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Model Railroad DCC
Basic DDC System Components
T Power supply
(operator input) DCC Network cable Isolated programing track
(power to track)
C B P
(sends input pulses)
’s, 40 io 19 g rad Track zones the in Track zones to us ins. D ack stemd tra s b sy an Decoder ate a y d asedcomm (interprets input) all le ctu l re s to C a ione ncie DC n L ue e eq wh fr
Wire Gauge Guide Gauge Inches Mm 24 0.0201 0.511 23 0.0226 0.574 22 0.0253 0.643 21 0.0285 0.724 20 0.0320 0.813 19 0.0359 0.912 18 0.0403 1.02 17 0.0453 1.15 16 0.0508 1.29 15 0.0571 1.45 14 0.0641 1.63 13 0.0720 1.83 12 0.0808 2.05 11 0.0907 2.30 10 0.1019 2.60 Track feed wires HO,N,Z Track bus S.O,G Track bus
Scale Z N HO S O G
Voltage Guide AC Volts Loco Amps 12-14v .5 .75 14-16v 1. 1.25 2 18-20v 4
Amperage available is equal to power supply + booster. Match the amperage output rating of the power supply and booster. Use multiple boosters to power and isolate several track zones on the layout. Newer locomotives generally draw less amps than older, particularly those prior to the 1980’s.
How does DCC work? DCC acts similar to a computer network. It uses the track itself to send messages to the locomotives, just as information is sent over a computer network cable. DCC communicates with locomotives by using electric pulses, fed into the rails and picked up a by decoder in the locomotive. (Accessories can also be controlled by their own decoders.) For this reason, DCC utilizes alternating current or AC current, rather than the direct current (DC) traditionally used to power track. The rails are powered at all times, and the speed of the locomotive is not controlled by the amount of power. Changes in speed and direction are all communicated by pulses. Each locomotive has a unique pulse signature. A typical pulse contains packets of data including: Start bits – to let the locomotives know a message is coming. Address byte – to indicate which locomotive the message is for. Instruction byte – to let the locomotive know what the controller wants it to do. Error detect byte – to let the controller know if a problem has occurred. End bit – to let the locomotives know the message has ended. The standards for DCC were developed by the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), based on concepts by Marklin and Lenz. As long as they follow NMRA standards, components by different can work together. However, it’s recommended all major components be from the same manufacturer (command station, boosters, throttles).
System Component Wires Connect the Power Supply to the Command station Red and Black Connect the Command Station to the Booster; Connect the Booster to the Track Bus Orange and Gray Connect the Command Station to the Programming Track Blue
Like a water hose, electrical capacity is proportioned the diameter of the wire. The larger the gauge, the smaller the wire size. Use smaller gauges for larger trains and larger layouts.
Reverse Loop Options
AMP Requirements Worksheet Number of locomotives AMPs required for each x = Number of turnout motors AMPs required for each x = Number of light bulbs AMPs required for each x = Accessory Types Number AMPs required for each x x = x x = x x = x x = x x = x x = x x = x x = x x = Accessory Subtotal (lines 2-12) Grand Total (lines 1,2,3,13) Subtotal Subtotal
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
c copyright 2004, all rights reserved
Place the locomotive on the program track and check the decoder. Model Railroad DCC Step 1: Carefully remove the locomotive’s shell from the body. 2. Check for other a short. 1. Ammeter – Meter used to measure the amount of amps drawn. which often refers to the power supply. 2.G Orange Orange Gray Gray Yellow Orange Red Optional Black Black Black Red White Gray -Yellow White --Blue --Red -- Command station and boosters Cab or throttles Radio controlled throttles . Polarity – Direction current is moving though a circuit. 4. pre-programmed on the decoder. used on reverse loops. Step 10: Clip the white wire to the copper strip on the headlight. Step 4: Remove the two mounting tabs from the bottom of the motor.rhapado. double-throw” and refers to a switch capable of reversing the polarity between two isolated sections of track. Step 13: Place the locomotive on the Programming track and program according to the instructions with your DCC Command station. Connect the components to a separate length of track. Make sure locomotive is on track. Check the wiring around the area of the short. Ampere – Measurement of the amount of current. 2. Rectifier – Converts AC current to DC current. Make sure all components have comparable electric ratings..N HO S. Once aligned apply pressure to reseat the motor. If the problem persists. Step 9: Clip the black wire to the headlight bracket. usually higher gauge wire. 6. 