Author Topic: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?  (Read 152 times)

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conrad

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Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« on: December 07, 2019, 12:36:20 PM »
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I am invited to run on an TTrak Christmas Layout at the Long Island's Cradle of Aviation Museum.  Thing is they only run DC.  So, to test and warm up my DC locos I plan to run them on my Digitrax/JMRI Kato Unitrack hollow core door DCC layout.  Plan was/is to disconnect the the DCC feed and connect DC using an old Bachmann MAGNUM DC power pack.  Question is, what about my two connected Digitrax DS64 switch decoders?  They are now powered by the rails using the TRKA and TRAB terminals. 

When I did this initially, forgetting I had the DS64's, their control panel led's went into flashing mode.  A quick shutdown, conversion back to DCC and no damage done.  Whew.

I do see that there are several DS64 power options but i haven't found any specific info on the Digitrax site and have yet to ask them.

One solution is to just disconnect the feeds to TRKA and B but that will require an old guy working under the layout, ugh.

Conrad

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2019, 01:52:05 PM »
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I would not put DC into the TrakA/B terminals.  You can power with a 12VDC wall wart.  The real question is how do you control the switches?  Do you have push button inputs??
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

conrad

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 04:26:45 PM »
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I would not put DC into the TrakA/B terminals.  You can power with a 12VDC wall wart.  The real question is how do you control the switches?  Do you have push button inputs??

No need to switch under DC conditions as I just want to run DC locos around the outer loop.

BTY, with separate p/s (wall wart, etc.) and no TRKA/B connection, I could throw switches via locnet connection to DS64's.  The Kato switch solenoids have no connection to the rails.

Conrad

Ike the BN Freak

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 02:21:52 AM »
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Being you have Digitrax, why not run on address 00?

John

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 07:32:06 AM »
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Ok.  Lets see if I understand this correctly

1) You have a layout that you want to run in DC mode for a show along with some DC only locomotives
2) This layout is normally run in DCC mode
3) On this layout, you have DS64's, which are normally powered by track power.  (I would not do this -- but instead use a 12-15v wal wart with at least 300ma)
4) You do not plan to use the DS64's to throw switches.

The fix is pretty easy --

http://www.digitrax.com/media/apps/products/stationary-decoders/ds64/documents/DS64_flattened.pdf
http://www.digitrax.com/tsd/KB814/powering-ds64/

Temporarily disconnect the DS64's from the TrkA/TrkB connections.  If you don't plan to do any switching, then you are done.  If you want to use them, add a 12-16V DC power supply, and follow the directions in the above docs ..

When you fed DC into the TrkA/TrkB you probably scrambled the DS64s brain a bit .. but probably no harm.





conrad

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:06:15 AM »
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Being you have Digitrax, why not run on address 00?

Ike,

Actually, running a DC loco on DCC at address 00 is not a good idea.  The harmonics produced by the decoder's output drivers will, in some cases, overheat the loco's motor.  You can actually hear the harmonics as a loud engine buzz from the DC motor.

Conrad

conrad

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 09:12:30 AM »
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Ok.  Lets see if I understand this correctly

1) You have a layout that you want to run in DC mode for a show along with some DC only locomotives
2) This layout is normally run in DCC mode
3) On this layout, you have DS64's, which are normally powered by track power.  (I would not do this -- but instead use a 12-15v wal wart with at least 300ma)
4) You do not plan to use the DS64's to throw switches.

The fix is pretty easy --

http://www.digitrax.com/media/apps/products/stationary-decoders/ds64/documents/DS64_flattened.pdf
http://www.digitrax.com/tsd/KB814/powering-ds64/

Temporarily disconnect the DS64's from the TrkA/TrkB connections.  If you don't plan to do any switching, then you are done.  If you want to use them, add a 12-16V DC power supply, and follow the directions in the above docs ..

When you fed DC into the TrkA/TrkB you probably scrambled the DS64s brain a bit .. but probably no harm.

John,

Thanks for the info.  As to point 1, I'm not taking the layout to the show, just using it as a DC "test bed".

I read the digi manual but did not find the the tech article, KB814.  Bottom line, I'll temporarily disconnect the track feeds for DC testing.

Thanks again,

Conrad

C855B

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 09:32:57 AM »
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Being you have Digitrax, why not run on address 00?

Because it's a bad idea. Our club disabled 00 on our command stations after multiple instances of loss of control of other trains on the layout, especially with simplex radio throttles. This is a well-documented problem. It is a convenient make-do for the individual operator at home but creates problems in club and show settings.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

John

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Re: Can a Digitrax DS64 Temporarily Run on a DC Layout?
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 07:53:19 PM »
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Also, conrad said he was taking DC only loco's to the show where they run DC only ..  so no need for 00