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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I only have one layout, but I have two types of DC and DCC locomotives. Has anyone used that 1 layout to run these 2 types of locomotives ? Of course, when running any type of loco, only the controller is used, the power source is separate for that type, and the wagon can be shared.
Thanks
 

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You did not tell us what power system you use...DC or DCC.

Most current model DCC locos will run on a DC track...some
older locos won't, They will run as if DC so you won't
have individual control

Most DC locos will run on a DCC track but you must be very
careful to keep them moving...if they idle, the DCC track currrent
can burn out the motor.

Don
 

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You cannot mix the two types of power at the same time, so find a positive way to lock out one or the other.

DC locos can be run on 'some' DCC systems, but you won't like the experience. The alternating current in DCC makes the motors and their connected drive mechanisms squeal and howl. As Don says, don't let a DC locomotive sit unused on DCC-powered rails for more than a couple of minutes. After that, maybe a couple more, you'll find the motor very warm...and your shell will start to melt.

Modern decoders come from the factory set at factory defaults, including in CV29. With a value 38 programmed, as an example of a couple, the decoder will recognize which type of power you're offering it and act accordingly. If it's set to a value of 34, it will not react when you present it with DC current.
 

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Simple rule of thumb:
DON'T "mix" DC and dcc.

As mentioned above, most dcc engines will run on DC powered track.
They won't run as well as they do on dcc, however.

You don't really want to try running DC engines on dcc powered track.
As mentioned above, it can be done, but again, best NOT to try it unless you know what you're doing.
 

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Both types of locos simultaneously, no. Can't be done, unless you're running dual-mode DCC locos on DC power.

You can set up a switch to select which input is fed to a common set of bus wires. I did that for a while. But you have to be careful not to feed both types of power to the rails simultaneously, and you will need to remove your DC and non-dual mode DCC locos from powered track before switching input.

A far better solution is to convert everything to DCC.
 

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CT ValleyRR says it best "convert everything to DCC" . While you can install a switch, what happens when you forget to take one of your really nice DC only Locomotives when you switch to DCC. With a little luck it will start making noise and you may get it off the track before permanent damage is done. While a switch may work, if you have reverse loops, you could eliminate all the extra switches needed with DC and have it all automatic on DCC. The old saying is with DC you run the layout, with DCC you run the locomotives!
 

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I run a DCC locomotive on my DC layout all the time right out of the box. The only thing is, if I pass through a power block and the blocks don't have power going the same direction the locomotive continues on but blows its horn continuously. then once you stop it and start it again it goes the other direction. Otherwise no worries.
And considering I have 40+ locomotives, many as old as 70 years I have no intention of converting to DCC.
 

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I think you explained it right that you don't plan on running both types at the same time but most seem to think you are wanting to run both at the same time.
It's quite simple to wire you layout so you can run either or, simply need a toggle switch so you can go from one power source to the other. Then either have a siding to put your locomotives on that you can shut power off to it when switching from dc and dcc, or simply take the locomotives of the track.
I think it will take less work to run both systems versus converting everything to dcc depending on how many dc locomotives you have. Just have to be careful not to run the wrong locomotive and power source. I think it's more of a personal preference as well, some people simply like running their old dc equipment even though they run dcc.
 

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I run a DCC locomotive on my DC layout all the time right out of the box. The only thing is, if I pass through a power block and the blocks don't have power going the same direction the locomotive continues on but blows its horn continuously. then once you stop it and start it again it goes the other direction. Otherwise no worries.
And considering I have 40+ locomotives, many as old as 70 years I have no intention of converting to DCC.
No one is suggesting you should. If you're happy with DC, stick with it. Modern DCC locos will run fine (maybe without a lot if their features) on DC.

The OP, though, wants to run both, which makes your statement kind of irrelevant.
 

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His initial question was how can he run both types of locomotives but it didn't specify that he was going to use both DC and DCC power. The simplest solution would be to run DC and the DCC locomotives will work fine with it. Running both systems or converting to DCC are both valid solutions but are more complicated and expensive. DCC is probably the system of the future, but the question begs a simple answer.
 

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OP wrote, "...Has anyone used that 1 layout to run these 2 types of locomotives?" implying he wants one layout to do double duty (italics mine). At least, that what his syntax suggests to me, and presumably to others.
 

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His initial question was how can he run both types of locomotives but it didn't specify that he was going to use both DC and DCC power. The simplest solution would be to run DC and the DCC locomotives will work fine with it. Running both systems or converting to DCC are both valid solutions but are more complicated and expensive. DCC is probably the system of the future, but the question begs a simple answer.
DCC is more expensive, for sure, but it is NOT more complicated; in fact, significantly less so in many cases (and you even discussed an issue you do have, which does NOT exist in DCC).

But your initial answer had nothing to do with optimum solution and was more an assertion that your method has worked for many years; no one was going to make you convert to DCC, and you were happy with it. If your recommendation was that the OP stay with DC only, despite sacrificing many of the features available in DCC but not DC, you should have said so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think you explained it right that you don't plan on running both types at the same time but most seem to think you are wanting to run both at the same time.
It's quite simple to wire you layout so you can run either or, simply need a toggle switch so you can go from one power source to the other. Then either have a siding to put your locomotives on that you can shut power off to it when switching from dc and dcc, or simply take the locomotives of the track.
I think it will take less work to run both systems versus converting everything to dcc depending on how many dc locomotives you have. Just have to be careful not to run the wrong locomotive and power source. I think it's more of a personal preference as well, some people simply like running their old dc equipment even though they run dcc.
You understand exactly what I mean. I just use layout (the track is already there). If running DCC, use DCC control, and running DC, use the corresponding one. Do not use a mixture of the two. Completely standalone.
I mean: With the layout set to run for DCC locos there are different layers of rails. So when switching to a DC source, it is not clear that it provides enough power? Of course, transferring the DC loco running from one track to another will have to be done manually.
 

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You understand exactly what I mean. I just use layout (the track is already there). If running DCC, use DCC control, and running DC, use the corresponding one. Do not use a mixture of the two. Completely standalone.
I mean: With the layout set to run for DCC locos there are different layers of rails. So when switching to a DC source, it is not clear that it provides enough power? Of course, transferring the DC loco running from one track to another will have to be done manually.
I think having the option to run both types of locomotives is nice.
As long as you have a decent DC power pack you shouldn't have any issues with lack of power. Unless you have a really big layout. My DC power pack handles a 135 foot mainline just fine and running 4 engines at the same time. However it overheats after about 10 minutes if I run 5 locomotives at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think having the option to run both types of locomotives is nice.
As long as you have a decent DC power pack you shouldn't have any issues with lack of power. Unless you have a really big layout. My DC power pack handles a 135 foot mainline just fine and running 4 engines at the same time. However it overheats after about 10 minutes if I run 5 locomotives at once.
You run 4 DC locomotives at the same time? Set interval for it to run concurrently?
 
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