Do you model with DC power, DCC, or MTHs DCS; or, other?

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Do you model with DC power, DCC, or MTHs DCS?


  • Total voters
    45
  • Poll closed .
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NP2626

Guest
Rico, I don't understand how the R/C systems work. It would be good to have someone explain it to me, even though I was involved in R/C airplanes for 30+ years! I have read that they might still use DCC decoders, like sound decoders for sound and lights; but, I am just unsure and would like to know facts about these systems. I have had trouble with power pick-up on my DCC system's track, so I am interested in these systems!
 
N

NP2626

Guest
At 23 total votes at this time: 6:30 AM 1/29/2020, it would appear that a clear winner as far as this early count is concerned would be DCC, there are 17 votes for this type of system with only 4 stating they prefer DC operation and 1 each for the other two systems. Remember, this poll closes on February 27th, so get your votes in. As it stands at the time and date shown above, it's my opinion that there should be far more DC people than is shown in this pool. Maybe DCC people are more attracted to this type of post than DC people, who knows!
 
N

NP2626

Guest
I was able to operate two trains at a time back when my layout was only DC, so the ability to operate multiple trains at the same time was not why I elected to go with DCC. Although operating two or more trains at a time is much easier with DCC, I like that fact that each locomotive is an independent machine accessed by it's engine number. I like that there is more power in the track and that with the addition of capacitors my trains transit bad track easily and that I can have sound equipped locomotives. I also like the fact that each locomotive is operated independently from other locomotives similar to real life and that DCC adds more facets to operating them, horn/Whistle, bell, etc...
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I have all sorts of control systems. Not listed are Lionel's various command control systems. In addition to Lionel's Legacy, I have 6 different brands of DCC, I have a RailCommand, and a PNP-112 (CTC with 112 channels), in addition to at least 300 locos still straight DC. The Lionel and several of the DCC systems with wireless. I do not have any direct wireless to the decoder systems (dead rail or otherwise) so I know little about them. And finally I wouldn't have an DCS if they paid me.

It really makes sense that DCC is the winner as it has been the official standard since ummm 1993 or so.
 

ShermanHill

Well-Known Member
Then I read about Ring Engineering products. Seems simple to run. I think when I do start doing my layout, I'll go with Ring Engineering Ststem.
I am also seriously considering Ring. The complexities of DCC (CV's through track data control, MU's etc..) just don,t interest me. My only concern is are they going to small enough modules for the smaller 70Tn switchers.
I really like their MU/ load sharing feature. No 'speed matching' involved.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Since DCC systems allow the operation of DC locomotives, why would there be a need for what you refer to as a Hybrid Option?
 

Robots_walk_the_earth

Active Member
Since DCC systems allow the operation of DC locomotives, why would there be a need for what you refer to as a Hybrid Option?
I was under the impression that you run the risk of burning out a DC motor on a DCC layout. I’m also quite new so I could be way off base. I’ll sit back and let the adults talk now ;)
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
In most systems there is some sort of chip that controls the motor on the engine, that is on board the engine. There is some sort of "throttle" that allows the operator to control the engine. What in between is the difference.

In DCC there is a "command station" between the engine and the throttle. The throttle sends commands to the command station and the command station sends commands to the engine through the rails. The engine gets it's power through the rails.

In wireless DCC there is radio in the throttle that sends commands to a receiver connected to the command station and the command station sends commands to the engine through the rails. The engine gets it's power through the rails.

An alternative is that instead of a dedicated radio, the throttle is an app on a smart phone and it communicates using Bluetooth or wifi with a reciver connected to the command station.

In a R/C system there is a radio transmitter in the throttle and a receiver in the engine, the throttle directly controls the engine. Power is supplied either through the rails or by an onboard battery.

All DCC is really is the communication protocol between the command station and the decoder on the engine. Any mode of communication could be used. "CV's" are just variable values for the different operating parameters. ALL systems have an equivalent to CV's, its just DCC lets you, the operator, see them and manually adjust their values. Systems that "don't have CV's", either don't let the operator manually set them, the system makes all the adjustments, or they use some sort of graphical interface, a bar graph or check box or something, instead of setting a numerical value so the user doesn't think there are CV's.
 

