DC engine running on DCC?


I have seen different opinions but I need a definitive answer:

Can I run a DC engine on a DCC wired layout and can I run a DCC engine on a DC layout?

Thanks for your help.
Terry Miller, Idaho/USA

Answers ( 3 )


    DCC on DC: Most DCC decoders identify DC and will then run DC accordingly.
    DC on DCC: If the layout is wired in blocks, then DC can be used as normal. But if it isn’t, you can still run DC, but you only have a single block.
    NOTE: You CANNOT run both DC and DCC at the same time, in the same block. DCC is basically an AC signal, so in one instant you have pos 12 volts, then 0 volts. Neither power supply would like that situation!!!


    I am afraid this is a case of “it depends”! There is no Yes/No answer.

    1. Can I run a DC engine on a DCC wired layout?
    Yes but – only if your chosen DCC system offers the facility. I use the Piko Navigator system (made by Massoth) on my G scale layout and this allows the operator to select an analogue loco (without a decoder). However, I have only tried a couple of locos (to test them before installing a decoder) and whilst they run OK, they emit a high-pitched whine and I am not convinced prolonged running would do the motors much good. Techincally speaking, the DCC power to the track is a PWM signal so it should work OK (but check the voltage of course – mine is 24V).

    2. Can I run a DCC engine on a DC layout?
    Again, yes but – only if the decoders fitted to your locos allow it. I understand that most of the ‘better quality’ (ie more expensive?) decoders do have the function. I use Zimo decoders and, although I have never needed to try it myself, the Zimo manual clearly states their decoders will run on DC (but without the DCC functions of course).


    DCC engine on DC layout – yes, but DCC engine will operate like DC.
    DC engine on DCC layout – yes, but you must to install DCC decoder in your engine.

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