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Atlas Dash 8 Silver + NCE DCC problems/troubleshooting help

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  • Member since
    May 2014
  • 4 posts
Atlas Dash 8 Silver + NCE DCC problems/troubleshooting help
Posted by Conrail on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:44 AM

I just installed a new NCE D15SRP DCC decoder in a new Atlas Dash 8-40CW Conrail Silver series (DCC 8 pin NMRA) locomotive.  My layout is NCE PowerCab DCC.

When I place the locomotive on a track, it automatically starts moving at a good medium speed.  I can select the locomotive at address 3, and I can control the headlights, but I cannot control anything less with the locomotive, including the speed.  It just continues to go until I unplug the NCE PowerCab.  When I plug it back in, the locomotive starts moving again.

Occasionally, hitting the direction button will short the NCE PowerCab.  I've tried tweaking various CVs, including 29, and also reversing the direction of the 8 ping plug on the loco.  I've also tried resetting the decoder numerous times, all had no effect.

Anyone seen this type of behavior before?  Any ideas?  All of my other locomotives work fine.  Is this an indication that the decoder is bad?

Many thanks for any insight!

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:41 PM

I think there is a short in the locomotive's 8-pin socket.  Did you test run the loco without a decoder installed?  If the decoder socket is soldered to a circuit board, make sure the pins on the bottom of the socket are not touching metal and shorting out the decoder.

 

  • Member since
    May 2014
  • 4 posts
Posted by Conrail on Monday, May 19, 2014 10:44 AM

I haven't been able to test it without the decoder because I do not have a DC power pack.  I'm pretty sure the NCE PowerCab does not support DC locos.

I will check for shorts, thanks.

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by gandydancer19 on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:34 AM

Welcome to the forums.  Welcome

If you are going to do your own decoder installations, I think you should buy a cheap DC power pack.  You should be able to find a used one cheap.  It is almost a necessity to test a locomotive before installing a decoder to make sure it runs and that everything is OK before starting the instlation.

When looking for a short, look on the bottom of the locos circuit board to make sure none of the socket pins sticking through are shorted to each other with a bit of solder.  Also, put a piece of electrical tape on the loco chassis under that socket.

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
    May 2014
  • 4 posts
Posted by Conrail on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 8:37 PM

Thanks for that advice!  I've chekced under the loco's circuit board and there is a piece of tape already provided by the mfger.  I have another of the same locomotive arriving from a different source, so I'll give the decoder board a try in the new loco to see what result I get.

I'll also try removing the mfger's tape and seeing what is going on under the loco board (solder issues, etc.)

Much appreciated, guys!

  • Member since
    May 2014
  • 4 posts
Posted by Conrail on Friday, May 30, 2014 10:26 PM
Update: I plugged an old TCS DCC decoder that I had in a disused Bachmann loco into the wire harness that came with the NCE decoder and voila! The Atlas loco is running beautifully with all functions apparently working. Must have been something screwy with the NCE decoder board... I'll still give it a shot in the other Atlas Dash 8 I have coming.

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