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Something I'm not understanding!

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Something I'm not understanding!
Posted by froggy on Friday, March 7, 2008 1:22 PM
Call me stupid or whatever, but I set up a program track and have a deisel decoder equipped.I set up a peice of flex track and connected the wires to the program track on the MRC Prodigy.I'm reading the back of the controller and I press buttons and give it an address but nothing else happens.Can some one smarter than me help me out her?Tell me in simple language how to get the loco to move.
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Posted by froggy on Friday, March 7, 2008 1:28 PM
The Prodigy is showing numbers on the screen.I was reading another post on the same page here.The wire I used for the program track is the same size used for the running of DC to the power pack.Don't know what guage that is, but for the feedere wires for DCC I know I'm supposed to use 22 guage wire and at least 14 for the buss wires.
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Posted by Texas Zepher on Friday, March 7, 2008 1:55 PM

 froggy wrote:
I set up a peice of flex track and connected the wires to the program track on the MRC Prodigy.  I'm reading the back of the controller and I press buttons and give it an address but nothing else happens.
I am not familiar with the Prodigy specifically, but generally nothing will happen.  This is putting an electronic signature onto a chip inside the locomotive.  There is nothing to "happen" that you can see.

Tell me in simple language how to get the loco to move.
The locomotive will never move on the programming track.  It has to be moved onto the "real" track.  There will be another output from the Prodigy for the non-programming track.

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Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Friday, March 7, 2008 2:34 PM

If I remeber the Prodigy correctly (I'll look when I get home) there is one output, but a switch that selects the programming mode, so ideally you'd add an external switch to disable the main when programming is selected.  For now, just put one loco on the track, and don't sorry about that.

Select the programming position on the Prodigy, select an address with the dial, and press the Program address button.  Hold it down.  The light should flash, and the motor should give a tiny hiccup.  You can only do this with the controller pluggeded in to the first port on the Prodigy.

Then move the program switch to the run position.  You've already got the address selected, so you should be able to control the lights, and their direction, crack the throttle, and you are off!

 

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

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Posted by froggy on Friday, March 7, 2008 3:37 PM
I put the wires on the screws for the program track and gave the first SD-35 an address.I switched the wires to the main track and it worked and it moves.I got another new decoder in the mail yesturday for another SD-35 that I have.I put it in and put it on the program track and then switched the wires to the main track.Nothing happens, zilch nada.I don't see where I did anything wrong.
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Posted by selector on Friday, March 7, 2008 3:56 PM
Was the new address for this second engine an "extended" address....a number higher than 127?  If so, you must do an additional step of letting the decoder know to use the extended address.  Set CV 29 to either 34 or 38 and see what happens.  If I am correct, when you dial in the new address after this new setting for CV 29, you will get movement...IF the power is getting to the tracks and thence to the decoder.
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Posted by Bapou on Friday, March 7, 2008 4:33 PM
I don't know much about the prodigy systems, but which one do you have? Express or advance?
Go NJT, NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit. Whatever you call it its good. See my pictures and videos here: http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff20/Bapouthetrainman/
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Posted by Texas Zepher on Friday, March 7, 2008 4:36 PM
 froggy wrote:
I put the wires on the screws for the program track and gave the first SD-35 an address.I switched the wires to the main track and it worked and it moves.I got another new decoder in the mail yesturday for another SD-35 that I have.I put it in and put it on the program track and then switched the wires to the main track.Nothing happens, zilch nada.I don't see where I did anything wrong.
Could just be a bad decoder.
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Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Friday, March 7, 2008 7:09 PM

I think he has the original Prodigy.  So most of the questions don't apply!

But we need to know for sure.

Did the loco jump when you assigned the new address?  Did you try running on address 3?

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

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Posted by froggy on Friday, March 7, 2008 7:20 PM
The first SD-35 that had the decoder equipped works fine and the addy is 0003.I programmed the other SD-35 at 0004 and nothing.It took me awhile to put the thing together last night because I had a hard time closing the two sides in so the cab would fit it.
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Posted by dadret on Saturday, March 8, 2008 7:33 AM
The loco won't move on the program track - you have to move it to your main track after programming
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Posted by UpNorth on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:21 AM

Try and reset your SD-35 ADD 4 to factory defaults, in case other values are causing greif. It will go back to ADD 3, test it.  If issue still present, re-check your install.

Allways good to check a new decore before installing it.

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Posted by dadret on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:36 AM

If you have everything hooked up right from your Proidgy to the program track you might need a programming track booster.  I couldn't program my BLI locos with my PA on the program track until I added one.  DCC Specialities makes a good one and you can get it for about $50.  I haven't had any probelms since I installed it.  Also, MRC has a very good tutorial about programming with the Prodigy Advance.  You can go to their website and download the "Tips and Tricks" article.

