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I originally used a third party commercial DCC system, however Mark Riley has developed DCC firmware for the LEGO RCX brick called LEGO Digital Command Control, or LDCC (Mark's Bits & Pieces).
Digital Command Control (DCC) is a system where power and communication signals are transmitted through the track to decoders installed in locomotives (or any device connected to the track).
Cost of decoder in every LEGO train motor (except one locomotive - LDCC requires all motors to have a decoder).
Voltage output to motor can drop as load increases, causing trains to slow down around curves or on hills. Since LEGO train layouts tend to be reconfigured frequently and since LEGO train track does not lend itself to a block control system, which requires sections of track to be electrically isolated from each other, DCC provides a method to run multiple trains. Low current output of RCX (with large layouts or several trains, can necessitate boosters and gapping - more complicated set up). Operates at LEGO standard 9V (no headlight circuit or speed curve modifications necessary). Power Supplies for the Command Station and any Boosters (a low voltage power supply is required by most commercially available DCC systems). Throttles (the devices used to control locomotive speed and direction, and other accessories).
Boosters are "black boxes" that interpret and transmit the signals sent by the command station as well as providing additional current to the track.


Accessory Decoders are additional "black boxes" that interpret and transmit accessory commands sent by the command station as well as providing separate power to those accessories. First I had to overcome the horror of cutting the tabs off the train motor as I am typically a purist.
Using a sharp X-acto knife, carefully slice all eight tabs flush with the bottom of the train motor. This device plugs into a standard RS-232 serial port and comes with software to program decoders. Since any and all locomotive on the layout will be receive the programming information, make sure only the desired locomotive is on the track when programming or set aside an isolated section of track for programming and disconnect (or switch) track power from the layout to this programming track, and then reconnect (or switch back) track power when finished. An alternative method would be to use a separate RCX with LDCC loaded as a dedicated programmer with a dedicated isolated section of track.
Assuming you programmed your locomotive to address 2, now place the locomotive on the track powered by the LDCC RCX and use the "B" Up and Down buttons to control the speed forwards and backwards. Use two power trucks: For heavy locos and trains, powering two trucks with DCC equipped LEGO train motors helps dramatically. Use only one bank of throttles: Since the RCX Remote Control commands throttle Locos 1 - 3 and Addresses 1 - 3 by default, it is recommended to use these addresses for trains, especially if more than one operator is using a Remote Control. Rotation Sensor Throttle offers faster control: The Rotation Sensor Throttle for LDCC provides a quicker, more direct response than the RCX Remote Control, but must be teathered to the Command Station RCX (along it can be disconnected and reconnected, somewhere else, while the train continues to run).


Multiple Remotes can be good and bad: Multiple RCX Remote Controls can be used, but this allows other operators to inadvertantly control trains they are not running (but also to stop all trains if necessary). Use Boosters: For small layouts (1-3 train motors and short track length), one LDCC RCX is adequate. Use multiple track feeds: Due to the resistance created by each LEGO track connection, power droop and signal loss can result, therefore for long sections of track powered by one RCX, running multiple connections directly from the RCX to the track is recommended. Keep switches Normal for mainlines: The inherent "dead" spots that LEGO train motors encounter when running through LEGO track switches can cause DCC equipment trains to hesitate. Gap power districts 46mm: Since it is not recommended to electrically connect two RCXs together and since LEGO train motors have a wheel base around 45mm, it is recommended to gap separate power districts with 46mm of electrically isolated track. I chose these decoders because they fit nicely into the LEGO train motor without any modifications, and they support functions such as Maximum Voltage and the Loadable Speed Table which allows you to set 28 throttle increments to a percentage of full throttle.
This allows you to define a "speed curve", and it allows you to limit the voltage to the motor.



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