DC and DCC

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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DC and DCC

Postby Replican » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:00 pm

I'm returning to the hobby after almost 4 decades. I have around 15 locos from the 1970's. I'm keen to purchase some new DCC locos but I'd also like to use my existing ones as well (the ones that still work as I've not tested them yet). Would it be ok to build separate twin running lines, one DC and one DCC. The only contact would be that they cross each other via diamond crossings so that it looks like one large layout. Space wise I have an area measuring 12' x 8'. I know that it's possible to convert some old locos to accept decoders but given that I have a decent amount, and some are Airfix, I'd rather go for the twin layout option. I am very open to suggestions as it's a very steep learning curve after such a gap. I was in my teens the last time these ran. Thanks in advance for your advice
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Re: DC and DCC

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:24 pm

Welcome to the forum. I'd avoid the diamond crossings, you want to avoid the possibility of wheels powered by one system touching the other. Run them side by side, put in a non functional crossover. There was a layout in the Railway Modeller a couple of years ago in which the two systems weren't on different control systems they were different gauges, one being RTR 00, the other being super accurate P4. You would never have known!

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Re: DC and DCC

Postby Flashbang » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:28 pm

As stated, do not use a diamond crossing.
Ensure that at no time can DCC rails make contact with DC powered ones. Including a loco or any metal wheels of rolling stock bridging insulated gaps or IRJs etc that may be installed to keep the two separated.
So basically keep DCC totally separate from DC.

Best is really if your likely to continue with DCC, is to convert all locos. Once a decoder is fitted they will usually run on DC power happily.
Note; if you convert an older DC loco to DCC you need to ensure it runs faultlessly on DC power before conversion or it will become far worse on DCC!
Also I recommend fitting a "Quality" make of DCC decoder to any older loco as these will provided the very best motor control needed by older locos. My preference is Lenz Silver or something from the Zimo range. :D
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