Wiring for Digital Command Control (DCC)
Summary: Wiring for DCC is not as complicated as some would have you believe, but it is a very important component to the entire Digital Command Control Experience. Good wiring is essential for reliable operation with Digital Command Control. Due to the large number of related topics to wiring, this article is meant as a jumping off point to other articles. Brief summaries of each topic, with a link to the primary article for more detailed information. Whether you are starting your first layout, or converting an existing layout, this is a good place to start.
General Wiring Topics
- Wiring Tools – First things first. You'll need some basic tools. Some simple electrical tools can be made for a few dollars that can save you hours of time and less frustration while wiring your layout. Keep in mind that you do not buy tools, you invest in them.
- Wiring Complexity – Wiring for your layout can be as simple or as complex as needed or desired.
- Wiring Color Code – It's best to develop a colour code when you're just getting started. However, it's important to stick to it! This article explains picking a wire colour code as well as wire sourcing to help you stick to your code.
- Wire Sizes and Spacing – Are these wire sizes overkill? How far apart should the track feeders be? Answers to these, and more.
- Wire Types – Selecting the correct type of wire is important for the reliability of the DCC signal on the track.
- Voltage Drop – Model railroads have low tolerance for voltage drops throughout the layout. Be sure to use the proper wire gauge and feeder spacing.
- Do I Need to Twist the Bus Wires? The question everyone asks.
- Wiring Tips and Tricks
- Soldering Yes, there is soldering!