NixTrainz’s Decoder Buddy allows for super-easy 21 pin decoder installs from vendors such as ESU, SoundTraxx, Digitrax, NCE and TCS.  The 21-pin-friendly board replaces the standard DCC 8-pin loco motherboard and easily allows taking full advantage of all the functions and features of the latest new feature-rich decoders.




Decoder Buddy – Version 5

$17 CAD

The Decoder Buddy V5 was developed for the 12 output decoders and include a couple added features.

This mother board does not include the 21-Pin Decoder.  This mother board requires soldering.

The V5 comes with standard 2.2K resistors onboard.

The mother board includes:

  • One 21 Pin Decoder receptacle
  • Two pairs of track input pads
  • One pair of motor input pads
  • One set of stay alive pads (U+, GND on the V5.  The V5B has the “W” pad for a Power Pack)
  • Two pairs of speaker pads in parallel by side
  • 12 lighting outputs on a separable “small connector board”
  • Lighting outputs A11 and A12 are replicated on the “motherboard”
  • Note: the printed circuit board is not intended for use in a DC system
  • Dimensions: 0.67″ x 2.20″ x 0.35″ (17mm x 56mm x 9mm)
  • Item #DBV5



Decoder Buddy Mini – 1K Ohm Version

$15 CAD

The Decoder Buddy Mini was developed to fit into smaller steam and diesel applications.  There has also been interest in HOn3 and S-Gauge applications.

This mother board does not include the 21 Pin Decoder.  This mother board requires soldering.

The mother board includes:

  • One 21 Pin Decoder receptacle
  • Two pairs of track input pads
  • One pair of motor output pads
  • One set of stay alive pads (U+, GND and if necessary, a third control wire) If using an ESU ‘Power Pack’ we recommend A10 as mentioned below.
  • Two logic outputs to control a Power Pack, smoke unit(s) or servo. The two logic output pads are 5 volt outputs with no resistors and controlled by A10 and A6 as labeled.
  • One pair of speaker pads
  • The correct headlight orientation is shown on the Mini
  • Note: the printed circuit board is not intended for use in a DC system
  • Dimensions: 0.65″ x 1.35″ x 0.35″ (17mm x 35 mm x 9mm)
  • Item # DBM1K


Decoder Buddy Mini – 0K Ohm Version

$15 CAD

The Decoder Buddy Mini was developed to fit into smaller steam and diesel applications.  There has also been interest in HOn3 and S-Gauge applications.

This mother board does not include the 21 Pin Decoder.  This mother board requires soldering.

The mother board includes:

  • One 21 Pin Decoder receptacle
  • Two pairs of track input pads
  • One pair of motor output pads
  • One set of stay alive pads (U+, GND and if necessary, a third control wire) If using an ESU ‘Power Pack’ we recommend A10 as mentioned below.
  • Two logic outputs to control a Power Pack, smoke unit(s) or servo. The two logic output pads are 5 volt outputs with no resistors and controlled by A10 and A6 as labeled.
  • One pair of speaker pads
  • The correct headlight orientation is shown on the Mini
  • Note: the printed circuit board is not intended for use in a DC system
  • Dimensions: 0.65″ x 1.35″ x 0.35″ (17mm x 35 mm x 9mm)
  • Item # DBMoK