DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Frogg » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 02:04:43



I've noticed that there have been some threads lately about "DCC Ready" locos not
working when they get home.

Hey everyone;

"DCC Ready" does NOT mean that it has a decoder already installed.

DCC Ready does NOT mean anything really. It's just some marketing bullshit that all
the toymakers use to try to get you to think that you are getting something special.
Every single electric motor powered, model RR locomotive that has ever been
manufactured is, and always was, DCC ready.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's irritating as hell, but it is not really "false advertising"
as much as it is an attempt to lie without actually lying.  The only thing "DCC
ready" really means is that if you are skilled enough you can install a decoder in
it......after you buy a decoder somewhere else.

To me, that qualifies it as a bullshit claim, as I can install a decoder in anything
that has a twelve volt, 24VA motor in it. AC or DC doesn't matter. There are others
who could put a decoder in a prototype locomotive and make it work. You just have to
know what you are doing.

SOMETIMES...the thing will have an NMRA plug, sometimes it won't. But you don't have
to do anything to an "ordinary" locomotive that you don't also have to do to a "DCC
Ready" loco in most cases to install a decoder. Even locos that have the plug usually
have to be re-wired to get the lights to operate properly and under user control.
That has always been the case with Proto 2000 and me.  I just rip out the lightboard
and start from scratch. I do it better than they do anyway<G>

So just forget about claims of "DCC Ready" and dismiss them as BS, because that's
what they are.

DCC EQUIPPED is a-whole-nother ball game.  Many Atlas Locos are "DCC Equipped" such
that you can move the jumper to the DCC position inside the loco and you are ready to
run on address three. Decoder and everything is already there and programmed.

Don't mistake "DCC Ready" for "DCC Equipped"

They DO NOT mean the same thing.

...............F>

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by LarEym » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 02:31:20


"DCC Ready" does mean something very important. It means that the wiring has
been done for you and all you have to do is plug in a decoder..

Larry at PapasTrains.com

Quote:
>Hey everyone;

>"DCC Ready" does NOT mean that it has a decoder already installed.

>DCC Ready does NOT mean anything really. It's just some marketing bullshit
>that all
>the toymakers use to try to get you to think that you are getting something
>special.
>Every single electric motor powered, model RR locomotive that has ever been
>manufactured is, and always was, DCC ready.

>Yeah, yeah, I know, it's irritating as hell, but it is not really "false
>advertising"
>as much as it is an attempt to lie without actually lying.  The only thing
>"DCC
>ready" really means is that if you are skilled enough you can install a
>decoder in
>it......after you buy a decoder somewhere else.

>To me, that qualifies it as a bullshit claim, as I can install a decoder in
>anything
>that has a twelve volt, 24VA motor in it. AC or DC doesn't matter. There are
>others
>who could put a decoder in a prototype locomotive and make it work. You just
>have to
>know what you are doing.

>SOMETIMES...the thing will have an NMRA plug, sometimes it won't. But you
>don't have
>to do anything to an "ordinary" locomotive that you don't also have to do to
>a "DCC
>Ready" loco in most cases to install a decoder. Even locos that have the plug
>usually
>have to be re-wired to get the lights to operate properly and under user
>control.
>That has always been the case with Proto 2000 and me.  I just rip out the
>lightboard
>and start from scratch. I do it better than they do anyway<G>

>So just forget about claims of "DCC Ready" and dismiss them as BS, because
>that's
>what they are.

>DCC EQUIPPED is a-whole-nother ball game.  Many Atlas Locos are "DCC
>Equipped" such
>that you can move the jumper to the DCC position inside the loco and you are
>ready to
>run on address three. Decoder and everything is already there and programmed.

>Don't mistake "DCC Ready" for "DCC Equipped"

>They DO NOT mean the same thing.

>...............F>


 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by joe_w.. » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 02:44:31


: I've noticed that there have been some threads lately about "DCC Ready"
:locos not working when they get home.

: Hey everyone;

: "DCC Ready" does NOT mean that it has a decoder already installed.

Agreed.

