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DCC tips and tricks


8 pin DCC decoder plug.  

The plug is not polarized.  What happens if you plug the decoder in backwards?  The Locomotive goes in the opposite direction from what it is set to and the lights and other functions will likely not work.  For more information here is a great write up


Stripping Decoder Wire  Stripping the tiny wires for decoders is a challenge.  The Patco PTS-10 Thermal Wire Stripper for #14 ~ #30 AWG is pricy at $80 new but I got one for $30 on Ebay.  It effectively melts the insulation and allows simple, quick stripping of the wires. Great tool to have if you are doing a lot of decoder and lighting work.


Cannot read a decoder?  If you connect two wires to a decoder and try to read it you'll probably have no luck until you connect a motor to the motor leads then it will read.

 Downlevel Lenz Throttles - Downlevel throttles will work on later level command stations.  The older throttle will appear to work however advanced features like additional function keys will not work.




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