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Author Topic: DCC Locomotive on Dc Track  (Read 820 times)
Offtherails93543

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« on: January 04, 2018, 11:09:33 PM »

I have a DC track and controller, and just purchased a DCC enabled locomotive, because my plans are to grow into a DCC setup.  The locomotive says its backwards compatible and can be used with a DC controller, which it does, but it only runs at half speed.  Is this normal?  I'm new to this and there's so much to learn.  thanks
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Flare

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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 12:10:50 AM »

Could you elaborate on the speed issue?

If you got the loco used, it's possible the speed table was programmed to only go so high and needs to be reprogrammed.


If you meant that the loco dioesn't respond until the controller is is set to half speed that could be because dual-mode DCC decoders don't 'wake up' until a few volts are applied.

Perhaps cleaning the rails would reduce the electrical resistance and give you a lower starting voltage from the controller?
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Offtherails93543

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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 07:43:06 PM »

no, it was brand new out of the box.  It was sitting in a hobby shop for several years, but it is brand new.  the controller gradually increases the speed but only to about half the speed of what my other non-DCC train runs.   the one i'm comparing it to is much older (1970's vintage).  Not sure if the new one needs to be run in, but I've run it for a few hours (on and off) now and it seems to maintain the same top speed.  Thanks for the help.  It's all new to me.  Thanks
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Len

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 08:03:07 PM »

The DCC decoder in the loco is between the track power and the motor. Even though you are not using DCC there is still a significant, voltage drop through the DCC decoder. This causes a DCC equiped loco to run slower at the same throttle setting than a similar straight DC loco. It's even more pronounced when the DCC loco is also equiped with sound.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
RAM

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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 10:54:31 PM »

Does this locomotive have a dummy plug?
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Offtherails93543

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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 10:48:07 AM »

Len, Thanks so much or the explanation.  I'm not sure what a "dummy plug" is, but considering the trains owner, I probably need one.  I don't see anything on the locomotive.  It's an N-scale ATSF locomotive, but I don't think it has one.  I'm glad to hear that the lower speed is normal for DSS equipped locomotives.  Thanks
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RAM

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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 06:15:30 PM »

You unplug the decoder and place it with the dummy plug and you have a DC locomotive. 
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Maletrain

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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 08:16:43 PM »

The "half-speed" in the newer loco is compared to "full speed" in an old 1970s loco, which typically has an unrealistically high maximum speed.  So, perhaps a lot of what you are seeing as "slowness" is really a change in how the newer  locomotives are being manufactured to run at more realistic speeds.

To put matters into an objective framework, can you measure (or calculate) the length of the loop you are running the locomotive on and time it for a lap using a stopwatch (or smart phone app)?  And tell us what scale the locomotive is.  That way, we can calculate the scale miles per hour, and see if there is a real problem.
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