Beginner DCC questions

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Flyboy41, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Flyboy41

    Flyboy41 Member

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    I'm buying the Digitrax Zephyr DCC starter set for a small N scale layout I'm building (28" x 80"). My simple questions are.

    1.) Do I need Digitrax decoders or can I use MRC or other brands of decoder?

    2.) How simple is the wiring? Is it as simple as a couple of feeder wires or more complicated?

    I hate wiring for running multiple locos on DC so how much simpler is DCC?
  2. odiaz29

    odiaz29 New Member

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    1) You can use any decoder compatible with DCC (Lenz, Zimo, CT Electronic,......)

    2) If the locomotive is not too older, sure that have a nem socket for the decoder. Plug & play :thumb:. If not, you have to solder 4 wires. 2 to the motor and the other 2 to the loco power (is correct the expression? :confused:)

    Regards from Spain,
    Oscar
  3. woodone

    woodone Member

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    You can use any decoder that you would like. The decoders are compatible with all systems, thanks to the NMRA.
    Just two wires to hook up is all that you need- You need to have buss feeder wires to differant sections on larger layouts. No need to worry about running multiple locos. Just match the speeds for each one, then run them as a consist. One controler will control both locos.
    BTW If you are just starting back into MRR you might want to watch what you buy for locos. Most now,you can get with DCC already installed. More $$ up front, but you will not have to hassel with the decoder install. After you buy a loco without DCC, you will have to buy the decoder and install- More $$ in most cases, than a DCC equipped loco.
    Hope to see some photos of your layout as you get under way. :wave:
  4. Flyboy41

    Flyboy41 Member

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    Thanks for the help. All my N scale locos are decoder ready so I shouldn't have much trouble installing the "plug and play" decoders.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Flyboy,

    The Zephyr connection to the track can be as simple as one wire to "Rail A" and one to "Rail B". Just make sure you don't hook up the progamming outputs to the track - you won't get any movement, and you'll reprogram everything...!

    If your layout expands much, or has a lot of complicated trackage, you might want to run a buss wire (large gauge) under the layout, and drop track feeders (small gauge) every 3 to 6 feet.

    Andrew
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    DCC starts with just 2 wires to the track, then expands. Fortunately, extra wires are all parallel to the first 2. (Except the programming track!)
    While all decoders are supposed to work with all controllers (NMRA standard), the bits you use with controllers come in various shades and you need to keep those all to the same manufacturer (some manufacturers show up in different brands) so that hand held controllers are compatible with the base station.