: DCC Ready does NOT mean anything really. It's just some marketing
: bullshit that all the toymakers use to try to get you to think that
: you are getting something special.
:
: Every single electric motor powered, model RR locomotive that has
: ever been manufactured is, and always was, DCC ready.

Here we (partially) disagree.  

Marketing B.S. is certainly anoying, and we will always have learn to
see past it.  

BUT...

I have interpreted "DCC ready" to mean that the motor brush connections
(_both_ of them_) are isolated from the system that picks up power from
the rails.  

Many older locomotives have one motor brush electrically connected to
the frame and from there to one or the other set of wheels.  These
older loco designs are _not_ "DCC ready".  They need to have their
motor connections modified before a DCC decoder can be successfully
installed.  Without this mod the decoder is partially shorted out
and can not function.

: Don't mistake "DCC Ready" for "DCC Equipped"

: They DO NOT mean the same thing.

Again, we agree.

Joe
--
Joe West at Agilent in Santa Rosa, CA.
my real mailing address: joe_west at agilent dot com

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Jon Mille » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 03:51:33


Quote:
>I have interpreted "DCC ready" to mean that the motor brush connections

(_both_ of them_) are isolated from the system that picks up power from
the rails.<

    But then look at the P2K S1 (start of this thread).  It's bottom motor
brush is on the frame and it's "DCC ready"?????
    Below is from the TTX site, did LL ever off the remedy?

"I have been notified by Larry at LifeLike Products that they are aware of
the potential shorting of the S1 and will be offering a remedy soon
available to all users."

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Frogg » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 04:09:28



Quote:
>"DCC Ready" does mean something very important. It means that the wiring has
>been done for you and all you have to do is plug in a decoder..

>Larry at PapasTrains.com

No, it does not.  
It would be nice if it did, but you cannot enforce that interpretation anywhere to
any degree. Any locomotive can be marketed as "DCC Ready" and there is nothing that
can be done about it.  Even the Old-style Athearn chassis is marketable as "DCC
Ready", because a DCC decoder can be put into it.

"DCC Ready" is pure BS from front to back. It means absolutely nothing.

You may WISH that it means the motor is isolated. You may wish that it means there is
a plug installed, but it absolutely does not.         It does mean........nada.

If you want to make that distinction to your customers, then that is great. Good for
you, because that IS what it should mean.
OTOH, I'll bet the folks who make the garbage at Model Power/Mantua will push their
***as DCC ready based on my interpretation of the term; that is, that a decoder can
be installed.

.................F>

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Frogg » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 04:23:04


Quote:

>Marketing B.S. is certainly anoying, and we will always have learn to
>see past it.  

>BUT...

>I have interpreted "DCC ready" to mean that the motor brush connections
>(_both_ of them_) are isolated from the system that picks up power from
>the rails.  

Ahhhh, but that is just YOUR interpretation.  Would that it were so, but alas, it is
not.  There is no rule, law, ordnance or regulation that requires such to be the
case.

NOW, on further reflection, I realize that some ancient powered locos are constructed
such that there is no chassis-to-motor connection. In  such a case the motor cannot
be isolated.  The motor mount itself IS the return path.  On these locos it is
necessary to extensively modify, and in some cases totally replace, the motor and its
mounting.
Are these old machines "DCC Ready"?

Well, can they be equipped by any means at all to be controlled by a decoder?
If so, then the answer is:
You can market them that way.

Thus:
DCC Ready is meaningless BS. Ignore it.

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by LarEym » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 05:30:27


Hello "F"
With all due respect...

I am beginning to wonder if you even have DCC yourself. Athearn never marketed
a unit "DCC ready" unless the motor was grounded at the manufacture. Again DCC
Ready simply means that you can plug or install a "plug & play" decoder without
any other modifications. The old style Athearn units are NOT Dcc Ready and were
never labled that way.

By the way I am not a retailer so I do not market anything but the services we
provide. However I am the owner of my own DCC controled layout.

Larry at PapasTrains.

Quote:
>>"DCC Ready" does mean something very important. It means that the wiring has
>>been done for you and all you have to do is plug in a decoder..

