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Just got one of those decoder testers and it would seem that all it tests is that the chip will accept an address what else can they do?
 

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QUOTE (kiwitrains @ 17 Oct 2007, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just got one of those decoder testers and it would seem that all it tests is that the chip will accept an address what else can they do?

I have two decoder testers. One I built myself and the other one is an NCE decoder tester.
Before I install a decoder in a loco I always test it with tester to make sure it works properly. That way, if it does not work when installed in loco I know the fault is mine.
Not much point in installing decoder in a loco if it is faulty.
Faulty decoders don't happen very often but sometime the odd one gets thru.
I sometimes program address when connected to tester but must admit most programing is done after installation in loco.
Happy DCCing
Iansa
 

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Hi kiwitrains
I purchased a cheap(ish) decoder tester via ebay - JR Models. As Ian says they are ideal for checking a decoder before installation in a loco.
Mine tests track power, forward & reverse motor power, front and rear lights plus three other function outputs (if the decoder supports these) and a speaker outlet too. It accepts 8 pin plugs and free wired decoders via a series of 12 terminals if no plug is fitted.
I recommend having one, as mine is a valuable tool pre decoder installation.
 

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QUOTE Just got one of those decoder testers and it would seem that all it tests is that the chip will accept an address what else can they do?

I blow bubbles with mine..................why else would I buy a decoder tester


OK lets try

1. To verify that a decoder is functioning properly before installation
2. to test functions
3. to pre-program a decoder
4 test a plug
 

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QUOTE (kiwitrains @ 17 Oct 2007, 01:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just got one of those decoder testers and it would seem that all it tests is that the chip will accept an address what else can they do?

They can only do what your controller is capable of doing. If your controller can read and write CV's, then your tester can do the same.

I have a Prodigy advance 2 controller, and an NCE decoder tester. When I purchase a decoder, I put it into the tester and read all of the CV's noting them down on a sheet of paper. I use Lenz decoders, and they come with a booklet which lists all the CV's ex works numbers, so you can check for any discrepancies.
The tester can be connected to an old motor so that you can test all the functions. (the others are by led's on the tester).

Once the decoder passes all the tests, it can be put into an engine. The list is used in case of problems when altering CV's. I have found that if I alter the speed CV (5) it resets CV 29 ( direction). So I have to go back and reset it.

The NCE tester cost £14, but there is another one available that comes complete with a motor attached, and a 21 pin connector for the new decoders. It is £24.

Testers are worthwhile, as you can isolate any problems that may be caused by the engine.

Alan
 

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Hi Guys,

Sorry for dragging up this 2 week old thread, but I'm trying to locate a tester and neither of my two local shops stock them, I can't find them on the Hattons website either.

Being a total newbie to all this, I'd also appreciate if anyone could recommended the most complete online store for DCC equipment?

All the best,

Alex
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 17 Oct 2007, 10:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The NCE tester cost £14, but there is another one available that comes complete with a motor attached, and a 21 pin connector for the new decoders. It is £24.
Why would you want a motor? It seems like a gimmick to me. The chances of it matching the characteristics of a motor installed in a loco, operating under load, are fairly low. It would be much cheaper just to fit a resistor to provide the load for the decoder to acknowledge programming. A couple of LEDs could give visual indication of the direction if you want to test in operations mode.

Andrew
 

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[quote name='SPROGman' date='31 Oct 2007, 19:08' post='38332']
Why would you want a motor? It seems like a gimmick to me. The chances of it matching the characteristics of a motor installed in a loco, operating under load, are fairly low. It would be much cheaper just to fit a resistor to provide the load for the decoder to acknowledge programming. A couple of LEDs could give visual indication of the direction if you want to test in operations mode.

Andrew

*** Hi Andrew
Actually, on a conventional decoder you are sort of right... However, the motor is quite important on the ESU tester. Its impossible to reproduce the chuffs of an ESU sound decoder without one, as the LokSound V3.5 needs the back EMF of a motor to generate the chuff, which is motor load dependent.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 31 Oct 2007, 13:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Actually, on a conventional decoder you are sort of right... However, the motor is quite important on the ESU tester. Its impossible to reproduce the chuffs of an ESU sound decoder without one, as the LokSound V3.5 needs the back EMF of a motor to generate the chuff, which is motor load dependent.

Richard
DCCconcepts
Ahh, clever!

Andrew
 

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Alex,

I use the NCE decoder tester which I bought from Bromsgrove Models. It cost £16.25 including postage. This tester will suffice unless you are going to use 21 pin decoders.
The model that will test them, and also has a motor fitted is the ESU 51900 available from DCC Supplies for £28 plus postage.

It is far better to shop around for specialist items, as the NCE tester price ranges from £14.50 to £24.

For good service and good prices, Hattons is way ahead, but I repeat, it is better to shop around for any items.

Hope this helps,

Alan.
 
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