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I have built over 100 control panels for myself and friends and could lay out the wiring for a 10 train operation in a day.
I was totally dumb founded as to how it worked I spent 3 hours talking to the owner Brian and he told me about DCC and about all the advantages. I bought the 2 engines that day but didn't buy the DCC system just then.I did have 4 books or magazines about beginner DCC.
What a great Easter Present you have given me and what a great load you have taken off my back with this article.
I believe point and counter-point discussions really help you refine ideas and help you decide what fits you best.
From that angle, conversion is not dollar expensive, but it may be more time expensive then you might like. Read the article in issue #2 of MRH magazine and If you go to the Monday movies page on this web site there is a 4 part series on DCC that will give a great explanation and incite to The world of DCC and help you figure out which system you want to get started with. Digitrax will let you run a non-decoder equiped locomotive at address 0 but I never liked the idea of doing that. Can I get some clarification from the writer how can I use the DC layout for DCC and DC seperatly.
I am posting this announcement about A-Track, a free easy-to-use software application for NCE DCC systems, with the generous permission of Joe Fugate, and the hope that some of the MRH community may find it useful.
A-Track for Windows (A-Track) is a powerful FREE extension to complement the facilities of your NCE Power Cab or Power Pro Digital Command Control system and to assist you in running your roster of locomotives on your model railroad. A-Track allows you to store full details of all of your locomotives, with all of their DCC configuration parameters, in a readily-accessible format on a personal computer – but without requiring you to be any kind of computer expert.
When linked to your NCE system, A-Track does not alter the way in which the NCE Command Station and Handheld Cabs operate, or are connected to the track and to each other, in any respect, so that you can continue to use them exactly as before – but with A-Track available to lend a powerful helping hand in the background. A-Track is a software application which runs, under Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 on a standard Personal Computer (PC). When used with an NCE Power Pro system, as well as looking after the contents of your DCC decoders, A-Track will also let you monitor, set up, save, and restore the complete status and operational parameters of the NCE Command Station and all attached Cabs from your PC, freeing you from the task of having to set everything up from scratch at the start of a session, and leaving you with more time to enjoy your model railroading.
Using A-Track, you can read and save the status and parameters of each new locomotive decoder as delivered by the manufacturer. Because A-Track lets you look at the decoder set-ups for several locomotives at the same time, and see the differences between them, it is relatively simple to tune the speed (and function) characteristics of  these locomotives to run together in a consist. Whenever you purchase a new locomotive which is similar to one already in your roster, you can save a lot of programming time and effort by using A-Track to copy the decoder parameters from the configured locomotive to the new one – after making a back-up copy of the original settings in the new locomotive, of course (just in case !).
With NCE Power Pro systems, A-Track gives you full access to the Command Station, and hence the ability to display all of the key parameters stored in its internal memory on the PC screen. All parameters stored in the Command Station memory (System, Macros, Consists, and Cab Status) can be selectively saved (backed-up) to files on the PC’s hard disk, or on CD-R or a USB flash drive (memory stick), and then recalled at any future time to restore the Command Station and its attached Cabs to a state corresponding to a previously-recorded operating session. Sorry - while the functionality of A-Track is essentially similar to that of Decoder Pro, it was developed quite independently (in fact, the original version of A-Track pre-dates Decoder Pro by a few years), so it does not use the same file formats.
DCC Automation Automatic model school controls for DCC layouts that permit either manual or automatic mathematical process of north to G scale layouts.
However as with whatever galvanising railroad in that respect is wiring to be through with but. It is not Eruca vesicaria sativa science as there are only really a few important things to make out ahead you start collecting your dream mold train layout with whole the model train poppycock you ever. Just some of the things to think about, decisions for which will push you along which way to go, or not! Very interesting layout there with loads of possibilities, apart from the usuall running a bus line underneath with droppers, I know a few use those copper rolls and lay it along side the track then put connecters diectly to the track from them. Hi, I converted my existing DC layout several years ago, I had 3 isolated sections so I could run 3 trains if I wanted, 2 on continuous loops ( I like to see trains running at speed, not just back and forth!
My wiring underneath looks a bit like a spiders web, with the feeders spreading out from the choc blocks to the track. Hi Al, I have been guided by this Australian site, it is extremely comprehensive, AND they manufacture a lot of materials for DCC use.
You will have to attach feeder wires every 3 feet of track length with 12 or 14 gauge wires under every length of track to attach the feed wires to, the scotch lock connectors work very well for this.
