Model Train Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys I was wondering if I could run a dcc loco and run it on just normal electric rails (bachmann flextrack with electric power)(I’m sorry I am new to this and I don’t know he vocabulary very good)this is the ez track power thing I’m using thanks a lot
541841
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
Welcome, Gustavoo!! 👋
SHORT answer is yes. BUT it may not be just as simple as that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
If your DCC ready loco has a jumper in place of the decoder, You are good to go.
If your DCC decoder is dual mode, AND programmed for DC running, you are good to go.
Otherwise, you will need someone to set the decoder correctly.
That's the rough overview, but someone else can fill in better details!! 😆
Is your Loco new? Do you know what brand of decoder is installed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,884 Posts
To clarify a bit:
The decoder in DCC locomotives is designed to be operated by digital control systems, such as Digitrax and NCE. Those systems, and there are tons out there, allow you to use all of the performance characteristics designed into the decoders.

However, you CAN run such locomotives on DC-only rails powered only by the controller you show. NEVER....EVER..MIX THE TWO AND HAVE THEM ATTEMPTING TO POWER THE RAILS AT THE SAME TIME.

You have to find and download the manual for the decoder. See the manufacturer's website. It'll explain how to operate the decoder using DC. You'll lose a lot of benefits, but you can run the locomotive, and it will make sounds for you.

The rail types you use don't matter. If they are the right gauge, and they are clean, they'll power the locomotive and your decoder will work the locomotive for you via your controller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If your DCC ready loco has a jumper in place of the decoder, You are good to go.
If your DCC decoder is dual mode, AND programmed for DC running, you are good to go.
Otherwise, you will need someone to set the decoder correctly.
That's the rough overview, but someone else can fill in better details!! 😆
Is your Loco new? Do you know what brand of decoder is installed?
Ok thank you a lot. Actually I was looking to buy a new bachmann loco and it was only offerd dcc but I think that I will look into dcc but I didn want to get to complicated with the controls. It’s a family layout. but is dcc a lot more complicated? And while you are there , do you know if I can connect an atlas or other brand turnout (obviously same scale) to the bachmann? Thanks a lot again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
To clarify a bit:
The decoder in DCC locomotives is designed to be operated by digital control systems, such as Digitrax and NCE. Those systems, and there are tons out there, allow you to use all of the performance characteristics designed into the decoders.

However, you CAN run such locomotives on DC-only rails powered only by the controller you show. NEVER....EVER..MIX THE TWO AND HAVE THEM ATTEMPTING TO POWER THE RAILS AT THE SAME TIME.

You have to find and download the manual for the decoder. See the manufacturer's website. It'll explain how to operate the decoder using DC. You'll lose a lot of benefits, but you can run the locomotive, and it will make sounds for you.

The rail types you use don't matter. If they are the right gauge, and they are clean, they'll power the locomotive and your decoder will work the locomotive for you via your controller.
Ok thank you. Are digital control systems really complicated? and do I need to buy more stuff to be able to run it? And correct me if I am wrong but dcc is you can control the loco itself right? So what You’re saying is I won’t be able to run my dc loco on the same track as the dcc? What can happen? Thanks a lot again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
Ok thank you. Are digital control systems really complicated? and do I need to buy more stuff to be able to run it? And correct me if I am wrong but dcc is you can control the loco itself right? So what You’re saying is I won’t be able to run my dc loco on the same track as the dcc? What can happen? Thanks a lot again!
If you wish to stay with Bachmann, they make a DCC system. Or you can get an NCE Power Cab system, very easy to set up and use. The problem with the Bachmann system is you cannot change any settings on the decoder. Changing the settings is very easy on the NCE system, so don't let the thought of that scare you away!
The reason you don't want to run a DC locomotive on a DCC system is because DCC does not actually use DC current. It is a square wave AC signal of about 15-16 volts at all times. The AC current will french-fry the DC motor in no time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,462 Posts
Digital control systems are not complicated. Don't let all the buttons on the controller scare you away from DCC. Most of them are just an ordinary 10-key pad. The rest are for speed control and direction. There may also be a whistle/horn button, lights button, and some special functions for operating turnouts or other accessories. There also may be some added function keys for activating various sounds.

