Frequently Asked Questions
General Locomotive FAQ Section:
Paragon2, Paragon3, and Paragon4 locomotives are reset by pressing the reset button located on the end of the electronics board. On steam locomotives this is inside the tender.Click here for an image of the button (Paragon2 decoder shown, but Paragon3 and Paragon4 has the same reset button and procedure).
Broadway Limited Paragon Series and Paragon2/Paragon3/Paragon4 Series models can be operated in DC or DCC straight out-of-the-box without making any changes. To operate in DC, place your model on the track and turn the voltage up. The sound will come on around 5 volts for Paragon2 models, 8 volts for Paragon3, and 9~10 volts for Paragon4. The model should move out around 9 volts for Paragon2 models, 11 volts for Paragon3, and 12 volts for Paragon4. To operate in DCC, place your new model on the track and select loco 3 on your DCC controller. The default address of ALL BLI models is 3. If you change your address accidentally, you can always perform a manual reset and your model will revert to loco address 3.
Broadway Limited BlueLine Series models can be operated in DC straight out-of-the-box. Place the model on the track and turn up the voltage. Note: the start-up sequence must be complete before the model will move in DC. To operate your BlueLine model in DCC, you must install a DCC motor decoder. The sounds will work on a BlueLine model as soon as you put it on the track. However, the BlueLine Series models do not have a motor decoder. After you plug your motor decoder of choice into the 8-pin socket on the circuit board, your model will be ready to operate on default address 3.
Most likely, the tether cable between the locomotive and tender is not securely connected. Check the orientation of the pins and push the cable in firmly. Use some small tool if necessary. Be careful not to damage any wires when pressing the tether cable in. Another possibility is that there is something programmed into CV19 other than a value of zero. Try a hardware reset, or try setting CV19=0 on the program track in Paged Mode and/or Direct Mode and then move back to the mainline and test.
Yes. You should apply plastic compatible oil to specific points on the model when you hear squeaking. For steam engines, you should apply oil to all side-rod joints and axle ends when you hear squeaking. For diesel locomotives, you should apply Conducta-Lube to the axle ends between the wheel and the plastic truck. This will eliminate squeaking at the point where the axle meets the metal pick-up bar in the truck.
It may occasionally be necessary to apply grease to the gear tower of both steam and diesel models, especially if you use your models a lot over a long period of time. If you need to do this, follow the instructions in your manual or contact our customer service department at 386-673-8900, or by filling out the online form at Contact Technical Support.
Perform a manual reset. The software in your model could be temporarily not performing correctly. The manual reset procedure for every model is in the manual, and also later in these FAQs. If you are experiencing a problem with your model, performing a reset is always the first step. DCC users please note: this reset will change your model's address to 03.
For QSI-equipped models (Paragon Series, Hybrid Series NH I-5, UP TTT, NYC Mohawk): Quantum Engineer, Sidekick, or Directional switch on power pack
For BlueLine, Precision Craft Models, and Paragon2 Series: DCMaster (http://www.broadway-limited.com/bli-1011dcmasteranalogcontrolmodule.aspx)
NOTE: The DCMaster and Quantum Engineer can be wired in series between your power supply and the track so that both can be used at any time. Click here for a helpful wiring diagram if you have any questions or concerns regarding the installation of the two controllers.
Yes, parts are available from Broadway Limited. You can reach our parts department at: bliservice.com. If you must contact us by phone, you can call: (386) 673-8900 Tuesday - Friday between 1 and 4 PM EST.
One of the tender trucks has been rotated 180 degrees. You will have to experiment to find which one. Gently rotate one 180 degrees and replace on track to test.
Both tender trucks have been rotated 180 degrees. Gently rotate both tender trucks 180 degrees, being careful not to damage the pick-up wires running down to the truck.
Paragon2/Paragon3/Paragon4 Series FAQ Section:
There are two ways to reset the Paragon2 locomotives.
1. Using your programming track, reset CV8 to 8. You will hear the coupler crash sound as confirmation the reset was successful.
2. Locate the manual reset button on the main circuit board. Place the model on unpowered track. Press and hold the button. While holding the button, apply power to the track. After you hear confirmation that the reset was successful, you can release the button and re-assemble your model. Loco address is now 03.
