I overheard a conversation a little while ago between a stall-holder
and a customer asking about DCC.
Although he had been sworn to secrecy the stall-holder claims a model
manufacturer had devised a major step forward in DC control and were
due to release it onto the market very soon !
Red herring or what ?
There's absolutely no reason why analogue, particularly PWM analogue
can't carry DCC signals or have DCC signals imposed upon it.
A sound or accessory decoder only needs two consecutive commands to
operate any feature until a further command turns it off again.
Sound over analogue is very old stuff. The late Bert Groves(*) had sound
from inside coaches in his garden N gauge layout from about 1970 onwards.
And, yes, it was a full-time garden railway which survived about 20 years.
(* I've been writing an article which describes how he influenced model
makers of today. )
Garden N gauge ? How well did that work and in what kind of climate ?
Given the amount of general cleaning and so on needed for N gauge in
an ordinary living room I would have thought running it outside would
be quite a challenge.
I wish it would be - radio control with 12v through the track would be
nice. Current offerings assume battery operation and are very expensive,
their brochures not making it clear as to what exactly you are getting
into. Plus there are a limited number of channels (which could be
overcome with multiplexing I suppose).
I'd welcome a good, basic, inexpensive system.
At the present time the construction of sound units which perform
according to the control volts on each section is not very demanding.
They have been around since the 70's when transistors first showed up.
Equally lighting is almost not voltage dependent with the use of LED's
and keep alive low voltage AC. There is no reason why radio control
should not be employed as in other model disciplines especially the
digital version which enables a limitless number of gates to be
The drawback ( if it is so) is that it becomes a very time consuming
task - almost to the exclusion of everything else!
The sole advantage of DCC is independent speed control in the same
"Dragon Heart" wrote
Stallholder? Swapmeet or model railway show? Most rumours start at the
Gosh a manufacturer trusting a 'sworn to secrecy' stallholder, now there's
confidence for you.
On a more serious note, there's no reason why someone shouldn't be
considering developing a whole new analogue control concept for model
There must be some specialised manufacturers of traditional analogue control
equipment who are feeling the pinch following declining sales and may have
had to 'buy in' their own DCC systems. Consequently they are possibly
having to accept lower profit margins as they do not manufacture these
It would certainly make some sort of sense for companies of this ilk to be
looking for something they can churn out themselves very cheaply, and
certainly if such a system precluded the need for DCC decoders then they
might well be onto a winner.
Southern UK, Surrey I think. Being Bert Groves, it would have worked
properly, but I never saw it.
Consult archives and its all described, eg, Railway Modeller 1967. He had
track cleaning stock and a track oiler which was run before and after every
session to help keep things working properly.
I remember seeing another article about N gauge in the garden back in 1996
so, but unfortunately I don't have acess to my old magazines and cannot
the title. The author said that he used a HF track cleaner to keep slugs adn
snails off the line, but had trouble with cats and rabbits.