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Posted by froggy on Saturday, March 8, 2008 5:04 PM
What I have is a MRC Prodigy Express.I just have a peice of flex track on the table to program a couple of locos.Then I switch the wires over to the main track to run them.The wires I'm using just to program and run these are the pre wired connectors to give power to the flex track.This is probably not heavey enough.Someone mentioned getting a boost.Which website should I go to and do I need one just to program?
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Posted by UpNorth on Saturday, March 8, 2008 7:31 PM

Short leads between your unit and the flex track (22 gauge) is perfect.  it does not require high current to program or run at this time.

If you could program one loco, the booster may or may  not help  you.   I have a PowerPax booster  from Tony's Trains and it works with some and not at all with others.  The locos nudge forward to acknowledge but refuse to be programmed. On those were it works, I remove the PowerPax booster and I can still program the ones that worked.

back to your situation.

On the program track, can you read the decoder at all ?. Does it nudge forward when you try to read it ? . It is suppose to nudge forward during programming because this is how the station knows the loco is responding.

You may have a dead decoder. Have you tried a reset to defaults to the decoder ?    

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Posted by froggy on Saturday, March 8, 2008 7:57 PM
This is something I'll have to check on tomorrow.Even when I thought I programed the decoder, and it wouldn't move I even took the trucks off. I move the loco to the main track and the metal that gives power to the wheels touches the track and I can't even get the motor to turn.
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Posted by KingConrail76 on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:04 PM

Did you test the Loco on DC BEFORE installing the decoder?

What brand of Locos?

What brand and model Decoders?

When inputting address "0004", and "0003", are you actually putting in "0004" or just "04"? (by the way, "03" is the DEFAULT decoder address, and you may not have actually programmed the first one in the first place)

You said you had problems reassembling Loco #2 after installing the decoder...Did you (assuming you are using wired decoders) break a wire or solder joint?  Try programming and testing BEFORE reassembling the body to the chassis.

You say you're swapping wires from FLEX program track to layout, How are you connecting to FLEX? aligator clips? soldered leads with a plug? feeder/joiners?

Steve H.
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Posted by Packers#1 on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:16 PM
Did you perhaps take the loco and put it on the main, then select the loco with the controller and tell it to move forward?Wink [;)]

Sawyer Berry

Clemson University c/o 2018

Building a protolanced industrial park layout

 

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:26 PM
 froggy wrote:
The wires I'm using just to program and run these are the pre wired connectors to give power to the flex track.This is probably not heavey enough.Someone mentioned getting a boost.
The size of the wires are irrelevant.   I've run off bellwire before which I am certain is smaller than the pre-wired track connectors you are talking about.   The programming track booster units are for units that have sound.  Does your decoder unit have sound?
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Posted by froggy on Saturday, March 8, 2008 10:32 PM
The decoder does not have sound.The first one that is 003 does run on the track.I did not try out the second one on DC before I installed the decoder.Shouldn't the motor turn when I make contact with the track?That's only if I got it programed right.I have another dcoder coming for a Southern Pacific and I hope I install it with no problems.I will have a chance to work on this again tomorrow.Thanks so far for all the replies.I'm not thru with this yet.
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Posted by armchair on Sunday, March 9, 2008 5:07 PM
 KC76 made a good point. On any non dcc loco I always test it on my dc test track Before installing a decoder, if the loco runs crappy or not at all, You will know it wasn't something You did wrong. This also kinda shows how the loco will perform. My dc test track is a simple cd. 83 piece of flex track with a #6 to. (all Atlas) powered with a MRC 9500 ,which has amp & volt meters in it to show how much power each loco is pulling. This may sound like a lot of hassle, but I kinda enjoy tinkering with this stuff anyway. My upgraded CVP system does Not allow You to run dc , so this is how I do it. Wish You the best, just my 2 cents............Blush [:I]
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Posted by UpNorth on Sunday, March 9, 2008 6:24 PM

 froggy wrote:
The decoder does not have sound.The first one that is 003 does run on the track. I did not try out the second one on DC before I installed the decoder.

Shouldn't the motor turn when I make contact with the track?

This is not clear. Are you running on DC at this point or DCC ? It should run on  DC only if your installed decoder is programmed to convert for DC. If the conversion is off, you get nothing out to the motor.  If you are on DCC track with your installed decoder you must set and access the decoder add or it won't run the motor. On the program track it will not run anything, but acknowledge commands by a nudge to the motor. 

That's only if I got it programed right.

Answered above 

I have another decoder coming for a Southern Pacific and I hope I install it with no problems. I will have a chance to work on this again tomorrow.Thanks so far for all the replies. I'm not thru with this yet.

