NCE consisting VS. the Others

You have come across one of the weird obscure parts of DCC.

ALL DCC decoder no matter what brand WILL work on other DCC systems as long as they are DCC compliant. NCE, Digitrax, TCS and Soundtraxx all follow the NMRA DCC standards very closely. 

You issue lies with consisting only. Consisting is done differently based on the Manufacturer of the DCC system. Only PART of Consisting is covered by the DCC standards. This is where is gets ugly.

The best practice is to  remove / delete / kill ANY consisting information from loco when going between layouts. On the  “home layout” do this first with all locos on the tracks.

When you get to the “host” layout rebuild the consist on that system. Do not forget to kill the consist before you leave! This is especially important when going to or from different type of command stations!  NCE/Digitrax /CVP etc…   ALSO be sure to keep track of the consist id or consist numbers for you set of locos being used both home AND away! Always ask your host about what consist number you can use and how to consist properly on the system you are using.

Locomotive numbers 1 to 127 are used and treated differently by different DCC manufacturers. The reason is that 1 through 127 are ALSO used for locomotive consisting.  Yikes!

Without going into the long-winded explanations and reasons the short version is:  Don’t use them!

For ANY loco number between 1 and 127 use a LONG ( 4 digit) address.  So 127 is now  0127 /  52 is 0052  /   etc..  you must enter the leading zeros.

The long 4 digit address is consistent from manufacturer to manufacturer and does not conflict with consisting / lash-ups / MU sets          

If you get in trouble and a have a loco that is non responsive due to a consisting error, set CV19 to 0 to remove the consisting information and it will then respond to its active loco address. 

The message “Cannot read CV” is an entirely different topic. Read this:


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