OpenLCB/LCC is a system to control and communicate with accessories on your model railroad (MRR). In most instances, it will work in parallel with a traction system, such as DCC. While, when using DCC, some MRR accessories can be controlled directly from DCC, controlling them from LCC frees up the DCC for trains — for large MRRs this becomes important an important consideration.
LCC has some advantages. It is non-proprietary standard, and as such can be used by multiple vendors. OpenLCB is a group of volunteer MRR enthusiasts that design and promote the technology behind LCC, and this means that LCC can grow, change, and adapt to new ideas and technologies easily. LCC can use more than one transmission method. Most products will use CAN which is a standard bus which is both fast and robust, perfect for MRR, but in addition, ethernet and Wifi, and other methods can be used to carry the LCC messages to and from MRR accessories.
How do you use LCC?
The simplest useful LCC installation consists on two nodes linked together with a CAT5 jump cable. Each node will have connectors to accept inputs from BODs, push-buttons, and toggle switches, or connections to drive outputs connected to LEDs, signals, or turnout machines.
Each node comes with a set of eventids. Inputs are connected to outputs by copying an eventid from one node to the other. This is most often done by using a program like JMRI or Deepwood Software’s MRC.