DCC

Clinic Notes from the 2009 Convention

EasyDcc by CVP is used on the Great Northern Railway


Click on any image to enlarge.


The Command Station sits in a slide out draw below the loco service depot.

The red display to the right is the Ramp Meter and shows the track voltage, the current from the booster and the signal activity on the bus. Two of the meters above the display show the current for the other 2 boosters and the voltage for the auxiliary supply for accessories.
This photo shows the throttles used on the layout. The XR1300 on the left is a tethered throttle, one is used for the yard master for switching the yard and the other is used by the hostler at the loco facility.

The RF1300 on the right is a radio throttle is used for mainline and road switchers. The numbers on the knobs are the ID for each throttle. Any operator who brings his/her own throttle gets a sticker on the knob, this way we do not have to worry about double identities!
The layout has three Power Boosters. I use the Booster3 set at 4.5 amps each. I have a total of 50 locos, on the layout at any time so this rating is plenty. Two boosters are used for loco power and one Booster is used for the turnouts controlled by accessory decoders.
There are two Throttle Buss Extenders used on the layout. All these bits and the transformers are out of the way under the loco depot.
Wiring for DCC is a lot easier than for the "old DC" - just two wires - one for each rail. I use a 12 swg wire pair which runs right around the layout , under the main line. Every piece of rail is attached. The dropper wires are kept short and are soldered to the main cable as shown in the photo. I use 2 boosters - one for the upper district and one for the lower district. The layout was extensively tested as each section of track was wired. The whole layout was operated for a few months to test the wiring and the track work before any scenery was started.
I am a very lazy modeller - if I put a loco on the track I do not want to touch to make it move - neither do I like power shut downs if someone goes too far across a turnout set the wrong way. To achieve all this I use dead frogs (sorry Kermit) on all my turnouts. The frog is kept very short (in length) so no power switching is required - less wiring - less trouble. Any loco produced in the past 10 years has good pickup or can easily have extra pickups added. The point blades are permanently connected to the stock rail - so again no problems.
The Control Buss uses a good quality co-axial cable soldered as shown. These are located at various points around the layout. Anyone starting a layout now would be advised to use the radios - these were not available when I started building the layout.
This is one of the turnout controls - just a simple push button. the 2 leds are wired in series with the turnout motor to show the direction of the turnout. This is all done through an accessory decoder so the turnout can be controlled from any throttle or the computer.


PROGRAMMING DECODERS

With EasyDCC this is a very easy task. The program track is at the end of the lead track (head shunt, drill track) and can be switched from programming duties to main track duties. The switch is along side the command station on the slide out draw. The display is easy to read and is very logical - even for accountants. The function for programming the speed tables is a big bonus.
I now use a programme called Decoder Pro for most of the programming. Decoders are getting so advanced that it is now much easier to use a program that will keep track of all your decoders. The computer just plugs straight into the Command Station and you are in business straight away - no extra boxes or bits and pieces.
Decoder Pro can be run on any computer - Windows, Linux, Mac and there is an email group for support. There are two big benefits with the programme - first , its free - second, it is updated very regularly.