Welcome to DCC Control Systems

Some have wondered if model railroading is an enduring hobby, and if it will continue to stand the test of time. From what I’ve seen, the hobbies that die aren’t adaptable. Model railroading is very much alive because it continues to evolve with technology, like the rest of our world does. This is what this site is dedicated to.

SantaFe

I’ve always thought ‘Digital Command Control’ sounded like my old microwave from college that had two knobs and one button on the front panel that was proudly labeled “Command Station”. In fact, the term is used to describe a hi-tech system of controlling model train layouts. Commonly referred to as DCC, it is more of a description than a title. Let’s break it down:

  • Digital - Like most everything in our modern world, this system uses small computers, which operate in a…
  • Command - network of communication; with controller, loco(motive)s, and accessories taking their orders digitally from the…
  • Control - intelligent dispatcher, YOU… sending these binary ‘encoded’ messages, like love notes, to individual units on the railroad layout.

So, after your bionic implant is correctly mounted and calibrated, your brain waves will permeate the components of the layout…. haha… j/k. The magic of DCC is hidden behind packets of 1′s and 0′s… which isn’t as glamorous as it sounds (wow, that sounds nerdy! : ). A more descriptive article titled “What is Digital Command Control?” will help you understand the difference between the DCC control systems on model train layouts versus the older DC method.

It doesn’t need to be intimidating to model railroaders, but there is a learning curve to getting a grasp on it. You can get as deep into it as you wish. (For instance, some people buy track that already has the roadbed and ballast pre-set, while others prefer to buy their own tracks and lay down ballast… and some ‘hard-core’ hobbyists are laying rails and ties by hand. Yikes!) Similarly, DCC control systems can come pre-installed so you can skip a lot of the techno talk. But if you are like me, the joy in model railroading comes through learning new concepts and discovering new skills. This site will help you become more familiar with the options and possibilities that Digital Command Control offers on model train layouts. If you are new to the hobby, and want to get started but don’t know where to begin, take a look at the Starting a Layout series.

So is model railroading still a worthwhile hobby to get into? I believe that as long as real trains are still rolling through our towns, model trains will roll through our layouts.

Welcome to the site. Say Hi and feel free to leave comments or questions. I’ll be here to respond to them!

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