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DCC books and Accessory power

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  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Vancouver, WA
  • 4 posts
DCC books and Accessory power
Posted by mcsquish on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:34 PM

I hope this is the right area to post this... I am just starting my first DCC layout and I am trying to figure out which books I need to be reading. I have a couple books, but I want to learn more.  Can I get some suggestions on which I should be reading.  

As far as power supplies go for the accessories, I have a 30 amp DC power supply that puts out clean 12.4 volts. Could I use this for my accessory power bus?

Thank you for any help!

  • Member since
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  • From: somerset, nj
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Posted by gregc on Thursday, January 30, 2020 4:14 AM

while there are various books on DCC, most material is easily accessible on the web and more up to date.   Wiring for DCC is a good start.   Many such questions have been posted on this forum and can be searched with google (site:cs.trains.com dcc).

 

a 30A supply is certainly useful, but could be a hazard without fuses are circuit breakers if there's a short.    What type of accessories did you have in mind (switch machines, LEDs, ...)?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:38 AM

 Indeed, plenty of DCC information on the internet. What is it you are interested in learning more about? The Wiring for DCC site covers pretty much anything you need to know for wiring the track, including all the most common brands of turnouts and crossings.

 Your jumbo power supply is fine - IF you break it down into multiple circuits with fuses or circuit breakers. 30 amps at 12 volts can easily start fires, or at least melt things and ruin models. You can get panels for automtovie type fuses on Amazon and other places to build a distribution panel, think miniature version of your house's breaker box. 

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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  • From: Vancouver, WA
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Posted by mcsquish on Thursday, January 30, 2020 11:02 PM

Thank you for the replies and links!

Sounds like I need to do more digging on the internet to learn. My main subject I am trying to figure out is what signaling can I do without having to use a computer.

As for the power supply, I would use it for anything I can; switch machines, signaling, anything else I can.  Thank you for the “duh” moment with telling me to break up the power like a house breaker box! Not sure why I didn’t think of that.

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 7:32 AM

 That depends - are you looking for something that is prototypical signaling, or more of a "show which way the turnouts are set" sort of thing? And if prototypical signaling, what sort? There are boards that do things like ABS signals with no need for a computer. If you need complex logic though - yes, there are boards that do this, but setting up the 'rules' by programming CVs is in my mind a whole lot harder than creating those same rules in a computer program like JMRI - although those boards can themselves be programmed with a tool like JMRI, it then becomes a case of "well, I have the computer anyway..." 

 Signals aren't cheap. The driver boards, the 'dumb' ones that need something else to tell them which LEDs to turn on, in the scheme of things aren't terribly expensive.

 There's nothing says the signal system has to interface to the DCC system. THe fact that DCC has power on the rails all the time makes the block detection part easier, and that can even be 100% electrically isolated from the rails.

 It also matters what DCC system you are using. For all but smaller layouts, NCE's cab bus doesn;t have the bandwidth to provide all the traffic for a signal system, so NCE users end up using one of the alternatives like Loconet, CMRI, or LCC. If you have Digitrax, the Loconet can handle quite a bit of traffic. If you have another system, many of them have no provisions to use their cab bus as any more than a cab bus, so again you need to use one of the other systems in conjunction.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
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Posted by gregc on Friday, January 31, 2020 8:11 AM

mcsquish
what signaling can I do without having to use a computer.

a block detector can be used to directly control a signal.   combining it with turnout position may require a few extra components.

are you comfortable with electronic circuits?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by mcsquish on Friday, January 31, 2020 8:09 PM

I was originally thinking ABS signaling, and detection for a helix and staging tracks.  I currently have just the power cab NCE for DCC but after your comment on bandwidth I might want to switch to Digitrax.  Since this is my first layout I didn’t want to get too complicate. For now.... Thank you!

 

As far as circuits go, as long as I don’t have to figure out stuff like diodes and resistor circuit, I’m good. And thanks for the help.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 31, 2020 9:04 PM

 That's probably not a good enough reason to switch. If you just want basic ABS signals, and maybe some progress indication in a helix, you don;t need any really complicate electronics that hook to the DCC system. 

 There are many off the shelf block sensors that can light up an LED, for the helix indicator, if all you want to know is which level of the helix the train is currently on. 

For ABS signals there are also some standlone boards you just link up per the wiring diagrams, and use the same sort of block detectors to know where the train is, and off you go. 

 If you get more advanced down the line, you can add a signal bus alongside the DCC to take care of that stuff. 

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Vancouver, WA
  • 4 posts
Posted by mcsquish on Friday, January 31, 2020 10:28 PM

Sounds good to me. Thank you again for the knowledge!

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