Jump to content

Choosing DCC Addresses for Multiple-Units


Recommended Posts

I'd be interested to hear suggestions for choosing DCC address for multiple units.

 

My numbering method for locomotives is to take the first two and append the last two digits. So 37035 becomes 3735 for example. This works well, although 37406 or 37506 will have to be renumbered at some point.

 

I'm stuck for assigning addressed to multiple units. I have been using the three digit class number followed by the number of cars in the set. I've got 1012 which is a two car class 101 and 1013 which is a 3 car class 101. So far so good.

 

However, I'm unable to find a method to address multiple examples of two-car units within the same class that I'm happy with.

What addresses would you suggest for my three class 150 two-car units?

What about two 2-car class 101 sets where only one carries a full 101xxx type number?

 

What about my two HST sets?   (currently with individual decoders set up as 43xx addresses, one with a consist address of 125, the other of 126.)

 

Steven B.

Edited by Steven B
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a problem. I have used something similar to you, Steven, but like you am not entirely satisfied with it.

Like your 37s, I had the problem with 66 022 and 66 522. Solution was to use 6602 for 66 022 and 6522 for 66 522, but the longer term solution will be to renumber 66 022 (66 522 is in Freightliner/Shanks livery so cannot be renumbered).

I have two 2-car Derby class 108 units, one green one NSE for running in different eras. The original one was the NSE one, I numbered it 1081, as being class 108, unit 1. The green one became 1082, but as this is so arbitrary, I have to remember which is unit 1 and which is 2. It might even be the other way around now because I swapped a Howes sound decoder from the NSE one to the green one.

Similarly, my one and only class 105 is 1051.

I also have one 2-car Derby Lightweight, from a group of classes that never received TOPS codes, so that provides an even bigger dilemma. I can't even remember what I chose for its DCC address.

Other locomotives that caused problems with numbering were Deltic and DP2 - I settled on using the position of the letters within the alphabet, so Deltic (as DP1) became 4161 (4-16-1) and DP2 became 4162.

I will be interested if you or someone else on the forums can come up with a better scheme for the DMUs. I ran out of inspiration a long time ago.

 

Edited by SRman
Additional info added.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Buy a system that uses pictures and names, instead of addresses to select your locos, simple :yahoo:

 

But, unfortunately, a tricky problem with 4 digit addressing. One possible solution would be to use arbitrary class numbers for your DMU's, so 1 for an HST, 2 for a CL101, etc.

So 101122 would become 2122, 101321 would be 2321, etc.

But that limits you to just 9 DMU/EMU classes and there will always be the issue of duplicate addresses coming up with other loco classes.

 

Regards,

 

John P

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, JohnR said:

The real problem is that DCC doesnt allow for 6 digit addresses. Always struck me as limiting. 

Not for modellers of US prototypes, and therein lies the problem.

 

The "4 digit address" DCC systems are, by & large, designed by US companies for the US market.

Some European designed systems get around this issue by allowing selection of trains from pictures on a screen, ESU ECoS, Z21 phone app, etc.

 

Regards,

 

John P

  • Like 1
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jpendle said:

Not for modellers of US prototypes, and therein lies the problem.

 

The "4 digit address" DCC systems are, by & large, designed by US companies for the US market.

Some European designed systems get around this issue by allowing selection of trains from pictures on a screen, ESU ECoS, Z21 phone app, etc.

 

Regards,

 

John P

 

It also works nicely for some pre-nationalisation eras too: My LMS fleet all have 4-digit numbers.

 

A spreadsheet or ready reckoner to look up TOPS running numbers to addresses could be used, but my view is that it is an unnecessary complication.

 

I use a different system for my 1990s-onwards stock, just the last 4 digits.

50149 is 0149, 37023 is 7023.

I could potentially run into problems if I have 87023 & 37023, but I do not have any 'special' locos which clash ie. 87023 has no significance for me, so 87024 would do just as nicely.

This extends to Multiple Units: 150135 is 0135 & 350101 is 0101 (yeah, I know that is a bit newer than 1990s).

