HO BlueLine SD40-2

BlueLine SD40-2

BlueLine SD40-2

Broadway Limited BlueLine SD40-2, Union Pacific 3162

Overview
CV Programming – Digitrax DH163P
Review

Overview

The BlueLine locomotives are really targeted at modelers using DC power who want sound, but they have an 8-pin DCC plug and can be equipped with decoder. I cover how to do that on the DVD.

CV Programming – Digitrax DH163P

Only common CVs or those that were changed from their default values are listed. Since I chose not to keep this locomotive, I left most of the settings at their defaults.

17 (extended address) 204 For locomotives with a 4-digit address, CV 17 and 18 together determine the address. To be honest I never try to set these manually. My Digitrax system does all this automatically for me when I program a 4-digit address.
18 (extended address) 90 see CV17
29 (configuration) 38 The setting of CV29 is complex. See your decoder instructions. Your DCC system may set CV29 for you when programming your locomotive’s address. If you need to modify CV29, it’s best to do it after setting the address.

Review

Locomotive

I have to confess that I am not terribly impressed with this locomotive.  The detail is crude compared to modern Athearn or Kato SD40-2s, it doesn’t run as well, and the sound system is not as good as some others. Having to use a separate decoder for motor control makes programming difficult.  BlueLine locomotives are a little cheaper than their QSI-equipped counterparts from BLI, but when you add in the cost of a motor decoder, plus the hassle of installation and programming, you really aren’t saving anything.

Sound System

I really did not like the factory electronics in this locomotive.  Even on DC, the locomotive was awkward to run.  Like any sound-equipped unit on DC, it takes quite a bit of throttle just to get it going. Beyond that, though, it seemed to respond to throttle commands when it felt like it.  I advanced my DC throttle and the locomotive just sat there.  Eventually it would move.  Stopping was just as difficult to control.

Decoder

The Digitrax DH163-series decoders are overall pretty good, and the locomotive ran better and more predictably on DCC.  Unfortunately, after I’d installed the decoder and ran it for a few days and everything seemed fine, the decoder spontaneously fried.  I’ve never had a Digitrax decoder do that before, so I suspect the BlueLine electronics.  Usually if a decoder fails it does it immediately because something wasn’t connected properly, but in this case it was a simple plug-in install, and I checked it carefully to make sure that all the pins were in the right holes.

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