DC or DCC that is the question!

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IanS
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DC or DCC that is the question!

#1

Post by IanS » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:46 pm

It's not the standard question of whether go DCC or stay DC.

Over the last 6 months to a year I've bought quite a number of DC and DCC fitted locos. I've also bought some DC locos with DCC decoder fitted at the retailer.

My problem is, how do I find out which is DC (only) and which has a DCC decoder fitted?
I have a Prodigy Express 2 DCC controller and a number of analogue controllers.

I know some of the DCC locos will have analogue use enabled, some won't.

So how do I tell them all apart other than taking the lids off and looking inside their bodies/tenders?

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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#2

Post by dtb » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:08 am

I always check what I'm buying, never had an issue where I have purchased a loco and don't know whether it's DC only or DCC fitted.

From my experience where accidently putting a DC loco onto the DCC track will give a buzzing sound, I think at least anyway, not done it too often.
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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#3

Post by Stese » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:59 am

i'd get each loco you own, and one at a time, ask your dcc controller to read the address (if it has that function). dcc enabled locos should return a value, dc won't.
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IanS
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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#4

Post by IanS » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:58 am

@stese I don't know if the PE2 has that function. I'll look in the manual and try it.
@dtb I know at the time what I'm buying, the problem has arisen because it is quite some time for many of them. Also, some have had retailer fitted DCC chips fitted and the boxes don't reflect the change.

I need to be much more organised! Maybe a little sticker on the bottom with the loco ID included if it is DCC.

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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#5

Post by Brian » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:08 am

The Gaugemaster PE2 can read CVs. All it lacks is the ability to operate accessories.
Some DCC Fitted locos refuse to be programmed or read and at times only setting (writing) CVs on the main at the higher track volts gives a result! So be a little cautious when using the Programming track.
In fact, probably the only 100% certain way to determine if DCC or DC is to open the loco or tender and look for the decoder or the DC operation blanking plug. :shock:
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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#6

Post by IanS » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:16 am

Thank you Brian - I hoped that wasn't the case.

I'll proceed carefully - some I do know that are DCC and some I know are DC. Planning it seems, is required to get this right.

I'll work through my locos and determine which are DC, which are DCC and see if other techniques work to check the 'unknowns' before opening them up.

I'm pleased to read about the PE2 as I thought I was doing something wrong with the programming track. At some point I'll probably upgrade but until then .......

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Re: DC or DCC that is the question!

#7

Post by RAF96 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:31 pm

A simple check is to put each loco in turn on a DCC track.

If it buzzes it is DC so take it off sharpish before the motor burns out.

if it doesn’t buzz it is likely decoder equipped so try to read the address as suggested.

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