 

I did wonder what to number my APT-E. I don't know how TOPS coped with it!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For MU's I use the 3 digits of the class then the last digit of the set number so 142006 is address 1426, 142017 is 1427 etc, for loco's its the class digits then first and last sub digits, there for 47104 is 4714, 60055 is 6005 etc etc

 

Works at present, I use NCE but have a Roco z21 that I may start using which allows photo ID of stock

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easier when you don't have multiple of the same unit :P

But then for my HST, I have "125" as one and "1252" as the other - don't ask which one is which!

 

Others are usually named as the first number.  My 4MT is "8002".

I plan to get the new 170 in Cross Country when it comes out.  My current 170 is named as that, so the new one will probably just add the following number on, if the unit is 170101, then it'll be 1701.  170398?  1703 will be it's address.

 

But as I say, I don't have any dupes apart from an HST set.

Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, jpendle said:

 

Some European designed systems get around this issue by allowing selection of trains from pictures on a screen, ESU ECoS, Z21 phone app, etc.

The trouble with pictures is that a class 47 or 08 looks pretty much the same as its sister locos.

Link to post
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, Michael Hodgson said:

The trouble with pictures is that a class 47 or 08 looks pretty much the same as its sister locos.

 

As John P has just said, loco naming is available as well as the pictures

Some systems have the loco naming feature without being able to display any loco pictures.

 

Depending on the number of characters your system allows, you can have the system display an alphanumeric name, with the 4 digit address in the background.

For example, Class 37 - 37416 can be displayed as 37416, even though the abbreviated DCC address you've chosen to use, is something like 3716 (or whatever).

Likewise, 158773 can be displayed as 158773 etc, etc.

A HST can be displayed as HST or HST 2, 3 etc...Mallard can be displayed as Mallard.

 

In other words, whatever you want within the character limits of the particular system.

 

There's been no incentive or demand to put loco naming on American systems, because as said earlier in this thread, they use 3 and 4 digit road numbers, which can easily be accommodated with 4-digit DCC addresses.

 

 

 

 

.

 

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a DCC system that uses pictures so that option isn't available! I do have JMRI which supports the feature but tend not to use it for running trains.

 

I have seen a method used where locos were numbered incrementally based on date of livery. E.g with class 101:

BR Green - 1011

BR Blue - 1012

BR Blue/Grey 1023

 

This works until you get something like the Pacers which carried 3 or 4 liveries when first built (or sector liveries on a 101).

 

Steven B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I only have singular units so there is no conflicts.  Blue Pullman uses it's class number.  Derby light weight uses 4 digits from power car number.

 

There was mention of having issue with some locos where they have no number as an example my prototype Deltic is numbered 8999 ie 1 less than D9000.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have same problem with City of Edinburgh pre and post rework. Same number 6241 and the two would never be seen on track together but they still need to be listed separately in my roster.

shame we can’t have alpha-numeric numbering.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, RAF96 said:

I have same problem with City of Edinburgh pre and post rework. Same number 6241 and the two would never be seen on track together but they still need to be listed separately in my roster.

Pity.  They'd look good as a double header :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, RAF96 said:

I have same problem with City of Edinburgh pre and post rework. Same number 6241 and the two would never be seen on track together but they still need to be listed separately in my roster.

shame we can’t have alpha-numeric numbering.


I overcame this problem with multiple Merchant Navy locomotives in "before and after" guises. My solution was to add 100 to the rebuilt versions' numbers, thus 35023 'Holland Afrika Line' in original form is 5023, and in rebuilt form is 5123.

That still left me with the odd clashes in numbers. MN 35012 (DCC 5012) duplicates class 71 electric E5012 (also DCC 5012 under my current scheme).

I am in the process of converting my spreadsheet listing all of the DCC addresses into a full-blown relational database, and I want the addresses to be a primary key, but cannot use them as such until I eliminate duplicate numbers.

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 27/08/2021 at 23:10, 08221 said:

I use the last 4 digits of the power car - for example 50390 is 0390.

 

It is one solution, but the fly in the ointment there is that the coach side numbers tend to be smaller and unreadable at any sort of distance, whereas unit end numbers, where they exist, tend to be larger and bolder. Also, if the units are stored under a shed, the end numbers may be visible where the side numbers would not be.

