A (AMP) – Measurement of electric current.
AC – ALTERNATING CURRENT – Electric current constantly changing direction.
ACCESSORY DECODER – A DCC decoder that operates such things as signals, points (switches) & other electrically operated items that aren’t fitted in a locomotive.
Address – The number given to the locomotive decoder or accessory decoder. Bit like your own personal phone number or address of your home.
Analogue Controller – Traditional 12v standard train controller / transformer. Not capable of sending DCC signals to a DCC fitted loco.
Analogue locomotive – Traditional 12v DC standard train not fitted with a DCC decoder.
Bit – Short for Binary Digit
Booster – increases the low power digital signal & amplifies it so has enough power to reach all parts of the layout. Commonly found on large layouts which may have a number of Boosters.
Bus or Power Bus – Bit like the ring main in your home. Wires that run around the layout to distribute power & digital signals to all parts of the layout.
Cab – Either a hand held DCC controller or one that is built into the command station. This controls the speed direction lights & sound as well as accessories. Also programs the decoders.
Command station – the brains behind the DCC system. Either a separate unit that a hand held cab controller plugs into or built into the cab controller.
Configuration Variable – Usually know as a C.V. The C.V.’s contain information like loco address, starting voltage, acceleration & deceleration rates. These can be changed to fine tune how a loco performs & runs etc.
Consist – A way of controlling several locomotives at the same time such as double heading locos on the same train so they act as one.
DC – (Direct Current) – Electric current that runs continuously in one direction.
DCC – stands for Digital Command Control
Decoder – A electronic device that is fitted into a locomotive. This holds all the information such as locomotive address, acceleration & deceleration settings etc. The decoder receives digital command signals from the command station / controller & acts upon them. Things like speed, direction of travel, lights on or off, sounds etc.
Extended Address – This method allows locomotive address from 128 to 9999 to be used. Not all DCC controllers / Decoders can operate extended addresses. Extended Addressing is ideal for those who have large model fleets over 128 locos.
Function – Functions are controlled by the decoder fitted in the loco & are operated by selecting the Function Number button on the Cab Controller. Some decoders have more functions available than others. An example of a function is F0 which is used to turn on / off loco head & tail lights.
Locomotive Address – The number that you program into the decoder to operate a loco. Each loco is a signed a it’s own locomotive address.
N.M.R.A. – National Model Railroad Association. This group sets the standards for all DCC control systems & decoders.
Programming – The process of setting the loco decoder C.V.’s
Programming On The Main – The process of programming the locomotive of the actual model railway layout.
Programming Track – A separate section of track from the rest of the layout used for programming the loco, such as allocating the loco address to a locomotive.
Speed Steps – The number of steps or increments that a decoder uses to go from full stop to full speed.
Walk Around Controller – A handheld controller or Cab which allows a person to move freely around the layout.