Question DC loco on DCC layout and vica versa

Trilbyman Dec 7, 2020

  1. Trilbyman

    Trilbyman New Member

    3
    7
    1
    I have several small layouts with an input plug on each so that I can power up which everone I want with my DCC controller. What happens if I put one of my older locos that hasn't been upgraded to DCC on the layout that is powered with DCC? And vice versa, what happens if I put one of my DCC converted loco's on a layout with my old DC power supply?
     
  2. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    789
    228
    19
    Most DCC decoders have a DC mode option. If set, there is no problem. DC on DCC most probable outcome is up in smoke.
     
    husafreak likes this.
  3. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    477
    282
    8
    So true, never thought about it until now but that would be an easy mistake to make!
     
  4. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    145
    258
    16
    Glad this question was asked, as I am a DCC "nube" as well and have a myriad of questions and learning to do myself.

    Basically, is the consensus such that if you are going DCC, you had better plan to go all the way with it --- in other words, every loco should be outfitted with a DCC decoder? Just want to ensure I know where I need to allocate my resources ($$$), as I have a nice little collection of locos that will need outfitted with decoders.
     
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    1,145
    1,178
    28
    A decoder-equipped model will work on a DC layout. Most modern decoders will automatically switch over to DC, I think the DC CV has become obsolete.

    Bachmann EZ command can control a DC locomotive on DCC, but most command stations do not have that feature. They still do not recommend leaving the locomotive sitting on DCC though. I used to have a DC F7, and the headlight would get very hot on DCC. The model will make a buzzing noise too. If you plan on using DCC, plan on installing decoders in everything you want to run.
     
  6. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    145
    258
    16
    That's what I pretty much was thinking Mr. Trainiac. Granted, it will take more resources ($$$), but the payoff will be more flexibility with the locos I plan on running.
     
  7. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

    1,145
    1,178
    28
    I think it will be worth it. It opens so many windows in terms of realistic operation and oftentimes simplifies layout wiring too. Sound decoders can be expensive, but motor decoders aren't that bad when you look at some of the basic four function ones from Digitrax and such.
     
    markm likes this.
  8. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,780
    609
    50
    Its really NOT a good idea to run a DC loco on DCC. And you cannot run more than 1 (at different speeds/directions or Start/Stop each independently.
    Period. Especially, if not moving (DCC will essentially apply "AC" voltage to a DC motor.) It will cause the motor to bounce back and forth ~8000 times a second and will overheat fairly quickly. And, the typical DCC system will output 12 Volts.
    Digitrax DZ126T is $30 MSRP, ~$25 discounted.

    Its just easier to flick a switch to a DC power pack.
     
  9. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,245
    3,841
    123
    Everyone asks this question when they start dabbling with DCC. Funny thing is, once you put your DC loco on the DCC track and hear it start buzzing, you immediately remove it as natural instinct tells you something is wrong. So what people tend to do is build a test loop of track that they use to run their DC and DCC locos on, switching between them.
     
    Zscaleplanet and tjdreams like this.
  10. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    477
    282
    8
    Basically, is the consensus such that if you are going DCC, you had better plan to go all the way with it --- in other words, every loco should be outfitted with a DCC decoder? Just want to ensure I know where I need to allocate my resources ($$$), as I have a nice little collection of locos that will need outfitted with decoders.[/QUOTE]

    I am pretty much stuck in the "playing with trains" part of this hobby and still want to try everything. I have a nice collection of Marklin locos and cars that I run on DC. These run on the inner loops of my 3 loop test track. I can't imagine trying to convert those to DCC. It is done but I love the simplicity of it an in truth it is just as fun for me. And there are no limits on what I can run.
    My DCC loop is the largest outer loop (245mm curves with sidings). On this I run my modern AZL and MTL locos. I run consists and link up long freight trains. Here obviously I will stick to locos that can be converted. The conversion of locos and operation in DCC is another ball game! It goes way beyond just driving trains around in circles if you want it to. It can be more realistic and complicated in operation.
    Obviously the plan is to run separate layouts. A European based scene with Marklin DC locos and a US based scene with American DCC locos. So I vote both!
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  11. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    352
    286
    17
    NO.
    We run Both DC and DCC at the same time on the same layout at shows all the time. Inner loop is usually DC and outer is usually DCC, We even run a cross over module where the tracks on the right side cross over the tracks from the left which results in the inner loop being DCC and outer being DC with out any issues. You just need to pay attention to what you are doing. As Rob said even if you accidently put the wrong loco on the wrong track the second it hits the rails and makes a funny noise your natural instinct is to remove it immediately. Believe me I've done it.

