Reversing DCC Currents

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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 this website.

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: If you don't find what you are looking for, please ask your question on this website's Q&A Forum.

The popularity of this page has amazed me.  I regret I can only answer some questions through the Q&A 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 for DC.

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.  Not good!

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 others!

If you want to help point people to a specific topic in this website, click here to learn how.

What's New

04/22/24 Setting Electronic Circuit Breakers

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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.

Linking To This Page

Please set your links to  Please feel free to submit my website to your favorite search engine.

Copyright by Allan Gartner 1996 - 2024 © All rights reserved. You may print this for your own, personal, non-commercial use. Non-commercial, non-personal reproduction may be requested by visiting . All users, commercial and non-commercial, may link only to this site at

Thanks to all who contribute to this site and the Q&A forum!