If you buy that Bachmann DCC system you'll wish you'd bought something else a few months down the road.

If you are only going to set up an oval of track on the carpet, then I would stay with DC. If you are serious about the hobby and plan on a larger layout on a proper table, then DCC is the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Digital control systems are not complicated. Don't let all the buttons on the controller scare you away from DCC. Most of them are just an ordinary 10-key pad. The rest are for speed control and direction. There may also be a whistle/horn button, lights button, and some special functions for operating turnouts or other accessories. There also may be some added function keys for activating various sounds.

If you buy that Bachmann DCC system you'll wish you'd bought something else a few months down the road.

If you are only going to set up an oval of track on the carpet, then I would stay with DC. If you are serious about the hobby and plan on a larger layout on a proper table, then DCC is the way to go.
Ok my layout is quite big and its not just an oval but i think I will make the switch to dcc. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,862 Posts
Another big advantage to using DCC is that you can park locomotives anywhere on the layout and switch to another one without worrying about electrically isolating the first one. Full-featured DCC systems also allow you to have more than one person operating trains simultaneously (not the same train, two different ones). I would think that for a large, family layout, both of these features would be highly desirable. From a wiring standpoint, DCC is no harder than DC, and even easier in many cases.

A note about MichaelE's comment on Bachmann's DCC systems. They offer two. They first, EZ Command, is a limited feature system that allows control of multiple locos, but not programming and other, more advanced features. As he points out, your desires MAY rapidly exceed the capabilities of this system, and it's not upgradable, so you'd have to reinvest in a better one. Their other system is called Dynamis (sometimes listed as EZ Command Dynamis). I made the mistake of buying one of these for my son. It SOUNDS cool in the marketing literature, but in practice the controllers are bulky and hard to handle, and the interface is clunky and confusing. Worse, though, if you want to make ANY upgrades to what you get in the box (even adding another controller), you must first purchase a $400 upgrade called the Probox). J would steer clear of that one if I were you.

Otherwise, anything from the Big 3 (MRC, Digitrax, or NCE) will suit your needs just fine. The differences between them are in the interface and controls, not capabilities. It's a good idea to try before you buy, if possible. I have an MRC Prodigy Wireless and love it; you will find plenty of fans of the other brands, too. Generally, everyone loves what they have, so be prepared for some lengthy, glowing endorsements.

If you prefer a more visual interface and want to use a touchscreen as a control system (many don't, because there are drawbacks such as difficulty of fine control and lack of tactile feedback), Roco's z21 system is worth a look. It allows you to use smartphones and tablets, to control your layout in it's native mode. Both MRC and Digitrax sell adapters to allow the use of these other devices; to the best of my knowledge, NCE does not (but I'd gladly learn better if someone knows otherwise).

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,159 Posts
Hi guys I was wondering if I could run a dcc loco and run it on just normal electric rails (bachmann flextrack with electric power)(I’m sorry I am new to this and I don’t know he vocabulary very good)this is the ez track power thing I’m using thanks a lot View attachment 541841
Gustavoo12;

Welcome to the forum! The other guys have already answered your early questions well. I'm attaching files that I wrote for new model railroaders. They may help with other questions as they come up. They have a lot of information on various model railroad subjects.

Again Welcome;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
Yes. Go DCC and don't look back...DCC connects to the track with 2 wires, no diff from DC..An NCE PowerCab is about $150..and to me is the Coke of throttles. 3 others are Pepsi, RC Cola, and 7Up..
Then obtain one good DCC loco/cars.Bachmann Spectrum series locos are quite good. Look on ebay. If you want all the digital features, incl. sound, buy "DCC/Sound on Board" locos, only...Lay your track as carefully as poss. (check out the many how-to videos on this). If you haven't built the benchwork yet, be sure to make it so you don't have to reach across it more than 2.5' in any one place... M 🛤🌄🛤🌵
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top