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Empire Builder and the DT300 - Some Basics to Get You Going


The Empire Builder consists of a DB150 Command Station and a DT300 throttle.  Here's some simple instructions to get you going.  These instructions don't replace those in the manual.  If you follow these instructions, you assume all responsibility


The DT300 Throttle

The DB150 Command Station
The DB150 Command Station consists of 4 main sections:

1 - A 7-terminal wiring block 
  • Power In 
  • Power In 
  • Config A 
  • Ground 
  • Config B 
  • Rail A 
  • Rail B 

2 - Three light-emitting diode status indicators 
  • Power On (Green) 
  • Track Status (Orange) 
  • Off Line (red) 

3 - Two RJ-12 6-wire female telephone-type jacks
  • Loconet A 
  • Loconet B

4 - Two multi-position sub-minature switches
  • Scale switch with 3 positions - O/S, N, HO 
  • Mode switch with 3 positions - Run, Op, Sleep

Connect Your DB150 to the Power Supply and to the Track
  • From your Power Supply
    • Connect one black wire to Power In terminal on the DB150.
    • Connect the other black wire to the other Power In terminal on the DB150.
    • Connect the Green wire to the Ground terminal on the DB150.

  • From Your DB150 Command Station
    • Connect the yellow wire from the Track A terminal on the DB150 to one track.
    • Connect the red wire from the Track B terminal on the DB150 to the other track.
    • Set the Scale Switch to HO.
    • Set the Mode Switch to Run

  • Plug in your Power Supply
    • The DB150 will beep once and the DB150s "Power On" led will be green,
    • the "Track Status" led will be orange, 
    • the "Off Line" led will be off.

  • Plug in your DT 300 Throttle into the LocoNet A or Loconet B jack on your DB150, your UP3 Panel, or an RJ12 jack on your layout. 
    • The DT300 Throttle will beep and the LCD display will show information. 
    • The DT300s Track Power Indicator (a small dot on the top right line of the display) will be on.

  • Turn Track Power On or Off
    • When track power is off, the DB150s "Power On" led will be flashing green, 
    • the "Track Status" led will be off, 
    • the "Off Line" led will be on.
    • To turn track power on, press and keys.
    • To turn track power off, press and keys

Select and Run a DCC-Equipped Locomotive
The DT300 thorottle can run two locomotives at the same time. One locomotive can be controlled with the left knob and the key. A second locomotive can be controlled with the right knob and the key.


Selecting a New Locomotive
Assume you want to select locomotive #1728 on the left throttle.
  • Activate the left throttle by turning the left knob ¼ turn. The left side of the display will start flashing. If no locomotive is selected on this throttle, it will flash SEL.
  • Press the Key. The LCD display will show the last locomotive address used and the current status of that address.
  • Turn the right throttle knob until 28 is shown as the two right digits on the left side of the display. (Notice how the numbers change as you turn the right throttle knob.)
  • Turn the left throttle knob until 17 is shown as the two left digits on the left side of the display. (Notice how the numbers change as you turn the right throttle knob.) You should now have the number 1728 shown on the left side of the display (ie 17 + 28 = 1728). .
  • Press the Key again. Notice how a steam locomotive icon with blinking smoke will appear on the left side of the LCD display.
Locomotive #1728 is now ready for running using the left throttle knob.
You can select another locomotive to be controlled by the right throttle knob, following the same steps above but activating the right throttle knob.


Selecting a Previously Selected Locomotive
Decide whether you will run the locomotive on the Right Throttle or the Left Throttle.
  • Press and hold the Throttle Knob. "Recall" appears in the display.
  • Turn the Throttle Knob to the previously selected locomotive number.

  • Press the Key.


Running a Selected Locomotive
Assume you want to run locomotive #1728 using the left throttle. You have already selected this locomotive following the instructions above.
  • The number 1728 will be shown on the left side of the LCD display. If it is the active locomotive the smoke icon above the left steam locomotive will be blinking.
  • If it isn't blinking, slightly turn the left throttle knob until the smoke icon is blinking.
  • To start the locomotive, turn the left throttle knob clockwise until the locomotive starts to move.
  • To slow down the locomotive, turn the left throttle knob counter-clockwise.
  • To reverse the direction of the locomotive press the key or double-click the left throttle knob.


Releasing/Dispatching a Selected Locomotive
The DB150 can run up to 22 locomotives at once. When you select a locomotive, you are filling up one of the 22 "slots". It is a good practice to release or "dispatch" a selected locomotive from the system if it is not being used. If you have a throttle that can't pick up a locomotive from the system (eg UT1 throttles can't pick up a 4-digit loco address), the locomotive can sometimes be picked up if it has been recently dispatched/released by another throttle such as the DT300.  To dispatch/release a selected locomotive:
  • Press and hold the Key until the selected locomotive number flashes.
  • Press the key.


Shutting down your DB150 Command Station
To shut down the DB150, turn the power switch on the Power Supply to Off.


Restarting your DB150 Command Station
To restart the DB150 turn the power switch on the Power Supply to On.

Programming a Locomotive Number into a Decoder
In a DCC environment, locomotives are controlled by assigning a unique number to the decoder in the locomotive.  This is done by "programming" the decoder. 
Programming is done with the DT300 throttle and the locomotive on a programming track that is not connected to your layout. Assume you want to program #1728 into a decoder.


Press and hold the key and the key.

The DT300 will display "Program CV No Pg dAt".



