null Skip to main content

You are not alone; everyone has trouble with their decoder from time to time. On this page, you will find several tips and tricks that can help you solve some simple problems that you may encounter. The links below group these tips into common categories to help you find your solution quickly. If you cannot solve your problem with the information here, we also provide a variety of reference documents and manuals that can be found in the Manuals section of our website. For further support, you can contact our Support Staff who are always willing to help.

Locomotive will not run

  • The primary (CV 1) or extended (CVs 17-18) address has been changed
  • CV 19 (Consist Address) has been set to a non-zero value
  • The value of CV 29 (Configuration Data 1) has been changed to select a different address mode
  • Acceleration (CV 3) and deceleration (CV 4) rates have been set to too high
  • Cab is in consist mode
  • CVs 10 (EMF Feedback Cut-out) and 212 (BEMF Feedback Intensity) have been set to 0
  • Decoder is wired incorrectly
  • Loose wire in power harness (verify the Pilot LED is on when the decoder receives power)
  • Locomotive is on a DC-powered track with analog mode disabled in CV 29
  • Broken motor wire or track pickup wire

Lights are flickering on and off

  • Decoder is in 14 speed-step mode and command station is in 28/128 speed-step mode

Lights are not working

  • Decoder is in 28/128 speed-step mode, and command station is in 14 speed-step mode
  • Functions have been improperly mapped
  • Resistor values are set too high
  • Resistor values were set too low and the bulb has burned out
  • Lamp wires are broken
  • Lighting outputs have been improperly wired
  • Lighting output wire connections are loose
  • LED is wired backwards

Locomotive flashes its headlights without moving

  • CVs are being reset to defaults; wait 30 seconds and the decoder should respond to address 3
  • Fault code is being activated by the decoder; count the number of flashes and contact our Support Staff

Lighting functions aren’t working

  • Ensure the function common wire (blue) is wired to the FX3-FX6 outputs
  • Make sure to use proper resistor values see Reference Documents

Locomotive will not produce sound

  • Mute function is on (F8 by default)
  • Another function has been mapped to the mute function
  • Volume CVs (CVs 128-160) have been set to 0
  • Speaker wire is broken
  • Speaker is burned out
  • Speaker wires touched and burned the audio amplifier
  • The Locomotive address does not match the address on the cab

Sound cuts in and out

  • Amplifier is overheating; lower sound volume
  • The amplifier is overheating; check the wattage and speaker impedance
  • Amplifier is overheating; check the track voltage
  • Speaker is damaged; replace the speaker

Speaker sounds "crackly"

  • Volume has been set too high for the speaker to reproduce
  • The speaker is not properly enclosed in an airtight baffle
  • Speaker wire is loose
  • Speaker is damaged
  • Equalizer is set too high; adjust CVs 225-232

Exhaust chuff isn’t working

  • If using the Auto-Exhaust chuff, ensure CV 114 (Econami) is set to a non-zero value
  • No motor load; ensure the motor is connected or adjust CV 217 to disable BEMF if being used as a sound-only decoder.

Cannot change address when programming on the main

  • You can only change to the type of address currently not in use when programming on the main. If using a short address, change it to a long address or vice versa.

I need to reset my decoder

  • All SoundTraxx decoders can be reset by entering a value of 8 into CV 8. After programming CV8 = 8, cycle power to the decoder (i.e. turn decoder power off and then on again).

Locomotive runs in a consist, but without lighting or sound

  • Consist functions have been disabled; set CVs 21 and 22 to enable functions for consist mode

Manual notching isn’t working

  • Set CV 114 to a value of 39 (then activate RPM+ with F5 and RPM- with F6)
  • Ensure that RPM+ and RPM- effects are mapped to a function key.