new to hobby what does dcc do : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

cant seem to under stand dcc do you need a computer I have only web tv I know it will operate many engines and stuff but how ?you have decoders but what sends the info to the engine and what can you do like sounds, speed, braking creeping just what is the object how hooked to track can you buy COMPLETE systems with all you need Im really lost cant seem to find the complete picture just this and that --can you help thanks bill

-- bill brown (, June 10, 2004


The concept of DCC is quite simple....Put an encoded but constant power signal in the tracks that gets picked up by individual locos. So every loco (and other things on the track) has power continuously available. Each loco can be individually addressed and controlled from the same or multiple hand-held (or stationary) throttles.

In contrast, the simple DC train controls use only a power controller (which usually includes an internal power supply and stationary throttle) and a simple motor inside every (motored) locomotive. But it can only control one loco (or a small consist) at a time (same speed, same direction). Either way, you don't really need to know the details of how it works in order to use it.

The DCC command station is the brains. It communicates to trains and throttles. A throttle is held by the operator. A power supply and booster provide actual power to the track. Each loco has an internal decoder. Multiple throttles can be connected to (most) command stations. This makes operating multiple trains and/or operation by multiple operators easy.

Several brands of DCC equipment exist. In general, the command station and throttle system equipment must match. The power supplies, boosters and loco decoders are somewhat generic and will work between brands.

No, you don't need a separate computer. But these are the basics. Your quest for a more elaborate railroad empire may include multiple operators, multiple trains, cordless (radio) throttles, sound system in or around trains, a signaling system that needs track block detection, remote control of track switches, automatic computer control, etc., etc. Getting there is suddenly much easier with DCC than with 'simple' DC.

-- Don Vollrath (, June 10, 2004.

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