Buy DCC Specialties Products Here
Introducing the Hare (patent
pending), DCC stationary decoder developed by DCC Specialties,
designed by Larry Maier.
The Tortoise, the Tortoise Logo
and the Tortoise graphic are trademarks of Circuitron, Inc.
of Romeoville, Il. They and all photos of the Tortoise are
used with permission. The Hare is a product of DCC Specialties.
Hints and Tips (PDF - 1.78 MB)
is available from DCC Specialties web site in PDF format (external
Review at Tony's Train Exchange (external link).
"Everything is working fine. The Hare
is going to be a big help as we design our new layout. We really
appreciate the effort that went into designing this piece of equipment."
The Hares unique features are unmatched
(1) Plugs Directly on to Tortoise, simplifies
wiring, reduces failures. Just use two convenient screw terminals
to connect to track power and you're up and running. All other connections
are also made through screw terminals.
(2) Auto Throw feature automatically
throws points when a train is approaching against the points. This
eliminates derailments, layout shorts, loco and scenery damage and
is ideal for difficult to reach turnouts and hidden staging.
(3) Smart Route feature sets up to 13
routes by simple address programming in addition to the primary
decoder address. Each Smart Route can control an unlimited number
of turnouts. The Smart Route eliminates complicated programming,
the need for computer operation or system macros required by other
(4) Smart Default Ops allows all Hare
controlled turnouts to move to a predetermined position when layout
is powered up or remain as last thrown. When you power-up your layout
this eliminates possible fouling the mainline.
(5) Operates LED Turnout Signals or remote
Panel LED Indicators.
(6) Manual Push Button option for Control
(7) System Reset by simple CV programming.
Resets to factory defaults.
(8) Digitrax LocoNet, NCE Cab Bus and Lenz Express
Net feedback and position reporting options are supported
in Version II
(9) Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts using
Smart Throw feature
(10) Compatible with all DCC Systems that
support Accessory operations.
I've just received my
Hare I ordered (#6 in all). I love it, programming has been easy.
This is a BIG plus for any DCC layout.
There are two Versions of the Hare
Includes features 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10
above, does not support feedback, see Version II.
The Auto Throw feature, (2) above, works with both insul-frog
and electro frog turnouts for Versions I and II.
We understand that the Hare costs more than other
stationary decoders but it has many unique important features
that provide for better operations. A considerable portion of
the cost is due to the convenience afforded by the Tortoise Connector
and screw terminals that eliminate multiple solder terminations.
Also, many Tortoise users are purchasing Tortoise compatible connectors
anyway, this should be considered when evaluating the Hare.
Includes all features above.
Digitrax LocoNet, NCE Cab Bus and Lenz Express Net Feedback and
Position Reporting options are supported in Version II. There
will be plug-in modules and unique part numbers to support feedback
for Digitrax, Lenz and NCE feedback buses.
Expected in August 2005
Existing accessory decoders allow for switch routing (the ability
to operate multiple switches in a distinct pattern that forms a
route through the switches by issuing one control command) via locating
multiple decoders on a single printed wiring board. This allows
a common control to organize routing among the controlled outputs.
This approach is limited by the maximum number of outputs that can
be located on the wiring board, and by the need to run wiring from
the controller to each switch motor (Tortoise). Our concept allows
each switch controller to respond to more than one address. A route
is enabled by programming the route address to each controller in
the desired route. This allows an unlimited number of controllers
and their associated switches to form a route while responding to
the single route address. Each of our controllers can be programmed
to be part of up to 13 separate routes. Within each route, provision
is made to allow the operator to define the required switch direction
for the associated route command. Essentially, it allows the operator
to form a network of specific switches without having to have a
common controller or a nest of wires from a common point to an array
The commercially available Tortoise switch machine is normally supplied
with a card edge connector intended for use with a mating connector.
Other designs have the user solder wires to the Tortoise connector.
Our design incorporates the mating connector as part of the circuit
assembly. This feature allows the switch controller to plug directly
on to the Tortoise. This eliminates soldering and the interconnect
wires while allowing a very simple installation.
In previous designs, if the train approaches the switch with the
switch aligned in the wrong direction, an open circuit results that
will cause the train to stop until the switch is correctly positioned.
Our design senses the switch misalignment as the train approaches,
positions the switch correctly, and supplies power to the previously
un-powered rails. A train approaching a misaligned switch will be
sensed causing the switch to change position and allow continued
smooth operation of the train through the switch without stopping
or the need to restart the train.
Existing switch controllers will place the switch in the position
that existed just prior to the last power off cycle when power is
turned on. While our design incorporates this feature, it also allows
the operator, at their option, to set the switch to a particular
position at power on. This feature could be useful, for example,
to prevent an accident at a siding. If the switch is left aligned
to the siding and forgotten at the end of an operating session,
subsequent operation on the mainline could result in a train unexpectedly
entering the siding. This feature could ensure that at power on,
the switch to the siding is always aligned with the mainline.