Who all is shunning DCC and staying Analog control?

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Section Hand
Yes, Allen too many sound locomotives can be distracting. I run my sound locomotives mainly for guests or when I maybe switching.

I'm looking at a particular locomotive and it's available in both Sound and DCC. I haven't purchased it due to the high cost of the Sound edition, but after reading some posts especially Allen's comments about sound locomotives, I may forego the sound version of the locomotive and buy the standard DCC for far less money. With 30+ sound locomotives I think I have enough sound.

I do like the sound of a train running on the rails with the metal wheels on the rolling stock.

Many times I play a cassette tape of GP-9's in a freight yard as background "music". I just wish I had a auto return player so I didn't have to stop what I was doing to reverse the tape. But, seems like cassette players are dinosaurs.

My .40 cents worth.



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Well-Known Member
I went both ways. Far too many locomotives to convert to DCC, but liked the idea of sound in some of them, so I installed an NCE Power Cab and a DC power pack, which one selected by a DPDT toggle on my main control panel. I leave the switch on DC so I don't accidentally burn out a motor in a DC only locomotive. I'll switch to DCC side if I am going to run one of those. Turnouts are all AC with toggle or rotary switches inline with a momentary push button. Track signals are all wired directly to the rails and are mainly for interlocking indications. If I hadn't wanted sound, I probably would have stuck with "pure" DC, as I only run one train at a time anyway.


Active Member
Moving on beyond DCC to WiFi direct locomotive control. Still using DCC NCE SB3a for track power but not control. First experiment is with F7 ABBA set that will move on to battery's in the dummy B units. Successful thus far. This way I can still use the DCC controlled engines until I upgrade them to WiFi receivers. Current WiFi setup is LocoFi receiver and app on a Fire tablet. Installing receiver in old pre-DCC Stewart/Kato F7 A was no more difficult than adding a DCC decoder when we had to hard wire them. Sound supplied is not sophisticated but I'm partially deaf so does not mater much to me and is up-gradable with micro-SD card in receiver that can be removed and different sounds added.


Active Member
I looked into RailPro , way to expensive . And it doesn't really solve the dirty track problem. Its not a dead rail system .

I, am looking at about $25 - $60 radio /battery /esc , controller $25 dedicated - $100 multi loco Jumper T12. Dead rail , compatible with either DC or DCC. The main issue is finding a good esc.


Active Member
You dont need a power supply on the rails to run dead rail , I dont have any power on mine at present . And yes the batteries (350mah 11V) fit right inside the tender a little bigger than a old zippo lighter. Power supply's are needed to charge the battery either through the rails but theyre cheap. I have about 4 or 5 12V-2A supplys laying around that people gave to me , So I toss them in the garbage.


New Member
Many times I play a cassette tape of GP-9's in a freight yard as background "music". I just wish I had a auto return player so I didn't have to stop what I was doing to reverse the tape. But, seems like cassette players are dinosaurs.
Maybe you need to upgrade to an 8track cassette to play your background sound. Then you don't have to turn it over when it gets to the end.


Well-Known Member
4 years ago I switched from DC to RailPro. What a wonderful and easy experience. 3 months later I went to Power on Board (dead rail) on 6 consists and it was an easy transition using the RailPro equipment. Direct communication with RailPro is great and I used the second locomotive in a consist to hold the batteries. I didn’t like the wiring showing between the locomotives but it was livable. Then at Trainfest, JoeF. handed me a ProtoThrottle and changed my way of running locomotives. Sold off RailPro, ordered one of the first 150 PT’s and now have a second one. Ordered a ESU Cab Control 7 amp DCC system because RailPro won’t work with the PT and Tim at RailPro was not interested in working with the PT guys. Now I run the DCC system with the ProtoThrottles, sound from ESU and everything is fine. Except it isn’t. I prefer Power on Board and using the PT’s and there are guys trying to make that happen. I dislike all the craziness of CV’s especially after the ease of use of a RailPro.

