Thursday, March 12, 2015

On the Road to DCC

After, having the guys over to run trains a few weeks ago and having nothing but problems, namely overloading the power supply, I decided the layout had outgrown the MRC Tech 4. The next day, I began shopping for a suitable replacement. But then I got to thinking that if I was going to buy a new power supply, I may as well take the plunge and upgrade to DCC. After all, DCC would make formal operating sessions much easier than cab control.

The one big hang-up I had about buying a DCC system was that I have very few decoder-equipped engines. Most of my fleet will however accept drop in decoders, but those cost money and conversion would be a long slog. In addition I do have a lot of older engines that like to run. What I wanted was a dual-mode system of sorts. A more powerful power supply that would give me walk-around control and allow me to run both DC and DCC engines. And that's when I discovered the MRC Tech 6 system.

This system is exactly what I wanted.I can switch between functioning as a regular DC power pack or a full-out DCC system. It also comes with a 6-amp power supply, which should allow me to run multiple long trains headed by multiple locomotives on the same loop without breaking a sweat. 

Now, the Tech 4 hasn't been retired just yet. See, in DC mode, the Tech 6 functions only as one cab. I need the the Tech 4 for the other. That said, with it only running one loop instead of two, the Tech 4 should work better. However, I gather as I start equipping my fleet with decoders, it will be getting less and less use.


  1. Switching to DCC was one the most invigorating things I ever did with my layout. My switch from DC was not without its glitches but now the focus is on my trains and not on a control panel or layout wiring. Keep that DC pack though--always handy for testing your drives as you do those decoder installs.

    1. Oh I'll definitly be keeping the DC pack for while. I still have quite a few locomotives in my fleet that aren't really decoder friendly. But I am looking forward to more realistic operations.