DCC and DC

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Scoobie, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Hello, My & son and I started model trains about a month ago. We really enjoy it. I have a question for you experienced people. Can you run a DCC Locomotive on a DC track.
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Scoobie, If you are talking about a loco you will buy with a decoder in it already, all i know of will run on DC. If you are going to install your own decoder, the only ones I know of which will not operate on DC are all the Soundtraxx prior to and not including the Tsunami. There may be others I don't know about, you should post which particular one you are looking at.
  3. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Hey Gary, thanks for replying. I was looking at a Bachmann Loco. I might switch to DCC here in the future, so I was thinking of buying Loco with decoder already installed. I wasn't sure if the DC would hurt it or not ( I'm new at this model train stuff ).
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge in addition to Gray's post its my understanding that the new Bachmann's are are DC/DCC ready
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    any one of the higher end decoder equppied locomotives will run on gobth DC and DCC. I am not familiar with the bachmann model, but i doubt it could, or atleast not well, as the bachmann stuff is made as fancy "toys".


    by toys i meant the standard line. Spectrum is alot better. i just realized i left that out...
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    When I called BAchmann Parts Dept the other day to see if I could get replacement bushings for the worm shaft on my Spectrum 2-8-0 the lady asked me if it was one of the new ones. I told her I didn't know and what was the difference? She said that the new ones are coming out DCC ready. So, yeah, it sounds like they are coming out DCC ready. I didn't ask the lady if they were switchable to DC.

    I asked her if the drive mechanism had changed also, but she couldn't give me an answer. She could sell the motor assembly, which is what I ended up buying, although I didn't need the whole assembly, just the bushings.

    When the package arrived not only did I get the motor assembly, but the whole frame assembly, which is pretty much half of the loco. It was only $15, so I'm not complaining, but it just seems that they would offer a bushing replacement kit. Heck, I would have paid $15 for just the two bushings. Makes one wonder how much it costs those asians to make these things.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Welcome to The Gauge! (Nice avatar by the way - those streamlined locos are beauties...;) :D)

    You can always choose a loco without a decoder and install one later. As Gary noted, most non-sound decoders can be set to run on DC. But if you are starting out, why not go DCC from the beginning? I have a Digitrax Zephyr which is relatively inexpensive, but can be expanded as your empire grows ;) DCC makes it easy to run multiple trains on a smaller layout (as most starters tend to be - although I am making an assumption here).

    Hope that helps.

  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Scoobie,
    According to a feller on the Bachmann forum, the Bachmann decoders are
    dual mode, i.e., will run on either a DC or a DCC layout. :thumb:
    So, if you buy a Bachmann DCC equipped loco, you should be good to go!
    Also, any loco with an NMRA decoder socket can be run on DC by using a DC jumper plug
    in the socket in place of the decoder.
  9. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    Every Bachmann Locomotive I have bought that is DCC equiped has been run on my DC test tracks. When you apply a standard (DC) power source to the track, they all operate as DC locos, the same as any other locomotive. At the last train show I attended, the club members operating their modular layouts said the members were taking Spectrum locos and putting the superstructures on new Bachmann DCC equipped frames straight from the box, and they performed on DC layouts quieter and better than the original Spectrum setups. That's not bad, to convert your Spectrum GP, SD, F-unit, 44-tonner, or whatever to DCC for $30 and get better (DC) performance too boot.
  10. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Hey, thanks to all for answering my question. My son & I picked up a Bachmann EMD GP 40 Conrail Loco today he loves it ( we love it ). Now I have to sneak a digitrax zephyr passed Mom. Any expert advice on doing that HAHA. Thanks for the advice on the Zephyr also. I think I'm addicted to model trains.
  11. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    You shouldn't try to sneak new equipment in to the house, you'll nearly always get caught!

    Instead, what you do is you buy her a little present and then announce that you got what ever you bought for yourself, which just happened to be in the window of the shop next door, but you only just noticed it on the way back to the car..:D
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Oh i'm even better. I've often gotten things months ago, and they only ask now "when did you get that?"
  13. David Leone

    David Leone New Member

    Many new decoders will sense DC, including Tsunami.

    I've been sneaking stuff in under my wife's nose for years. A good soft briefcase can hold an entire passenger consist. The only time I got caught was with a new PCM Reading T1. It blew a mother board and PCM put a Visa hold on until they got my old one back ( they sent a new one out the same day!). I had to explain a $400 credit card charge.

    Save the BS for when it really counts, and remove all price tags.

    Good Lucksign1
  14. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

    Thanks to all

    Thanks for all the advice. It's really helping me get started. We're going to put the track on the board next weekend & start some moutains & other stuff when time permitts. As for getting stuff past the wife, I have my hands full. We all know they ( the wives ) have a crazy sense of knowing all:cry:
    Thank again! :thumb:
  15. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    I hope this has cleared up the this "Bachmann = Toys" issue. Why can't people just stick to what they know instead of speculating (incorrectly too, as shown by comments later in this thread) on what they have no experience in? At $80-$100 just for a Consolidation, DCC ready, I find it hard to characterize as "toys". Athearn Blue Box locos cost less and are not DCC ready, does that make them "toys"?

  16. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    The Bachmann debate always seems to bring out some strong reactions. I've heard from modelers who are very disappointed in their locos while others report thoroughly enjoying them. I don't know if that speaks to uneven production or quality control...or what, but I try to be mindful to avoid raining on another modeler's parade....especially if they're satisfied with their purchase.

    Enjoy that Conrail Geep, Scoobie, and have fun with your son!
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the problem with Bachmann is that they used to make poor quality toys. Then they upgraded the toys to Bachmann plus and Spectrum. I think now they have pretty much dropped the low end toys and the Bachmann plus has become the base model Bachmann. The problem occurs when someone posts to a message board asking about Bachmann quality. People remembering the old Bachmann stuff react accordingly, and the person asking often doesn't know the difference between the old Bachmann toys and the new serious models from Bachmann.
  18. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    I don't know of any decoders that don't support running on DC except some of the sound decoders.But if you don't have A DCC command station you might have a problem if you get an Engine and the decoder isn't set up for it.Most decoders use the same CV's for certain functions.Just wanted to add that,for a Buddy of mine went through several(LOL)engines before the problem was found.
  19. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I don't know. some of the new bachmann still needs some fine tuning. i feel like parts fall off a lot ( sideframes and such), some details can use improvement, and that the motors can be fairly loud. thats just me. I think if they put some more work into it, they will be nice. i have yet to see the new HHP8 in person, but i'll take a look. I like bachmann for makeing all of these new electrics.
  20. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    I just purchased a HHP8 and it is pretty nice and very easy to install a decoder,just pop the top hatch off ,pull the dummy plug and plug your decoder in and you're done.

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