Yes. Each of the Paragon2/Paragon3/Paragon4 System's 28 functions can be made to work on any of your controller's function buttons. Instructions for this are located in your Operator's Manual.
There is likely no serious problem with the smoke unit. Here are four common issues to check with your smoke unit.
1. Too much or too little smoke fluid was added. You should add 3-4 drops of smoke fluid. If you added more than that, you should runt he unit at high speed for several minutes to burn off excess oil.
2. Make sure the slide switch under the front smoke box cover is in the ON position. The switch is located beneath the cab on the underside of the chassis on some models.
3. Make sure the F7 function is active on your DCC control system. It is possible to accidentally toggle F7 to OFF when you are operating your model.
4. There could be an air bubble clogging the smoke fluid reservoir. Gently blow into the smoke stack of the model - this will clear the bubble.
No, please follow the instructions in the Operator's Manual of your DCC control system.
Yes, Broadway Limited goes to great lengths to obtain actual recordings of the real locomotives. The sounds in each model are accurate and authentic.
In DCC, pressing F7 will turn the smoke unit ON and OFF. In DC, use the DCMaster and set CV222 to 21. This makes the smoke controllable by the AUX button on your DCMaster. Next, set CV246 equal to 0. This causes the smoke to be OFF at power-up.
Or, if you prefer, each steam engine has a ON/OFF power switch. This is normally located under the cab, and sometimes behind the front removable smokebox cover. On some models, this cover is difficult to remove and you may prefer one of the methods listed above.
BlueLine Series FAQ Section:
Yes, the BlueLine Series models are designed to run on DC track out-of-the-box, and to run on DCC after the installation of a DCC motor decoder. A BlueLine model has a DCC Sound system. The sound system is a dual-mode DCC decoder. The default address of the sound system is 03. When you purchase a BlueLine model, it does not have a DCC motor control system. The model will only move in DC. If you want to use your BlueLine model on DCC, simply plug a DCC motor decoder into the NMRA standard socket on the main circuit board. Please remember, this means your model now has two decoders. Make sure both decoders are programmed to the same address at all times.
Remember: your model already has a DCC sound system. You do not need to install a sound decoder. You can use any NMRA standard, medium sized DCC motor control decoder. There is a chart in your manual with recommended decoders from each manufacturer. We suggest N or Z scale decoders simply because they are physically smaller and are easier to fit into small diesel locomotives.
NOTE: For articulated steam locomotives, we suggest you use a decoder with a continuous duty rating of at least 1.5 amps.
The BlueLine Sound decoder in the model and your installed motor decoder are set to two different DCC addresses. To avoid this situation, we recommend you program BlueLine models on the main track, in OPS Mode Programming. This way, you always set the addresses of both decoders at the same time. If your DCC system does not allow OPS Mode programming on the main line (Lenz), we recommend Direct Mode programming on a Program Track.
After programming to a new address, if you get sound but no movement, this means your Blueline Sound decoder is set to the new address but the motor decoder is set to some other address, probably 3. All you need to do is leave your model on the main track and select loco 03. You should be able to run the model. Use OPS MODE programming to change the address of the motor decoder so that it matches the address of the BlueLine sound decoder.
After programming to a new address, if you can run the engine but have no sound, the address of your motor decoder has been changed to the new address, but your BlueLine sound decoder is still set to 03. In this situation, leave the model on the main track. Address it as engine 3. Turn the throttle to start the sounds. You should be able to blow the whistle. Now use Ops mode programming to set engine 3 to the new address.
If the above solutions do not work, follow the instructions in the BlueLine manual for resetting the BlueLine sound decoder and the motor decoder to their factory settings.
Only Digitrax DCC Systems in PAGE Mode allow a user to read back CV's from a BlueLine sound decoder.
The DCC decoder is plugged into the socket backwards. Please see your BlueLine Operator's manual for instructions on orienting your DCC Motor Decoder properly.
Click here to view an online version of the BlueLine Operator's manual. Beginning on page 20, there are step-by-step instructions for changing the DCC address with several of the most popular DCC control systems.
To reset the BlueLine Sound decoder to factory defaults, set CV8 to 8 using Ops Mode programming on the main line, or Direct Mode programming on a separate programming track.
