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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I'm new here, so hello all.

I'm planning building a layout in OO guage using mainly diesel rolling stock. I've never dealt with DCC before but after visiting a specialist DCC dealer in my local area I am contemplating building my new layout in DCC.

The only problem is, I know nothing about DCC. I plan to run, on average, 3 locos at once. The dealer which I met today told me about a NCE Power Cab controller and said he sold it for £95. Is this a good deal, as like a said, I've never dealt with DCC.

Another query I have is connection. How does it all get wired up? The dealer, again, showed by copper strip stuck under the rails with a small wire attached and said it was then wired to the controller. I didn't take it all in and I'm still not sure of how to wire it up.


Any suggestions / advice would be very welcome.

Thanks,
Jas
 

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QUOTE (JasBo @ 5 Apr 2007, 22:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Guys,

I'm new here, so hello all.

I'm planning building a layout in OO guage using mainly diesel rolling stock. I've never dealt with DCC before but after visiting a specialist DCC dealer in my local area I am contemplating building my new layout in DCC.

The only problem is, I know nothing about DCC. I plan to run, on average, 3 locos at once. The dealer which I met today told me about a NCE Power Cab controller and said he sold it for £95. Is this a good deal, as like a said, I've never dealt with DCC.

Another query I have is connection. How does it all get wired up? The dealer, again, showed by copper strip stuck under the rails with a small wire attached and said it was then wired to the controller. I didn't take it all in and I'm still not sure of how to wire it up.


Any suggestions / advice would be very welcome.

Thanks,
Jas
Hi Jas I use the Power Cab and I have been happy with it. I find it fits well in the hand and it is easy to use. I think the price is about right although you may find it a little cheaper by shopping around. I buy my NCE stuff from Digitrains of Digby and they are very helpful. That is the point though if you have a local dealer and they are helpful that is tons better than buying slightly cheaper from someone miles away who you have to deal with over the phone no matter how good they are. Face to face is much better I think and then you can build up a confidence in them and their ability to help you.

Yes the copper tape is good and it has good points but then a lot depends on how big you are planning on making your layout. As regards help wiring up the DCC there are loads of links from this site and no end of helpful stuff to ease the task for you. Just ask on here and you will always get good advice.

Good luck with it.

Chris
 

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JasBo

Welcome to the forum. I'm not a big fan of copper tape for a bus system, I firmly am in favour of an under the baseboard bus system. In it's simplest form this consists of two wires capable of handling say 7 amps. This is powered by two wires from your command unit. Droppers are wired from the track above and connected to the bus. That's it simple. The problem with copper tape is once you have applied scenery it can be difficult to find your connections "If you want to make changes". It's fine perhaps for a simple 8 x 4 kiddies layout on a track matt type style, but if you get a bit more suffocated tape might cramp your design.
Buy a couple of books and read up on what other folks do.
DCC made easy
Digital Command Control Ian Morton

The latter is well suited to British modellers, I recommend both books. Neither will brake the bank they may well save you making basic errors for the cost of a couple of pints !
 

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I agree with MMAD - avoid the copper tape. It can cause more problems than it solves. Stick to the wire power bus and droppers. Express Models do a DCC wiring kit that's quite good and doesn't involve any soldering of wires to the bus.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models
 

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Hi Jas, welcome to the forum.

You'll find quite a bit of information on this site. Search around a bit.

For a starter look at this post here (for some photos).

DCC signal BUS wiring is basically simple. It basically maintains a good signal to all parts of the track. Not relying on the rails to conduct the signal as there may be isolated joiners in place. I use isolated joiners everywhere, so my DCC signal BUS wiring has to go everywhere the track does, but under the baseboards. I do this so at a later stage, I can add feedback modules between the BUS wiring and the track. Feedback helps with automation and enables you to see on a control panel or PC exactly where your locos are - even if they may be out of sight to the operator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, I'll have a look round to get a feel for all this info


@ Chriswright, What a coinsidence! It was digitrains in Digby I was actually talking about.
 

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QUOTE (JasBo @ 6 Apr 2007, 11:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks guys, I'll have a look round to get a feel for all this info


@ Chriswright, What a coinsidence! It was digitrains in Digby I was actually talking about.
Well I have found them to be both knowledgable and friendly and both myself and my local club have purcahsed from them. At the club we have used the tape but I think we are all of the opinion we would use wire if we did it again. Don't get me wrong the tape does work and if you want to you can hide it on top of the layout but as already said before it does restrict you if you want to change the layout at a later date. You probably need to consider whether to use insulfrog or electrofrog points as well but that will be well discussed on here if you have a look. One other thing NCE have just released an update for their systems according to the excellent Bromsgrove Models site you can link to that from here as well. Good luck with your layout.

