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DCC and older controller problems

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DCC and older controller problems
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 1:45 PM

New to forum and DCC.I bought a Proto 2000 limited edition SW8 with factory installed DCC and sound,my controller is a DC model MRC Tech 2 Railmaster 2400.

Problem is the train keeps stopping, acts like a circuit breaker is tripping,i am only testing the engine on 2 new pieces of flextrack and the engine is fresh out of the box so i dont think dirty contacts are the problem.As i am a total newb to DCC i have no clue as to where to begin to solve this problem.An out of left field guess would be a power incompatability issue between the controller and the train but thats just a wild guess and even if that were the problem i have no clue as to what to do about it.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated thanks 

 

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Posted by jamnest on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:37 PM

The problem appears that you are trying to operate a DCC locomotive with a DC power pack.  The Proto 2000 SW8 is a dual mode DCC/DC locomotive. Make sure it is in DC mode. 

You will need a DCC system with programing to appreciate all of the features of this locomotive including the sound.

Jim, Modeling the Kansas City Southern Lines in HO scale.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 3:43 PM

You probably have a QSI Equippted DCC engine.

Your Power Supply is a ANALOG unit.

You need to maintain about 1/3 throttle at all times to keep the engine online. Drop that throttle too low your engine's computer powers down and quits working.

That is the price of running a dual mode sound/dcc engine, keeping about half of your throttle just to power the engine's computer with your analog power supply.

Option one:

Raise your throttle to about 1/3 or so.. your engine should power up and make idle sounds.

Raise your throttle a little more to almost halfway and your engine should lurch into motion.

Your momentum WILL not work. Neither will your pulse work. Chances are, your engine has already been programmed to "Resist" analog speed increases and act like a real heavy engine as it should in real life.

You will find that by rapidly blipping the direction switch you can sound the whistle. ... after a time you will also see that direction switch labeling start to wear off.

It's time for you to look at the Quantum Controller add on that should go between your power supply and track. That will give you some play value with your sound engine...

eventually you will need to use a DCC system to be able to reset, program CV's and use your features to the fullest.

If your engine goes NUTZ and does not obey your commands, you need to check your manual for a Magnetic reed switch reset or a POT switch reset. Again your throttle needs to be high enough with the engine in "Nuetral" for this to work. I myself have never gotten a reed switch to work right... too much waving those little bitty magnets.

Maybe I need a 20 pound horseshoe magent or something.

Finally but not last... if your engine sits there and speaks the word MAX MAX MAX over and over again your voltage is too high.

You will eventually tire of the analog's limitations and seek out either a NCE or Digitrax DCC system. DONT be suckered into throwing money down after a cheapie no good Botchmann basic DCC system. Stay and flee from temptation.

good luck!

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 20, 2008 3:10 AM

The train will stop prematurely when backing off the throttle at about the 20% position but it will also quit running on occasion at speed with the controller at the 80% position,i'll ask my local hobby shop about that Quantum controller add on.

As for a full DCC system?i'm seeing prices in the $600cdn range which  is out of my league financially i suppose it could happen in the future if i switch from 1 engine shelf layout to multi engine RR empire but for now its just not worth the aggrevation i'd get from the wifeWink [;)]

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:44 AM

A Zephyr System or one of the NCE cabs should easy to get if you set aside 50 dollars a month or more. Within 4 months you will be ready to purchase a system and have read up on pros and cons of each. Even maybe have had hands on experience with a local who is DCC or train show.

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Posted by UpNorth on Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:57 PM
 jambo101 wrote:

The train will stop prematurely when backing off the throttle at about the 20% position but it will also quit running on occasion at speed with the controller at the 80% position,i'll ask my local hobby shop about that Quantum controller add on.

As for a full DCC system?i'm seeing prices in the $600cdn range which  is out of my league financially i suppose it could happen in the future if i switch from 1 engine shelf layout to multi engine RR empire but for now its just not worth the aggrevation i'd get from the wifeWink [;)]

 

Hey!.. It's a girly car man (inside joke)

The Quantum Engineer (QE) is cool but I would drop the idea in favor of a true  DCC controler.  The QE only works with QSI decoders and only those with QARC.  You limit yourself to one decoder type. Get either a Digitrax Zephyr from that hobby shop in Dorval or shop around on Ebay for one. It is a very good starter and can be up-graded later as the needs arise. You will be able to tie in your computer and talk to the decoder using FREE software.

