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Q: Model Railway Technical Question 1 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Model Railway Technical Question 1
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: pleasehelpme1-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 25 Jul 2005 18:13 PDT
Expires: 24 Aug 2005 18:13 PDT
Question ID: 547871
With the advent of DCC, there is not alot of information comparing DCC
with analog model railway operating systems.  Please explain the
difference between the two systems(advantages/disadvantages etc) in
very simple terms so that a beginner like me can understand.
Subject: Re: Model Railway Technical Question 1
Answered By: nenna-ga on 25 Jul 2005 19:52 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Good evening pleasehelpme1 and thank you for the question. 
Fortunately, I have had a little experience in the area of model
railways (thank you, Dad!) and can help explain the difference between
the analog systems and DCC systems, however, for more information on
DCC model railways, I suggest you read through some of the links I
have provided below.

An Analog model railway (aka conventional model railway, conventional
analogue control [DC or AC]) provides a power feed to a piece of
track.  Any locomotive that is on that piece of track will respond by
moving forwards or backwards.  The speed and direction of a model
train was controlled by varying the voltage and polarity on the rails.
The higher the voltage , the faster the locomotive moves, the lower
the voltage, the slower the locomotive moves.

* * * * * * * * * *

DCC stands for Digital Command Control.  It is a system that allows
model railways to independently operate multiple locomotives,
functions (speed, sound, lighting, direction, movement) and
accessories rather than control of sections of track.  This is
achieved by locating a decoder in the locomotive that listens to
information in the track.

= = = = = = = = = =


Advantage #1:  An analog model is cheap and simple to install for simple layouts. 

Disadvantage #1:  If two locomotives are on the powered section of
track, then both will move in the same direction.  There are ways to
take control of each train individually, but for a beginner, it is
rather complicated.  The basic method used has been block wiring. The
model railroad layout is divided up into electrical blocks.  Each one
of these blocks can control one locomotive. A cab (or throttle) is
used to control each train. Arrays of selector switches connect each
block. This method of control is also called "cab control".

Disadvantage #1:  With the analog system, the majority of your time
will be spent throwing toggle switches to keep your train running.

Analog Links:

Take Control
( )

Layout Electric's And Electronics ? a site on how to wire a
conventional analogue system for beginners.
( )

* * * * * * * * * *


Advantage #1:  DCC is able to communicate with each locomotive
individually, allowing each to be given its own commands independent
of the operation of other locomotives. It does not need the track to
be divided into sections.

Advantage #2: You have more fun running your trains because you have
more time to watch the trains. With DCC, you don't have toggle
switches to mess with, so you can watch the trains run instead of
messing with a control panel full of toggle switches.

Advantage #3:  Wiring is much easier.  The larger, more complex
layouts will still require a fair amount of wiring and will be
complex, however, it will be far less complex, and much easier than
wiring the equivalent layout with an analog system.

Advantage #4:  DCC provides a more accurate signal, and is more open
for expansion to future technologies.

Advantage #5:  DCC is easier to upgrade.

Disadvantage #1:  DCC controls are more expensive.

Disadvantage #2:  Each locomotive to be used with DCC must be equipped
with a decoder.  At approximately $30 each (not including
installation, which can range for $10 to $20 per locomotive),it could
be a big expense if you have several locomotives.

Disadvantage #3:  Not all locomotives can be converted from analog to DCC.

John Sipple, author of Giving Your Locomotive A DCC Tune-up may be
able to answer some of your questions.  You can email him at ( )

Other DCC Links:

Wiring for DCC
( )

National Model Railraod Association - DCC Information Home Page
( )

Big Book of DCC
( )

= = = = = = = = = =

In my opinion, if you are a beginner and want to start your own model
railway, I would suggest going the DCC route, as it is more
recognizable than the old analog systems and there are not many
instructional sites or books on this older system.


Google Directory
( :// ) 

Model Railway Express
( )

Railway Modeller
( )

Model Railroader
( ) - Model railroad manufacturers listing worldwide
( )

Model Railway & Railroad Clubs & Societies  Worldwide

Railroad Associations, Clubs & Organizations
( ) - Tips & Tricks
( ) 

The Gauge - Model Train Forum
( )

RailServe Forum
( )

RailPage - Australia & New Zealand
( )
( )

= = = = = = = = = = =

I hope this answers your question.  If you would like clarification
before rating my answer, please do not hesitate to ask!

Google Researcher

= = = = = = = = =


CML Electronics
( )

National Model Railraod Association 
( )

( )

Sherwood Models
( )
pleasehelpme1-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you nenna-ga. A very well laid out logical easy to understand answer.

Subject: Re: Model Railway Technical Question 1
From: nenna-ga on 26 Jul 2005 05:35 PDT
Thank you very much for the rating.  If I can be of anymore help to
you, please let me know!


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