booster ground : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread


We're experiencing strange problems / results with a Chief 1 as command station and Chief 2 and EB as booster and are planning a test session with all conceivable combinations of parameters. We didn't now it's best to separate the loconet for throttles from the booster loconet, so that's the first step for improvement.

However your article says the boosters should all be grounded together. Does this grounding include the command station (Chief 1) ?

Should there be a difference between physically setting the EB as booster (connecting config A and ground) or by setting Ops-switch 2 ?

We appreciate your reaction.


-- André Kemper (, July 02, 2004



You should definitely follow Dale's advice. If you are still having problems, here is some more to help you.

1. The advice to separate the booster network wiring from the throttle network helps troubleshooting, but it won't fix any problems. If you are still having problems, you should only have the Chief and boosters connected together to eliminate any other sources of trouble.

2. Do not have a testing session where you try every possible combination. While this initially seems like a good idea, you will find that you will get a real headache trying to figure out what all the tests are telling you. While you hope that at some point that your problem will vanish, what if it doesn't it? Then you will be even more frustrated than you are right now.

Try the "divide and conquer" approach instead. This approach is applicable in all sorts of problems. It goes like this. 1. Hook up one booster to a Chief. Make sure it works. If it doesn't, stop. At this point, you know the problem is with the Chief and one booster. You know the other Chief and the EB having nothing to do with it. You now have only have as many things that could be wrong. If everything works, proceed to step 2. 2. Hook up the second Chief configured as a booster. If things don't work, you know it is the second Chief. If everything works, proceed to step 3. 3. Hook up the EB as a booster and see if everything works.

You should ALWAYS troubleshoot problems like this. When hooking up new equipment ALWAYS hook up one thing at a time and make sure it works. Stop as soon a problem develops. You always know that the problem has something to do with the last thing you hooked up.

-- Allan Gartner (, July 06, 2004.


I don't quite have your set-up, but I do use two Chiefs. I have one set up as a booster and that works. If you try to have two Chiefs set up as a command station, you will get a lot of beeps.

Before you send anything in for repair. Do these two things. 1. Perform the tests as I have previously suggested. It will probably only take you about 15 minutes. 2. Get on the Yahoo Digitrax chat list and ask if anyone else has experience using multiple Chiefs and an EB together.

-- Allan Gartner (, July 11, 2004.

Andre, you should connect all the booster ground terminals together with a heavy gauge wire - 14 ga. is good, including the Chief 1. This ground wire should also go to a good earth ground like a copper water pipe or the green wire ground in you electrical system. Make sure the green wire ground is actually properly connected.

It is recommended that you set the EB booster to booster mode via the jumper. The jumper and opswitch do the same thing but others have reported that the opswitch can be reset/overriden under some conditions whereas the jumper is a hardware force to booster mode that cannot be overriden.


-- Dale Gloer (, July 06, 2004.

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