N Gauge Forum

General Category => N Gauge Discussion => Topic started by: petercharlesfagg on October 17, 2013, 06:39:53 PM

Title: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: petercharlesfagg on October 17, 2013, 06:39:53 PM
Friends,

With all the talk on locomotive sales now and in the future, what is your opinion concerning locomotive production continuing in DC as opposed to DCC?

Is DCC going to be the ONLY available situation?

Regards, Peter.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: scotsoft on October 17, 2013, 06:45:14 PM
It would probably mean that the locos will be available in DCC ready or with the chip fitted and DCC ready will run on DC just ticketyboo  ;)

cheers John.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: port perran on October 17, 2013, 06:48:58 PM
I agree with Scotsoft. I think that will continue for a few years yet!
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: dodger on October 17, 2013, 07:28:55 PM
A locomotive that will not run on DC will be of no interest to me!

Dodger
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Newportnobby on October 17, 2013, 07:56:39 PM
Could be a pointless debate as the way the energy companies are going we won't able to afford to run either :veryangry:
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 17, 2013, 08:03:16 PM
We've gone through

"DCwhat ?"
"DCC hostile"
"DCC wiring points"
"DCC socket"
"DCC pre-fitted option"

but going further rather requires that the supplier can ship a built in decoder everyone wants, which can be trickier, and when it comes to sound gets hard.

I am sure we will eventually reach the point where DCC pre-fitted is the most common choice and then DCC blanking plate becomes the "special order" version. beyond that I'm really not sure.

Alan

Nobby - there's always clockwork or solar powered layouts.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Lawrence on October 17, 2013, 08:30:58 PM
Nobby - there's always clockwork or solar powered layouts.

So that's everyone in Scotland & Wales screwed then  :confused1:
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Mr Sprue on October 17, 2013, 08:47:32 PM
Isn't there already a chip that when fitted will either run on DC or DCC? The Peco Collett I have does!
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 17, 2013, 09:47:20 PM
Isn't there already a chip that when fitted will either run on DC or DCC? The Peco Collett I have does!

All chips are supposed to but the cheap Bachmann one seems not to support it.

It works with clean DC but not with some of the funky pulse controllers.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Mr Sprue on October 17, 2013, 10:03:08 PM
Isn't there already a chip that when fitted will either run on DC or DCC? The Peco Collett I have does!

All chips are supposed to but the cheap Bachmann one seems not to support it.

It works with clean DC but not with some of the funky pulse controllers.

I'm still using Farish Powerbox 0199 controllers with my DC stuff and never get any issues with them, but then again they were made for N Gauge.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Newportnobby on October 17, 2013, 10:40:33 PM
Isn't there already a chip that when fitted will either run on DC or DCC? The Peco Collett I have does!

The Peco Collett has a Lenz chip that 'recognises' DC and DCC.
If, at some point in the future, there is a mass switch to DCC (and I don't believe it will happen), I just hope all manufacturers follow Peco's example.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: GeeBee on October 18, 2013, 12:09:40 AM
For alternate energy sources many years ago National Semiconductor were experimenting with nuclear powered Ic's they called them fission chips, it made an article in the New Scientist magazine dated 01/04/1983 I worked at TMC at the time we were all quite impressed.


I am going to keep under cover now
Graham   :sorrysign:  :sorrysign: :bounce:  :-[
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Bealman on October 18, 2013, 04:13:03 AM
Strikes me as being a bit unfair on the DCers who are inevitably going to have to pay more for a loco which contains something they don't need... the Peco Collet being a case in point... it is expensive.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Sprintex on October 18, 2013, 04:45:07 AM
For alternate energy sources many years ago National Semiconductor were experimenting with nuclear powered Ic's they called them fission chips, it made an article in the New Scientist magazine dated 01/04/1983 I worked at TMC at the time we were all quite impressed.


I am going to keep under cover now
Graham   :sorrysign:  :sorrysign: :bounce:  :-[

Nice try, but no-one took the bait ;)


Paul
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Bealman on October 18, 2013, 04:54:32 AM
I had a grin but thought it better not to encourage him. :D

Actually not bad, Graham!   :thumbsup:
George
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: silly moo on October 18, 2013, 06:10:22 AM
I wonder how many of us on this forum run DC and how many run DCC? It would be interesting to find out. At the moment I have both, DC to run at home and DCC to run on the club layout.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Sprintex on October 18, 2013, 07:34:45 AM
DCC only here ;)

Good idea whoever added the poll :thumbsup: Accordingly I've modified the thread title to see if we can attract a little more interest to the debate and the voting :)


Paul
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: GeeBee on October 18, 2013, 08:07:19 AM
DCC for me  :laugh3:  :help:  :beers:
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Chatty on October 18, 2013, 08:44:50 AM
Any debate about DC v DCC usually winds up with hand controllers at 20 paces.