>>Larry at PapasTrains.com

>No, it does not.  
>It would be nice if it did, but you cannot enforce that interpretation
>anywhere to
>any degree. Any locomotive can be marketed as "DCC Ready" and there is
>nothing that
>can be done about it.  Even the Old-style Athearn chassis is marketable as
>"DCC
>Ready", because a DCC decoder can be put into it.

>"DCC Ready" is pure BS from front to back. It means absolutely nothing.

>You may WISH that it means the motor is isolated. You may wish that it means
>there is
>a plug installed, but it absolutely does not.         It does
>mean........nada.

>If you want to make that distinction to your customers, then that is great.
>Good for
>you, because that IS what it should mean.
>OTOH, I'll bet the folks who make the garbage at Model Power/Mantua will push
>their
>***as DCC ready based on my interpretation of the term; that is, that a
>decoder can
>be installed.

>.................F>

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Fred Dabne » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 05:59:32


Quote:
> NOW, on further reflection, I realize that some ancient powered

locos are constructed
Quote:
> such that there is no chassis-to-motor connection. In  such a

case the motor cannot
Quote:
> be isolated.  The motor mount itself IS the return path.  On
these locos it is
> necessary to extensively modify, and in some cases totally

replace, the motor and its

Quote:
> mounting.
> Are these old machines "DCC Ready"?

I'd say "NO".  Athearn, then and now require modifying
to lift the motor off frame ground for instance.  They, as
sold are not "DCC ready".  And the last time I looked
at their web site, they made no claim that they were.

Quote:
> Well, can they be equipped by any means at all to be controlled

by a decoder?

Brass steam often had the motor hard connected to the
frame and it too would be a pain to set up.

But as I'm fond of saying, you can fit anything to anything
else if you have a big enough hammer.

A lot of today's customers don't have those hammers
and if it's not ready to run out of the box, they're lost.

So, as far as I'm concerned, if the model requires anything
more difficult than unplugging a dummy plug and replacing
it with a module with the correct plug, it's not "dcc ready"
and to say it is is misleading marketing.  For some, even
removing the shell to do this is asking a lot...

I'm sure there are dealers who don't know themselves,
and in good faith might think that a model marked "DCC
Ready" means it already has a decoder.  Atlas has
confused the matter some with the built-in decoders.

Fred D.

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Robert Helle » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 06:34:32


  Froggy,
  In a message on Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:04:43 GMT, wrote :

F> I've noticed that there have been some threads lately about "DCC Ready" locos not
F> working when they get home.
F>
F> Hey everyone;
F>
F> "DCC Ready" does NOT mean that it has a decoder already installed.
F>
F> DCC Ready does NOT mean anything really. It's just some marketing bullshit that all
F> the toymakers use to try to get you to think that you are getting something special.
F> Every single electric motor powered, model RR locomotive that has ever been
F> manufactured is, and always was, DCC ready.
F>
F> Yeah, yeah, I know, it's irritating as hell, but it is not really "false advertising"
F> as much as it is an attempt to lie without actually lying.  The only thing "DCC
F> ready" really means is that if you are skilled enough you can install a decoder in
F> it......after you buy a decoder somewhere else.
F>
F> To me, that qualifies it as a bullshit claim, as I can install a decoder in anything
F> that has a twelve volt, 24VA motor in it. AC or DC doesn't matter. There are others
F> who could put a decoder in a prototype locomotive and make it work. You just have to
F> know what you are doing.
F>
F> SOMETIMES...the thing will have an NMRA plug, sometimes it won't. But you don't have
F> to do anything to an "ordinary" locomotive that you don't also have to do to a "DCC
F> Ready" loco in most cases to install a decoder. Even locos that have the plug usually
F> have to be re-wired to get the lights to operate properly and under user control.
F> That has always been the case with Proto 2000 and me.  I just rip out the lightboard
F> and start from scratch. I do it better than they do anyway<G>
F>
F> So just forget about claims of "DCC Ready" and dismiss them as BS, because that's
F> what they are.

Mostly what qualifies as 'DCC Ready' is that the motor is not
integrated with the chasis or something.  That is, the *most* you have
to do is cut two wires (motor leads) and connect them to the decoder.
In the 'better cases' there is a connector.  Some of the *older* locos
required much more modifications (eg there is a high level of chasis and
motor 'integration'.

