Athearn bluebox+DCC= Unneeded wiring

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Kevinkrey, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I putt DCC into an Athearn BB loco, and there are are many wires that go nowhere, can I simply cut them for ease of reassembly? The loco has no headlights, can I cut those wires out?
  2. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I don't see how it would hurt to cut the wires shorter. You probably should leave 1/4 inch or so to prevent short circuit also might us some liquid electric tape to seal them. but I hve a question for you. Why not put lights in it? Its not that hard to do. Les
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Kevin: can you not find a simpler decoder? You could then save this one for a loco that has all the bells and whistles. (Finally, a chance to use that cliche literally)
    As long as bare ends don't touch you can either cut the wires back or tape them together for possible future use.
  4. woodone

    woodone Member

    simple decoders.

    Most hard wire decoders have several wires that you may of may not want to use. Red= right rail pickup Black=left rail pickup Orange= + to motor Gray= - to motor Blue= positive for all lights White = front head light function Yelllow= rear light function. Some decoders have more, but this is the simple sample. The Red Gray Orange and Black must be used- the rest can shortened saved.
    If you don't have any lights, shorten the wires and tape them to the decoder so they don't run around loose. I always put some heat shrink to cover the ends so they can't short to something. I don't like cutting the wires too short as you might want to use the decoder in differant locomotive at a latter time, and it might have lights. The short wires that you taped to the decoder can now be used with a short splice of wire to the proper wire you have that goes to the lights.
  5. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    60103, the decoder is a very simple one, the cheapest I could find actually, just a complicated harness that came with it.

    I got the decoder installed, but the loco doesnt run the smoothest. But it has nothing to do with the decoder. I picked it up at a show for cheap. I did some work to the shell, but never was able to DC test it first, because my DC powerpack broke. I have extra harnesses though, so i may turn the loco into a dummy and transfer the decoder to a future loco. But it does run .
  6. diburning

    diburning Member

    I don't know which DCC system you have, but if it's digitrax, you need to set the CV values to load the speed tables for the loco to run smoothly
  7. woodone

    woodone Member

    Who's decoder?

    You did not name who's decoder you have installed.:confused:
    Digitrax, NCE, MRC, ? Each of these decoders have some programable CV's that will let you fine tune the loco. It is true that DCC will not make a poor running DC loco run better. If the loco did not run well on DC, DCC will more than likley make it worse. On the other hand using the CV's you might be able to make it run smooth :thumb:. Look at the instruction manual- should give you some ideas- Not enought information on the manual?
    Take a look at the makers web site and look for some tips on there site.
    Hope this might help.
  8. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Sorry guys, the systems an MRC, and all decoders are digitrax, but I cant figure out how to program the CV's, but its onmy list. I do have 4 locos that came stock with Bachman decoders and one needs to be 100% reprogrammed:confused: not sure how on those either.

    The new loco was never ran by me on DC to test performance, but I got it REAL cheap and it probably never ran good to begin with. I might pull out the running gear and make it a dummy, because Ive wanted one for a while.
  9. woodone

    woodone Member

    Which one

    Is it a Express or the Squared unit?
  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Just the plain jane express. I know how to get to the program cv menu, but what are the codes?
  11. woodone

    woodone Member


    Digitrax decoder? Can you list the one that you have-
    What codes are you looking for?:confused:
    Most Digitrax decoders have a install sheet that came with the decoder.
    It should list the CV's you can change and the default number the decoder came from Digitrax with.
    I think we are getting close to solving you problem.:thumb:
    One or two more posts and I think I can help you get going.:wave:
  12. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Seems like this problem could be EASILY solved by looking at the code sheet that came with the decoder, OR, going to Digitrax website and getting the CV's for the correct decoder that you have:winki: .
  13. woodone

    woodone Member

    I agree

    I agree with that- It seems like Kevin might be lost. Just tring to shine a light to his problem.
  14. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    ..and i COMMEND you for that:bravo: .

    Following this thread, Kevin states he KNOWS how to change the CV's:thumb: , he just doesn't know the CV#'s to change.

    you brought up the EASIEST way to figure it out, check the sheet that came with it:thumb: , in the event he LOST the sheet, or perhaps bought the decoder used, the second thing that would logically come to mind would be to go to the Digitrax website and get the correct CV list:winki: .

    Kevin, i am just a little "miffed" as to what the hard part of either of those scenarios would be:confused: , is there something more we are missing that you haven't told us?:confused:
  15. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Yes, I am a procrastinator! sign1

    Well acctually I cant say I know how, but I can get to the program CV part on the decoder, but then I get confused, I enter the value I want correct? But I have to different Digitrax decoders and a bachman decoder. Is there a general CV# and prgram # for each thats specific to decoder brands or are they somewhat similar?
  16. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Putting in the CV CODE:

    I can only assume that you DO NOT have a test track, so we'll go this route,


    With the engine you are programming on the track, hit the program button, first it will say "test track", hit it again and it will say "main line" , now hit enter.

    keep hitting the enter button till the screen says "CV#" , now, when you find the CV# you want to change, enter that number, now hit enter again, the screen will AGAIN say CV#, now you will enter in the VALUE number, after that keep hitting the enter button till the screen goes to its normal setting.

    heres an example:
    lets say i want to change the speed curve on an engine, the CV# might be 50 , so at the FIRST CV SCREEN i would type in 50, then hit enter, the next CV screen will be the value, lets say the value i want to change it to is 3, i type in 3, and hit enter, then i keep hitting enter till i get back to the main screen, THATS IT:thumb: .

    NO NOT ALL DECODER CODES ARE THE SAME between different manufactures, let alone from the same manufacturer:cry: , each different model usually has different settings:winki: , if you have no paperwork with the decoder, and now it seems, the Bachmann engines, you will have to go to there websites and get the CV list from them.

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