HO Module Layout DCC Manual
The Basics of the DCC System as used by the Club

Introduction to the HO Module Layout DCC Manual

In March of 2012, the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club’s HO group decided to officially convert its DC operated HO modular layout to Digital Command Control (DCC). The club agreed to use NCE’s DCC system.  This manual provides an overview of the implementation and operational needs caused by the change of operating systems.  This document is a draft guideline as we test this new operational system and has not yet been formally adopted by the organization.

The following sections are included in the manual:

1.0  Module Wiring

2.0  Layout Operations

3.0  Locomotive Numbering Assignments

4.0  Throttle Numbering Assignments

5.0  Consist Numbering Assignments

6.0  Macro Numbering Assignments

1.0 Module Wiring

All the modules will need two sets of harnesses – a mainline track power bus, and a cab bus.  The wiring standards for the each harness from the HO Module Standards are below:

1.1 Track Voltage Service Each module shall have electrical service to transmit track voltage to the next module as well as to mainline trackage.  Breaks in these conductors shall be minimized.  Where broken conductors shall be joined with a plug, e.g. section 6.32 or a solder joint.

1.2 Track Voltage Service, Plugs Plugs (male end) shall be 9-Pin Tyco CPC Connector 1-211768 with Tyco CPC Cable Clamp 1-206070-8 or equivalent. Receptacles (female end) shall be 9-Pin Tyco CPC Connector 1-211769-1.

1.3 Track Voltage Service, Wiring Size Wiring for the transmission of power between modules shall be of at least 14 gauge. Wiring for local use within a module group shall be of at least 20 gauge.

1.4 12 Volt DC Service Each module shall have 12VDC service consisting of a +/-12VDC.  The wiring shall be included in the same harness which provides the track voltage service. 12 Volt DC wiring shall be 22 gauge stranded copper wire.

1.5 Wiring Harness Wiring harnesses constructed in accordance with sections 6.0 will be supplied by the club at the module owner’s expense.

1.6 Control Panels Each module which is equipped with a removable control panel shall be wired such that the module may be run without the control panel.

1.7 Mainline Track Power Bus The Mainline Track Power Bus is a six wire bus which provides power for all module trackage from the command station.  It shall be constructed of 14 gauge electrical wire with the following color scheme: red, gray, green, yellow, black, white. The wires shall be hooked up to the module trackage in the following configuration:

  1. Red wire – Outside mainline – front rail
  2. Gray wire- Outside mainline – back rail
  3. Green wire – Inside mainline – front rail
  4. Yellow wire – Inside mainline – back rail
  5. Black wire – All local tracks – front rail
  6. White wire – All local tracks – back rail

1.8 Twisted Pairs The following pairs of wires for each set of connections need to be twisted – red and gray, green and yellow, as well as black and white.

1.9 Power Bus Wiring Scheme The wires will be connected between modules using connectors specified in 6.5.  The following pin numbers shall be used for the wires:

  1. Red wire-14 gauge
  2. Purple wire-22 gauge
  3. Gray wire-14 gauge
  4. Black wire-14 gauge
  5. Orange wire-22 gauge
  6. White wire-14 gauge
  7. Green wire-14 gauge
  8. Brown wire-22 gauge
  9. Yellow wire-14 gauge

1.10 Cab Bus The cab bus is a CATV cable that runs along the back of the module. RJ-12 plugs and receptacles shall be used with the receptacles attached with standard electrical boxes. The wiring pattern for the plugs and receptacles shall be clockwise from left to right as follows:

  1. Blue
  2. Blue/White
  3. Orange
  4. Orange/White
  5. Green
  6. Green/White
  7. Do not use Brown and Brown/White

2.0 Layout Operations

A. Layout Operations Overview

It is expected that the new DCC layout will appear to operate in much the same fashion as it did under DC operations to the public.  The club will operate several trains on each mainline continuously and module operators will operate trains on their local tracks.

