Hello, after a 38 year hiatus from train modeling my son and I are building a N scale set. So new to this. Its exciting yet overwhelming. I want to run DCC. Haven't figured out how yet tho. Thanks for this forum!
Hockey Fan;Hello, after a 38 year hiatus from train modeling my son and I are building a N scale set. So new to this. Its exciting yet overwhelming. I want to run DCC. Haven't figured out how yet tho. Thanks for this forum!
Welcome to the forum!
I don't know why DCC would require anything anything like "a PHD level diagram."
Wiring a layout for DCC consists of connecting two wires from the DCC controller to the track. Then it would be. "Congratulations Dr. Hockey Fan, you have just wired your layout for DCC!"
Seriously, it's that simple. If you plan on building a really large layout, you might need to add "bus wires" (a 14 gage wire running parallel to each rail of the track) and "drop/feeder wires" (20-28 gage wires connecting each rail to it's bus wire) The feeders would be set about 6-8 feet apart along the length of the track.
However, if your planned layout is closer to the 4' x 8' type, (from your photo it looks like it is.) then the "two wires only" system will work fine. You won't really need bus wires, and multiple drop/feeder wires on a small layout. They won't hurt anything if you have already wired them though.
If you would rather avoid installing DCC decoders in locomotives, you can buy locos with DCC already factory installed. For a DCC controller, I recommend the NCE Pro Cab. It is one small, hand-held, piece, simple to install (two wires) and simple to program & use. Cost about $200 retail but there are discounts & sales available.
There is a very good book on DCC available at https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/products/books It is "Basic DCC Wiring" by Mike Polsgrove.
The pdf files below are some I wrote for people planning on building a layout. Browse through them if you wish. They have information on DCC control, "DCC ready/friendly/compatible turnouts and lots of other model railroad stuff. They may answer some of your questions about how the hobby has changed. If/ when other questions come up, just ask here, and we will be glad to help.
Thanks for all the help. I look forward to the next step which is wiring. I do not have a DCC controller/power station yet. Having a hard time deciding which one to buy and spend 100.00+ dollars or more in the dark. There is a hoppy shop up in Milwaukee I may go visit. Call me old school but i want to see it and feel it before i drop the money on it.
I have a Burlington Northern DCC decoder installed engine from Atlas as our test engine.
Glad this board is out here...thanks!