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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 50984 times)

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Offline Only Me

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #210 on: December 12, 2019, 10:53:13 AM »
I use a digitrax throttle into the loconet port, works like a dream

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #211 on: December 12, 2019, 01:32:06 PM »
Is that a multiMaus and if so did you go for a wired one or the wireless flavor? If it's wired does it connect to the Loconet or XPressnet port?
I got the WLANMAUS wireless version in a bundle with the DR5000. I had a quick look at the manual for the wired multiMaus (I could only find the German edition online, weird) and it says it's compatible with XPressnet, I'm assuming with an RJ12 connection.

One thing though that struck me as odd - the throttle takes 3 AAA batteries and there's no charging port. It seems a little old-school nowadays, I'd have expected at least a USB charge capability.

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #212 on: December 12, 2019, 02:52:18 PM »
I got the WLANMAUS wireless version .....

One thing though that struck me as odd - the throttle takes 3 AAA batteries and there's no charging port. It seems a little old-school nowadays, I'd have expected at least a USB charge capability.

Or, you could see it as instant charge when the throttle runs flat.  Use rechargeable AA's, have two sets and a charger, and when the batteries go flat, swap over and carry on running.  Much better than a 2 hour wait for a USB charger to do its business !   

Its also not stuck with maker-specific and thus either expensive, or unobtainable, replacements when the batteries start to age. 


- Nigel

Offline Chfngauge

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #213 on: March 01, 2020, 11:46:08 AM »
DR5000 question, once it is set up does the pc have to stay connected. I do not have a Windows pcso would need to borrow for the setup and then give it back!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 12:04:57 PM by Chfngauge »

Offline Only Me

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #214 on: March 01, 2020, 01:58:48 PM »
Yes once setup you don’t need a pc for it to be used I plug in a digitrax handset to the dr5000 or use withrottle on my iphone

Offline Chfngauge

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #215 on: March 01, 2020, 02:22:53 PM »
Thanks, that makes life easier, wouldn't be popular if I kept nicking my wife's laptop.

Offline GPHolmes

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #216 on: May 28, 2020, 08:35:54 AM »
Greetings All
Well after a lot of procrastinating and reading forums like this, I have just purchased a Sprog 3, I would of preferred the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 but whenever I look it is not available, on back order so I have gone for the Sprog, the main reason I would of preferred the Digitrax is the fact I have already got the old Super Empire kit, and as the Zephyr just plugs straight into the LocoNet I though it would be more compatible, still reading the Sprog/JMRI pages I should have nothing to worry about, Murphy hovering over left shoulder! Now all I have to do is awaiting the post and think which computer I should put the software on, still back to work.
Have fun and keep playing the game.
Gordon

Offline Boresight

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #217 on: June 09, 2020, 04:17:23 PM »
 Good afternoon,  I am starting out in DCC, I was given a GF Countryside Coal starter set for my birthday a few months ago, and have been using  the ubiquitous E-Z Command system to learn the basics. This has done its job as a basic learning controller and I am now looking to upgrade to a better controller, unfortunately I am confined to barracks  for the foreseeable future,so even if Boris eases the lock down I will not be able to get out to try and sample the wares on offer at the local model shops,(not that there is a lot of choice) so in essence I would appreciate any advice from far more knowledgeable members as to what would be the best controller to buy. The parameters are: It doesn't break the bank, run 4/7 loco's and  at a later date be able to operate points and signals.  I am, by the way, a Total Numpty where electronic's and computers are concerned,so it has to be idiot proof. Any recommendations and advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance. Pete   

Offline jpendle

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #218 on: June 09, 2020, 04:32:01 PM »
Unfortunately there's no such thing as the 'best' DCC controller, there's just the one that best suits you.

You've already sampled a very limited model, the E-Z Command.

You need to decide on a few parameters first, would you use a touchscreen or would you prefer knobs and buttons, to operate points and signals will there be more than 10 or so, that will determine whether you pick a system that relies on you remembering every accessory address or one that can show a mimic diagram.
Do you want to have to remember loco addresses or select them from an image on a screen.
Will you be doing DCC sound, and therefore will you need flexibility when it comes to how Function Keys work, etc, etc.

For example the Gaugemaster (MRC) Prodigy Advance has all its function keys latching, i.e, they are either on or off, which is good for lights, but not for some sounds, excpet for F2 which is non latching, this is designed for the loco horn and the horn sounds for as long as you keep F2 pressed. The NCE PowerCab is similar.

The Roco Z21 allows you to make any function key latching or none latching, or timed.

On the Prodigy and the PowerCab you need to know point addresses or buy additional hardware to control points, on the Z21 you just create a mimic diagram on a tablet or phone and operate points by clicking on them.

The list goes on.

My personal bias is to the Z21 , I like operating with graphics rather than entering stuff through a numeric keypad, and I use my iPhone & iPad as controllers. You can also add a Roco Multimaus handheld controller which has a more traditional feel with knobs and buttons, but the Z21 is one of the more expensive systems, it does have a smaller cousin, the z21 which can be a better choice for some users.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #219 on: June 09, 2020, 04:51:31 PM »
Wot John said.  I know it's difficult as we're locked down, but you really need to go and play with some different systems at a show or a specialist DCC shop.  Don't rush into things and end up regretting your choice.

