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Using DCC on a DC layout


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I have purchased two used locomotives on ebay to run on my local club DCC layout but was wondering if they'd be okay to run on my home DC layout. 


One of them uses a DN163K0a from digitrax, the other one I am not sure the model of the decoder, the train itself is a discontinued Athearn SD70m with CSX livery. 


Is there a database where I can look this sort of thing up? I know a lot of decoders are dual mode, but the digitrax one doesn't say anything one way or another.

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Martijn Meerts

Personally I'm not a fan of running DCC locos on DC track. Most decoders do support it, but I've also heard of some decoders not liking it to the point where they're destroyed. I think most modern decoders at least should not have any issues with it, especially considering they allow you to program quite a few settings specifically for running on DC layouts.


That said, even if the decoder supports it, it IS possible to turn it off in the decoder, so in those cases you will obviously need to reprogram it.


Seeing as your club has a DCC layout, I'd check there to see how the decoders are programmed. You should also be able to get an identifier from the decoder to see which decoder, or at least which brand it's from.


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I bought a couple of used trains a number of years back with decoders installed. They worked fine on dcc and were dc capable, but they ran poorly under dc (with some power they should just pass the dc to the motor) requiring more voltage to get going and sort of sluggish acceleration curve, did not behave like a similar dc train. In the end since we run dc most all the time I just pulled the decoders.


anyone in your club a big dcc guru? Usually is one in a club that may help.



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