FAQ:What is a decoder?

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Main article: Decoder

A decoder is a device which listens to Digital Packets addressed to it, and then performs whatever action is requested. There are three types - multifunction, Function and Accessory Decoders. Some multifunction decoders are very simple devices providing only motor control and/or a small selection of lighting options, while others are very complex with multiple special effects, tuning motor response, and sound effects available. Function decoders are similar, except they lack the motor control functions. Accessory decoders are used for turnouts, signals and other animated items. Please see the decoder page for full details.