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My Little Railroad Buddy

Team Digital SMC4 Servo Decoder

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I thought I'd written something about these a while back. So here's a kind of mini-review.

I bought a couple of Team Digital SMC4 Servo decoders late last year. The SMC4 has four servo outputs and four slow motion switch machine outputs. The board has several different modes that define how the outputs are used, including using all eight as individual outputs, linking the servo and slow motion outputs, and running the servo outputs as three position semaphore.

The feature that caught me was being able to group the servo and slow motion outputs together. This allows you to drive a relay to switch frog power off of the slow motion outputs. I wired up one SMC4 to run this way.


SMC4 with relay driver board.

I wired up the second SMC4 to drive four servos and four Tortoise motors.


SMC4 with Tortoise Driver Board

I like the boards. The outputs are user friendly. I especially like the plug in wire terminals for the slow motion outputs and power connections. I'm not a big fan of the ten pin to ribbon cable style port used to connect up inputs.

Programming the SMC4 is fairly easy, however, I haven't had much success adjusting the endpoints of the servos.

Both SMC4s run great, but I can't get my relay board to work reliably.

I also suspect the SMC4 may be a big drain on my DCC bus. I don't know how to measure it, but with them connected my locos run slower and the track seems to have less power.

For now, I've unplugged the SMC4's. I can handle the power drain by buying another booster for accessories , but until I can switch the frogs reliably, it's all pointless to me.

I guess my ideal servo driver board would have an independent power supply, Loconet control, and built in frog relays.

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