I have been involved with DCC since the mid 90's and have never looked back.  It has simply got better over that time.  It is its versatility that I enjoy.

Not sure whether loco's will come DCC installed as standard although a manufacturer told me a while ago it was getting to the point where it was just as economical to install a  DCC board as a DC board in a loco.

Most decoders, although I think one brand doesn't, will run DC and DCC.  If you are running DCC you can turn the DC function off.

Kind regards

Geoff
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: davecttr on October 18, 2013, 08:45:47 AM
I voted for DC because that is what i run, However!

I was considering converting to DCC but have dropped that idea and will experiment with battery powered radio control instead. I will still have individual control of the trains and smooth starting/stopping/slow speed running but dont need to convert all my locos. In fact if i was just starting to build the layout I would seriously consider having it entirely deadrail - no power to the tracks and no wiring.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: oscar on October 18, 2013, 09:18:27 AM
DC, simply because I cannot afford to fit chips to 40-odd locos, especially as most are Poole Farish!

The pension won't stretch that far... :'(
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Mr Sprue on October 18, 2013, 09:30:15 AM
For alternate energy sources many years ago National Semiconductor were experimenting with nuclear powered Ic's they called them fission chips, it made an article in the New Scientist magazine dated 01/04/1983 I worked at TMC at the time we were all quite impressed.


I am going to keep under cover now
Graham   :sorrysign:  :sorrysign: :bounce:  :-[

Nice try, but no-one took the bait ;)


Paul

I think that would be pretty cool watching a glowing loco in the dark running round a layout, no need for lighting!

There again don't the Japanese now have nuclear aided chips in their model loco's?  8)

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Crackerbill on October 18, 2013, 10:53:28 AM
I vote for DCC simply because I run DCC.  I do believe I enjoy the whole concept better than I did with pure DC, however I would not attempt to influence anyone to change.  It must be a personal choice.
 
My great worry for the future of our hobby is the spiralling costs!!!  Also where are the younger modellers??  For example look at he average age of the members of this Forum!!

Oops get off your soap box Bill
Sorry, got carried away there
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Sprintex on October 18, 2013, 11:57:22 AM
Any debate about DC v DCC usually winds up with hand controllers at 20 paces.

I don't see why it should, we're not debating which is "better", the point of the thread as started by Peter is to gauge people's opinions on whether they think we are moving towards a digital-by-default scenario with regards to new locos ;)

The poll was added to get a feel for how many people are running DC, DCC, or both :thumbsup:


Paul
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Newportnobby on October 18, 2013, 12:24:08 PM

My great worry for the future of our hobby is the spiralling costs!!!  Also where are the younger modellers??  For example look at the average age of the members of this Forum!!


Yeah - us youngsters certainly feel outnumbered :angel: :whistle:
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Agrippa on October 18, 2013, 12:27:50 PM
Being a bit of a numpty regarding DCC, why the extra cost when far east factories must be able to churn out chips
by the billion. With most  other consumer electronics you get more and more features for little extra cost now,
eg smart TVs , 99 tablets etc.


Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Papyrus on October 18, 2013, 12:30:18 PM
I'm with Oscar on this one. I'm just coming back into N gauge after an enforced break of 20 years and the new layout is in the advanced planning stage. (I have obtained the necessary permissions from the domestic authorities.) I will need a new controller too, so I seriously considered going DCC until I started doing some financial calculations. The cost of a chip for each loco would be prohibitive (even assuming I can fit one to each - some of my smaller tank locos don't appear to have enough room, but that's another story). Add in the fact that a good DCC controller costs 3-4 times as much as a DC one and it's a no-brainer. The domestic accounts commission would throw a wobbly... I don't mention the fact that a new 3000 flute came into the house last year - I'm saving that for when I really want something!

Chris
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: tim-pelican on October 18, 2013, 12:56:11 PM
Only coming in to the hobby a couple of years ago, DCC from the very start was an absolute no-brainer.  I do completely understand why people with an existing collection of locos have to look hard at the cost, though.
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 18, 2013, 01:10:18 PM
Strikes me as being a bit unfair on the DCers who are inevitably going to have to pay more for a loco which contains something they don't need... the Peco Collet being a case in point... it is expensive.

