Monday, 3 June 2013

Moving to DCC

A move to DCC
     Although I was quite happy running the SFRSD on DC with cab control seeing some of my mates move in the DCC direction was a new area for me and one that I was not that comfortable in taking. With the size of my layout together with the number of locomotives on the roster I felt that it was a cost that I could ill afford and that the technology was way to over my head.
     At the National N Scale convention that was held in Adelaide in 2007 I heard that Digitrax were about to launch their Duplex system. This was a huge move, my layout had grown by 50% and would now work better with a walk around system and one that if I could enlist the help of close friends might consider. It would also help me move away from my current scheduling and operating system which was very time consuming for me to set up prior to each operating night. It would allow me to move to a car card system like that used on two friends layout one of which is the GC&SF seen on this blog from time to time.
     A long discussion with my fun and finance controller and it was decided that it could be done. So with some checking around I decided that I should go with the new Digitrax Duplex system. This would allow me to obtain the installation and technical support from my friends who had gone the Digitrax direction but not yet moved to the full Duplex version. It would save money as each member of my operating crew could bring their own throttle and with their help get the decoders installed in a timely fashion.
     So In mid 2009 the work began. My two good friends John Fahey and John Colliver and I set about to drop all of the track block wires, dismantle yard panels, remove all of the built-in home made throttles and purchase the necessary hardware to make the changeover. Brendan was given all of my locos to install the decoders some including Loksound in my GE U30 locos.

Block control switches ready for removal

What wires? John F and John C on the left dropping block wires

Is this one right?


A pile of hand made throttles removed from the layout
After 13 days spread over about 4 weeks the task was completed. Great job lads and the layout has never run better. Next the car cards.
That's it for today thanks for stopping by.
Rod.

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