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DCC Wiring problem

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Overland Park, KS
  • 343 posts
DCC Wiring problem
Posted by dadret on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 11:34 AM
I'm confused and frustrated!!  I recently rewired my DCC layout seperating it into four power districts with my MRC Prodigy Advance and an MRC Power Booster and all going through a Tony's Trains PS4 circuit breaker.  Two of the districts, my mainline, are wired from the PA to two of the four breakers on the PS4 and they work fine.  The other two districts, my industrial area and engine servicing area, are wired from the Booster to the other two breakers on the PS4 and they don't work at all.  I have power to the tracks but the locos will not repsond to any commands.  Using the test light supplied with the booster it shows I have the polarity reversed from the booster to the track but when I reverse the polarity it STILL shows that its reversed.  Using a meter I know I have the polarity correct (the polarity is the same for all tracks, both the ones that work and the ones that don't). I checked the output from the PS4 to the track and its OK (I have power coming out of the breaker). I just got the booster back from MRC after they repaired a short but I think its OK since I have power coming out of the PS4.  ANY IDEAS??
  • Member since
    May 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,693 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 11:57 AM

Is the PA connected to the booster? 

Paul A. Cutler III
************
Weather Or No Go New Haven
************

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by gandydancer19 on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 12:31 PM

The Booster is a dumb power amplifier. There should be some kind of signal wire or cable connection between the main PA and the booster. That's what it sound like is missing. (Like a telephone type wire and connectors, usually 4 wires.)  Your looking for the command station connector I think, since I have NCE and that is what they call it.

To check your other connections, remove the PS4 input from the Booster and jumper over the PS input from the PA. In other words, feed both sides of the PS4 from the PA and see if it works. If it does, you need the signal cable from the PA to the Booster.

If you already have this signal connection between the two, it may be a bad cable or wired wrong.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Overland Park, KS
  • 343 posts
Posted by dadret on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 1:13 PM
The Booster is properly connected to the PA.  I switched the track leads between the PA and the booster and had the same problem only reversed so my wiring is OK.  BUT, out of curosity and I've tried everything else, I changed the cable from the Booster to the PA (I used the recharging cable from my PA wireless as I think all the cables are the same.  GUESS WHAT - everything started working right so the problem was a bad cable.  I'll call MRC and get them to send me a new cable.  I'd have never guessed it was the cable but the more I work with DCC the less surprised I get when I find and fix a problem.  Thanks for the help.

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