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Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Gil Finn, Jul 25, 2006.
What is this DCC?
What do I need to make the engine work with it?
Gil, you only need to make it work on dcc if you have dcc on your layout. Dcc stands for "digital command control." For years clubs and owners with large layouts like Tony Koester have used command control to run trains which allowed them to run more prototypically. The problem for years was that there were two manufacturers of command control systems and since there was no standard put out by the NMRA nothing was interchangeable. Also the systems cost was above $1000.00. A few years ago the NMRA came out with a set of standards for digital command control. Essentially the NMRA required all decoders to work with any system. Now the sytems differ that arre on the market, so if you get Digitrax, for instance, everything outside of the locomotive needs to be Digitrax, but any decoder will work. The result is that there are dozens of companies now making command control units and prices have dropped to under $500.00, & perhaps under $100.00 for starter set ups. If you are happy runnoing old school dc, there is no need to convert to dcc. I just looked at your other thread on the three truck shay. If it is equipped with a dcc decoder; and you don't have dcc, no problem. The decoder can tell if there is a dcc signal in the track or not. If it doesn't see a signal in the track, it will default to dc operation.
Russ, I COMMEND YOU, for helping Gil out!:thumb: one note though, i think for those reading this post we should mention, NOT ALL DCC DECODERS ARE DC COMPATIBLE! i am NOT familiar with the Shays decoder, i assume you are:thumb:. i would hate to see someone buy an engine with a decoder that IS NOT DC compatible, and try and run it on DC. today, most ALL sound decoders will run on DCC or DC, they can distinguish between the two:thumb:, but MANY plain DCC decoders CAN NOT. just wanted to make those that didn't know aware of this. -Deano
YOu got me worried now.
I have TMCC on my O ga stuff.
I trust these two engines, Bachman shay and a Climax will run fine.
YOu got me worried now.
I have TMCC on my O ga stuff.
I trust these two engines, Bachman Shay and a Climax will run fine.
The seller stated:
Features include: DCC ready; operating headlight and directional lighting, complete prototype drive train; scale metal driveline; precision sealed can motor with metal motor bearings; seperately applied stack, domes, and cab; seperate detail parts, including bell, whistle, pop valves, cut levers, and handrails; a seperate sanding lines; detailed cab interior; lighted firebox; finescale deadwoods (pilot beams); operating piston rods and valve gears; finescale brake rigging and double truss rods; RP25 wheels with tapered spokes on locomotive and tender; E.Z. Mate Mark II couplers.
Does that mean it will run on regular DC?
I have several of the spectrum series engines that may have that DDC and they run fine.
Thanks a lot. This is a new thing for me.
Gil, cripes, sorry, i DID NOT WANT TO SCARE ANYONE:thumb:. first off, i DID NOT read your other post, as Russ did, so i don't know what was said there. heres the deal, i read this post IN HO SCALE MODEL TRAINS, i have experience with decoders/sound decoders, i read Russ's reply, and thought, hey, if someone didn't KNOW there are different types of decoders out there, and NOT all of them read DCC AND DC, i sure would hate to see someone burn up a decoder thinking ALL decoders read DCC AND DC. AGAIN, i am sorry GIL, didn't mean to scare you. i AM SURE what Russ told you is true for that engine(shay):thumb:. -Deano
Gil I have an article wrote up about DCC. You can view it here. It will explain alot.
Gil, i read your last post, then went to Walther's and looked your engine up. you can sleep well tonight!:thumb: the "KEY" words you wrote are: "DCC READY". Gil my friend, "DCC READY" means=it is ready to put DCC in it, IT DOES NOT HAVE DCC IN IT NOW!!! so your engine right now DOES NOT have a decoder in it. it IS safe to run it on your DC layout.:thumb: -Deano
Deano, I thought being dc/dcc compatible was part of the NMRA standard. Do you know or have a list of decoders that are not dc compatible?
ThANKS FOR ALL THE HELP GUYS.
Russ, i would like to make it clear that a decoder being able to read DCC and DC IS NOT PART OF THE NMRA STANDARD. Russ, you bring up a good question:thumb:, though i do not have a list of both compatible decoders, i will tell you this, most sound decoders sold today DO read DCC and DC. 3 examples are QSI, Digitrax and Loksound, they will run well on ANY system:thumb:. as far as regular decoders, 99% DO NOT READ BOTH DCC and DC! again, i am sorry Russ, but the list would be a mile long. i have sound in ALL my engines, but some of the engines i bought with just a regular decoder(and changed them out to put sound decoders in them), Bachmann, and Atlas's regular decoders for example DO NOT READ BOTH DCC AND DC! i will go a step further, honestly, i have delt with MANY different "regular decoders", and NONE of them can read both systems. HOWEVER, i am sure someone makes decoders that can do this, i just cant think of any. SOUND DECODERS are a different story, like i mentioned, several companies make sound decoders that will read both DCC and DC. hope this helps, -Deano
My understanding was not that they read both dc and dcc, rather that they looked for a dcc signal and if it wasn't there, the decooder just bypassed everything to let it run on dc with a slight bit of noise.
Here's my two cents worth. Some HO scale Bachmann Shay's (if that's what you bought?) were sold with Soundtraxx model LC decoders. The box is marked with orange labels in several places that state, " Use with DCC systems only. Operating with DC will destroy the mechanism". Apparently the LC series is strictly a DCC only compatible decoder.
Russ, WOW, don't trust the guy that told you that, as that IS NOT, how decoders work:thumb:. Russ, please, believe me, i wouldn't steer you wrong, if you had a decoder, and tried that, it would fry the decoder out. most, modern sound decoders wouldn't do that(QSI, DIGITRAX,Loksound), but a regular decoder...would only last about 3 seconds. Russ, i hope i have set you straight:thumb: BTW, Jim is 100% correct! Soundtraxx LC decoders DO NOT read DC. -Deano
Thanks for the info. I was going by info published in the modeling press when dcc first cameout. Obviously the magazine people in the modeling press know about as much about some of this stuff as the magazine people in the automotive press know about cars!
Russ, what you are talking about is a "dual mode decoder." I believe that the Atlas decoders are dual mode, at least some of them. I think your description of how they operate is realistic if not technically detailed. They will route a non-alternating DC signal
to the motor leads. If the decoder is described as "dual mode" then it has this capability.
Also, any loco equipped with the NMRA decoder socket can run on DC by using a jumper plug in the socket in place of the decoder.
Guess I was wrong about the auto-detection.
I've seen these mentioned so much I thought they were a little more prevalent, also, but
apparently only made by Atlas. I also thought I had read they auto-detected, but obviously not. It doesn't seem like too much of a trick for the ciruit designers, I'm a little surprised!