F>
F> DCC EQUIPPED is a-whole-nother ball game.  Many Atlas Locos are "DCC Equipped" such
F> that you can move the jumper to the DCC position inside the loco and you are ready to
F> run on address three. Decoder and everything is already there and programmed.
F>
F> Don't mistake "DCC Ready" for "DCC Equipped"
F>
F> They DO NOT mean the same thing.
F>
F> ...............F>
F>                                                                                              

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by rathburn » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 09:03:55


Proto, Kato, and Atlas engines are DCC ready. (not all of them but the ones
made in say the last two maybe three years).  All that is required to these
is plugging in a decoder or moving a small item under the hood.
All other require much, much more work, so IMHO, are not DCC ready.
Quote:

>> NOW, on further reflection, I realize that some ancient powered
>locos are constructed
>> such that there is no chassis-to-motor connection. In  such a
>case the motor cannot
>> be isolated.  The motor mount itself IS the return path.  On
>these locos it is
>> necessary to extensively modify, and in some cases totally
>replace, the motor and its
>> mounting.
>> Are these old machines "DCC Ready"?

>I'd say "NO".  Athearn, then and now require modifying
>to lift the motor off frame ground for instance.  They, as
>sold are not "DCC ready".  And the last time I looked
>at their web site, they made no claim that they were.

>> Well, can they be equipped by any means at all to be controlled
>by a decoder?

>Brass steam often had the motor hard connected to the
>frame and it too would be a pain to set up.

>But as I'm fond of saying, you can fit anything to anything
>else if you have a big enough hammer.

>A lot of today's customers don't have those hammers
>and if it's not ready to run out of the box, they're lost.

>So, as far as I'm concerned, if the model requires anything
>more difficult than unplugging a dummy plug and replacing
>it with a module with the correct plug, it's not "dcc ready"
>and to say it is is misleading marketing.  For some, even
>removing the shell to do this is asking a lot...

>I'm sure there are dealers who don't know themselves,
>and in good faith might think that a model marked "DCC
>Ready" means it already has a decoder.  Atlas has
>confused the matter some with the built-in decoders.

>Fred D.

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by KBKCHOO » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:00:39


Quote:
>I have interpreted "DCC ready" to mean that the motor brush connections
>>(_both_ of them_) are isolated from the system that picks up power from
>>the rails.  

In most cases, this is so, but,

Quote:
>There is no rule, law, ordnance or regulation that requires such to be the
>case.

 Wouldn't it be a benefit to the hobby in general if it was? Just like a
conformance warrant from the NMRA.
Without correct labeling, how is John Q. Hobbiest going to know what engine he
is capable of installing a decoder in with BASIC tools and no soldering? And
don't just think that an 8 pin plug is a reason to think an engine is DCC
ready. It has to work the 1st time, and everytime, with no modifications. No
capacitors to snip (Bachman) and no " modelers advisory" (Kato) to modify an
engine before it can be used with DCC.(they oughta be floggged for that one,
$149.95 plastic diesel that need to be modified!)

 I've talked to plenty of guys who look at ease of decoder installation as part
of their criteria on which engine to buy next! Some hobbiests can install true
plug and play units, but if anything goes wrong, they are lost. Other guys can
install what they want in whatever they want. The hobby needs BOTH kinds, and
the roadsigns need to be clearly marked.

Quote:
>DCC Ready is meaningless

At this point, I have to agree. Its a shame we dont have a dog to sic on the
manufacturers to put up a standard here.
I'm afraid old Blue's been neutered.

KarlB
www.fcsme.org
p.s. maybe even a 3rd catagory PNP-DCC Ready!

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Frogg » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:34:49



Quote:
>Hello "F"
>With all due respect...

>I am beginning to wonder if you even have DCC yourself. Athearn never marketed
>a unit "DCC ready" unless the motor was grounded at the manufacture. Again DCC
>Ready simply means that you can plug or install a "plug & play" decoder without
>any other modifications. The old style Athearn units are NOT Dcc Ready and were
>never labled that way.

