OK DCC gurus here is the question...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by vanda32547, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    Hi Ya'll,

    I finally got my MRC Prodigy Advance DCC System last week :thumb: but understand I need to send it back to MRC for a slight power modification change since they under powered :curse: the unit ... but that's ok because I have not laid the track yet on my new layout.

    I have been working on the benchwork (pix at http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=10986) and am just about ready to lay some track. I'm using code 100 flextrack since I have alot of it and my Atlas snap switches are also code 100.

    I have been reading alot that DCC people run feeder wires to every section of track? :confused: Does this mean zones or does it mean "every" section of track? Should I wire the turnouts seperately also?

    I am planning on having 2 reversing loops (probably buy Tony's Train Exchange modules) and will order them one of these days. Does anyone use these and what is your feedback? I have read that these also require special wiring with insulators at both ends like a regular DC setup is that correct?

    I also realize that I need decoders for each of my turnouts and need to order those as well. I am concidering the Lenz LS150 which controls 6 switch machines. Does anyone have this and how do you like them?

    Sorry for all the questions but before I lay a stick of track I want to make sure I am doing it right. Thanks for any input and info you can provide.

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know anything about your other questions.
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Bob, I use Tony's reversers and they are great. The section you choose to make a reverse block needs to have both rails gapped at each end. The output of the reverser is the only power feed to these rails. The reversers inputs come from the track power bus. The block needs to be longer than any train using it. You don't want to be crossing gaps at both ends at the same time. You can use one reverser for more than one reverse block as long as only one set of gaps is crossed at a time.

    Soldering feeders to each piece of rail is a good idea whether using DCC or DC. Now that I've said that, I'll tell you that in my initial construction phase I used Atlas code 100, with the intention of replacing it with handlaid a scene at a time. I did do one scene, then since then I've been working on a second level. It has been 7 years since I first was able to run trains on the lower level, and I originally only used one set of feeds for about 50' of track! I have only added one more set of feeds since then. Joiners do loose their ability to transmit voltage as they oxidize or work their way loose. I'm surprised I haven't had more problems. As long as you are able and willing to solder feeds in place after you've ballasted and otherwise finished your layout you can skimp some on feeders. Pay me now or pay me later, you know? What I've done when using flex track is solder every other rail joint with a feeder. This feeds every rail with 1/2 the # of feeders.

    Can't help with the turnout decoders, don't use them.
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    What do you mean by "they underpowered" it?

    Why? Some people rely on the turnout to power sections of track with DC. This leaves sections of track "dead", depending on which way the turnout is switched. This is so you can leave your loco on the tracks, and use the one controler to drive the other loco on the "live" track. With DCC, you might as well power ALL the track, because you may want to "leave the lights on and motor running" on you DCC locos (with sound). This, of course, is not possible if you have dead sections of track which are dead/live dependant on which way turnouts are set. If you do NOT power all sections, then you will still need to switch the turnouts to power some sections of track.

    You don't need decoders for your turnouts. You can still use whatever means you used prior to going DCC. You can put the stationary decoders for turnouts in later, if you wish.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You may get away with only feeding every so often. My inclination is not to solder feeds to special work (turnouts & crossings) unless unavoidable; I let the rail joiners carry the current.
    You may want some dead sections of track. I found that after a short all the sound units would boot up "on".
    When you wire the layout, test each wire or pair of wires by driving a loco into the section, even if you have to use DC before you get the DCC unit. It's hard to troubleshoot 20 feeders in one section.
    The standard gaps are still required for reverse loops and wyes. Also for any all-rail turnouts (electrofrog). Fortuately, you can wire blocks beyond them without setting up cab controls.
    Suggestion: if you are wiring passing siding, gap close to the frogs and wire the siding as a separate block; don't gap in the middle. (experience speaks)
  6. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Yep. I gap/insulate about a loco's length from the turnout. that way, if you do "overrun" accidentally, you hit "dead track" instead of the loco entering the turnout (and derailing) before it either dies or gets a short, or crashes into what's going past at the time!!
  7. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    So I'm reading MRC gave a free power pack away with their units and this causes people to complain because it's a tad small, but FREE? That's funny. :( Fred
  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

  10. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    MRC advertised their unit Prodigy Advance System at 3.5 amps but the power supply they furnished (for free) was 2.5 which was the issue I guess. If they advertise 3.5 then they should have delivered 3.5 not 2.5 ... no heartache from me here but to some who run many trains with their systems this could be a significant issue. I sent mine back for the 5.0 amp upgrade which I may never use on my layout but I figure if I'm buying a new system and converting to DCC then I want the max it can offer in case I want to expand later.

  11. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

  12. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    MRC is still doing upgrades on Prodigy Advance...

    I called MRC yesterday and they are still doing upgrades as previously stated.
    Also any units bought at Tony's Train Exchange have already been sent back and modified according to Tony.

  13. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Ok, but the ads for the MRC don't promise ANY power supply and it is extra with other brands too. The unit will handle 3.5 amps as packaged, so they lived up to their promise. As "good will" they included a 2.5 amp power pack for FREE which would cost at least $15 retale. So they would of been smarter to NOT give a power pack as advertised than give a smaller one as a gift? Am I getting this right? I'm having trouble understanding what the beef is about? Fred
  14. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    No beef from me really...just trying to clear up the debate and solution to anyone wanting the upgrade.

  15. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    That's good news! Does Tony's need to update their tech bulletins page?

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