Topics

DCC recommendations


Matt Rossman
 

Hi all,

I’m finally looking at getting into DCC, it only took 10+ years to finally decide to do it.

I’m looking for recommendations and guidance on what everyone uses and some advice on selection.

I’m partial to digitrax as that what everyone seemed to have when it got popular, and I’ve found the advanced starter set they make now appealing.

https://www.digitrax.com/products/starter-sets/evox/

Ive also been looking at getting one of the new Kato sets, the CN transcontinental set, and I was wondering if the ESU Loksound DCC system also controls the engine or if it’s just the sound portion of it, and if I would have to add to it. I’m assuming that it would be compatible with any major DCC setup that I would choose.

I’ve done a little bit of reading up on some of this stuff, but articles only get you so far.

-Matt


Geoff Dunn
 

Hi Matt. A lot of us have NCE at home, and are quite happy with it. NCE is substantially easier to use, in my opinion. The club got into Digitrax for shows because it had the only practical wireless option (NCE actually didn't recommend their wireless option for multiple layout events). Digitrax does have the LNWI, if you want to use a wi-fi device to run trains (personally, I prefer a real knob over a touch-screen slider). You can make a similar device for NCE but it's a bit less clean (it involves a Raspberry Pi computer and JMRI). The club has throttles for people to use at shows, so you don't have to buy your own throttle just to run with us. Digitrax makes some things more complicated than necessary, but there's nothing wrong with their starter systems, or probably other manufacturers' systems. I have a DCS51 Zephyr which I use for testing Free-mo modules and as a show backup.

Pre-installed decoders have motor control and sometimes sound. Thanks to the NMRA standards (admittedly mostly borrowed from Lenz), the Kato set will work with any NMRA compatible DCC system, even my 20+ year old MRC Command 2000 system.

Geoff


john valachovic
 

Three letters NCESent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------From: Matt Rossman <sweakyboot@...> Date: 10/31/20 10:14 AM (GMT-05:00) To: AlbanyNTrak@groups.io Subject: [AlbanyNTrak] DCC recommendations Hi all,I’m finally looking at getting into DCC, it only took 10+ years to finally decide to do it.I’m looking for recommendations and guidance on what everyone uses and some advice on selection.I’m partial to digitrax as that what everyone seemed to have when it got popular, and I’ve found the advanced starter set they make now appealing.https://www.digitrax.com/products/starter-sets/evox/Ive also been looking at getting one of the new Kato sets, the CN transcontinental set, and I was wondering if the ESU Loksound DCC system also controls the engine or if it’s just the sound portion of it, and if I would have to add to it. I’m assuming that it would be compatible with any major DCC setup that I would choose.I’ve done a little bit of reading up on some of this stuff, but articles only get you so far.-Matt


Rod Mason
 

Hi Matt,

I first got into DCC about 7 years ago soon after joining the club. I started with a Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 and later upgraded to a Zephyr Xtra DSC551 (I moved the DSC550 from my main layout to an 18-module Ttrak layout that I keep set- up in my basement). Both command stations have LNWI's attached that allow me to run trains using a cell phone with the Engine Driver (Android) free app as a throttle. There's also an app for Apple devices called WiThrottle (WiThrottle Lite is free but only runs one train; the full version is $10 and can serve as a throttle for two trains). I haven't had any problems with either the DSC50 or DSC51, although I only use them to run trains, not other equipment (e.g. turnouts). I haven't any experience with other brands of DCC command stations, therefore, I don't have any basis for comparison. Hope this helps.

Rod Mason

-----Original Message-----
From: AlbanyNTrak@groups.io [mailto:AlbanyNTrak@groups.io] On Behalf Of Matt Rossman
Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2020 10:14 AM
To: AlbanyNTrak@groups.io
Subject: [AlbanyNTrak] DCC recommendations

Hi all,

I’m finally looking at getting into DCC, it only took 10+ years to finally decide to do it.

I’m looking for recommendations and guidance on what everyone uses and some advice on selection.

