Ok, second post...a few questions about DCC...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by JamieInNJ, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. JamieInNJ

    JamieInNJ New Member

    ok, i've decided to build an l shaped paltform, i'm in the process of drawing out my design and i'll post it later. i'm starting out with a bachmann train set with EZ track. i've got a few questions. first off, i want to go with a DCC set up because i love the ability to control several trains on the same track individually...but i'm still confused on a few things. first off, i'm wondering what i need to purchase for the DCC set up. i'm guessing i need the DCC control set up, then i'm assuming i need the decoders for each locomotive. i'm wondering how this all sets up as far as wiring is concerned. does the DCC control set up wire to the tracks? can i set up all the tracks and then wire the DCC to it? how difficult is it to add decoders to the engines? can the DCC set up control the switches or is there another way that they run? is it possible to add a turntable to the DCC set up or is it better for that to be manual? anyway, i'm a big time newbie with lots of questions...i appreciate all the help and don't mind if some of the questions sound dumb...i'm learning as i go...thanks in advance...
  2. camelot

    camelot Member

    To use DCC you will need to purchase a DCC control station and a transformer or you can use your existing transformer if it meets the requirments.The transformer suppylies the power to the DCC station and then the station is wired to the track to power it and supply the DCC signal that controls the train decoder.

    I have my small layout wired for DC operation , i then added DCC to the existing layout.I did not have to alter or add anymore wiring so i can run the layout in both modes.The main thing about DCC for me is that the unit trips at the slightest short circuit to protect the decoders from frying .I decided to make the turnouts power routed , which means that the frog is isolated and of the same polarity , to avoid having a loco's wheels touch the wrong power rail and short the system.Its a bit hard to describe , i recomend going to this site to read more , they have diagrams of dcc friendly turnouts as well.


    In fact the whole site is about wiring for DCC , so it should help you on all your questions.

    I have always used plug and play decoders in prewired DCC locos so i am not sure how hard it would be to wire up to a non pre-wired loco , perhaps others can help you on that question.

    You can use decoders for turnout switching , since mine is rigged for DC operation as well i use good old fashioned toggle switches.

    Hope this helps

  3. JamieInNJ

    JamieInNJ New Member

    hey, thanks for the reply, i'm starting to get the hang of some of this...lol. i'm still not sure what a frog is, or what a turnout is and i keep seeing the "mainline" mentioned with alot of this DCC stuff. so let me see if this sounds good...i'm going to do my whole layout with the bachmann EZ track, it was suggested to me that i solder the track pieces together so i may do that as well...i can then purchase the DCC controller and an engine or two with the decoders in them. i need to check and see if my transformer will work, if not i guess i need a suggestion as to what to upgrade to. mine is basically the basic one that comes with a new bachmann set. as far as the switches go, i guess i need to figure out the best way to set them up. well, let me know if i got this all straight and i'd love it if you could further explain the stuff above...lol...thanks again...
  4. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    As far as power for a new DCC unit, it depends on what you buy. Some come with a power supply (usually a "wall wart" adapter like many radios etc. have nowadays) included with the unit. I would check loy's toys or tony's trains websites to see all the starter sets available.

    "Turnout" is another name for a switch. It's more a model railroad term than a real railroad term. (I think turnout is used since 'switch' can also mean an electrical switch, like a light switch or a toggle switch etc.)

    I don't know that you would really have to solder the Bachmann track together, think it connects up pretty well as is. I wouldn't solder them anyway, makes it easier to make changes/additions later.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You may want to move your DCC questions over to the DCC forum. There is also a "sticky" thread there with lots of links to DCC info. I recommend www.railwaybob.com -> look for he DCC links. Bob is one of the DCC gurus at our local club. His site has got some great basics on DCC.


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