Friday, May 13, 2011

Uhlenbrock Intellibox + Team Digital SRC16 powered from track = Smoke

I love the SRC16. It's a very powerful and flexible stationary DCC decoder with 16 independent inputs and the ability to drive up to 16 slow motion switch machines like the Circuitron Tortoise (when using the MotoD board, otherwise it's 8 Tortoises). I use a single SRC16 for the control panel in Emsingen, and all slow-motion switch machines at that station.

I mentioned before that I had trouble getting my Team Digital SRC16 to say a peep on LocoNet. After quite a bit of back and forth with Team Digital's support, and breaking a second SRC16 at least now I know what the problem is.

LocoNet Ground of the Uhlenbrock Intellibox is not referenced to track ground (contrary to e.g. a Digitrax system). So when you power the SRC16 from track power, and plug in LocoNet, you most certainly fry a little resistor near the LocoNet plugs. Afterwards the SRC16 still works just fine, but lost it's ability to talk to LocoNet, no matter what CVs are set.

The suggested work-around is simple:
Don't use track power, use a 12V DC wallwart. I'll try to bench-test this soon. I'm looking forward to being able to continue with work in Emsingen.

Team Digital was nice enough to repair the two fried units.

Update 05/25/2011:
The bench-test worked out great .

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