A small tip for little chimneys on those buildings; Cut off the outer of a 3 core cable, the live hasa brown plastic cover, cut up into small piecesit looks great for chimneys, maybe you could strip a little off so that you have a piece of the wire to help secure it to the stack? I was surprised how poorly the nickel silver track and connectors conducted when I was doing trials. With DCC, you can short the rails together with a coin to get a few beeps from the controller and a quick shutdown. What I have been doing even though I don’t have DCC is, when I buy new locos I always buy locos that are DCC ready. In the Responses section, a David referred to an Australian website but no details were provided.
When i used DC for my N scale switch track’s it would often burn out the motors to them pushing the button in hopes it would get enough power to even switch the track direction.
Also with the digitrax empire builder set you can control 1 DC operating locomotive but i don’t recommend it, it causes the motor armature to create a whistling or humming sound and draws alot of power.


Trust me when i say if you decide to switch to DCC you won’t be disappointed in any way, shape or form! As brian mentioned above you can burn out decoders or locomotive motors due to bad isolation, bad capton tape placement, or over powering a decoders 1AMP capabilities. On bridging the gap, I haven’t done this but writing as a design engineer I would go about it by having the removable piece as a hinged drop-down. Of course nothing’s that simple when you actually do it, but it’s a reasonable start! I only put up my trains and buildings from Thanksgiving through Christmas so the little ones can enjoy them with me. The circulating outer tracks and through-stations are on one bus; the terminating station, turntable and run-around are on another and the goods sidings on a third.
Turnout control will be from a conventional DC press button switch panel on a separate bus, as will layout static lighting. There is one very important overarching design consideration for control of the layout – it must be easily operated by my visually impaired 93-years-young father. It looks like you already have track down, if I’m seeing what I think I am in the photos.
We typically run the output from a booster through an electronic circuit breaker, too, segmenting the district into, typically four sections, each on its own breaker. For long track runs we would solder together two pieces of flex track, provide them with a pair of feed wires (I do NOT rely on joiners alone to power them from another section), and then install with insulators between these sections.
Do not rely on mechanical connections between track for carrying power; it is either insulated or soldered IMHO! Then draw up a schematic and lay it out on Plastic, plywood, metal, Masonite, or any other material and have it all drilled painted and ready to go in a few days. I didn't really understand it but I new I had to have it especially after he showed me 2 of the new DCC Blackstone HOn3 K-27 2-8-2 steam locomotives.
But I was still lost I already had 5 Controlmaster XI top of the line Power Transformers with pulse Frequency control, Pulse Width control, Momentum adjustment control each has an Illuminated Voltmeter & an Ammeter for the Standard Gauge portion of my last Pike and 2 Troller Transistorized Autopulse Twin Momentum 5 Transformers for my HOn3 portion of my last Pike and the DCC systems are not compatible with these DC controllers. I'm not sure why but, this article has inspired me to go open the box for the second time and read the instructions with a whole new view and now I just realized thanks to Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine I'm ready to go with DCC. The locomotive is dialed in with physical number spinners, I can't unselect my loco by accident.
You will then be able to see the complete configuration details of the locomotive at a glance, on the PC screen, rather than only being able to check one parameter at a time by using a standard handheld Cab.
You can make changes to the decoder parameters directly, without having to compute or type in complicated numerical values, then immediately try out the effects, and decide whether to keep the alterations or go back to the original values.
A-Track will allow you to retrieve the previous decoder set-up and restore the locomotive to the state it was in before your inadvertent mistake. You can then run the locomotives individually, or together in the consist, on the track directly from the PC screen in order to check out the results, returning to the programming function if necessary to complete any fine tuning. Programming of the new locomotive is then reduced to giving it an appropriate description and a unique DCC address, together with any minor extra enhancements that you might want to make. This allows you to perform Command Station and Handheld Cab setup directly from the computer, changing parameters to suit your immediate requirements, and to define and manipulate the composition of consists.
There is no practical limit to the number of different Command Station or Cab setups which can be saved to, or restored from, the computer’s permanent or removable storage.
You have the option of registering your copy of A-Track, again without any charge, if you would like to qualify for free support and assistance with any problems which you may encounter.
I hope you will have a look at it and then choose whichever application - A-Track or Decoder Pro - that you like best. It’s not vitamin A surprise thus that DCC has become the freshly touchstone method of controlling a posture railroad track layout.
Are you going to break up your layout into Power Districts (recommended) so any any problems can be better identified and don’t bring the whole system to a standstill. Are you likely to want computer control or automatic signalling, which will require block control – work better done now rather than later, though equipment and faciliatation can come later. So that when I do decide to convert to DCC I can just plug the chips in and just buy a DCC controller.
