Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by LarryGarrett, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. LarryGarrett

    LarryGarrett New Member

    Need some opinions. I've been reading-up on the wiring for DCC, and so far I'm understanding it---I, since I've only got 6-7 switches on the entire layout, I'm hoping it will be pretty straight forward. At this point, I'm trying to avoid any reverse looping, etc...........New the question---in regard to the locomotives......Should I install the decoders myself, or have the hobby shop do it? Is it difficult? I realize that some engines are easier than others, BUT, what would you recommend? Keep in mind that I'm no electrician. Once I get past screwing in a lightbulb, things start getting hazy. Yet, if it's a "straight forward" process, I'll give it a try.
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Larry: as one who's never done it, I don't think it looks that hard. Unless you go for sound and lights.
    I would say, if you can see two wires going to the motor from the wheels, it should be obvious. If one side of the circuit has no wires, if it's all conducted through the frame, you night have a problem. Can you solder fine wires? Other problem is finding a place for the decoder to sit. You can get prewired harnesses for some popular diesels that just pop in. (Athearn, I know of.) Other wise you cut the two wires in half, solder to four places in the socket, and pop the chip in. Lights have further connections with LEDs being an interesting problem -- check the thread that was done on that.
    Then you program it.
    You might consider having the LHS do one for you to begin with.
  3. Railery

    Railery Member

    Hi Larry i'm the same way.
    i found u have to be pretty fair with a soldering gun. Installing decoder is easy. Putting in a harness or new board can be tricky.
  4. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Shotgun topic for a specific target.

    I think you should have titled the topic with regards to "Installing DCC, easy or hard- All thumbs". That's not to be critical, I know a great fellow who shares his DCC experience and may not even read this thread. I read it out of curiousity, being that type. You didn't mention scale. I'm sure there's a bit more challenge in N than HO and so on.

    As Alex Trebek would say, "Oh, I'm Sorry, you phrased your question in the form of an exclamation". :(

  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Larry, You really should've posted to the tech talk forum but I think Davids answer is as good as you'll get. You need soldering skills except for some of the plug and play decoders. On many of the "plug and play" decoders, lamps need changing or resistors added, thus soldering. A skill you should acquire if you don't have it already. Sound is just another couple wires, the hard part is finding or making room for the speaker. David's suggestion to get a loco with decoder installed is a good one, I did that when I bought my system. After one or two installs you'll realize the hardest part is figuring out how to get the shell off.


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