Hardwired Decoder

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Example of a hardwired decoder

A Hardwired Decoder is used when a locomotive is not DCC-ready and does not have a Locomotive Interface a or a drop in replacement DCC control board. The decoder must be soldered directly to the rail pickups and the motor terminals.

Though there is no strict standard for hardwired decoders they usually closely follow the wiring conventions for standard 8 Pin DCC Plugs.

A decoder with a JST Connector is similar to a hardwired decoder because the connector only interfaces between the decoder and its harness, the other end of the harness must still be soldered directly to the locomotive's pickups and motor terminals.

Connections

Orange Motor Right Connect to the motor terminal that was previously connected to the right rail
Grey Motor Left Connect to the motor terminal that was previously connected to the left rail
Black Left Rail Connect to the left rail pickup
Red Right Rail Connect to the right rail pickup
Blue Common (+ve) Connect to the positive side of all the functions (lights, etc.)
White Front Headlight (F0) Connect to the negative side of the front headlight
Yellow Rear Headlight (F0) Connect to the negative side of the rear headlight
Green Function 1 (F1) Connect to the negative side of the function 1 device
Violet Function 2 (F2) Connect to the negative side of the function 2 device
--or--
Brown Function 2 (F2) Connect to the negative side of the function 2 device

For decoders with more function outputs there may be additional wires and there may be violet and brown wires for two different functions (F2 and F3).

Both motor terminals and all functions must be fully isolated from the rail pickups before installation.

The negative and positive sides of the headlights and functions are important if the devices are polarity sensitive, such as LEDs.

See Also

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