ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 06, 2020, 06:01:16 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Check out the photo gallery link above or >click here< to see photos of recently announced products!
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  General Discussion
| | |-+  DCC ???
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: DCC ???  (Read 2218 times)
sour rails

View Profile
« on: August 01, 2007, 08:26:18 PM »

     What exactly is the DCC technology?  I know how it is used and some of the different functions are, but what is it?  Now that I have an engine and the E-Z Command, I think that it has something to do with different amps of power, but if that be the case how can the lights of each locomotive be turned on or off at will?  I'm really curious to know.  Does anyone know exactly what it is? Please let me know.
Logged

Sometimes, true greatness comes in small packages.  ~Sour Rails

Nickel Plate Road~Resurgence

Cool Cool Sour Rails Cool Cool
fieromike


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 09:27:07 PM »

     What exactly is the DCC technology?  I know how it is used and some of the different functions are, but what is it?  Now that I have an engine and the E-Z Command, I think that it has something to do with different amps of power, but if that be the case how can the lights of each locomotive be turned on or off at will?  I'm really curious to know.  Does anyone know exactly what it is? Please let me know.
The short version (that simple people, like me, can understand) is that you program an engine by giving it a unique address (and other parameters).  When you want to give an instruction to that loco, your command station sends a packet of information to that engine's decoder and the decoder turns the light(s), on, speeds up the motor ,or whatever you asked it to do.  IOW, black magic!

Or, you can download some excellent information here:
http://www.tonystrains.com/tonystips/dccprimer/index.htm

Mike
Logged
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 11:12:16 PM »

DCC is rather like email.  You send a message to a particular address.  When it is received at that address, it is acted upon.  All the other addresses ignore the message.

The message could say "turn on the lights."  And the decoder at the address you send that message to will turn on the lights.  Or you could send a message to go faster.  And the particular decoder that you addressed would make the motor in that specific locomotive go faster.

DCC allows up to about 10,000 addresses.  Often we make the address of the decoder in a locomotive match the number on the locomotive.  There is no magic here.  It is just a way of helping our human brains to remember which locomotive is programmed to which DCC address.

Amps (current flow) is important  because our locomotives have to draw power in order to move, make sounds, light lights, etc.  The more current (measured in amps) that our DCC system can produce, the more locomotives we can have drawing current from it. 

Does this answer your basic questions?
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
taz-of-boyds

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 12:45:15 AM »

If you are feeling adventuresome, here is a little more technical but still simplified explanation (don't go around telling people you stayed at a Holiday Inn and all...  Grin ).

The DCC signal does two things electrically.  One, the way it works to control the trains, is not too much different from a low frequency radio signal on wires (you may already use radio signals to send information, like a WiFi laptop computer connection, or text messaging over your mobile phone).  And two, it is like the AC voltage you plug things in the wall for power, only much lower voltage (like 14 volts instead of 120 volts).  The decoder uses this to provide power to the motor and lights.

Regular DC is more like a battery and uses a plain voltage signal that is higher for faster speed (like a 9 volt battery), and lower for lower speed (like a 1.5 volt battery).  But the voltage changes smoothly as you change the speed on the DC controller (at least if you don't want the train to jump around...)

As the guys wrote, the decoder is always looking for messages in the radio-like signal with its address, and when told what to do; it turns the power on or off to lights, or changes the voltage to the motor to change the speed (the motor still operates on DC, the decoder takes care of that).

If you like the technical stuff, you can go to the NMRA web site and download the standards with all the gruesome details.

http://www.nmra.org/
http://www.nmra.org/standards/consist.html

Electrically yours,
Charles
Logged
sour rails

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 10:31:45 PM »

     I understand the functions of DCC.  Standard DC is exactly what it is, DC, direct current, just like a battery.  Now DCC is more of an AC, alternating current, which defines that the locomotive will always go forward or reverse, regardless of picking it up and placing it backwards, it will still go forward. 

So, it seems to me that we are somewhat agreed that it has to do with some kind of radio signal.

Thanks for all the input.
Logged

Sometimes, true greatness comes in small packages.  ~Sour Rails

Nickel Plate Road~Resurgence

Cool Cool Sour Rails Cool Cool
SteamGene

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 10:42:51 PM »

I think the most important thing about DCC is that an individual locomotive or other device gets a message and acts on it while the others ignore it.  It's sort of like back when I was a batttery artillery fire direction officer and the radio said "28 this is 24, fire mission, over."  If I were 28, I'd be on my feet yelling "fire mission," if my section chief didn't do it first - which he should have.  If I were 38, I'd just turn to the centerfold.  Cheesy
Gene
Logged

Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
taz-of-boyds

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 12:28:52 AM »

I called it a radio-like signal, but it travels through the same wiring and track rails that DC uses.

If you really get involved with DCC and a larger layout there may be some wiring differences you have to use, but you can wait for that when the time comes.  There are tons of material on the web, and you can always get some books.

There are a lot of things you can do with enough money with the DCC decoders to control turnout motors, signals etc.  You can even automate the whole thing with a computer.  It just takes time and money.  But the main idea is to enjoy the hobby and the challenges you want to take.

Like Gene and the other guys said, the biggest attraction is all the locos can be on the track at the same time, all doing something different like the big trains.

Enjoy the hobby,
Charles
Logged
conradin


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 03:38:32 AM »

It's more like IP address broadcast in a computer network...the same idea of packaging and continue transmissions.
Logged

Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!