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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 39621 times)

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Offline Alexph

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 05:47:50 pm »
Hi Everyone and thanks for the excellent advice and suggestions.

You have pretty well confirmed what I was coming round to in relation to the points and signals (which are all Fleischmann and come DCC ready), and that is to make up a smart mimic board and install switches to control the points.  I might even incorporate some little LED's to indicate which way the point is switched.  I will certainly look at the MERG CBUS to see if that will cut down on the amount of wiring.

In terms of the Controller, yes I agree that most people will go for the one they have used.  I like the look of the NCE, but was hoping to go wireless.  Has anyone had any experience of the Roco MultiMaus Pro Wireless Controller? 

Thanks

Offline 47033

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2012, 06:00:13 pm »
Has anyone tried the MRC Prodigy Advance 2. I'm torn between The NCE Powercab and the MRC Prodigy

Thanks,
Jamie

Offline Jack

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2012, 06:50:09 pm »
Has anyone tried the MRC Prodigy Advance 2. I'm torn between The NCE Powercab and the MRC Prodigy

Thanks,
Jamie

I guess it depends on your budget? I used to be in the same position about a year ago. I went for the NCE  Powercab, reasons?

1. It was a lot cheaper for a starter kit.
2. It was able to do all that I need to do. (I use DC for manual point switching)
3. I could add to the NCE system if I wanted too later when I had got used to DCC control system with locos.

Like most that use the Powercab system, I've never regretted the choice I've made.
Today's Experts were yesterday's Beginners :)

Offline Sprintex

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2012, 08:15:14 pm »
Has anyone tried the MRC Prodigy Advance 2. I'm torn between The NCE Powercab and the MRC Prodigy

When I visited Digitrains in Lincolnshire I tried out the NCE Powercab, Prodigy Advance 2, Lenz 90/100 and Dynamis. The latter two were quickly removed from my plans after 10 minutes playing with them, leaving the NCE and Prodigy as possibilities. In the end I chose the Prodigy Advance, mainly for two reasons:-

1. The display on the handset is much clearer and easier to read at a glance.

2. Rotary speed control rather than thumbwheel.

True it's about three times the price of the NCE initially, but if you're going to end up buying the Pro upgrade for the NCE anyway it works out cheaper to buy the Prodigy. Don't know about the NCE but the Prodigy is also available in wireles format now too, although such things don't interest me  ;)


Paul

Offline trainsdownunder

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2012, 02:06:04 pm »
Have just finished building the DCC CMD unit and Controller from MERG.

Don't yet have a full layout working yet (still in storage until house finished) but have been playing with these two items on a small amount of track.

Ok so I had to build them which took a couple of days, but I am very impressed with them both and they are simply ideal for loco control which is all I want initially. Cost inc postage under 70. Nice small handheld unit with multi coloured buttons for ease of use and it supports all the functions on my DDC Sound decoders. I use a SPROG for prg and setting up CVs and for point and signals control I am proposing to use the MERG CBUS although there is the option of using a decoder based control units if I choose.

For those afraid of electronics these kits are very well designed and contain very good clear instructions for assy, all parts come well labelled and help is always at hand through their forum or Yahoo group.

Until now I have never attempted anything like this (Dad is a wizard at electronics so no need) and will certainly use more of their stuff.

Offline 47033

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2012, 01:23:28 pm »
Well I ended up going with The MRC Prodigy Advance 2 that I bought slightly used on ebay from a model shop. It works great and was $202 shipped to my home. I'm very happy, it looks like new.

Offline MattJ

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Re: DCC Controllers
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2012, 09:05:14 pm »
As regards the method of control this very much comes down to personal preference. Personally I find it much easier (and quicker) to simply flick a switch on a mimic panel rather than trying to remember or look up the accessory codes for 40 point motors and inputting the right one into a DCC controller. It is IMHO also more prototypical as that's what real signalmen do. i.e. Flick a switch or, on the good old days, pull a big lever.

Reminds me of discussions at school about this new-fangled Hornby Zero-1 thing.  Even then it seemed to be the consensus that it would still be better to use traditional methods to control points and signals!
They're there for their tea.

