Please forgive that this post relates to a non Japanese engine. Our layout used to be nonspecific before we decided to go Japanese. We still run all our engines.
I recently had a problem with a GS-4 (Morning Daylight) engine. My son managed to get the wheels out of alignment. The wheels were FUBAR and I had to replace them. That was difficult but fun. But I had it slightly wrong at first and fried the decoder.
So that makes two decoders fried. I tested the motor in DC. It works and the wheels are turning perfectly again. I'd like to make sure this doesn't happen again. So I have a few questions.
1. It seems like the EM13 fries very easily. It's a super simple install, but is there another decoder that would work in this engine that would be more fry resistant?
2. Is there any way to test a DCC decoder to see if it's working, other than installing it and trying it in an engine. I don't know for a fact that the second decoder was fried or if it was a dud. I'm assuming I fried it, but it didn't make the same godawful burning diode smell like the first one. Also, I turned off the system within a millisecond of seeing that the wheels weren't turning. So who knows. In future I'd like to know for sure.
I'm planning on checking mechanical problems first in DC in future. I could've bought something nice for the price of this mistake.