DCC Client Coming

We’re pleased to announce that a DCC Client Node — product id DNDCC — is in the works. We expect this LCOS Client Node variant will be available with other LCOS products in October 2021.

The LCOS DCC Client node is a fully functional LCOS Client with a DCC rail connection instead of the usual connection to block detection equipment.

Why the trade off? The DCC interface requires significant CPU time, and interrupt-driven timing, to read the DCC message stream. Block occupancy detection is similarly CPU intensive, so it is the trade-off that produces the desired results.

Accordingly, in addition to being the DCC listener, a DNDCC client node will run all normal layout functions other than block occupancy detection.

What Does the DCC Client Node Do?

The Client is connected to your DCC Rail bus, and listens for turnout commands. When it receives a relevant message, the node preforms translations and forwards commands across the LCOS network. From the DCC point of view, the DNDCC node is an exotic — in terms of the number of objects and functions it supports — stationary decoder.

The system supports DCC access to both individual turnouts and global routes from your throttle. You should also be able to run turnouts and routes from within JRMI (via DCC rail messages), but the lack of a JRMI compatible feedback method will limit functionality to sending turnout commands to a typical stationary decoder.

As with the entire product line, future DNDCC firmware updates can expand the capabilities of the LCOS-DCC interface.

LCOS Product Release Update

We now expect to be ready to ship most LCOS products at the beginning of the 4th quarter, 2021.

Testing has taken a little longer than hoped for. We consider that good, actually, because it means were being thorough.

The big problem has been the on-going chip shortage. No doubt you’ve heard that a side effect of the pandemic has been the emergence of a serious shortage of electronics chips, especially the types of chips used by both the automotive and consumer product industries.

That has thrown numerous kinks into the hardware development and production process, lengthening our lead times and, in some cases, requiring last minute part substitutions.

That said, we’ve finalized the designs and we’re ramping up production this month as much as possible to be ready for October 2021!