It is easier if one is just putting the units on the track for an operating session, but if they stay on the layout in a shed or fiddle yard, the numbers are not always so easy to read. On my own layout, there is a carriage shed and also a loco shed that partially conceals stored units. Those that are on the running lines in the fiddle yard loops tend to have their numbers stored in my NCE Pro Cab memories - six storage slots per cab - but I don't have enough cabs to store all of the locos and units in the yards in their memories. I am working on ideas to record which locos or units are hidden so I don't have to rely on a failing human memory, but I haven't yet come up with a good, viable solution.

IMG20210607203739.jpg.7f1ebb5e23f42816e267a83587b13d76.jpg

 

Edited by SRman
Adding a photo to illustrate what I am talking about.
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For most stock I just use the last three digits without the class number, so 156402 for example is 402. I find it easy to remember most of them, though for some reason there are a few 144s and 153s that I constantly have to look at to remember! I use the same system for locos, apart from a few classes which have adopted class number + 2 digits, due to clashes with 66s. 66001 clashed with 01 - I allocated single-digit numbers to shunters when I first started fitting decoders, I think to try and save typing in long numbers every time I wanted to shunt. And 66405 clashed with 37405. So they became 6601 and 6645, with others following to become 6620 (66200), 6641 (66411) and 6727 (67027). The 144s use the same, as their unit numbers are in single digits (eg 144007 becomes 1447 rather than 07). My Railtrack 121 is just 121, and the 950 is 950, whilst an MPV is just 989, the first digits of the vehicle numbers, as they are all likely to be one-offs (whereas I have something like 10 156s!)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 27/08/2021 at 07:45, RAF96 said:

……shame we can’t have alpha-numeric numbering.


You can.

It depends on which DCC system you use.

Several systems have this facility.

See previous posts.

 

 

 

.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 25/08/2021 at 20:00, Monkersson said:

For MU's I use the 3 digits of the class then the last digit of the set number so 142006 is address 1426, 142017 is 1427 etc, for loco's its the class digits then first and last sub digits, there for 47104 is 4714, 60055 is 6005 etc etc

 

Works at present, I use NCE but have a Roco z21 that I may start using which allows photo ID of stock

In addition to this I also have printed cards with a photo of the unit which shows the DCC address, unit number and any characteristics - this is handy for other operators who aren't familiar with my stock, and because each unit is in a different livery so easier to identify at a glance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Butler Henderson said:

Having a naming facility in the case of duplicated types of loco I use in the name a visual livery difference where possible.


Indeed you could use all sorts of identifiers and clues.


e.g. Instead of trying to use the two TOPS numbers for a pair of Class 43’s in a HST set, you could use something like….

HST IC

HST GWR

HST blue, HST swallow or whatever 

HST 1 , HST 2 etc, etc.

12501, 12502, 12544 etc, etc.

VG125, VG044, VG107

VIR125 

etc, etc.

Basically, whatever the number of characters the particular DCC system allows.

 

Similarly, for Class 66’s instead of just using the 5 digit TOPS number, you could perhaps use the FOC name, combined with the last 3 digits of the TOPS number.

e.g. 66502 could be stored as FL502 or FR502.

 66135 could be EWS135 etc.

 

You still have to figure out what DCC address to assign to each decoder though and if taking the model to another layout, another DCC system will only recognise that 2 or 4 digit address and will have no knowledge about the alias memorised on your own DCC system.

 

 

.

 

 

 

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 25/08/2021 at 16:03, Pete the Elaner said:

 

It also works nicely for some pre-nationalisation eras too: My LMS fleet all have 4-digit numbers.

 

 

Mine doesn't, the LMS used 10000s & 20000s as well.

Even the W1 (coming from Hornby) is LNER 10000

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, melmerby said:

Mine doesn't, the LMS used 10000s & 20000s as well.

Even the W1 (coming from Hornby) is LNER 10000

That's OK.  When Hornby put up the price of the W1 I cancelled my pre-order, so now  I don't have to resolve thats particular clash.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...