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newbie needs help

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  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 4 posts
newbie needs help
Posted by pete holzman on Monday, February 11, 2008 11:08 PM

I've been out of the hobby for 15 years. Used to have a large layout using traditional blocking and power routing control. This whole computer thing is new to me. I need instruction from ground up. I have been trying to locate a very basic explanation of how this all works, how it is connected, items needed, etc. Could someone please direct me to a source that is very basic so I can begin to understand?

 

THANK YOU!!! 

  • Member since
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  • From: Colorful Colorado
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Posted by Texas Zepher on Monday, February 11, 2008 11:32 PM

 pete holzman wrote:
I need instruction from ground up. I have been trying to locate a very basic explanation of how this all works, how it is connected, items needed, etc. Could someone please direct me to a source that is very basic so I can begin to understand?
Get the DCC system.  Connect two wires to the track.  Put a new DCC equipped locomotive on the track.  Call up channel three (the default).  Run the loco.   Adding the second locomotive involves one more step of changing the channel from the default of 3 to something else.   One does not need a book to understand this.  I guess I am saying unless you want to understand the technical details of the generated signal being sent to the locos a book isn't really going to tell you much more than that.  The manufacturers installation and users guide should be more than sufficient.

The second complication comes with reversing loops but if you can do a DC reversing loop you can do one for DCC too.  Basically no difference except with DCC they make automatic reversers instead of just using the DPDT switch. Which, by the way, would still work just fine.

Everyone makes this WAY too hard.  It is so easy.   

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  • From: Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted by Steve_F on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:54 AM

Tony's Train Exchange has a good beginners guide, check out the DCC for beginners;

http://www.tonystrains.com/index.html

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 8:35 AM
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Posted by Bapou on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:06 AM
Here is a link right to Tony's guide http://tonystrains.com/download/DCC-for-Beginners.pdf
Go NJT, NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit. Whatever you call it its good. See my pictures and videos here: http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff20/Bapouthetrainman/
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Posted by pete holzman on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 10:22 AM

Thanks for the help! especially the DCC for Beginners

 

Pete 

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    January 2002
  • From: Portland, OR
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Posted by jfugate on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 11:30 AM

 BlueHillsCPR wrote:
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/intro2dcc.htm

I don't recommend Allan G.'s wiring for DCC site to total beginners. The site has lots of very detailed technical information and will likely just scare beginners away if they start clicking around. Beginners need something simple, not a deep dive technical description of every option in the book. Allan's site is good for people who are over the hump of the learning curve with DCC, and is great for researching options. But it is most definitely NOT a beginner tutorial site.

Neither Tony's DCC for beginners nor Allan's DCC for beginners are all that great, IMO. Nothing but a bunch of text -- no pictures (okay, Allan's site does have a few pictures eventually ... but nothing to write home about). Adult training studies show at least half the population is visual and needs pictures illustrating the points to really "get it". 

A good book on the subject is Kalmbach's DCC Made Easy. This book starts out with simple plain english and uses lots of pictures. For complete beginners, this book is excellent -- well worth the money.

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
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Posted by gandydancer19 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:12 PM

Hi Pete, 

One of the things that you are going to run into is trying to figure out which DCC system is best for you. Try and find modelers in your area that have different systems and try and visit them. Hold and operate the controllers, Look at the manuals that came with their system. I am an old F--t and I chose NCE because it was so easy to use right out of the box. It had clear simple instructions with diagrams. The controller was also easy to use with a nice big display. It is a good system and having seen the others, I think it is the best. But there are others to look at as well, and I am sure that folks that use the others like theirs best.

Elmer.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

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Posted by pete holzman on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:44 PM

Thanks to all of you. I'm getting a pretty good education on DCC. The next step appears to be running all of that via an actual PC or Mac interface where trains can be run automatically. Any advice on that portion of the system???

 

THANKS!! 

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:02 PM
 pete holzman wrote:

Thanks to all of you. I'm getting a pretty good education on DCC. The next step appears to be running all of that via an actual PC or Mac interface where trains can be run automatically. Any advice on that portion of the system???

 

THANKS!! 

It sounds like you might be ready for CTI.

http://www.cti-electronics.com/ 

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:08 PM

 jfugate wrote:
I don't recommend Allan G.'s wiring for DCC site to total beginners. The site has lots of very detailed technical information and will likely just scare beginners away if they start clicking around. Beginners need something simple, not a deep dive technical description of every option in the book. Allan's site is good for people who are over the hump of the learning curve with DCC, and is great for researching options. But it is most definitely NOT a beginner tutorial site.

Allans site was where as a total newbie, I started learning about DCC.  It didn't send me running Joe. Wink [;)]

As much as I don't want to toot Kalmbach's horn for them I have to agree with Joe.  DCC Made Easy is a good place to get a pictorial introduction to the subject of DCC.

  • Member since
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Posted by pete holzman on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:27 PM

I have run across the CTI system with "Train Brains". It was a big leap at first without understanding DCC, but now that I'm a little better read on the subject, I returned to their site and it's starting to make more sense. Are they the "best" at this point? I know that's subjective. Maybe a better question is, are they the most advanced and/or reliable??

THANKS to all of you for your time. I was very involved 15 years ago and remember how helpful everyone in this hobby can be. I hope to get that involved again. I have a potential  client that may want me to build a pretty significant layout. I'm strong in all the other aspects of Model Railroading, just not this one. (I still like the panels with all those cool rotary selectors and buttons), but time moves on and I need to get up-to-date.

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