Topics

Buying DCC system

Erich Behm <erichbehm@...>
 

Hello everyone, I have not purchased a DCC system yet, but have researched the various systems. They claim to be able to do this or that, but I would like to hear from actual users. What I'm hoping for is a system to control everything from the throttle, (turnouts, lights, crossing guards, 7-8 engines + more later) basically everything on a layout. I would also like a system that allows for expansion. Right now I'm the only operator but I would also like the capability of 2 or more operators. I would love to hear from anyone and their experience with the system they use, good or bad. Is a starter set the best way to begin? I would like it to be somewhat user friendly, but I'm sure if I need help this group will easily get me through any problems. Thanks for any input.

dcesharkman
 

For your stated needs, you will want to step up to the top tier systems like
the Digitrax Super Chief, the NCE Power Cab or the Lenz set 100 ( I think)



These are all fully featured units.



I use the Super Chief and am happy with it generally. I have run out of
capacity on it as my layout grew larger. I ran out of accessory address
space is the only thing that bothers me about it. But in reality, none of
the others would have a large enough address space either.



The best part about the top tier systems is that all you need as your layout
grows are power boosters.



David

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Erich Behm
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 7:41 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Buying DCC system





Hello everyone, I have not purchased a DCC system yet, but have researched
the various systems. They claim to be able to do this or that, but I would
like to hear from actual users. What I'm hoping for is a system to control
everything from the throttle, (turnouts, lights, crossing guards, 7-8
engines + more later) basically everything on a layout. I would also like a
system that allows for expansion. Right now I'm the only operator but I
would also like the capability of 2 or more operators. I would love to hear
from anyone and their experience with the system they use, good or bad. Is a
starter set the best way to begin? I would like it to be somewhat user
friendly, but I'm sure if I need help this group will easily get me through
any problems. Thanks for any input.

rg <richg_1998@...>
 

--- On Sat, 5/8/10, David C. Eaton <dcesharkman@...> wrote:

From: David C. Eaton <dcesharkman@...>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Buying DCC system
To: WiringForDCC@...
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 2:37 PM
For your stated needs, you will want
to step up to the top tier systems like
the Digitrax Super Chief, the NCE Power Cab or the Lenz set
100 ( I think)



These are all fully featured units.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The NCE Power Cab is entry level but you can upgrade.
NCE also has the Power Pro 5 and 10 amp systems and radio capabilites.

Do a Google search for each company and you will find my possbilites. That will take guessing out of the loop.
Also, do a Google search for dcc systems reviews.

Rich

dcesharkman
 

Thanks for correcting me. I get the NCE products mixed up.

-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of rg
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 11:56 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Buying DCC system





--- On Sat, 5/8/10, David C. Eaton <dcesharkman@
<mailto:dcesharkman%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com> wrote:

From: David C. Eaton <dcesharkman@ <mailto:dcesharkman%40yahoo.com>
yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Buying DCC system
To: WiringForDCC@ <mailto:WiringForDCC%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 2:37 PM
For your stated needs, you will want
to step up to the top tier systems like
the Digitrax Super Chief, the NCE Power Cab or the Lenz set
100 ( I think)



These are all fully featured units.
----------------------------------------------------------

The NCE Power Cab is entry level but you can upgrade.
NCE also has the Power Pro 5 and 10 amp systems and radio capabilites.

Do a Google search for each company and you will find my possbilites. That
will take guessing out of the loop.
Also, do a Google search for dcc systems reviews.

Rich

esimard
 

Hello, personally I am very happy with Digitrax but I don't want to start a yes but mine can do yada yada yada.

I think that you will find the all the major players will do what you want. None of them are perfect and with each you will have a bit of a learning curve. Once you are installed, up and running you will not be doing much with your command station. But you will be spending a lot of time with the throttles. I would investigate each systems choices here. Do you like the way it feels, can you easily operated with one hand, how easy to acquire a new engine etc? Some throttles can move turnouts and with an unexperienced user shutdown the layout, do you really want this? Other throttles are of the utility type and can only run a train and do the necessary functions. Most systems allow mixing of the two throttle types. At first I thought moving turnouts would be important, but by the time you find the TO's address, change the throttle to switch mode, close/throw the TO, switch back to running mode, I don't use it. Facia switches were faster and easier. Some operators have enormous thumbs and keep hitting the power on/off switch - they only get utility throttles that don't have this ability.
Just my 2 cents.
_Ernie

Jay Morrow <jaygroups@...>
 

That is really the best way to go. Even if someone tells me something like the reversing loop, I still want to explore and learn why and how it really works.

