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Old 06-06-2020, 02:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The DCC signal is AC, square wave, but AC... be sure you are using AC range on meter.

The voltage should be way higher than 2 volts....



something is fundamentally wrong... disconnect the output from the convrtr and measure voltage, should be constant... and higher...


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Old 06-06-2020, 02:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Greg Elmassian View Post
The DCC signal is AC, square wave, but AC... be sure you are using AC range on meter.

The voltage should be way higher than 2 volts....



something is fundamentally wrong... disconnect the output from the convrtr and measure voltage, should be constant... and higher...


Greg
When I disconnect the output and measure voltage am I looking for volts AC or volts DC?
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Old 06-06-2020, 04:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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OK, I am repeating myself...



So, the convrtr outputs DCC, DCC is a square wave of constant voltage and variable frequency. A square wave is a form of AC



You cannot use a DC meter to measure DC.


Not all AC meters can measure square wave AC properly, but your voltage measurement is way off, unless you were on DC, then it is meaningless
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Old 06-06-2020, 05:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sorry you feel like you're repeating yourself. I just want to make sure I understand correctly before taking measurements so I don't invalidate the test results.

I'm using a Fluke 87V for testing.

Measuring the voltage from the Convrtr with the wires disconnected from the DCC board I have 15.41 volts AC.
I also have that 15.41 volts AC at the input terminals on the DCC board once I connect the wires again.

It appears the Convrtr is doing its job and outputting voltage, it's just AC voltage instead of the DC I was expecting.

Now I need to figure out how to get the DCC board what it needs.
My suspicion is that the DCC board is set up to have plain DC battery voltage instead of AC voltage with the DCC signal mixed in coming in on the battery connection terminals.

What is the correct way to connect the wires from a Convrtr to a factory Bachmann/Soundtraxx DCC board?
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Old 06-06-2020, 06:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, I've located one of the main problems -- hopefully it's the only problem.

The PICK-UP switch on the factory Bachmann board has a cold solder joint. There is no electrical continuity between the trace on the board and the switch terminal.

I'll solder that back up and report back with the results.
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That cold solder joint was the culprit. Once that was repaired everything works as it should.

Thank you everyone who helped me figure this out.
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Old 06-06-2020, 10:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The 14.41 volts you report in post #14 is much better than the 1.4 volts you report in post#1. (I gather, but you do not state you were on DC measurement)


DCC boards (decoders) NEVER reject the DCC square wave. If presented with a constant DC, they will usually operate by passing the DC through to the motor, although they can be configured to ignore DC.


When presented with PWM, which is what almost every "DC powerpack" presents, the results can be unpredictable.


Good debugging on the Bachmann wiring, poor assembly and solder joints are often the hallmark of the mainstream Chinese built products, Aristo and Bachmann are pretty famous for this, weird color codes, red wires painted black, black wires painted red.


(The factory runs out of black wire, they paint the red wire with black paint, no kidding)


Congrats on beating the system!


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Old 06-11-2020, 12:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi ive just completed my first deadrail install in my Bachmann Annie ( version 6)using a Tam valley receiver and transmitter linked to my roco z21. I was really interested that you had successfully converted your climax to airwire and i was hoping to do the same with mine which is also stock dcc sound ( soundtraxx) model. My question is that can i follow the same approach and connect my powered Tam valley receiver to the 18 v terminals as you have with the airwire and using the same switch settings. Also i was intetested in where you had located the batteries to power your airwire converter. Thanks for your help. Timit.
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Timit1962 View Post
Hi ive just completed my first deadrail install in my Bachmann Annie ( version 6)using a Tam valley receiver and transmitter linked to my roco z21. I was really interested that you had successfully converted your climax to airwire and i was hoping to do the same with mine which is also stock dcc sound ( soundtraxx) model. My question is that can i follow the same approach and connect my powered Tam valley receiver to the 18 v terminals as you have with the airwire and using the same switch settings. Also i was intetested in where you had located the batteries to power your airwire converter. Thanks for your help. Timit.
I took a brief look at the Tam Valley website to see how their system works, and it looks like it should connect to the locomotive the same way the Airwire receiver does.

Right now I have the battery pack setting in a gondola behind the locomotive, at least until I come up with a more permanent solution. I'm going to try to fit a custom battery into the bunker above the circuit boards, but I don't know if that'll work -- there's not a lot of room in there.
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