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Northman
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Hi,are there many railway modellers on this site still using analogue and prefer it to DCC.If and when I get my layout built I will probably only have two tracks and some sideings,so I will only be running two trains at a time and think analogue control will do fine.(A Morley vortrak controller) Cheers.:confused:

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There are plenty of modellers still using analogue. Analogue Vs DCC is purely a personal choice. Running more than two trains at a time on DCC is a lot more difficult than it sounds, particularly on the average size layout. Where DCC comes into it's own is that no isolating sections are required, and locomotives can move on the same track as other locomotives, moving or not, without affecting them. If you are also using DCC to change individual points at the same time as driving, then you really do have your hands full.

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Hi northman I am using DC for my layout. This is mainly because most of my locos are dc and to change them all would be a pain,but also because I find DC is easy to work with and isolating can be very easy via an plastic fishplates or self isolating points.

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The beauty of dcc is of course you can have lights , markers sound etc that are in effect difficult or impossible with DC. Also dcc wiring is far simpler then DC wiring for anything other then the most trivial of layouts.

 

Running is better under dcc as the full track voltage is always available. ( and is greater then 12v ).

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Northman I to am using DC, my layout is divided into 18 section and powered by three controllers, controller a, can power any of the 18, controller b, powers both main lines and the branch line, controller c, powers the goods, engine shed,turntable and the oil and cement depots. This allows both main lines to run whilst you can shunt with a third loco. You can read about this in my layout thread, Rachelstown & St Stephens Green. The controllers are H&M Duette and clipper TDR

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The beauty of dcc is of course you can have lights , markers sound etc that are in effect difficult or impossible with DC. Also dcc wiring is far simpler then DC wiring for anything other then the most trivial of layouts.

 

Running is better under dcc as the full track voltage is always available. ( and is greater then 12v ).

 

80% of my locos are steam,so lights ,markers etc don't bother me,as for sound,I can only listen to it for so long.:-bd

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DCC is primarily about ease of control. Lights and the sound are merely bonuses, not the main advantage of DCC

 

fundementally DCC is about " cab control " and reducing the amount of wiring needed to achieve that in DC layouts. reasonable cab control can be achieved/simulated in DC layouts , but as the layout becomes more complex the switching becomes a rats nest.

 

However the ancillary aspects are a benefits like lights etc, and the ability to drive layout accessories like turnouts etc from the DCC system ( though its not a system I personally like as I prefer a proper layout bus )

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fundementally DCC is about " cab control " and reducing the amount of wiring needed to achieve that in DC layouts. reasonable cab control can be achieved/simulated in DC layouts , but as the layout becomes more complex the switching becomes a rats nest.

 

However the ancillary aspects are a benefits like lights etc, and the ability to drive layout accessories like turnouts etc from the DCC system ( though its not a system I personally like as I prefer a proper layout bus )

 

Agree. For me DCC is being able to operate locos independently on the same section of track without the need for block switching and wiring.

 

It's just easier to control a loco from a hand held cab rather than a bank of switches and a controller. Sound and lights are a nice bonus, but I don't ever see myself running accessories or points using DCC. In that case the convenience and tactile feel of lever arm switches is more useable than typing silly accessory and point numbers into a cab unit. DCC's momentum capability is nice also, but I have that on my DC inertia controllers anyway (i.e. brake simulation). Having only moved to DCC last august, I'm glad I made the move despite the cost of decoders and the time to retro fit them into old stock. Some were easy to do, but a few were really awkward. The plug in 21pin chips on MM and Bachmann locos couldn't be easier. Split frame Bachmann steam locos are really a no-no for DCC, IMHO.

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In my opinion, split frame Bachmann steam locos are only slightly more time consuming than any other steam loco to convert to DCC. I personally have done a number of them.

 

So have I, but the problem is getting the chassis back into perfect alignment once split. The DCC bit is easy, it is the isolation of the motor from the chassis requiring the split that has caused me problems. Some have worked out ok, but others have never run as smoothly or freely afterwards and I've found myself having to resplit and realign the chassis multiple times until it mechanically ran as smoothly and freely as it had on DC before the conversion.

 

One of my early attempts http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/3573-Noel-s-DCC-Conversion-Bench/page3

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Agree. For me DCC is being able to operate locos independently on the same section of track without the need for block switching and wiring.

 

It's just easier to control a loco from a hand held cab rather than a bank of switches and a controller. Sound and lights are a nice bonus, but I don't ever see myself running accessories or points using DCC. In that case the convenience and tactile feel of lever arm switches is more useable than typing silly accessory and point numbers into a cab unit. DCC's momentum capability is nice also, but I have that on my DC inertia controllers anyway (i.e. brake simulation). Having only moved to DCC last august, I'm glad I made the move despite the cost of decoders and the time to retro fit them into old stock. Some were easy to do, but a few were really awkward. The plug in 21pin chips on MM and Bachmann locos couldn't be easier. Split frame Bachmann steam locos are really a no-no for DCC, IMHO.

 

I have used DCC in N, HO & G Scale American layouts but have stuck with analogue for my Irish narrow gauge layout.

 

The reason for sticking with DC was the amount of work involved in fitting decoders to small steam locos and unreliable operation as DCC fitted locos tended to be more sensitive to power pick up issues than DC.

 

I use hand-held rather than panel mounted controllers as I prefer walk-around operation on an end-to end layout. I use live frog points and use the auxiliary switches on "Blue Point" switch machines to route power to the frogs and switch sections between controllers than a separate control panel.

 

Power pick up was less of an issue with HO & N diesels than small steam locos as the diesels had pick up on both bogies and flywheel drive, while the steam locos picked up on only 4 or 6 wheels.

 

Northman:

 

That Morley Vortrak controller seems to be an excellent piece of kit, still use a 40 year old H&M Safety Minor. The combination of panel and hand held control seems to offer the best of both world, hand held for shunting the yard and panel control for watching trains go bye on the main line.

 

Most of the American style DCC systems are designed for walk-around operation on large American layouts.

 

At an operating session visiting operators sometimes bring their personal Digitrax or NCE throttle and loco consist to run a particular train. Train movements are often controlled by dispatchers or train controllers from a control panel similar to Connolly signalling centre. Once a detection and signalling system is added there is little to choose between DC and DCC in the complexity and amount of wiring.

 

AMRA Convention 2007 009 (2).jpg

 

CTC Panel Oakland Pacific layout Auckland

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Signalling and detection systems have nothing to do with dcc in the main , In reality with any sort of complex detection and or signalling including locking etc, you are looking at considering a layout bus or at very least a wiring multiplexer , otherwise the layout wiring begins to resemble a 1950s telephone exchange. !

 

In my view dcc has some significant merits over DC. Especially in more complex layouts, ( rather then simply large ones). It also allows for things like frog juicers which make wiring complex track configurations , easier.

 

But at the end of the day. It's horses for courses and personal comforts zones etc

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