Offline N Gauge Bob

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Choice of DCC system
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2012, 05:16:56 pm »
I've been thinking rather vaguely about DCC.  :hmmm:
About to build a new exhibition layout now Moorcock Junction is about to leave.
Always said no to DCC but I have been offered a couple of units...Bachmann E-Z and a NCE power cab.
Which would be best to go for if I do, and what should I pay for a secondhand unit? :confused2:

I am weighing up the options of selling 30 or so of my Poole locos and replacing with 10 or 15 newer DCC capable examples to sponsor the exercise.
Cheers
N Gauge Bob
Remember this:
Amateurs..............built the Ark!
Professionals........built the Titanic!

Offline STEVE44

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2012, 05:33:50 pm »
Hi,
   I am doing the same, I have just got a prodigy advance 2 from gaugemaster and I am reading loads about DDC. I think its the way forward.

Steve.

Offline tim-pelican

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2012, 05:45:00 pm »
The Bachmann E-Z is *purely* a train controller.  You can't program decoders other than a very basic changing the loco number, and you can't control accessories (points, signals, etc).  In my view it's quite a good bootstrap, especially as part of a "DCC train set", but you should go into it with the view that if DCC turns out to be your thing, you'll need to add or upgrade in some fashion.  It is quite easy to use, and the throttle knob feels solid and responsive.

I can't comment on the NCE, I'm afraid.

Cheers,
Tim.

Offline red_death

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2012, 05:49:00 pm »
A number of thoughts:
- do you want computer control?
- do you want train detection, route setting or point control through DCC (not necessarily via PC)?
- what do you expect from DCC? Simpler wiring, better control, extra features?

What you should go for depends a lot on the answers to the above.  For many S/H systems you won't see much reduction on the new price.

I would stay away from the E Z Command though it can be a useful intro to DCC.

I like the Power Cab a lot. My personal choice if I were in the market for a non-PC based DCC system would be Digitrax (Zephyr or better) or the Power Cab. A lot of people like Roco's Multimaus if you don't mind buying from Ebay abroad as you can get them reasonably cheaply split from starter sets.

Cheers, Mike

PS I should add that for me I am not convinced that a traditional DCC command system is necessary as I am happy to use a combination of a computer (laptop or Raspberry Pi) + JMRI (a software suite) + a SPROG.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 05:50:42 pm by red_death, Reason: More info »



Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2012, 08:10:36 pm »
Frankly - neither of your listed choices ...

In your shoes, I'd buy a ticket to Warley and spend quite some time at one or other of the DCC specialists with a range of kit on display (there's one in particular that always has a wide range to play with - blessed if I can remember who !), and see how you find the different controllers ... It's quite a personal choice.  Some like the 'TV remote control' options, others the 'game handsets' and others prefer the 'classic' look of controllers.

Give each type a try ... see if you have any physical dislikes (I can't stand the TV remote type, for example, due to problems around the carpal area).  Then try actually operating the ones left ... do you prefer a particular operation method ?

Once you have found one you are happy with both physically & mentally, then find a good price, buy, and enjoy  :thumbsup:

Mike

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2012, 08:28:48 pm »
Concur - controllers are very much a personal thing - check stuff like button sizes, whether you can see small displays clearly etc.

I wouldn't do it at Warley though - you'll get a lot more time at a model shop !
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Offline lil chris

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2012, 09:18:58 pm »
Ive just bought a NCE Powercab,not had chance to use it yet but it has everything I want. Also it is easy and not expensive to upgrade,you can add the usb port for about 35 or a mini panel for aa little more. With the usb you can connect to a comp[uter and use you smart phone as a controller.The mini panel allows you to program  trains and points etc without using a computer.Plus you can use a program track or program on the main.
Lil Chris
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Offline Jack

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2012, 09:27:59 pm »
Ive just bought a NCE Powercab,not had chance to use it yet but it has everything I want. Also it is easy and not expensive to upgrade,you can add the usb port for about 35 or a mini panel for aa little more. With the usb you can connect to a comp[uter and use you smart phone as a controller.The mini panel allows you to program  trains and points etc without using a computer. Plus you can use a program track or program on the main.

Tread carefully!! If I remember from the last time I read my Powercab manual, yes you can program on the main providing you use NCE decoders that have that ability. You could if not careful change the programming of all locos that sits on the main. Much safer to use a programming track.
Today's Experts were yesterday's Beginners :)

 

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