Friday, 27 January 2012

DCC is simple! (my Arse!)

After reading several model railway forums and looking at the various DCC forum entries it's struck me that something is not quite right some where.

Why do most DCC forum entries start off with the words...
        "HELP!" or "I have a problem" ???

It seems to me that this DCC malarkey is not a simple as people try and make out.

I have always been made to believe that DCC is just 2 wires!
Having seen the underside of some DCC layouts at exhibitions and on the internet I think that is a bit of an understatement.
Most I have seen seem to resemble the wiring of a Boeing 747 or the starship enterprise!

Then there are the posts telling us that we MUST modify all our Peco live frog points as there is the danger of shorting out the track.

The number of posts I have read where the words "Blue Smoke" have appeared is also amazing!

Don't get me started on lights and sounds!
Another two DCC related subjects that get loads of attention. I wouldn't mind but when you are operating your layout at exhibition and all you hear all day is a couple of Class 66s ticking over and the odd sound of something actually moving you have had enough! It does my swede in to quite honest. Steam Loco sound is not much better, I have yet to hear a decent sounding DCC steam loco. Don't they know the difference between the sound of a 2 cylinder black 5 and a 4 cylinder castle or 3 cylinder LNER loco because they all sound the same to me!

Don't get me wrong I'm no ludite when it comes to data bus systems and computer machine control , having worked on them in industry for years, but as far as my model railway goes its good old fashioned DC for me!

Frank (AKA V.Meldrew)


  1. I agree with the comment about sound at exhibitions, just not subtle enough. On your layout at home it can really add to the fun and the level is controllable.

  2. What, control 99 locomotives from a controller where you have to punch seven key presses before you can twiddle the knob to slow one down. Give me a duette with a separate knob for each loco anytime! And can I remember which function controls cab lights? Love the fireman shovel sound and the brake squeal though!

  3. I'm with you, not always as easy as some make it out to be. Have recently acquired a SPROG II, got it all talking to my MacBook now for computer controlled DCC - already simpler to understand than The conventional DCC systems ! Although, sometimes nothing beats some good old DC control !!