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Assy, LLP2K SWs with Digital Direct Couplers: February 20, 2003

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Locomotives, Tony's Tips | 0 comments

Larry Maier from The DCC Development Group has released this assembly drawing for the installation of Digital Direct Couplers (DDC) into the popular Life-Like SW HO Switchers. The prototype units were recently demonstrated at the “Big E Train Show”.



Larry also informed us that they expected to release LLP2K/SW production retrofit kits in about four to six weeks. Pricing is expected in 2-3 weeks. Development plans for other suitable HO “DDC” candidates are in process and will be released chronologically as follows:

1) Generic Retrofit Kit for: Steam Tenders, Dummy Diesels and Rolling Stock
2) LLP2K 0-8-0 Steam Switcher
3) Atlas “S” Switchers.
4) LLP2K GP7, 9
5) Bachmann 2-8-0

Larry concluded by expressing thanks to all of you who have shown interest in the project and for taking the time to return the email questionnaire.


February 4, 2003

U.S. Prototype DCC Controlled Couplers Unveiled At “Big E” Train Show.

Tony’s Train Exchange sponsored the unveiling and demonstration of DCC controlled HO Kadee style couplers using a Proto 2000 SW/9/1200 diesel, and a Heritage Steam 0-8-0 switcher. Both front and rear couplers operating.

The “Digital Direct Couplers”, or DDC, are the result of an 18 month effort by the “DCC Development Group”, Phil Buchwald and Larry Maier of New Haven Vermont, who will manufacture, market and distribute the product to dealers.

Larry and Phil conceived, perfected and patented the unique concept that raises or lowers the coupler box to accomplish coupling and uncoupling rather than actuate the knuckles. According to Larry and Phil “this was the key because it only requires the actuation of one coupler, not two, as would be the case by actuating the knuckles. Therefore, a DDC equipped loco can couple and uncouple cars by itself, thus significantly reducing the complexity and cost of such a system.”

Tony also stated, “this is what model railroaders have been waiting for, to automatically couple or uncouple from their DCC throttle or DC power pack, in addition to minimizing the hassle of the magnets, ramps and picks that are so cumbersome and unreliable.”

This is what we know so far:

  • HO DDC retrofit kits are planned for late March, with the first to be the “Proto 2000” SW/8/900 and SW/9/1200 Switchers followed by (not necessarily in chronological order) Proto 2000, 0-8-0, 0-6-0, GP7/9/30, Atlas, S1,2,3,4 and RS 1,3, Alco switchers, Bachmann, 2-8-0, 4-6-0.
  • The major components of DDC are: Actuators, Linkages, Control Module and Coupler/Box Assy.
  • The Control module connects to the function outputs of a decoder, 2 functions are required. If you are using the front and back-up light, you will need a 4 function decoder.
  • DCC decoders with integrated DDC are planned for release.
  • Each retrofit kit will contain all you need to install DDC in your loco including detailed instructions.
  • Tony’s will provide retrofit installation service for DDC.

The final costs are still being evaluated but will be less than a DCC Sound unit.

If you are interested in DDC and would like to be updated on info or aid in the selection of candidates for retrofit kits, please fill out this form (discontinued).

All dealers are welcome.

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