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Digitrax program track

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  • Member since
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  • From: Foothills of Western NC
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Digitrax program track
Posted by Erie-diamond on Friday, May 22, 2020 7:42 PM

Just purchased a new Digitrax system DCS210 wireless with DT500D throttle. I have a program track seperate from the layout and havet wired to the DCS210 as per instructions. Seems like I'm doing everything according to the instructions but no power goes to the program track. Can anyone help me with this?

 

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Posted by Stevert on Friday, May 22, 2020 10:42 PM

The program track isn't powered the way the main is. Low power is only applied during the actual programming operation.

That means, only when the DCS210 is sending a programming command to the decoder or when the decoder is acknowledging.

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, May 22, 2020 10:45 PM

Can you elaborate on the "no power goes to the programming track" statement?

The only time there is a signal sent to the program track is for the few short seconds that commands are being sent. Sometimes the motor will "cog" or the headlight will briefly flash while a program command is sent, the rest of the time the program track will be idle, with no power.

https://www.digitrax.com/tsd/KB263/programming-track-outputs-and-notes-on-ops-mode-vs/

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Erie-diamond on Friday, May 22, 2020 10:51 PM

Thanks. I'll give it a try again in the morning.

 

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Posted by Erie-diamond on Friday, May 22, 2020 11:10 PM

Thanks Ed. I'll give this a try again in the morning. I'm assuming I use the Pg mode?

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Posted by ba&prr on Friday, May 22, 2020 11:23 PM

You can use the Pg or Pd mode.Pd is what Digitrax prefers.    Joe 

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Posted by selector on Friday, May 22, 2020 11:23 PM

Yes, and Paged Mode, per what USED TO BE...? Digitrax's instructions, should be used when changing addresses.  The rest of the time, you use OPS Mode.

When I change addresses, you get the prompt to enable long addresses with the "Y" and "N" so that the device can input the correct value in CV29.  Only in Paged Mode do my locos do the double lurch when getting any input...no matter what the digit or what CV you are changing.  I recoverd a QSI decoder the other week that I somehow botched during addressing by doing the three QSI steps in Paged Mode.  Worked.  Each 'enter' made the locomotive lurch.

This never happens in Ops, and as you probably know, you can change CVs on the fly in Ops.  

Also, the Paged Mode changes will necessarily cut off track power as soon as the lurches take place.  You must apply track power again each time you press 'enter'.

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Posted by Erie-diamond on Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:19 AM
Thanks selector
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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:57 AM

 The DCS series do not behave the same way as a DB150, the main track power is not shut off when programming on the program track. You can program on the program track AND have trains running at the same time.

                                     --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 selector on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:22 AM

Okay, that's good to know, Randy.  If that is the case, then our OP needs to be aware that he MUST remove momentarily, and then restore, track power if he makes changes in Paged Mode such as address changes on the programming track. Correct?

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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:50 AM

selector

Okay, that's good to know, Randy.  If that is the case, then our OP needs to be aware that he MUST remove momentarily, and then restore, track power if he makes changes in Paged Mode such as address changes on the programming track. Correct?

 

Nope!

As Randy said, the DCS command stations with their separate programming outputs work completely differently than the DB150.

Please re-read my earlier post in this thread.

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Posted by selector on Saturday, May 23, 2020 7:12 PM

Thanks for that.  Why does the DB150, during Paged Mode, cut track power as soon as one enters the new value to a CV?  I'd like to read an explanation as to why the SEB does this and the newer systems don't need to.

Thanks in advance.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 23, 2020 7:38 PM

 The DB150 only has one set of outputs. It has to be both the track and the program track, but it can't be both at the same time. All other Digitrax command stations, from the original DCS50 Zephyt and DCS100 which was produced at the same time as the DB150, up to the current DCS210 and DCS240, have 2 sets of outputs, one for program track and one for the main track, so they cna do both things at the same time.

 NCE PH Pro systems have 2 sets of outputs, but the CPU isn;t powerful enough to do both, so when you use the program track, the main track is turned off.

                                          --Randy

 

                                     --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 Stevert on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:29 PM

rrinker

  NCE PH Pro systems have 2 sets of outputs, but the CPU isn;t powerful enough to do both, so when you use the program track, the main track is turned off.

                                          --Randy

 

                                     --Randy

 

Lenz (has? had?) the same either/or restriction as the Power Pro.

Several years ago, I was a guest operator at a really amazing Lenz-powered layout. Unfortunately, it was "bring your new loco" night, and the track power kept on going off and on, off and on, throughout the entire session.

It truely ruined the experience, and is the reason I've never bothered to go back to that layout. It also confirmed my decision to buy a Super Chief (DCS100) rather than the competition.

(Although that's moot as I now do all my programming with a PR4. Even though my DCS100's programming outputs haven't been used since the PR3 came out, I still prefer it over the competition.) 

EDIT: Reworded for clarity.

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Posted by selector on Sunday, May 24, 2020 1:09 PM

Okay, Randy, I understand about the architecture of the newer/more advanced/capable systems from Digitrax.  However, since I have been paying attention to you about things DCC, and that goes back to my original decision to start acquiring a system and to only use DCC locomotives, you have cautioned people having problems with decoders to not forget to remove track power after some CV changes.  It turns out that my DB150 does that for me, although only in the other mode I use, and that is Paged Mode. Ops Mode doesn't need that procedure, and one can modify motion and sound CV's on the fly while the locomotive is underway.

Call me slow, but please take the time, when it is convenient, to explain why Paged Mode does this during address changes, or any other CV manipulation, but Ops doesn't need to.  I get that the DCS newer versions have two outputs, and that my DB150 only has one, and so the latter has to switch (?) between power modes by first removing track power...is that the only reason?  Or, why have you cautioned people about not forgetting to remove power to the rails when, say, resetting a decoder?

Again, thanks for all you do here, you and Stevert and the others who regularly keep an eye for questions you can answer.

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, May 24, 2020 1:32 PM

 When using a system that has a dedicated program track, power is by definition removed from the loco when programming. The dedicated program track only puts pulses in the track when a program command is issued, ordinarily it's dead - which is why checking your program track with a meter is pretty much useless.

 When programming on the main, the track power has to be on. Some decoders do not respond to certain proogram commands without the power being cycles, such as reset on BLI locos. You can do that on the main, but the decoder won't actually reset unless the power is cycled. You can either shut off the entire layout, or just tip the loco to lift one side off the track.

 The DB150 always effectively shuts off track power when programming, because the same two terminals switch from track power to program track. 

 Ops mode on the DCS systems behaves the same way as it does on the DB150.

 One other aspect of the program track, be it shared with the track outputs or have its own, is that the program track can only supply limited current. Somewhere in the milliamps range, as opposed to the full output of say 5 amps on the track output. This is why it is recommended to try a new install on the program track first - the low current gives you a fighting chance at not frying the decoder. THe full 5 amps - no chance at all. Even with a circuit breaker limiting to 2 1/2 or 3 amps - no chance. If the decoder won;t program on the program track, something is probably not wired correctly, and you should check that before putting the loco on the main. If programming works, then there's a pretty good chance that nothing bad will happen when you put iton the main and run it.

                               --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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