Chris Wright
 

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QUOTE (JasBo @ 7 Apr 2007, 12:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the info Chris.

Where abouts is your club? Maybe I could pop along one time to have a look, if it's not too far.

Cheers, Jas
Caistor and visitors are always welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah, Caistor. That's a little bit too gar for me, I live in Ashby, the next village along from Digby


Anyway, that's for the info again.
 

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QUOTE (JasBo @ 7 Apr 2007, 20:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ah, Caistor. That's a little bit too gar for me, I live in Ashby, the next village along from Digby


Anyway, that's for the info again.
No problem. We do have an exhibition in September at Caistor town hall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,

I might just come to see your exhibit chris


I'm starting to make progress, well, I've got the side supports up anyway so it's a start.

I'm still thinking about the layout itself. I've got a few ideas but I can't seem to get what I want. It's quite a narrow baseboard, 303 x 98 cm, plus a corner section 68 x 98 cm.

What I definatly want, is a modern layout and mainly frieght, if possible have a station somewhere, the problem I'm having is fitting it all in. I'm doing the layout in OO guage, I would have problems with anything smaller.

I've found a circuit is pretty much out of the question so maybe I could do an end to end, possibly a frieght yard.

If anyone's got any ideas or insperation, I'd be glad to hear them.

Cheers
 

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QUOTE (chriswright03 @ 7 Apr 2007, 20:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>No problem. We do have an exhibition in September at Caistor town hall.

We have an invite to a show in your area for 18/19 Sep' with St.Laurent & our trade stand - is that your one by any chance ?
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 10 Apr 2007, 15:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We have an invite to a show in your area for 18/19 Sep' with St.Laurent & our trade stand - is that your one by any chance ?
Hi Brian well according to my diary that date is a Tuesday/Wednesday which seems strange days for an exhibition. Ours is on the weekend of the 8th and 9th. I know we have sent out a number of invites but I am not sure who to as that side is done by another of our group. I doubt it though as Margate is a long way away and our club is only small so we try and keep expenses of visiting layouts to a minimum. (tight is another description). We are at Caistor in Lincolnshire but there is of course more than one Caistor.

Cheers Chris
 

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QUOTE (JasBo @ 9 Apr 2007, 20:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've found a circuit is pretty much out of the question so maybe I could do an end to end, possibly a frieght yard.

If anyone's got any ideas or insperation, I'd be glad to hear them.

Cheers

Jasbo,

There have been several freight yards on the forum over the months, in fact there's one been on in the last few days. A trip to your local library may pay dividends as they may have books on modern railway operations.

I have been thinking about building a small yard layout, about 6' X 1' while my mate rebuilds our fiddle yard so we can both use it for our layouts.

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (chriswright03 @ 11 Apr 2007, 11:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Brian well according to my diary that date is a Tuesday/Wednesday which seems strange days for an exhibition. Ours is on the weekend of the 8th and 9th. I know we have sent out a number of invites but I am not sure who to as that side is done by another of our group. I doubt it though as Margate is a long way away and our club is only small so we try and keep expenses of visiting layouts to a minimum. (tight is another description). We are at Caistor in Lincolnshire but there is of course more than one Caistor.

Cheers Chris

I'll check with the guy that invited us then - maybe it's August as there is a Sat/Sun 18/19 then ! (it's stated that it's at Potter Heigham anyway).

Usually, if we attend with the St.Laurent & the sales stand we work on a "no fee either way" basis which works out quite well for both sides.
 

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Hey JasBo, welcome.

As someone who has only gradually struck out from the shallow end of the pool, I'd say you're in for an exciting time. Railway modelling seems to be in a ferment at the moment.

As an alternative, you might try a look at Steve Jones' web-site "Electric Nose." He's a D&E modeller and uses Lenz DCC equipment, and explains stuff with many excellent pictures. His style can be a little controversial, shall we say, but he's always informative (as well as opinionated!) and as a beginner I found his site helpful and encouraging. One of his strengths is demystifying Digital control, and that I found a very good thing.
 
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