I need DCC for dummies...

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

  1. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    I'd suggest that after you get your system, buy just one decoder to make sure that you are happy with it's performance / functions.

    FWIW (and not to turn this into a system debate), I just switched from Digitrax to NCE and have found it much easier to do the everyday common functions needed to run trains. Take that with a grain of salt however, as I was not using Digitrax's most current throttles.
  2. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Camo is a color isn't it? sign1 I painted Aluminum Bass Boats for a good while and that was the most painted scheme in the plant.
  3. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    That sounds alot better than what I was planning. Its going to be some time before I get room for the layout. I was going to buy all the decoders and install them before hand. It would suck to get them all wired up and ready just to figure out that I don't like how they operate. I've been reading into the different systems and lerking in the posts about the systems other people have and weghing pro's/cons.
  4. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I tried to hunt down a copy of the big book of dcc and came up blank lots of places. I think it's out of print.

    I'm actually looking for something on the basics of wiring that can explain how to use a bus, and feeder setup and create zones in dc. So when i switch to my dcc in a few months i'll already be all setup.
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    YmeBP: You are dealing with two different animals there. You don't need to have your wiring set up in blocks in order to use a DCC system. I guess that's one of the things you would learn if you had the book.
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Reference my earlier post on this thread about running trains head on into one another. I just remembered one of the most frequently asked questions from elementary school students when our club has an open house for the local schools in the Spring. " How do you make them crash?"
  7. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    Just get ahold of Gomez Adams,He can show you how to crash engines.LOL
  8. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Been doing some reading in other forums, and for dcc "power districts" are suggested becuase it helps w/ isolating faults. Wouldn't that be very similar to wiring dc w/ zones?

    My layout isn't that big i have 8x16 area and not much track in it.

    Let me tell you there is an enourmous amount of information on this board hahaha, i've been trying to take it in sips and tastes, but one of the things i've seen repeated over and over again is take your time w/ your wiring and do it right as it will save you heartache later dc or dcc.
  9. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Given the size of your layout, I don't think you need to even think about power districts. You don't have a large enough layout. Power districts are used in DCC on large layouts (usually club layouts) where a short (eg running through an open switch) will bring the whole layout down. With power districts, a short in one district will only bring that district down and leave the rest of the layout running.

    Your main concern at this stage should be focused on the wiring - principally, the wiring for your track power. If your layout is currently wired for DC, you can use the exisisting wiring.

    If your layout is under construction, you have an excellent opportunity to put in a track power buss that can carry the full DCC load. The track power buss is simply two wires run the length of your layout (or at least underneath or close to your main clusters of tracks). Most DCC books suggest using 16AWG wire. Most discussion forums suggest using the thicker 14AWG and even 12AWG wire. The decision is yours. Don't go less than 16 AWG.

    One type of wire is trailer hookup wire. This is stranded colour coded (in a variety of colours - red, white, black, blue, yellow, brown) wire that is usually available in 25', 50' and 100' rolls at a cost of about $0.10 per foot. It is also available in several wire guages from 18 AWG right up to 10 AWG (the lower the AWG number, the thicker the wire). Pick two colours (eg white and red) and use these two colours throughout your layout. You run these two wires from your command station underneath the layout where it follows the largest concentration of trackage. At the end, simply put some electrical tape over each end.

    From here, it's a simple matter of dropping track feeds through the top of your layout down to the track power buss and soldering the track feeds into the track power buss. To simplify your life, as you install the track power buss, solder in some pigtail wires about every 3 - 5 feet. Click on this link to see what pigtails look like and how to do some wiring.

    The key in DCC is to solder every connection. Don't use mechanical joints like the guillotine suitcase connectors. And to keep things nice and neat, use some shrink tubing over the solder joints.

    Bob M.
  10. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Perfect!!! Thank you soooooo much. I'm in the process of laying the floor of my layout. I'll have to send pictures. I can run my 12 gauge under the board and tun my feeders off as needed.
  11. Chris Beard

    Chris Beard Member

    I use black electrical tape to isolate Athearn engines. Color not important!

    On our club layout we have had head-on collisions and T-bones too.

    Another benifit of DCC is constantlighting.
  12. jflessne

    jflessne Member

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