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| | |-+  Can a DCC loco run with a non-DCC controller?
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Author Topic: Can a DCC loco run with a non-DCC controller?  (Read 464 times)
Neo Fender

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« on: February 22, 2009, 12:57:41 PM »

(I’ve already learned that non-DCC locos don’t like DCC).

I’m currently running two loops, one non-DCC Thomas and two DCC locomotives on a separate loop.  I have enough track to run a third loop for the second DCC loco to run solo.  The problem is that a second DCC controller is pricey.  One can buy an entire non-DCC starter set (including the non-DCC controller) for less then the cost of a DCC controller alone.

Secondly, can a DCC controller run two separate loops? (i.e. with a Y-track connector in parallel or in series?  Will the DCC controller “see” them both as a single track or Huh?

Thanks.   
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 12:09:41 PM by Neo Fender » Logged
SteamGene

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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 01:02:13 PM »

Properly wired, a DCC controller can handle multiple "loops" or tracks.  The DCC controller doesn't worry about the track; it worries about the locomotive number it's supposed to talk to. 
As to a decoder working on DC, that depends on the decoder. 
Gene

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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Neo Fender

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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 01:06:30 PM »

Thanks.  So... how do I get power to my second set of track?  Does Bachmann sell something pre-fabed or do I need to get creative with a soldering iron?

Properly wired, a DCC controller can handle multiple "loops" or tracks.  The DCC controller doesn't worry about the track; it worries about the locomotive number it's supposed to talk to. 
As to a decoder working on DC, that depends on the decoder. 
Gene


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RAM

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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 04:08:11 PM »

What kind of track are you using.  Bachmann has a 9" Straight Terminal Rerailer with Wire for the ns E Z track systems.  Go to the top os the page and click on E Z Track system.  Do you want to have more than a toy train set?  Most people lose interest just watching trains go around and around.  I don't want that to happen to you.  How about learn how to put your train to work, like the real thing.  Put siding hear an there to set out and pick up cars.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 04:24:12 PM »

Ram's question is a very good one.  However, this is what I'd do.  If possible, I'd locate the command station at one end of the layout.  From there, I'd run one buss straight down the middle.  (I'm assuming a rectangular table, 4x8 or 5x10 - if different, let us know.)  From the buss wires, I'd run drops to the two DCC loops and attach the drops to the track.  (In actual fact, the easiest way is to do the opposite - attach the drops to the track and then run them under the table to the buss wires.) 
You can attach the drops to the rails by:
terminal rail pieces
Atlas terminal joiners
soldering wires to the outside of the track.
You can attach the drops to the buss by
suitcase connectors
soldering the drops to the busses.    I do the latter - just make sure that you can't have a situation where the wires can short out. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Tylerf

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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 07:20:27 PM »

If you care to spend the money I would suggest connecting the dcc loops with a crossoer to increase operating capabilities
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Neo Fender

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 12:10:59 PM »

Yep, I have three 9" Straight Terminal Rerailers (two in use and one spare)

Over the past few years my six-year-old has acquired:
- Bachmann large scale locomotive with a tender and two passenger cars
- Bachmann large scale trolley
- 1950 Lionel O-gauge 4-6-4 Hudson and a few freight cars
- Lionel O-gauge Polar Express set
- Bachmann HO Digital Commander set (two DCC locomotives and rolling stock with additional used rolling stock
- Bachmann Thomas set (non DCC)

I currently have the large and HO scale sets arranged in concentric loops (my son likes to see all of them going at once).  If you can visualize:

- Large scale locomotive on a 7’ x 6’ loop, soon to become 7’ x 7’
- Large scale trolley on a 6’ x 5’ loop within that, soon to become
- HO locomotives on a loop within the aforementioned 6’ x 5’ loop with a passing loop and two switches
- Thomas on a 47” x 38” oval, the smallest I can run

All of this is on an 8’ x 8’ table.  Yes, I know this is too deep but I can currently reach all four sides.  I don’t see it ever being shallower than 5.5 feet with the large scale.  Obviously, this mix of scales = a scaling no go, so my ultimate plan is to run the large scale and HO scale sets on different levels and somehow sandwich the two O sets in between.

My current HO rolling stock derails on my Bachmann E-Z track switches (not sure why) and I have enough spare track to run a separate circuit, hence my desire to run the DCC locos separately. 


Bachmann has a 9" Straight Terminal Rerailer with Wire for the ns E Z track systems.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2009, 03:17:51 PM »

reference derailing?  Do you have a track gauge?  The two best reasons for a car derailing - considering the track work is good - are out of gauge wheels and trucks that are too tight. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Running Bear


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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 08:36:32 PM »

My layout was originally wired for DC operation and is broken up into 16 blocks. When I switched to DCC I simply connected the Bachmann EZ-Command to the wires that originally connected to the DC power supply and ran it like that for 2 years. All the track is powered by the DCC system. I can use the old block switches to turn parts of the track on and off as needed. The only thing that's changed is I've upgraded to a Digitrax system. The layout wiring is largely the same as when I was running DC only. And as for running a DCC loco on DC, yes you can. Most DCC locos have what are called 'dual-mode' decoders. As long as the decoder is set to allow 'analog' operation (default setting on many decoders) it will run on both DC and DCC.
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Running Bear
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