Trains and dual mode control

You hear so much about DCC these days and rightfully so. DCC offers many enhancements to a layout. I was bitten about a year ago with the DCC bug. After looking and comparing many systems, I found a Wangrow System One on Ebay for a great price. The System One, which is comparable to NCE, had everything I wanted; Computer interface, slow clock, along with a few other features.

I was all ready to install the system when I started thinking about my older DC equipment and what I would have to do to get them converted. The sad part was that nearly half of my current roster would not make the conversion for one reason or another, but they ran fine and I still wanted to run them alongside my new DCC equipment.

Now it is possible to run DC equipment on DCC, but it’s not the best idea to do so. After thinking about it, I thought, why couldn’t I run either or when I wanted? A trip to the local Radio Shack gave me some ideas. I found some Double-Pole Double-Throw (DPDT) center off switches at an Ace hardware store. The reason I chose them was that they were lighted switches, making it easier to tell which system was in use at any time.

Wiring the switch was a simple matter of attaching the center lugs to the track bus and one side to my System One and the other two lugs to my MRC power pack. Unfortunately, The layout went into storage before I could finish it and test it out.

So when I built the patio layout, I decided to try it again, only this time, with an Atlas Commander/Generator set.


In the above shot, you can see the switch mounted in the table frame. I built a frame on which the Atlas Commander mounts to the table on. The two screws correspond to holes on the bracket and it hangs on the table at a nice angle for operating the layout. I connected the Commander to the layout by a male/female Molex plug (the white plugs used to hook up hard drives inside of computers) for quick hookup and storing of the Commander. To the right of the switch is the programing track. it is mounted by two pieces of threaded rod that slip into holes on the frame and is also connected via a Molex plug



One Response to “Trains and dual mode control”

  1. support Says:

    : ) that is one of many ways to look at it 😉

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