I had experimented with the Digikeijs DR80015 Function Decoder. It is super small and has front / back / extra function capability. It was a struggle from the start. There was little in the way of instructions and apparently, you must have a load on the track when you program the decoder. The few times I was able to set the CV's for my situation the LED / resistor pairs would not light. I found some articles where some people actually used a locomotive as the load. This of course alters the CV's in the locomotive used. I also tried a had wired can motor as a load and that generated errors. I think the need for a load (motor) on the programming track is a design flaw for this type of decoder. But that is just me.
I could rig a up one of the ultra small bridge rectifiers and some resistor / LED pairs and use track power but I am leery of the amount of heat that the rectifier may generate.
Still looking for some other possible solutions.....
thanks for the reply! I really don't think that programming a decoder should be that much of an effort – it eats away all the fun. The good thing about the Digikeijs chip is the price. This is just a suggestion and I don't speak of first hand experience but maybe you would like to check out the Sound Car decoder of Soundtraxx
Function mapping on page 14
It's more expensive but for a caboose of that quality worth the investment. It would also add sound and lights and your last car creates a bit of a rumble when gliding along. I plan to use these in each train, also in the mid of the train because I love the brake noise coming not only from the locomotive. F11 applies brakes and they get louder the slower the train. You can activate the car by wiping a magnet on a stick over the roof (where you mounted the decoder) and it will start to release the hand brakes. So cool!
You see, I'm totally in love with that concept. My own first sound car, a stock car, is in paint shop now.