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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 39878 times)

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Offline 1936ace

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2012, 08:54:33 pm »
The NCE Powercab is the best. It is a great starter set to get you going up to four locos and two controllers input as standard( you can get three outputs with a little reprogramming) but as standard two is fine. It is a fully programmable unit,controller,power source in your hand.
The best part is that it will not be discarded if you decided to upgrade. Just go and by the sb3a and you get a full 5 amp unit I think 99 controller inputs the Powercab now just becomes a pro cab and best of all if you run a Powercab at home you can just swap over the supplied power leads and take it to a mates layout and it become a standard procab unit.
Digitrains stocks them and priced at I think around 136 which is much cheaper then we pay here in oz($220).
I looked at a digital but in the end I went for the nce Powercab mainly because of the cheaper upgrade option and the fact that you are not left with a heap of item no longer needed.
If you want more info check out Marcus armans? Not sure on spelling last name but it is basically dcc for dummies and also Alan garners is a good site as I'd dcc concepts explanation of the various system. He does a good review of all of the dcc system good points and bad to help you.
The nce Powercab is very easy to use and program, my son has just turned four and he can now operate the Powercab incl selecting loco addresses etc but has been using his cab06(controller) since he was around three so it is very easy and fun to learn
Hope this helps
Bart

Offline Jack

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2012, 09:45:24 pm »
This is almost a similar question as what car shall I get? Everyone will have their favorites.

I didn't have a "local" retailer that stocked anything else except Bachmann or Gaugemaster systems. For me I looked at the Gaugemaster systems and NCE's Powercab.

I opted for the Powercab for two reasons, Price I could afford as a good starter unit with the ability to upgrade later without having to ditch what I already had and ease of use. The Powercab sits comfortable in my hand and is easy to use single handed, and with time you get to know where the main buttons are without looking.
 
A tip I was given by John of Bromsgrove Models (He's closing down  :( ) is if you get into a panic because things are going pear shaped just disconnect the lead that goes into the handset and every thing just stops. Its got me out of a few near misses many a time.  :-[

Today's Experts were yesterday's Beginners :)

Offline Sprintex

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2012, 09:59:11 pm »
The NCE Powercab is the best.

Wrong  ::) It's the best for you.

Personally I didn't like the NCE - the display on the handset wasn't as easy to read as the Prodigy and also I didn't like the thumbwheel throttle, preferring the rotary dial of the Prodigy. Incidentally there is now a Prodigy Express set that is a cheaper introduction to the system with a similar easy-upgrade should you need it later.

Would still advise the OP to take the first advice offered by Mike - a DCC system is a personal choice and as such it should be up to them what system they choose based on PERSONAL needs, preferences and budget  :thumbsup:


Paul

Offline Oldman

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2012, 10:19:18 pm »
Have to admit that when i got mine, i chose it because i could set the maximum output voltage to suit the Z gauge locos i was running at the time.
ZTC 511  was my choice. Can run up to 16 locos at once.
Modelling stupid small scale using T gauge track and IDl induction track. Still have  N gauge but not the space( Japanese Trams) Excuse spelling errors please, posting on mobile phone

Offline 1936ace

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2012, 10:31:03 pm »
The NCE Powercab is the best.

Wrong  ::) It's the best for you.

Personally I didn't like the NCE - the display on the handset wasn't as easy to read as the Prodigy and also I didn't like the thumbwheel throttle, preferring the rotary dial of the Prodigy. Incidentally there is now a Prodigy Express set that is a cheaper introduction to the system with a similar easy-upgrade should you need it later.

Would still advise the OP to take the first advice offered by Mike - a DCC system is a personal choice and as such it should be up to them what system they choose based on PERSONAL needs, preferences and budget  :thumbsup:


Paul

That's right Paul. We're we not ask what we thought was the best. That's why I gave the answer/opinion I did based on my personal requirements/budget and the like. At least I gave him some of thE main function etc and some website site that have far more knowledge the I do of all the systems out there. I don't think I was wrong in saying nce is the best. There and fors and against with every unit and I thought I gave an honest answer based on what I found
Cheers
Bart

Offline brbluewill

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2012, 11:08:16 pm »
thanks for all the info unfortunately i do not have a local retailer to try out first (unless anyone from my area knows better)hence my question.seems more complicated than i first thought :'(
Where our songs are challenged we shall sing them all the louder!!!!!

