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Locomotive shorting DCC system

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  • Member since
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  • From: Chicago area
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Locomotive shorting DCC system
Posted by Arto on Thursday, November 02, 2017 1:50 PM

I recnetly bought a used (like new) Athearn Genesis DCC-Ready GE U50. It runs fine on DC. On the layout with DCC, when I turn on the power, it shorts the system.

I bought a second one, brand new, and it does the same thing.

Any idea what's wrong?

Athearn (so far has been of no help). Using Digitrax DCS100

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Posted by JoeinPA on Thursday, November 02, 2017 1:56 PM

Arto:

Did you remove the dummy plug? For DCC you need to remove the dummy plug and plug in the proper decoder. Were you trying to run the locos on address 00?

Joe

 

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Posted by Arto on Thursday, November 02, 2017 2:02 PM

No, I didn't remove the dummy plug. I'm trying to use these (initially) on address 00.

My intention is to install ESU Loksound decoders. That's why I bought the DCC-Ready versions, because I figured I'd just trash the existing light board instead of some Tsunami (which I don't like).

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:02 PM

Could be something in the DC version's wiring doesn't allow operating it on 00. I would try removing the dummy plug and plugging in a decoder and see if it works then.

Stix
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Posted by Arto on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:24 PM

wjstix

Could be something in the DC version's wiring doesn't allow operating it on 00. I would try removing the dummy plug and plugging in a decoder and see if it works then.

 

Except.......Athearn said it should run on DCC address 00.

Then the Athearn idiot askes if I can run it on DC after I already told him it would. That was 2 days ago.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:49 PM

 Could just be the way it is. My Bachmann 44 tonner did the same thing trying address 00. DC it was fine, added a decoder and it runs fine on DCC. 

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Arto on Thursday, November 02, 2017 4:05 PM

rrinker

 Could just be the way it is. My Bachmann 44 tonner did the same thing trying address 00. DC it was fine, added a decoder and it runs fine on DCC. 

                               --Randy

 

 

Poop. I was hoping to temporarily put these into service right away so I could put the Scaletrains.com GE turbine back in it's box. Looks like I'm going to have to order the Loksound sooner than expected. Grrrrrr

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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, November 02, 2017 9:11 PM

Manufacturers have been doing this for a while. They install a low ohm resistor in the board that isn't affected by DC operation, but it's enough of a load to kick out a DCC system once placed on the rails.

Atlas (I believe) was the first to do this due to the rise of defective engines being sent back in from people burning out the motor from running their DC engine on their DCC layout. Enough was enough.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by JoeinPA on Friday, November 03, 2017 8:23 AM

Interesting info Mark. Thanks for sharing. This type of information is always helpful. It never hurts to expand our knowledge base.

Joe

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Posted by Arto on Saturday, November 04, 2017 1:06 PM

Athearn finally got back to me. Their response:  This is very strange, it would exhibit similar results on both DC and DCC.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 04, 2017 1:28 PM

Arto

No, I didn't remove the dummy plug. I'm trying to use these (initially) on address 00.

My intention is to install ESU Loksound decoders. That's why I bought the DCC-Ready versions, because I figured I'd just trash the existing light board instead of some Tsunami (which I don't like).

 

Remove the plug and install a decoder, any decoder, just a cheap non-sound decoder, and program a long address. It should run on DCC power without shorting. You can always swap it out later for the LokSound.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, November 04, 2017 2:15 PM

I keep a Digitrax DZ125 around for something like this. A quite small decoder for HO, N and Z scale. One with an eight pin plug and one to solder in.

Rich

N

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, November 04, 2017 2:33 PM

richhotrain
Remove the plug and install a decoder, any decoder, just a cheap non-sound decoder, and program a long address. It should run on DCC power without shorting. You can always swap it out later for the LokSound. Rich

I used to use NCE D13SRJs for this exact purpose (now discontinued).  I have a couple that have been run through 3 or 4 locomotives.  TCS T series decoder is a pretty good bet for a 9pin plug in.  I have also used the NCE D15SR, but they not as good IMO.  The T1 is a dollar more, T4 is $5 more. 

Running a DC locomotive on 00 is never good for the motor.  Better to drop a cheap decoder in.

Edit:

Just in case there is something actually wrong:

1. Remove plug.

2. Place locomotive on a piece of track that is not connected to anything else.

3. Set multivolt meter to continuity (ohms setting).  Check for continuity between the motor leads and the track.  Check both leads to both rails.  If you get anything but an open with the plug removed, there is an internal short that will blow a decoder, and is the source of your problems.  

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.

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