HO Scale MLW RS-18 Support

HO Scale MLW RS-18 Support

Motor Issues on DCC Models

We have been having some motor failures in DCC RS-18 locomotives. After doing extensive testing with ESU, we have found the following CV changes will reduce the likelihood of a failure by as much as 90%.

  • CV 51 - set to a value of 20
  • CV 52 - set to a value of 5
  • CV 54 - set to a value of 25

If you have never done this before, please refer to your command station's instructions on how to change CV values. If you have an RS-11 on order, you don't have to do anything. These values will already be programmed into your locomotive.

If your locomotive has been running a long time without a break (such as at a show) and starts to behave erratically, we suggest you let it rest and cool down. This will often solve the running issue.

If your locomotive has any problems not solved by these CV changes, please contact us to arrange a repair.

Video showing CV fix on an NCE PowerCab™

Issues with Green Class Lights

At the time the RS-18 manual was printed, the intention was to have working, multiple-colour classification lights installed. However, due to unforseen technical issue that could not be rectified in a timely manner, it was decided to revert to only having white class lights in order to not further delay the project and eventual shipment to customers.

Driving Direction for DCC Models

The default forward direction on all RS-18 models is short-hood forward. This is correct for CP units and the CN Tempo units. Other CN units should travel with the long-hood forward.

To change the forward direction of the locomotive to the long hood, program CV29 to 15. Please note: once you change the value of CV29 to 15, you can still run your RS-18 on a DC layout - however, it will run in the opposite direction of everything else on the layout, making a cornfield meet inevitable. So if you plan to run your DCC RS-18 on a DC layout, we suggest you leave the decoder programming as-is.

Important DC Advisory

Do NOT use cheaper "train-set"-type controllers with any of your Rapido locomotives. Several models of controller are notorious for voltage spikes and they WILL destroy your locomotive. There is no “if” about it. We will try to help you if we have the parts, but we are not responsible for locomotive damage due to voltage spikes in your power supply. As well, we will not repair any Rapido locomotive damaged by any "train-set"-type DC controller unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will likely reoccur. “Train-set”-type DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives.

General Problems and Inquiries

If your model arrives with damage or there is any other issue, the best thing to do is to call our support team. They take care of all of our warranty repairs and they are all swell guys. The toll-free number is 1-855-LRC-6917 (1-855-572-6917) (outside North America, + 1 905-474-3314 or 905-474-3324).

Function Issues on Digitrax Systems

If you operate with a Digitrax DCC system and your DCC loco does not seem to be responding as it should, please try the fix described below before contacting us. It may save you some time and aggravation!

Apparently, some Digitrax systems store the address of every single loco that they've ever used on them, and regardless of whether the loco was dispatched or not. Once this memory fills up, any new locos that attempt to be used by that system exhibit very unusual behavior including non-working functions and odd responses.

The solution to this is easy. All you need to do is clear the memory in your system. This is done by clearing slot #36, see the instructions below. Once you've done this, you'll likely find that your loco operates exactly as you expected it should.

General Instructions for Closing Command Station Option Switches (for specific instructions for your command station and throttle, see the instruction manual for your equipment):

  • On the command station, set the MODE toggle switch to the OP (center) position.
  • Using your throttle go into Switch Mode
  • Enter the Option Switch number you wish to change (in this case 36).
  • Press the “c” key on the throttle.
  • You will hear a beep.
  • On the command station move the MODE toggle down to SLEEP then back up to RUN.
  • Using your throttle, turn Track Status back on.

For more information, see this page from Digitrax’s web site.

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