DC-DCC Wiring Question

cbg Nov 24, 2021

  1. cbg

    cbg TrainBoard Member

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    I will be running both DC and DCC on my layout when finished and will use a toggle for main power from one to the other. I will have a timesaver section in the center and would like to be able to use DCC (or DC) in this area when the main layout is on the opposite system. How would I best wire a section of track just past the switch to move a loco in from the main and switch to the opposite system.
    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Chuck.
     

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  2. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    You could do it the same way as the layout with a toggle switch. Just be sure the time saver is isolated from the rest of the layout and has its own dedicated power feed. Now, having said that I do not recommend doing it. There is a very good possibility that one might forget that the time saver was set to DC while the layout was set to DCC and try to run a loco from one to the other. I have never tried it but you might try. Be sure to report back to us on how it went. As always, MRR Rule No. 1 applies.
     
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  3. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, a DPDT can be used to switch any block from one throttle to another, DC, DCC or otherwise.

    Lets assume you don't use metal wheels on your rolling stock. Then to avoid @Inkaneer's above mentioned discovery you could add a third, isolated block between the two sections, at least as long as a loco. There might be a way to switch the block automatically with detectors or with an auto reverse without frying anything, but to do it manually find a momentary contact center-off DPDT (not common and therefore not cheap) to feed the block with, wiring each side to that end's block feeds. This would force the user to hold the switch to get the loco to move. Still possible to mess up (don't hold it too long, don't throw it the wrong way) but at least if you (I mean he:whistle:) forget then the engine stops.
     
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  4. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just a word of caution. You know how it is. Someone has to throw a wet blanket on things. Oh boy!

    You can do what NtheBasement and Inkaneer said to do. My layout is wired similarly to what you are wanting to do. It can be done.

    Mine is wired in with Cab A and Cab B, Block Wiring. I can with the flip of a DPDT or Cut Off Switch change Cab B from Analog DC to to AC-DCC. There is a problem here. If for some reason Analog DC jumps over to AC-DCC you can damage a power supply or burn out a engine motor. DCC Guy, talks about these things on his Blog. A quick google search will find you reading up on how you can wire in DCC to an Analog DC layout.

    Lastly some DCC power supplies also allow for Analog DC. I don't know how they do this and quite frankly I don't trust that. Just saying.

    Have fun with your wiring project.
    Wish I were.
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    My new N Scale layout will have a toggle to provide DC or DCC to my modestly-sized railroad without an additional section as @cbg plans. As I understand it, my most worrisome risk will be accidentally feeding DCC to a DC locomotive because DCC is AC, right? I'm not sure how to eliminate this risk, other than assure all of my DC locomotives are isolated before I toggle over to DCC.

    From what I read, if I accidentally feed DC to a DCC locomotive, it'll likely be okay.
     
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  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Easiest solution ? Change them all to DCC....:sneaky:

    Sumner

    P.S. Well maybe not the easiest......
     
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  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    For this reason I keep all my DC locomotives, most are old and not very good, in a separate drawer so I have to think about it, same with the DC power pack, stashed in a closet usually. I do have them out now, as I just wired my first successful DC/DCC wiring on my 2' x 4' base. But now the DCC controller is far away from me as are the locomotives as not to make a mistake. I am planning on getting rid of all my DC items in 2022, except the power pack! Just in case.
     
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  8. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Each of my engines has a stick-on label on the bottom of the fuel tank saying either DC or DCC.

    If I feed DCC to a DC loco it hums and buzzes. I don't let it go on for long. In theory it should generate about as much heat in the motor as maybe 10 vdc.
     
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  9. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like that idea of the stickers on the bottom.

    My layout is set up for both as well with a switch I got from RPC Electronics ( A TB member). Here is a shot of when I was installing it so you can get an idea what it looks like.
    dcdcc.JPG
     
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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    To eliminate any chance of DC/DCC locomotive damage, I initially planned to reproduce the time-coordinated dual-key launch procedure employed with nuclear ballistic missiles, but my wife refused to participate. :LOL:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    No launch for you! :D
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I made the same provision in my control panel, providing an amber-colored warning LED to catch my eye.

    2021-11-25 DCC Toggle.jpg
     
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  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I have both but the DC is 25 years old and the DCCs were bought back in '09 to switch over to HO gauge. Which got blocked. So they are separate. The two HO steamers from Bachman say they run on both and do chug and move on a little track.

    But, it is nice to start hearing some info on DCC without all the foreign language involved. :whistle:

    Rich
     
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  14. cbg

    cbg TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks to all for your replies and ideas. I plan to have a few sections of track just past the switch leading to the timesaver area as an isolation block as suggested. I like the switch from RPC (thanks BNSF FAN) and may use it. The RPC website shows a power supply for this switch, if this is a power routing toggle system what is the power supply for?
     
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  15. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    On the test track I put in a dual switch setup that also alows one siding to be switched between the 'main' and the 'program track'. Then I added another switch box next to the one above that ....

    [​IMG]


    ... allows one to turn the power on/off to 5 sidings that I can use to park DC or DCC engines on.

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
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  16. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Powers the LED's I guess and not sure if anything else. Funny, I never really thought much about that part :)
     
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  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    All my DCC locomotives have a 'green dot' sticker on the bottom of the fuel tank. DC locos have nothing. When I buy a DCC locomotive or install DCC in a locomotive it gets the "green dot' of approval...;)

    Some DCC systems allow you to run a strictly DC engine on DCC rails. Digitrax allows you to use the address "00" for this purpose. Just dont let the locomotive sit idle on the tracks....weird things happen !:eek:(y)
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  18. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Both my HO Spectrum/Bachmann streamers don't have any stickers. But, the instructions clearly state they will work on either.
     
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's my guess too.
     
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  20. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Yes the power supply is only for the LED lights. I use the same switches in my suitcase control center for the T-Trak layout and there are times when I just run DC and don’t even plug in the power for the command center, I just switch it to DC and run trains.
     
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