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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I need help! I'm new to this DCC, it's a little more complex than I thought. My problem started with the lights going dim and flickering at slow speeds. One forum post said that it was Aritos wiring. Digitrax thinks it might be the decoder (583AR). They suggested to try another which I had. Because they advertise constant brightness on lights. Now I can't get either decoder to make the Loco. move. I did have it running at one time before I swapped decoders. I can turn lights off and on. But just can't get it to go down the track. I have a 583AR installed in my Aristo Mikado plug and play. Powered by Digitrax DCS200 8am booster, DT400 throttle. And a 2012 power supply.

I hope and I'm sure it is something simple I'm missing. I just thought that I would check here since tech support is closed for the weekend.
 

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Do you have any means to measure the DCC track voltage?

Also, how bright are the lights when they are on? Are they dim at all?
And what happens to the lights (being on) when you try to make the engine move? Any change in brightness?

From your description of the problem so far it seems to me that you may be loosing voltage somewhere - poor connection possibly.

What you could also do to isolate the problem is set up a short test track, ideally with a single section of 5 or 6 ft track - hook the DCC system up to that and use that for troubleshooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have measured the track voltage, when I was on the phone with Digitrax and he said it was good, and the booster to. I have always been testing on a five foot section.

I didn't have the no motion problem at the time of speaking to Digitrax. As far as the lights. With the engine setting idle they seem to be normal? I guess you could say they looked the same as when the engine was at a higher operating speed. With lights on and engine at idle it looked fine. Start moving the engine and the lights would dim real low and start to flicker bad until you went to a higher speed setting. Kind of like an old anolog engie would do.

I use aligator clips from the power wires to the test track.
 

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The symptom is an indication of a poorly conducting circuit between the wheels and the decoder input pins, 1,2 & 11,12
I think you will find that the electrical pickup inside the Aristo motor blocks are not working and that the loco is depending on the side-rods to deliver power to the decoder.

You can confirm this with a simple test. Apply a drop of light conductive oil to each eccentric where it goes through the side rods.
If you don't have conductive oil, use automotive Automatic Transmission Fluid Type "A".

If you see ANY improvement in the lights at slow speed, the loco is defective. Either send it to Aristo, OR, Install LGB ball bearing axle sets in the tender and re-wire the loco.

You could also check MLS chat after 9 or 10 PM eastern time, There is usually someone there that can walk you through the fixes needed on the Aristo motor blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have any conductive lube. But I still had the light problem even with the tender online and plugged into the locomotive. Is that the general idea on the engine not moving? Because it did work at one time. I'm confused, thinking I might have missed a programing step.
 

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I still think the problem is the loco's electrical pickup wiring. The loco may be depending on the drivers for pickup, not the tender. There is a switch somewhere that is for battery, If in the wrong position, some arist locos will not get power from the tender. Check the switches.

Unplug the decoder and re-install the Aristo Jumper Plug. If the loco will not operate on DC, then the loco is bad.
If the loco runs on DC without the decoder. Set CV8 to 8 to reset the decoder, re-install and then try to run it as address 3. CV8 = 8 restores the decoder to factory defaults.



Put the loco on it's back with her feet in the air. Touch wires from the track to two opposite wheels of the loco and tender. Any one pair of wheels should make the loco run and light the lights to full brightness. If all the wheels are not picking up, particularrly the drivers, the loco has issues.
 

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Read my pages on the Mikado on my site, I talk about the miswiring of the tender, how to improve the pickup, and also weak points in the power pickup in the drivers.

TRAINS....MOTIVE POWER....ARISTO....MIKADO ... on my web site...

Regards, Greg
 
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