DCC Control Panels


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DCC Control Panels

It is possible to combine an analogue style control panel with DCC digital. Why would you want to do this? Many model railway enthusiasts enjoy the manual input of switching turnouts or having the ability to detect the presence of a train on hidden areas of the layout particularly fiddle yards. A schematic panel can be useful to locate turnout switches or display indicators for track status. Traditional lever switches e.g. Peco or Hornby can also be used if a lever frame is preferred. More advanced DCC accessory decoders have input channels available to allow the input from a switch to change the turnout via the accessory decoder. The device we use for this purpose is the Team Digital SMD82 switch machine driver capable of operating both solenoid or slow action Tortoise style turnout motors. This high quality device has a 10 pin IDC input designed for primary inputs via a header or the Team Digital TSA (Terminal Strip Adaptor) shown below on the left. A wired Team Digital TSA is shown to the right with the input wires from Hornby lever switches.


The use of primary inputs does not prevent the operation of the turnout via the DCC handset or the use of Macros/Route settings. It therefore adds yet another dimension to the versatility of DCC control and can lead to an automated layout.

DCC track detection is much easier than analogue and does not need to result in a reduction of block power. Whilst analogue detectors can be used DCC detectors are very simple to install as shown in the wiring diagram below for the Team Digital BlocD8. Each isolated block needing detection simply requires one block wire passing through the detector. Status is shown on the unit or external indicators can be added to a schematic control panel.




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