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DC or DCC for club layouts?

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DC or DCC for club layouts?
Posted by graymatter on Friday, May 11, 2018 9:33 PM

I saw this picture and thought 'wow' you  could have a small layout and have DC and DCC or even dead rail all in the same space. If it laid out right maybe HO an N scale too.

THE RIGHT-OF-WAY

C&O, Seaboard Air Line and Southern Railway at Richmond Virginia. Eventually the different railroad soceities would use one centeral station or 'Union Station.'

All the years I assumed Union Stations were built for or by the UP. This is what happens when I assume.....

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, May 11, 2018 9:48 PM

graymatter
I saw this picture and thought 'wow' you could have a small layout and have DC and DCC or even dead rail all in the same space.

Yeah, well, you could, but be thoughtfull on how you seperate each system.

You could have all that you see in your photo, with DC, or DCC.  A lot easier in DCC.  I don't know anything about "dead rail" systems, so I won't even guess if that trackage would need to be seperated, like the DC vs DCC.

Mike.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 11, 2018 11:41 PM

graymatter
you  could have a small layout and have DC and DCC or even dead rail all in the same space. If it laid out right maybe HO an N scale too.

May I ask why you would want to mix all of this stuff together? I am heavily involved in building our club's new layout and I have to say that just dealing with one scale (HO) and one system (Digitrax DCC) is providing us with more than enough challenges. I appreciate that you may want to open your club up to as many new members as possible, but providing a separate track system for several different operating systems seems to be a pretty challenging goal, even if you can build them all in the same space as your picture suggests. I'd spend some time seeing who is interested before acquiring any club assets.

Dave

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Posted by graymatter on Saturday, May 12, 2018 12:21 AM

Dave

The picture is real and that was the real 'wow.'

I read the story behind the absurdity of a three level railway and then I thought of a club where someone gets so frustrated that he suggests a level for each fraction of the group. Like those old model railroad cartoons where the guys walk in and see several elevations added to the layout and the guy says 'Problem solved!' Then they disagree on who gets the top level.

But I have several DC locomotives and some DCC and I have more verticle space than horizontal. So maybe a real clever design with several layers might be an option.

 

 

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:27 AM

I fail to see what the OP´s question in the title has got to do with the picture, but maybe that is just my bad command of the English language!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by bogp40 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:57 AM

Why? If you like that picture so much, just build a diorama. That would be a disaster for a club even using just one method. It would be like Northlandz

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 12, 2018 10:29 AM

You COULD "have it all".  If that's what you wanted.

Wire the layout for DC.  Design it so you can input DCC at any or all locations you choose.  Deadrail can be overlayed on either of these at any time, as long as opposing wheels are insulated.

Or.

You can build a layout with a DCC-only area.  With a DC area connected by an interchange.  Which idea can also be taken care of similar to the earlier paragraph.

As to WHY?  Not my problem.

But.  I'm a pretty committed DCC guy.  With lots of old DC locos I haven't gotten to, yet.  And, especially, some logging locos.  Which tend to be small, with little room inside for electronics.  This would be an excellent candidate for a mix of DC and DCC.  The logging railroad can be DC, as running more than one loco at a time is pretty unusual.  The "standard" DPDT block toggles would pretty much handle everything.  On my proposed layout, there would be very little interchange, being as there'd be a sawmill.  So outbound loads would be carried on the "real" railroad.

 

Ed

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Saturday, May 12, 2018 10:53 AM

Don't mix! If you really want to run dc as well, buy digitrax. They support dc loco running, but not nce. Be warned, however, that dc locos will make buzzing noises and may put a motor out of comission. Up to you.

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Posted by graymatter on Saturday, May 12, 2018 11:46 AM

BNSF UP

I did not know that Digitrax supported DC and DCC running. Good to know.

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Posted by graymatter on Saturday, May 12, 2018 11:58 AM

Ed

My current layout plan is multilevel with the idea that adding some flex track and a DPDT switch is cheaper than a bunch of decoders. I have inherited may older locomotives and that arent good canidates for decoders.

I must say that I was amused by the picture and not at all serious about the club comments. Just wanted to share.

"It's supposed to be fun" I read that somewhere.

Thomas

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Posted by Stevert on Saturday, May 12, 2018 12:07 PM

graymatter

BNSF UP

I did not know that Digitrax supported DC and DCC running. Good to know.

 

Digitrax command stations have the ability to run a single address (00) as DC by using a method called "zero stretching".

If you put multiple DC locos on the layout at the same time, they will ALL respond identically just like they would on a "real" DC layout.

