DCCing a DFT

As I mentioned in a previous post, my layout's gone digital with the installation of a Digitrax system. The first logo I DCC'd was my DX, and because I didn't screw that one up I decided I'd go for a more complex project.. my DFT, 7008.

I purchased 7008 from someone else and didn't know much about how it was wired.

The finished product, in unfinished scenery next to an unfinished fence.

But first, the decoder:
Despite looking el cheapo, these decoders are actually just generic versions of the Digitrax decoder.
And now, the victim subject:
Shell on...

...shell off
As you can see it's a typical DC set-up - a single contact wire plus a positive / negative connection to the directional lighting circuit, with 4x bulbs (2 for the front and 2 at the back).

First up, I removed the decoder harness from the packet, and quickly took the funny pin thing off:

 Next up, isolate the motor. The instructions say this is important. So isolate the motor!

Did I mention you need to isolate the motor? Note how this chassis has a direct connection to the motor. Apparently this is ok for DCC.
 With that done, it was time to wire in the harness:
Motor isolated.

Still isolated.

Red to blue, black to the screw.

Harness installed, decoder plugged in.
 This covers the basic setup of the decoder - motor connection. I programmed the decoder on my test track (just in shot below) hooked up to the Digitrax booster. The decoder takes 4 digits, so naturally I programmed it as 7008, with 08 being the two-digit code (I've got a DA numbered 1400, will probably have to use its TMS number...).

Next was the light. Originally I attempted to use the normal filament-type bulbs that were already in the loco. I managed to burn through all four of them, thanks to not using the correct resistor.

So instead, Grant Morrell suggested I buy LEDs, a much better idea. He suggested ledstuff.co.nz, an excellent service with great prices. I've ordered 2x lots of their 3mm white LEDs and 1x of the really small red ones (for reversing lights). The white ones were wired in parallel for the headlights, like this:

The original hands-free.
 Next, it was off for a test run:

Note the resistor.

And it works! Yay.


  1. One done, ................... now the rest of the fleet hey/

    1. luckily it's a small fleet! Just three more locos... a DA, KB and Thomas (which I might leave since he's really only for when the nephews come over).


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