It was Peco it would have been anyway. The cost of decoders is actually quite low in bulk for pre-fitting. Much of the cost of a shop bought decoder is
- instruction sheet
- little box
- shipping
- dealer markup
- return handling
- number returned due to mis-installations

Alan
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Dr Al on October 18, 2013, 01:14:03 PM
Isn't there already a chip that when fitted will either run on DC or DCC? The Peco Collett I have does!

All chips are supposed to but the cheap Bachmann one seems not to support it.

It works with clean DC but not with some of the funky pulse controllers.

I've seen running DCC chipped locos on DC that performance is never generally as good.

May be due to using Gaugemaster DC controller which is PWM I believe. Wouldn't have classified these as particularly odd or funky controllers though!

Either way, DC or DCC are not going to die out any time soon IMHO so not sure there's really much of a debate to be had. Even if loco came DCC chipped only, with no DC, it's relatively simple to remove and wire the motor directly to the pickups to make DC friendly.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 18, 2013, 01:19:54 PM
to using Gaugemaster DC controller which is PWM I believe. Wouldn't have classified these as particularly odd or funky controllers though!

PWM looks like a DCC signal, you need smooth DC for the DC mode to work.

On most decoders I've used the running properties don't really change much except that the starting voltage is higher. That can actually be rather useful on DC with some Dapol and UM locos when using poorer control units.

If DCC onboard becomes the norm as its just as cheap as making a DC PCB I suspect we'd see a DC/DCC switch on the loco bottom for a while or similar.

(and why the **** the manufacturers don't put the decoder socket in the fuel tank so you don't have to dismantle complicated delicate models is beyond me  :veryangry: :veryangry:)

Alan
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: Dr Al on October 18, 2013, 01:26:05 PM
(and why the **** the manufacturers don't put the decoder socket in the fuel tank so you don't have to dismantle complicated delicate models is beyond me  :veryangry: :veryangry:)

Would work for most of the Farish models, but the larger Dapol motor often nestles down in the fuel tanks taking up that space.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Your opinion?
Post by: dodger on October 18, 2013, 01:57:46 PM

Either way, DC or DCC are not going to die out any time soon IMHO so not sure there's really much of a debate to be had. Even if loco came DCC chipped only, with no DC, it's relatively simple to remove and wire the motor directly to the pickups to make DC friendly.

Cheers,
Alan

Thought about that on a Farish DMU chassis I am using for another project, but unless modifying the PCB it will need interference suspression fitted.

Personally I am always going to remain with DC as my layout is a computor and micro-processor free zone.

Dodger
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Zunnan on October 18, 2013, 05:07:40 PM
I find the decoders that come pre-fitted in models are greatly lacking. DCC ready for me, at least then I can choose a decent quality decoder and not have to pay for the cheapest common denominator pre fitted, priced at a premium and be lumped with a decoder that I don't want. I don't think DCC is worth it for smaller layouts though, DC has been and always will be my preference for them, certainly not for single locomotive per train applications, DC has been and always will be my preference for them. US based layouts with multiple loco lashups and mid train helpers however, DCC is a necessity.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: BigT on October 18, 2013, 06:49:04 PM
I use DCC on my N gauge layout and currently DC on my 2mm FS, but intend conerting this to DCC shortly.

To me, the benefits of DCC far outway the costs. Hearing as well as seeing a war dept loco creap around my layout with a long rake of wagons is fantastic.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: MikeDunn on October 18, 2013, 07:21:16 PM
Sorry - but this poll seems rather pointless ?

DC is the way of the past; DCC is the way of the future (until the next big thing comes along).

Some people don't like to be told this, but it's true.  At some point, the mfrs will stop selling DC-only engines; they will all either have a chip pre-installed or be DCC-Ready.

So what does this poll really tell us, apart from the fact that some people prefer one over the other  ???  Nothing as far as I can see.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Chetcombe on October 18, 2013, 07:56:49 PM
Sorry - but this poll seems rather pointless ?

DC is the way of the past; DCC is the way of the future (until the next big thing comes along).

Some people don't like to be told this, but it's true.  At some point, the mfrs will stop selling DC-only engines; they will all either have a chip pre-installed or be DCC-Ready.

So what does this poll really tell us, apart from the fact that some people prefer one over the other  ???  Nothing as far as I can see.

