North Coast Engineering P2K-SR DCC Decoder

By Michael Benolkin


For those of you who are relatively new to Digital Command Control (DCC) technology, or who are thinking about converting your layout to use DCC, we'll be looking at a variety of products in the coming months, from decoders to full-up systems. For the novice, I hope to share some of the things that I am learning as I too, come up to speed with DCC. For the more experienced DCC railroader, we'll be taking a look at a number of products that you might not have had a chance to consider. Either way, your comments and feedback are most welcome.

NCE P2K-SR DCC Decoder

One of my favorite places to 'hang out' on the net to do some catch-up learning on DCC is Tony's Train Exchange. Tony carries a variety of DCC products and has some great comparisons and experience to share with site visitors.

One product that caught my interest is a decoder that he refers to as TTX/GP7. This unit was specifically designed by North Coast Engineering (NCE) to fit in the tight space under the hood of the latest Lifelike Proto 2000 series of engines. While the P2K engines have an NMRA DCC socket available, there is extremely little room to fit a normal DCC decoder.

The TTX/GP7 (or NCE P2K-SR Decoder) is designed to slip into that limited space between the metal frame and the plastic 'hood'. Originally designed for the P2K GP7 series, this decoder is perfect for the P2K releases of their:

    • GP7

    • GP9

    • GP30

    • SD60

    • 0-8-0

This decoder supports the following features:

  • Silent Running (no motor buzz when the engine isn't moving)

  • Programmable Start, Mid-level, and Maximum Speeds.

  • Four programmable functions, each with 14 different lighting effects (Mars, Strobes, Beacons, etc.)

  • Functions can be mapped to different functions (specified functions are automatically activated when other functions are selected)

  • Two or Four Digit Addressing

  • Uploadable Speed Table

  • 28 & 128 Speed Mode Operation (256 Speed Steps Internally)

  • Operations Mode Programming on the Mainline Track

  • Service Mode Programming on the Programming Track

The only work you'll have to do when converting one of the P2K engines to use DCC is to change the light bulbs. The Proto 2000 engines are equipped with 1.2 volt bulbs to provide the constant lighting capability straight out of the box. DCC systems run at 12 volts, so you'll have to replace the existing bulbs with 12 volt bulbs (or LEDs), or use the existing bulbs by soldering a 150 ohm 1/4 watt resister in series with the bulb and DCC card.

Depending on the engine and railroad you are modeling, you'll likely be adding bulbs for beacons, ditch lights, etc to take advantage of all of the capabilities these decoders have to offer.


This installation is about as bullet-proof as you can get. The instructions are thorough and all of the programming modes and operating tips are included. Suggested retail for this decoder is $29.95, though Tony's lists the price at $25.00 each or four for $95.00 ($23.75 each). I purchased four, as I've got the GP7, GP9, GP30 & SD60 to get converted...

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