Choosing a DCC Starter System ?


bernard steinbacher <b55go@...>
 

Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD


Alexander Wood
 

Bernard,

One more thought, I saw another thread you posted, you can run two trains at once on the DT602D, so if you're OK with the encoder knobs, that might be a feature that you'd like on the EVOXD system.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


Alexander Wood
 

Bernard,

If you're just running one or two trains, the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 would probably work just fine, and you can add Wi-Fi throttles through JMRI, with WiThrottle/Engine Driver apps, or the TCS UWTs. You can also add Digitrax LocoNet throttles, although to add a UT6D and UR93 you're only saving about $50-$60 over the full EVOXD system.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


Alexander Wood
 

Bernard,

The majority of layouts in North America are running either Digitrax or NCE so you'll find plenty of opinions out there. Looks like you've looked into the Digikeijs DR5000, once you've read up on what DCC is and how it works, I'd definitely look at some other systems as well to compare. There are at least a dozen available in the US, Digitrax and NCE only being two of them. TCS, ESU, Digikeijs, and Roco have really compelling modern systems, and for many people the Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr is enough, and is a great value. My top five starter systems would be:

1. TCS CS-105
2. Digikeijs DR5000
3. ESU Cab Control
4. Roco Z21
5. Digitrax DCS52

The SPROG 3, WiFiTrax WFD-27 and DCC++EX are alternatives that might appeal to some people.

If you don't mind encoder-based controls, the EVOXD isn't bad, they've improved the Duplex performance a lot over the older systems, and redesigned the throttle with an easily approachable color screen. It's not a great value, but is relatively a lot less than NCE, at $500 for the EVOXD vs. about $720 for the NCE system once you factor in the power supply and USB to serial cable. The EVOXD will also give you a good programming track, whereas the Power Pro has an older design programming track, so most people use a PowerCab for their programming on NCE. With Digitrax's LocoNet you can start with one throttle and add just about as many additional accessories, boosters, and throttles as you want.

When it finally ships, TCS's CS-105 will be the system to beat in the US market, it is about the same price as NCE but with 25 year newer technology, native Wi-Fi LCC throttles, and a ton of additional functionality. It's still in the early adopter phase though, and will be for a while longer.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


JoAnn Donaldson
 

I am a old DIGITrax user. My whole layout runs on a DCS100 Base Unit. As for a starter system the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is perfect. You can run trains on it and with DigiTrax Throttles you can run wireless. I have two wireless throttles and an wired Throttle. IMHO the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is the way to go starting out with DCC.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 01:52:18 PM CDT, Alexander Wood <newyorknewhavenandhartford@...> wrote:


Bernard,

The majority of layouts in North America are running either Digitrax or NCE so you'll find plenty of opinions out there. Looks like you've looked into the Digikeijs DR5000, once you've read up on what DCC is and how it works, I'd definitely look at some other systems as well to compare. There are at least a dozen available in the US, Digitrax and NCE only being two of them. TCS, ESU, Digikeijs, and Roco have really compelling modern systems, and for many people the Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr is enough, and is a great value. My top five starter systems would be:

1. TCS CS-105
2. Digikeijs DR5000
3. ESU Cab Control
4. Roco Z21
5. Digitrax DCS52

The SPROG 3, WiFiTrax WFD-27 and DCC++EX are alternatives that might appeal to some people.

If you don't mind encoder-based controls, the EVOXD isn't bad, they've improved the Duplex performance a lot over the older systems, and redesigned the throttle with an easily approachable color screen. It's not a great value, but is relatively a lot less than NCE, at $500 for the EVOXD vs. about $720 for the NCE system once you factor in the power supply and USB to serial cable. The EVOXD will also give you a good programming track, whereas the Power Pro has an older design programming track, so most people use a PowerCab for their programming on NCE. With Digitrax's LocoNet you can start with one throttle and add just about as many additional accessories, boosters, and throttles as you want.

When it finally ships, TCS's CS-105 will be the system to beat in the US market, it is about the same price as NCE but with 25 year newer technology, native Wi-Fi LCC throttles, and a ton of additional functionality. It's still in the early adopter phase though, and will be for a while longer.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


John Bishop
 

Or run trains and throw switches with your phone, using WiThrottle (on IPhone)  or its Android equivalent.  Needs an NCE interface and a Raspberry Pi.  Easier to use than a Procab, automatically wireless, and no need to buy multiple cabs for additional operators because every phone is a throttle. 