I think it is a little unfair to call the poll pointless :confused2:

I for one, am very interested to see what proportion of forum readers are using DCC vs DC. I'm pretty sure the likes of Graham Farish and Dapol would too as they plan future releases. After all DCC has been with us for quite a few years now, but it has not yet been universally adopted - when I 'voted’ this morning it was showing about 50/50 split between the two. The average life of a model railway layout is measured in years, maybe even decades in some cases and clearly the rewiring and cost of chipping a collection of locos is too much for many of us.

Having said that, I would imagine that the pace of DCC adoption has increased with the availability of locos with 6 pin decoder sockets. But this is a relatively new trend. As for DCC fitted, if you ignore the Peco experiment, Dapol have only recently started releasing locos with this option.

So IMHO it will be a long while before we see the end of DC. I do agree with you that pretty much all future models will come ready to simply fit a DCC chip plus the option to order with a chip fitted - I prefer the former because I want the freedom to fit the chip of my choice. There is a way to go before we get to that situation though as the manufacturers still have a long way to go to get round to update a lot of their current range.

Aside from that, polls are fun :bounce:

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: MikeDunn on October 18, 2013, 08:26:45 PM
OK, you've bitten  :D

What does this poll tell us apart from x% use DC, Y% use DCC and z% use both ?  It doesn't ask us anything bar what we use ... and that is pretty meaningless to anyone except ourselves.

Fred uses DC; big deal, I don't know Fred and he doesn't know me.  Why should I care if he says DCC is evil & should be eradicated ?  (Apologies to any Fred reading this :smiley-laughing:)

Vendors are increasingly moving away from multiple circuitry for the same model to a single (non-cosmetic) version; making it DCC-Ready & installing a plug allows the DC fraternity to use exactly the same loco as the DCC fraternity.  Pretty soon, DC-only will be extinct (apart from hold-outs like UM).  Why should any main vendor care about how many are using one vs another, when they can cater for both without impacting their bottom line by having to make two versions ? 

Will we ever go DCC-only ?  Maybe; but I suspect not as vendor chips are usually not much cop (just look at the garbage Hornby make in this arena), and DCC people have their own preferences on what chips to use.

The average life of a model railway layout is measured in years, maybe even decades in some cases and clearly the rewiring and cost of chipping a collection of locos is too much for many of us.
And ... ?  A DCC-Ready loco with a blanking plate runs just as well (more so perhaps ?) than a DC-Only loco ...  DC die-hards will be served as much as DCC fans when this day dawns ...

I just fail to see the point of this poll and the discussions ...  Nothing new is being revealed; no secrets are creeping out ...  This discussion happens several times a year, if not more, to no avail.  Those who dislike DCC still dislike it regardless of what others say.  Those that like DCC still like it.  We just get people arguing at each other and refusing to listen to the opposition ... just like politicians.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Chetcombe on October 18, 2013, 08:42:10 PM
I repeat. Polls are fun :D

If you don't find them fun, then you don't have to participate

 :D baring teeth, to show that I don't "bite"
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Geoff on October 18, 2013, 08:43:38 PM
Well this has opened up a can of worms, and as others have stated it does not matter what you run with as long as you are happy and getting enjoyment from your model railway, I have chosen DC and DCC because I need DC to run my loco's in, no one has the real answer that DCC is the way to go because in my opinion I do not think there is a DCC system that is perfect, there is always a snag or something more you want out of DCC and certain controllers do not give you that. At least with DC you know what you are getting, it is straight forward and sometimes I wished I had gone down this route and kept things simple.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Roy L S on October 18, 2013, 08:56:42 PM
Sorry - but this poll seems rather pointless ?

DC is the way of the past; DCC is the way of the future (until the next big thing comes along).

Some people don't like to be told this, but it's true.  At some point, the mfrs will stop selling DC-only engines; they will all either have a chip pre-installed or be DCC-Ready.

So what does this poll really tell us, apart from the fact that some people prefer one over the other  ???  Nothing as far as I can see.

DCC has been around a fair number of years, and even still this poll shows at this point that well over half of people responding are DC only or use both.

There are many, myself included who prefer DC for a variety of reasons, but recognise the benefits DCC can give.

I think we will still have both in equal measure for the foreseeable future. After all, most DCC users will prefer a socket to a hard wired chip so that they can use their decoder of choice and so a DCC ready model with a blanking plug for DC users fits both bills admirably no problem!

Roy
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: stevieboy on October 18, 2013, 09:49:13 PM
As a relative newcomer to the hobby (childhood interest was governed by dad/santa) I have gone straight to DCC as it just seems easier. I'm sure I could learn and understand the principles of more complexed DC operation like isolation etc but to me DCC skirts around this need. As this is my secondary hobby I just want things to be simple.