The preferred method of programming a decoder is in Paged or Pg mode. This allows you to program Cvs (Configuration Variables) using decimal numbers, rather than hexadecimal numbers. If the DT300 isn't in Pg mode, press the key to toggle between Pg, Ph, Pd and Po modes. (Some decoders will require programming in other modes.)
Pg = Paged Mode Pd = Direct Mode
Ph = Physical Register Mode Po = Operations Model


To program a 2-digit address
  • Turn the Left Throttle Knob until you see "Ad2=???" on the left side of the display,
  • Turn the Right Throttle Knob until the address appears in the display.
  • Press the key.
To program a 4-digit address
  • Press the Right Throttle Knob so that the left side of the display reads "Ad4=???".
  • You can toggle between a 2 and 4-digit address by pressing the Right Throttle Knob.
  • Turn the Right Throttle Knob until "28" appears in the right side of the display.
  • Turn the Left Throttle Knob until "17" appears in the left side of the display (17 + 28 = 1728). Press the key.
  • The display will show "Ad4on=Y".
  • Press the to enable the 4-digit address.
  • Your locomotive will "jerk" as if it has received a shock.  This is a normal reaction that indicates that the decoder has been programmed.

To exit programming mode
  • Press and hold the key and the key.
  • The display will return to the normal Lo mode with track power off.
  • After you have sent any programming commands, the DB150 will shut down track power.
  • The DB150s Power-On led will be flashing green, the Track Status led will be off. The DT300s track status indicator will be off.
  • To restore power, press the key and the .


To select the locomotive you just programmed
Turn the Left or Right Throttle Knob to activate,
  • Press thekey,
  • Dial up the address,
  • Press thekey again.

Programming a Decoder (Other Than a Locomotive Number)


So, you've got your locomotive number programmed and it's running relatively smoothly.  You now want to program some special effects - headlights, bells and whistles.  Whether you can do this will depend on the decoder you installed in your locomotive.  As an example, we will use the Atlas 341 decoder to demonstrate how it's done for lighting effects.  The Configuration Variables you use on your decoder will depend upon the manufacturer's instructions. 
Programming is done with the DT300 throttle and the locomotive on a programming track that is not connected to your layout. If you program a locomotive and other locomotives are on your layout, all of the locomotives will be programmed. Assume you want to program lighting effects into a decoder. These effects are programmed into CV (Configurations Variable) #51 and #52 for the Atlas 341 decoder. The CVs and the values you use will depend upon the manufacturer's instructions. 

Press and hold the key and the key.
The DT300 will display "Program CV No Pg dAt".
The preferred method of programming a decoder is in Paged or Pg mode. If it isn't in Pg mode, press the key to toggle between Pg, Ph, Pd and Po modes
Pg = Paged Mode Pd = Direct Mode
Ph = Physical Register Mode Po = Operations Model
The preferred method of programming decoders is in Pg Mode. However, some decoders will require programming in other modes.
  • Turn the Left Throttle Knob until CV51=??? appears in the display.
  • Turn the Right Throttle Knob until CV51=14 appears in the display.
  • (See Programming Lighting Effects for values for CV#51 and cv#52).
  • Press the key. The DB150 will beep.
  • Your locomotive will "jerk" as if it has received a shock.  This is a normal reaction that indicates that the decoder has been programmed.
  • Repeat the above steps to program more CVs.

To exit programming mode
  • Press and hold the key and the key.
  • The display will return to the normal Lo mode with track power off.
  • After you have sent any programming commands, the DB150 will shut down track power.
  • The DB150s Power-On led will be flashing green, the Track Status led will be off.
  • The DT300s track status indicator will be off.
  • To restore power, press the key and the .

Lighting Effects for Atlas 341 Decoders


The Atlas 341 Decoder has two solder tabs on the inside at each end of the decoder for lights. Use a 12 volt grain-of-wheat bulb in series with two 22 ohm ¼ watt resistors. Before soldering the motor wires, ensure that each light comes on in the appropriate direction.


CV51 and CV52 control the lighting effects for the Atlas 341 Decoder. CV51 determines if lights come on or off, dim, CV52 determines the level of brightness when the light is dimmed.
Values for CV51 Which Determine Lighting Effects.
Values for CV51 and Lighting Results DT300 Key to Turn Light Effects On/Off
CV 51 Value Lighting Effect Dimming
Effect
F0 F1 F4
0 Directional None On/Off . .
1 Independent None Front On/Off Rear On/Off .
6 Directional Dim Front Only On/Off Dim Front .
7 Independent Dim Front Only Front On/Off Rear On/Off Dim Front
10 Directional Dim Rear Only On/Off Dim Rear .
11 Independent Dim Rear Only Front On/Off Rear On/Off Dim Rear
14 Directional Dim Both On/Off Dim Both .
15 Independent Dim Both Front On/Off Rear On/Off Dim Both
Directional - One light goes out, other light comes on automatically when loco changes direction. 
Independent - Light(s) stay on regardless of change in loco direction.
Keys to press on the DT300 Throttle to turn light effects on/off: 
F0 =twice. F1 =  and F4 =  and
Recommended Value for dimming: CV52 = 128 (Range is 0 to 256)

 
Decimal Value of
CV51
Bit 3 value (CV51.3) Bit 2 value (CV51.2) Bit 1 value (CV51.1) Bit 0 value (CV51.0)
0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 0 1
6 0 1 1 0
7 0 1 1 1
10 1 0 1 0
11 1 0 1 1
14 1 1 1 0
15 1 1 1 1

Thanx to Phil Hartung, Idaho Falls, ID for the above information on CVs and lighting effects.



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