Outdoor Garden layout using DCC

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I am from England, and I am currently constructing a OO gauge garden layout. I have been considering using DCC, however, my only experience of digital control systems, was back in 1980. My Dad had a large indoor layout with conventional 12v DC controllers, and decided to convert to 'Hornby Zero 1' which was a very early digital control system. The system worked when all wheels and rails were absolutely imaculate. However! Unless the track was spotless beyond the norm for 12v DC, the Loco's would run very poor eg, stuttering, stopping or even reversing on there own.

Can anyone tell me how the latest DCC systems compare to standard 12v DC systems in running performance and rail cleanleness?

-- Stephen Wiseman (wisey31@hotmail.com), July 10, 2001


DCC works fine out of doors, at least it works as well as regular track power in most cases. There are exceptions.

When the track gets really dirty, DCC may work worse than regular track power, depending on the decoder. Some decoders respond poorly to a series of bad packets and may cycle in and out of analog conversion. Smaller locos will respond worse due to naturally poorer power pickup and therefore more resets and bad packets.

I usually run MU consists to spread the power pickup over 16 or more wheels and this seems to be adequate to provide reliable operation on all but the most dirty track.

Heavier locos also seem to bear down on the track harder and they tolerate dirty track better.

- gws

-- George Schreyer (gwschreyer@mac.com), July 31, 2001.

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