Re: New to DCC
For many of us it's a combination of Musical Chairs and a Journey into the unknown.
Which exact DCC Controller along with it's various components (Mostly Decoder - Sound and Non Sound) you will land on ?
May depend on when the music stops....as in what your local train store pushes on you.
Or which Bible on DCC is being read at your local Model Railroading Society/Club.
In my Journey, With purchasing only second-hand units via Wannabe and Discontinued Layouts; I have purchased nearly a dozen different DCC Controllers and well over one hundred Decoders via many various locomotives in N and HO Scales. (These purchases often near 10 cents to the MSRP $ reflected the many Train Store Shelves of Northern California.)
I went off on tangents Testing various Decoders with different DCC Controllers and even began a Notebook. I nearly lost it, as I was considered creating an Encyclopedia on just the Interactions of DCC.
I eventually Forest Gumped my way in the ownership of an ESU ECoS, for which; I am very pleased.
Before the ECoS Discovery and then some even after that moment in time of Epiphany ! -
I was nearly a prisoner to my own layout....and had lost sight on why I chose to create a layout in the first place.
For it comes down to Scenery...
When will I ever set my first Tree ? and seriously begin to enjoy just watching my trains !!!!
(The phase just after making your track operational.)
So much more to learn...I told myself.
Can't I just learn to program, have the program hold and be done with DCC?
Good Luck with a that ! at least not on a Paragon Decoder...
Result? Good Bye Paragon Decoders.
I even questioned the amperage and volts being sent to my track.
I spent far too much time on DCC ...
Just one example....
My First DCC Controller though very simple to program and operate only has a range of say 20 feet and won't catch a signal, through the Long Bearing Wall which goes down the center of my basement....I fought it's limitations for too long...
Dis -Track -Ting me from my original intentions.
Then I discovered Long Steam Locomotives which have their own set of parameters and needs...
More wasted time, as I was trying to get them to operate on curves of 19" or less in radius and over #6 Switches.
Then it was on to switches...and how do I get the front pilot and the rear wheels of the tender to all align in DCC +/- as I go over Turnouts.
Make them longer; along actual ARA specifications and solder near on everything with it's own drop down leads.
I am not trying to dissuade you, in fact on the contrary....
Just tell us your overall dimensions of your intended layout, location (Corner of Den, Family Room, Attic, Basement but just say No to a Garage Location in the Central Valley of California - Dust), scale, type of locomotive, length of train, and whither you ever intend to include sound on your layout.
We can then begin this discussion again; which might resemble a Religious/Political Argument.
PS and note this well...
A Clean Well Lighted Place....
I strongly suggest a location for your layout which is basically clean and can be kept that way.
DCC abhors dirty track (especially sound); and you might want to rethink even the % of your grades along with the use of Traction Tires.