Also, as noted some locos may buzz or otherwise complain, some may overheat, and some simply won't respond.  It (mostly) depends on what type of motor they have in them.

In short, although it is possible, it's practical use is very limited.  I've used Digitrax DCC for 15+ years, and I have maybe tried using address 00 to run a DC loco once or twice at most.

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 1:03 PM

Some years ago our club tried running DC in a couple blocks and DCC in other blocks. We had a DC layout with fourteen blocks. Four throttles. Each DC throttle capable of three amps.

Gabbing drivers crossed a block and smoked an NCE five amp booster. No more of this. We went total DCC and rewired.

Also running a DC loco with stretch DCC is hard on the motor when stopped. Heat at the brush points gets quite high when stopped. A little cooler when the armature is turning. I did temp measurements many years ago with an infra red temp scanner. You have to park the loco and turn off the siding power.

Rich

 

N

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, May 12, 2018 1:05 PM

I agree, the noise and buzzing just doesn't sound right, and it seems destructive.  I've tried it with Athearn BBs and Spectrum, set for DC, and the board on the Spectrum got hot enough to start distorting the shell, in one lap around my layout. 

Mike.

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 1:14 PM

mbinsewi

I agree, the noise and buzzing just doesn't sound right, and it seems destructive.  I've tried it with Athearn BBs and Spectrum, set for DC, and the board on the Spectrum got hot enough to start distorting the shell, in one lap around my layout. 

Mike.

Common knowledge. The AC component in the DCC signal oscillates the motor armature at the DCC frequency. Google it.

https://sites.google.com/site/markgurries/home/technical-discussions/dc-loco-on-dcc

Rich

N

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Posted by bearman on Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:34 PM

Do one or the other.  Methinks you are asking for trouble down the road if you mix and dont match.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by bogp40 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:42 PM

mbinsewi

I agree, the noise and buzzing just doesn't sound right, and it seems destructive.  I've tried it with Athearn BBs and Spectrum, set for DC, and the board on the Spectrum got hot enough to start distorting the shell, in one lap around my layout. 

Mike.

 

Maybe as a simple quick test of an engine, but it is not a good idea to run any DC motor on a DCC system. AC applied to the motor for extended period will have some damaging lasting effects. The buzz alone makes me cringe and can just imagine what is happening to the windings and brushes.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by jjdamnit on Saturday, May 12, 2018 4:54 PM

Hello all,

graymatter
...maybe HO an N scale too.

This discussion of combining DC and DCC rears it's ugly head periodically in these forums:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/254019.aspx

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/252559.aspx

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/250561.aspx

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/239041.aspx

The over all consensus is "NO!!!"

Too many risks for potential catastrophic electrical situations.

Next question is "Why???"

In your situation might I suggest running both scales on the same layout with differing cabs.

You could run an N scale DC layout as an upper level on a mountain RR with a HO scale DCC around the base.

This forced perspective might help with the illusion of distance.

Just keep the two control systems separated for best results.

Hope this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by bogp40 on Saturday, May 12, 2018 5:02 PM

I really couldn't see mixed scales on the same layout unless there was a specific purpose to do so. Would never work in a club setting, members of each scale would have nothing to do with each other's track or part of the layout. Layout planning, benchwork and the construction would end up in all sort of major issues where each scale would be affected in the process. This mixed scale is OK for display purposes at a show, event or hobby shop.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by Troop383 on Sunday, May 13, 2018 2:45 PM

graymatter

The picture is real and that was the real 'wow.'

I read the story behind the absurdity of a three level railway... 

Of course the three level railway is modern day prototypical operation at the Santa Fe Junction in Kansas City- just a few blocks from where the National Train Show will he held this summer!  I expect the foamers will be so thick that week!  

(Just a representative pic I grabbed to show the junction from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DrTowL4cK6U/S5vBIbc485I/AAAAAAAAFfE/ER704jgUAII/s1600-h/5trains-santa-fe-jct.jpg)

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Sunday, May 13, 2018 5:39 PM

After running for ten minutes with DCC I decided to never go back.  I'd rather hold off on running some engines than fiddle-fart around with mixed DC and DCC.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, May 13, 2018 5:57 PM

bogp40

I really couldn't see mixed scales on the same layout unless there was a specific purpose to do so. Would never work in a club setting, members of each scale would have nothing to do with each other's track or part of the layout.

 

 

I saw a mixed scale (O, S and HO, if I recall properly) club layout years ago somewhere on the San Francisco peninsula.  It worked, at least for awhile.

Ed

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