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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 38003 times)

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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2012, 09:57:22 pm »
I wouldn't do it at Warley though - you'll get a lot more time at a model shop !
Ah, but how many model shops in a reasonable radius to the OP will have a range such as can be found @ Warley ?  Damn few, I warrant :(

Offline Bikeracer

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2012, 08:47:50 am »

Ah, but how many model shops in a reasonable radius to the OP will have a range such as can be found @ Warley ?  Damn few, I warrant :(

Actually Digitrains at Digby are about 40 minutes away,around 22 miles IIRC.
They'll go through all the pros and cons of different sets while you're there with a hands on demo,but Monday is not a very good day to go because of catching up with orders taken at the weekend.

Allan
I'm not a complete idiot..some bits are missing.

Offline N Gauge Bob

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2012, 09:31:35 am »
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:
N Gauge Bob

My thanks to all who responded. Please do not think that any of you have wasted your time. In fact you have all helped me make my mind up...I'm staying with DC.
The expense of buying it coupled with the vast amount of technology to be learned has really just confirmed that it is just not for me....maybe if I was 40 years younger...
 :thankyousign:
Remember this:
Amateurs..............built the Ark!
Professionals........built the Titanic!

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #48 on: October 24, 2012, 10:08:25 am »
DigiTrains !!! They're the bods I couldn't recall who bring a lot of controllers to Warley  :doh:

The expense of buying it coupled with the vast amount of technology to be learned has really just confirmed that it is just not for me....maybe if I was 40 years younger...
Honestly - it's only as complicated as you want it to be ...

Buy a copy of Morton's book on DCC & have a read before discounting it; if you still don't like the idea, you can always sell the book on  :D

Mike

Offline trainsdownunder

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #49 on: October 24, 2012, 10:31:38 am »
Hi
Having only just seen the thread, may be a bit late for my input. Lots of good advice above, but red-death probably summed it up best  - "there are several things to consider long term".

When I came back into the hobby and made my choice of DCC, it was simple that I wanted better control over my locos. DCC has given me that, along with smooth and realistic acceleration/braking and a feel that I am in control without all the extra wiring of traditional Cab Ccontrol.
The rest of my layout initially stayed DC style with manual points etc. I still even kept my isolation switches.
As time has progressed I have learnt more about what DCC can offer, but I am a long way using from it's full capabilities.

My first unit was a ZTC 511. Maybe not the best choice but I wanted to support a British effort and in fairness to Neil Kinison I did not any issues with the unit, other than limitations on Function control, and always received excellent support. I have since tried the Digitrax system - very nice, no real problems, but eventually settled on the MERG system. Yes partly for cost of add-ons, but mainly the way they envisage a layout operating i.e handsets are for controlling locos - not running the layout.

So my advice - go have a play and see if it gives you the same feel of control that you have with DC. Don't worry about the fancy stuff and all the electronic jargon.

It really isn't a new mystical and complex world this DCC thing - it can be as simple as you want.

swisstony

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2012, 10:45:47 am »
If you get the E-Z, you can only control 10 DCC locomotives as it only holds addresses 1-10, having said this, I find it sufficient as I have multiple locos on the same ID's, I also favour this as for not much outlay you can buy a second E-Z Slave control unit (20 off ebay) which plugs into the E-Z BUS and have two controllers running real time, whilst  two other locos are running in back ground.  You can even add an analogue EZ control into the back of the Digital E-Z so thus being able to control one DC loco too at any one time.   

I added a SPROGII v3 into the back of the EZ bus so I can programme with my PC as well, so if I had more hands I could potentially control everything at once as the SPROGG (45) allows for 4 digit addressing :D.

Having said theat the NCE Powercab can do all that but you only get one dial so one live loco with the others running in the background !

Only difference will be the price and the fact the NCE can take more than ID's 1-10  :-\
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 10:47:47 am by swisstony »

Offline 1936ace

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2012, 10:55:27 am »
G'day mate,

This one is easy. Go the NCE product. You can start with entry level Powercab which will give  you 2 amps and three throttles and is a full system in one plus you can program on he main and if you ever want more amps just add the sb3a and you have a 5amp unit plus now stacks more throttles. It is a great system and the Powercab can become just a power pro throttle by using the curly lead when you go ta mates place or club. All my mates run nce an the big club in Newcastle has nce also I'm told. The Powercab also has an inbuilt ammeter so you can keep an eye on things or switch it over to a fast clock. Digitrains stocks all the items Jeremy and Chris will look after you. And if you want you can go radio by just plugging in a module cheap and easy.
I love my nce Powercab!
My three year old has his own throttle the cab06 which also has a led screen so you Can see what loco you have up at the time. Digitrains do them for around 136 pounds I think whereas out here they run at around A$210
Bart

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2012, 12:02:34 pm »
This one is easy.
What if the OP has arthritis & cannot hold the controller properly ?  Not so easy ...

