oh those DCC Ready's...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by NCMRailroad, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Hi everyone!!announce1 announce1 announce1
    Just learnt a new lesson on those "DCC Ready" locomotives. Rather they be steam or diesel is relavent. I have a switcher that a friend helped me wire for DCC a few years ago. The locomotive being a HO scale S3 Alco is too small for sound so a power decoder (DN 121-p/play) had to be used.
    I simply plugged in the decoder and set it on the program track, did the required CV programming and away it went!
    It ran quite nicely for quite some time. One day a bump showed up on the track somewhere and as can be expected, the engine derailed. After attempting to correct the "bump", the locomotive traveled over it the 2nd time and this time I was unable to rescue the locomotives ocward derailment and POOF out came a black cloud of fried decoder.:cry: Just glad they aren't $100.00+ for these puppies!
    I am a bit flustered however, The box the locomotive came in had the NMRA DCC READY symbol on it. I looked over the single page information and parts sheet that came with it and no where on it that I can see does it say that the ground wire connected under the foward head lamp must be disconnected prior to installing a DCC decoder.
    For those of you that are just getting into the hobby and expanding into the wonderful world of the DCC part of it, I caution you to remove this wire which I believe is white.
    The motor MUST, repeat, M U S T be properly insolated by YOU. Do not allow that symbol on the box to fool you into thinking it is ready to go as soon as you plug in the Decoder... IT is MOST definatly NOT!!! ...unless of course, you purchase the locomotive of your choice with the DCC Decoder already installed.
    Good luck and have fun!
  2. diesel

    diesel Member


    just wondering, since i plugged in a digitrax decoder into my atlas and its been running fine. it's the old atlas from 1996 - a C30-7. I will look at the motor but it should already be isolated.

    just thought I'd let you know; TCS decoders are great and offer a 1 year goof proof no questions asked replacement policy.
  3. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Sounds like a good decoder manufacture... I will definatly check them out..
    Kind thanks!
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Ahhh, yes, the old "DCC ready" engine...

    In an approximate order of complexity, "Dcc ready" can mean:

    1. Plug and play - really just plug in the decoder, no other modification needed

    2. You have to take out a light board and plug in a decoder

    3. The motor is insulated, but you need to wire in the decoder and/or harness for decoder

    4. There's space for a decoder

    5. This engine runs on electricity, so therefore could theoretically use a decoder, which is also an electric device. Good luck installing it...!

    :rolleyes: ;) :) :D sign1

  5. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Hi Andrew,
    If all the choices you have presented, I would have to agree that #5 is the one that best describes the old version (3 years+) of "DCC READY" But you are correct as well with all the other choices one can choose to believe in!
    sign1 :thumb:
    Kind regards,
  6. diesel

    diesel Member

    yes, the insulation is there, but Atlas can be well... lesser quailty as far as the circuit board is concerned. (they also have DCC enclosed, master series ect....)

    Andrew thats funny! the older style P2k is actually DCC unready. I just wired mine like a blue box athearn since those are virtual copies.

  7. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Option 4.5 ( specially for N scale ) There is space for a decoder if you cut some part of the frame.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's hilarious...! (And unfortunately true hamr)

    4.5 The frame is "ready" to be milled.



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