On a DC layout, will Spectrum steam run better or worse with decoder removed?

Started by Searsport, September 11, 2023, 04:58:12 PM

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Hi, just wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are of replacing the decoder with a blanking plug in the Spectrum 4-4-0s and 4-6-0s when using an analogue controller. My "DCC Ready" steam seems to start at a lower voltage than my "DCC on Board" steam, giving me a greater useful dial range on the controller, but are there other differences? And are there advantages in leaving the decoder installed??

Grateful for opinions / experience from other analogue users.



On a DC layout a decoder equiped loco will generally require around 5 volts on the track before it even starts to move. This is due to the voltage drop through the decoder electronics before any power reaches the motor. Replacing the decoder with a dummy plug eliminates that voltage drop, so the loco will start moving at lower voltages, the same as a DCC Ready loco.

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


As Len has said, use the dummy plug if you are going to run it on DC.
Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA