prob a stupid question, but... is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

can one use two entirely different dcc control systems on the same layout? i mean, suppost I wanted a decent system for programing and stuff, but also wanted something simple to rule over a yard, say. if this can be accomplished, what would need to be done to do it?


Diesel Detail Freak
You can use the same system, thats the joy of DCC. There can be more then one "cab" (the control box an operator holds), you can have one premently set to be use in the yard(s).
that much I had figured. I know my question sounds redundant, but here's the thought process...

I am thinking about jumping into dcc in the short term with just an extremely low level system... something just to play with. get something off ebay cheap, then when I move into what I will settle with for a bit (the MRC PA is looking pretty decent for my needs I think) I don't want to lose on my initial investment, regardless of how small it may have been... maybe just use the cheapo system for something like a small gauge mine op or something... but I would like to use it for a maintainence facility control, or something of that nature. in anycase, the idea is to scale gradually, but if I cant use two completely different systems both hard wired to the same layout, I need to revamp my thinking.


In Training Down Under.
You could do that but you'd have to have an isolated section between the two DCC systems, the train could not travel across a gap from one DCC system to another (it would fry one or both of them) If you had a section of track longer than your train with a DPDT switch connected to it thrown one way would be A DCC the other way would be B DCC.

Or do what I did and bought a Lenz compact (the basic starter system) and have expanded it with a Set100 and LH90 and wireless throttles so now I have 4 throttles and didn't waste my investment.



Registered Member
Staff member
I don't want to lose on my initial investment,
Well think about it, why complicate things? When you get your new $$$$ DCC set and it's all set up and running, sell the El chepo DCC set on ebay and then use the money to buy more cabs.
Just a thought, but then again what do I know about DCC :D

Cheers Willis


Diesel Detail Freak
I'd think it'd be a whole lot easier to buy something you can expand upon later. a cheeper NCE, or Digitrax system, you can always add boosters and cabs later.


I agree with Josh on this one. Get a starter set from NCE or Digitrax that can be expanded on later. My RR Club uses 4 Digitrax units, one serves as the main brain and the others are boosters that work with the main one.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.