Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

I don't have a decoder address.

2705 views
15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
I don't have a decoder address.
Posted by froggy on Friday, February 29, 2008 5:00 PM
I just joined the forum and I need your help.I just bought a GP 30 kato locomotive with a digitrax decoder already installed.I got it on Ebay for $69.00 with the shipping.He doesn't know the the address is for the loco.How would I find that out?I am using Atlas track and I bought a MRC Prodigy controller.I am totally new at this DCC stuff.
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: wichita KS
  • 24 posts
Posted by radar on Friday, February 29, 2008 5:33 PM
need to go to digitrax web site and out how to reset decoder to factory specs. what kind of prodigy do you have?
Moderator
  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 14,725 posts
Posted by tstage on Friday, February 29, 2008 5:37 PM

Froggy,

Just change CV8 to "8" and your Digitrax decoder will do a factory reset.  Here's a link that may come in handy for you:

http://www.tonystrains.com/technews/dec_rescue.htm

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
Posted by froggy on Friday, February 29, 2008 5:41 PM
I'll keep those answers in mind.meantime I also bought a Kato GE C44-9W and the guy sold me a decoder to go with it.The decoder came today and the instructions are greek to me and the pics don't even look like the loco I have.Is DCC really hard or am I making it out to be that way?
  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,708 posts
Posted by selector on Friday, February 29, 2008 6:17 PM
Except for sound versions, and within limits due to sizes and intended functions and models, decoders are not strictly meant for a given engine unless the manufacturer contracted with a supplier of decoders for a given model so that certain performance characteristics could be achieved.  That's a mouthful, to be sure, but it is a way of saying that you have no way of knowing if the decoder supplied fits or has the necessary performance parameters for the Kato engine.  It would be good to discuss the match with the seller if that person is reputable and knowledgeable.  Otherwise, you are at this seller's mercy.  You would be wise to consult someone who installs decoders on this one.
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
Posted by froggy on Friday, February 29, 2008 6:40 PM
I just emailed the seller and he has no knoledge of DCC.He offered to list it again and refund the money without hurting feedback.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Friday, February 29, 2008 11:11 PM
You don't need to know the address to program it with a new one!  Just follow the direction on the Prodigy to set a new address.

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
Posted by froggy on Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:45 PM
I found out the decoder that someone sent to me was the wrong one.It is for a Kato N-scale E8, PA1, etc.I need it to fit a SD 35.I found a good website to buy decoders.It is www.fiferhobbies.com I was just reading my instructions for the MRC Prodigy and it shows a diagram to connect the wires.On the base unit it showstwo wires going to the main track and then two wires to the program track.Can someone tell me what this means? I am totally new with DCC.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vail, AZ
  • 1,943 posts
Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Saturday, March 01, 2008 11:16 PM

 froggy wrote:
I found out the decoder that someone sent to me was the wrong one.It is for a Kato N-scale E8, PA1, etc.I need it to fit a SD 35.I found a good website to buy decoders.It is www.fiferhobbies.com I was just reading my instructions for the MRC Prodigy and it shows a diagram to connect the wires.On the base unit it showstwo wires going to the main track and then two wires to the program track.Can someone tell me what this means? I am totally new with DCC.

It means you take two wire to the main track, and two to the programming track.  That way you can program one loco at a time.  If you only have one loco, you could just take a set of wires to the main track and be done.  (This is for the Prodigy, other systems are different.)

Fifer is a good place to buy N scale stuff.  Good service, good prices.

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • 448 posts
Posted by steamfreightboy on Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:22 PM
I have a NCE and when I put a loco on the track it finds it. Try that.Wink [;)]
"It's your layout, only you have to like it." Lin's Junction
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
Posted by froggy on Sunday, March 02, 2008 9:12 PM
Program track and main track, does that mean I can only run two trains at a time?I have a MRC Prodigy controller.Somebody show me a picture, I'm still having a hard time understanding all this.
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 1,739 posts
Posted by Don Z on Sunday, March 02, 2008 10:47 PM

Froggy,

Do yourself a huge favor and order this book:

http://kalmbachcatalog.stores.yahoo.net/12242.html

It will answer your questions in a very easy to understand method. It is an invaluable resource for DCC beginners.

Don Z.

Research; it's not just for geeks.
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 385 posts
Posted by UpNorth on Monday, March 03, 2008 12:14 AM

Programming track is just that, for programming. It will not run locos and you put one loco at a time, on the programming track, to program it (change CV values).

Main track is your layout. You can run multyple locos on the layout under DCC up to the limit of your controler.

 

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Sturgis South Dakota
  • 169 posts
Posted by froggy on Monday, March 03, 2008 8:12 AM
So, the program track is just a test track?After the cab is programed the main track is what's used for running it.So actually if all your locos are programed,You no longer need any wires to the program track on the controller end.
  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,324 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, March 03, 2008 8:39 AM

Basically, that's the idea.

The programming track, as originally designed, is a low-power section of track which can "talk" to the decoder, but little else.  There isn't enough power to run the engine.  This is deliberate.  If you happened to mis-wire your decoder, and you put it on the program track to test it, you will get an error but will not fry the decoder, because they limited the power.

This has a problem with some of the newer sound decoders.  They require a bunch of power just to get going, so to the programming track, it looks like something is wrong.

My programming track is a siding on my layout.  It is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout, and I use a double-pole, double-throw toggle switch to select either the programming track outputs or the main line outputs as the power for that siding.  That way, I can run an engine from the main line on to the siding, flip the toggle, program the engine, flip the toggle again and then run the engine off, all without having to touch the engine or lift it up from one track and re-rail it on another.

Before I rigged that up, though, I simply had a short section of straight snap-track connected to the programming outputs of my DCC system.  This track had no connection to the layout, so I had to put engines on it to program them, and then replace them on the layout.  This worked just fine, but I didn't like doing it.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Lewiston ID
  • 1,710 posts
Posted by reklein on Monday, March 03, 2008 9:54 AM

Froggy, I reiterate, just reprogram the decoder in your new loco to the address you want. I usually use the number on the loco as a reminder of its address.Each decoder will have its own address. If you do not use a program track seperatly you will program all decoders to the same address if you left any other locos on the same track you are programming on.

The program track is to program decoders. In a way you can disregard the fact that its even in a loco. You could solder the red and black leads to the program track and program the loco. Maybe you should get or build a decoder tester. Again you are progamming the decoder not a cab.

Two wires to the trck is sufficient to run a small layout.You will need to add more feeders from those two wires as you expand your layout.

The two wires you run to a program track you will leave permanently connected. You will need it to program new decoders as you begin to collect locos.

I hopr this helps,I went through all these same problems a few years back. Also the man was right when he said,"get this book".

 

In Lewiston Idaho,where they filmed Breakheart pass.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!