1. Home

Choosing a Decoder


1 of 3

Choosing the Right Decoder

There is a great variety of decoders on the market today. How do you know which one is right for you?

©2013 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

With so many decoders now on the market for locomotives, switches and other accessories, how do you know which is the right one for you?

In most cases, there are several options that will work with whatever you have. Some decoders may just give you better options like an easier installation, different lighting options or sound. So what should you look for to help narrow the field?

Here are a few general guidelines that will help you get to the right decoder for your next install.

Stationary / Mobile

Are you putting this decoder in something that moves about your layout (a locomotive) or something that stays in one place (switches, accessories, etc.)? Since the options for both of these basics types are different, they are described more in separate pages.


  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Model Railroad Trains
  4. Layout Construction
  5. Electronics & DCC
  6. DCC
  7. Choosing a Decoder for Model Trains and Accessories

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.