Hints & Tips

This section is for information and help only, and DJModels do not guarantee that your model will work better than it already does by using info within this section. Caution is always advised when trying any of these.


DJM do not recommend any controller that uses feedback, half wave etc for DJM manufactured models.
This is because feedback / half wave etc will possibly damage electronics within the locomotive.

Older controllers can have electronic faults within them that in the short term are not noticeable, especially when using them with older locomotives and track, but will not readily manifest themselves with new items immediately.
Older controllers, or cheap new ones ‘could’ send out electrical ‘spikes’ that will damage your locomotive. Some spikes have been measured at over 22V on a supposedly 12V output controller. you can, with a little searching find out what controllers are suspect.

Always try and source a controller that is specified for the gauge you are modelling, for peace of mind. Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on controllers too, which in my opinion is a terrific option to consider when renewing.

Electronic Track Cleaners

Electronic track cleaners are not recommended at all. Basically they do not clean the track, and will damage your locomotives, wheels and electronics over time. Again a simple internet search will throw up comments explaining why.

DCC use

‘You get what you pay for’ is a very true adage with DCC equipment, especially with the proliferation in cheaper decoders recently. Your choice of decoder will possibly have an effect on functions you have available and the alterations you can make to even out coreless motor performance to what you might expect.
Turning down or even off the ‘Back EMF’ CV on your decoder will smooth a coreless motors performance considerably and well worth doing. If in doubt, contact your decoder supplier or manufacturer for clarity.

If you have ordered from a stockist who sells you a DCC fitted or DCC sound fitted locomotive, then please note this is no longer a DJM warranted product and as such DJM will not warranty the model for repair should a fault occur.

DJM will be training 1 or 2 DCC company’s in the future to allow them to become fully approved DJM decoder and sound fitted specialists. These will be noted, when the ‘approved DCC fitting stockist’ project starts both on this website and within the instructions that will come with every locomotive DJM supply from that moment on.

Please remember that some decoders are ‘badge engineered’ and might be well known decoders under a different name.
Always check before you buy.

Never run a DC (non DCC decoder fitted) locomotive on DCC even under the much vaunted ‘0’ setting, as it will more than likely cause damage to your model and void your warranty.


Oiling your locomotive before running in is an important part of making sure your new model is ready to test and subsequently have hours of pleasure running on your layout.
However, despite instructions within the models box to do so, i currently have 85%+ of all locomotives returned to stockists, are bone dry! No lubrication on gears, or slide bars or connecting rod pins at all. When they are received back from the stockists it is easy to see that the loco hasn’t been oiled, and this is then done at DJM, test run for 10 minutes each way on a rolling road and almost each one goes back to the stockist as ‘fit for duty’
Please read the instructions and note that oiling is very important to not only bed in the model for superb running, but also to help reduce mechanism noise.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

Keeping your track clean, wheels clean and general housekeeping with your model will keep it running in perfect order for longer. Wheels are coated in chemical blackening before they are assembled and it never hurts to make sure the tread hasn’t picked up any track crud/dirt through running which will possibly cause electrical breaks in pick up and power transfer to the motor.
A small dab of oil between the axle and the split frame will also not go amiss in case of dirt or blackening acting as an electrical barrier on the axles.

Stock Box

It can be frustrating having to take your locomotive off the track and put it into its box, which is why i personally use a bespoke stock box for my models which allows me to simply put them into slots in foam trays and close the lid. This is great because then it’s a dust free environment that helps preserve and protect your engines (whatever make).