John Bishop  

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 12:55:46 PM PDT, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io <joannplano2005@...> wrote:


I am a old DIGITrax user. My whole layout runs on a DCS100 Base Unit. As for a starter system the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is perfect. You can run trains on it and with DigiTrax Throttles you can run wireless. I have two wireless throttles and an wired Throttle. IMHO the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is the way to go starting out with DCC.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 01:52:18 PM CDT, Alexander Wood <newyorknewhavenandhartford@...> wrote:


Bernard,

The majority of layouts in North America are running either Digitrax or NCE so you'll find plenty of opinions out there. Looks like you've looked into the Digikeijs DR5000, once you've read up on what DCC is and how it works, I'd definitely look at some other systems as well to compare. There are at least a dozen available in the US, Digitrax and NCE only being two of them. TCS, ESU, Digikeijs, and Roco have really compelling modern systems, and for many people the Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr is enough, and is a great value. My top five starter systems would be:

1. TCS CS-105
2. Digikeijs DR5000
3. ESU Cab Control
4. Roco Z21
5. Digitrax DCS52

The SPROG 3, WiFiTrax WFD-27 and DCC++EX are alternatives that might appeal to some people.

If you don't mind encoder-based controls, the EVOXD isn't bad, they've improved the Duplex performance a lot over the older systems, and redesigned the throttle with an easily approachable color screen. It's not a great value, but is relatively a lot less than NCE, at $500 for the EVOXD vs. about $720 for the NCE system once you factor in the power supply and USB to serial cable. The EVOXD will also give you a good programming track, whereas the Power Pro has an older design programming track, so most people use a PowerCab for their programming on NCE. With Digitrax's LocoNet you can start with one throttle and add just about as many additional accessories, boosters, and throttles as you want.

When it finally ships, TCS's CS-105 will be the system to beat in the US market, it is about the same price as NCE but with 25 year newer technology, native Wi-Fi LCC throttles, and a ton of additional functionality. It's still in the early adopter phase though, and will be for a while longer.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


Reefman2@verizon.net
 

Hi John,
Sounds like a great option.  As a rank newbie at DCC, how does one accomplish this, is there instructions posted anywhere?
Best regards,
Doug

On Sep 23, 2022, at 4:10 PM, John Bishop via groups.io <snboy2001@...> wrote:


Or run trains and throw switches with your phone, using WiThrottle (on IPhone)  or its Android equivalent.  Needs an NCE interface and a Raspberry Pi.  Easier to use than a Procab, automatically wireless, and no need to buy multiple cabs for additional operators because every phone is a throttle. 

John Bishop  

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 12:55:46 PM PDT, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io <joannplano2005@...> wrote:


I am a old DIGITrax user. My whole layout runs on a DCS100 Base Unit. As for a starter system the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is perfect. You can run trains on it and with DigiTrax Throttles you can run wireless. I have two wireless throttles and an wired Throttle. IMHO the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is the way to go starting out with DCC.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 01:52:18 PM CDT, Alexander Wood <newyorknewhavenandhartford@...> wrote:


Bernard,

The majority of layouts in North America are running either Digitrax or NCE so you'll find plenty of opinions out there. Looks like you've looked into the Digikeijs DR5000, once you've read up on what DCC is and how it works, I'd definitely look at some other systems as well to compare. There are at least a dozen available in the US, Digitrax and NCE only being two of them. TCS, ESU, Digikeijs, and Roco have really compelling modern systems, and for many people the Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr is enough, and is a great value. My top five starter systems would be:

1. TCS CS-105
2. Digikeijs DR5000
3. ESU Cab Control
4. Roco Z21
5. Digitrax DCS52

The SPROG 3, WiFiTrax WFD-27 and DCC++EX are alternatives that might appeal to some people.

If you don't mind encoder-based controls, the EVOXD isn't bad, they've improved the Duplex performance a lot over the older systems, and redesigned the throttle with an easily approachable color screen. It's not a great value, but is relatively a lot less than NCE, at $500 for the EVOXD vs. about $720 for the NCE system once you factor in the power supply and USB to serial cable. The EVOXD will also give you a good programming track, whereas the Power Pro has an older design programming track, so most people use a PowerCab for their programming on NCE. With Digitrax's LocoNet you can start with one throttle and add just about as many additional accessories, boosters, and throttles as you want.

