Railroad Line Forums - Running DC track from a DCC controller?
Railroad Line Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Register
Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 3 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 320 ]  [ Total: 323 ]  [ Newest Member: Canyon man ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 DCC, Computers and Electronics for Model Railroads
 Running DC track from a DCC controller?
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: Controls for staging yard tracks? Topic Next Topic: Lineside Signals for the B&M Eastern Route  

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  10:38:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have an HOn30 line on the layout, and a couple tiny locos for it, all straight DC. Can I hook up a DCC controller to the -track- so I can control the DC loco using a DCC throttle? If not, why not? If so, what should I look for in a controller?

thanks in advance!

dave
Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8513

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  10:52:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The DCC standard includes a feature giving special properties to Locomotive 0. When 0 is selected, some DCC systems (Lenz does, MRC doesn't) will bias the normal AC signal to generate enough DC voltage to run a locomotive. But the DC loco buzzes and the motor gets extra heat, so it's iffy on HOn3.

But what you're suggesting is using a DCC decoder to provide track power for this segment. My first concern would be whether or not the decoder designer included protection against shorts on the motor output. Given how common it is to fry a DCC decoder, I would guess that most have no output protection. Still, you could try it with an obsolete or otherwise unwanted decoder and see how long it lasts.



Country: USA | Posts: 6522 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  11:31:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

You will only be able to run a single DC engine at a time. Address 0. DCC decoders do not provide track power, they convert pulsed DC, encapsulated addressing, and functions like bell, whistle, etc. from the DCC controller to a DC locomotive. Without the decoder, you just send pulsed DC to the motor and possibly a light.

Jim


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 5589 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  12:03:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All I want to do is run 1 loco, no bells and whistles (pun intended). The loco will go up the hill, get a load of slate, bring it back down, spot the cars, refuel/rewater, and do it again :-) But I want to do that from a DCC controller, -mostly- to get the benefits of walk-around control. The HOn30 line is located in 2 different rooms, so control from one centralized location wouldn't work.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8513 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 04/20/2020 :  12:32:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All Digitrax systems have that capability. To operate an analog locomotive (DC) with Digitrax you use address 00 to send commands to the locomotive. The magic that makes this happen is called zero stretching. Your DCC controlled and wired track will run DC locomotives with the throttle addressed for 00. In your case you only need one DC run locomotive at a time so it works fine for you. And still run DCC locomotives over the track.
A Digitrax Zephyr is a good choice for you. Unless you already have DCC wired layout that supports address 00 DC use.



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 16017 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  12:37:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery

All I want to do is run 1 loco, no bells and whistles (pun intended). The loco will go up the hill, get a load of slate, bring it back down, spot the cars, refuel/rewater, and do it again :-) But I want to do that from a DCC controller, -mostly- to get the benefits of walk-around control. The HOn30 line is located in 2 different rooms, so control from one centralized location wouldn't work.

dave



Address 0 on the controller and and you are good to go.

Jim



Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 5589 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 04/20/2020 :  12:44:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BurleyJim

quote:
Originally posted by deemery

All I want to do is run 1 loco, no bells and whistles (pun intended). The loco will go up the hill, get a load of slate, bring it back down, spot the cars, refuel/rewater, and do it again :-) But I want to do that from a DCC controller, -mostly- to get the benefits of walk-around control. The HOn30 line is located in 2 different rooms, so control from one centralized location wouldn't work.

dave



Address 0 on the controller and and you are good to go.

Jim





EZ Command button "0" - that is the DC address on EZ Command, but not all systems will work just using "0". As in Digitrax using "00", do you know what system Dave has?



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 16017 Go to Top of Page

Dan
Engine Wiper

Posted - 04/20/2020 :  3:05:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

If I understand your situation, electrically isolate the HOn30 track from the rest of the layout and set up a trackside DCC decoder, one that matches your layout controller, to power the isolated HOn30 part and just use the motor output connections on the trackside decoder to run the tiny locomotives.

I have this setup as an option on my On30 layout so I can run my old DC powered critters on the layout off of DCC when the urge strikes.

I tried the "special DC from DCC" options and the regular DC motors were quite noisy and they got hot. The motors in the HOn30 locos are quite small and may not last long under those conditions.

All the best,

Dan



Country: | Posts: 225 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  3:40:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dan

Dave,

If I understand your situation, electrically isolate the HOn30 track from the rest of the layout and set up a trackside DCC decoder, one that matches your layout controller, to power the isolated HOn30 part and just use the motor output connections on the trackside decoder to run the tiny locomotives.

I have this setup as an option on my On30 layout so I can run my old DC powered critters on the layout off of DCC when the urge strikes.

I tried the "special DC from DCC" options and the regular DC motors were quite noisy and they got hot. The motors in the HOn30 locos are quite small and may not last long under those conditions.

All the best,

Dan



That too will work! Nice idea. This may be what JBVB was alluding too. In that case get a simple decoder for an Oscale engine and either put an inline fuse holder in the 'track' line or some 'crowbar device' for short protection. The fuses or .5 amp breaker would be least expensive.

Jim


Take the red pill

Edited by - BurleyJim on 04/20/2020 3:50:07 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5589 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  3:56:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Clearly the HOn30 track will have to be isolated from the HO standard gauge. (One thing someone pointed out to me is that I need to do more than just a 'track gap' between the HO standard and HOn30 track at their crossing. That's not a problem, I can add an isolation block of a couple inches of track that is totally electrically dead when the crossover is set for the other direction/gauge/power scheme.)

I want the controller to work like a normal DCC controller, so I can control the standard gauge DCC locos, and this 1 operating DC loco concurrently.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8513 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  4:55:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

#1 mistake I've run into with DCC 'blocks' is that folks forget to isolate the under track bus, therefore not really isolating the block of the rail above. So insulate (break the connection) the bus wires (you can get by with only isolating one, but make sure it's the same one on both ends of your block) under that DC block. It's a simple mistake that has caused many head splinters.

Jim


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 5589 Go to Top of Page

desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 04/20/2020 :  5:10:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again, Digitrax Command Stations can operate one locomotive on your layout that does not have a decoder installed. This loco is called an "analog," "conventional," or "non-DCC equipped" locomotive. To operate an analog locomotive with Digitrax you will use address 00 to send commands to the locomotive. All other locomotives on the layout can be DCC and run at the same time. But only one DC locomotive can be run at a time.
If you have HO track, and "N" scale track, or HOn30 track all hooked up together at the same time with a Digitrax command station, their throttle will run the DC locomotive and DCC locomotives from that same throttle. What is it that you don't understand from this?????
The two rails on your track doesn't know if they are HO, HOn30, or N scale. They just pick-up the power and run the motor.
Plus, I have to ask at this point, how many times have I given false or misleading information on this forum????



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 16017 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 04/20/2020 :  5:17:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The diamond crossing rails can be switched from one route to the other with a 4PDT switch or relay. My layout uses slide switches, I have a few 4PDT toggles I'm unlikely to ever use. But possibly the best would be a rig with smash-board gates which IRL stop the train rather than show guilt by telltale flinders. That will protect you against shorting the DC and DCC power together, very perilous to your HOn3 track's decoder.


Country: USA | Posts: 6522 Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic: Controls for staging yard tracks? Topic Next Topic: Lineside Signals for the B&M Eastern Route  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-2020 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.5 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000