Wired Decoders II

Although the rest of my decoder order still hadn’t arrived, I decided to start work on my first wire-in motor decoder, to let me get some experience with the installation process, and to do some more experimentation. I used the Micro Ace Sobu E231 as previously planned, and to start with, a DZ125 decoder from Digitrax.

DCC Speed Tables

My plans to start installing decoders were somewhat upset when a large quantity of the ones I’d ordered turned out to be out-of-stock, and a box arrived containing only a couple of decoders and some wire. I actually have a number of decoders on hand, though not enough to do a full EMU the way I want, or all of the models I wanted to experiment with. So, while I could have made a start, instead I decided to spend some time working out my standard configuration settings for the Digitrax decoders. I’m going to have a number of these even if I don’t use the DZ125 wire-in decoders, since my Kato “DCC Friendly” models use Kato’s EM13, which is essentially a Digitrax FX3-Series decoder. And I have a few models with lightboard replacement Digitrax decoders.

Decoder Programming Prep

As noted last time, I’m going to (finally) install DCC decoders in some of my commuter (and other) trains that aren’t Kato “DCC Friendly” designs, meaning I have to use wire-in decoders. And since these are EMUs where the motor car is in the middle of the train, that means installing three decoders per train, a Motor Decoder and two “function-only” decoders for the cab cars.

But to start with, I need to set up my workspace since it’s been a while since the last decoder install, and the various elements had all moved off the bench to other uses. And the bench had filled up with important stuff (meaning junk I couldn’t stuff somewhere else), so I needed a better workspace. Besides, I’m going to want to sit down for this work, and the workbench is really better for standing work. Read More...