When it finally ships, TCS's CS-105 will be the system to beat in the US market, it is about the same price as NCE but with 25 year newer technology, native Wi-Fi LCC throttles, and a ton of additional functionality. It's still in the early adopter phase though, and will be for a while longer.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...>
 

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX


Reefman2@verizon.net
 

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.
Doug


On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX


Appel
 

Hi Andy,

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

Thanks
Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi




On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.
Doug


On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX


AD
 

Go to your web browser on your computer and enter ‘jmri.org’ 

You will get a page to download the program

It’s not an app
The app withrottle will give you 4 throttles on your iPad or iPhone. But you need a wifi device from DIGITRAX or your dcc system you use so your command station can see your iPhone or iPad

Tony


On Sep 24, 2022, at 8:29 PM, Appel <tapplfam@...> wrote:

Hi Andy,

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

Thanks
Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi




On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.
Doug


On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX


Alexander Wood
 

Tom,

JMRI is Java-based and runs on Windows/Mac/Linux. WiThrottle is by far the most popular throttle app to use with JMRI, it's great. The Lite version is free, for $10 you get more features in the full version. MyLocomotive.DXB is another throttle app that I've never gotten to work very well.

Check out JMRI's website, they have everything you could ever want to know about it plus some:
https://www.jmri.org/

Alex


On Sat, Sep 24, 2022 at 8:29 PM Appel <tapplfam@...> wrote:
Hi Andy,

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

Thanks
Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi




On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.
Doug


On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


Allan AE2V
 

 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Appel via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2022 8:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Choosing a DCC Starter System ?

 

Hi Andy,

 

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

 

Thanks

Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi

 

 

 



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.

Doug



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

 


Alexander Wood
 

Doug,

The key is to get  the PC interface for your system up and running. Look for instructions particular to your system for getting drivers installed for your interface, whether it's a LocoBuffer-USB, or a command station with USB built in on Digitrax, an FTDI USB to serial adapter on an NCE Power Pro, a LAN connection for ESU, or something else. Then, you configure JMRI to use the virtual COM port created by the adapter, and you can fire up JMRI WiThrottle!

If you want to do it without a PC, search for the M Steve Todd Raspberry Pi image, he made an image that's already set up for JMRI and WiThrottle and will automatically configure common system interfaces that you can install on a Raspberry Pi (if you can find one).

Alex

On Fri, Sep 23, 2022 at 4:25 PM Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2=verizon.net@groups.io> wrote:
Hi John,
Sounds like a great option.  As a rank newbie at DCC, how does one accomplish this, is there instructions posted anywhere?
Best regards,
Doug

On Sep 23, 2022, at 4:10 PM, John Bishop via groups.io <snboy2001=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


Or run trains and throw switches with your phone, using WiThrottle (on IPhone)  or its Android equivalent.  Needs an NCE interface and a Raspberry Pi.  Easier to use than a Procab, automatically wireless, and no need to buy multiple cabs for additional operators because every phone is a throttle. 

John Bishop  

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 12:55:46 PM PDT, JoAnn Donaldson via groups.io <joannplano2005=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:


I am a old DIGITrax user. My whole layout runs on a DCS100 Base Unit. As for a starter system the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is perfect. You can run trains on it and with DigiTrax Throttles you can run wireless. I have two wireless throttles and an wired Throttle. IMHO the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 is the way to go starting out with DCC.

JoAnn Donaldson

On Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 01:52:18 PM CDT, Alexander Wood <newyorknewhavenandhartford@...> wrote:


Bernard,

The majority of layouts in North America are running either Digitrax or NCE so you'll find plenty of opinions out there. Looks like you've looked into the Digikeijs DR5000, once you've read up on what DCC is and how it works, I'd definitely look at some other systems as well to compare. There are at least a dozen available in the US, Digitrax and NCE only being two of them. TCS, ESU, Digikeijs, and Roco have really compelling modern systems, and for many people the Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr is enough, and is a great value. My top five starter systems would be:

1. TCS CS-105
2. Digikeijs DR5000
3. ESU Cab Control
4. Roco Z21
5. Digitrax DCS52

The SPROG 3, WiFiTrax WFD-27 and DCC++EX are alternatives that might appeal to some people.

