After a long production wait I recently became the proud owner of four DCC-Concepts ADS-4sx turnout decoders. I'm connecting them now to my already wired layout and have run into what seems to be a strange problem. Until recently my layout used a now-deceased Uhlenbrock IB-1 command station and a Raspberry Pi3 running Ubuntu and JMRI 4.14.

That setup had performed reasonably well in the past using older Uhlenbrock MD2 magnetic turnout decoders, but because they weren't sufficiently powerful to fully throw the points I decided to replace them with the new, more powerful DCC-Concepts decoders, and I recently replaced the dead IB-1 with an as-new Fleischmann Twin-Center command station (which is a rebadged clone of the IB-1).

So, in connecting up the first turnout (T1) to the first board of the ADS-4sx decoder, I get this strange effect. I set turnout 1 (T1) to turnout switch 1 (S1) of the decoder with nothing else connected and as expected, switching S1 at the command center throws T1. This state change from closed to thrown is also shown in the JMRI turnout table, and by clicking the mouse on S1 in the table or on the layout diagram, T1 is switched back to closed. So far, so good !

I then connected T2, to the second decoder block in the ADS and programmed S2 to switch T2. But when I hit S2 in the command station, nothing happens at T2, but the JMRI table shows T2 as now thrown, and clicking on S2 at the turnout table doesn't change anything. However, when I hit S1 again, both T1 and T2 are thrown ! Not expected as the turnouts are correctly/separately wired.

Furthermore if I wire in T3 and T4, hitting S3 and S4 at the command station or in JMRI does nothing, but hitting S1 in either throws all four points at once.

I'm pretty sure this is not a JMRI problem, and it seems unlikely to be an ADS-4sx problem, but it seems most likely to be an issue with the turnout decoder signals coming from the command station. Loco operation and decoder programming works fine. I'm thinking it might be some setting (special option?) in the Uhlenbrock/Fleischmann box.

Is there anyone familiar with this effect from the ADS decoders ?  If not can suggest how I go about resolving it. Thanks.

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Hi Graham,
It seems as though you haven't addressed each individual channel of the ADS units.
They will all operate as #1 because that is the default address from new.
They do not automatically address - you will have to do this via the SET/RUN switch as per the instructions.
Flick the switch (at the side of the terminal block) to SET.
Send the change command from your system for the point number you want it to be.
(This is carried out in your normal system running mode and not from any programming mode)
Flick the switch back to RUN and that channel should now obey the new command/address.
DCCConcepts Tech/Customer support
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Hi Mick. Long time no talk to. Thanks for your reply but using the set/run switch for each decoder board is exactly what I have by doing for each individual turnout. It’s early morning here in Melbourne but I’m hoping that I answered my own question when I mentioned checking the special options in the command station. Hopefully I’ll have some time to do that before you wake on Monday. 

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Hi Mick
I decided to get up and do something rather than lying awake and thinking about it, so I looked at the setting for the command station Special Option 12 (SO12) which is about turnout protocols. It has a range of settings 0..8, where the factory default is 0 for Motorola protocol and 1 is for DCC protocol. So I tried to change it to 0 but the box returned a ? rather than changing to 0* (the * indicating the current setting). So I then tried every option up to 8, all of which returned a 1*, 2*, etc but none of them changed the behaviour of the turnouts or the sx4.

I think the clue may be in your earlier response though, because all the four boards of the sx4 seem to be firing the default #1 when the S1 button is pressed on the command station or via JMRI even though they have been correctly individually set/run for each of the turnouts/switches, but pressing any other buttons do not affect any turnout or change any state. What is strange is that hitting the S1 button on the controller shows the state of T1 changing from closed to thrown, but hitting S2..S4 does not show any change of state on the controller for any turnout, but does in JMRI, even though T2..T4 do not throw.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Anyway... off to work on a brilliant Autumn morning in Aus !!

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Hello Graham.

It is clear from this second reply that you have still not actually set the decoder. You are making assumptions and looking for issues that do not exist.

It is NOT to do with anything other than needing to follow our instructions. Your Uhlenbrock can not set it as a programming command of any type.

* Please re-read Micks post.
* Please read the instructions supplied with the ADS and use those instructions to set it.

As will become clear, every address on an ADS decoder is individual.  When in Set mode, each indicivual channel will listen for a "throw" command only. It will then adopt that number as its own.
* Set the switch on output 1 and set it to whatever address you want by sending a change command, then return the switch to run
* Set the switch on output 2 and set it to whatever address you want by sending a change command, then return the switch to run
* etc
* etc

All of this has nothing to do with the Uhlenbrock controllers protocols OR how the controller sets other brands of decoder. And... you cannot use JMRI other than to change the turnout or to "set the addres" when the ADS is in set mode by sending a throw command.

I will ask Mick to keep an eye here - alternately email him via

regards, Ahjay
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Hi Mick, Ahjay et al

After all your help over the past few months, I thought it only fair to report how things are going with the four new ADS-4xs's that you sent to me in early May.  In short, they are superb !!

After all the hassle I had in replacing my broken Uhlenbrock-Intellibox IB1 command station, first with a new Fleischmann TwinCenter, then with a new Uhlenbrock-Intellibox Basic (both of which were updated, but slightly "crippled" versions of the IB1, but both of which I was able to get a full refund on), I finally bit the bullet and spent a bit more AUD on a new Intellibox IB2.  This command station is an absolute beauty, featuring a neat LED screen which can display way more (including symbols, images, etc) than the text only single-line screen of the other boxes.  One of the biggest problems I'd had though, with the two replacement boxes, was that I was unable to program the 4sx's with either of them, even after weeks of trying different CV's and special options etc.

But the big plus was that the IB2 contained - out of the box (or at least on the enclosed CD) all the drivers required to get my RPi talking to the track via JMRI and also to correctly program all the 4 x 4sx's and the 22 turnouts that they collectively control.  This includes 2 x Mainline passing section paired turnouts, 3 x single Cross-over paired turnouts and 1 x double Cross-over (here 4 turnouts thrown by a single "channel" of the decoder !

I had originally ditched Uhlenbrock PS2 "twin-point decoders" for DCC Concepts ADS decoders because they are so powerful and were able to throw even the stiffest of my older points.

I love the design of the new ADS's too and am so pleased about the push-button/Blue LED arrangement for draining power from the capacitors before making any wiring changes - which helped me to confirm that all the wiring I did more than 2 years ago was without fault.  These decoders - just work !!

Thanks guys for bringing the fun back.



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