Function only decoder problems

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by green_elite_cab, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I have A digitrax (how surprising) TF4 function only decoder that i just installed in my NJ transit Cab Car (HO scale) in order to power the headlights when in push mode. at first the headlights kind flashed on and off, then they just wouldn't turn on when the car was on the rails. At first I thought i might have blown the LED, but i had the right resistors in the right spot.

    When i connected the decoders track leads directly to the track, the LED would flash on for a moment, then turn off, and it would do this repeatedly. Obviously, the LED isn't out yet.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to why the light doesn't stay on? any alternatives to lighting my cab car?

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Just a shot in the dark..(since you've got no light... :curse:). Is the light function on the decoder similar to the ones used on a regular decoder...That is, does the headlight turn on when going forward, and the rear light when going in reverse..? Maybe you've got the F/R leads switched around....
  3. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    Chris,i've been installing Digitrax functiom only decoders for a while and have found out that they don't like spikes too much.Try resetting it to factory settings.I'am a Digitrax fan,but have found out that for function only and reliability i started using TCS and am very happy with the results.I've got many Passenger cars lighted and a lot of freight cars with flashing lights on the ends with TCS decoders and they take a beating.The biggest problem is the cars i have aren't heavy enough to make contact 100% of the time and when they hit the slightest bumb or dirty spot on the track,they go off causing a spike to the decoder which in turn sometimes confuses the decoder.So try resetting it or if that don't work replace it with a TCS and see what you think.Function only decoders don't have fow or rev functions just on or off.
  4. diburning

    diburning Member

    In my experience, TCS decoders do not like the Digitrax Super Chief system down at the club. Any and all engines with TCS decoders run away even after being dispatched from the system.
  5. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    I started using TCS eor my engines and for Function only for over 1 Year or more and haven't had any problems out of them.I'am using the Super Chief and 2 boosters,the only problems i've had was with the Digitrax function decoders.Just curious,what problems are you having¿
  6. diburning

    diburning Member

    Well, I don't know the specifics. The club I belong to bought the layout from a club that decied to move. It's a very large layout divided into 4 blocks. Whenever something shorts out and/or the layout reboots itself as a result of the short, the engines with the TCS decoders take off. I think it's a fault with one of the features (the one where the decoder remembers the speed and keeps the loco at that speed should the power go out. When the layout gets shorted, the decoder gets confused, and decides to tell the loco to go). He keeps that feature off because if the power was to go out and not come back for a while, he can't always be down there. When other people arrive and turn the layout back on, the engines would take off. Even with that feature disabled, the decoders seem to be confused as to what the super chief system wants it to do (in this case, nothing)

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