DCC++ Help

NHRails87 Aug 31, 2021

  1. NHRails87

    NHRails87 New Member

    Looking to get into DCC++.

    Do I need a base station if not using powered rails, but battery power on my locomotive?

    If not a base station how do i go about this and using a sound decoder?
  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

    Welcome aboard!

    All DCC decoders of which I am aware receive both power and control information from the rails. That is the definition of DCC: Digital Command Control. Separating out the motor power to take it from a battery, while still getting the control information from the tracks would be difficult on most existing DCC decoders.

    But if you are not sending power over the rails, are the rails even capable of sending any electrical signal? If not, you would have to find some wireless way of sending the control information to the battery powered locomotive. I believe there are some commercial wireless train control systems, but I don't know anything about them, and they are not really related to DCC.

    Depending on the scale you are using, the decoders may be large enough to modify such that the motor can be powered by on-board battery, but controlled by the DCC signal on the track. Note there are some sound decoders that have connections for a "keep alive" capacitor bank to keep the decoder (but not the locomotive motor) alive during brief interruptions in the DCC signal from the track. While a battery of appropriate voltage could be connected to these connections, it would not power the motor to do what you want to do.

    Note: DCC++ is an open source software implementation for a DCC command station (that controls/drives the DCC signal/power onto the track) using an Arduino and a motor shield, which has a sub-forum here under DCC. I think your post would get more appropriate attention if not titled "DCC++ Help"
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    See if this help...



    I believe some of the systems do you DCC by transmitting the DCC signal to a receiver in the loco and then on to the decoder. Kind of like a wireless DCC throttle in reverse.


    Update: There is a good diagram and description of Tam Valley's method of mixing DCC with wireless & battery ( HERE ). I assume some but not all others might be taking a similar approach.

    Due to Duncan's health issues I think this isn't going forward right now. Sure wish him the best. He has done a lot for the hobby and I've been amazed by his ingenuity both in his products and his layout.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
    BigJake likes this.

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