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11. Remove the decoder and test it on a decoder tester to make sure the decoder is fine.

12. If the decoder is fine, check the loco to make sure the loco is fine before installing the decoder.

Checklist for General Problems

  • 1.

    Clean your layout and the loco’s wheels.

  • 2.

    Check the layout’s wiring.

  • 3.

    Reprogram loco address and other data.

  • 4.

    Reset Cab by unplugging the Cab.

  • 5.

    Reset the base unit by turning the power off.

  • 6.

    Check loco for proper decoder installation.

  • 7.

    Check wiring from Cabs to the base unit and from the base unit to your


  • 8.

    Check for short circuits and/or stray objects lying across track rails.

  • 9.

    Make sure the Link light flashes when you press F2.

Special Trouble Shooting

Base unit power light is on but Cab does not display anything on the LCD display

  • 1.

    Check that the Cab cable is securely plugged into the base unit.

  • 2.

    Replace the Cab cable with a known working cable.

  • 3.

    Try Cab/cable combination in another base unit Cab Jack.

  • 4.

    If using remote plug ports around your layout, check wiring/cables from the base unit to a remote plug port or try moving the Cab/cable combination to a different Cab Jack.

The loco’s headlight turns itself off

When you press 0 to turn on the loco’s headlight, the base unit will send the command to the decoder to turn on the loco’s headlight. The base unit will not continuously send the accessory command to the decoder like the speed command. When the loco hits a dirty track and loses its power, it will reset and lose the accessory command. It will continue running but may be jerky because the base unit continuously sends speed commands. You should clean the track and the loco’s wheel to improve the loco’s pickup.

During operation all locos stop responding Turn base unit power switch off, wait 3 seconds and turn the power back on.

Your loco doesn’t work while other locos work The decoder may have lost its memory. Reprogram loco address.

Your Cab doesn’t work while other Cabs work

Unplug the Cab, wait 3 seconds and plug the Cab in again. If the Cab does not display anything, please check the cable connection as mentioned above.

Make sure each Cab address is unique. Make sure your Cab address is an operational address (1-20). If the Cab still does not work, it may be a defective Cab.

Trouble Shooting 3-2

MRC Prodigy Advance


Getting Started


Thank you for purchasing MRC’s Prodigy Express DCC (Digital Command Control) System. You now own one of the most advanced, easy to use DCC systems available. It comes as a complete system with a Command Station (base unit), power supply and LCD Cab/ Handheld with cable. The MRC Prodigy Express DCC system will enhance the enjoyment of your train layout for many years to come. Here at MRC, we pride ourselves in giving you the most advanced, reliable and easy to use DCC train controls. With up to 9,999 addresses available and use of up to 20 Cabs, you can expand your railroad empire as much as you desire. From a beginner’s 4x8 layout to a massive club layout, the Prodigy Express gives you everything you want.


Although there are Quick-start instructions on the back of the Cab/ Handheld, please read these instructions thoroughly to better understand and enjoy your Prodigy Express DCC system.

DCC Basic Background

A DCC system consists of a DCC Command Station that sends DCC commands to your layout and DCC decoders installed in your locos that receive the DCC commands. Each decoder equipped loco has its own address. Each decoder receives DCC commands but only follows those commands matching its address. No more multiple blocks and no more multiple power packs. With DCC, you can run different locos with different speeds and directions all on the same track. You can also turn on/off the loco’s headlight and activate sounds if your loco is equipped with a sound decoder. Please visit our website at www.modelrectifier.com for more information about other DCC products.

Please read this manual and your decoder manual carefully before installing and operating your DCC system.


The Prodigy Express does not support NON-decoder equipped or analog locos. MRC’s earlier DCC systems do support running analog locos. Howeve , running analog locos will dramatically slow the response time of your DCC system. Therefore, our new Prodigy Express does not support this old feature.


For more information on DCC or Prodigy Express, visit the Resources section of our web site at www.modelrectifier.com or visit the National Model Railroad Association’s website at www.nmra.org.

MRC Prodigy Advance

Getting Started 1-1

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