Author Topic: DN163A0 with ditch lights.  (Read 1022 times)

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central.vermont

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DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« on: June 21, 2014, 01:41:50 PM »
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Need some help here.
I have a DN163A0 that I am going to install into an Atlas CSX 8-40CW the Spirit of America and need some help. The analog model has a light board in it with the Ditch Lights wired to it. There is four wires, red, black, orange and blue. The red and orange are Anode while the black and blue are Cathode.

What I need to know is which color wire should be connected to which function outputs on the DN163A0. There are four outputs, Function 1 (Green), Function 2 (Violet), Function 3 (Brown) and Function 4 (White/Yellow). There also is a common pad on the board as well.
What I want it to do when finished is to be able to have them to alternately flash as well as to be able to turn them on and off.

Thanks for any help you may be able to give me on this.

Jon

peteski

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 01:54:27 PM »
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Going strictly by what you mentioned, the anodes from the ditch lights should go to the decoder's common pad. DCC decoders have common-positive (or blue color wire).

Then the cathodes of the ditch lights should go to function outputs (green and violet should work).  Each ditch light is now on a separate function output. That will allow for the alternating pattern and for turning them on or off.  The hard part is trying to figure out the CV settings.  IIRC, Digitrax in their decoder manual does show an example of CV setting for alternating ditch lights.

If the ditch lights are LEDs, then you will also most likely need series-resistor for each light. Unless the decoder outputs already have resistors. 

One problem is that Digitrax decoders very poorly handle light effects with LEDs.  Don't expect much of a simulation of gradual turn on and off of each light.   Even after tweaking the keep-alive CV, I never got them to look acceptable.  Supposedly the newest (type 6) Digitrax decoder handles LEDs better. Finally!  TCS decoders have been properly handling LEDs for a long time.
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central.vermont

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 03:28:13 PM »
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Thanks for the info Pete. It was what I had in mind but just wanted a little backing on this. As too the need for a resistor I believe it has one on the common as you can see in the photo below. Looks to me like a resistor. What do you think?

Jon





mmyers

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2014, 04:13:11 PM »
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If that 201 is a resistor on the common pad there it is a 200ohm resistor which wouldn't be enough for white led's. Instead I would install a suitable resistor on each of the function outputs. One for each ditch light. More work but safer.

Martin Myers

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 07:33:59 PM »
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Jon, that is a 102 (1K ohm) resistor near that pad. But it doesn't make sense that they would install a single resistor on the common positive (if that is what that pad is).  If OTOH, that is one of the function outputs then 1K resistor would work well with an LED.  If it really is on the common positive then it will work too, but each additional LED turned on will make the other ones a bit dimmer (as they will all share the current going through that single resistor). Doesn't the decoder manual give any specific info about this?
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woodone

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 11:38:36 AM »
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Not sure what board we are looing at in the photo shown. No need for the original light board as it will be replaced by the decoder.
The decoder has a 6 function lighting output. There are 2 LED's for the headlights (front and rear) plus 4 more pads on the decoder for more lighting functions.
Go to the Digitrax web site and look up the DN163AO. You will find a photo showing the function pads plus the positive pad.
You will need resistors for the LED's as I believe the positive pad is 12 volts.   

central.vermont

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 03:38:07 AM »
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OK. Got it all hooked up and programed to flash when you press F2. I've set the flash rate CV62=0 and the Hold over time CV63=255. This gives it about 20 sec of flashing ounce you push F2. Once it stops it goes back to on all the time during forward motion. This was done by setting CV51=106 and CV52=107. All this works like it should be but I cannot seem to get the LED's to go off completely enough to give a good flash between on and off. Any comments on how to get a better look. It just doesn't seem to be noticable enough for me. It is said in the decoder manual that you should set CV62 to 00 to get this effect.

Any suggestions?

Jon

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 03:42:21 AM »
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All this works like it should be but I cannot seem to get the LED's to go off completely enough to give a good flash between on and off. Any comments on how to get a better look. It just doesn't seem to be noticable enough for me.

Any suggestions?



John, to quote my earlier post:
One problem is that Digitrax decoders very poorly handle light effects with LEDs.  Don't expect much of a simulation of gradual turn on and off of each light.   Even after tweaking the keep-alive CV, I never got them to look acceptable.  Supposedly the newest (type 6) Digitrax decoder handles LEDs better. Finally!  TCS decoders have been properly handling LEDs for a long time.
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--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

John

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 08:42:32 PM »
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Jon .. what wires did you put where .. I'm getting ready to do this myself on a couple of 8-CWs

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Re: DN163A0 with ditch lights.
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 05:08:27 AM »
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Ageing is inevitable - maturity is optional.

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