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An engine sold as "dual-mode" will run on DC or DCC out of the box.  However, DC mode can be turned off, so if it's a  used dual-mode unit, be sure to check if DC has been turned off or not.  DC mode on/off most often is set with programming either via CV's or in the case of NCE throttles Option 3 CONFIG, DC mode, on/off.   DC mode is operated with a DC transformer.  DCC with a DCC system (that emits DCC voltage, which is neither completely AC or DC).  A purely DC engine can in some cases be run on a DCC system with specific instructions followed, but even when feasible, not recommended.  They usually run hotter than usual when doing so.  My advice, if you're going to have DCC or DCC/DC engines, buy a DCC system.  Otherwise it's like running Legacy or VisionLine with an AC transformer.  You leave a lot of enjoyment potential on the table.  Warning - once you go DCC and get into it, you might find it habit forming (addictive).  

Thanks for your responses to my question, the engine in question is an American Models GP9. I purchased it used with a DCC board installed. I don't know that maker of the board or if it's programed for DC.

I may just pull the board and restore it to DC capabilities becauseI don't have DCC and we can run DC on our club layout. I thought it might be similar to TMCC/Legacy where if the signal isn't present you can run on ac current in conventional mode.


Last edited by Rayin"S"
@Rayin"S" posted:
I thought it might be similar to TMCC/Legacy where if the signal isn't present you can run on ac current in conventional mode.


Again Ray, the problem is, many people, and now manufacturers lock out DC (analog) mode by default. They have good reason- the runaway condition. If there was a problem with DCC signalling or some other fault- there would be rather high power on the rail leading to a very fast runaway condition possibly causing a considerable wreck.

Again the decoder does "boot up" does look for a valid signal, however by default (most/many) decoders do not kick into DC analog mode, because on a DCC powered track is usually around 15V maybe more, and DC analog mode would be the train running away at high speed.

You the user may be able to program the DC (analog) function on in the decoder- but again, the risk is- runaway condition on a DCC track- possibly at a club- and that's not good when you wreck not just your train, but scenery, maybe even someone else on the layout.

I'd say hook it up to DC power and see what happens. If the decoder was set at the factory to not allow DC running, nothing will happen. If it is set to allow both - which has been the most common factory installation overall for non-sound DCC decoder installs - then it will run normally on DC. If you didn't know it had a decoder, you might never have noticed any difference in the engine.

If it's decoder has been set to be DCC only, there is no switch you can throw or button you can push. It's a CV (Control Value) you'd have to get changed via programming. A friend with a DCC system, a local club using DCC, or a local hobby shop, could very easily do it for you in about 30 seconds...all without taking the engine apart or anything like that. MUCH easier than removing the decoder and rewiring the engine!

Last edited by wjstix

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