Jay

Sent from my HTC PURE™, a Windows® phone from AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: rg <richg_1998@...>
Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2010 11:34 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Buying DCC system

Our club has the NCE Power Pro 5 amp system and we use MRC reverser's with no issues. We just have the convenience of knowing details about DCC. Obvious Man belongs to our club and tells use to do some Internet research rather than be led by the hand. It has worked for use for some years.

Rich




Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
what happened?






------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo! Groups Links

hacketet <hacketet@...>
 

The only problem with auto reversers is that they may be too slow for your booster. Most autoreversers, including the MRC design, use a mechanical relay to effect the polarity reversal. Mechanical relays are much slower than electronic circuits. If the booster senses a short before the auto reverser can correct it, it will shut down.

I had this problem when I tried an MRC autoreverser to adjust the polarity on my turntable. The MRC unit couldn't even come close to keeping up with the EasyDCC booster 5. I could have changed out a resistor in the booster to slow down it's response, but decided to simply eliminate the need for autoreversers. I use mechanical relays to automatically adjust polarity, but they are driven by circuits independent of track power.

--- In WiringForDCC@..., Jay Morrow <jaygroups@...> wrote:

That is really the best way to go. Even if someone tells me something like the reversing loop, I still want to explore and learn why and how it really works.

Jay

ROBERT-MARCIANNA DRESSEL <rdressel@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: hacketet <hacketet@...>
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:54 am
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Buying DCC system
To: WiringForDCC@...

Someone (company) sells an electronic autoreverse, thats much faster than the relay version,

Rob

The only problem with auto reversers is that they may be too slow
for your booster. Most autoreversers, including the MRC design,
use a mechanical relay to effect the polarity reversal. Mechanical
relays are much slower than electronic circuits. If the booster
senses a short before the auto reverser can correct it, it will
shut down.

I had this problem when I tried an MRC autoreverser to adjust the
polarity on my turntable. The MRC unit couldn't even come close to
keeping up with the EasyDCC booster 5. I could have changed out a
resistor in the booster to slow down it's response, but decided to
simply eliminate the need for autoreversers. I use mechanical
relays to automatically adjust polarity, but they are driven by
circuits independent of track power.

--- In WiringForDCC@..., Jay Morrow <jaygroups@...> wrote:

That is really the best way to go. Even if someone tells me
something like the reversing loop, I still want to explore and
learn why and how it really works.

Jay



------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo! Groups Links



Robert T. White
 

DCC Specialties (Tony's TrainExchange) PSX-AR is the electronic version.  I replaced all of my Digitrax AR-1's with these and have not had a problem.

----- Original Message -----
From: "ROBERT-MARCIANNA DRESSEL" <rdressel@...>
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 10:36:17 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Buying DCC system

 






----- Original Message -----
From: hacketet < hacketet@... >
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:54 am
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Buying DCC system
To: WiringForDCC@...

Someone (company) sells an electronic autoreverse, thats much faster than the relay version,

Rob

The only problem with auto reversers is that they may be too slow
for your booster. Most autoreversers, including the MRC design,
use a mechanical relay to effect the polarity reversal. Mechanical
relays are much slower than electronic circuits. If the booster
senses a short before the auto reverser can correct it, it will
shut down.

I had this problem when I tried an MRC autoreverser to adjust the
polarity on my turntable. The MRC unit couldn't even come close to
keeping up with the EasyDCC booster 5. I could have changed out a
resistor in the booster to slow down it's response, but decided to
simply eliminate the need for autoreversers. I use mechanical
relays to automatically adjust polarity, but they are driven by
circuits independent of track power.

--- In WiringForDCC@... , Jay Morrow <jaygroups@...> wrote:

That is really the best way to go. Even if someone tells me
something like the reversing loop, I still want to explore and
learn why and how it really works.

Jay



------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo ! Groups Links





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Glenn
 

Psst, dun lizen to dem udder guys. I gotz de best system arund. My advice is
to test drive some or more.

1> Go to your local hobby shop and see what they sell. You will get a
lot of support there. Yes there is a lot here, but it's hard to beat a
visual, hands-on opinion on what the problem is, especially for a DCC
beginner who is not familiar with the terms.

2> Ask them about what others buy and possibly be able to test drive on
an operating layout. Back and forth on a test track for 5-minutes isn't
going to tell you if you like a system. A prolonged run, even on a 4x8 can
tell you a lot. How do YOU like the controls? If you don't like the
controls, the frills won't matter.

3> Cost is a relevant irrelevant item. You are going to layout a bundle
anyway so you might as well get something you want. Don't settle for a lower
priced brand when the one you like costs a bit more. But don't mortgage the
house to pay for it. Getting your wife a second job is more acceptable.

4> Expansion, yes you are solo now, but you may have guests or even
become a part of a round robin group. Can you start low and UPGRADE. No
sense in going low and have to chuck it just to get more features. Like a
second cab, wireless.

