Help! First exposure to DCC

jim29t Feb 25, 2015

  1. jim29t

    jim29t TrainBoard Member

    59
    0
    13
    I have just gotten a locomotive that came with a CT Elektronic decoder. I understand that a NCE powercab will make it work. Will other powercabs also work? Will the NCE power cab work with other decoders? What should I do next as a raw beginner?

    What do I need to do to run this locomotive on regular DC? Do I have to remove the decoder?
     
  2. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,527
    356
    66
    Other cabs will work also, but NCE Powercab its the easiest one to use. Most dcc system will work most decoders. I have not run into the problem of not being able to program a decoder, and I used five or six decoder manufacturers.

    Most decoders I use, don't like dc, specially Digitrax, while TCS seems to run very well in dc. I have not try to run a CT decoder in dc.
     
  3. jim29t

    jim29t TrainBoard Member

    59
    0
    13
    Thanks John. I was hoping I would get a response from you
     
  4. jim29t

    jim29t TrainBoard Member

    59
    0
    13
    What do I need to buy to get a TCS system. I have nothing at this time.
     
  5. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,527
    356
    66
    Jim, all you need is to buy the NCE Powercab. It includes everything to run your dcc loco.
     
  6. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    4,527
    356
    66
    You can get one in ebay or Amazon for around $160.
     
  7. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    2,752
    568
    48
    Jim, the TCS is a decoder, like your CT Electronik. Train Control Systems makes decoders only. Here are there Z scale decoders: (http://www.tcsdcc.com/Customer_Content/Products/Decoders/Z-Scale/Z Series.html)

    The NCE PowerCab is a complete DCC system, all in your hand. No external boxes. To wires to the track, press: Sel Loco, enter the number (usually the loco's road number) and Increase to make it go.

    Now, if this is your only loco and you don't plan to use several locos (2 or more) at the same time, anywhere on the layout, then you don't need DCC and you may want to take the decoder out.

    If you want to run it on DC, the decoder has to be enabled for it. This is a CV (Configuration Variable). Anyone with a DCC system can do this for you. *however*, as John points out, many decoders do not do well and it will *always* run slower than the same loco with the factory DC board in it. This is because it takes several volts just to turn on the decoder.

    MRC published a Guide to DCC that is written about all things DCC:
    http://www.modelrectifier.com/resources/railroad/a_guide_to_dcc.pdf
    .
     
  8. cnrtcmtl

    cnrtcmtl TrainBoard Member

    10
    0
    12
    Thanks Jeff
    Very good info for all
    I have about 30 locos from MTL and AZL and looking to do DCC
    My layout is well separated by blocks in DC
    If I transition from Dc to DCC slowly, is it dangerous to run both is case of bad connection ?

    Raymond
     
  9. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

    1,532
    80
    32
    Jeff,
    Do you prefer TCS or do you use a variety of decoder brands? Lots of good info on the two links you posted..........gives me lots of hope for my own coming of age with DCC. Where can one get the best prices on TCS decoders?
     
  10. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    984
    52
    22
    Because of the way I operate I prefer the TCS line of decoders, I run DCC at home but at shows I run DC because it is more forgiving of smallhands knocking stuff off of the track and the Rokuhan controllers are fast acting to shut things down. The TCS decoders I am using are 4 function so I have ditch lights on some of my flleet and they operate on DC whether steady or flashing depending on what mode they were in when last removed form DCC track. With DC mode enable on the decoders the operation is virtually seamless, it is as if the decoder has a built in relay to shut dc direct to motor and bypass the motor drive on DC track. I have replaced the Digitrax decoder i had in one of my locomotives because I had to have dc throttle up to about 7 volts before engine began to move and current draw was high, and I don't get this with the TCS deocders. I am using power cab and decoders are very easy to program with this system and I also use JMRI mainly for storing my decoder programming in the event I need to reboot one. Programming with JMRI works fine also but I find it faster and easier on power cab. for purchasing I find prices are pretty level across numerous on line outlets, but I use zscalemonster , his service is on a par with yours and Karen's
     

Share This Page