Model Railroading with DCC
DCC, or Digital Command Control, is a system for controlling a model
railroad layout that allows for independent control of
multiple locomotives on the same section of track.
How it Works
The system involves the use of engines that each contain
a DCC decoder. Each decoder is programmed with a unique address
that allows it to filter through signals emitted by the command station and
only accept those signals meant for it. The command station is
the central control of a DCC system. The station is used by the hobbyist to control
every train on the layout in one place.
At the most basic level a DCC system consists of 5 parts.
First is the throttle.
The throttle is the piece of equipment you use to input the
commands into the system (powering it on, moving the trains, lighting accessories,
etc.). This can be in the form of a handheld device, control
panel or even a personal computer.
The second component is a command station.
The command station is the piece that translates the commands
from the throttle to be sent out to the layout.
Third is the booster.
The booster takes the commands from the command station
and sends them to the layout. Often the booster and command station are
combined into one unit.
The next component is the decoder.
This is the chip in each engine that
receives the commands and decides which command to impliment. Each item
you wish to control on your layout must have a decoder installed
to receive commands.
The last component is the power supply which is common to every model
railroad layout. In a DCC system is still performs the task of
providing power for the layout.
-The system allows for operation of multiple trains on one track without
complicated track wiring.
-Having a central control for every independent train and switch allows
for realistic layout operations.
Other Digital Control Systems
DCS (Digital Command System)
This system was developed by MTH for use with its O Scale model railroad products.
Trainmaster Command Control
This is the system used by Lionel to control its O Scale model railroad products.
One of the best resources for any model railroader is simply asking someone
with experience questions about the hobby.
Feel free to contact anyone on our staff via the information listed on our Contact Us page.