I get a lot of questions about wiring
for Digital Command Control. This web page is my way
of giving something back to the hobby. I intend this web page
for all systems. I hope you enjoy this website.
I am an electrical and computer
engineer with experience in computers, radio (which has more
to do with DCC than you realize!), industrial wiring, troubleshooting,
and the electrical knowledge and wiring problems of model railroaders.
You will find this website is large and comprehensive. As large as it is, I could probably double its size if I had the time. If you don't find the information you need, I have links to others who have written about DCC. Contrary to what some may think, I really do try to help the beginning DCC model railroader. For advanced topics in DCC, visit Mark Gurries' website at:
https://sites.google.com/site/markgurries/home If you don't find what you are looking for, please ask your question on this website's Q&A
The popularity of this page has
amazed me. I regret I can only answer some questions
through the Q&A
Forum. Many thanks to all who help answer questions on
the Q&A Forum. I want to acknowledge that this website
is the cumulative knowledge of many people. If you have
a tip I can pass along, please send it
to me. Thank you in advance! Together we can make
this the definitive website on wiring for DCC. You may want
to check the "What's
New" section below about once a month or join the Q&A
Forum to receive update announcements.
This page will not draw on non-periodical
published material. The intent of this page is to foster
growth of the DCC industry so that we as the end user ultimately
get even better DCC equipment. This page is not intended
to steal the thunder of those trying to sell printed material
to benefit the DCC industry. This page will simply refer
you to these fine documents.
I do not warrant that the information
presented is absolutely accurate or without any errors. Readers
should not rely on any information contained herein in instances
where such reliance might cause loss or damage. I and my information
providers specifically disclaim all warranties, including the
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a specific
purpose. I hate putting stuff like this in here, but
someone out in www land will see me as an infallible god worth
suing. If you are not capable and willing to assume responsibility
for your own actions, do you really think I would be foolish
enough to do so for you?
Thank you for the encouraging e-mail. It helps justify to my wife the amount
of time I spend on this page!
DCC: A Totally New Way to Operate
A Totally New Way
Some modelers have a desire to wire DCC like they
did for DC throttles. After all, it worked fine for DC.
DCC is gives you the ability to make your wiring
more consistent - that is, fewer special wiring situations - which
translate to easier troubleshooting. Why not take advantage of
every opportunity to make troubleshooting easier? For me, the more
consistent things are at work, the less likely I am to get woken
up in the middle of the night!
DCC boosters also put out 3 - 10
times more power than a conventional power pack. While any
given locomotive doesn't
normally draw 5 amps of power, your wiring, switch machines, etc.
will be carrying 5 amps during a short. Not good!
So seriously consider wiring in a way that is right
CD-ROM of Entire
Are you interested in a CD-ROM of
the DCC portion of this website? If so, click
Interested in Helping Other Modelers With
If you know about DCC and would like
to help others, please join our forum. This is a no nonsense
place for modelers to ask their DCC questions. The forum is held
on topic. Questions are asked. Questions are answered. No flames.
As such, modelers can ask their question without being jumped
on and your mailbox doesn't fill up with a bunch of junk. Please
go to the forum to enroll and start monitoring the DCC
Q&A Forum. You can always unjoin. Thank you for helping
If you want to help point people to a specific topic
in this website, click here to learn how.
05/05/13 Beginner's topic: Getting started the easy way.
03/16/13 Beginner's topic: Convert old DC locomotives?
Beginner's topic: DC/DCC Layouts
02/24/13 Crossings & Crossovers
02/02/13 LEDs vs Bulbs
01/27/13 Standard resistor values.
Resistors for use with grain of rice bulbs.
Measuring decoder function output voltage.
Equation for determining dropping resistor.
Using LED for indicating track status.
Suggested resistors for LEDs and lamps
01/25/13 Getting power to Atlas frogs.
Beginner's topic: How should you control turnouts on a DCC railroad?
Would you like an email when this website
Join the Q&A
Forum. I will
send out an email to members of the Q&A
Forum titled "Wiring For DCC Update Announcement."
Navigating Wiring For DCC
There are several ways to navigate
this site. Find the one that works best for you.
Hot Buttons: Located
at the top of each page, these take you to the most popular pages
in this website.
Sidebar Menus: There
are two types of these.
1. Those located on this - the Table of Contents - page: Takes you
to the main topic page of each section in this website.
2. Those located on all other main topic pages: Find the sub topic
you are interested in on that particular page.
Site Map: My personal
favorite. The site map is an alphabetical
index to every page in this website. With the site
map, you are only one click away from your page of interest.
The site map / index button appears
at the top of every page.
Site Alphatebetical Index: The site
index includes every single topic on this DCC
website. It is also cross indexed to help you find what you
are looking for even if you aren't sure what you are after.
It takes you directly to your topic of interest.
Linking To This Page
Please set your links to http://www.WiringForDCC.com. Please
feel free to submit my website to your favorite search engine.
Dallas, TX Area Modelers:
Serious modelers interested in a
layout geared towards operations and without "the usual amount
of friendly discussions" at club meetings may write me about
my Clinchfield-based HO layout. Please see
my Clinchfield page for the kind of talent I need. Thank
you for your interest!