Layout Command Control, or LCC for short, is a system of protocols designed for controlling all of the various functions on a layout that are not directly related to the control of locomotives. Both NMR layouts use DCC for power management and locomotive control. The term LCC is just a different name for the current NMRANet standard.
When the DCC protocols were designed in the early 1990s, no one foresaw applications such as sound, multiple locomotive consists, stationary decoders, signal controls, signal systems, turnouts and block detection using the track or throttle bus for communication. LCC will be a separate and generic control bus designed to reduce the accessory load on the DCC throttle bus. LCC is a bi-directional data bus using Ethernet style cable to send and receive data and is designed with a capacity ten to a hundred times greater than the typical DCC throttle bus, making things possible without sacrificing performance.
LCC is extremely flexible and will be easily adaptable to a wide variety of products. It should be possible to implement virtually anything you imagine with LCC, for example:
- Signal systems
- Block detection
- Structure lighting
- Room lighting
The LCC standard is evolving and currently there are very few suppliers providing LCC compliant solutions/hardware, but as more model railroaders start to see the benefits the manufacturers will offer more and more accessories that are compliant. The Nottawasaga Model Railway is building the new Bygone Station layout right now and we will install a LCC bus when the work will be relatively easy rather than retrofit it later.
Our design calls for the installation of four separate buses:
- DCC Bus - track power and throttle controls.
- LCC Bus - layout accessory controls.
- 5 Volt Bus - providing continuous 5v power for accessories.
- 12 Volt Bus - providing continuous 12v power for accessories.
There is no specifice build time for the Bygone Station layout and LCC is not a priority so if anyone asks we say, "Over the next few years." During that time the LCC standard will continue to develop and suppliers will produce new innovative products and solutions. The club will be well prepared to adopt and install the products which will add a whole new dimension to model railroading.