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!

Wiring a layout for dual DC and DCC operation

1231 views
6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2008
  • 1 posts
Wiring a layout for dual DC and DCC operation
Posted by SPHgandydancer on Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:26 PM

The SPH Gandy Dancers are bulding (on a shoesring budget) a layout for the residents of a retirement community.   At the present, we are planning to run on DC, but with hopes (and prayers!) that we may either be gifted with a DCC system or accummulate enough funds to purchase such a system.   What help can anyone give us?

SPH Gandy Dancer

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:52 PM

If you wire for DC (electrically-isolated track blocks, cab selector switches on the panels, etc) you can convert to DCC without heartburn.

If the layout is wired for DCC and you connect a DC pack instead of a master control station, you can run ONE locomotive (or lashup.)  A separate train would end up slaved to the one available controller - not a good thing.

Wiring a layout for simultaneous DC and DCC operation has an element of danger.  If the two systems are not completely isolated from each other, a moment's inattention could let the magic smoke out of something - anything from a motor or decoder to an entire DCC base station.

If I ever go off the rails sufficiently to allow a DCC locomotive onto my layout, I could provide for the beastie in an otherwise all-analog DC environment.  Due to the peculiarities of the MZL operating system, it is possible to keep a block of dead track between DC and DCC powered rails.  Given that, I could allow an electronic marvel to invade the land of open-frame motors, diode-controlled headlights and sound restricted to gear whine - but only if it's a Japanese prototype locomotive that could have operated in (read my signature)

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - analog DC, MZL system)

  • 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 Monday, July 21, 2008 10:51 AM
You could have both the DC and DCC system connected to the layout through a DPDT center-off switch. If the switch is thrown one way the DC pack is connected to the layout, if it's thrown the other way the DCC system is connected to the layout. If the switch is set to the center position neither power source is connected. Never will both systems be connected to the tracks at the same time.

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
    June 2005
  • From: Hot'lanta, Gawga
  • 1,279 posts
Posted by Rotorranch on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 7:41 PM

 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
You could have both the DC and DCC system connected to the layout through a DPDT center-off switch. If the switch is thrown one way the DC pack is connected to the layout, if it's thrown the other way the DCC system is connected to the layout. If the switch is set to the center position neither power source is connected. Never will both systems be connected to the tracks at the same time.

That will work just fine, as long as you are using one DC cab. If the layouts wired for multiple cabs, it will be a little more complicated.

This was discussed further here: http://cs.trains.com/forums/1435314/ShowPost.aspx

Rotor

 Jake: How often does the train go by? Elwood: So often you won't even notice ...

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: S.E. Adirondacks, NY
  • 3,246 posts
Posted by modelmaker51 on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 11:54 PM
You would also need to remove or isolate the DCC locos when running DC and vicw versa.

Jay 

C-415 Build: https://imageshack.com/a/tShC/1 

Other builds: https://imageshack.com/my/albums 

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: PtTownsendWA
  • 1,445 posts
Posted by johncolley on Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:34 AM
Interesting situation...I have a friend who has just gotten into DCC and layout is hooked up with the DPDT switch. That part is OK but his block control panel also has all his turnout controls running off the DC part of his system. This is fine UNLESS someone bumps one of the DC throttles, eh? Sounds a little risky to me? Any thoughts? jc5729 John Colley, Port Townsend, WA
jc5729

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!

Search the Community

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