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Dual purpose DC/DCC layout design and construction

3119 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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I have a small layout for running both the conventional 12v system and the Hornby live steam. There are four sections on which I can run either type of loco. I switch each section over between the live steam 'bus-bars' (virtually the same as those needed by DCC) and the conventional system using double-pole relays. Sections are completely isolated from each other by insulated joiners. This ensures the two systems cannot be accidently connected together. You could connect every section like this and link all the relays together to one switch to select which you need.

More information is in the 'O,G and larger scales, Live Steam' forum on the second page in the thread 'Mixing Hornby live steam with 'trad' 12volt'.

John Webb
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