Practical Guide to Digital Command Control by Larry Puckett

Practical Guide to Digital Command Control by Larry Puckett
Item# 012-6

About this item

The mysteries of DCC revealed!

Just imagine your road engine and a local switcher working together to sort cars and make up a train at a busy industrial lead or small yard on your layout. Even more realistically, locomotives can be joined into consists or as helper engines, then cut out of the consist or train once the grade is topped, without having to touch them. Lights can be turned on or off, horns blown, bells rung, switches thrown and other functions, all controlled from a single hand-held throttle. Railroad signaling, once seen only on the most advanced layouts, can now be easily implemented by any modeler. Plus computer interfacing is made much simpler. And all of this can be accomplished with off-the shelf components, no kits to put together and you don’t have to recruit an electrical engineer for your operating crew just to get it all working... If you have ever wanted to explore the world of DCC, then you need The Practical Guide to Digital Command Control by Larry Puckett!

Practical Guide to Digital Command Control

Choose the right DCC system for your layout

Before you make a considerable investment in DCC, how do you know which system is right for your layout? The Practical Guide to Digital Command Control explores the factors that will determine the answer. What scale do you model in? How big is your layout? Will you be expanding your layout in the future? How many trains will you operate at the same time? How mechanically and technically inclined are you? The author explains how each answer will guide your decision and help you choose the system that fits your operations.

Practical Guide to Digital Command Control

Practical information no matter the size of your layout

So you’ve calculated your needs, picked up a new DCC system, and you’re ready to install it on your home layout. How do you install it without frying it in the process? The Practical Guide to Digital Command Control explains how you can install DCC on a layout that is already operating on DC block. Can your existing wiring handle the extra voltage required by DCC? The author also provides some tips on how to plan for installation when building a new layout or when operating a modular layout.

Practical Guide to Digital Command Control

Decoder installations, programming, and more...
Order your copy today!

Decoders are the heart and soul of DCC operations and you’ll spend more time installing and programming them than anything else. The author discusses the basic issues surrounding programming, and then gives clear examples for the reader to follow. Although many new model locomotives come with decoders already installed, there are still many that do not, plus there must be hundreds of thousands of older locomotives requiring decoder installations. This is a subject that DCC owners are excited to learn more about but often dread to attempt. Descriptions of installations in many popular locomotive models will allow the reader to attempt any installation with confidence. The Practical Guide to Digital Command Control is 108 pages of current and up-to-date information valuable to any model railroader... Order your copy today!

About the Author: A life long resident of Virginia, Larry Puckett is a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological survey where he conducts studies of water quality at locations throughout the nation. His interest in trains goes back to the early 1950s riding behind steam on the Norton local and the Lionel set he received Christmas 1958. From 1991 until October 2006 he was a contributing editor for Model Railroading magazine where he published 167 articles. He also has had articles in Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman. This is his first book.

The Practical Guide to Digital Command Control Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Why Use Command Control, 7
What Is Command Control, 7
What Makes DCC Different, 8
DCC Components, 9
Command Stations, 10
Boosters, 10
Throttles, 10
Power Supplies, 12
Networks, 12
Decoders, 12

Chapter 2 - Selecting A System

Scale, 15
Layout Size, 15
Layout Expansion, 15
Operations, 15
Number of Trains, 16
Lights, Whistles and Bells, 16
Mechanical and Technical Abilities, 16
Detection and Signaling, 16
Computerization, 17
Booster Selection, 17
Calculating your layout needs, 18
Using a PM42 for Power Management, 19
Throttles, 20
Power Supplies - The Power Hungry Booster, 21
Keeping Your Cool, 22
Booster voltages, 23
Booster and Throttle Network Connections, 24
Getting Your Boosters in Phase, 25
Locating Your Boosters, 26
A Quick and Easy Test Light, 27
Reality Checks, 27

Chapter 3 - Adding DCC to a Layout

Dirty Track, 29
What’s the Best Way to Clean Track? 29
Track and Wire Resistance, 29
Build a Track Cleaning Car, 30
Modular Layouts, 32
Making the Connection With Suitcase Connectors, 33
Reverse Loops, 35
Conquering Shorts, 38
Protecting Your Layout With Ballast Lamps, 39
Chapter 4 - Mobile Decoders & Programming, 40
Basic Features, 41
Extended Features, 43
Consisting, 44
Back EMF, 45
Feedback, 45
Programming, 45
Service Mode Programming, 45
Operations Mode Programming, 47
Setting Up a Programming Track, 47
What Goes Into a CV? 48
Speed Tables, 49
Lights, Whistles, and Bells, 49
Programming with Computers, 50
DecoderPro & TrainProgrammer, 50
Making the Connection, 54

Chapter 5 - Decoder Installation

Choosing the Right Decoder, 56
Wires, Plugs, and Sockets, 57
Decoder Failures, 59
Lights, 59
Using LED’s, 60
Rule 17 Lights, 61
Getting A Good Start, 61
Athearn Locomotives, 61
Atlas, Kato, Stewart, & Athearn Genesis, 64
Atlas Alco S1/2/3/4, 64
Kato NW2, 65
Life-Like SW9/1200, 66
Life-Like E6, E7, and PA1’s, 67
Life-Like Proto 1000 Locos, 68
Steam Locomotives, 68
Making The Connection, 69
N-Scale Installations, 69
Key 2-6-6-2, 70
ConCor Rivarossi 4-6-6-4, 70
Kato 2-8-2, 72
N Scale Diesels, 73
Life-Like SW9, 73
Life-Like SD7, 74
Atlas RS3, 76
Atlas SD60/60M, 76
Kato C44-9W, 77
Kato F3A, 78

Chapter 6 - Sound Decoders

Soundtraxx, 83
Soundtraxx DSX Decoders, 84
Soundtrax Diesel Sound Decoder, 85
Soundtraxx Low Cost Decoders, 87

Chapter 7 - Stationary Decoders and Detectors

Push Button Operation, 90
Routing, 91
Lenz LS100/LS150, 91
Digitrax DS64, 92
CVP AD4, 92
NCE Switch-It, 92
DCC Specialties—The Hare, 93
Programming, 95
Planning for Computerization, 95
Installations, 97
Detectors, 100
Digitrax BDL16, 101

Appendix, 103
Index, 108