This engine has traction tires on one axel, both wheels. Could be related as one truck is only picking up current on two wheels.  Hate traction tires.  Is it cutting out in the middle of strait track or at a switch ?

Marc. (C.M.M. #248) 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:55 PM

JMRI is such a software, but it ties into the Digitrax Loconet System.

I dont know about NCE.

I was thinking of the stalling at a dirty track or switch. Even a failed feeder will stop it.

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Posted by jrbernier on Friday, March 21, 2008 9:10 AM

  The P2K SW8 has a QSI Sound/Decoder installed.  It also has 'traction tires' installed to make up for the weight that was replaced by the sound system.  These engines have electrical pick-up issues.  Dig deep into the box and you should find another set of wheel sets with no traction tires.  Getting rid of the wheel sets with traction tires will help, but the pulling power of your SW8 will be reduced(you will get a lot of wheel slip).  I have done this and it made a big difference.  Also, clean the wheels and the flex track - They are not as as clean as you think.  Higher priced power packs/DCC systems will not help with the pick up issue.  The original BII switcher(NW2/SW7) has the same issues.  The capacitor in the switcher is much smaller than on the previous engines and does not keep the sound system running when running over dirty trackage.  My SW8 will pull about 8 cars on level track in the yard, so it really is not a big issue for me.

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 21, 2008 9:23 AM

I run two BLI NW's together at all times when switching. Pulling power exceeds 15 cars on the level at any speed.

Dead switch frogs, dirty track are the first things need looking at. I use kato switches with all live frogs and it only needs cleaning once in a while.

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Friday, March 21, 2008 2:35 PM
 jambo101 wrote:
the engine is fresh out of the box so i dont think dirty contacts are the problem.
That could be a bad assumption.   I didn't believe it either, until last month my new Atlas Trainmaster wouldn't run well out-of-the-box.  Someone at the club suggested I clean the wheels, and TA DA!   Three minutes later it was running fine.
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Posted by modelmaker51 on Friday, March 21, 2008 5:51 PM
BTW you can get into a good starter DCC system for less than $200, not $600.

Jay 

C-415 Build: https://imageshack.com/a/tShC/1 

Other builds: https://imageshack.com/my/albums 

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Posted by locoi1sa on Friday, March 21, 2008 6:16 PM

  If you get a power cab (NCE $140) It has settings for programing hard to program QSI decoders and other sound decoders without having to buy separate boosters for program tracks. I have had one for a long time now and never ran across a decoder it wouldnt program. Thats on a programing track and not the mainline. I dont like the idea of sending programing signals while people are operating. If someone trips the booster at the right time the programing signal  will be corupted. I have had to fix club members locos messed up like this. One time someone was consisting locos and bam. It changed the addresses of 2 locos to 9999. The power cab is great for programing alone and also great for running.

   pete
 

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 22, 2008 3:51 AM
 UpNorth wrote:

Hey!.. It's a girly car man (inside joke)

The Quantum Engineer (QE) is cool but I would drop the idea in favor of a true  DCC controler.  The QE only works with QSI decoders and only those with QARC.  You limit yourself to one decoder type. Get either a Digitrax Zephyr from that hobby shop in Dorval or shop around on Ebay for one. It is a very good starter and can be up-graded later as the needs arise. You will be able to tie in your computer and talk to the decoder using FREE software.

This engine has traction tires on one axel, both wheels. Could be related as one truck is only picking up current on two wheels.  Hate traction tires.  Is it cutting out in the middle of strait track or at a switch ?

Marc. (C.M.M. #248) 

 

 

Yeah it will stop in the middle of a piece of flex track.

I went to that store in Dorval for the first time yesterday and i was impressed with their amout of train stuff and thier knowledge,up till now i've been going to Udisco.

PS its not Tuesday 

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