Get Started

This page is intended to get you started with DCC++ EX by building your hardware setup, installing software, flashing firmware, and running your first train. After that, we will provide examples for how the base system can be extended and upgraded.

The Components of a Full System

  • Command Station - An Arduino with a motorboard and the DCC-EX uploadable firmware

  • Controller - A Throttle/CAB such as WebThrottle-EX, JMRI, Engine Driver, etc.

  • Power - A DC power supply for the motor board to the track and optionally one for the Arduino

  • A “main” track aka “operations” track - most people already have this, it’s your layout

  • A “programming” track aka “service” track - a short section of track that you will use to program locomotives (see section on layout)

  • A Train Specifically, a locomotive equipped with a DCC decoder (either a standard or sound decoder)

What you need


  • Supported Arduino board

  • Supported motor shield

  • Compatible power supply

  • Computer running Windows, Linux, or macOS (or a Raspberry Pi)

  • USB Cable from the computer to the Arduino

  • Piece of track to run trains or program on

  • Known-working DCC-equipped locomotive

Optional hardware:


The DCC++ EX installer is recommended for most users and automatically downloads and installs the required software.

You’ll also need something to control your trains. Because there’s several options, we will discuss this following setup of the system.

See this Shopping list for everything you need compiled in one place.