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Sorry if I'm not comprehending your problem correctly. But if you run analog DC why did you buy a DCC loco (aside from the fact that a DCC loco is more costly) ? And since you now have a DCC loco, and you could afford it, why not get a DCC throttle (NCE, Digitrax, other) NCE PowerCab is about $165... Same as DC, DCC has only 2 wires connected to the track...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
TELLTALE
I didn't know what it was or how old, just asking before I buy one that is dcc. I've already got one it acted up on my track
I returned it. I only got started a few months ago. I've got a lot to learn.
AL
 

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Al, Are you building a DCC controlled RR, or an old analog DC controlled RR ? To me, at least, it reads as if you bought/are buying a DCC (digital command control) loco, but you want it to be able to run on an existing DC controlled layout. Please clarify:
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'm not getting my point over to you. I will stay dc but trains that are for sell are mosty dcc which cost a lot more.
I'm happy with DC. The trains I see for sale are mosty dcc-w sound and I don't want them. So looking for away to buy
dcc and rework it to use DC. I also have a limited amount of funds.
AL
 

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I'd disagree with the assertion that most everything is DCC. Yes, that's what gets advertised, because that's what companies think people are looking for. But just about every model I'm interested in also sells a DC only version. You just need to dig a little more to find them. It's actually DCC without sound that's rare.

As we've repeatedly told you, DCC locos made in the last 10 years or so run just fine on DC. Your Jupiter was a fluke, and it wasn't that it didn't run so much as that you didn't want to exert the effort to make it run. If you're going to keep shopping bargain basement stuff, then you're going to spend a lot of time tuning them. There is no such thing as cheap, fast, and good.

FWIW, very few of us have unlimited funds. I am on a strict budget, but that just means that I have to save for a few months to afford what I really want.
 

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o_O What ? I still don't get you !.. And your syntax and punctuation ain't helping...
IF you want an analog DC Layout (which is what you seem to be saying) why are you even bringing up or looking at DCC ? It's DC locos (no sound, no decoder, no speaker, no lighting control, no address) that are the lowest priced on ebay or anywhere. And this seems to be what you want...But It sounds like you bought or are buying (costlier) DCC to run on DC... If true, then just buy DC locos and run them with an analog DC powerpack....
ANYONE out there who sees where I'm getting AL wrong, please explain....
 

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I think Al sees a lot of attractive new DCC locos advertised and for sale and does not seem to realize that the same unit is probably available in DC. I'm not sure I understand it either, but he is doing the BEST he can at this point to get something going with limited experience in the hobby. I wish him the best and I'm sure we will continue to help and encourage. After 77 years (I'm getting near to it myself) you might as well just accept whatever manner of speaking he uses. (y) And he has told us he's not so good on the computer but he's definitely learning!!
 

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Cid, I'm only 5 years behind you.. Thanks for my being able to know I'm not alone in trying to understand AL...
I may add one more post to him which might clear things up, and will be my final post in this thread....
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I'm a beginer in trains yes I started with a $20 set I bought at trade days fla market 5-6months ago. Now I have about 50ft of track and it has been a learning experince for me. I've messed up a lot puting this together. I have heard every word you have told me. I bought a steam loco with DCC and that thing had to be put on 50 before it would move that way I could put nothing else on the track or it would get run over I sent it back. That started me thinking if there was a way to buy one of those DCC and change it back to DC that is how this dcc-dc started. The JUMPITER was DC but had other problems and with my not knowing how I asked somebody who knows for help.
Don't get me wrong I"M lisitening to what you say.
AL
 

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It sounds to me like you're confused on what DCC is. Plain and simple, it is a way to send DIGITAL signals to a small computer board in the loco. That board rectifies the AC power from the rails into standard DC, which is sent to the motor. Many (most) decoders (the computer board) have circuits to bypass everything and send DC straight to the motor if they detect DC input rather than the wave-modieied AC that they want for DCC operation.

The fine control over the motor in DCC is provided by the decoder, not the locomotive itself, so if you use a DCC loco on DC, it works just like any other DC loco, without any better control of the motor than DC gives you. Worse, because those extra circuits usually still draw power, and therefore you require more DC input voltage to get the loco to start moving (in DCC, it STILL requires the same voltage to start moving, but the logic circuits can deliver that voltage as soon as the throttle is opened, rather than the linear power application of a DC controller rheostat). In short, it's normal to have to apply a large amount of throttle in DC to get some locos to move.

Trying to get the benefits of a DCC loco with DC power isn't a thing. As I said in an earlier post, almost everything offered in DCC is also offered in a DC only version. That Jupiter may be an exception, because it was designed for inclusion with a train set.

