DCC Decoder Number Change

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by COMBAT, Mar 11, 2007.


    COMBAT Member

    I am using a Digitrax DH163P decoder in an Athearn Genesis Loco. The road number I want to use is 9897 for one loco and 728 for another. Ones not a genesis but that shouldnt matter.

    I understand that 9897 is a 4 digit and 728 has to be other two or four so I would pick 28.

    I have done other number changes from 03 so this isnt my first time but I can not get these Athearn engines to work with the damn Digitrax decoder when it comes to changing it from 03. :curse:

    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?????? :oops:

    BTW, the genesis has ditch lights, and it said on the digitrax website you have to do this:
    Athearn Genesis SD70 Ditch Light setup
    If you have one of the new Genesis SD70s with the Digitrax designed light board and wish to add a decoder and have alternating ditch lights the following steps are recommended:
    1 - Remove locomotive shell;
    2 - Remove dummy nine pin plug from wire harness and insert Digitrax DH163D on the harness;
    3 - Remove the wires of one of the ditch light bulbs from F1N and F1P and solder them to F2N and F2P;
    4 - Program CV51 to 106, CV52 to 107 and CV63 to 40.
    5 - Reinstall locomotive shell.
    F2 on your Digitrax throttle will now activate the alternating ditch lights when pressed.

    TRUE OR FALSE? :curse:

    COMBAT Member

    ANYONE???? I have tried even more things and nothing!!!!

    I am starting to wonder if its digitrax that sucks since none of my other ones went SUPER smooth!!!!

    I did do the direct wire hook up like they said and had no problem! The only issue is they dont work correctly. I think it has to do with the programing now of the decoder. I tried to change the CV's like it says, it said good but guess what, it doesnt work :(
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    sorry combat I got no help

    COMBAT Member

    I just cant figure out what it could be. I have read everything I can find. Tried everything suggested. Now maybe it could be the decoder, but two of em. I doubt that. I even reset it to factory settings and tried again. Nothing! :(
  5. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    have you gone to the digitrax web site?

    COMBAT Member

    yes.... its not a lot of help to be honest. I read the book, the instructions that came with the decoder. the athearn stuff too. NOTHING :(
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I see you went to the site sorry. A question can you use both 4 digit and two digit for numbers or one or the other?

    COMBAT Member

    Neither one work, but yes, the chip says you can do both.
  9. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    what dcc system are you using?
  10. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Digitrax... LOL
  11. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I saw it was a digitrax decoder but didnt see what system you where using.
  12. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Yes, they are both digitrax..... You' think because it is made by the same people it would work really well. Guess not!! :(
  13. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

    I hate to ask an obvious question, but do the locos operate correctly using address 03? Motor and lights? Just to eliminate any wiring issues...

    I believe your true/false is true, based on this page and the following assumptions:
    - values are decimal mode programming and not hex
    - directional F0 AND F2 must be on

    Good luck, Scott
  14. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Yep, they both work fine with 03.

    Yeah I did it just to try it and they worked except I cant get the decoder to change the lights to all on ect. What I mean is the front and back lights work fine buit I need to enable the ditch lights and they wont work correctly. It wont take any type of programing. I have tried the ones I know. I tried the po mode, I have tried the pg mode and I cant figure it out. Its the preferred mode and nothing. I even did the way the manual says to change the decoder number both short and long..... :(

    EDIT.. THANKS for that PDF... that helps a lot. :)
  15. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Combat i have a digitrax and dn163's as well and here is what i do to program to 4 digits.

    1) put the loco on the program track
    2) go into program mode (i use paged)
    3) press the right throttle knob into the controller to go into 4 digit mode
    4) enter my address
    5) press the y key really quick before the stupid time out when it asks you to program cv29 automatically
    5) press the enter key aagin just to be sure :) and press y again just to be sure.
    6) exit
    7) re-enter program mode and hit the display button to have it read the ad4 cv value

    Most of the steps i take are probably not necesarry but i'm anally retentive and super paranoid about blowing up my system or decoder :). So far all my loco's are programmed w/ 4 digit addresses, funny how it works out but i don't have any 2 digit road numbers.

  16. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    When I try this I get an error saying fail..... :(
  17. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    COMBAT, i am sorry, but i am NOT familiar with the Digitrax decoder you have:(. the CV's on the decoders i use(MRC's Brilliance line, and LokSound)are TOTALLY different then what you are using. one thing that might help, on the decoders i use, you would use either the brown or the green wire(makes no difference) to the ditch lights, and the blue wire would be your common:thumb:, don't know if that will help much, but its all i got.

    as far as how to set up the # on the decoder, i am NOT familiar with Digitrax, i use MRC Prodigy Advance(thank god out of ALL the engines i have programed, i have NEVER run into these problems;)), but i hope some one with Digitrax see's this and is able to help:thumb:.
    :D -Deano
  18. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    You have a short somewhere. Same thing happened to me until Deano helped me out. It's weird but it won't "not work" it will just tell you it's failed. I think it has a problem reading the signal. Check the wiring for your lights. If anything disconnect all but the headlight and try again if it works connect one by one.

    My MOFW boxcab is giving the EXACT same problem and i changed 3 decoders :), i installed one of the decoders into a different engine .. works great!
  19. NCGrimbo

    NCGrimbo New Member


    Here's what I suggest you do. It's what I did when my 150 went wonkers on me. Email their tech support or if you are home durring EST business hours, call them. The information on the web page is descent, but only covers common problems. Those "Special" problems that crop up usually require some sort of communication between us than their support team. I can't tell you how wonderful they are to work with. And, not trying to be a a-hole, the support page at http://www.digitrax.com/support.php does have this quote:
    Give them a call or EMail, you won't be sorry.
  20. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    They told me to send my decoder back :) they are generous, but it wasn't a broken decoder.

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