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Upgrading a starter DCC system on the cheap


jaysmktrr1@...
 

Hey y'all. I'm coming back to the hobby after a 15+ year hiatus. I'm planning a 15 foot shelf layout with removable staging at both ends. Thinking of getting a Digitrax Zephyr or an NCE Power Cab system. Here's the question. Can I add a extra throttle for another operator without buying extra stuff, like boosters, unrelated to just throttle control or having to totally upgrade to a bigger system??


whmvd
 

H Jay,

Can't speak for the Zephyr as I don't know it, but with the PowerCab you buy one extra ProCab and you're done. No extras.

Wouter


On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 at 09:38, jaysmktrr1 via groups.io <jaysmktrr1=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hey y'all. I'm coming back to the hobby after a 15+ year hiatus. I'm planning a 15 foot shelf layout with removable staging at both ends. Thinking of getting a Digitrax Zephyr or an NCE Power Cab system. Here's the question. Can I add a extra throttle for another operator without buying extra stuff, like boosters, unrelated to just throttle control or having to totally upgrade to a bigger system??


Al Silverstein
 

Jay,
 
Adding a low cost second throttle depends upon your choice of command station and the type of add on throttle you desire. Your have two or more options depending upon your choice of DCC command station manufacturer.
 
The physical addition of a throttle is relatively simple. All that need be done is to extend a connection from the command station to the throttle interface device and any add on power devices required by the throttle interface.
 
As I understand the Power Cab system if you are planning on adding a second throttle to the Power Cab system you will first have to determine if you want a tethered throttle or a wireless duplex throttle. The minimum cost for a extra tethered throttle is the cost of the tethered throttle plus any tether interfaces you feel you may need plus the connecting cabling. The minimum cost for a wireless throttle is the cost of a duplex throttle and the cost of a duplex transceiver interface. The actual cost depends upon the hardware required and the place of purchase of said hardware.
 
As I understand the Zephyr system if you are planning on adding a second throttle to the Zephyr you first have to determine if you want a tethered throttle, a wireless duplex throttle, or a wireless Wi-Fi application. The minimum cost again will depend upon the type of extra throttle you desire and the place of purchase. The add on tethered throttle requires a tethered throttle plus any tether interfaces you fell you many need plus the connecting cable. The cost of a wireless radio throttle depends upon the cost of the wireless duplex radio interface and the cost of the wireless duplex throttle. Digitrax currently offers a third option and that is a Wi-Fi interface that can handle up to four additional Wi-Fi throttles. The Wi-Fi throttle option can be acquired by adding the Digitrax Wi-Fi interface to and Digitrax command station and then download a free Wi-Fi throttle app to an existing smart device (cell phone or tablet).
 
Your best bet for a low cost add on throttle option is to check out Digitrax and NCE tethered and wireless throttle options.
 
Keep this in mind. Frequently a new DCC user starts off with a simple system and later decides he wants to expand his DCC system. Invest your time in determining just what you may want to add to your DCC command system in the future. The majority of my model railroading friends have kept their DCC command systems simple: command station, one or two add on boosters, one or more reverse loop controllers and a command station to computer interface. The computer is mostly used to program decoders. 
 
Al Silverstein
 
 
 
 

From: jaysmktrr1 via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2020 9:03 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Upgrading a starter DCC system on the cheap
 
Hey y'all. I'm coming back to the hobby after a 15+ year hiatus. I'm planning a 15 foot shelf layout with removable staging at both ends. Thinking of getting a Digitrax Zephyr or an NCE Power Cab system. Here's the question. Can I add a extra throttle for another operator without buying extra stuff, like boosters, unrelated to just throttle control or having to totally upgrade to a bigger system??


Dale Gloer
 

For Digitrax, the least expensive way to do what you want is to use a Zephyr Express  and add one or two simple throttles using the Jump Ports. The Zephyr manual explains how to do this.  Here is the link to a DIY throttle that connects to a Jump Port.
https://tonystrains.com/download/zephyr-cab.pdf
You can also use a regular DC power pack if it outputs smooth DC connected to a Jump Port as an add on throttle.

Dale Gloer