And I don't want to start a fight, but as I tell my teenagers, LISTENING is only half the battle. You need to understand what you're being told and apply it, or seek clarification. I realize that the learning curve can actually be quite steep (and this is a tough way to learn, with half a dozen people throwing a lot of info at you), but your responses often don't indicate that you're absorbing what we're saying, because many of your later responses don't seem to incorporate information provided in earlier posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I know what you are saying is mostly right, but I bought and tryed DCC loco and it had a hard time running on my track
so I guess I gave up and send it back. The jupiter was guess because I didn't know how old it was, it was DC but with problems. I may be able to change a few things but I don't have the knowledge to do somethings so I'm here. I'm not
interested in Dcc my life is now very easy and don't want to get into something that complex, it maybe easy but I;m new and there is a lot to learn, I see all the things and ways that a DCC machine would make it harder,to me a beginner.
SO DON'T GIVE UP ON ME AL
 

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Al

Some of us just don't give up our push for DCC.
I'm going on 91, and have found that DCC is not
at all complex, in fact, it's easier to hook up, and
easier to run than the typical DC system. I note
that you may think it's complex and difficult to learn.

Look at this Bachmann EZ DCC system.


You plug the power supply in the wall and the controller.
Then you connect the controller to the track. That's it.

Now look at the Controller. It has 2 rows of 5 buttons.
Each is one of your locomotives. You want to run loco 1
you press button one and turn the speed knob. You get it
going, then while its running, you can run loco 2 or 7 or
any of them...push the button and raise the speed.
You can individually control 2, 3 or more trains as
they run at the same time with this controller.

There's a button for FWD or REV...and another that
will turn the lights on and off. That's it...what is
complex about that...your TV remote is more complicated
than the DCC system. Give it another thought, Al.
If I can do it, you can do it...and thank us for pushing you.

Don
 

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I have to agree with Don -- DCC is not complex. When I got my MRC Prodigy Express many years ago, I simply disconnected the track feeds from the DC power pack and connected them to the DCC base station. Then I popped the shell on 2 locomotives, pulled out two jumpers and plugged jn two decoders. About 30 minutes and I was done. Hooking up a programming track and setting up the locos took about 15 minutes -- all without cracking the owner's manual.

Admittedly, you can get much more complex than that, but you really don't have to. Installing a decoder in an older loco (not "DCC-ready") can be tricky, and usually requires some soldering, but it's not beyond anyone's skills, provided they're willing to learn.

I will be frank: if you picked this hobby expecting that it was going to be a cheap, plug and play endeavor that you were just going to kick back and watch run, then you need to pay for quality locomotives and rolling stock. Older, used locos, especially cheap ones, are usually going to need some work to get running. Straight up, you either need to roll up your sleeves and learn how to maintain and tweak the equipment, tighten your belt and invest the money to get brand new, top quality stuff that will run great out of the box, or find another hobby. There is no cheap and easy route.

You CAN learn new skills at your age, and I think if you would try, you would find it very rewarding, and not a bit like work. It will help make (or keep) your life rich and fulfilling, not make it hard.
 

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AL, you have some things confused: DC is the old control method from the 50s.. With DC you have no independence of trains on the same track...If you put 2 or more DC locos on the track being controlled by a DC power pack, they will all run at the same time. The way the modelers get/got around this problem was to put a gap in the rails at about the longest train length you ever plan to run; say an engine and 12 cars = about say 6 feet..So, every 6 feet another gap is cut in the rail/s. Attached to these 6 foot lengths are 'on and off ' toggle switches wired between the power pack and each 6ft section we call 'blocks'.. Each 6ft section of rail is a block and has its own toggle switch mounted on a panel next to the throttle (Ppack)...
To run one train without the other trains moving, those trains/locos are turned off in their individual blocks where they are sitting..The train you are running has its block and ensuing unoccupied blocks turned on; power pack controlling speed and direction of this one train.
To do all this lots and lots of wiring is needed just to be able to run one, ONE train without others moving.....
DCC, invented about 15-18 years ago, takes all that wiring and running-of-trains-hassle away and allows any and all trains to run at the same time (if one desires / exactly like real trains do !) independent of one another due its newer, digital technology...Each DCC loco has a decoder which decifers commands from the throttle you are holding.. Each loco has a digital address you give it (usually the number on the cab's side) via one of the throttle's myriad of programming sections/categories you learn to locate soon after purchasing this throttle..One make/model I prefer is the NCE PowerCab. Others are Digitrax, Lenz, Bachmann, et al..
2, count them. 2 wires go to the track and that's it..You then buy DCC equipped locos here on out...A bit costlier than old DC but well worth it for the pleasure it affords you, especially the ability to run more than one train at a time, independently, no blocks in rails, just like the real thing..In fact it becomes so realistic that if you're not paying attention you can even have a head-on collision !!
Lastly, DCC engines come in 2 basic control levels and prices: 'DCC equipped', 'DCC/Sound on board'..'DCC ready' means you have to buy and install a decoder. And if you then want sound you also have to install a speaker...
In summary: If you now see the virtues of DCC you need only buy one or more DCC locos, and one DCC throttle/controller (which stores up to 6-8 locos/addresses in it), hook 2 wires to the track, plug in the charger on wall and you're good to go. With sound on board you can ring the bell, blow horn/whistle, turn head lights on/off/dim, hear the sounds of the engine/diesel/steam.....Bachmann has a DCC/sound, RS3 diesel about $125...+ many other choices/steam/diesel...
...I hope you now have a clear picture of the diff between analog DC and digital, DCC...
If you still remain with analog DC, don't buy DCC anything. Buy DC labeled engines to run with a DC power pack, but suffer the gobs of wiring it takes and still never be able to run more than one train at a time, blocks or no blocks......
Mark, Los Angeles
 

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I was excited as all get-out when I first ran two trains at the same time when I wired up my DCC over two years ago. I thought it was the neatest thing since sliced bread and wish someone had invented this decades ago when I was still a kid.

