Trains4Africa
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Explanation of Decoder Terms

Scale
The Size of the locomotive the decoder is designed for, HO, Z, N, O/G/S.

Mfg
Name of the manufacture for the specific Decoder, Tony’s, Digitrax, North Coast Eng, Lenz, TCS, Zimo.

Model Name (PnP Loco)
The manufacture’s identification for the decoder. The parenthesis indicate Plug and Play locomotive application, see below.

Wired
Indicates wires from the decoder to be soldered to motor contacts, pick-up and lites.

JST Header
A small female straight 9 pin micro connector mounted to the decoder circuit board. This connector accepts various wire harnesses that have the JST male connector like the Digitrax DHWHP.

Internal Plug
Indicates the decoder has an 8 pin NMRA plug mounted directly on the board.

NMRA Plug
Indicates the decoder has NMRA plug either on the board itself or at the end of the wire harness.

PnP (Plug and Play)
Indicates the decoder can be installed by simple plug-in play steps.

Max Motor Current
Indicates the maximum motor amperage allowed for safe operation of the decoders. Range is from .5 Amps to 5+ Amps! The industry does not provide a standard for measuring max motor current and practices differ according to mfg.

Peak Motor Current
Indicates the maximum motor peak draw amperage before the decoder is “smoked”. Range is from is from .75 Amps to 5+ Amps! The industry does not provide a standard for peak max motor current and practices differ according to mfg.

#Functions
Indicates the number of user programmable functions for the decoder. Functions can be used to operate smoke units, lights, and other on/off devices. Range is from 2 to 12 different functions.

Special FX
Indicates the number of special effects functions that can be programmed into the decoder. These features include, but are not limited to, ditch lites, mars lites, beacon lites and other flashy/prototypical features.

Standard Motor Drive (P)
Indicates the decoder is capable of powering a locomotive comparable to DC performance. Precision glide, (P), indicates smooth low speed performance.

Silent
Indicates the decoder is capable of running the locomotive’s motor without the low speed hum associated with typical decoders.

Back EMF
Also known as Load Compensated & Speed Stabilization, Indicates the decoder is capable of running at a constant speed regardless of load. Provides great performance with constant speed on grades or hills and creates superior low speed control.

Length, Width, and Height
Provides the physical dimensions of the decoder in fractions of inches. Please note Zimo decoders are listed in millimeters. Range is from .1″ to 2.5″

Factory Reset
Indicates the decoder has the capability of being returned to the programmed condition it was in upon leaving the factory.

NMRA Compliant
Indicates the decoder’s mfg has made every attempt to insure the decoder meets all applicable DCC standards. Does not imply NMRA conforming.

NMRA Conformance
This decoder was submitted to the NMRA C&I Testing and has received an NMRA Conformance Warrant, indicating that the product completely adheres to all NMRA DCC Standards and applicable Recommended Practices.

Manufacturer warranty

The Guarantee from the Manufacturer that goods will perform as designed and/or advertised.

Typically Manufacturers offer a 12 month warranty.