What is perfect for one can be anathema to another ... hence my advice to the OP to try out as many as possible to find a controller & method that suits them.

I can wax lyrical about the Dynamis or the Sprog - but that's because they suit me and I find the NCE controllers to be clumsy & awkward - you evidently don't.

Ya pays yer money & ya takes yer choice ...

Mike

Offline lil chris

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #53 on: October 25, 2012, 10:24:43 pm »
N gauge bob, i'm 64 mate and I think wiring dcc is a lot easier than dc all those switches and sections.Like 1936 ace said you can just have it simple as you  want and still control your points as you want.
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

Offline Chinahand

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Re: Thinking about it..but what to buy?
« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2012, 09:47:33 am »
Hi Bob.

I moved over from DC to DCC 4 years ago now and never looked back. The wiring is IMHO much easier as you don't have to bother with all those isolated block sections. I still control points by a traditional mimic panel but I've found that loco control is so much smoother, particularly at slow running speeds.

I would, however, echo others advice about finding a controller that suits you. Do you want a desk top controller or a hand-held one ? Personally I prefer a desk-top controller which is why I bought an ESU ECoS. Others prefer hand held walk-about controllers and the best way to find out what suits your needs best is to try several controllers at a DCC specialist. I went to Digitrains and they gave me very friendly and unbiased advice.
Regards,
Trevor (aka Chinahand)
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Offline brbluewill

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Choice of DCC system
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2012, 07:09:29 pm »
what controller would you recommend for a first foray into dcc control.please bear in mind i aint got a clue of dcc terminology so nothing too technical please :D :D
Where our songs are challenged we shall sing them all the louder!!!!!

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2012, 07:45:05 pm »
Now why didn't you ask last week - you could have gone to Warley & played with a good range !!!   :no:

My advice is simple ... get to a good retailer that stocks a range of different ones and play with them ...  this way, you will get to know whether you like the simple dial ones (eg the entry-level Bachmann one), ones that look like a TV remote control, ones that are similar to game console handsets (like the Dynamis), ones with a full display like the ECOS, etc etc.

Advice saying "oh go for such-&-such, I love them !" is great - for the person saying it.  But not necessarily for you ... !  Controllers can be a very personal choice.

Myself, I find the Dynamis is decent unit.  I like the wireless capability, and like the handset control.  On the other hand, I totally dislike the TV remote types, and won't entertain the idea of them !  But that is because neither SWMBO or I are comfortable using them (hand issues with them, for us).

Try a good range ... see what works for you, and if you are having to compromise for some aspect.  Get what you are happiest with - a decent controller should last you all your DCC life  :thumbsup:

Mike

Offline Sprintex

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2012, 08:11:12 pm »
Agree 100% with the above  :thumbsup:

Personally I use a Prodigy Advance2 because it does everything I want it to in the way I am happy with  ;)


Paul

Offline Caz

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2012, 08:35:22 pm »
Likewise, go have a look at lots of systems and decide what you need now and don't forget to think of the future.

I went with Digitrax as there was a good support group and it had a good entry level set (Zephyr).  Three years down the line I'm really please that I went with it as there is just so much that is compatible and many makers of accessories etc that are designed to be used with it.  It is one of the few systems that can do total and full automation if you so desire or can just easily control a couple of locos if that's all you want. 

All I would say is, beware, there are a lot of gimmicky systems appearing on the market which promise the earth but can leave a lot to be desired.

Just my two penneth  :)

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #59 on: November 25, 2012, 08:46:30 pm »
IMHO its a personal thing. Stuff to watch for

- display quality (especially if you have poor vision/spectacles)
- NMRA compliance. That mostly guarantees it'll work reliably while cheap uncertified stuff can be a bit hit and miss
- a manual you understand
- some of them claim they can run one DC loco at the same time - in N thats a very bad idea due to the motors used so ignore that feature.

Be aware a lot of resellers will try and upsell you all sorts of fancy high end stuff you don't need.For all but a truely huge layout 2A is plenty and 5A is certainly more than adequate without boosters in either case.

Other thing to watch on the Digitrax front - lots of sellers are still trying to palm off their stock of the Obsolete Zephyr DCS50 not the later DCS51. If you ever use sound you'll want the DCS51 as the 50 can only drive functions 0-7.

Alan
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

 

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