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Decoder Issue?

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  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Decoder Issue?
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 8:15 AM

I've got a question for you guys. I have an N scale Kato E8/B unit in a consist with 2 each E8/A units.

They all have TCS decoders (K0D8-E) in them and I'm using NCE Power Cab for my DCC.

The A units are fine but once a session the B unit will usually stop running and I will have to clear the consist and take the B unit to the programming track to clear CV19. I will then have to re enter the consist to continue to run them. I've also installed a new decoder in the B unit thinking it was bad, but it still has this issue. I have quite a few other locomotives that do not have this issue. What could cause this to happen?

Steve

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, July 29, 2022 10:05 AM

  Welcome Steve.

  I'm not an N scale guy but have decades of DCC experience.

 You have already replaced the decoder? If yes that would rule out a decoder issue. Check the connections. Solidly soldered? Wheels clean? Wheel pickups losing the ability to transfer current? Any one of those will give you the unresponsive locomotive. Without lights in a B unit it's hard to tell if your decoder is getting power. Temporarily attach a light to a lighting function and run it without the shell to see if the light stays lit.

    Pete.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 10:53 AM

Hi Pete,

Decoder soldered in, wheels are clean. I'll double check the pickups. I'll keep at it. 

It's an intermittent issue and almost sounds like only the B unit loses its consist info and stops running. Not sure why it only happens to the B unit and not the 2 A units but I’ll check out the pick ups.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, July 29, 2022 11:02 AM

Are you saying that the consist is AABAA or ABA?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 611 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Friday, July 29, 2022 11:19 AM

Hi Steve.

 Looking at the TCS website on that decoder installation. It's showing a solder less install. In my opinion that in itself is a recipe for failure. It would probably be in your best interest in replacing the copper strips to soldered 30 gauge wire and solder the motor connections to the decoder. I suspect your getting a bad connection to either a motor tab or a truck pickup. Also if the Capton tape is not in the exact location you could be shorting out the decoder.

     Pete.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, July 29, 2022 11:24 AM

I have another question as well.

Have you tried running just the B unit without it being part of a consist?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,166 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Friday, July 29, 2022 12:21 PM

You need your decoder ring.

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 1:09 PM

Hey Rich,

It is an ABA consist. I've run the B unit aound the layout without issues but since it doesn't happen all the time it's hard to duplicate it.

 

I've soldered all of my tabs on these Kato E8 units since the grey plastic clip does not always make secure contact.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 2:31 PM

Hi Pete,

I just ran the B unit by itself for about an hour with no issues. I set up the consist in an ABA configuration and it ran fine until it approached a turnout which was not thrown for it's direction. I flipped the turnout and the consist continued but the B unit was not running. I checked CV 19 and it still registered 124 which is the same number when it ran. I had to take it to the programming track to change CV 19 to 0. 

I set it up again and it runs fine.

Seemed the hickup at the turnout caused it to not continue but not sure why the A units continued but the B didn't.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, July 29, 2022 4:00 PM

BigEBaker

Hey Rich,

It is an ABA consist. I've run the B unit aound the layout without issues but since it doesn't happen all the time it's hard to duplicate it.

OK, so the B-unit is in the middle of an ABA consist when it stops running. The B-unit runs fine outside of the consist, running by itself.

You mentioned that when the problem occurs you have to clear the consist, take the B-unit to the programming track to clear the consist (CV19=0), and then re-enter the consist.

How about this. When the problem next occurs, check to see if the B-unit has been dropped from the consist. BROWSE CONSISTS (Shortcut = PROG 9)

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 4:36 PM

Hi Rich,

I didn't try and see if the loco was still in the consist when it stopped working (brouse consist) but when it stopped working I checked and CV 19 still had the same number in it (124). 

I set them up in a consist and ran them around the layout. They were running great until they approached a turnout which was not routed correctly. The consist stopped and when I re routed the turnout, the consist started back up like usual but the B unit was not running. Both A units were fine.

That was when I took the B unit over to the program track and checked CV 19 and it read 124 like normal but would not run in a consist with the other A units.

Steve

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Friday, July 29, 2022 5:14 PM

Hi Rich,

I set up the consist and ran them (ABA) around the layout. They ran great until they approached a turnout which was not thrown correctly. The consist stopped and when I set the turnout correctly they started back up but the B unit was not running.

