DCC Block Power


Many of you will read my question and think…DUH!” But like my Father told me when I was far younger…”Thrive on adversity!” So here I go.

As I have yet to bury my nose in a good book on DCC; my question is that since I have seen many advise to add additional feeders to every 6 or 8 feet of track (create blocks?); do I have to put Insulated Joiners between those separately powered sections of track or can I use the usual metal Joiners?

Thanks for your help in advance!

Mike Tuttle – Floriduh

Answers ( 4 )


    You need to put insulated joiners between each block if you didn’t you might have power problems if the distance of the track is too long. Blocks just makes sure you have even power all the way around the track. And makes it easier to find shorts in the track.


    I have an N scale shelf layout that is 2 ft x 10 ft. with 2 ovals, one inside the other. They are connected with a double crossover. I have connected each oval to the single connection on my controller. I have no ‘blocks’ and everything runs just fine. It is a very simple layout. That is just my experience.


    Unless you need to isolate sections for a specific reason, or you have an extremely large layout, I would not insulate between sections. The purpose of regular dropper wires is twofold: – It provides a constant feed to all sections of track without relying on the rail joiners for an electrical connection, and the droppers share the track current in the same way as a ring main circuit in your home electrical system.
    Fault finding can be achieved quite easily providing the droppers can be identified an separated if necessary. In the case of a very short section of track – say at the end of a siding or where a gap was filled, you could solder the track joint but not on a long section as temperature changes could cause distortion problems.

    I hope this helps,

    Good luck,


    Thank you guys! Much appreciated! Won’t be a large layout; just 7′ x 8′ HO since my wife will only give me a small part of the garage. She thinks we are all too old to be ‘playing’ with toy trains. Well wait til she gets the credit card statement for the
    2-8-0 ‘Refurbished’ steam loco I just ordered from Broadway Limited Imports (BLI).
    Mike T

Leave an answer