If you don't mind encoder-based controls, the EVOXD isn't bad, they've improved the Duplex performance a lot over the older systems, and redesigned the throttle with an easily approachable color screen. It's not a great value, but is relatively a lot less than NCE, at $500 for the EVOXD vs. about $720 for the NCE system once you factor in the power supply and USB to serial cable. The EVOXD will also give you a good programming track, whereas the Power Pro has an older design programming track, so most people use a PowerCab for their programming on NCE. With Digitrax's LocoNet you can start with one throttle and add just about as many additional accessories, boosters, and throttles as you want.

When it finally ships, TCS's CS-105 will be the system to beat in the US market, it is about the same price as NCE but with 25 year newer technology, native Wi-Fi LCC throttles, and a ton of additional functionality. It's still in the early adopter phase though, and will be for a while longer.

Alex

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 12:34 PM bernard steinbacher via groups.io <b55go=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Has any one used this system ? and what is your opinion of it ?

Digitrax EVOX Evolution Express Advanced 5A/8A Duplex Starter Set ??

The  
NCE 5240002 PH-Pro-R (Power Pro-R) Wireless DCC Starter System ??

The NCE System doesn't seem to be available because of the Shortage issue 
THANKS FOR ANY HELP  BERNARD



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex



--

Alexander Wood

Hartford-New Haven, CT

Modeling the modern era freelanced G&W Connecticut Northern in HO

Digikeijs DR5000 - JMRI - ProtoThrottle - TCS UWT-100 - TCS UWT-50p - Digitrax Simplex


thomasmclae
 

JMRI runs on a computer, not a phone. Some configurations:
layout(track) - command station  - throttle
layout - command station - adapter - computer(JMRI) - phones as throttle
Layout - Sprog - computer(JMRI) - phones as throttle

The best starter option (IMHO) is a SPROG. You do need a computer/laptop with a USB port to run JMRI software as the programming/throttle interface. You can use any Android or Apple phone as your throttle, saving the $$ you would otherwise need for dedicated hardware. 
Once you get experience, you can demote the SPROG to just programming Locomotives and upgrade to Digitrax or NCE systems, and use the SPAROG as a portable programming system.
I know folks that have SPROG on their upstairs desk for programming Loks, and another system downstairs on the full layout.

JMRI is a java application that makes setting up (programming) Loks very easy. And it is free to download and install. Go to JMRI,org to check it out. 

--
---
Thomas
DeSoto, TX


thomasmclae
 

If you are starting out, get a SPROG.
Low cost, gets your feet wet, and once you are ready, you can buy a 'better' system, and demote the SPROG to programming track only.
(Best programming track option BTW)
--
---
Thomas
DeSoto, TX


Bill Wilken
 

It’s not clear to me whether the person seeking advice is new to DCC or experienced.  While JMRI is feature rich, I would not recommend plunging into it before gaining a solid working knowledge of DCC.  It certainly would be useful, however, to acquire a degree of familiarity with JMRI’s capabilities.

Perhaps the most challenging problems in model railroading is developing a “big picture” view of where the hobby might take you.  My experience with signaling is a case-in-point.  When I began building my railroad, I knew nothing about the subject.  But when I decided to install signaling, I discovered the hard way that my wiring scheme that had worked nicely was poorly suited to supporting block detection.  Indeed, I quickly recognized that much of my multi-track layout had to be almost entirely rewired





On Sep 25, 2022, at 8:45 AM, Allan AE2V <bigboy@...> wrote:



 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Appel via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2022 8:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Choosing a DCC Starter System ?

 

Hi Andy,

 

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

 

Thanks

Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi

 

 

 



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.

Doug



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

 


Martin Piech
 

Bill Wilken,
I’d like to chat with you about detection. Don’t want to hijack this discussion thread. How can I contact you?


On Sep 25, 2022, at 11:08 AM, Bill Wilken <bill.wilken@...> wrote:

It’s not clear to me whether the person seeking advice is new to DCC or experienced.  While JMRI is feature rich, I would not recommend plunging into it before gaining a solid working knowledge of DCC.  It certainly would be useful, however, to acquire a degree of familiarity with JMRI’s capabilities.