However, with regards to DCC fitted I just do not see the point. Unless the decoders are CT I would remove and ebay the offending decoder, which is hassle I don't think anyone would want.

As it stands I think the 6 Pin DCC ready situation we find ourselves in is the perfect scenario. A few screws to fit a decoder is acceptable in my opinion. Most loco's don't even need this and the newer Farish steamers are following the Diesel route of having clip on/off tender bodies.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Agrafarfan on October 18, 2013, 09:59:55 PM
I find this a interesting topic. I imagined there would be a topic about this soon and thought to myself I will have a lot of opinions on this subject but when I got to write this post my mind went blank.  :confused1:

Anyway I decided to stay DC. I was going to go digital back in July but read so much about problems, cost and watnot I got put off also did you know you can have sound fitted on a DC loco I read about it in the railway modeller mag in the readers section also you can double head some locos in DC too. But cab control is complicated though or I find it complicated.

Plus do you remember the first digital cameras the quality in them was awful I think the very first photograph had better quality picture than the first digital camera.

But as somebody said it is what your happy with that's the main thing. I still might go DCC but maybe not till next year due to funds.  :(

I did have more logical comments but can't remember them they'll come back to me.

Interesting thread I think I read all through the post.
Ian

 :NGaugersRule:

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: 4x2 on October 18, 2013, 10:37:12 PM
I like DCC, it works well and the sound fitted stuff is brilliant - but, I can't justify spending the money on it, so i'll stick with my trusty gaugemasters. My Gaugemaster controllers owe me about 60 in total, much cheaper than even the most basic DCC set up. In this case I can't afford DCC so I don't buy it !

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: KJH on October 18, 2013, 11:34:52 PM
DCC is now fairly old. I see the future in the larger scales being on board battery power controlled by Bluetooth or WiFi technology. Modern motors and batteries will allow several hours running between charges now. No power on the rails at all. Where this will leave N gauge and for that matter DCC in the future I just don't know.
Ken
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: johnlambert on October 19, 2013, 12:01:32 AM
Not sure how to answer.  Currently I use DC, which suits me as it is nice and familiar.  But I can plug in a DCC controller if I want to and my next layout will be DCC.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Pete Mc on October 19, 2013, 03:41:18 AM
I have been using dcc exclusively for around 18 months now and found it fairly easy to get used to.The reason I moved to dcc,or reasons were as follows,I couldn't be bothered with having to wire isolating sections in all over the layout as it was back then and as it had loads of track squashed into the space I had,even the wiring for dcc was looking like my worst nightmare.

The track was lifted,boards were reduced in size and then restarted with less track,a larger TMD/stabling area planned and once tracklaying is finished,the wiring will be much more simplified.The other reason for my conversion to dcc is so I can fit out my stock with sound decoders.I have currently got 5 loco's,2 dmu's and a Dapol hst with sound decoders fitted in them.My favourite is my hst with sound in both powercar and dummy powercar.They are without doubt,fantastic.I have many more loco's,dmu's and another 2 hst's to do so I am going to be a bit busy alround,what with the layout build and the conversions.I know that converting them is expensive and I agree with what people are saying in this thread about the pro's and con's,but dcc sound is quite addictive.I currently have my Farish,old model,non dcc ready Deltic to fit a Loksound v4micro wuth Legomanbiffo's sounds on.Once I have cleared this I can then decide which is next on the list.I need to do my class 58 because I have chap waiting for me to see how viable a job this is so he can send me his to be done.

I have to say though,that in our gauge,most of the exhibition circuit n gauge layouts still run dc with more home based layouts being designed with dcc in mind right from the beginning so the move towards dcc is gathering momentum.

As I do conversions to both Dapol and Farish stock,I find that the way that both manufacturers produce their chassis',although similar looking,are very different,ie Farish have pcb's that fit along almost the whole top of the chassis whereas Dapol have small,decoder sized pcb's.Standardisation from manufacturers,ie the pcb's in Farish and Dapol models may actually motivate decoder makers into perhaps making a standard drop in pcb/decoder a more attractive proposition longterm but I think it'll be a while before we see this happening to uk outline stock.I know that American outline has pcb's with sound decoders built in but for now we'll just have to convert our own models or send them away to be done professionally.

I,however,chose to do my own because they're not as hard to do as you think.

I'm glad I moved over to dcc and I can't see me moving back to dc.I do have a quickly convertible test track to run in my new models as well as test and run new installs.

