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DCC Decoder Selection

N scale enthusiast Michael has this question:

I picked up an Alco 479 PA DCC ready loco – a pair of them with the road name Southern Pacific.  I’m having a heck of a time finding the right sound decoder for this loco.  I believe Alco is Atlas?  The current non DCC board says CDN4 DCC Ready PCB. Guidance please?”  

6 Responses to DCC Decoder Selection

  • Rudolph Blawsays:

    Is there a DCC connector or receptacle on the board? That would mean you just plug in the DCC decoder and add a speaker, of course. A little wiring will be required. Go to a DCC website, for example ESU (Electronic Solutions Ulm, GmbH) Select Products, then Loksound and find the matching decoder for your N scale locomotive. Other websites should have a similar layout. Also, your local hobby shop would be a good place to go to for advice.

  • Danasays:

    Have you checked the Soundtraxx website. I use their decoders all the time. I believe they have a data sheet showing which of their decoders go with each locomotive. Worth a check.


    If your loco has a decoder chip in it, I would fire up JMRI, and in the Decoder Pro, add this loco to the roster – VERY easy. Then scan the decoder and if it is in the JMRI list, it will be found. Once this is identified, then READ ALL SHEETS and all CVs will be read into JMRI into the LOCO in this roster.

    From here you can create reports and document your decoder and such.

    The next option is to find the manual for this decoder,

    ALCO is the American Locomotive Company, who made this prototype.

    The pc board you mentioned seems to be the base board with the pin header on which your decoder chip should mount.

  • Donnis Davissays:


  • Geoff Thomsonsays:

    If you go to the Soundtraxx site and click on decoder selector the Alco PA 1 is listed under Concor, Kato, and Life Like and they all take the same decoder TSU-1100 Part number 885003. Hope this helps.

  • Frank Bsays:

    ALCO was a locomotive manufacturing company, ATLAS is a model railroad company.

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