DCC and DC


Greg Harter
 

This letter is in response to the very good article in MR by Allan Gartner regarding DCC or DC?

Our club has been running DCC and DC on our HO layout for over ten years without any problems.  We have four mainlines and numerous crossovers (and a helix) between them.  Each mainline can run separately on either DCC or DC.  We have designed and built several small DCC/DC detector boards and connected them to the mainlines.  When a train on one mainline tries to crossover to another mainline, the detector board looks at the current on both mainlines; if they match, the crossover turnouts can be thrown and the train can negotiate the crossover.  If they do not match, throwing the switch will not  move the turnout.  We have members who run on DC and several who run on DCC.  
We had several visitors during the NMRA show in Indy a couple of years ago and they all were interested in how this works.  We also did a clinic on this effort during the show.
Keep up the good work, MR!
Sincerely,
Greg Harter
Columbus (Indiana) Area Railroad Club


wirefordcc
 

Hi Greg,

Thanks for writing.  I've heard about your club before.

Being new to writing a column of fixed length is a real challenge.  Often, I have things I'd like to say but can't fit in two pages.  Sigh!

Allan Gartner


D B
 

But the article — read it last night — was quite informative Allan.  Keep up the good work. 

I started my layout 20 years ago with my son.  Ambitiously wanted to be able to reverse directions of a basic figure-8 layout both ways to provide multiple running paths to provide the illusion of a layout much longer than it is.  As your article suggests, then the task of dealing with reverse polarity (and managing it) overwhelmed me and the layout sat unfinished in the basement for literally decades.  When we downsized I moved the layout to a loft in the new home with visions of returning to it when I retired and had time.  A visit to a Model Train Expo lead me to discovering the wonders of DCC.   The electrical conversion was actually straight forward — especially if one reads your and Marc Gurries websites.  I am still working out the imperfections in track due to the fact I was a novice when I laid it so long ago.  But even that is fun.  Fortunately I did not have a substantial investment in DC locomotives at the time, and had my only quality locomotive converted to DCC with sound by a local hobby shop — less expensive than a new DCC engine.  

So I would echo your article’s suggestion that folks consider the move to DCC.  The realistic operation of top flight steam locomotives — with steam and “chugging” sounds timed to the action of the drivers and actual puffs of smoke timed to the sound — is incredible!  

And DCC installation is not as daunting as it might otherwise seem. With the auto-reverse switching electronics working seamlessly in the background, the operator enjoys complete flexibility in train routing.  

I used Tam Valley’s products for both circuit breaker protection and AR control.  Worked perfectly first time out of the box for a true DCC novice.  

Bill D
N&W Steam Only


On Jan 8, 2021, at 10:11 AM, wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:

Hi Greg,

Thanks for writing.  I've heard about your club before.

Being new to writing a column of fixed length is a real challenge.  Often, I have things I'd like to say but can't fit in two pages.  Sigh!

Allan Gartner


mailjohnwinter@...
 

I am very keen to learn more re DC + DCC wiring.  Read all the 'don't do it' articles.  Glad to find someone who has done it and had no problems.  Wonderful!

I simply have too many DC engines which are not suitable for conversion and I don't want to part with them.  Thought about tracks of DC only and DCC only.  But with about 100+ engines, I'd like flexibility of using any track for either.
The double pole, double throw switches way seemed too risky. Tried to find what you have and could not.  Instead, I've decided to wire each of my my circuits / tracks to a 25 pin socket.  Then two different plugs - one for the DC system and one for the DCC system.  Only wiring and no systems nor track power dependent accessories between track and socket. 

I did find a way of wiring the sockets and plugs so that a section of isolated / neutral track between paired points / turnouts would not have power unless the plugs matched. 

A DC/DCC detector was always first preference.  I've now got the notes and diagram for the DC/DCC detector.  Many thanks. 
Admittedly there is still the human factor - matching engine to system.  But the effort of changing plugs should reduce the risk far lower than simply / accidentally flicking a switch.
Questions:
  1. I have a Viessmann Commander.  They have advised that this unit "provides a fully digital rectangular voltage to the track.  It is not the same as in the past with modulated systems."  Will this be compatible?
  2. The Viessmann includes the ability to block / occupation detect and program auto runs.  Will occupation detection be affected by OR affect the DC / DCC detector?
  3. The Viessmann 5280 turnout decoders include isolated / individual common / green wires for each turnout.  For many reasons, I'd like to keep that feature.  Can the DC / DCC detector be adapted to keep them isolated?  ie two tracks compared with eg four common turnouts with isolated common / green wires.


nnjstevenstrong@...
 

I am very interested in DCC wiring  and consisting with my engines someofthem from Rapido. I am a begginer.  James  nnjstevenstrong@...   15199625392

Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2021 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] DCC and DC
 
I am very keen to learn more re DC + DCC wiring.  Read all the 'don't do it' articles.  Glad to find someone who has done it and had no problems.  Wonderful!

I simply have too many DC engines which are not suitable for conversion and I don't want to part with them.  Thought about tracks of DC only and DCC only.  But with about 100+ engines, I'd like flexibility of using any track for either.
The double pole, double throw switches way seemed too risky. Tried to find what you have and could not.  Instead, I've decided to wire each of my my circuits / tracks to a 25 pin socket.  Then two different plugs - one for the DC system and one for the DCC system.  Only wiring and no systems nor track power dependent accessories between track and socket. 

I did find a way of wiring the sockets and plugs so that a section of isolated / neutral track between paired points / turnouts would not have power unless the plugs matched. 

A DC/DCC detector was always first preference.  I've now got the notes and diagram for the DC/DCC detector.  Many thanks.
Admittedly there is still the human factor - matching engine to system.  But the effort of changing plugs should reduce the risk far lower than simply / accidentally flicking a switch.
Questions:
  1. I have a Viessmann Commander.  They have advised that this unit "provides a fully digital rectangular voltage to the track.  It is not the same as in the past with modulated systems."  Will this be compatible?
  2. The Viessmann includes the ability to block / occupation detect and program auto runs.  Will occupation detection be affected by OR affect the DC / DCC detector?
  3. The Viessmann 5280 turnout decoders include isolated / individual common / green wires for each turnout.  For many reasons, I'd like to keep that feature.  Can the DC / DCC detector be adapted to keep them isolated?  ie two tracks compared with eg four common turnouts with isolated common / green wires.




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