Author Topic: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC  (Read 1192 times)

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Upstate Gator

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Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« on: March 24, 2016, 09:43:25 PM »
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After reassembling the seats to the chassis and trying to test the decoder on the programming track with a PowerCab, I hear a buzz and some sound modulation/squealing. I assume there's a short and it won't read the decoder. I've taped everything besides the section where the decoder picks up power and sends it to the motor. Is it possible there's a trace connection on the board between the two white wires? I've attached pictures. I have cut a bit between the white wire solder pads and haven't tested again yet.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 10:39:23 PM by Upstate Gator »

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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 09:52:33 AM »
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OK. I think I've figured this out, but won't be able to test it until later tonight or this weekend.

I found the sandwich nature of the frame, decoder, and seating section to be confusing. It looks like I had the two motor contacts above the seating section (which put them on the metal strips that picks up power from the wheels) instead of having them below the seating section, touching only the two pads on the base of the decoder. Mark covers bending the motor contacts back down at http://www.spookshow.net/katordc.html, but I misunderstood where the motor contacts should end up sitting. The motor connection to the decoder is on the base of the decoder.

Glad I was using a programming track.

I'm still not sure about a trace connection between the two white wires, but that's the next step.

This picture below shows where I had the tabs. (It's edited from the one at @spookshow 's site at http://www.spookshow.net/files/katordcdcc9.JPG)
Ben


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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 12:47:04 PM »
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Looks like you might have found a solution. It seems that in last couple of threads you've been talking with yourself.  :)

I can't offer any help here because I have not dealt with this oddball decoder yet.  I do have bunch of Kato RDCs (after all, I model B&M) but I have nto tackled a decoder install yet.  I am also held back by the high price of these decoders (I understand, it is more complex that standard decoders, so it is pricier).
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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 12:56:44 PM »
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Yes, it does seem like that at times. It can leave you wondering if you're just missing something obvious. However, getting it in print does help me think it through. Once I started thinking about how current flows from wheels to decoder to motor, the problem became clear.

It is expensive, but I only had the one to do. You're also getting the internal lighting.
EBay has had some decent deals on that decoder, but not often. I did a Best Offer for about 2/3 of the asking price. (I had the earlier version and sold that one. That helped finance the new one.)
Ben


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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 01:41:02 PM »
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I'll probably use DZ126 decoders hardwired. I'll use the stock light-boards and replace the lemon yellow headlight LEDs with warm white.
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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 01:53:56 PM »
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Are you adding overhead lighting? May need a DZ146 or dz143, correct?

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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 02:22:20 PM »
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Are you adding overhead lighting? May need a DZ146 or dz143, correct?

I wasn't planning on it but if you do, then as you mention, you will need decoder with additional function output.  DN136 is probably the cheapest (and 3 functions should be all you need - 2 for the headlights/markers and 1 for the interior lights).  But it is larger than the DZ ones,
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Re: Troubleshooting help needed DN143K2 in RDC
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 02:18:02 PM »
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Motor control--good, although I needed to use kapton tape to hold the decoder and pickups together. (The Kato clips are shot by this point.)
Lighting--not good. One LED will not come on unless I push the LED hard down and in on the board, so there's a bad connection between the LED and the board or inside the board somewhere.

Returning decoder to Digitrax for warranty replacement.

Really wondering whether a hardwired decoder would have been a better choice and whether the ability to turn the external lighting on and off was worth the hassle of the DN143K2 install.