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TECHNICAL - Page 2

DCC Operation

DCC equipment has a number of components and any number of web sites describe these in some detail.

The basic concepts involve:

  • a command station, which is the main processor of the system and which sends out digital packets of information over the track power bus to control the behavior of decoders and other devices
  • a booster, which provides power to the track
  • one or more hand-held throttles, which select a particular decoder or device and send instructions to the command station for controlling that decoder or device
  • a network, wired or wireless, to transmit the signals from the throttle to the command station
  • any number of decoders, either in a locomotive or on the layout, to be controlled by the system
  • any number of auxiliary devices which may be connected to the network or to the main DCC track power bus


A Digitrax layout schematic showing components as used on RHJ Rail

Note that RHJ Rail uses detectors instead of conventional Digitrax block detection. A more detailed description of how (and why) these are used can be found on TECHNICAL - Page 3

In practice, a throttle sends a coded signal to the command station which interprets the signal, translates it to something the decoder in the target locomotive can interpret, and sends this out over the track power system.

In addition, a computer interface may be used to control trains and special effects automatically. The actual computer interface is a device which connects a Windows computer to the DCC network, thus allowing the computer to act as a throttle to control DCC devices and also to intercept messages over the network for the detection of trains, position of turnouts, and the like.

continued on Technical - Page 3

More details on any of the above can, of course, by obtained by contacting RHJ Rail.


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RHJ Rail is owned and operated by Richard H. Johnson
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