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DCC Ready?

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DCC Ready?
Posted by SirPeter on Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:35 AM

No matter who you talk to "DCC Ready" can mean many things. Bachmann Spectrum EMD SD45 (in N scale) - is it or isn't it? I contacted a 'Power Seller' recently - who professes to be an Authorised Bachmann Dealer - who had some very attractively priced Bachmann locos which were - quote - "DCC Ready". What is your definition of "DCC Ready"? I asked him. He didn't have the answer as 'he has to quote what Bachmann tells him! He did suggest, however, that I contacted Backmann's forum to get the answer. Seems a strange way of doing business for an "Authorised Dealer"! Anybody got the answer?

Peter 

 

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Posted by SirPeter on Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:50 AM

Thanks David. However, I don't have the loco in front of me and the seller appears to know less than I do!

Peter

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Posted by SirPeter on Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:54 AM

Sound advice. Thanks

Peter

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:14 AM
I've purchased and otherwise acquired many 'DCC Ready' locos in the past few years. Some have a socket for a decoder to plug into, some have a soldered in board that must be removed for a decoder to be installed (I usually just splice and hardwire) while others had no improvements whatsoever oyher than the motor being isolated from the frame. Watch out for the term 'DCC Capable'. In locos that carry this term you usually have to isolate the motor yourself. Athearn Blue Box is a good example of 'DCC Capable'.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Posted by pastorbob on Friday, September 26, 2008 7:56 AM

 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
I've purchased and otherwise acquired many 'DCC Ready' locos in the past few years. Some have a socket for a decoder to plug into, some have a soldered in board that must be removed for a decoder to be installed (I usually just splice and hardwire) while others had no improvements whatsoever oyher than the motor being isolated from the frame. Watch out for the term 'DCC Capable'. In locos that carry this term you usually have to isolate the motor yourself. Athearn Blue Box is a good example of 'DCC Capable'.

I will add to this by saying I have purchased a few Athearn that say DCC ready, but the motor is still not isolated.  A plug for a decoder and a non isolated motor is a set up for a disaster.

Bob

Bob Miller http://www.atsfmodelrailroads.com/
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Friday, September 26, 2008 11:41 AM
 pastorbob wrote:

 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
I've purchased and otherwise acquired many 'DCC Ready' locos in the past few years. Some have a socket for a decoder to plug into, some have a soldered in board that must be removed for a decoder to be installed (I usually just splice and hardwire) while others had no improvements whatsoever oyher than the motor being isolated from the frame. Watch out for the term 'DCC Capable'. In locos that carry this term you usually have to isolate the motor yourself. Athearn Blue Box is a good example of 'DCC Capable'.

I will add to this by saying I have purchased a few Athearn that say DCC ready, but the motor is still not isolated.  A plug for a decoder and a non isolated motor is a set up for a disaster.

Bob

Right you are. I always check to see that the motor is isolated properly. I've been doing my own conversions and installs in Athearn locos for at least two years now.

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


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, September 26, 2008 12:36 PM

I've got a pre-Walthers Life-Like Proto engine that was marked DCC Ready, but the headlight was wired through the frame, and it had no socket.

The bottom line is that "DCC Ready" means whatever the manufacturer says it does, and nothing more.

A long time ago, when transistor technology was taking over from vacuum tubes, we used to laugh at the way "all solid state" was used.  We found that term on a kitchen blender.  Since "solid state" in its technical definition meant "no vacuum tubes," the blender maker was completely right in saying that, although it really was pretty silly.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by mfm37 on Friday, September 26, 2008 8:51 PM

DCC ready means that the motor brushes can be "easily" isolated from the rail pick up to install a decoder.

 What does "easily" mean. Hard to tell unless you've installed a decoder in an engine that was not DCC ready. Sigh [sigh]

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, September 27, 2008 5:33 AM
 mfm37 wrote:

DCC ready means that the motor brushes can be "easily" isolated from the rail pick up to install a decoder.

 What does "easily" mean. Hard to tell unless you've installed a decoder in an engine that was not DCC ready. Sigh [sigh]

Does a Bachmann diesel made in 1976-77 count? That was a bear to convert as I had to remove part of the frame. Eventually I pitched the old open frame and shoehorned in a PPW can motor.

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


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  • From: Fredericksburg, VA
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Posted by Bill54 on Monday, September 29, 2008 1:12 PM

I've done several Bachmann Spectrum steam loco's and just one Bachmann Specturm diesel, the 44 ton switcher.

The Steamers were easy.  They had 8 pin plugs in the tenders.  All I had to do was remove the factory installed plug and replace it with the 8 pin decoder.

However, on the 44 ton switcher I had to hard wire the decoder.  The motor was isolated but I had to remove two metal things from the board that covered the holes that the decoder wires needed to be soldered to.

As everyone is saying, "DCC READY" can mean anything from the loco will accept a decoder as long as you isolate the motor and hard wire the decoder in, to, all that's needed is to plug in the decoder and go.

Just make sure the motor is isolated before going any further.

Bill

As my Mom always says...Where there's a will there's a way!
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Posted by wjstix on Monday, September 29, 2008 3:59 PM
"DCC Ready" means whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean. There's no set formula from the NMRA or whoever that says requirement A, B and C have to be met before you can call it "DCC Ready". It can mean anything from the engine having an eight-pin "plug and play" receptacle ready for a decoder to "we're pretty sure there's room in the engine to fit a decoder in there somewhere". Big Smile [:D]
Stix

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