>By the way I am not a retailer so I do not market anything but the services we
>provide. However I am the owner of my own DCC controled layout.

>Larry at PapasTrains.

Sorry about any confusion Larry, I did not mean to sound like I was accusing Athearn
of marketing the old chassis as DCC ready.  What I WAS saying is that it could be,
even though the bottom motor brush clip is also the ground.  Someone else pointed out
that the Proto 2000 Alco S1 IS marketed as DCC ready, but does not have a completely
isolated motor.  I have several of the S1s, all equipped with DCC (DN121) and it was
quite a job considering the lights and all.

Yes I do have DCC at home, and I also operate weekly on one of five DCC equipped
railroads that belong to friends. I have a Digitrax system with a DCS100, PM4, Radio,
DT100Rs and a buncha UT1s.  I like the UT1. It's my favorite throttle. I do not own a
DT400, but am going to get a radio model soon. Additionally I have about 55 - 60
decoder equipped locos, all of which I installed myself; PLUS over a  hundred(?)
installs for others.  I am quite proficient at installing decoders in all sorts of
locos and cars as well. I have several passenger cars that use decoders in
non-standard applications to control special lighting.  I can troubleshoot and repair
any part of the system (although I despise doing it) and I can even troubleshoot and
repair decoders. I will not do it for anyone else, because I hate it, but I can do
it.
So, wonder no more.

.......................F>

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Frogg » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:57:59


Quote:

>Proto, Kato, and Atlas engines are DCC ready. (not all of them but the ones
>made in say the last two maybe three years).  All that is required to these
>is plugging in a decoder or moving a small item under the hood.
>All other require much, much more work, so IMHO, are not DCC ready.

Well, Rathburne,  you and Fred are both correct in a philosophical sense, and in that
sense I agree with you, as well as others who expressed similar sentiment.  

"DCC Ready" most certainly should mean that all that is needed is a plug-in decoder.

However unfortunately, it has come to mean much, much less in real life useage.
It would seem that there are three kinds of lies:
Lies, Damn lies and marketing claims. (Forgive me Sam.)
Because of the abuse of the term by several, it has degenerated to mere BS.  Now, is
there anything that can be done about it?
Is there a way to prevent manufacturers from labeling every piece of Model Power ***
that comes in from China as "DCC Ready" when it patently is not?
Not ready, at least according to the sentiments of most on this NG.  Is there any way
to actually make such a rule and then enforce it?
I doubt it, but then I am not expert in this arena. Can we hear from someone who is?

.....................F>
Who thinx that marketing mostly sux.

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Fred Dabne » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 14:04:54


Quote:
> "DCC Ready" most certainly should mean that all that is needed

is a plug-in decoder.
Quote:

> However unfortunately, it has come to mean much, much less in

real life useage.

I guess, when the NMRA developed the DCC standards they
assumed that the vendors were gentlemen and wouldn't
abuse it.

They should have known better, alas.

I wonder if it's too late for them to do, as suggested, a
conformance seal for those models that are truly
"DCC Ready" so all they need is a chip, board or
other such device, and "Dual Mode" should be
reserved for those models like the recent Atlas
which include the module already installed
so all the purchaser has to do is slide a switch
or move a shunt.

Under this, no model that requires rewiring to
lift the motor from ground, etc would be eligible
for the seal.  And the NMRA should make it
known in the magazines if they do this.

Fred D.

 
 
 

DCC Ready does NOT mean that it has a decoder.

Post by Stan Ame » Wed, 21 Aug 2002 20:43:01


Quote:

> I wonder if it's too late for them to do, as suggested, a
> conformance seal for those models that are truly
> "DCC Ready" so all they need is a chip, board or
> other such device, and "Dual Mode" should be
> reserved for those models like the recent Atlas
> which include the module already installed
> so all the purchaser has to do is slide a switch
> or move a shunt.

The term DCC ready was never defined.

If a consise definition for DCC Ready can be developed (I suggest the
DCC SIG) then indeed the NMRA can and should test for it as part of
package labeling.

Perhaps you would like to take on the task of developing a precise
definition and achieving concensus on it.

Stan Ames