I need DCC for dummies...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by 65GASSER, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    I have researched and researched about DCC.... but I haven't found any answers to my simpler questions. Maybe someone here with DCC experiance can help.
    I know that with multiple DC controlled tracks that are connected through switches and turnouts, all the locos will run the same direction, at the same rate as each other until you reverse the direction on the DC Controller. Then they will do the same in reverse.
    The real question is with DCC, can I run trains in opposite directions at the same time with the tracks being connected. Not talking about running them head on into each other, just opposite directions on opposite tracks. But the tracks are connected through turnouts.

    Question #2.

    I have 26 DC locos. Is it going to be extremely difficult to wire them for DCC? I know it will be extremely expensive. I want DCC and sound in each leading loco and just DCC in the trailing units. I am planning on going with a Digitrax setup.
    I figure that buying all new DCC equipped locos will not be worth it.

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    1. You can control each engine independently, even if they are running on the same track. Did you see this article on Wiring for DCC: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/intro2dcc.htm. I think you will find all answers there.

    2. It is not necessary to buy new DCC equipped engines. Every engine can be equipped with an decoder, even if it is not DCC ready. Sound decodesr may cause some problems, because you need some space for the speaker, which might be difficult with some engines.
  3. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    You can do that, too, if you want! As they say, with DCC you control the trains, not the track. Are you in HO? For the non sound locomotives there are good decoders available for under $15, so it may not be as expensive as you are fearing...

  4. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Yeah that may be interesting!
    I am in HO, where did you find decoders for $15??? I was looking at ones for $80+!!!
    I think with the AC4400's and the Dash 9's speaker room will be ok in the cab. With the GP-38's, U boats, and SD40-2's it may be tricky.
    Thanks for that link Kurt!!!

  5. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Heres where you can get 2 Lenz single function decoders for $28 inc s/h, search for this vendor on ebay: DCC-Roundhouse
  6. kitsune

    kitsune Member

    Tony's has bargain decoders for $15. Jeremie, there is no reason to spend $80 on a non-sound decoder. I've never spent for than $30 per, and that was name brand and list price.

    Now, SOUND decoders are NOT cheap. Those will likely be up in that $80 range or higher, depending on manufacturer.

    As the other replies have stated, yes, you can run your trains any which way you want, track arrangement notwithstanding.

    Regarding difficulty, depends on how old your power is and who made it. Ironically the Athearns are prolly the biggest pain, but even then it's not terrible. A bit of soldering and some basic motor mount modifications are the primary issues.
  7. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

  8. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    I think I was searching all sound decoders. :oops: All of my locos have 0 runtime. I've been collecting everything I need for my layout but no room to build it. I hope to be moved next year and have the space inside or build a shop outside.
    I can handle the mods and the soldering. I'm more afraid of the setup and if it would run the way I wanted. I hate to spend so much and not get anything near what I wanted out of it. Sounds like just what I'm looking for though!
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    And yes, you can run them head on into one another on the same track. Not desirable; however.
  10. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Thats not my intentions... I swear. :D
  11. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Heck, even the not-DCC-ready Athearn Blue Box locos are easy to convert, WITHOUT soldering.

    Digitrax makes DCC decoders that have clips which goes right onto the Athearns BB loco's motors, no soldering, no nothing. The only thing you have to do is isolate the bottom of the motor from the frame, which is easy to do with a strip of duct tape.

    Linkies for the Digitrax decoders designed specifically for Athearn BBs:


  13. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Thanks for all the help guys!
  14. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Gasser, I just equipped an Athrean F7 with a Digitrax 123 decoder. I had to solder 2 connections, one to bad fingers and one just because. I was easy and too about 15 min. I hate the F7 body but I had one and it was a through_away unit...was! Now it will be painted and one of my grandsons names will be on it!

  15. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Thats pretty cool! I'd like to see it when your done.
  16. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Gasser sure thing. I will have to find the decal printer paper and give it a try!

  17. cwclark

    cwclark New Member

    I would also like to suggest the books Easy DCC and DCC Projects from www.kalmbach.com Another good book is the Big Book of DCC that you can find from a good LHS or an internet dealer like Tony's Train Exchange.
  18. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Gasser, I got the decal paper....now I have to get an over spray for it....I should have read about it first!

    Maybe later this weekend.

  19. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Cool deal Rick. Hope it turns out like you want! I can't wait to see it!
  20. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Gasser I'm letting the kids pick the basic color......one thinks Camo is a color....LOL


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