Offline 4x2

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2012, 11:25:32 pm »
I've owned a NCE powercab and got on very well with it, but it's not without it's faults....

I'd suggest if your just running basic trains without sound then a Bachmann Dynamis will do you fine, but if want to run sound fitted locos, play with lights and other functions/settings then a NCE or Prodigy would be a better start.
If you're feeling really flush the Lenz stuff is nice but appears to be a bit more difficult to use (only had a go for 5 mins).

Being a bit controversial now... I think the Bachmann Dynamis has the right 'feel' to the hand set, but lacks programing ability. The Gaugemaster/MRC prodigy is very similar to the NCE in feeling poorly made and just a bit too balky in the hand.

I think now that the dust has settled in the new(ish) world of DCC. It's time things got smaller and nicer to use a bit like this... (I know it's not DCC but why can't the hand set be similar ?)

RailPro Introduction Part 1

And before anyone suggests this in N, it's illegal in the UK due to the frequencies used.... :veryangry:
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2012, 09:42:23 am »
I'd suggest if your just running basic trains without sound then a Bachmann Dynamis will do you fine

By this you imply you cannot use sound with the Dynamis - utter :censored: .  The Dynamis handles sound very well - I have yet to get a sound-equiped loco it cannot handle - or any loco, come to that ... !!!

Quote
Being a bit controversial now... I think the Bachmann Dynamis has the right 'feel' to the hand set, but lacks programing ability.

Don't see why that is controversial ... the Dynamis cannot 'read' CVs but it can write / program them.  Granted, it makes life a little more interesting - but full programming is why I picked up a Sprogg unit !  JMRI is a great suite of programs for decoder programming and operation.

However, programming is a totally different question to what the OP is asking, and is more advanced - recall, he is just starting out into this aspect.  Granted, he will want to at some point but I would argue that, except for certain circumstances, all programming should be done off the main system and on a dedicated track, maybe with a dedicated controller just for that purpose (such as the Sprogg).

thanks for all the info unfortunately i do not have a local retailer to try out first (unless anyone from my area knows better)hence my question.seems more complicated than i first thought :'(


It can be complicated, but the two main complications are
  • identifying what controller suits you (and no-one else)
  • how complex you decide to make your DCC layout

I know some people will jump up & down & complain - but DCC at it's most simple is just two wires ... honestly  :D  I would recommend more, but that is all you need to start with.

I would also recommend that you first buy Morton's book on DCC http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Command-Control-Aspects-Modelling/dp/0711034990 (if you look around you can find it cheaper) if you haven't already.  Make sure it's the second edition, though.

Now - can you get to one of the Scottish shows that will have good traders there showing various DCC systems ?  Can you wait until there is one ?  Or do you have to have DCC for Christmas ?

Mike
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 12:31:35 pm by Sprintex, Reason: bad language removed »

Offline brbluewill

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #68 on: November 26, 2012, 10:13:32 am »
thanks mike i will purchase the book :thumbsup:i'm not desperate for it so will take your advice and wait for next years shows and go and have a play first :D
Where our songs are challenged we shall sing them all the louder!!!!!

Offline 4x2

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #69 on: November 26, 2012, 03:56:02 pm »
Whoa there Mike... Yes, what i said about the dynamis and sound was incorrect (god only knows where i got that from... :dunce:) and for that i apologize... Just pointing it out would of been enough...

My point of being controversial was that the dynamis doesn't seem that popular with modellers who love DCC, so to suggest that it's nicer to handle than the more expensive controllers would seem controversial to some.

If the OP is just starting, the book you suggested is a great idea. I still feel that buying a decent system rather than a cheapie would benefit the OP in the long run.