dave1905

Well-Known Member
Some DCC systems allow a DC engine to be operated on engine number "0". Some, like NCE, do not. The way a DCC operates is there is a constant voltage with a series of coded pulses that tell the decoder what to do. DC motors see the voltage and the pulses but they don't cause the motor to turn. On throttle 0, some systems time pulses so the DC motor thinks there is a DC voltage on the tracks and will operate. The problem is you can only run one DC consist at a time and the DC motors are always seeing the full voltage across the rails, which can make some motors overheat (but not run). That's why NCE chose to not make engine 0 available, they didn't want the liability for frying somebody's DC engine.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I was under the impression that you run the risk of burning out a DC motor on a DCC layout.
If a DC locomotive just sits there not moving on DCC track, then yes there is a possibility of over heating, or demagnetizing the motor. This was demonstrated by Running Bear on some of his Frankenlocos. As I recall some of the Athearn's went down in a matter of hours. It might still be possible to look up the threads that he shared on the subject.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Since DCC systems allow the operation of DC locomotives, why would there be a need for what you refer to as a Hybrid Option?
Not all DC locos can run on DCC (older Athearn BB) are known to melt down. My plan is to have and mainlines on DCC and my Switcher Junk yard (4 X 18) to be strictly DC. Hence I say a Hybrid.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
O.K., I have a Hybrid system, then too. When I switched to DCC, I left my GML DC system in place and if I switch my blocks to the left. my few DC locos can operate on the whole layout, just like they did 20+ years ago! I never do this however and consider my DC locos to be awaiting DCC Decoders. MY GML System only operates my turntable as it now sits.

I don't consider what I have as being a hybrid. I consider things which are hybrids to be a step into the future.
 
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wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
O.K., I have a Hybrid system, then too. When I switched to DCC, I left my GML DC system in place and if I switch my blocks to the left. my few DC locos can operate on the whole layout, just like they did 20+ years ago! I never do this however and consider my DC locos to be awaiting DCC Decoders. MY GML System only operates my turntable as it now sits.

I don't consider what I have as being a hybrid. I consider things which hybrids to be a step into the future.
Yes I can see your point on Hybrid. I was thinking more like Hybrid cars, old technology (combustion engines) new technology (electric batteries) So you have a bit of old and new, something like that anyway. Just my humble opinion on the subject.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
I guess I don't consider electric power all that new, either. However, we're getting side-tracked a bit, here!
 
N

NP2626

Guest
I am very surprised at the score, so far after close to 48 hours. At this time, anyway, it appears that DCC is a runaway at 22 votes so far. Next is DC operations at 6 votes (personally I thought there would be far more DC guys as they are very vocal about their choice)! The MTH's DCS has 1 vote (Not surprising, seeing how unpopular MTH seems to be)! Ring Radio Control systems also have 1 vote (However a couple of people have expressed interest in this system).

I've found these two polls to be interesting!
 
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Rico

BN Modeller
Rico, I don't understand how the R/C systems work. It would be good to have someone explain it to me, even though I was involved in R/C airplanes for 30+ years! I have read that they might still use DCC decoders, like sound decoders for sound and lights; but, I am just unsure and would like to know facts about these systems. I have had trouble with power pick-up on my DCC system's track, so I am interested in these systems!
Mark I can best describe it this way.
I was at an op session at a friends, some locos were straight dcc, some dcc with a keep alive, and some with railpro and a keep alive. All had sound.
The power went out briefly so the straight dcc loco stopped dead, the loco with dcc and a keep alive carried on uncontrolled thru a reversed switch, but the loco with railpro and a keep alive being radio controlled carried on and was brought to a safe stop.
Its a very cool system when it works however I’m having a hard time with it, no worse than someone having problems with dcc I suppose so cant judge it by my experience.
The keep alives really help with dirty track or bad spots.

https://www.ringengineering.com/RailPro.htm
 
N

NP2626

Guest
This thread seems to be sinking down on the list of current topics! It may be that no further discussion will take place. If you have an opinion and would like to share it, please do so! Thanks to all who have participated!
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
I was under the impression that you run the risk of burning out a DC motor on a DCC layout.
I use NCE DCC. I'm the type of person who tries not make any dumb mistakes so I have 3 switches to turn on or off power to the lower deck, upper deck, or yard. This prevents 12 engines sitting in the yard or on the upper deck from drawing power for no reason. I think it's a simple solution for running the risk of burning out motors not being used. Now I did do a real dumb thing a few years ago by leaving the DCC power supply on while I went golfing. A lighting bolt hit near the house and blew the dishwasher and the DCC power supply. Everyone knows that's the way things work in the world so make plans for it a head of time. George
 
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