So today, I run DCC and can flip the switch to run DC of which I have 1 piece of steam brass and 2-Athearn BB GP-35’s left. While not shunning DCC I want out of it. Time will tell! TomO

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Who else here runs old school analog control, has nice home built control panels and such?
Not me. While I am a master of the DC block control wiring, as soon as I saw command control (long before DCC) in 1979 I knew I would switch.

I had to give up sound to do it, because at that time I was a PFM sound person. So through CTC-16, PMP-112, Railcommand, and then all the DCCs, I've been right there in the forefront. But I don't let myself get caught up in all the stuff that people do to make it complicated. I have one throttle per train, don't have electrical buses that could power a small city, don't do "consists", speed curve matching, auto speed, or any of those things. After the channel number, usually at most I program whether the loco is forward or reverse running. .


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Pitty that Tesla had that wireless transmission of power figured out over 100 years ago and we (the Royal ignorant American we) ignored him, tore down the Wardenclyffe tower, and the technology was lost.
It would be far too political a reply for me to answer that ;). My FB comments will have to suffice.


Well-Known Member
I just have small test track layouts right now, but as a nerd and geek, I chose to go DCC from the beginning. I just started to get into model trains a couple years ago when we were in Japan, but I'd been looking at Arnold digital control (Arnold N using Märklin digital control) since the 90s and with the "cross platform" nature of DCC (not tied to a particular vendor), I knew it was what I wanted. As my kids grew older I looked at the model trains in Japan every time we visited. Finally we pulled the trigger (and then for the next 8-9 months I went overboard). I do exclusively N, with a mixture of Japanese and German/Swiss/Austrian prototypes. (KATO/Tomix/Greenmax/Microace and Fleischann/Minitrix/Trix/Arnold/Hobbytrain for the most part).

For me it is the emotional appeal of the trains combined with the geek/nerd factor == enjoyment. I am not trying to model anything, I am just playing with model trains. And I get as much enjoyment out of soldering in a decoder on an old Fleischmann locomotive, or a new Tomix or Greenmax (non DCC) train, as I do out of running them. Figuring out how to make each one work is a challenge and the satisfaction of making it happen -- being successful with a conversion, is a great motivator.

Of course, actually running them is great fun too.

I keep a DC loop also for running most of my stuff, which is not yet converted, and for testing new stuff. You can't go wrong with a simple DC set up for testing, and running stuff not yet converted, etc.

In the end it comes down to personal preference. DC may work better for you, while I may like the DCC idea better. Each person's goals are different and so a different solution is in order.


Random ramblings on the subject:

I do have a few with sound and want to play with sound but it is not a big factor and most of my decoders are non sound decoders.

And I hope to, in the end, write my own controller software to control DCC trains from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. (Including eventual automatic train control stuff, but starting with a throttle and programming system working out of a cloud based library of your trains, etc). You don't need to write your own software for DCC -- don't want to scare anyone. I just eventually WANT to get to that point where I have the time to design and implement it the way I want to implement it.

While I started with an NCE PowerCab and USB module, I could never get JMRI to work with it. I then bought the Digikeijs DR5000-ADJ command station (which is Z21 compatible as well as Loconet compatible) and have been standardizing on D&H decoders for anything standard pin-based drop-in [NEM651, or NeXT18/21 etc] or for soldering in, and TCS for KATO board drop in compatibility (the Digitrax KATO compatible drop in boards), though I have a couple trains with Digitrax decoders already installed that I am keeping that way.

Figuring out the wiring of multiple power districts, occupancy zones, DCC controlled switches, etc. is half the fun for me. Figuring it out and then successfully implementing it. I have more stuff than needed for the amount of track I have on my temporary 4x8 layout but it is part of the learning experience.

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
It would be far too political a reply for me to answer that ;). My FB comments will have to suffice.
Hmmm, I wouldn't think political but corporate mindedness. Edison Electric (and the financial backers J.P. Morgan specifically) would not have been able to make a lot of money had the electricity been able to be delivered to the consumers for free.

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