Soundtraxx and Digitrax : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I am getting ready to start my layout and was planing on using DCC. My friend uses Digitrax so that is what I was planning on using. Then I came across the Soundtraxx ad in MR and went to the homepage. I then thought it would be nice to have some or all of my engines with Soundtraxx (If I don't go bankrupted first). But then I started reading about people that had problems with the Chief and Soundtraxx decoders. Have these problems been corrected or should I not use Soundtraxx decoders? I thought you might be able to answer question because I am not quite DCC literate. Do you think that Soundtraxx decoders are great or do you not like them? Thanks, Craig Myers

-- Craig Myers (, February 16, 1999


There were some compatability problems between the early Soundtraxx modules and the early Chiefs. Fortunately for you, I was the first to have the problem and worked with Soundtraxx to resolve the problem. Ultimately, Digitrax made a change, too. I had this problem about two years ago. Only people with Chiefs that old might still see the problem.

The problem was with the programming track on the Chief. A sound module, having a lot more stuff in it than the typical decoder, drew a little more current when doing nothing than the typical non-sound decoder. Programming on the programming track was hampered. Soundtraxx responded by making it possible to program the long address on the main in OPS mode. Everything else could already be programmed on the main in OPS.

I have been told that Digitrax has also changed the value of the resistors. So no one should see the problem.

To my knowledge, Soundtraxx is still the only polyphonic sound decoder built into a full locomotive decoder. This means it is the only decoder most locomotives need to control everything. Polyphonic means it can make all sounds simultaneously. So you can have, chuff, generator whine, and the bell ringing all going at the same time when you blow the whistle. They did a great job with their diesel decoder, too.

Yes, you will be tempted to outfit your entire fleet with sound! You will like it. Definitely buy one - or more!

-- Allan Gartner (, February 16, 1999.

I have a new (like last week) chief, and have no problems with my soundtraxx decoders. I guess as Allan said, Digitrax fixed the problem. I also second his comments--they are great! I'm up to 4 sound locos, and plotting how I can get more without going to the poorhouse!

-- Larry Keller (, March 08, 1999.

Let me add my two cents worth. I had the same problem with my Chief/Soundtraxx DSD-150. I sent the unit back to Digitrax and for $50 they fixed it in a week. Now I have full programming capability and I am very happy with the results.

-- Jason Cameron (, August 11, 1999.

Hi, I run a Chief and have had NO problems with any sort of decoders, 6 w/soundtrax and 10w/ Digitrax, NC,Lenz. My unit is 1 yr. old so the upgrade my have been done. Both are great MFGs. Thomas

-- Thomas Gleave (, October 14, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