Perhaps the most challenging problems in model railroading is developing a “big picture” view of where the hobby might take you.  My experience with signaling is a case-in-point.  When I began building my railroad, I knew nothing about the subject.  But when I decided to install signaling, I discovered the hard way that my wiring scheme that had worked nicely was poorly suited to supporting block detection.  Indeed, I quickly recognized that much of my multi-track layout had to be almost entirely rewired





On Sep 25, 2022, at 8:45 AM, Allan AE2V <bigboy@...> wrote:



 

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Appel via groups.io
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2022 8:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Choosing a DCC Starter System ?

 

Hi Andy,

 

I am new to this technology stuff.  I saw that you recommend looking at JMRI (free) software.  I looked on my Apple phone for an app the says JMRI but did not find anything.  There is a WiThrottle Lite or a Locotrol or MyLocomotive.  Is this the same as JMRI?

 

Thanks

Tom - Wisconsin Rapids, Wi

 

 

 



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:49 PM, Reefman2@... via groups.io <reefman2@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Andy, I’ll look into the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system.

Doug



On Sep 24, 2022, at 5:58 PM, Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...> wrote:

Doug,

Any DCC system with a USB interface can connect to a computer/laptop.

That computer can then run JMRI (free) software that lets you control your DCC system from there, and the computer can then talk to a WiFi throttle or throttle app for a smart phone (android or ios) to control your trains. The base throttle apps are free, and ones with more features cost extra.

Some DCC systems have optional or built-in WiFi interfaces for talking directlhy to WiFi throttles or throttle apps, and they don't need a computer or JMRI for that.

But, JMRI provides a lot more functionality than just accessing WiFi throttles/apps! JMRI is really a suite of applications that can control/automate your layout, program your decoders (configure their option settings), and lots more. Even if all you ever use JMRI for is programming decoders, it is very well worth it just for that! The graphical interface for selecting configurable options when programming a decoder is very intuitive, particularly compared to using most DCC system's native decoder programming capabilities. 

The latest model of the Digitrax Zephyr DCS52 DCC system has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer & JMRI, and Digtrax sells a WiFi interface module that can communicate with WiFi throttles/apps, even without the computer/JMRI connected.

If I were starting over and wanted a system to grow to run a large layout, I would look seriously at the new DCC system from TCS. But for now, my Pi SPROG 3 DCC system (on a Raspberry Pi 4 computer) does everything I need it to on my N scale Hollow Core Door layout.

For a turn-key, cost-effective, entry-level DCC system, it is hard to beat the Zephyr.

-- Andy - Arlington TX

 


Martin Piech
 

Bill Wilken,

Are you available offline to discuss your comment about detection?


Andy - Arlington TX <andy.j1s@...>
 

Tom,

While smart phones are technically computers, I was speaking of desktop/laptop computers, running Windows, Linux or MacOS operating systems.

WiThrottle is a throttle app for Iphones that can connect to a computer running JMRI, or dedicated WiFi interfaces for DCC systems (e.g. the Digitrax LNWI connected to a Zephyr.) EngineDriver is a similar app for Android phones.

If you wish to use JMRI, then it needs to run on a Windows/Linux/MACOS computer, connected to your DCC system, typically via a USB interface available from the DCC system vendor. The DCS52 has a built-in USB interface for connecting to a computer running JMRI.

So for Digitrax, you have two ways to use your phone as a throttle:
  1. Connect a computer, running JMRI (which includes WiFi throttle server software), to your DCC system, and then use a commercial WiFi throttle or phone app (WiThrottle or EngineDriver) to control the speed/direction of the trains, etc.
  2. Or you can use Digitrax's LNWI WiFi interface, to connect a Digitrax DCC system to WiFi throttles or throttle apps running on smartphones.
Some other manufacturers' DCC systems have available USB interfaces to connect to a computer running JMRI, which in turn talks to WiFi throttles or smartphone throttle apps. There is a third party WiFi throttle interface for NCE, but the name of it escapes me at present.

Finally, SPROG DCC systems are available either as USB dongles for computers (Windows, MacOS or Linux) running JMRI, or as an expansion "hat" for Raspberry Pi computers (also running Linux & JMRI.) 

-- Andy - Arlington TX