Author Topic: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue  (Read 5361 times)

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Ian MacMillan

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Some of us here have run into issues with our DT300 or DT400 series throttles displaying the following "error" where it flashes back and forth between the track power voltage and the series ID of your throttle along with a series of Hex numbers.

Example
Pwr 11.1V
0000 0o 0301


DT300 v1D
eO123o6789



Problem:
Failed capacitors are the cause for this issue. Refer to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

Several versions of the DT300 and DT400 series fall into the plague manufacture date, and are effected. There are two small silver, rubber seated capacitors on the boards that will need to be replaced.

Solution:
Temporary: Place 9v battery in the throttle to temporarily "solve" the issue. May not work on all throttles depending on how far gone your capacitors are.
True Fix: Digitrax offers a flat rate repair fee of $25 on the throttles. Average return shipping is $10, and turn around time is about 3 weeks.  Fill out the return form via Digitrax's website and mail in your throttle. The price is for throttles outside of the warranty period.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 08:57:52 PM by Ian MacMillan »
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davefoxx

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 11:17:43 AM »
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Ian,

I'm not sure if this is the problem that I have been experiencing, but it sure is plausible.  I remember the last time I had my DT400 hooked up to the DB150 command station, the system would lock up, beep a handful of times, and flash something similar to what you indicated.  In fact, I recall that the voltage indicated was low, which was unusual because I was running off of the transformer plugged into a wall outlet and not a battery.

If and when I get the time, I'll try to recreate the problem.  It seems like it locked up when I tried to reprogram a decoder's address.  I'll also see if the 9V battery temporarily solves the problem.

On another subject, should I consider any upgrades to this throttle, if I send it back?  It's probably getting close to ten years old.  For example, do they now offer coiled cords? 

Thanks,
DFF

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Ian MacMillan

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 12:06:11 AM »
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I'm pretty sure they are not the same. With the cap issue you shouldn't get any beeps from the command station...atleast I didn't and everyone else with the same issue hasn't reported it.
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John

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 04:40:37 AM »
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Beeps when you plug in can mean a bad UP or plug ..

davefoxx

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 06:53:24 AM »
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Beeps when you plug in can mean a bad UP or plug ..

John,

Not to question your work, because I really appreciate that you fixed that damaged plug on my DT400 at Eric's last fall.  But, could the new plug be the source of the problem?  At the time I was experiencing problems, I was plugged directly into the DB150, so I wasn't using a UP.

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John

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 07:43:09 AM »
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John,

Not to question your work, because I really appreciate that you fixed that damaged plug on my DT400 at Eric's last fall.  But, could the new plug be the source of the problem?  At the time I was experiencing problems, I was plugged directly into the DB150, so I wasn't using a UP.

DFF

It's quite possible .. if the crimp wasn't strong, or a little piece of wire crossed contacts ..  bring it the next time to Eric's and we can re-crimp ..

davefoxx

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 10:29:24 AM »
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It's quite possible .. if the crimp wasn't strong, or a little piece of wire crossed contacts ..  bring it the next time to Eric's and we can re-crimp ..

Thank you, John.  I appreciate that.

DFF

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davefoxx

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 04:55:23 PM »
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This afternoon, I set up a loop of Unitrack on the kitchen table and installed decoders into a couple of locomotives that have been awaiting a brain transplant.  In doing so, and as expected, I ran into the same problem with my DT400.  So, taking Ian's suggestion, I put a 9V battery in and... voila!  The problem seems to be temporarily fixed.  Guess this means I have the capacitor disease.  Hope it's not catching.  The good news is that John's plug replacement was successful and not the cause of any problems.  Thanks again, John and Ian.

I suppose I'll need to send the DT400 back to Digitrax.  It is almost ten years old, so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise.  Time for an upgrade!

DFF

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seusscaboose

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »
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re-reading this thread....

yes... you should consider having the throttle updated....  I will have a UR92 panel later this spring and anytime you come down you can add/drop engines wirelessly and not be tethered to the UP5 panel as you work Tucker (although i understand moving and packing has put a damper on your availability, i still plan on contacting you and maybe squeezing in a saturday afternoon op's session after ya move ;)

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davefoxx

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Re: [SOLVED] Digitrax DT300 & DT400 Series Throttle Capacitor Issue
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 11:27:49 AM »
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According to UPS tracking, my repaired and upgraded Digitrax now-DT402D throttle should be here on Tuesday.  Thanks for your recommendations, guys.  I'm looking forward to running trains again.  Of course, I don't have a UR92 panel yet (I'll have to temporarily plug in to operate), because I don't even have the fascia installed yet.  I'll let you know how it works out. 

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