Digitrax FAQ

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Summary: Frequently asked questions regarding Digitrax DCC systems

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Comparison of throttles
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General FAQs


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Digitrax FAQ section. This document contains links to topic related FAQ's.

Command Stations / Boosters

Most Digitrax Command Stations double as boosters, so this section has been combined.

Should the DB150 be Blinking When Used as a Booster?

Yes. When the DB150 is in booster mode, the green power light will blink to indicate that it Is in booster mode versus command station + booster mode. The DB200 doesn't blink because it doesn't have command capability. The purpose of the blinking light on the DB150 is to let you know it Is operating in booster mode and not using the command station capabilities.

Can I use Other Brands of Boosters on my Digitrax System?

Yes, but they must be connected in very specific ways. Only the Uhlenbrock Intellibox systems can be directly connected over the Loconet. Any other system will require you to make special cables to connect the other boosters.

You can use a booster from Lenz, the directions for connecting it are on their website in the LV101 manual. #1. It's also possible to drive a Digitrax booster using a Lenz command station

Reset DCS 100/200 - Chief

There are two ways to reset this device.

  1. OpSw 36 clears the locomotive slots, but leaves other settings alone.
    • Used when your command station is not clearing slots, or when all slots are full.
  2. OpSw 39 resets the command station to factory default. This means it clears all of the address "slots" and resets all options to default, as the unit came from the factory.
    • This clears ALL of the stored information in the command station, including switches, routes, and consists!. It also resets the station to have a limit of 22 slots, even if it was previously set to allow 120. BE CAREFUL WHEN USING THIS OpSw!

Review the Super Chief manual, also available on-line from Digitrax.

See Table VII, p 118 of the manual for items it resets.

Audible Error Codes

The Audible Alerts section on the Digitrax Hints page has a list of what the number of beeps you hear means.

My Train Will Not Move


You select a locomotive. It is on the track, with lights on and it is making sounds (if equipped with a sound decoder). It just will not respond to throttle inputs or function commands...

The throttle controls three modes for Track Power: On, Idle and Off. Refer to the manual, as there is a small dot on the throttle display which indicates the track power mode. A flashing dot indicates Idle, a solid dot means track power is on and you can control trains. If the dot is not present, track power is Off.

When in Idle, packets known as Idle Packets are transmitted. They provide power to the multifunction decoders on the track, but do not contain commands. Locomotives will have their lights on, and if equipped with sound, e making noises.

Digitrax command stations also have three modes: Sleep, Op, and Run. The DCS100 shown has a toggle switch labelled Mode, with three positions: Run, Op, and Sleep. To operate trains the mode must be in RUN.

Using the throttles PWR button, set the track to Run mode. It will now begin transmitting packets with instructions.

Track Status Light

There is an LED on the front panel of the command station.

Colour Meaning Notes
Orange Track power is ON
Green or Red Zero Stretching in Use Address 00 is in use
Off No track power Track power is off.

The DCS100 also has an LED to indicate it has power, and an Offline indicator which will be red if the command station's booster section has overheated, or there is no track status. A No Track Status is a normal condition.


Is There a Way to Read the CV Settings on a Decoder using a Digitrax Empire Builder Set?

Not with the Empire Builder - the Digitrax DB150 cannot read back CVs, using any combination of hardware or software. The functionality is simply not built into the command station. The Chief and the Zephyr systems can read CVs.

Programming Decoders with CVs over 255

Some older Digitrax DCC Systems cannot program CVs over 255. Many multifunction decoders use Indexed CVs to accomplish this.

When programming decoders like this, it is best to use a software package such as JMRI or a manufacturer supplied programmer.

There is a way to program ESU decoders with CVs greater than 255. See Programming ESU Decoders for details.

Error Messages

Slot=Max Message

The Slot=Max message means that you have used all of the available slots in your command station. Or you have the maximum number of locomotives allowed by your system in use.

On a DT400 or DT300, the display will show Slot=Max. Older DT100 or DT200 throttles will display FF, and the Zephyr shows FULL. All these indications mean that the number of slots available is zero, as all are in use.

For more information on the Slots and the Slot Max error, see the Slots article.

The maximum number of locomotives that can be run at any one time depends on the number of available slots in the command station. Each command station has a different maximum number of slots available. The DCS50 (Zephyr) has 10 slots, the DB150 (Empire Builder) has 22 slots, and the DCS100 (Super Chief) has up to 120 slots.


It is a common misunderstanding that locomotives are associated with throttles, and that the limit on locomotives depends on the throttle. The number of slots available in the command station dictates the maximum number of locomotives that can be "managed" by the system at any one time.

The number of slots used depends on a few factors including the number of locomotives in use on the system, the number of consists defined, and the consisting type used. For more information see the sections on consisting elsewhere in the DCCWiki.

If you receive a slots=max message you must free some slots on the command station.


General FAQ for Digitax throttles.

Upgrade UT-4 to UT-4R?

According to the Digitrax website, it is possible to upgrade the the UT-4 throttle to a UT-4R (Radio). Contact Digitrax for pricing and details (and then update this with any additional information).

See Also

External Links