Decoder Fitting & Installation

Little Train Shop offers DCC and DCC Sound fitting service to a newly purchased locomotive from our catalogue.  This means your new locomotive will arrive to you ready to operate on DCC.  To select this option, simply choose your preferred DCC Decoder from this list below 'LOCOMOTIVE CUSTOMISATION' which is located above the 'add to cart' button.  Please allow up to 24-48 hours for fulfilment of orders for this service. 

WHAT DO WE DO?

  1. We first run your train in on DC Analogue for approximately 30 minutes in each direction to allow the grease to spread throughout the gears evenly, creating a much smoother operation in future.  This also ensures we comply with manufacturing recommendations. 
  2. We install your chosen DCC decoder to your chosen locomotive and test all functions to ensure everything works. 
  3. We pack up your locomotive and send this to you along with the blanking DC Analogue chip and your decoder's instruction manual. 

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR THIS SERVICE?

We charge $5.00 for this service in addition to the cost of the decoder.  This covers the time and materials used for running in your locomotive and installing the decoder chip. 

CAN I BUY THE DECODER AND INSTALL IT MYSELF AND SAVE THE FEE?

Yes of course.  Simply purchase the decoder separately (don't add it as a customised option to your locomotive) and we'll send the locomotive and decoder to you.  You can then install the decoder yourself. 

CAN I SEND YOU A LOCOMOTIVE TO FIT A DCC DIGITAL DECODER?

Unfortunately we don't offer this service at this stage due to the costs involved in postage fees to send and receive your locomotive. 

HOW TO CUSTOMISE YOUR LOCOMOTIVE - VIDEO

DO I NEED A DCC DECODER AND WHAT IS THIS?

First off, your model train set will be operating either on DC ANALOGUE or DCC DIGITAL.  If you have a digital layout, any new locomotive you purchased needs to be fitted with a decoder in order for it to operate effectively.  If you're not sure whether your layout or model train set is ANALOGUE or DIGITAL, please contact us and we'll help you determine which setup you have.  If you a model train set already in operation, the instruction manual may provide you with this information. 

A DCC Decoder is a a small chip that is installed in the locomotive that allows it it receive messages from the controller.  These messages are sent along the rails.  Each locomotive is programmed to a number (via your controller) and when it hears a message under this number, it performs the requested response (EG: move forward, stop, lights on, lights off, sound on, sound off). 

Compared to DC Analogue, locomotives don't have a chip installed and instead receive their instructions from the amount of power placed on the track from the controller.  This means they will move when the controller is turned to power up.  Lights will gradually increase and dim in brightness depending on the speed.  And if more than two locomotives are on the same track, both will move when the controller is powered up. 

Not all locomotives can be fitted with a DCC Decoder.  In most instances this is due to them being an older model and were released before DCC was introduced.  A quick way to find a DCC eligible locomotive or train set is look for the tag 'DCC READY' or 'DCC FITTED'.  In our store, you will find this on the locomotive's / train set's page under technical specifications.  Most manufacturers will also print this on their packing either near the artwork or near the barcode. 

JARGON BUSTER:

DC ONLY - this means the locomotive doesn't have the ability to have a chip installed.  It will need to be modified first.
DCC READY - this means the locomotive doesn't have a decoder installed, but one can be added when ready.
DCC FITTED - this means the locomotive has already been fitted with a dcc decoder and you won't need to purchase one.
6-PIN | 8-PIN | 21-PIN - this is a quick reference quide to tell you what decoder you need based on the number of pins it has.