Model Train Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
my question is this, in general are DCC locomotives and 'better' than DC locomotives when buying new equipment??

I intend to run only DC on this layout and am using Bachmann ON30 equipment. Do they use better motors or is the DCC circuitry any advantage if only run on DC track?

For example does a DCC loco on DC track able to run quieter, smoother, slower or is it the same as the equivalent DC loco?

I notice the price difference between DC and DCC locos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,463 Posts
Most DCC locomotives are simply DC with a decoder
added. There is no difference in the motors between
DC and DCC.

As to how well a DCC loco runs on a DC track you'll
find inconsistent results. Some do well, others not so
well.

Why not buy DCC ready locos? They are simply
a DC loco with a jack to plug in a decoder when
desired. If you are running DC why pay extra
for an unused decoder?

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was not aware a DCC loco could have problems on DC.

DCC ready sounds ok if Bachmann has them in ON30 that I run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
I was not aware a DCC loco could have problems on DC.
The drive mechanisms are identical. All that changes for a DCC locomotive is that before the assembler puts the shell over the frame and packages it up, he/she solders a decoder into place...or you do that yourself to save $20. What makes any locomotive or other device 'digital' is the addition of a microchip and other accessories on a motherboard, what we call a decoder, that meters out square wave AC current to the DC motor by rectifying it to a pulsed DC current.

DCC ready sounds ok if Bachmann has them in ON30 that I run.

I don't know if they do, but I would wonder why not. Even so, it's simple to acquire a suitable decoder with the features you want, remove the tender's shell if it's a steamer, and wire a harness between the two items. In fact, in On30, there might be enough room to place the decoder just in front of the cab's wall or something like that...no harness between tender and cab unless you also want sound and would like the speakers in a larger enclosure...the tender.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,763 Posts
performance differences between DC and DCC

my question is this, in general are DCC locomotives and 'better' than DC locomotives when buying new equipment??

I intend to run only DC on this layout and am using Bachmann ON30 equipment. Do they use better motors or is the DCC circuitry any advantage if only run on DC track?

For example does a DCC loco on DC track able to run quieter, smoother, slower or is it the same as the equivalent DC loco?

I notice the price difference between DC and DCC locos

spacomp92653;

The DCC circuitry does make a very big difference in how smoothly, and slowly, a locomotive runs, but only if your layout is DCC controlled. It won't improve anything to use a DCC locomotive on a DC layout. Which sort of begs the question, "Why stick to DC, instead of upgrading the operation (considerably) by simply switching to DCC?

It's not all that expensive. You can buy an NCE powercab controller (the type I use on my own layout) for $200 or less. Decoders are in the $25-$50 dollar range depending on whether you want sound or not. I think if you're running On-30 steam, you will like sound very much but you can save some money by using non-sound decoders if you prefer.. I'm also guessing you may not have all that many locomotives in On-30? The fewer the locomotives to convert, the less money you'll need to spend on decoders.

You can also run either DCC or DC by simply installing a DPDT (Double Pole, Double Throw) toggle switch to connect your layout to either DC or DCC (never both at the same time!) That way you can convert, or buy one locomotive with DCC. Try it, I think you'll like it, If you do then you can run your other locos on DC until you decide to install decoders in them.
DCC is not complicated to install, or use. In fact the wiring for a DC controlled layout is typically much more complicated than the super simple, "two wires from controller to track" that DCC requires. Even installing a decoder and sound speaker in a locomotive is not difficult, especially in one as large On-30. I do it in N-scale locomotives. If you can read directions and know how to solder, then you can install a decoder. There are also plenty of locomotives available that already have DCC decoders and sound, installed for you, at the factory.
Of course it's your railroad, and therefore your decision. If you want to stick to DC you can. However if you want the slowest, smoothest operation of locomotives that sound like real locomotives, then go DCC.

have fun with whatever you choose;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,959 Posts
Some locomotives are also DCC ready even if they don't come with a decoder. They will have a dual row of pins on a curcuit board installed in the locomotive that accepts either a header on the decoder, or a wiring harness with a header socket that fits on the decoder pins.

Takes about ten seconds after the shell is removed.

My newest ACME locomotive also has separate pads for which to solder speaker wires so there is no soldering on the decoder for those that are sound decoders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
i have an On30 DCC sound Porter that i ran on DC to check clearances ...as far as I know the final component [motor gears] are the same ... it did however, use some of the sounds in DC mode, that a straight DC loco could not ...
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top