Running DCC ready loco on DCC

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centenary
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Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby centenary » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:49 pm

I have a Gaugemaster Prodigy Express and no other means to control a loco.

Recently, bought a new Bachmann DCC Ready Warship. I intend to put a TTS decoder in but in the meantime, can I test run the Warship without a DCC chip via the Express to make sure it runs ok? Im not talking running it for 1 minutes or whatever, just a quick run back and forth on the track. I read it was suggested you test run a loco on dc first before putting the DCC chip in but how you supposed to do that if you have no dedicated dc controller?

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End2end
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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby End2end » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:46 am

The quickest way to test if a DC / DCC ready loco runs is using a 9v battery touching the wheels.
I don't think the Gaugemaster can run DC locos, but don't quote me on that. :wink:
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SRman
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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby SRman » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:17 am

If your DCC unit can run a non-fitted loco on address 0, a short run shouldn't hurt it. It is certainly not recommended for a long run or for the loco to be left on the DCC track for any length of time.

I can't speak for your Gaugemaster DCC system, but my own NCE system will not run a DC loco.

The better solution would be as End2end suggested: use a 9V battery (or if you have one, an old DC analogue controller) connected to a piece of track or directly to the wheels of the loco.

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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby End2end » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:42 am

I forgot to mention, as it is a new loco it needs to be "run-in" too.
I usually run-in new loco's ON DC (even DCC ready loco's) at a slow speed for 15 minutes each way then run them in at a mid speed for 15 minutes each way (totalling an hour of running-in time) before adding any DCC decoder. A simple circle of 2nd radius track will do as most loco's can handle 2nd radius curves.
This way you can fully test the loco before comitting to any changes just in case there is a problem "out of the box" as it were.
Hope it helps
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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby Flashbang » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:03 am

centenary wrote:I have a Gaugemaster Prodigy Express and no other means to control a loco.

Recently, bought a new Bachmann DCC Ready Warship. I intend to put a TTS decoder in but in the meantime, can I test run the Warship without a DCC chip via the Express to make sure it runs ok? Im not talking running it for 1 minutes or whatever, just a quick run back and forth on the track. I read it was suggested you test run a loco on dc first before putting the DCC chip in but how you supposed to do that if you have no dedicated dc controller?

No, you cannot use the Prodigy (Express or Advance) to operate a non decoder fitted loco.
You must use a DC source. This can be a battery or old (or new!) train set controller. Or connect a loco decoder to the 'Track' output connections of the Prodigy using the decoders Red and Black wires. Then connect the decoders Orange and Grey wires to the rails. No other connection should be present on the rails or a DCC system connected directly to the rails. Then using the Prodigy set it to address 03 you then operate the loco via the decoder. Note I said address number 03 but if the decoder has been set to another address number then use that instead. Remember to remove the decoder once finished testing.

DO NOT place the non DCC fitted loco onto directly feed DCC powered rails. If you do and leave it sitting there the motor will eventually burn out!
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centenary
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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby centenary » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:15 pm

Thanks all for the advice. Deffo will not be attempting to run any non DCC loco on the Express then. I think Ive an old DC controller hidden in the loft somewhere otherwise it's a PP3 battery job!

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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby RAF96 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:35 pm

The problem is not so much running a DC loco on DCC track potential as leaving it standing stationary on the track. The motor will see around 15V ‘square’ AC voltage with a mean voltage of zero, so it won’t move on track but the motor will be swapping direction at the DCC Hz rate on full 15V potential, which does it no good at all and it will buzz loudly to let you know it does not like it. Running a DC loco is by way of a modified square wave pseudo AC current called stretched zero bit, which modifies (biases) the DCC signal to roughly appear to be a DC voltage in either selected direction.
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Re: Running DCC ready loco on DCC

Postby Mountain » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm

Do a careful check of any old DC controllers power lead and plug before use if it is an old controller just in case. I hope you have every success with your new loco.


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