5. Make sure a locomotive or other rolling stock with metal wheels isn’t bridging two isolated sections of track. Watt – Unit of work performed by electrical current. Packet – Refers to the sequences of digital information sent through from the command station and received by the decoder.com Decoder Installation Wire Color Connection Orange Upper Motor (+) Gray Lower Motor (-) Red Right-hand rail Black Left-hand rail White Front light Yellow Rear light Green F1 Blue Common Manual Installation (Note: Older locomotives may require soldering.. Step 3: Remove the motor by leaning it sideways and gently pull it from the chassis. Check the wiring between the receiver and the cab bus. DC (direct current) – Electric current that flows in one direction (powers track). Circuit breaker – Switch or fuse which protects the DCC system in case of an overload. Operations mode programming – Practice of changing configuration variables on the mainline rather than the programming track. Command control – Refers to the practice of controlling locomotives independent of one another. Decoder – Small circuit board which interprets digital packets of information addressed to it by the command station. Automatic reversing – Specially designed circuit that sense opposing polarities on isolated sections of track and reverses polarity accordingly. Step 2: Remove the long copper connector carrying electricity between the truck and motor. 2. Transformer – Converts high voltage 110 house current to low wattage for use with model trains.) Configuration variable – Refers to the packet of information passed to the decoder containing a specific command. 3. Note: This differs from the traditional model railroad definition. Pin # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Glossary Accessory decoder – Decoder designed to provide power and input to trackside accessories such as switches. Check the battery. Step 6: Remove the bottom motor brush clip and replace it with the gray connector from the decoder. AC (alternating current) – Electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals (powers accessories). Consist address – Common address on which a consist responds. Step 12: Re-attach the locomotive shell to the body. all rights reserved Layout shorts Plug & Play Decoder Connection Small (1x6) Medium (2x4) Large (1x4) Z. Function output – Optional command used to control auxiliary locomotive functions such as lights. 1. Packets contain information such as the address of the locomotive and commands to the locomotive. wyes and turntables. Decoder slave – Used in locomotives with multiple motors. Cab bus – Wire connecting the cab or handheld throttle to the command station. Power district – Area of the layout isolated and connected directly to its own booster. Address – Unique two digit code assigned to each decoder on the DCC system. such as a directional change or lighting. Make sure you are in range. Walkaround cab – Handheld cab or throttled which can be connected to the DCC system at multiple points around the layout. 3.TM www. Consist – Group of locomotives controlled as if they were one unit. Fixed cab – Cab or throttled permanently mounted to one location. Cab – Handheld unit used to control the speed and direction of locomotives. Booster – DCC component that converts the low-current signal from the command station and raises it to the higher signal required by locomotives with DC motors. c copyright 2004. Ensure all connections are correct. Step 5: Remove the top motor brush clip and replace it with the orange connector from the decoder. Test each isolated area of the track separately to see if the short can be repeated. Resistor – Electric device which limits the flow of current (ohms) Speed table – Contains information about the variations levels of speed a locomotive will go based on the pulse from the command station. Block – Electrically isolated section of track. Problem Locomotive does not respond Troubleshooting Solutions 1.O. Track bus – Main electrical supply to the layout from the booster. Make sure a locomotive’s wheels aren’t shorting against the sideframe. isolated piece of track used for the exclusive purpose of programming decoders. (Digital command control refers to the practice of using digital signals to perform command control. 3. sometimes referred to a power supply or cab (not to be confused with a DCC cab). If the components work. Voltage – Measurement of the amount of electrical current potentially available. usually used on the front and rear lights on the locomotive. Programming track – Short. 5. Remove all locomotives from the layout.) Rapid reference guide to help you do. check for problems with other components or a short. Step 7: Place a piece of electrical tape on the bare metal on the chassis to prevent shorts. check the wiring on the layout. signals lighting and animated displays. Step 8: Reinstall the motor by aligning the mount pins with the holes in the frame and the right and rear drive trains. Circuit – Closed path through which electric current flows. placing the one closest to the decoder on the front. Check the address inputted into throttle. DPDT – Stands for “double-pole. On most models this is done by spreading the body out and around two tabs at the front and rear. in particular any switches present. Swap the cab or throttle with another on the layout. 1. for example several locomotives used in tandem on steep grade. 3. mount the decoder on top of the motor. 4. Check any accessory decoders in the area. Step 8: Attach the two clips on the red wire to the front and rear truck. Step 11: Using double-sided tape. 1. Make sure tracks and wheels are not dirty. Pulse width modulation – Refers to the change in pulse used to control the locomotives speed. Control bus – Refers to a wire connecting DCC components together. so it can be communicated with directly. Track feeder – Smaller gauge electrical wire running from the track bus to individual points on the track.
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