Pete

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Big Dave on October 19, 2013, 01:28:36 PM
I think DCC is here to stay, but I think it is going to take a long time before it becomes the favoured option, especially when you look at the latest prices of DCC friendly releases from the major UK outline manufacturers. How can they call something DCC friendly when the price is decidedly unfriendly !!!

I can see a boost in secondhand sales coming as modellers react to being asked to pay well over 100 for locos !!!
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Jerry Howlett on October 19, 2013, 01:38:53 PM
As a comitted (well Im certified) DC user I would go down the DCC road if A: I was starting or B: I win the lottery.

Jerry
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 19, 2013, 03:57:41 PM
I'm a DC user waiting for whatever current technology based standard replaces the partial standard of DCC.

I'll be more convinced when something happens like MIDI did on synthesisers where all the manufacturers got together to agree on a communications standard and 30 years on, it's still a standard built into every synthesiser.

DCC is only included as standard in a very few locos and only as a standard 'option' (i.e. ready for DCC) in about 50%. It's got a whole variety of different standards as far as controllers and chips and is very expensive and technical relatively speaking.

Not sure when it'll happen, but at some point, somebody is going to take a look and see that it's commercially viable to do something better with current technology, probably wireless, possibly using either bluetooth or wifi standards so that the user doesn't need to buy controllers and can simply use their phone, tablet or computer.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Agrafarfan on October 19, 2013, 04:13:46 PM
This is what worries me if I buy a dcc controller it might end up being obsolete buy some new technology. Technology gets upgraded so fast these days it's hard to keep up.

DC controllers have lasted for years so If I buy a dcc controller would it long laster than a dc controller also maybe so many years in the future if you buy a loco would you be able to use it on my would be old dcc controller or would the insides of a new loco render it obsolete if you know what I mean.  :worried:

Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Caz on October 19, 2013, 04:23:01 PM
It is one of the reasons I went with Digitrax as all its hardware is updateable as are most of the modules,  just download the latest file from their website and run it using a computer and an interface, job done, or you can send it back to the distributor to do it for you.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: port perran on October 19, 2013, 06:58:32 PM
This is an interesting poll and looks to be 50/50.
Personally, I'm committed to DC as I'm completely unsure what I could do any better with DCC on my branchline layout. I can run two trains at once with no problem at the moment so I'm happy.
As for wiring etc I go for absolute simplicity - 2 controllers and 2 inputs of wire to the tracks. What could be easier ?
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: KJH on October 19, 2013, 08:35:50 PM
I went back to "OO" scale for a number of years and converted over to DCC at the same time. I'm not convinced DCC is that much easier to wire as many of the DC rules still apply to DCC. Y junctions, reversing loops, passing loops etc. I had to modify the Peco points (a recommended mod) as a couple of steam locos would consistently shut down the system when travelling through the curved side of the points.

Every dead end track required insulated rail joiners and separate feed to the track to keep sound alive when the point was thrown against the siding. The same for passing loops.  I could only have a limited number of locos on the layout at any time because of the standing  current requirements of the sound chips. Forgetting to change a set of points causes the whole system to shut down and you have to wait while it reboots. (NCE Powercab)

Back with "N" I am using a simple DC controller and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Just one knob and one switch on the controller but no sound. I'm looking at the option of using a "My Loco Sound" unit mounted under the layout with the ability to switch between a speaker and headphones. Maybe even a wireless set for "surround" sound.

Ken (one who is using both)
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 19, 2013, 08:54:59 PM
One other addition to my comment. I suspect that the next big change for OO and N gauge will occur as other components improve and change. Smaller, more powerful motors and more powerful rechargeable batteries mean it's already practical to build an N gauge Loco without needing track power. Combine this with current levels of miniaturisation in Bluetooth or Wifi transceivers and we're nearly at the point where it may be more commercially viable to make a self powered locomotive with iPhone control than a DCC one.

Apart from the huge advantage of the track not needing to be wired (other than a siding that the loco can recharge from, making coaling stages/refuelling depots more realistic ;) ) the locomotive chassis design can be simpler as you don't need to isolate it as much or design in complicated pickup systems to try and maximise pickup from all the wheels.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: Big Dave on October 20, 2013, 12:47:02 PM
The best system is one that is available to you now and which has sufficient support available, and suits your pocket. Waiting for future innovations can rob you of enjoying the here and now, and none of us know what the future will be.

 :NGaugersRule:
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 20, 2013, 02:55:41 PM
The best system is one that is available to you now and which has sufficient support available, and suits your pocket. Waiting for future innovations can rob you of enjoying the here and now, and none of us know what the future will be.

