1. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

    Been reading several threads about speed matching MU consists with DCC, and was wondering about MU consists using DC. Is this possible or even recommended? I've always assumed that with DC, you had one powered unit with the rest being dummy units, since there is no way to speed match like DCC. This works fine, but the thought of more than one unit being powered sounds interesting.
    If you do this, would a slightly faster unit be placed in a 'pusher' capacity?
  2. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

    I m.u. my diesels together all of the time. I've mixed P1K, P2K, Athearn, Atlas, and InterMountain at various times and had really satisfacory results. It appears that the newer units of different makes work better together than the same models from 15 - 20 years ago.

    However, you'll probably find a few that don't. That is the case with one brand of RS-3's (although 3 units from an earlier run - do m.u. just fine) and GP-35's.

    Of course for my two sound units, a dummy is provided.
  3. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    People over-obsess about speed matching. Unless you experiencing wheel slipping or jerkiness that is ruining the experience for you, MU consists at the head end will usually function fine without speed matching, in DC or DCC.

    In some cases locos will be so mismatched that you will just not want to run them together, but it is mostly an aesthetic issue of noise or wobbling and not a technical problem. At the extreme, you could overheat a really fast engine by running it with slower ones, but that much mismatch is rare in my experience with N scale locos from the past twenty years.

    Now as far as using 'pushers' if you have a swing helper or rear helper, it's kinda complicated. It's better to have it be a slightly faster locomotive on a flat or uphill, but slightly slower on a downhill. This is obviously much easier to accomplish in DCC where you can control the locos separately than in DC. But it can be done in DC. I've seen it done with N scale steam: three intermountain cab-forwards pulling 40+ wooden reefers, all split up with a swing helper and a rear helper.
  4. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks guys - that gives me a bit more confidence experimenting with it.
  5. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I MU powered DC locomotives all the time. I usually try and MU locomotives that run close to the same speed. They may not match perfectly, but the real ones dont either. :)
  6. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    I have a Kato ABBA set of F7s that are always MU'd with DC. Sometimes the B units push the A units and sometimes the A units push the B units. They don't seem to mind, so neither do I. I also have two Atlas RS-1 units, an early one by Kato, and a later one by "China", and they too behave like the F7's.
    So please accept that nothing is perfect, just enjoy....:tb-cool:
  7. Cjcrescent

    Cjcrescent TrainBoard Member

    When I was in the club in Mobile, Al, We didn't have DCC. In fact DCC wasn't invented yet. This is how we MU'd DC diesels. We took two or three locos we wanted to consist together, and placed them on the the separate mains. We would then put cars behind them until they ran at pretty close the same speed. We then took the locos and all the cars they were pulling and made up one train. Then that train would run for several hours until it was time to change the locos out.

    We generally would wind up with trains of 40-60 cars long. That was OK as the layout, at that time was 90' long and 30' wide. Short trains looked really out of place on that layout.
  8. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

    I've done some MUing and some pushing with DC. It's just a matter of making sure they match speeds well. Also, pay attention to the speed match when all the locomotives you intend to use are on the track, because they may behave differently.

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