I’m partial to digitrax as that what everyone seemed to have when it got popular, and I’ve found the advanced starter set they make now appealing.

https://www.digitrax.com/products/starter-sets/evox/

Ive also been looking at getting one of the new Kato sets, the CN transcontinental set, and I was wondering if the ESU Loksound DCC system also controls the engine or if it’s just the sound portion of it, and if I would have to add to it. I’m assuming that it would be compatible with any major DCC setup that I would choose.

I’ve done a little bit of reading up on some of this stuff, but articles only get you so far.

-Matt


Michael Romanowski
 

I have been with Digitrax since it began. I find it easy to use and I find that most clubs around here use it. I just bought the new DT 600 throttle and it is amazing!


Michael Romanowski
Vice President
Upstate Model Railroaders
www.upstatemodelrailroaders.com
518-423-7519

On Oct 31, 2020, at 10:14 AM, Matt Rossman <sweakyboot@...> wrote:

Hi all,

I’m finally looking at getting into DCC, it only took 10+ years to finally decide to do it.

I’m looking for recommendations and guidance on what everyone uses and some advice on selection.

I’m partial to digitrax as that what everyone seemed to have when it got popular, and I’ve found the advanced starter set they make now appealing.

https://www.digitrax.com/products/starter-sets/evox/

Ive also been looking at getting one of the new Kato sets, the CN transcontinental set, and I was wondering if the ESU Loksound DCC system also controls the engine or if it’s just the sound portion of it, and if I would have to add to it. I’m assuming that it would be compatible with any major DCC setup that I would choose.

I’ve done a little bit of reading up on some of this stuff, but articles only get you so far.

-Matt





Matt Rossman
 

Thank you everyone for the great info. I guess I have some more research to do; as I read about the systems the more I find I need to learn.

It’s all really good info.

I’m planning a small layout to start, less than 100 sq.ft. But I plan to expand with a helix to a ceiling layout in the basement.


Matt Rossman
 

Hey everyone,

I figured I’d give an update on my adventure so far...

I bought a Digitrax EvoX system with the DT602 throttle for my current modular layout and eventual change to a fixed layout.

I got the WIFI unit for it so I can connect my phone to it to use WiThrottle. John Henry convinced me that I want to go the JMRI route, so I will be doing that and hopefully configuring Raspberry Pi to run it all.

I had trains up and running in 15 minutes once I figured out my electrical problem.

Now I have to upgrade my old fleet.

-Matt


Michael Romanowski
 

Congratulations Matt! Im still trying to get JRMI to run on my MacBook Pro.
Michael Romanowski
Vice President
Upstate Model Railroaders
www.upstatemodelrailroaders.com
518-423-7519

On Nov 18, 2020, at 10:08 PM, Matt Rossman <sweakyboot@...> wrote:

Hey everyone,

I figured I’d give an update on my adventure so far...

I bought a Digitrax EvoX system with the DT602 throttle for my current modular layout and eventual change to a fixed layout.

I got the WIFI unit for it so I can connect my phone to it to use WiThrottle. John Henry convinced me that I want to go the JMRI route, so I will be doing that and hopefully configuring Raspberry Pi to run it all.

I had trains up and running in 15 minutes once I figured out my electrical problem.

Now I have to upgrade my old fleet.

-Matt





Geoff Dunn
 

Thanks for the update, Matt. What do you want to do with JMRI? If it's just for the WiFi throttle, the LNWI works just as well, albeit with a four connection limit. There are other benefits to JMRI if you get into the DCC weeds, like setting CV values. But you don't NEED JMRI to do those things. And I personally try not to do too many of those things - I want to run trains, not play with the software.

I have run JMRI on a Raspberry Pi, some years ago (like on a Pi 2??). It worked fine. Steve Todd (he also wrote Engine Driver for Android) has an image available for the Pi which will save you a LOT of work (https://mstevetodd.com/rpi). I haven't tried it but several clinics and articles have recommended it.

Geoff