Just trying to help...

If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2012, 09:13:18 pm »
Lol, no worries ... you may have been thinking about the basic Bachmann controller ?  I don't know if that handles sound, but I would be surprised ...

Re the Dynamis ... I agree, it's a very nice 'handle'.  SWMBO & I just can't get away with some of the others, but both like this one.  As I said, they are very personal :)

The only problem with buying a decent system to start with is - what is a decent system, and how much ?  Being in the arena for a while, we know what we consider decent, but newbies (not that the OP is such, just to DCC) go "oh look - Hornby.  I'll have that one, it must be good" (or less often to Bachmann) ...  Not that the Dynamis isn't decent, but their entry level controller ???  Or either of the Hornby controllers  ???  Or the 'software'  ???  (No doubt I've just been controversial myself with those comments  :P)

thanks mike i will purchase the book :thumbsup:i'm not desperate for it so will take your advice and wait for next years shows and go and have a play first :D
Research always pays off  :D 

Just think ... your first query when you have selected the controller you are happiest with will be the next controversial topic : "what is the best decoder I should use ?"  :smiley-laughing: :smiley-laughing: :smiley-laughing:

Offline brbluewill

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2012, 10:36:18 pm »
Lol, no worries ... you may have been thinking about the basic Bachmann controller ?  I don't know if that handles sound, but I would be surprised ...

Re the Dynamis ... I agree, it's a very nice 'handle'.  SWMBO & I just can't get away with some of the others, but both like this one.  As I said, they are very personal :)

The only problem with buying a decent system to start with is - what is a decent system, and how much ?  Being in the arena for a while, we know what we consider decent, but newbies (not that the OP is such, just to DCC) go "oh look - Hornby.  I'll have that one, it must be good" (or less often to Bachmann) ...  Not that the Dynamis isn't decent, but their entry level controller ???  Or either of the Hornby controllers  ???  Or the 'software'  ???  (No doubt I've just been controversial myself with those comments  :P)

thanks mike i will purchase the book :thumbsup:i'm not desperate for it so will take your advice and wait for next years shows and go and have a play first :D
Research always pays off  :D 

Just think ... your first query when you have selected the controller you are happiest with will be the next controversial topic : "what is the best decoder I should use ?"  :smiley-laughing: :smiley-laughing: :smiley-laughing:

whats a decoder????? :claphappy: :claphappy: :claphappy:
Where our songs are challenged we shall sing them all the louder!!!!!

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: what dcc controller
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2012, 10:57:23 am »

Offline GeeBee

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Choice of DCC system
« Reply #73 on: July 27, 2013, 03:47:56 pm »
Hi, I know this is going to be slightly contentious I don't intend it to be I just need some help I have an early Dynamis plus Pro box and it has been something of a nightmare to use I am reasonably computer literate and for 20 years was an electronics engineer in Telecoms so I don't think it is down to my stupidity but I could be wrong, as I am rebuilding my layout and I have the opportunity to change controller what would you recommend and why   http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/Smileys/NGF/help.gif

Offline kirky

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Re: Which DCC controller do you recommend
« Reply #74 on: July 27, 2013, 05:19:34 pm »
Depends on your requirements really.
I've had a dynamis in the past and it served its purpose. Cheap for what it does.
I now have two systems, at either end of he price range. I have an ESU ECoS which is great, ten trains visible on the screen at all times, lots of updates and well supported.  But at 500 ukp + it's not cheap.
At the other end of the scale, 150 ish, I bought a Powercab. It's great too, reliable and can be used as a starter set if you want to build up to a pro package. But only good for running one train at any one time, which is fine for my single line layout in the loft.
Horses for courses really.
I'm sure other people will recommend the digitrax stuff, which I believe is good, and the Lenz kit is reliable but quite dated now. But, IMHO, avoid the Hornby stuff, just too unreliable and not consistent with other dcc kit.
Hope this help, but you'd be best to go to a model shop or exhibition and talk to dcc sellers or exhibitors.
Kirky.
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