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Digitrax uses the term Steal to refer to a throttle taking possession of an address which is in use by another throttle. The throttle may also be a computer taking control for automated tasks. The throttle will make clicking noises whenever you change speed settings to indicate another throttle also using the address.

JMRI Slot Monitor

Stealing is also known as Forcing an Address Selection or Sharing

When selecting an address already assigned to another throttle the display will state Steal Y/N?. This override is called stealing and can result in a single loco address being selected on two different throttles simultaneously.

The operator can then decide if he wants to take control (steal) or not. This feature has a number of purposes such as operator training, or allowing a computer to take control of a train during certain operations. It is not necessary to physically take the throttle from a trainee or another operator to do this. Occasionally it is necessary to gain control of a loco that is “lost” for whatever reason.

Also see StealZap, a feature of the DCS240 Command Station.

Operating a Stolen Address

When the throttle detects a loco address which is in-use on one of its throttles is being changed by another physical throttle or computer, it will cause a “click” every time it sees a remote throttle change its locomotive settings. If that locomotive is in the active throttle, its speed display will also show the changes. This is called slot following.

See Slot Following for more details.

Ghost Throttles

Behaviors include speed changes, or the locomotive stopping.

Ghost Throttles are throttles which have control of an address, but the operator is unaware of its presence. The command station updates the slot using the ghost throttle, resulting in erratic operation. The ghost throttle must be found and eliminated to restore normal operation.

This is usually a result of not dispatching a locomotive which releases it from the throttle. If the locomotive still has a slot assigned to it, at some point the command station will read that slot and send the associated commands to the locomotive. Sometimes it is a result of dispatching a locomotive with the throttle being at a non-zero value.

Digitrax Knowledge Base

  1. I’m getting a “StealZap” message on my DT402 Rev 2 Throttle. What is this?
  2. Stealing A Locomotive Address
  3. DT402 & DT400 Series Throttle - Stealing and Operating a Stolen Locomotive Address