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The information contained on this page will answer more specific questions about Digital Command Central, Inc.'s methodology for service to our customers and provide some in-depth explanations for the terminology used in our website. 

  • Does Digital Command Central, Inc. provide the decoders for installations?

Yes, at the very least, Digital Command Central, Inc. would like to be involved with helping with the selection of your decoder. There are physical placement limitations to take in account.  In the case of sound, there are also acoustic considerations. Digital Command Central, Inc. wants your locomotive or rolling stock to act and sound as prototypical as possible. Unfortunately, decoder electronic packages differ greatly in size, one manufacturer to another, and this is where installations can become difficult. In newer model locomotives, there isn’t a lot of space to work with because of metal chassis castings added for tractive effort. The manufacturers make these castings to form fit the inside of the locomotive shell which leaves little space for additional electronics and sound hardware. Choosing the correct decoder for your locomotive is an important decision.

  • Would a locomotive that tends to stop on switches (turn outs) and crossings (X’s) be a candidate for DCC?

Intermittent current pick up problems can stem from several sources. These may be aggravated by not enough wheels in the right spot at all times, i.e., a four-wheel truck industrial diesel, or a 0-4-0, 0-6-0, or 0-8-0 steam yard switcher. If the locomotive has a tender, it probably can be modified to add pick up circuits that will alleviate the problem. If it is a "T" model without a tender, then electrical modifications or a modified tag-along-car can be utilized. Other pick up problems can be of a mechanical, electrical nature. The good news is that most, if not all, intermittent contact problems can be overcome. These installations would fall under the category of "Custom" installations.

  • What is the best lighting for locomotives when adding DCC?

Digital Command Central, Inc. recommends the less current draw the better when selecting lighting. With that said, LED lighting is actually a true win situation. When installed properly, LEDs will outlast and draw far less current than an incandescent lamp. Additionally, there are LED’s that imitate prototypical color of illumination. In the world of DCC, one of the main concerns is the amount of current a system has to draw -- LESS IS BETTER.

  • How often should locomotives be cleaned and lubricated?

Digital Command Central highly recommends you have a preventive maintenance plan for your locomotives. Whether you run your locomotives frequently or infrequently, you should have an established preventive maintenance plan in place. If you run your equipment frequently, it should be cleaned and lubricated every 6 months. Equipment used infrequently should be cleaned and lubricated once a year. If you have sound in your locomotive, this is extremely important because without the cleaning and lubrication, your equipment will be noisy and the sounds will not be prototypical. Also of note, if you have older locomotives (approximately 5 years or older), the lubricant in the drive train assembly of your locomotive will turn the consistency of hard putty.