Atlas DCC and Athearns Locomotives : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I have just been told about DCC and I have done some research and talked to people at my local hobby shop. They carry the Atlas Commander and recommend it. I have looked at it and I am considering getting it. Is this a good system, and would I have any problems running my Athearns Locomotives with it? I specifically have an SD-45, GP-50, SW/1000, and an AMD-103

-- Chris Hamlin (, January 20, 2003


The brand of DCC system and brand of locomotives you use have nothing to do with each other. Generally you can install an appropriately rated decoder of any brand in an engine - if it will fit - and it will run on any NMRA compatable DCC system - Atlas, Lenz, Digitrax, Zimo, etc. The catch is finding a decoder that (1) will fit into the shell of the engine and hopefully is (2) easy to install. There are several sites that have locomotive specific decorder install information including clubs, individuals and online vendors. You may want ot look at the DCC Web Ring, or even do a search with Google using appropriate search terms for your specific engines to see what others may have done.

-- Charles Lewis (, January 20, 2003.

Chris, If you have not purchased the Atlas Commander yet I would recomend that you do not do so. Unless you operate a very small layout. My Son owns a Commander and is not happy with it,It will not allow reversing units to function and it does not come even close to putting out the advertised 2.5 amps.It will trip the circuit breaker at 0.5 amps when measured with tony's Rampmeter,hardly enaugh to run one train.He shipped it back to Atlas twice and they send a newUnit finally, however it works the same as the old one.just to prove to ourself that the layout was not the problem,I hooked my Lenz 0/1 System and we had no problem at all. hope tis is not to late to help you

-- Hank Meyer (, February 02, 2003.

re problems with Atlas Commander - not sure what was happening there, I have a layout that is running 4 locos at once (mainly athearn), typically 2 locos moving continuously + 2 Locos shunting, all have lights. Also there are substantial grades on the express lines, so should be pulling quite a load (havent tested it as there hasnt been a problem). Running the commander + extra controller, but no extra booster. is running on a 17v ac power supply at 50va.

Using a combination of Atlas and NCE decoders.

Thus far am very happy with the atlas system.

-- Paul James (, May 22, 2003.

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