 :NGaugersRule:

That's why I'm happy with DC for the moment. It does the job and the technical challenges of the wiring are part of the fun.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: red_death on October 21, 2013, 11:09:03 AM
Not sure when it'll happen, but at some point, somebody is going to take a look and see that it's commercially viable to do something better with current technology, probably wireless, possibly using either bluetooth or wifi standards so that the user doesn't need to buy controllers and can simply use their phone, tablet or computer.

That has already happened - there are multiple ways of doing this, but the simplest/cheapest (if you already have a computer and tablet or smartphone) is to buy a Sprog and use the free JMRI software + Withrottle/Enginedriver apps.

Cost of a Sprog IIv3 45.

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 21, 2013, 11:39:46 AM
Not sure when it'll happen, but at some point, somebody is going to take a look and see that it's commercially viable to do something better with current technology, probably wireless, possibly using either bluetooth or wifi standards so that the user doesn't need to buy controllers and can simply use their phone, tablet or computer.

That has already happened - there are multiple ways of doing this, but the simplest/cheapest (if you already have a computer and tablet or smartphone) is to buy a Sprog and use the free JMRI software + Withrottle/Enginedriver apps.

Cost of a Sprog IIv3 45.

Cheers, Mike

Yes, that's still DCC though so still requires 1980s technology in the engines and the various competing standards of DCC to maintain. I'm thinking more along the lines of a new standard that uses current technology to put BT/Wifi transceivers in the engines rather than control via the power source. That way you only use the track for power and don't need special controllers or adaptors.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: red_death on October 21, 2013, 11:54:36 AM
Yes, that's still DCC though so still requires 1980s technology in the engines and the various competing standards of DCC to maintain. I'm thinking more along the lines of a new standard that uses current technology to put BT/Wifi transceivers in the engines rather than control via the power source. That way you only use the track for power and don't need special controllers or adaptors.

I'm not sure what you mean about competing standards of DCC - there aren't any when it comes to control, though there are when it comes accessories/feedback etc.

Personally I think there is sufficient critical mass in DCC that we aren't going to see a change to something different in the foreseeable future (by which point BT/Wifi will also be old tech!).

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 21, 2013, 11:56:25 AM
Yes, that's still DCC though so still requires 1980s technology in the engines and the

Actually the bits in the locos are very modern technology. You couldn't do it with 80's technology

Quote
various competing standards of DCC to maintain.

DCC is a single set of back compatible standards. You can take an early DCC decoder and use it today (although it would probably be several times too big for an N scale loco). There are multiple vendors who can't agree about their own extra add on controller busses but that is true of DC as well where there are 3 competing standards for point motors even.

Quote
I'm thinking more along the lines of a new standard that uses current technology to put BT/Wifi transceivers in the engines rather than control via the power source. That way you only use the track for power and don't need special controllers or adaptors.

Wifi (looking over all the various usual 802.11 standards and different incompatible stuff) is very hard to do well and cheaply in a very small space. Bluetooth has some rather tricky protocol limitations. Neither work well with a large number of active nodes or are particularly good at guaranteed delivery within a short time (ie sending 'stop' before the buffers)

Radio is easy in O gauge and a lot of O particularly outdoors seems to favour battery and radio control.

For the loco they are both the wrong technology. Radio may well eventually be a very useful model technology but I don't think you'd want current wifi technology. Zigbee or similar lower power 'internet of things' stuff perhaps. Zigbee was pretty much designed for this sort of usage - lots of small low power devices, relatively low communication rates, and extreme power efficiency. Zigbee itself has stupid licensing problems but there is a project to simply fix that by throwing out all the higher levels of the Zigbee technology and using internet stuff on their hardware.

Alan
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 21, 2013, 02:05:56 PM
Yes, that's still DCC though so still requires 1980s technology in the engines and the various competing standards of DCC to maintain. I'm thinking more along the lines of a new standard that uses current technology to put BT/Wifi transceivers in the engines rather than control via the power source. That way you only use the track for power and don't need special controllers or adaptors.

I'm not sure what you mean about competing standards of DCC - there aren't any when it comes to control, though there are when it comes accessories/feedback etc.

Personally I think there is sufficient critical mass in DCC that we aren't going to see a change to something different in the foreseeable future (by which point BT/Wifi will also be old tech!).

Cheers, Mike

Some chips seem to work better with some controllers etc. Not all chips work in all engines. No actual single standard that all the manufacturers have signed up to, just a general idea.