If you used lionel train master DCC lionel locomotives have a battery on board attached to the decoder that needs to be charged in order for it to work if that battery dies you can kiss that decoder good bye cause it will fry out. I’ve only ever fried out 1 decoder for my 4-6-6-4 challenger the docoders do get warm but not hott enough to melt a shell if it does melt the shell something is wrong. They are being converted to DCC but first I am making sure they run as well as they can on DC. This currently allows independent control on DC and will provide power districts when moved to DCC. Thread the wire through the tube, push tube through your base, remove tube off either end of wire. You need a track feed for each block, then, and electrical isolation in the tracks between blocks. I new how to wire up every aspect of a large or small pike and assemble and build up a set of wire harnesses that were beautiful.then in 1997 I set the hobby aside for 9 or 10 years moved 3,000 miles across the United States.


It had been 10 years since I had been in a real Model Train store and there was so much new stuff I couldn't believe it, and that day I was introduced to DCC. However, I was frustrated with the buttons and spent too much time looking at the throttle.
A-Track can handle all types of decoders, including sound decoders, from all manufacturers who comply with National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) DCC standards. You may not distribute or sell A-Track either alone or as part of any commercial item, as set out in detail in the terms of the A-Track licence. This can very well get an expensive avocation if you are relying on trial and fault for learning. Desired Factor third line around the outside with A TV diary of my first attempt to build amp OO caliber DCC model railway system any advice is welcome. Direct current model trains or DCC model trains which is scoop This video discusses the benefits of for each one Hi here is my layout that I have merely accomplished with the telephone extension of antiophthalmic model railway layouts dcc. Any reverse loops or wye or turntables would have to be wired as a reversing section with either a double throw double pole switch or a dcc auto reversing unit to change the polarity of those sections when occupied by a train.
Having played around with some steel florist wire that I had from my horticulture nursery days, I began playing around twisting them together and 4 weeks later I think I am pretty good.
My main bus is 14ga stranded copper wire and my drops are 22ga solid copper wire every 3ft soldered to the outside web of the rail. I have the scenic ridge N scale over and under with atlas rails conected connected to a kato double track plate that runs completely around the entire layout. Block A and block B, for rail A the left side rail and rail B the right side rail and i was off and running a DCC locomotive in a matter of minutes! Digitrax also has the function capability of F0-F28 which are the many different commands you can programthe decoder into the locomotive to do such as the braking i just mentioned. If the bridge is NOT in place no train could approach the hole and make the Death plunge to the floor. Will be wiring bus in 2.5mm sq cable and adding droppers to layout split into 4 sections, mainly to ease any fault-finding. I as well as probably most of us in Z went to that scale so we could have model railroading in a small space such as a small 2 br house or an apt. Of couse you still to plug in to Loconet to acquire the locomotives at least until the duplex versions coe out in the next few weeks.
Currently, the system has been successfully tested with Digitrax, NCE, Lenz, SoundTraxx, QSI (Quantum), ESU (LokSound), Model Rectifier, and ZTC decoders. The feeder wires can be smaller like 18-22 gauge and can be soldered to the rails or are available from Atlas as feeders already attached to rail joiners. Not yet learned to creat specific varieties of the trees yet but maybe that will come later?
There are a lot of fine technical differences that may or may not actually MAKE a difference.. I completely lost myself in what I was doing, completely unconcious of the throttle I was using.
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Hornby DCC is THE fashion to pass angstrom unit model railway Your Hornby train Multiple educate ascendence on wholly parts of axerophthol pose railway layout with minimal wiring. The feed to the actual track was done by soldering wires to new fishplates ( track joiners ) Then all you need is 1 or 2 small holes under the track where you want the feeds to be. The base unit is 4amps I think, as a test I have had 5 locos running at the same time pulling wagons, so there seems plenty of power. The fellow who built my layout got into Z scale so he could have a model rr on his boat upon which he lived. How does one, (if possible) wire an independent four loop layout so that the Cab1 can be used to control each loop separately? I was able to get them programmed with the Bachmann base DCC system (E-Z?), but not the Dynamis.
Also keep in mind that I use N and have no sound locos, so operating the throttle and direction is truly all I care about.. Also, I am trying to figure out the configuration for wiring a double cross-over with Bachmann’s reversing loop modules. I am running a double track main lines system with many sidings , this system will also be wired for automatic block system operation.
Expensive but will do all I will ever need and is wireless, wireless if you understand what I mean. Watch the video now.Railroad Technology Breakthroughs Learn how to use micro controls to add life, interest, new features, and efficiency to your railroad.



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