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Using a DCC decoder to power a length of track

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I came across this idea on Sumida Crossing and it piqued my interest, but I'm having difficulty finding anyone that has tried it and written up their experience. Has anyone here tried hooking up a DCC decoder to a length of track and using it to power a DC locomotive?

 

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As long as you still pull the power from another source.  I cannot see why it wouldn't work theoretically.  But you wouldn't have light and/or sound control of the train itself.

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While you could, you wouldn't achieve anything more than you would with a dc power pack, plus the decoder could burn up with any extra load (lights, ect).  What application do you think needs this?

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9 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

While you could, you wouldn't achieve anything more than you would with a dc power pack, plus the decoder could burn up with any extra load (lights, ect).  What application do you think needs this?

I had the same idea. It allows you to tie your DC train with your DCC layout. Lets say you have a DC loop and connect the feeders to the Orange and Gray leads on the decoder. If you increase the throttle speed on that address it will act as a transformer. The train on the DC loop will be responding to a DCC throttle command.

 

In order to do this he need to use a G Scale decoder. Typically G-Scale can handle 5 amps which is more than the 1 amp decoder can handle. The only caveat is short circuit protection. 

 

Inobu

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I suppose you could, but since you'd need it to be a seperate segreagated loop of track anyway a dc transformer would be cheaper.  

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It works. Just make sure that the train wouldn't cross into a dcc block and never bridge together two blocks driven by decoders as they are not prepared for their output to be connected to anything else but a single motor. Probably a good idea to turn off backemf control too if the train has lights, otherwise the decoder could get confused.

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I've done it, I had a switch before the track that selected straight DCC, or connected the tracks to the output of a spare decoder. That way I could switch between DC and DCC trains for my small railway. Worked well enough, was easier and cheaper than wiring in decoders for every loco.

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That's a pretty nifty idea. It would allow you to run non-convertible stock with DCC control. Portrams spring to mind. IIRC that's what this system is used for at Sumida Crossing. I wouldn't feel comfortable using it on anything but a designated closed loop though. Otherwise if you forget to trip the switch and run the wrong stock you'll see sparks pretty quick. I think KenS warned about this risk on SC. 

 

Unfortunately, I don't have any room on my layout for a designated loop, or even a reversing straight line track. Otherwise I'd install a portram in a heartbeat. Maybe a bus service too. 

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I tested this on Ttrak and it worked. The future project will be getting some higher amperage decoders to set up somthat we can run 4 tracks with one remote DCC controller. Shorting the decoder seems to be the issue that may happen.

 

jeff

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I'm using DCC decoder to control DC locomotives on my temporary layout. works well

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Vato,

 

cool, how big of a layout is it on? What sized decoder are you using?

 

ive actually been tempted to try it on the new club layout whenits running here to see if it could simlify things there with only having a single controller.

 

jeff

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For short protection, adding a polyfuse to each feeder wire would be enough, but never cross with a train from one loop to another as it could damage the decoders.

 

Btw. using the opendcc variant of decoders could allow us to add proper protection circuits and even to allow syncing up the pwm signals using sideband data. Just like in the new Tomytec system.

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Vato,
 
cool, how big of a layout is it on? What sized decoder are you using?
 
ive actually been tempted to try it on the new club layout whenits running here to see if it could simlify things there with only having a single controller.
 
jeff
It is a table size simple layout with one double crossover. 120smX60sm. Decoder is from digitrax DZ126.


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