I took the B unit to the program track and CV 19 still read 124 which was what it was when running. I re set CV 19 to 0 and put it back in the consist.

Not sure why it's this locomotive. I have quite a few consists and they all run great.

Steve

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Saturday, July 30, 2022 8:11 AM

Hi Rich,

I ran the consist today and they ran fine together until they approached a turnout which was not thrown for it's direction. The consist stopped until I threw the turnout and they proceeded like they normally do. The A units were running but the B unit was not. I took the B unit to the program track and CV 19 still read 124 which it read when I set it up.

I undid the consist and re added it and they ran fine. Not sure why just the B unit acts like this since all 3 locomotives in the consist have the same decoder in them.

I have quite a few consists which I run on the layout and this is the only locomotive which acts like this.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 3:31 PM

Hi Rich,

I guess I can post now. (newbie). I talked to TCS and they recommended a factory reset. I reset the loco decoder and it runs fine.

I've been playing around, and this is what happens. If all of the turnouts are thrown correctly for the path I want the loco to follow it will run all day long, no issues at all. I ran it around the layout for 30 minutes in both directions and no issues at all. The loco was all by itself (no consist)

I purposly positioned a turnout incorrectly (not for its intended route) and it stopped, which is what its supposed to do since the turnout is a power routed one.

I re positioned the turnout and the loco would not start up again.

I took the loco to the program track, selected loco, and it ran on the program track.

I then took it to the layout and it ran fine.

This is the only loco in my fleet with this issue.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 4:32 PM

BigEBaker

Hi Rich,

I talked to TCS and they recommended a factory reset. I reset the loco decoder and it runs fine.

I've been playing around, and this is what happens. If all of the turnouts are thrown correctly for the path I want the loco to follow it will run all day long, no issues at all. I ran it around the layout for 30 minutes in both directions and no issues at all. The loco was all by itself (no consist)

I purposly positioned a turnout incorrectly (not for its intended route) and it stopped, which is what its supposed to do since the turnout is a power routed one.

I re positioned the turnout and the loco would not start up again.

I took the loco to the program track, selected loco, and it ran on the program track.

I then took it to the layout and it ran fine.

This is the only loco in my fleet with this issue.

Steve 

So, even after resetting the TCS decoder, the B-unit running solo (not in a consist) still exhibited this condition when the turnout was positioned incorrectly.

Am I understanding this correctly?

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    March 2021
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Posted by BigEBaker on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:13 PM

Hi Rich,

Yes sir.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:20 PM

So, apparently, consisting is not part of the issue. This is beginning to seem like a decoder issue, that is, the decoder in the B-unit.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:34 PM

Hi Rich,

I think it may. I bought another one. I'll see what happens.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:48 PM

BigEBaker

Hi Rich,

I think it may. I bought another one. I'll see what happens.

Steve 

Keep us posted.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:38 AM

It's possible that when the switch is set a certain way, the B unit experiences a momentary short circuit that is causing it to lose the consist. Maybe check that all the wheels are in gauge, that nothing internally is shorting when the trucks turn, etc.

I've seen some larger engines, particularly ones with three-axle trucks like E-units or SDs, that come from the manufacturer with the wheels narrower than correct gauge - I guess to help them go around sharp curves? Anyway that can cause the engine to lose power at a turnout, or to turn a bit sideways and cause a short.

Also, before you replace the decoder: Just for fun, try giving the B unit the same ID number as the lead A unit and run them coupled together without being in a consist.

Stix
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,166 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:43 AM

Decoder Issue.... I thought you were asking about the December Issue. I thought it was a little early for that given the temperatures outside.

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,879 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:49 AM

Hard to tell what season it is, some of the stores are already putting out Halloween stuff.

Surprise

Stix
  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 13 posts
Posted by BigEBaker on Thursday, August 4, 2022 1:05 PM

Quick update. I installed a new decoder and it works like it should. I'm kind of new to DCC and this is the first time I've had issues with a new decoder.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,920 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 4, 2022 2:17 PM

It happens on occasion.

Glad to see that you got your issue fixed.

Thanks for the update.

Rich

Alton Junction

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