As for me, I have a prehistoric MRC Command 2000. Obsolete, but I have not
found the need to replace it. I have been told it has serious drawbacks.
When I find one I will let you know. Yes, I know, no CV readout, no readout
period. It only controls 10 locos simultaneously, Shame I only have five
that I don't have to toggle between.

Probably when I feel the need they will have battery power R/C in a Z-scale
dockside.

Glenn

rg <richg_1998@...>
 

--- On Tue, 5/11/10, Glenn <ghazel@...> wrote:

From: Glenn <ghazel@...>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: Buying DCC system
To: WiringForDCC@...
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 12:25 PM
Psst, dun lizen to dem udder guys. I
gotz de best system arund. My advice is
to test drive some or more.

1>    Go to your local hobby shop and see
what they sell. You will get a
lot of support there. Yes there is a lot here, but it's
hard to beat a
visual, hands-on opinion on what the problem is, especially
for a DCC
beginner who is not familiar with the terms.

2>    Ask them about what others buy and
possibly be able to test drive on
an operating layout. Back and forth on a test track for
5-minutes isn't
going to tell you if you like a system. A prolonged run,
even on a 4x8 can
tell you a lot. How do YOU like the controls? If you don't
like the
controls, the frills won't matter.

3>    Cost is a relevant irrelevant item.
You are going to layout a bundle
anyway so you might as well get something you want. Don't
settle for a lower
priced brand when the one you like costs a bit more. But
don't mortgage the
house to pay for it. Getting your wife a second job is more
acceptable.

4>    Expansion, yes you are solo now,
but you may have guests or even
become a part of a round robin group. Can you start low and
UPGRADE. No
sense in going low and have to chuck it just to get more
features. Like a
second cab, wireless.

Glenn
----------------------------------------------------------------
If no LHS around, look for a model train show in a driveable distance.
There are always layouts using DCC controllers and DCC companies at the shows.

I do know some LHS push a certain DCC system that a company pays them to sell so not always a varied display of different systems.
A LHS that has maybe three systems to sell has to invest in the systems also but that can depend on the comapny product.
Many LHS sell a wide variety of hobby products other than trains to be able to survive so they may not be very savy about DCC.

Rich

Glenn
 

Point well taken Rich, I call them "Train stores".

Some manufacturers require a set-up fee if you want to sell their product so
the store feels obligated to push that/those brands. Even at that the shop
may have someone knowledgeable or can get assistance from a user.

I forgot to mention clubs.

The point being is to test drive on more than a back and forth test track.

Glenn

Many LHS sell a wide variety of hobby products other than trains to be
able to survive so they may not be very savy about DCC.
Rich





------------------------------------

http://www.WiringForDCC.comYahoo! Groups Links

My-Yahoo-Groups <yahoo-groups@...>
 

Visit clubs in the area ... see what they are using ... talk to them ... likes, dislikes. Test drive their system. Get a number of different choices. If all the clubs in your area are using the same system, draw your own conclusions from that. I went with the system that my club was using. If I need help, I have a group that I can talk to.

Steve W.
www.prrh.org
www.marx-trains.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn" <ghazel@...>
To: <WiringForDCC@...>
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:25 PM
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: Buying DCC system


Psst, dun lizen to dem udder guys. I gotz de best system arund. My advice is
to test drive some or more.

1> Go to your local hobby shop and see what they sell. You will get a
lot of support there. Yes there is a lot here, but it's hard to beat a
visual, hands-on opinion on what the problem is, especially for a DCC
beginner who is not familiar with the terms.

2> Ask them about what others buy and possibly be able to test drive on
an operating layout. Back and forth on a test track for 5-minutes isn't
going to tell you if you like a system. A prolonged run, even on a 4x8 can
tell you a lot. How do YOU like the controls? If you don't like the
controls, the frills won't matter.

3> Cost is a relevant irrelevant item. You are going to layout a bundle
anyway so you might as well get something you want. Don't settle for a lower
priced brand when the one you like costs a bit more. But don't mortgage the
house to pay for it. Getting your wife a second job is more acceptable.

4> Expansion, yes you are solo now, but you may have guests or even
become a part of a round robin group. Can you start low and UPGRADE. No
sense in going low and have to chuck it just to get more features. Like a
second cab, wireless.

As for me, I have a prehistoric MRC Command 2000. Obsolete, but I have not
found the need to replace it. I have been told it has serious drawbacks.
When I find one I will let you know. Yes, I know, no CV readout, no readout
period. It only controls 10 locos simultaneously, Shame I only have five
that I don't have to toggle between.

Probably when I feel the need they will have battery power R/C in a Z-scale
dockside.

Glenn