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dcc installation

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dcc installation
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 11, 2001 8:18 PM
contemplating purchasing dcc for my completed layout which is wired using common rail wiring. how big of a job would conversion be. layout has been in operation for over 25 years so present wiring looks a bit like spaghetti. would any wiring be saved or do I have to start from scratch with dcc. presently using atlas selectors for blocks and atlas controllers for reverse loops. running trains using artisto craft trains engineer walk-around control system which works beautifully. quite happy with what I have but feel that its time for the rockbottom junction rr to modernize but the thought of rewiring the layount seems too much of a task. Being a lone wolf modeler is dcc really worth it ? Someone who has gone through this dilemma and willing to share his experience with me (and others) would be welcome . Thanks for any and all comments re above.


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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 12, 2001 4:19 AM
You may also want to ask www.atlasrr.com
They have a DCC forum. Register & wait to receive a password back but in the meantime you can still view
the forum. Also take a look at www.ttx-dcc.com This guy has a slick DCC web page. Lots of luck, I enjoy
spaghetti and I'm going to keep it that way.
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Posted by cprted on Monday, November 12, 2001 5:37 PM
If your layout is wired in a way that all of the blocks can be turned on at the same time, no modification should be required. Just connect the leads coming from your power pack into your DCC system and away you go. If you work with a system that uses rotary knobs where only one block can be selected at a time, some minor changes may be required but it should be to bad.
The grey box represents what the world would look like without the arts. Don't Torch The Arts--Culture Matters http://www.allianceforarts.com/
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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, November 12, 2001 6:43 PM
Rudy:I would like to make some comments.To answer your question about dcc and is it worth it? I will start by saying I don't have a home layout,so the layout I will refer to is my pass layout.I to used Atlas controllers and selectors,on my pass layout the dcc would have done very little on operations as the layout was 4'x 12'.double main line yard, and industrial area,with MRC walk around for running the local.Other wise the main line was ran by power packs as was the yard and engine terminal each had it's own power pack.I could run two trains on the main lines and still work my yard.I ran this layout solo.So dcc was no use to me.This layout by the way was N scale,I am now back in HO.Currently I have no plans to use dcc,how ever I do (force really). buy dcc ready engines.Now from what I been reading in some forums,some folks are having some problems with it.The club that I belong to has 35 members 2 uses dcc.Most of the guys,like me is waiting for the dcc to get some of the bugs work out of it.I visit several clubs and have gone to open houses at clubs with-in a 150 mile area from where I live,and one uses dcc as a option to the members.Now for what this is worth the modelers that I know (5) uses digi-Trax dcc and swear by it.I have operated on layouts with dcc and I truely don't see what fuss is all about.As I stated as of now I have no plans to use dcc.Now if the club that I belong to goes dcc then I will have no choce but to follow or quit the club which I will not do.The idea came up but no one seen interested for the reason stated above.Now should you go dcc you must choose that.But,should you go dcc take a look at Digi-trax. I hope this helps you in some way.

Good Luck!

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 12, 2001 7:11 PM
hi guys: i use an older system called dynatrol command control. this is an analog system and has 18 frequencies. i find that this is enough for me. however if i was starting a new layout now, i would recommend the mew digital dcc. lentz or digitrax are both good systems and have 99 frequencies. in rudys case only he can decide if it is worth the trouble and expence to change over. in his case it spounds to me that a complete rewire is in order, if its an older layout it might be time to make the change. the largest number of model railroaders still use conventional wiring, but the flexibility of dcc will open up all kinds of operating possibilities that standard wiring could not give you. good luck.






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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, November 12, 2001 7:32 PM
Hi Bob you are right on the different possibilites,I was running a train on a friends layout and got talking to another guy,ran a red block and you guess it!head on.Thought you guys would like a laugh on me!

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by greendiamond on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 4:53 PM
Rudy:

As a DCC dealer, I realize that DCC is not for everyone and some people probably shouldn't even consider it. Although I have found over the past7 years that the people who have converted mostly can't believe they hadn't gone to DCC earlier. The decision is yours to make. If you are satisfied with what you have and have fun using it you may not want to switch. The basic idea with DCC is to not have to worry about changing selectors or rotary power switches while you are running your trains. Some DCC beginners switch just so they dont have to be continually handling a control panel and just operate their trains. I usually go through a whole number of questions with potential customers before I sell them a DCC set. I want them to be sure it's what they want to go with and that it will truly fit their needs. I think there's nothing better that a happy satisfied customer and nothing worse than a customer who thinks you just sold him a bill of goods to make money off of him. Yes, there are people to whom I will not sell DCC. Imagine that!

Most of my customers are converting existing layouts from DC to DCC. Most have friends over from time to time to run the trains with them, others are all by themselves.

One of the features of DCC that turns alot of people on it the fact that you can automate your reverse loops. I can just see their eyes light up sometime when I mention it. You don't have to automate the reverse loops if you don't want to. You can still use the controllers for controlling the reverse loops.

BIG NOTE! Most DCC systems will not work with common rail wiring. Digitrax does sell special systems for common rail wired layouts upon special order.

Please let me know if I can answer any more of your questions.

Mike Tyl
greendiamond@msn.com
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 7:14 PM
I found that my wife suddenly decided that running trains was fun when I switched from cabs to command control. Others have mentioned this same thing.
I consider this a positive (just in case you were wondering).
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 3, 2001 1:07 AM
Hi Rudy,

I just recenly converted to an inexpensive MRC Command 2000 DCC system and it has made running my layout so much easier. I can run trains in opposite directions on the same track and the switch in the wiring was very easy. Much easier than using CAB control. As the others mentioned, you no longer need the blocks and you can wire them all together into just two wires.

I really enjoy it and it has made running them much more fun for myself as well as my kids and friends. I'm starting to only buy engines that are DCC ready and that makes it easy to install the decoders. Some of our older engines may never get a chip as it can be difficult to install decoders in them. Especially the Athearn and Atlas trains. But not impossible. Digitrax makes a harness that makes the chip installation a lot easier.

Good luck,

Todd
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 3, 2001 9:26 PM
I suggest that you take a look at www.wiringfordcc.com. There is a lot of great info on that site. One other item to take a look at is your existing turnouts. There is an extensive discussion of this topic on the website.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, December 3, 2001 9:36 PM
rodolfo: no you do not have to rewire, the dcc is placed between your transformor and your track feed. The hardest part is installing the chips in your motive power

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