BLI's Blueline Hints
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Review these simple hints to make decoder installations/operations easier:
Our first productions units arrived and we wanted to compare them to the the
pre-production unit reviewed here.
The performance and features are comparable to the pre-production unit.
We suggest you read the short manual included with the loco, we did not and
learned the hard way.
1) Many popular decoders with the NMRA plug are suitable, see (2c) below.
2) CAUTION, we discovered the hard way that decoders with more than two
function outputs may be a serious problem if the green wire, normally
function 1, is connected to the NMRA 8 pin plug, or in the case of internal
plug decoders like the TCS DP5X, the ESU LokPilot, function 1 is
internally connected. Essentially, if the function 1 connection is hot, whether by the green wire
soldered to the plug or an internal connection, the problem will occur.
For these types of decoders activating the horn, function 1, will disable the
loco's internal directional lighting function which can only be restored by
recycling power to the loco.
Accordingly the following decoders may be a problem.
a) Any decoder with a 3rd function or function 1 where the green wire is
soldered to the plug. Desoldering the green will eliminate problem as well as
using a harness without the green connection.
Lenz: Silver MP, Silver Direct
TCS: T4P T6P M4P
b) Internal Plug decoders:
Lenz: Silver Direct
c) Here are the best options:
Decoders with just headlight and taillight functions are the best options and
Digitrax: DH123P/s, DZ123PS
NCE: N12SRP, D13SRP
Some internal plug decoders that do not have a hot internal connection for
Digitrax: DN143IP, DH163IP
NCE: N14IP D14SR D18SR
TTX: GP7, RS2
3) Before installing the decoder move the loco lighting plug from J1 to
J7 as per the manual's diagram.
4) "Ops Mode" or Programming on the Main" is the easiest way to change the
This eliminates the need to do the decoder lock tasks.