be fuming?    Is there smoke coming out of my ears?    Yep!    I’m about to lift the steam safety valve and need to take a siding and cool down.    Grin!

From Me:   RickH.

The Gulf & Pacific Railroad

A Common Wired Model Railroad:

The Gulf & Pacific Railroad, an HO Scale model railroad owned by John Acosta, a fellow BVMR, NMRA member and a good friend.

His layout is set-up to operate on Analog DC,  Common Wire, Cab A and Cab B.   An older method of wiring-in a layout.   He recently tied in another transformer, Cab C., to enable making  switching moves in his main yard.     Don’t think that didn’t make me nervous.

Wednesday evening, July 23, 2015, John and I deliberately put his layout through a number of tests.  “An acid test”, as John described it.  I did my best to pull out any and all stops and looked for all the flaws  in the system and you won’t believe the results.

You see in the past he operated with some  problems and some tell tale signs.    We both felt it was an  unmatched transformers and the  this was the cause of the problems we were experiencing.   Both transformers appeared to be filtered however some minor operational problems persisted.    John set out to change that.

In June, 2015 John purchased an additional MRC Control Master 20, Walk Around transformer.    There was some hiccups during installation and it turned out to be in the wiring as in  wires reversed.     Noted any operational  problems appeared to be fixed.

Operations Night, on  Wednesday evening, June 10, 2015., Richard a fellow BVMR and Engineer Trainee at Knott’s Berry Farm, Anaheim, California.    He and I met over at John’s layout and operated trains for the first time with his new transformer a CM20, on line.   I’ve never seen a common wired railroad run as well.   This was the first time I saw John’s layout run what I thought was  flawlessly.     Yes, after everything I’ve ever said about common wire…you heard me right, I didn’t stutter.     I’ve never seen trains operating on a common wired model railroad  perform  as well.

Noted some inefficiencies but I will point you to operator error.

That night, the only thing that stands out in my mind is the hand held control that was designed to start up locomotives or diesels at one or two on the dial…you have to turn it past the halfway point to overcome the inertia of the other transformer, before the trains start to roll.   But there’s a plausible explanation for that as John pointed out.

I’ll get back to this post here in an hour or two.    I need to fuel up the boiler and reload the tender.  So let’s take a break and we will be right back.

The clinkers have been dropped, the boiler has been stoked, the tender has been watered, a new load of coal dropped into the box   and we are set to continue this discussion.

The plausible explanation:   The locomotives John operates on his layout are the older plastic and  brass with the  higher amperage motors.    Thus requiring more current to get under way.    He also has constant lighting in his passenger cars and locomotives that eats up a significant amount of current.     Shut down the passenger cars  as they sit in the siding. waiting their next assignment and you decrease the output current and  increase the overall performance of the locomotives on his layout.

John’s  layout should be preserved as an example of how many of us attempted or did operate our trains in years past.      Old school for sure but his runs amazingly well.

For the Newbie,  DON’T even think about it.     With DCC as the foreseeable future for model railroaders.     Look to wiring-in and  operating your layout with DCC.

I don’t want to hex Jonn’s layout.    So let’s keep this quiet.   I’m sitting here waiting for Mr. Murphy or those ever haunting Gremlins to show up.     Waiting for the other shoe to fall.    In the meantime look at the fun  John and the BVMR’s are having.

You’ll need your quick action glasses on as John wants you to see everything and in a hurry.     Grin!

Operations Night on the Gulf & Pacific

Published on Jul 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

Here you can catch a number of  BVMR’s finest, operating John’s, HO Scale, Gulf & Pacific Railroad.      We got caught red handed breaking some of the rules in Johns operational hand book.     Sorry John.     We will try to do better next time.    You’ll even get a Selfie of John in action.

From the BVMR’s, a shout out of Thanks to John A., for allowing us to operate his Gulf & Pacific Railroad,    We had loads of fun that evening.