Digitrax and BLI

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by spitfire, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I just found this out today and thought I'd pass it along. If you have the Digitrax Zephyr and are having trouble programming your Broadway Limited Imports loco, there's a reason and it's NOT YOU!

    The Zephyr (unlike the other 2 Digitrax systems) doesn't program on the main. The power output to the prog. track is limited and doesn't put out enough juice for the BLI chip. So basically, if you have a Zephyr you can't program BLI engines. I had written to BLI before I bought my Zephyr and they told me it would be fine. Guess they were wrong.

    The nice DCC expert at the LHS walked me through all of this, and we ended up using their Empire Builder to program the engine. Obviously we didn't get into the CVs, just gave it a 4-digit address, and then tested with the Zephyr to make sure it could acquire the address, which it could.

    Another thing he told me, and you can take this for what it's worth, is that BLI decoders are not NMRA-compliant.

  2. moria

    moria Member

    Greetings :)

    Have a look at this little unit to overcome the limitations of the various DCC systems for BLI programming :)


    Might solve your problems.

    No connection with company, just a satisfied user.


    Graham Evans
  3. rockislandnut

    rockislandnut Member

    :confused: :confused: I have a Digitrax Zephyr and two BLI engines, one a 4-8-4 Northern and the other an E7A and also I do have the mentioned ( above post ) "Power Pax". I used the Power Pax to program the "Addresses" to both engines, but I programed the rest "On The Main" with no problems. In fact I've never had any problems with the running of either engine ( of course I lubed them both after I tested them out of the box. ). I also have "RRampMeter" from "Tony's Train Xchange" which reads my DCC voltage at 13.7 volts the entire layout. Maybe the "Zephyr" or its power supply you refer to is not produceing enough voltage to the track or a bad track connection somewhere ? :confused:

    Other than that I havn't a clue. :(
  4. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    That's exactly the problem - the programming leads from the Zephyr don't put out enough power to program a BLI, as I said in my original post. Sounds like the booster is the way to go.

  5. rockislandnut

    rockislandnut Member

    Then it's "Power Pax" time. :thumb: Sure works for me. :)
  6. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I know this affected the earliest BLI 4-6-4's, I have an early one and had some trouble programming it because of the power problem. (I couldn't get it to take a 4-digit ID no, but was OK with two-digits for example.) My understanding is that this has been 'fixed' by BLI on later models?? I also have a heavy 2-8-2, had no problem programming that with my Zephyr on the programming track.
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    That could be it Stix - the one I had trouble with was a first-release Hudson. Haven't actually tried my latest one, but if you're right that's great news!!! :thumb:

  8. billwv

    billwv Member


    Try programming in "Ops" mode.

Share This Page