DCC Geek Code

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(This just a start - Feel free to completely change the letters/layout/format/etc. No one should be using this code yet! TazzyTazzy 11:47, 15 February 2006 (EST))

So you think you are a DCC Geek, eh? The first step is to admit this to yourself. Once you’ve completed this, it’s time to tell the world… But how? Use the universal DCC Geek code! Using this special code will allow you to let other DCC geeks know who you are in a simple, codified statement. Once you developed your code, simply place it in on your Userpage.

Getting Started

There are 5 topics that comprise the DCC Geek code, however the primary one is DCC (go figure). Your code should contain all of the primary components (N, P, MU, B, T, W, and S).

How to create it

Perhaps the best way to explain this is to show you an example of a DCC Geek code:

DCC Geek Code: N++ P+ MU->+ B+ T++ S: n+

Let's break this down some by looking at each component. The N++ show that this person is confident about setting up new DCC systems as noted with the ++. "MU->+" shows that this person isn't very at good creating or tearing down MUs now, but in the future, would like to become slightly above average on this task.


There are a few modifers that can be applied to each code, and can be seen in the example.

  • @ - For this variable, said trait is not very rigid, may change with time or with individual interaction. For example, DCC Geeks who are usually good with throttle network wiring, but sometimes inconsistant for various reasons (including an adult beverage), might have T+@.
  • ( ) - For indicating "cross-overs" or ranges. DCC Geeks who go from N+ to N--- depending on the situation (i.e. mostly "N+") could use N+(---). @ is different from () in that () has finite limits within the category, while @ ranges all over. In this example, the user is generally pretty good at setting up DCC systems, but has been known to have significant memory lapse when helping others.
  • > - For 'wannabe' ratings. Indicating that while the DCC Geek is currently at one rating, they are striving to reach another. For example, C++>$ indicating a DCC geek that is currently DCC savvy, but wants to someday make money at it.
  • $ - Indicates that this particular category is done for a living. For example, P+++$ indicates that the person programs decoders and gets paid for it. Quite a lucky geek, for sure.
  • ? - Unless stated otherwise within the specific category, the ? is placed after the category identifier and indicates that the geek has no knowledge about that specific category. For example, a person that has never created or tore down an MU consist would list themselves as MU?
  • ! Placed before the category. Unless stated otherwise, indicates that the person refuses to participate in this category. This is unlike the ? variable as the ? indicates lack of knowledge, while the ! indicates stubborn refusal to participate. For example, !a would be a person that just refuses to have an automated layout at home, while an a? would be a person that doesn't even know that you could automate a DCC layout.

The code

Please note: Case (upper and lower) is significant! Part of the fun of this is making it difficult!


