Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: DC or DCC?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    4,409
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    7,079
    Thanked 6,972 Times in 2,344 Posts
    Mentioned
    213 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default DC or DCC?

    As I haven't run any engines for so long (almost a year) and I failed to "inventory" what I had, is there an easy, fool proof way of determining which engines are DC and which are DCC without pulling them apart to physically look at the decoders?
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    830
    Thanks
    189
    Thanked 1,021 Times in 451 Posts
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    ooo... good question.

    nothing foolproof because n-scale has some pretty constant problems...

    about the best is DC track and watch the headlamp if it get slowly brighter that is probably DC

    the other way is to set the loco on a programing track and 'read' the manufacturer.

    the pair of tests should get positive DC and positive DCC there are likely going to be some that fail both...

    a lack of a headlamp and failed pick-ups will be problems no matter what.

    victor

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to victor miranda For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    4,409
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    7,079
    Thanked 6,972 Times in 2,344 Posts
    Mentioned
    213 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @victor miranda

    Thank you - the tip re the head light is very helpful and I will be testing them all on a DC test track. Appreciate the info
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Brunswick, Ohio
    Posts
    112
    Thanks
    74
    Thanked 322 Times in 97 Posts
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Hi Wombat457,

    Our Ntrak club marks the bottom of the locos "DC" or "DCC"...cause our memory is NOT getting better with age(lol).

    We use silver and black Sharpie pens.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceNscale For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    4,409
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    7,079
    Thanked 6,972 Times in 2,344 Posts
    Mentioned
    213 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @BruceNscale

    Thanks for the tip - that's a great idea and one I'll be adopting, for the ahh reason you mentioned
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,311
    Thanks
    2,101
    Thanked 1,806 Times in 739 Posts
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    ...or put them on a DCC track for a second.

    - If the motor starts humming and both headlights light up, it's a DC loco.
    - If it starts running, it's a DCC loco and you have its address active on some throttle somewhere.
    - And if it's quiet, no reaction at all, it's a DCC loco with an unknown address or broken

    Don't keep DC locos on there too long, the humming will generate heat in the motor which can't dissipate when it's not moving. But a couple of seconds shouldn't be a problem.

    Heiko

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Heiko For This Useful Post:


  10. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    1,169
    Thanks
    234
    Thanked 1,782 Times in 547 Posts
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I'll echo the programming track. Putting a DC engine on a programming track is extremely unlikely to damage it. It of course won't respond. A DCC engine will.

    Second, I'll echo trying to run on DC, because DC won't hurt a DCC engine. There are three cases:

    - Engine starts to move at a low voltage with a dim headlight -- DC.
    - Engine does not move at all. DCC.
    - Engine does not start to move until a higher voltage, and when it does with a bright LED. DCC set with DC compatibility on.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to bicknell For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    31
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 9 Posts
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    The timing on this question was perfect! I picked up a new loco yesterday at a train show, nothing to indicate if it's DC or DCC and I was trying to figure out how to check!

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to json For This Useful Post:


  14. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,249
    Thanks
    3,754
    Thanked 1,582 Times in 710 Posts
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    And once you figured out which is which and don't want to mar your fuel tank with "DC" or "DCC" with a Sharpie, either create a spreadsheet to keep track or use smaller size P-Touch labels to stick to the bottom of fuel tanks.

  15. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


  16. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    4,409
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks
    7,079
    Thanked 6,972 Times in 2,344 Posts
    Mentioned
    213 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @kingmeow

    My plan, eventually, is to create a "Data Base" of my engines and rolling stock, bear in mind I did say (and emphasize) eventually With that in mind, does anyone know of a "pre formatted data base" that can be used?
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to wombat457 For This Useful Post:


  18. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    5,970
    Thanks
    20,379
    Thanked 14,351 Times in 4,048 Posts
    Mentioned
    508 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    @kingmeow

    My plan, eventually, is to create a "Data Base" of my engines and rolling stock, bear in mind I did say (and emphasize) eventually With that in mind, does anyone know of a "pre formatted data base" that can be used?
    There was a thread on here recently about some kind of database, but it looked way too complicated for what you might want.

    Personally, Moose uses an Excel file to inventory locomotives and rolling stock. Easy to sort and manage.
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  20. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,249
    Thanks
    3,754
    Thanked 1,582 Times in 710 Posts
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I just use Excel to track the usual info. I also add quantity (in case I have dupes), when purchased, where purchased, cost, and finally sold cost for those items that were sold.

    NOTE: make sure you are sitting down when summing up the Cost column!

    I save it as an Excel spreadsheet AND as a PDF doc (formatted nicely). I keep the PDF on my phone. Since Acrobat reader has a search capability it's easy at a train show to see if you have a road number already.

  21. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


  22. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    5,970
    Thanks
    20,379
    Thanked 14,351 Times in 4,048 Posts
    Mentioned
    508 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @kingmeow

    Bo, Moose tracks similar info. (even cost!), and also includes a remarks section for miscellaneous stuff like approximate prototype of loco. or freight car, locomotive status (e.g. DC, DCC, DCC-ready, DCC sound and, gulp, DEAD!), and a whole lot more...

    Great idea about converting to PDF! Could have used that yesterday...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  24. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,249
    Thanks
    3,754
    Thanked 1,582 Times in 710 Posts
    Mentioned
    72 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Yes, I also have Comment column to add any notes; no jewel case, decoder type (non-Digitrax brands), any damage, given by someone, etc.

  25. The Following User Says Thank You to kingmeow For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •