Questions about DCC

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jimh, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. jimh

    jimh Member

    At the risk of sounding stupid, are DCC equipped locomotives able to run on set ups that are not DCC? Also can non DCC loco's able to run on DCC setups?

    Obviously I do understand that if you do not use a DCC controller you can not access the special functions in a DCC unit.
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Most DCC chips will run on DC, although that ability can be turned off (why?). Some members even report better operation on DC with a chip than without.

    DCC controllers can operate a DC loco using a certain number (00 or 03?) but there are a few little problems involving direction control and reverse loops. There is also a bit of noise from the motor. As well, any DC loco that's on the track will run at the same time.
    There are special control units that will let you run certain sound chips in a DC environment. Not sure of details.
  3. jimh

    jimh Member

    Thanks David.
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Although DC locos can be run on DCC track, it's not advisable to leave them on the track as there is a continuous presence of 14-16 volts AC on the track which can deteriorate the motor, or just burn it outright..!!
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    When running at HOTRAK, we require that DC-running be disabled in the (very unlikely) event that there are some electrical problems. You would not want the locos to suddenly decide they are running DC and take off at high speed... This rule was apparently put into force after one such incident... :eek:

    I found that my slow speed performance of a P2K 0-6-0 was actually slightly better on DC (without a decoder) than DCC (with a decoder)... hamr Performance on DC with a decoder is not possible, as the Soundtraxx decoder I installed does not have a DC-mode.

    03 is the default address of new decoders. Only certain DCC controllers, like the Digitrax Zephyr, have the ability to run DC locos on 00. And yes, any and all DC locos on the track at the same time will be controlled by 00. Long term operation using this feature is not recommended.

    More and more locos are "crossing over" in terms of sound and light functions. Sound chips like QSI or Tsunami are making it possible to access virtually all the sounds whether you are on DCC or DC (sometimes a special controller is needed à la Mike's Train House, sometimes the logic in the chip decides what to do based on movement).

    Hope that helps.

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hmm. I recently bought two used DCC-equipped locos. On my DC-powered layout, one of them ran in the opposite direction to anything else (the decoder may have be improperly installed) and both exhibited poor running characteristics - high starting current , poor throttle response, and excessive noise. With the decoders removed, performance was much improved all around.

  7. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Doctorwayne has it right as far as I'm concerned. A while back I tried DCC on a DC layout with very poor results. I gave up after trying several different decoders and nothing gave good running. So I gave away or threw away most of the equipment and went to a tried and true system: Marklin digital. It works and works very well. Now I have the sound I wanted, no loop problems, no stalls, very good control over any number of locos at the same time and perfect running characteristics from just one controller. It's a feedback system and the controller knows what loco is out there and what it's doing. Why didn't I do this before? Stupidity probably. And the fact that it would cost more. But, now I have something that really works and does everything I want a model RR to do. More modeler's on this forum should try it. They would be amazed. I was. By the way, I think that Marklin presently still has a half price sale on American RR stuff. I've loaded up. Note: don't try to run their stuff on DC, it won't work. Start out with a Marklin starter set. It has all the stuff you need to get going. Locos, cars, track, digital controllers, etc. I'm very glad I made the switch.

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