  • N: Setting up new command stations/Layouts
    • N--- = Thinks DCC means "Diesel Cow Catcher"
    • N-- = Has read about how to set up a circle of track with DCC
    • N- = Has set up a circle of track with DCC
    • N = Can set up a DCC layout
    • N+ = Can set up a DCC layout with multiple boosters and reversing loops
    • N++ = Can set up a modular DCC layout with club equipment in 20 minutes or less, including running throttle networks.
    • N+++ = Can set up a large modular DCC layout with your OWN equipment, in the dark, wearing a blindfold, with mittens on.
  • D: Installing Decoders
    • D--- = "I can't even solder track feeders, there's no way I'm going to try to put a decoder in a locomotive!"
    • D-- = Lets the magic smoke out of decoders on a regular basis
    • D- = Has sucessfully completed at least one drop-in installation
    • D = Can handle drop-in decoder installs
    • D+ = Can do drop in and hard-wired installs
    • D++ = Can do drop in and wired installs with multiple added functions
    • D+++ = Once installed a decoder, ditch lights, strobe, and sound in a Z scale F7.
  • P: Programming Decoders
    • P-- = "You can change the decoder address? I don't have to run it on '03'?"
    • P- = Can program long and short addresses using a computer, but the other stuff is too intimidating
    • P = Can program long and short addresses using a throttle
    • P+ = Can program basic decoder functions and 3 point speed curves using appropriate software, as long as I don't have to understand what's really going on.
    • P++ = Can easily program decoders with complex speed curves, lighting FX, and sound.
    • P+++ = Have memorized all the CVs and variations of every decoder ever manufactured, and actually understands BEMF programming
  • MU: Setting up/Tearing down Consists
    • MU-- "You mean I don't have to have a throttle for each locomotive?"
    • MU- = Can create a Basic Consist
    • MU = Can create and break a consist using the throttle
    • MU+ = Can create and break consists of 6 or more locomotives
    • MU++ = Understands the differences between "basic", "decoder assisted", and "command station" consists, and can build and break consists mixing the methods.
    • MU+++ = Can create and break all kinds of consists on the move, adding and dropping off helpers without stopping the train. In the dark. Wearing mittens.
  • B: Bus Wiring
    • B-- = Used 22 AWG telephone wire for busses "because it's what I had out in the toolshed".
    • B- = Used 18 AWG lamp cord, and got most of the solder joints hot enough.
    • B = Used 16 AWG lamp cord wire on the layout
    • B+ = Thinks about upgrading to heavier wire, and understands "voltage drop".
    • B++ = Uses 12 AWG wire, with a moderate twist, and limits feeder drops to 1 foot or less - and understands why.
    • B+++ = Manufactures their own room-temperature superconducting wire to eliminate voltage drop completely.
  • T: Throttle Network Wiring
    • T-- = "There are only 2 throttle jacks on the booster - how can you use more than two throttles?!?"
    • T- = Knows where to find another throttle panel on the layout
    • T = Is comfortable wiring additional throttle panels as needed
    • T+ = Can design throttle networks and troubleshoot them
    • T++ = Has talked their entire club into wireless throttles - and still wires the layout "just in case".
    • T+++ = Has designed a custom throttle network with zero lag time based on the quantum hyperspace tunneling effect of quark pairs
  • S: Signaling
    • S-- = "The layout uses signals?" ...crunch!!...
    • S- = "Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means go faster!"
    • S = Understands basic signalling
    • S+ = Understands and can implement home and distant signal logic
    • S++ = Designed, built and implemented a portable self-configuring semaphore signal system for modular layouts from coffee stirrers, cobwebs, and bits of confetti. (This will be upgraded to S++++ if necessary)


  • Switching – SW
  • Circles – C
  • Garden – G
  • Modular - M
  • Wireless Control – W


  • DT - Digitrax
    • DT--- = Gimme a MRC throttle pack
    • DT-- = Is confused by a Digitrax UT4 throttle
    • DT- = Can use a Digitrax DT throttle if someone else aquires the locomotive or consist
    • DT = Knows how to set up and use a Digitrax system
    • DT+ = Can make any Digitrax system sit up, shake hands, and roll over
    • DT++ = Knows the Digitrax manuals inside and out, keeps them for their collectors value
    • DT+++ = Has a direct psychic link to AJ Ireland
    • DT++++ = Uses wide-open two way telepathic communication to give AJ and Zana all their best ideas
  • NCE – NCE System One/Wangrow
  • LZ - Lenz


  • Automated Layout – a
  • Programmed my Own – p


  • Sls = Large Scale
  • Ss = S
  • So – O scale
  • Sho = HO
  • Soo – OO scale
  • Sn = N scale
  • Sz = Z scale


  • Club Member - c
    • c---- = wouldn't join a club if they were giving away free brass locomotives
    • c--- = Offically belongs to a club, but never goes
    • c-- = Goes to club meetings to escape on rare occasions
    • c- = Attends meetings on somewhat regular basis
    • c = Attends meetings as often as others
    • c+ = Attend meetings frequently
    • c++ = Attends almost all meetings, and offers to help setup
    • c+++ = Organizes the club meetings
    • c++++ = Organized the club
  • Attends Railroading Shows - r

See also