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NOT trying to troll here.  But with what looks to be the demise of after-market decoders for Lionel's TrainMaster Command Control, I need to consider all options for walk around cab control upgrades.

So what is the advantage of DCC (which requires a "command base", "booster", etc.) over something like Locolinc* or Airwire*, which transmits a high-frequency RC signal directly from a hand-held radio cab (transmitter) to a decoder in the locomotive?  Assuming you can get that signal inside of a brass or die-cast zinc car body, and also assuming that you're not planning to run the whole railroad with a computerized dispatching system, what are the advantages to a centralized approach like DCC??

*The two systems I mentioned by name above are intended for use with "dead rails" / battery power.  But it seems trivial to build a helper circuit to "groom" typical track current into the DC voltage which the on-board decoder expects from the battery.

Last edited by Ted S
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Hi Ted, I have found a system that offers the best of both worlds. Check out RailPro from Ring Engineering for track or battery power. I use it in O and G scale locos. It is DCC compatible with current systems, then when you turn on the RailPro handheld  controller you are now 100% wireless.  The radio operates on 2.4GHz directly to each Locos module. Each module includes high Def sound. 

If you would like more info contact me off line.


There is a significant electronic difference between track/antenna based systems like TMCC and DCC and the many available wireless direct to loco based systems. Each has its merits and many endorsers. My article in the current OGR magazine provides the details of each. On another point, powering wireless direct to loco systems via AC or DC track power or battery power is a non-issue as all three modes are easily done.



So there appear to be a few small DCC shops that make a wireless battery driven variant.  What I get is that these send the DCC command codes through an RF interface to their board in the loco.  The board is connected to battery power and "chops in" to the DC voltage the various 1s and 0s to encode the signalling in to it.

That output then goes -- shazam -- into the DCC decoder ... instead from track power.  (kinda nifty really!)

The "win" being you can use any DCC sound decoder (which are misnamed because they all provide motor control too or so it seems)

And, well, that's kinda cool if you want to upgrade to new sound boards, etc...

Other than this -- probably no real benefit. I mean if you want remote control there's 4 bazillion ways to do it.  And regular DCC is wireless or can between the remote and base station -- but goes over the track otherwise to the local.  Kinda like that other system we know about ...

It should be mentioned that O has power requirements few but some DCC sound board people support in a limited fashion, or so it appears -- and its' not clear if the wireless varients will work with these cards.

Last edited by Severn

DCC is still to more complicated and you need these RF interface boards to connect to your decoder. Not much room for the extra stuff. The RailPro wireless has one board for radio, control and sound, about .5" longer than Soundtraxx, WOW or ESU.  Also they eliminate dealing with CVs and indexing by using plain English and icons on the touch screen.  Yes this is another handheld to get. 

Coming from the  G scale world this capability is now available for O scales. The radio signal goes directly to each loco for control, sound and lashups. You can use your DCC constant track voltage or add a on- board battery. This is an option we now have. No more track cleaning, stalls or repairing complex wiring.  I have done installs in 2 & 3 rail locos. Just a new thought. 


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