I can, and have, run up to six trains at the same time with independent control of each. That was basically just to see if I could do it. I don't usually run more than four at a time and sometimes only three. There's nothing quite like seeing that much action on your railroad. Locomotives at different speeds on different tracks, no switches to throw or buttons to push to keep them from colliding, etc.

Don't give up Al. You'll be operating trains in your sleep after the first two days.

This video show five running at once and all with one DCC controller:

 

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Al you've gotten a ton of advice here so far.

1) A newer DCC loco can be run on a DC set up with no problems but it takes a bit of research to be sure which ones will.

2) DCC is very easy to set up and run as DonR said it just cost a bit of money, any DCC stuff will cost more than straight DC.

3) Cheap locos of any type are likely to be troublesome, you might get lucky and get a good cheapy but the odds are against it.

4) A loco that is labeled as "DCC ready" is a DC loco that can be made DCC very easily
you just need to plug in a DCC decoder.

A lot depends on what you want to do, how you run your trains and how much money you want to spend. Only you know this.

What I would suggest is to get on EBay and type in "HO steam locomotive DCC ready."
That will show you what is available and at what cost. These will be DC locos and will run on a DC layout.
You should get a pretty good idea of things, pick out what you think may suit your needs and ask about it here
and we can advise you if needed.

If it's a DCC ready (DC) loco and you decide to go DCC it's simple and cheap to convert to DCC non sound.

For a simple track layout that you will only run one train at a time than DC just might be what you need.
If you want to run two or more trains on the same track or run two or more locos on the same train than DCC is the way to go.

DCC can be as simple as DonR said or as complex as you want to make it, it's your choice, not mandatory.

Magic
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I'm happy with what I have at the monent, I might change mind in a few days? right now I have 3 loops with a switch to get on the other tracks, I have 1 that is L shaped route 40' lg- a 16' loop in
Al you've gotten a ton of advice here so far.

1) A newer DCC loco can be run on a DC set up with no problems but it takes a bit of research to be sure which ones will.

2) DCC is very easy to set up and run as DonR said it just cost a bit of money, any DCC stuff will cost more than straight DC.

3) Cheap locos of any type are likely to be troublesome, you might get lucky and get a good cheapy but the odds are against it.

4) A loco that is labeled as "DCC ready" is a DC loco that can be made DCC very easily
you just need to plug in a DCC decoder.

A lot depends on what you want to do, how you run your trains and how much money you want to spend. Only you know this.

What I would suggest is to get on EBay and type in "HO steam locomotive DCC ready."
That will show you what is available and at what cost. These will be DC locos and will run on a DC layout.
You should get a pretty good idea of things, pick out what you think may suit your needs and ask about it here
and we can advise you if needed.

If it's a DCC ready (DC) loco and you decide to go DCC it's simple and cheap to convert to DCC non sound.

For a simple track layout that you will only run one train at a time than DC just might be what you need.
If you want to run two or more trains on the same track or run two or more locos on the same train than DCC is the way to go.

DCC can be as simple as DonR said or as complex as you want to make it, it's your choice, not mandatory.

Magic
 

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Al

There's absolutely nothing wrong with keeping your
DC set up. We, and that definitely includes me, enjoy
discussing our hobby with new guys on the Forum.
As you might notice, though, we've sort of ganged up
on you with our DCC pitch. We sure don't want to
annoy or frustrate you. More than anything else,
we want to keep you as a member. So I hope our
continued DCC pitches don't discourage you. Let
us know when we've gone too far.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I'M SORRY FOR THE MESS ABOVE!
I'm happy with what I have above, I have 3 loops with the outside about 40' lg. the next one is about 20'-next 12' lg.I
have a turnout that connects each line.I run 2-3 trains at times 2 and third with care.I can have 2 on the outside and when the front is getting runover I duck in on other track to let him pass. I have 1 single controller and another with 2
knobs that is how I can run so many at one time. each connected to a line. I got started 4-5 months ago with a $20 set from trade day, I had a old
desiel to go around the tree at xmas, so I put all together to start all DC loco. I've got now about 6 loco all DC so I will
not change to DCC. MAGIC what do I need to check to make a DCC run on my DC track. I've bought and tryed a
DCC ready loco and it will not work for me?
THANKS FOR HELP AL
 

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:D
Al, if you purchased a NEW DCC Ready locomotive, there should be a Jumper already installed
in the 8-pin NMRA decoder socket. This must be removed to add a decoder for DCC.

If there is no jumper plug installed in that socket, you will need one. You might be able to just insert
a couple of pins/wires into the socket but better to get the correct plug. With the jumper installed,
it is just a DC loco.

If you could tell us what the brand and model is, you might get better detail :D
I think there is a newer 9-pin plug, but I guess still needs jumpered.

Your layout sound great!!!
 
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