DC test track on DCC

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by 60103, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I don't think I've heard of this before, but...
    Has anyone rigged up a DC test track on a DCC layout using a spare decoder?
    I keep seeing DCC users saying that they couldn't test a DC loco because they don't have a DC power pack.
    So wire a disconnected length of track through a decoder to the power bus. Then you can see how your new loco will run when chipped. (Track will have to be very clean, as will the wheels.)

    OK guys, now shoot me down.
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Most, if not all, DCC systems can run DC locos if the loco # is set to 00. This is useful for several reasons, to run DC locos is of course one of them, but the other is to test a DC loco BEFORE decoder installation, so, if the loco misbehaves, or doesn't work at all after decoder installation, you know there's a DCC gremlin at work.....
  3. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    David, i am sure it probably can be done, but i have never tried it:119: .

    i have my layout, AND my dads layout setup to run DCC or DC with the flip of a toggle switch:winki: , but you CANT run BOTH of them at the same time:119: .

    While i am sure what your saying could probably be done, i have to throw in this, DC power packs are VERY CHEAP, especially if you just want one to test DC engines:winki: . if you hit yard sales, you'll find they are practically giving them away, think about it, even A "CHEAPO" Tyco power pack and a piece of flex track would suffice for a DC test track:winki: .

    OR...you could go the elaborate way, and just throw my cheap easy ideas right out the window:119: .

    just MY thoughts:smilie:

    Gus, On the MRC DCC systems, you CAN NOT run a DC engine on them:frowns: .
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Depending on whether the new loco is DCC ready (which can mean different things sometimes...!), this may or may not work. It sounds like a good way to get around actually installing the decoder to determine performance. But it is not really running a DC loco on DC to see performance. It is more like doing and "external" decoder install on a really long extension cord.

    I support Dean-o's suggestion that a DC power pack and a section of flex track is really quite inexpensive. If you have a "spare" decoder, you've already spent more than it would take to acquire these two items.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I was inspired by someone's post who didn't have a DC pack for testing.
    From what I've seen, running as loco 00 on a DCC system does not give you a good idea of how the loco wold run on pure DC or after chipping.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I think that the decoder actually runs on non-sinusoidal AC, not DC (ducking) and you must have a DCC power supply to feed the bus. I think.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I've run about 5 or 6 locos that I've installed decoders on the DC "version" of my DCC system. They have all run pretty similar to what you'd expect from running them on DC, although the response to the throttle was somewhat slower than if I was running them on DC. Other than that, the only difference is the "whining" sound the motor makes. Since, for me, the main purpose of having the DC option is to test locos before I mess with them, I'd rather spend the $$'s on a decoder that will be installed in a loco for good....
  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I think it will work, and I think it's a great idea, wish someone would try it!

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