The NEW home for the "OLD" Tutorials Tip & Tricks

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>


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Z, N and HO Scale Passenger Car Lighting

DCC Decoder Application Notes


Most SBS4DCC light boards feature through-hole solder points to connect a DCC decoder to control the primary lighting circuit and auxilliary function pads.  These connection points are labeled Red, Blk, Blu, F1, F2, F3, and F4 respectively.

In all instances, the color code follows the NMRA convention where Red, Blk, and Blu refer to track power and function common.

F1 is always the primary lighting circuit.

F2, F3, and F4 are the auxilliary function pads.

SBS4DCC boards can be ordered with many power options including DCC-Friendly, DCC Decoder Ready, and DCC Decoder Installed.  It may be necessary to remove the bridge rectifier if the board was not ordered as DCC Decoder-Ready.

In most instances, it is possible to use the on-board anti-flicker caps to provide the same performance with the DCC decoder but this typically requires a minor modification to the board.  This is necessary because the board was designed before the introduction of decoders with on-board keep-alive circuits.

It is also possible to utilize the on-board keep-alive features of these new decoders by making the same board modification and installing the keep-alive device per the manufacturers directions.


NOTE: These modification are done by SBS4DCC when the board is ordered DCC Decoder Installed.

A Common Bridge Rectifier

TCS FL4 Function Decoder Application Notes

The SBS4DCC light boards can have a TCS FL4 Function Decoder added very easily.


The wiring simply follows the NMRA convention.

Version 2 models of the FL4 have a black/white ground wire that can be connected to the light board to use the on-board capacitors to provide anti-flicker protection.  It is necessary to cut the negative trace of the keep-alive circuit on the light board as noted for this version to work properly.


Soundtraxx SoundCar Decoder Application Notes

The SBS4DCC light boards can have a Soundtraxx SoundCar Sound Decoder added very easily as well.


The wiring simply follows the NMRA convention.

It is possible, and highly recommended to install a Soundtraxx Current-Keeper keep-alive device directly on the decoder.  When installed in this manner, the Current-Keeper provides keep-alive power to the sound and light circuits of the decoder so the on-board anti-flicker circuit is not needed.

Additional Soundtraxx SoundCar Application Notes

It is also possible to use the on-board anti-flicker circuit to provide keep-alive power to the decoder.  It is important to note that this option is not nearly as effective as using a Soundtraxx Current-Keeper and will most definitely require installation of additional capacitors since the standard value is not sufficient to power a sound decoder and lighting.

The standard 2917 SMD capacitors can be purchased directly from SBS4DCC.  



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