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DCC on Older Engines?

Kerry posted this:

“My Grandkids found some 20+ brand new–not out of box high-quality HO engines and full consists for each, that I purchased some 10-20 years ago but never built another layout until now. I am building one now but am not familiar with DCC at all. I have built several layouts before but have no experience with this DCC stuff. How would I know if these engines are convertible to DCC? What is a good guesstimate on the costs of converting them? Can I do this or should I just build it as DC? Thanks.”

6 Responses to DCC on Older Engines?

  • Georgesays:

    The choice is yours. If the power is something that would fit in to the layout you are building then proceed with some modifications and go with DCC, if however the power is to good to use I suggest a display cabinet. Not all power is equal and some of the older stock my work with DCC, some will need extensive modification. Not seeing them in-front of me its hard to direct you in the proper action to take. I had converted two to DCC, the other is somewhat more difficult, and complicated so I set into a park setting as is, however any time I have an opportunity at a DC layout I may decide to run it. I Used to do the conversion myself, but now my hands shake too much to do the work. But I’m sure that you could find some one to help you.

  • Dalesays:

    Since you know what the locos are and who made them, you should be able to find out if they are DCC-ready (just need a decoder plugged in) or if there is a replacement DCC controller that you can swap out the DC controller board with. The things to watch out for are available space inside the loco as sometimes there is little free space, especially if you plan on using sound decoders and a speaker. The easiest way to get the information you need is to look at some of the major model railroad retailers’ web sites.

  • Hardie Johnsonsays:

    At railroad swap meets I have found conversion boards for about $20, so your cost to convert all the locos they found would be about $400. Plus you still have to create lights and speakers, so is it worthwhile? Your decision.

  • alan platt`says:

    Just curious but were these “President’s Choice” train sets? I bought several between 15 and 20 years ago, but I too never got around to building a new layout. Kept one, but the rest were donated to a local charity yard sale.

  • Calsays:

    I myself have converted a few dc locos to dcc. However my engines were not dcc ready so lack of space for wiring of LED’s always is a challenge.

  • Frank Bsays:

    Read a book on DCC model railroading, understand what needs to be done, then decide which way you want to go.

    Any DC loco can be converted to DCC if there is room inside it for the DCC module (or you could fit it in a passenger or freight car behind the loco).

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