You will also need to reset your DCC motor decoder. Most use CV8 to 8 as a reset. Review the manuals that came with your decoders for reset procedures.
For the issue of range, the receiver can pick up a locomotive from much farther than even 15 feet - it just needs some CV setting adjustments.
The first thing to try would be to reset your receiver (unplug the power cord, hold down the button on the front, and then plug in the power cord while holding the button).
The next step is to increase the transmit strength of the locomotive.
Set CV213 to a value of 128 in the locomotive's decoder.
After that, use the track power cord that came with the receiver to connect it to track power instead of wall power.
Press the program button on the receiver. The light will start flashing.
Program in Ops Mode, on the mainline as engine #1.
Set CV143 to 1
Set CV141 to 40
Set CV136 to 50
Set CV135 to 60
Press the program button again when finished. The light will stop flashing.
This should make the receiver very sensitive.
CV143 is the upper scan channel.
If CV142=1 (lower scan channel) and CV143=1 (upper scan channel), the receiver will only look for and lock onto channel 1 instead of scanning. This helps if the signal strength is weak.
CV141 is the minimum signal strength to lock onto. The default is 121, so 40 is pretty low.
Setting lower than 40 can cause it to lock onto background noise.
CV135 is the signal strength above which the bass sound fades in.
CV136 is the signal strength below which the bass sound starts to fade out. It must be lower than CV135.
As a last resort, program the receiver and set CV132 (minimum bass volume) to 60, and try setting CV141 to a value lower than 40.
This should get the range pretty wide to where the loco never fades out.
Yes you can!
Just be aware that if you are running more than one Paragon3/Paragon4 locomotive on the rails at the same time then you will need to have CV212 set to a different value for each locomotive (the receiver will scan channels 1-4 over and over again by default until a valid channel comes within range). A valid channel would be any locomotive with CV212 equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4. Two locomotives on the rails at the same time with the same value programmed into CV212 will interfere with each other.
It is possible to have two receivers feed one sub woofer using a "Y" cable: Click here for purchase
Plug one end of that cable into your sub woofer, each of the other ends to a receiver, and then set one of your receiver's lower and upper scan channels to the same value (CV142=1 and CV143=1 for example).
Next set your other receiver's lower and upper scan channels to a value that is different than the first receiver (CV142=2 and CV143=2 for example).
Finally, set CV212=1 in one locomotive's decoder, and CV212=2 in another locomotive's decoder, and this way you will have one receiver dedicated to each locomotive, and they will both play through the same subwoofer.
Be aware that if you send too many locos through the sub simultaneously (you could theoretically send 16 receivers through one sub all at the same time if you wanted to by utilizing a mini mixer), eventually it just starts to sound "garbled" because there is only one speaker cone trying to produce sound from several different sources all at the same time.
Not simultaneously, but you can have the receiver lock onto multiple locomotives one at a time as they come in and out of range with a proper set up.
The receiver can only lock on to one locomotive at a time.
Be aware that if you are running more than one Paragon3/Paragon4 on the rails at the same time, then you will need to have CV212 set to a different value in each locomotive's decoder.
The receiver will scan channels 1-4 over and over again by default until a valid channel comes within range. If the receiver is left set to its default values for the lower and upper scan channels, then a valid channel would be any locomotive with CV212 equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4. Two locomotives on the rails at the same time with the same value programmed into CV212 will interfere with each other.
The receiver will lock onto and play the sub sounds of the first loco that is in range. ONLY that loco will be heard through the sub woofer until it is out of range or is powered off. At that point, the next loco with a valid transmit ID channel (1-4 in this scenario) will be picked up by the receiver.
All of our Paragon3/Paragon4 models will work with a Rolling Thunder setup right out of the box (HO and N scale).
The receivers (the little box that receives the audio from the model and sends it to the sub woofer) are identical regardless of scale, and the difference is in the size of the sub woofers.
An N scale model will work with an HO scale set up and vice versa, but the models' audio is mixed and created using the appropriate scaled sub woofer so the quality of the audio will be better (and scaled for your layout) if you use the N scale system with N scale and the HO scale system with HO.