Depends on the system, some, eg Digitrax have knobs that only indicate
change, so when you change locos the knob is automatically in the
correct place. Others have up and down pushbuttons that give the same
effect. Some with more traditional knobs will not take over control
till you turn the knob to the correct position for the new loco.
Make friends in the hobby.
Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Similar vein question.
if you buy 2 dcc controllers can you have two people playing trains at the
same time? presumably yes - but then what happens if they both address the
Beware what is being called a 'controller' here: There is ONE Command
Station / Master Controller for the whole SYSTEM - and it can of course
control many trains - but only adjust one at a time.
However, additional 'handsets' or slave controllers can be added, and they
talk to the master/commmand station, which adds their commands to the
Therefore, if a 2nd 'user' tries to take control of a loco 'currently
being controlled' on another controller, there is a problem.....
This can be resolved in several ways, but most usually:
If the SPEED of the requested loco is ZERO, then its control is
transferred to the new controller, BUT if it is MOVING, then the request
may/will be rejected, and the 'new user', won't be... they'll feel
Hoewever, if, like we have in the garden, with the LGB and RADIO-Linked
handsets, the 'feedback' to the controller/handset is lost, and in this
case it can be possible to send alternating conflicting commands, which
soon becomes apparent to the loco and anyone watching. This DOES NOT
happen when the handsets are connected by cable, because then
communication is two-way (between handsets), and the error is reported.
Phil Spiegelhalter: firstname.lastname@example.org
==== Technical Training for Broadcasters =====
now i have lost the plot on this stuff then. i thought DCC just sent a
command around the system addressed to Joe which said "Hello, Joe. Increase
speed to warp factor 7."
all the stuff connected up (including the stationery stuff) ignores it
unless it has been christened "Joe " - and then it will respond, increase
speed as instructed and leave it there whilst the DCC controller talks to
someone else - or remains silent. So why can't controller A send a message
to Joe and then controller B talks to Bill? Iis it because the message
might get scrambled if they were both sent at about the same time? ie A
sends an instruction but after the "hello, Joe" bit, B sends "Hello,
Bill -...." and then the "increase speed to WF7" instruction would get read
by Bill and not Joe.
The reason for asking is that currently i have one of those HM twin
controllers which allows one son to twiddle one knob and his friend to
twiddle another - taking turns is not as absorbing....... So the new cheapo
bachmann offering is not suitable for me?
I think the terminology is confusing the issue. As I understand it you
can get a DCC system with multiple throttles. Each boy can have his own
and control a train with it. If you have 4 trains then they can each
control 2 trains (although they can only change the speed of one train
at a time). Systems allow quite a few 'throttles' --- it varies with the
You're close enough to the plot!
"Joe" and "Bill" are of course "01" and "99" or in the most recent upgrade "001"
If you want to drive two locos at the same moment then you're going to need two
knobs, ten locos - ten knobs ...
The signal length to "Joe" and "Bill" is so short that you won't notice the
delay. (On big club layouts the delay can become noticable)
The problem you don't yet know about is that there are usually limitations to
each system because they have not implimented the entire DCC possibilities.
The limitations might be the number of controllers, number of speed steps (0-14.
0-28, 0-127 etc)
the number of acceleration/deacceleration steps, number of functions accessible
Basically you have to know _everything_ before you buy or gamble that it does
everything you will ever want from it, or be prepared to onsell and buy a better
When you buy that loco with lights and steam sound and whistle and coal
shovelling and Westinghouse pump and ... and find your CU only allows you to
turn the lights on and off you're going to be irritated!
The you get problems like sound units that only allow steam sound _or_ whistle
_or_ ... when the other brand allows 47 different sounds simultaniously for
another pound on the price.
I am considering getting the Roco Loco Mouse 2 with an extra throttle.
There will then be two identical throttles --- important as I have two
children (saves a lot of aggravation as any parent with more than one
child will know).
While you can extra throttle to the Lenz Compact system, it won't be
identical to the first unit. The more expensive Lenz systems would allow
identical throttles, but at much greater cost. The other alternative is
the American EasyDCC system which apparently has two controls on the
erk - i have two kids but the youngest is only 1 . so i have to worry in
a few years time?
but don't they need identical tracks and engines as well?
even with eldest and his friends, annie and clarabel get split up behind
behind percy and thomas - and they get a troublesome truck each.
thanks the roco - hadn't heard of that one.
May be not as the age gap is probably rather larger than we have.
Well you can hope that they will have different favourite engines.
However the power/speed need to be balanced.
We have Percy, Thomas, and now (as of today) Gordon. I wonder if any one
here will admit to having converted any of these for DCC? Incidentally
Gordon runs a lot better than the other two (as he should for the price).
It was April 2002, the Class 33 Masterclass Issue. The article was intended as
a guide for converting all models which use the generic 0-6-0 chassis and
includes full instructions for programming and perfomance tables. I still have
a copy in mint condition if anyone is interested but the postage will be
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