Some stupid questions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Dashdriver, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    PLEASE forgive my ignorance but I haven't been in the model railroad game for almost 20 years and am ready to get going on a basement set up, but, I have some questions.

    What is DCC?
    What are the best resources to learn wiring and track layout?
    Whats best...a DC, DCC or AC set up?

    Its funny, I fly very sophisticated airplanes for a living yet this whole wiring and track set-up stuff sounds like Greek to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :rolleyes:
  2. CRed

    CRed Member

    The only dumb question is the one not asked!heh

    1)DCC is Digital control,there's people here that can explain it very well
    3)DCC if you want to run more then one train at once with one controller without worrying about insulating portions of track with insulated joiners and such,but DC is fine too though.

    I'm new so there's others that can explain this much better then me.

    Welcome to the boards!

  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  4. CRed

    CRed Member

    Like LongIsland Tom,I've only been here a couple weeks or so and I swear I have only seen him in a million threads giving his helpful input:)
  5. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    Thanks guys, its a great start. By the way LongIslandTom, I fly out of JFK. :thumb:
  6. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

  7. pooka2hot4u

    pooka2hot4u Member

    the difference between DC and DCC is that in DC the train simply runs from current in the track (i think you might know this since it was probably the same when you were in it)
    in DCC the current in the track simply drives the motor, yet there is also a signal sent down the track at frequencies unique to each loco which is picked up by a decoder in the appropriate loco, that signal controls speed, direction, lights, sounds and all that fun stuff

    and i never heard of running trains on AC, i think thats just for accesories like gates and streetlights
  8. CRed

    CRed Member

    I belive the older european trains used AC,not sure if they do anymore,but I don't think so.

  9. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    So I've read that most of the cost of building a model railroad are the decoders you need to place in the loco' they not come with them when you buy them?
  10. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Some do. It depends on what you buy. I too have been out of the hobby for 15 + years and am just getting back. DCC is the way I am going and if you are starting from scratch like I am building the table from the ground up I think DCC is the only way to go. I mean if you are flying jets then you like the gadgets and toys. DCC is just that. The sounds that you can do with DCC is amazing! You can do a ton of other things too.

    Want to see a DCC engine in action? Check this out!

    By the way, what do you fly? :)
  11. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    Awesome, thanks!
    Unfortunately I'm out of the jet for a bit. Flying Delta Connection Dash-8 turboprops.
    Are the DCC set-ups hard to wire?
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    SWEET! :D

    Landing at JFK is great for people who like model trains, because just 5 miles east of the airport down Sunrise Highway at Lynbrook is Trainland. :thumb: They got lots of great HO stuff at good prices. Definitely worth checking out!

    Anyway, as far as costs go, decoders are like computer parts... The more capable it is, the more it costs, just like computer upgrades. Basic decoders that control just a locomotive's motor and headlights can be had for just $20 or so. But if you want decoders that can control flashing ditch lights or strobes and has sound on-board (comes with a small speaker), those can cost almost a C-Bill.

    You can fit this hobby in most budgets... If you want a no-frills circle around the Christmas Tree with a train chasing its tail, it can be had for under $100 for a good reliable set. If you want a full-blown permanent layout with all the bells and whistles (literally), you can spend thousands a year. :D It's all up to you. Consult fellow modelers, take advantage of their experience (good and bad), and have fun! :cool:
  13. CRed

    CRed Member

    I haven't wired one yet,but from what I hear it's no harder then DC,just different.You'll love sound,I hadn't had a train for years,since I was a kid and I just bought a couple BLI Locos and used the Quantum Engineer since I'm still on DC and I was amazed.I now have a PCM loco on the way so I'll have to go to DCC if I want all the sounds with that.

  14. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Since I have not actually done one yet I cant say NO for sure, but from what I have read they are WAY easier. Here is why:
    The track is all powered every where. You do not power sections or blocks like we used to. The track also has a lot of power running through it. The engine actualy runs only when told to. Think iof the track as the internet. You can actual "call" an engine up by its actual number on the side of the unit. By calling it, you punch in the info in your controller and the info travels along the rail to the train through a data line. This cabel is the same one you use for your internet connection. You can even set the engine up and let it run. You can then type in another engine number and operate it while the other is running at the same time, even on the same track. ISNT THAT GREAT!! I think it was said best when they said, run your trains, not your track. :)

    Dash 8's are ok. Did you ever do any scare buses?
  15. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    I'll definitely have to check out that shop! Employee lot is off Lefferts Blvd. Is it close to that?

    I'm definitely going with the pricey permanent layout. Now I just need to pick a city to buy a house in so I can get started! sign1
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Dash: since DCC is fairly new development, there are still a lot of old fogies (like me) who operate DC systems. What is not standardized is how DCC preparedness is labelled. DCC equipped is clear; DCC Ready may mean that there is a socket inside for a chip or that there is a big enough space inside for a chip or may mean that there is a chip.
    A loco can be chipped is there is a way to break into both sides of the wiring between the pickups and the motor brushes (would you believe there are locos where you can't?)
    AC is used in the toy train section -- Lionel and friends, Marklin.

    Remember: with DCC you run a train; with DC you run a railroad. (ducks barrage of scale ballast)
  17. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    You can get onto Belt Parkway East from Lefferts, right? Take Belt Parkway East, get out at Sunrise Highway, and keep going east until you get to Lynbrook. Trainland is on the right side of the road. Pretty easy to get there yep! :thumb:
  18. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

    Man it is indeed a different wold from when I had my old set. I am excited about these new types of power arrangements!

    Dash's are great airplanes. Flown the Barbie jet as well but as far as the Scarebus....If it aint Boeing, I aint going! :thumb:
  19. Dashdriver

    Dashdriver Member

  20. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    LOL Hmmm, where have I heard that before. sign1

    You doing commuter hops to where? If I can ask. :D

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