B. Mainline Operations

  1. The club shall assign one dispatcher to oversee train movements on the mainline during the show.
  2. Members wishing to have trains run on the mainline, must coordinate with the dispatcher to bring trains on the mainline.  The train owner will operate as the engineer on the train and operate the train over the mainline under the direction of the dispatcher.
  3. Trains should only be operated on the mainline if the club assigned dispatcher has given the owner of the train permission to do so.  No club members will run trains onto the mainline trackage without express permission of the dispatcher operating trains.
  4. Trains on the inside mainline will run clockwise around the layout.  Trains on the outside mainline will run counterclockwise.  Reverse movements are allowed only at the sole discretion of the dispatcher.
  5. Engineers are requested to run trains at scale speeds and operate at a reasonable distance behind other trains which may be operating on the mainline.  If trouble develops with the train, such as a derailment, the engineer should notify the dispatcher and follow engineers as quickly as possible.
  6. Dispatchers are authorized to ask engineers whose trains are not performing well to have the engineer remove the offending equipment or the entire train from the mainline until the problem can be remedied.
  7. For many events, an operating schedule, detailing operational positions and train schedules, will be prepared prior to a show by the HO Module Coordinator.  This schedule will serve as a guide for the dispatcher and members who do not sign up ahead of time may not be able to run trains on the mainline during the show.  Extra trains are at the complete discretion of the dispatcher during these events.

C. Local Operations

  1. Members may run trains on the local tracks of their own module or module set as they would like so long as they do not interfere with mainline operations.
  2. Only throttles owned by module owners and numbered by the club will be allowed to be plugged into the layout.
  3. It is recommended that members storing engines/locomotives on back tracks have a method by which to cut off power to those storage tracks.  This will save the system from the unnecessary power draw of idle engines on the system.

D. Programming Equipment

  1. No locomotives or equipment shall be programmed on the main layout during a show.  A separate programming track will be provided if equipment needs to be programmed during the show.
  2. No out of the box equipment shall be used on the layout.  It must first be programmed on the separate programming track with the assigned numbering convention before being placed on the layout.

3.0 Locomotive Numbering Assignments

  1. All locomotives will be addressed using the long number (or four digit) address to the decoder.
  2. The first two digits of the locomotive address will be a two digit number assigned to the locomotive owner by the club.  The last two numbers are up to the discretion of the owner of the locomotive.  It is recommended the last two numbers match the last two numbers painted on the locomotive.
  3. Any club member who intends to operate trains regularly on the HO scale layout may receive a two digit prefix number for their locomotive number assignments.  This should be done before a show.
  4. The locomotive number 003 will not be assigned to any member.

4.0 Throttle Numbering Assignments

  1. The NCE system requires that all throttles be assigned a unique two digit address.  The club will provide the two digit address for any throttles to be used on the layout.
  2. The NCE system allows a maximum of 63 throttles plugged into the system at a time.
  3. Only people who own modules will be assigned throttle numbers.  Members who do not own modules shall not bring in outside throttles and use them on the layout.
  4. The club will own at least 10 throttles.
  5. Throttle number 01 or 02 will not be assigned to any throttles.

5.0 Consist Numbering Assignments

  1. The NCE system allows for up to 250 consist addresses for running multiple engines together using the numbers 000-250.
  2. The numbers 112-127 will not be assigned for consisting due to system requirements.
  3. The club will assign all consist numbers to members who regularly run trains using multiple locomotives.
  4. Consists must be programmed into the club system and can only be done on the main layout.  This needs to be done BEFORE a show begins.  Consist numbers will not be assigned during the day of a show.

6.0 Macro Numbering Assignments

The NCE system allows for up to 2400 different macros to be assigned to the system.  At present, the club will not be using this function in the system.   It is advised that no macros be programmed into the system without the express permission of the HO Module Coordinator.

End of the DCC Manual