I'm definitely in the "knobs and buttons" camp, I like my NCE throttles and hate the systems which use phones/tablet for control.  The NCE PowerCab is a proven and popular starter kit and can be used later as part of more powerful NCE DCC systems so isn't wasted.

Also remember you don't *have* to operate the points via DCC, you can keep to good old traditional control panel levers, push buttons, stud-and-probe etc. if you want.     However, it is possible to interface control panel push buttons into a DCC system, depending on which system control bus you have. (NCE MiniPanel or Cobalt Alpha Encoder Unit interfaces for example). The one thing you probably will get tired of is trying to throw many different points using the buttons on the controller/throttle itself, or swiping on a phone to find the point to change.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Ditape

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #220 on: June 09, 2020, 05:19:55 PM »
 If you are into Knobs and buttons and on a budget the much maligned Hornby Elite https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/shop/power-control/dcc-controllers/hornby-dcc-elite-controller.html is good I have had one and used it successfully on On30,OO and n gauge with no real problems, but I have moved up to a ESU ECoS http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50210-dcc-system/what-ecos-can-do/ which definitely does not fit as a budget system at around £600 but IMHO the best there is.
Diane Tape



Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #221 on: June 09, 2020, 10:54:03 PM »
Background info. on Z21 controllers is here:

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=24531.0
This has been a public service announcement
It may contain alternative facts

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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #222 on: June 09, 2020, 10:56:55 PM »
Good afternoon,  I am starting out in DCC, I was given a GF Countryside Coal starter set for my birthday a few months ago, and have been using  the ubiquitous E-Z Command system to learn the basics. This has done its job as a basic learning controller and I am now looking to upgrade to a better controller, unfortunately I am confined to barracks  for the foreseeable future,so even if Boris eases the lock down I will not be able to get out to try and sample the wares on offer at the local model shops,(not that there is a lot of choice) so in essence I would appreciate any advice from far more knowledgeable members as to what would be the best controller to buy. The parameters are: It doesn't break the bank, run 4/7 loco's and  at a later date be able to operate points and signals.  I am, by the way, a Total Numpty where electronic's and computers are concerned,so it has to be idiot proof. Any recommendations and advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance. Pete   

merged with the current "Which Controller thread"

@Boresight
This has been a public service announcement
It may contain alternative facts

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Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #223 on: June 10, 2020, 03:37:35 AM »
Good afternoon,  I am starting out in DCC, I was given a GF Countryside Coal starter set for my birthday a few months ago, and have been using  the ubiquitous E-Z Command system to learn the basics. This has done its job as a basic learning controller and I am now looking to upgrade to a better controller, unfortunately I am confined to barracks  for the foreseeable future,so even if Boris eases the lock down I will not be able to get out to try and sample the wares on offer at the local model shops,(not that there is a lot of choice) so in essence I would appreciate any advice from far more knowledgeable members as to what would be the best controller to buy. The parameters are: It doesn't break the bank, run 4/7 loco's and  at a later date be able to operate points and signals.  I am, by the way, a Total Numpty where electronic's and computers are concerned,so it has to be idiot proof. Any recommendations and advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks in advance. Pete

Hi Pete

From what you're asking for, I agree with @jpendle and @ntpntpntp; and also that the NCE Powercab might be just what you're looking for.

So here's the deal - I've recently upgraded from my PowerCab to another system. Nothing wrong with the NCE setup, but I went from six or seven locos, 11 turnouts and four signals to a larger layout with an order of magnitude more of each. I kept the Powercab for my test track while I leaned on the wisdom of crowds on this forum to get my new config to work. Now I'm all set on my new setup, I have a completely redundant Powercab in my cupboard and I'm feeling that it needs a new home.

So, PM me your address and I'll box it up and ship it, along with the requisite cables ,manual and the box. You will need a simple UK/US plug adapter, but I've checked and it will take a 240v input. I live in California so it might be a couple of weeks before you get it. No charge to you, but I'll PM you the postage amount and why not contribute that to the forum? You'll see the "Make a Donation" button on the top right of the page.

I've had an incredible amount of help and advice from the people here, and rather than try to pimp this setup out on eBay, I'd like to send it to someone who can use it and appreciate it. All I ask is that if it doesn't suit your needs, or you outgrow it, pay it forward to someone else finding their way in the hobby.

Deal?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 04:53:45 AM by LASteve »

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #224 on: June 10, 2020, 10:28:36 AM »
I went from the E-Z controller, (also with the GF Coal Set), to the NCE Powercab and am very pleased with it. However, I do not use it for controlling anything other than locomotives, both sound and non-sound equipped. As it is difficult in general and in your own particular circumstances to physically see the range of controllers Pete, see what you can find on YouTube to give you some ideas.

Incidentally, that is a very generous offer @LASteve  :thumbsup:
David.
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