I get a lot of questions about wiring
for Digital Command Control.
This web page is my way of giving something back to the
hobby. I intend this web page for all systems. I hope you enjoy
I am an electrical and computer
engineer with experience in computers, radio (which has more to
do with DCC than you realize!), industrial wiring, troubleshooting,
and the electrical knowledge and wiring problems of model railroaders.
You will find this website is large
and comprehensive. As large as it is, I could probably double
its size if I had the time. If you don't find the information
you need, I have links to others who have
written about DCC. Contrary to what some may think, I really
do try to help the beginning DCC model railroader. For advanced
topics in DCC, visit Mark Gurries' website at: https://sites.google.com/site/markgurries/home
If you don't find what you are looking for, please
ask your question on this website's Q&A
The popularity of this page has
amazed me. I regret I can only answer some questions through
Forum. Many thanks to all who help answer questions on the
Q&A Forum. I want to acknowledge that this website is the
cumulative knowledge of many people. If you have a tip I
can pass along, please send it to me.
Thank you in advance! Together we can make this the definitive
website on wiring for DCC. You may want to check the "What's
New" section below about once a month or join the Q&A
Forum to receive update announcements.
This page will not draw on non-periodical
published material. The intent of this page is to foster
growth of the DCC industry so that we as the end user ultimately
get even better DCC equipment. This page is not intended
to steal the thunder of those trying to sell printed material
to benefit the DCC industry. This page will simply refer
you to these fine documents.
I do not warrant that the information
presented is absolutely accurate or without any errors. Readers
should not rely on any information contained herein in instances
where such reliance might cause loss or damage. I and my information
providers specifically disclaim all warranties, including the
implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a specific
purpose. I hate putting stuff like this in here, but someone
out in www land will see me as an infallible god worth suing.
If you are not capable and willing to assume responsibility for
your own actions, do you really think I would be foolish enough
to do so for you?
Thank you for the encouraging e-mail. It helps justify to
my wife the amount of time I spend on this page!
DCC: A Totally New Way to Operate Trains -
A Totally New Way to Wire!
Some modelers have a desire to wire
DCC like they did for DC throttles. After all, it worked fine
DCC is gives you the ability to
make your wiring more consistent - that is, fewer special wiring
situations - which translate to easier troubleshooting. Why not
take advantage of every opportunity to make troubleshooting easier?
For me, the more consistent things are at work, the less likely
I am to get woken up in the middle of the night!
DCC boosters also put out 3 - 10
times more power than a conventional power pack. While any given
locomotive doesn't normally draw 5 amps of power, your wiring,
switch machines, etc. will be carrying 5 amps during a short.
So seriously consider wiring in
a way that is right for DCC.
Interested in Helping Other
Modelers With DCC?
If you know about DCC and would like
to help others, please join our forum. This is a no nonsense place
for modelers to ask their DCC questions. The forum is held on
topic. Questions are asked. Questions are answered. No flames.
As such, modelers can ask their question without being jumped
on and your mailbox doesn't fill up with a bunch of junk. Please
go to the forum to enroll and start monitoring the DCC
Q&A Forum. You can always unjoin. Thank you for helping
If you want to help point people
to a specific topic in this website,
click here to learn how.
09/22/23 Resistor color codes
09/22/23 Selecting a resistor to achieve a dimmed LED.
Would you like an email when
this website is updated?
Join the Q&A
Forum. I will
send out an email to members of the Q&A
Forum titled "Wiring For DCC Update Announcement."
Navigating Wiring For DCC
There are several ways to navigate
this site. Find the one that works best for you.
Hot Buttons: Located
at the top of each page, these take you to the most popular pages
in this website.
Sidebar Menus: There
are two types of these.
1. Those located on this - the Table of Contents - page:
Takes you to the main topic page of each section in this website.
2. Those located on all other main topic pages: Find
the sub topic you are interested in on that particular page.
Site Map: My personal
favorite. The site map is an alphabetical
index to every page in this website. With the site
map, you are only one click away from your page of interest.
The site map / index button appears
at the top of every page.
Site Alphatebetical Index:
The site index includes every
single topic on this DCC website. It is also cross indexed
to help you find what you are looking for even if you aren't sure
what you are after. It takes you directly to your topic of interest.
To This Page
Please set your links to http://www.WiringForDCC.com.
Please feel free to submit my website to your favorite search