We study the dynamical properties of the RZ-DPSK encoded sequences, focusing on the instabilities in the soliton train leading to the distortions of the information transmitted. The problem is reformulated within the framework of complex Toda chain model which allows one to carry out the simplified description of the optical soliton dynamics. We elucidate how the bit composition of the pattern affects the initial (linear) stage of the train dynamics and explain the general mechanisms of the appearance of unstable collective soliton modes. Then we discuss the nonlinear regime using asymptotic properties of the pulse stream at large propagation distances and analyze the dynamical behavior of the train classifying different scenarios for the pattern instabilities. Both approaches are based on the machinery of Hermitian and non-Hermitian lattice analysis.