Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

dual DCC

5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2006
  • 12 posts
dual DCC
Posted by jhorvath on Friday, August 8, 2008 7:16 PM

Is it possible to use more than one DCC on a layout at a time? For example some combination of EasyDCC, MRC, NCE, etc?



  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,312 posts
Posted by locoi1sa on Friday, August 8, 2008 7:33 PM

  Most DCC systems are not compatible with others. You cannot use a digitrax throttle on a lenz or NCE system. Some pieces like boosters and power supplies are interchageable. I have atlas throttle plates on my modules that hook up to the Lenz system the club uses pluss an NCE throttle plate that I use at home. CVP makes throttles that can be used with other brands of comand stations.

  As for decoders they are all compatible to a degree.


 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: Orig: Tyler Texas. Lived in seven countries, now live in Sundown, Louisiana
  • 25,640 posts
Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Friday, August 8, 2008 8:44 PM
I tried two Bachmann DCC systems together. They didn't like it. Nuff said.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

Dr. Frankendiesel aka Scott Running Bear
Space Mouse for president!
15 year veteran fire fighter
Collector of Apple //e's
Running Bear Enterprises
History Channel Club life member.
beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Friday, August 8, 2008 9:56 PM

If the trackage powered by two different DCC systems is completely isolated from each other, there would be no problem, but if the two different systems were trying to power the same piece of track they would be out of phase and could both release their magic smoke.

Now watch someone come along and claim that we're all wrong because he does it all the time.  Black Eye [B)]

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • 1,188 posts
Posted by mfm37 on Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:24 AM

Short answer- No.

There can be only one command station. Even having two command stations from the same manufacturer won't work.

You could; however, have two systems installed on the layout as long as only one is powering the track at the same time. It would be similar to having both a DC power system or DCC system running the track. This would require a great deal of research and planning not to mention doubling the cost.

This does make the command bus (throttle jacks) tricky and  would most likely require two complete sets of jacks and cables. Most of the systems use 4 or 6 wire phone cables but the wires are not the same on each system. e.g. NCE has pin 5 carrying 12 volts DC+ and Digitrax uses pin 5 as a ground. Connect the two and you get instant damage to one or both command stations. Plugging a throttle into the wrong jack may cause damage as well.

It is possible to choose one manufacturer's Command station and throttles then use other manufacturer's Boosters on the same layout. Digitrax, Lenz, NCE, and some others have instructions in the advanced sections of their manuals for connecting foreign boosters. You can still only have one command station.

Martin Myers

  • Member since
    November 2006
  • 12 posts
Posted by jhorvath on Sunday, August 10, 2008 4:12 PM
Thanks to all who have responded. I appreciate your time and knowledge. Perhaps in the "near" future (i.e. before my son has a 5 year old he's building a set for) DCC mfg's will use more than the current 13 functions and a simple SW update is all that will be needed.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!