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Help Kato de10 >Dcc

Art Rodfai

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Hi guys, need some help and advice for a Dcc noob here. I installed digitrax decoder on my Kato DE10 model (n scale). I’ve been told it is similar process and same decoder as the glacier express model. However, after put it on the track it got buzzed sound and light flash once (sometime on-off) but motor won’t move. I put it on program track and try to CV-R (digitrax zephyr D51) but the read back was error ‘d nd’ and the train move a bit before stop. I searched the internet and there are suggestion about motor short circuit. But I cloudnt find where the problem line. Pls help. 



Edited by Art Rodfai
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Welcome to the forum art!


It looks like the motor contacts were not sufficiently isolated from the frame.  In your photo you show tape on the frame, but its possible it did not cover everywhere and the the buzzing sound is likely the motor vibrating on DCC track power.  When I do that style of installation try to use a full width of tape and cover more frame than needed.  If you have a multimeter handy you can test for continuity between the chassis and the motor lead on the decoder to see if that is the source of your short.  Hopefully the decoder is still good, if not digitrax has a great warranty department and should replace recently purchased decoders for free.

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That sounds like a DCC DC short that is very bad.


Never make an initial test on a live track. Always test on the programming track first. The programming track

will make quick little test to verify the decoder install.


In some cases you can destroy the decoder or Command station testing on the main.


Start over and verify if the decoder is still good. That high pitch sound is pure DCC.




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Just wanna update, I fixed the issue as you all recommenced. Put insulate tap on the outside of the motor taps and done. Another a wee bit of problem I found is when put back the body it pressed on the decoder and it made the decoder sunk a bit. It's cause decoder loosen contact with the body frame and coz a short! So I need to put a tap underneath decoder to make it thicker a bit and fit the whole thing. Now it's run smoothly. Thanks for all advices. 

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You should be able to use any Digitrax or TCS decoder that replaces that light board (TCS look up for the Digitrax equivalent).  I believe there are some smaller brands in Japan that also fit.


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@Madsing  I have not tested my MT40 decoders I bought yet.  I've not really had the time or place to do any train work and won't until the house project is done.  They are high on my list to try though as I am interested -- especially as you can get the project files and do your own if so inclined.

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