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Dual purpose DC/DCC layout design and construction

3115 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Mainthreadmartin
Is it possible to create a layout which with the throw of a simple switch can go from DC control to DCC control and back again?

This subject may be of interest to a lot of members and visitors who are contemplating DCC but don't want to have to chip all their locos and especially the older collectables that they may have that may not work so well with DCC.

What are the constraints when contemplating a dual purpose layout?

Is it better to opt for totally isolated seperate layouts within a layout?

I would guess that with Hornby keeping it simple and using the track as the "bus" then it would be equally simple with such a set up to incorporate a switch that immedietely converts to whole layout back to DC control. You then remove all your DCC chipped locos and have a play with your non chipped locos.

Happy modelling
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QUOTE I really don't think you can from DCC wiring to DC wiring, but you can go from DC to DCC. Connect the DCC to the DC feed and close all your section switches.
I run my small DC layout which has about 12 isolated sections either as standard DC or as DCC by simply plugging the DCC feed into the DIN socket for my hand hand controller and then switching all the isolated section to take power from the "Hand Held" ( which is now the DCC ).

I still control points etc via my track schematic via probe. I can also run DC locos alongside the DCC simply by isolating the DC loco in a section. Thus I can run several DC locos as well as the DCC ones. Isolating the DC locos stops the annoying buzz!

I suppose the above is only practical when you want to use an existing CAB controlled layout either as DCC or DC.

I have also extended my layout and will convert it long term to solely DCC. I could wire up the extension for CAB control and keep it dual mode as per the original sections. But as I want to move to computer control of locos, blocks, points and signals then I have to move to full DCC in the long term. Plus CAB is a lot of wiring and a schematic board to build.

But as an interim the above works well for me as I have 15-20 DCC locos out of a stock of 70 ish. I keep buying more as the latest Bachmann and Hornby are so good and they are coming DCC ready or with chips pre-installed. At least this way I can migrate slowly rather than have to change everything in one go.
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