I'm thinking about buying a new Broadway Limited Blueline Alco FA/FB (model BLI-5123). Am I correct in understanding that the DC sounds will work even though I am running a Digitrax DCC system on my layout?
The manufacturer recommends the DN143IP decoder (I'm planning to stick with Digitrax) for this unit. Does anyone have any Pros or Cons on this decoder? Will any basic decoder (like the DH 123) work?
Any other recommendations or comments about decoders for this unit, or for this unit itself?
Carter, I have a Blueline SD40-2, and like you, I have a Digitrax DCC system. The DN143IP is also recommended for my SD40-2 and that's what I used.
It's been a while since I had mine open, but I seem to recall that space (in the SD409-2, at least) was sorta limited. I think a DH123P or DH123PS *might* have fit, but I wouldn't guarantee it. All of the DNxxxPS or DZxxxPS decoders should fit with no problem.
My loco also included a small riser that plugged in between the factory sound board and the DN143IP to provide clearance. I don't know if the FA/FB's include it or not, but I suspect they might. The instructions listed which of the recommended decoders required it and which ones didn't.
I haven't had any problems with mine, other than the well-known Blueline programming woes. Carefully read the programming instructions first, several times if necessary, and follow them *exactly* and you should be okay. Using the programming track on my Super Chief, I didn't have to resort to using any sort of programming booster. My suggestion would be to program the Blueline first, lock it, and then install and program the motor/light decoder.
As for DC, do you mean using address "00" on your Digitrax system? I have to wonder how well that would work, if at all, in this case. Remember, it's still square-wave AC even though one side or the other of the waveform is stretched.
But if you are asking if the factory sounds still work after you install the motor decoder, the answer is absolutely yes!