KB465: Basic DCC Components

This article was last updated on May 16, 2012, 2:01 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

How does DCC work?

  • You use a throttle (cab) to tell the system what you want a train to do.
  • The throttle sends the information to the command station.
  • The command station makes a digital packet out of the information and sends it to the booster.
  • The booster* adds power to the digital packet and sends it out through the rail.
  • The decoders in all locomotives (even those that are not running) read all digital packets, and decipher them to get the address contained in the data packet.
  • If the packet address matches the decoder address, the decoder uses the rest of the packet information.
  • If the address does not match, the decoder continues doing whatever it was doing - whether it was running forward, backward, with or without lights, or nothing at all.

* In many cases, the booster and the command station are together in one product.


The Digitrax Difference is LocoNet network for model railroads, which joins your railroad together into a unified system.

Was this article helpful? Send us feedback!

Please let us know if this article was helpful to you.

Please leave a detailed message below.