• DIGITAL: A train command system, fast gaining ground on older Analogue systems in terms of popularity. Whereas analogue systems work by providing a regulated supply of power to the track that increases or decreases according to user input, Digital systems supply a constant power supply to the entire layout. Trains are operated through a command signal, sent through the track to the locomotive. With each locomotive operating on it's own frequency, locomotives can be commanded individually. See the article Introducing the World of Digital for a more detailed description.
• ACCESSORY DECODER OR MODULE Used to control any accessories on a layout, such as signals, lighting, points and so on.
• ADDRESS: A number identifying each individual locomotive and accessory decoder on a layout. When a controller is set to a particular address, only the decoder set to the corresponding address can read the instructions from the controller.
• BOOSTER: Used to supply power to the track, and to increase the rating on an existing supply. One or more can be used alongside the Command Station.
• COMMAND STATION: The central hub, or brain of the Digital system, this unit is where control data is converted into electronic format before being sent to the track. Only one command station should be used per layout.
• CONSISTING: See Double Heading
• CV: Configuration Variable. Components within a decoder which store the characteristics of that device. Each component has it's own reference number, and these can be individually programmed.
• DCC: Digital Command Control. A control system for Digital model railways that is now the most widespread system worldwide. The standard set down by the NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) in the USA allows equipment from different manufacturers to be used together. The Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance System uses the DCC command language.
• DECODER: Circuit board used for operating Digital models. Any locomotive or accessory to be used on a digital system requires a decoder, which receives and interprets the Digital information sent by the Controller. Many decoders offer added functions such as lighting, sound and so on. These are referred to as multi-function decoders.
• DOUBLE HEADING: Often known as consisting or multi-traction, a means whereby two or more locomotives can be run together under the same address.
• MAIN TRACK: Any track or section of track that is part of the normal railway layout - as opposed to Programming Track
• MULTI-TRACTION: See Double Heading
• NMRA CONFORMANCE: Products that have passed the NMRA's testing procedures are eligible for a Conformance Warrant if the manufacturer also agrees to fix any discrepancies that might become apparent in the future. The Conformance Seal is awarded by the NMRA for products passing the Conformance and Inspection program for particular NMRA standards.
• NMRA STANDARD: A code of practive developed by the National Model Railroad Association in order to acheive standardised decoder formats.
• PROGRAMMING: The action of setting the internal parameters of decoders and other control equipment. During programming, values are set for CV's to determine the characteristics of locomotives, decoders and other programmable Digital devices.
• PROGRAMMING TRACK: Many Digital systems require a ‘Programming Track’ separate from the rest of the layout on which to perform programming operations on locomotives.
• ROUTE: The simultaneous operation of a series of points along a designated section of your railway.
• SPEED STEPS: Controllable voltage increments which are used to control motor speed on a locomotive. Some decoders allow the output power to be set for each speed step. The range from zero to full power is divided equally into 14, 28 or 128 speed steps.