Good luck

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Sunday, March 9, 2008 8:43 PM

 froggy wrote:
I did not try out the second one on DC before I installed the decoder.
Ah, ok, so these are both decoders that you have installed?   What brand of decoder are they?  What brand of locomotives are these?

I would always first run a new locomotive on DC power and make certain it is operating 100% before I began a DCC installation.   

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Posted by froggy on Sunday, March 9, 2008 9:00 PM
Does anybody feel like working on a SD-35? I'll send all you need and then some.I know alot of you know more about trouble shooting these than I do.please think about it.
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Posted by KingConrail76 on Monday, March 10, 2008 2:16 AM

Froggy,

We're all trying to help you, BUT YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED SOME VERY BASIC QUESTIONS>

What Brand of Locos?

What Brand of Decoders?

What brand of DCC system?

Are your installations Plug-n-Play, or did you disassemble and solder wires for your connections?

Did you TRIPLE check to see if YOU broke something when forcing the second loco back together?

Do you have a friend with a DCC system/layout close by to go to and compare results?

Do you have a LHS that is DCC knowledgeable that might test the decoder for you if your not capable?

<edit>addition

Also, telling us that they are SD-35's without more information on BRAND NAME, or that you're going to try another in a Southern Pacific without the same information, tells us nothing. There are probly 15 different companies making SD-35's over the years, and SP used probly 15 different diesel engines throughout the years.

Are they Athearn or Atlas, or Bachmann, or Life-Like, or Tyco, or etc. etc. etc....Same goes for decoders, They are all different. So far you have not given enough SPECIFIC information for any of us to do more than GUESS at what may be your problem.

As for asking someone you don't know to let you send them 2 of your locos to get workingDunce [D)]...good luck ever seeing them againWhistling [:-^]...GO to your local hobby shop, or service center if you're not a member of a club or have local friends with more experiance.

Steve H.
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Posted by froggy on Monday, March 10, 2008 8:26 AM
I have mentioned I have a MRC Prodigy Express. I failed to tell you guys it's an Atlas loco and it is only one loco that doesn't work.The other Atlas SD-35 does work because the decoder was already installed in it.I ordered the decoder from www.fifhobby.com It is plug and play and no need to solder any wires.I just thought some guys out there enjoy working on locos and try to get them to work.It was just a thought.My LHS does not deal with decoders and they don't even have any track set up for anything.The only guy there that knows alot about trains is only there three days a week. The rest of the week they have someone else from the airplane dept. that don't knoe anything.If I knew of someone who had DCC around me I would have visited him a week ago. Thanks.
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Posted by Texas Zepher on Monday, March 10, 2008 7:26 PM

 froggy wrote:
it's an Atlas loco
Ok, from this and the fact that it has a DCC plug in it I am assuming it is an SD35 Master Silver from the May 2006 run.  So to install the decoder you had to remove a small plug that was in the socket.  It should be easy to convert the locomotive back to DC.  Just open it, remove the DCC decoder and put that plug back in.  Then test run the loco on DC.  This will indicate if the problem is the locomotive or the decoder.

The other Atlas SD-35 does work because the decoder was already installed in it.
That means it is an Atlas Master with a Dual-Mode decoder.

I ordered the decoder from www.fifhobby.com It is plug and play and no need to solder any wires.
Where it was purchased is irrelevant.  Since this locomotive takes an 8 pin NMRA plug, that limits the type of decoder to about 50 or so models it could be.  There has to be a brand and model on it or the packaging it came in.   Brands would be names like Lenz, Digitrax, NCE, or MRC.

 

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Posted by froggy on Monday, March 10, 2008 8:49 PM
I am looking at the package for the decoder.It is a Digitrax and it's DN163A0.I did tonight loosen the screws again and took the decoder out and noticed one of the metal tabs is sticking up and doesn't hardly want to stay down.I put the decoder back on and made sure it is over the metal tabs.I now get a flicker of light after I programed it. But get no movement out of the wheels.
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Posted by UpNorth on Monday, March 10, 2008 9:30 PM

The DN 163AO is not an NMRA 8 pin at all.

http://www.digitrax.com/ftp/dn163a0.pdf

Put the factory light board back in and see if the loco runs on DC or your DCC throttle as address 0.  It will be noisy (normal) but at least it will tell you if the engine runs.

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Posted by KingConrail76 on Monday, March 10, 2008 9:36 PM

 froggy wrote:
I am looking at the package for the decoder.It is a Digitrax and it's DN163A0.I did tonight loosen the screws again and took the decoder out and noticed one of the metal tabs is sticking up and doesn't hardly want to stay down.I put the decoder back on and made sure it is over the metal tabs.I now get a flicker of light after I programed it. But get no movement out of the wheels.

A tab on the loco...or...A tab on the decoder?

Steve H.

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