Topics

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