Bluetooth and WiFi are both evolving standards so will be around in some (still compatible) form for years to come whereas DCC still isn't default for all new locos, in some case it's still not even available as a "made for DCC" option.

It'll take a pretty radical manufacturer to come up with something new and push for a proper standard, but I don't see the model railway industry evolving much until something like this happens.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: red_death on October 21, 2013, 02:18:54 PM
Some chips seem to work better with some controllers etc. Not all chips work in all engines. No actual single standard that all the manufacturers have signed up to, just a general idea.

Some of that is just incorrect - all chips work in all locos subject to space. What differs is how well a particular decoder controls that loco (generally the more expensive decoders provide better out of the box control), but that is also true of some DC controllers.

I'm not aware that there are issues with controllers and decoders - the NMRA standards are designed precisely to avoid that!

Bluetooth and WiFi are both evolving standards so will be around in some (still compatible) form for years to come whereas DCC still isn't default for all new locos, in some case it's still not even available as a "made for DCC" option.

That is hardly the fault of the NMRA DCC standards, that is a failure of manufacturers to design in some form of DCC ready provision.  Changing from DCC to BT/Wifi isn't going to change that!  BT/Wifi are only a communication method, not the whole solution.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: zwilnik on October 21, 2013, 02:52:48 PM
Yup. I'm just saying that having a non-standard (in terms of major communications standards) system that transmits data through the track wiring to the engine and then ends up using another wireless coms system (some of which I've seen actually clash with the WiFi frequencies, which is very poor) is a bit of a primitive system to use when you could just design a standard of controller chips that have a proper communications standard (Bluetooth is good enough for the distances involved, but Wifi would be better for expandability, communications speed and general power).

With the chip on receiving power from the track (or alternatively the whole loco running off a rechargeable battery) and controlled directly via WiFi, you've got a much easier system to setup and control and potentially a much cheaper and compact one as BT/WiFi components are standardised and getting tinier and cheaper by the day.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: EtchedPixels on October 21, 2013, 05:41:10 PM
DCC is not a "non-standard", its a set of NMRA standards as real as the standards for wheels, gauge and track

DCC was also very carefully designed. Power/signalling over the same two wire bus when the bus is arranged randomly including loops is an interesting problem space.

802.11 wifi and bluetooth don't have the needed properties for radio control of trains, in particular the real time delivery of packets to a large number of nodes. What in internet terms equates to an annoying lag moment in your 3D shoot em up in DCC terms equates to burying your new loco in the end of the bay platform.

There are reasons the O gauge folks don't use 802.11 but use other setups for the most part.


Controller to handset can go 802.11 wireless fairly easily (some issues around timing on a busy network) but loco control is a very different problem especially on a big layout.
 
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: davecttr on October 21, 2013, 06:58:46 PM
Yup. I'm just saying that having a non-standard (in terms of major communications standards) system that transmits data through the track wiring to the engine and then ends up using another wireless coms system (some of which I've seen actually clash with the WiFi frequencies, which is very poor) is a bit of a primitive system to use when you could just design a standard of controller chips that have a proper communications standard (Bluetooth is good enough for the distances involved, but Wifi would be better for expandability, communications speed and general power).

With the chip on receiving power from the track (or alternatively the whole loco running off a rechargeable battery) and controlled directly via WiFi, you've got a much easier system to setup and control and potentially a much cheaper and compact one as BT/WiFi components are standardised and getting tinier and cheaper by the day.

Radio control for model trains has been around for a number of years but the last year has brought interesting developments. Basically the technology uses the 2.4 GHz band used by model planes, cars and ships.

for example i am just starting experiments with radio control and battery power for my N stuff. The 12 train controller costs 58 and the receiver chips, there are several varients, cost up to 32.  Add the batteries, if you can fit them in for N and you can run your trains on 'deadrail' with no track power, or on DC or DCC layouts with no modification. Just remembered, you can draw DC power from the track if you wish.

I would equate the radio technology with DCC in its early years. The basic stuff can be done including lights and apparently even sound. There is PWM for the motors to give good slow running. The controller I have ordered also includes 'inertia' for smooth acceleration and braking.
Title: Re: Your opinion? - DC or DCC (poll)
Post by: MikeDunn on October 21, 2013, 07:18:21 PM
The best system is one that is available to you now and which has sufficient support available, and suits your pocket. Waiting for future innovations can rob you of enjoying the here and now, and none of us know what the future will be.
Hear, hear.
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