    I have 40 + loco's that have Decoders installed and well over 100 that do not. I even have Identical Loco sets (6 AZL C&O GP7's, 2 of each road #) with one set being DC and the other DCC. I keep my loco's in their original jewel cases. For the ones that are DCC. I simply write the Decoder address and decoder type on a piece of paper and put it facing down in the bottom of the Jewel case. By simply turning the case over and looking at the bottom I know if its DC or DCC and what the Decoder address is. For my sound equipped Loco's I've been printing out what function plays what sound and taping that to the lid for a quick reference guide.
     
    rray, husafreak and bostonjim like this.
  12. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    477
    282
    8
    One of the main reasons I wanted a DCC North American train is to have the opportunity to run on the BAZ Boys big show track. What a thrill that would be. So it is cool that you have both DCC and DC on your track David. Covid kind of stopped all the shows for now but maybe one fine day I will.

    Also obviously I messed up the quote feature as I was quoting Zscaleplanet and then the quote showed up attributed to me :p
     
  13. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    145
    258
    16
    Eric, you took the words right out of my mouth --- :LOL::LOL:

    TJdreams, noting that you have 140+ locos, this is is just the info I need to protect my back-side when the wife finds out I bought another loco --- "But honey, I barely have any. A guy on TRAINBOARD has 140+...."(y)(y)

    Granted I am only up to 12 locos, and I am intent on putting DCC in all of them over time. My intention for my layout is to use it as an introduction for my grandsons to the wonderful world of model railroading. There are two now (just little guys) and a third on the way. So once they are of competent age, the ability for them to control their own locos and learn how to operate a layout, will just add all the more to their enjoyment and long term interest in the hobby.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  14. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    352
    286
    17
    no No NO. That will never work.

    Better off asking her would she prefer you spent all your money on drugs and alcohol while hanging out at bars with wild women every weekend
    (---- WARNING ---- be sure to duck when the cast iron frying pan comes flying your way)
    OR Would she prefer you spent a little cash on your hobby once in a while. Stayed home and spent some quality time with her on weekends and occasionally Played quietly in the basement with your trains so you don't get on her nerves.

    You might wind up with a dented frying pan but
    At least you wont get the Guy on TRAINBOARD in trouble with his wife :sneaky:


    Three Rules for the Married Train Collectors
    #1 Never Buy train stuff for yourself in front of her unless you just bought something more expensive for her first.

    2# Never Tell her how many Trains you have
    --- 2a Never keep them all in one spot where she can easily count them
    --- 2b Never post the real Numbers any where she might see it or a friend might see and accidently comment on in front of her.
    --- 2c Put one old loco away out of sight before putting the new one on the tracks

    #3 Never tell her how much it cost.
    --- 3a Leave No Incriminating Paper trails for her to find
    --- 3b Buy one cheap car on credit, put it and the receipt in the bag for her to see
    --- 3c Pay cash for the 3 expensive Loco. put them in your pocket and hide the receipt under the plastic insert so she never sees it or them.
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  15. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

    359
    186
    17
    And in summing up ....... find a good marriage councilor !! LOL
     
  16. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    145
    258
    16
    Shucks....I used up all of these tricks with her in the early years of our marriage while building muscle cars (full sized that is). At least with Z-scale, I can hide things in my pockets, unlike a set of aluminum cylinder heads....:whistle::whistle:
     
    bostonjim likes this.
  17. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

    346
    40
    17
    Hmm... In that case, I guess I really shouldn't park my 1970 GTO Convertible next to the Z scale layout...

    ... but I do! :)
     
    ddechamp71 and Zscaleplanet like this.
  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

    7,245
    3,841
    123
    Yeah, we only run DCC on our ZBT Modules. It's more fun because you can have individual train control with several trains on each loop. Invariably there will be a derailment, or breakaway train, and being able to stop and go backwards to pick up the rest of your train while the other trains are still running really keeps the show going. Then you just speed your train up a bit to get your spacing back on schedule. You can't do that with DC very easily at all.
     
    bostonjim and Zscaleplanet like this.
  19. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,780
    609
    50
    Hah, my wife truly LOVES me so the frequent deliveries in the post are nothing. She has her collectables (which I really don't understand) but the lube is that her late husband was a train man and had a long list of clients for repainting and customizing locos. :)
     
  20. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    477
    282
    8
    Here's a "trick" I have employed successfully, I ask my wife to help me pick out a new car or loco. She has actually enjoyed doing that. This only works if you would be happy with either one! And I have bought her Anthony's (Zscalemonster) cat tents just as and excuse to get a z scale order in ;)
    I also agree with and use tjdreams "three rules..."
     
    bostonjim likes this.

Share This Page