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Lots of Q's about DCC

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I'm getting back into railway modelling, and I decided that my layout would be DCC. I really have no idea about it, and I'm wondering what would be the best controller for around €100-150/best decoders for MM and how to convert DC to DCC. thanks

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Hi bs819 & welcome back to railway modelling, like yourself I'm intending to go DCC when I get my layout down. There are a number of DCC systems available, some I believe are in your price range & of course from what I know it depends on the individuals pocket & choice. There's lots of info on here from members who have tried & tested various DCC systems & will be more than willing to give you advoice on what's available, right now though it might be a bit early ( am / pm ) in the day ! I'll be interested in your progress, keep us posted, BTB

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I'm getting back into railway modelling, and I decided that my layout would be DCC. I really have no idea about it, and I'm wondering what would be the best controller for around €100-150/best decoders for MM and how to convert DC to DCC. thanks

 

Hi bs819

 

These two links recently posted here have a lot of info on DCC. They are long, but you will find the early part of the first video very informative. I only moved to DCC myself 2 years ago and love it. It took me one hour to convert our DC layout to DCC.

 

Noel

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRynyMy9bYU

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gTEG2ImLKo

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Totally agree Noel, I've watched these over and over to get the hang of things.=D My Gaugemaster system arrived yesterday along with six Lenz silver decoders. I have had a wonderful day setting up a prog track and a separate two meter track lenght to represent the layout. Result, 6 locos have now been converted and I've played about with them to familiarise myself with some of its capabilities. looking forward to connecting it to the layout.:trains: TDR

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Totally agree Noel, I've watched these over and over to get the hang of things.=D My Gaugemaster system arrived yesterday along with six Lenz silver decoders. I have had a wonderful day setting up a prog track and a separate two meter track lenght to represent the layout. Result, 6 locos have now been converted and I've played about with them to familiarise myself with some of its capabilities. looking forward to connecting it to the layout.:trains: TDR

 

Hi BS819,

 

Although the Gaugemaster system is a fair bit over your suggested budget (it's selling now for around €200) I would recomment it for it's ease of use.

The NCE Powercab can be got for around 150 Sterling but isn't as user friendly, although it is an excellent system and will do all you need it to do.

It also provides less power, Gaugemaster is a 3.5amp system Powercab 2 amp. But this will only be a problem if you plan on running a lot of locos.

 

There are a couple of other DCC systems such Lenz or Roco which I don't have any direct experience of but I believe are very good as well. Some other members who use them may be able to help though.

 

One piece of advice you will hear a lot is to steer clear of DCC controllers from model train companies suce as Hornby or Bachmann. These would fall well within your budget but you won't find many favorable reviews!

Speaking from experience hear, I had the Hornby Select which can only be described as Cheap-And-Not-So-Cheerful!

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As IT suggests you won't go wrong with systems like Gaugemaster Prodigy Express, NCE Powercab, or Roco Multimaus. I beg to differ slightly on one point with IT, NCE Powercab is one of the most user friendly DCC controllers on the market and famed for its ease of use. To get a spread of information and opinions on DCC suggest have a look at threads on the UK's RMWEB as it has a larger user base than here in Ireland. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/21-dcc/

 

Suggest you avoid PC/Laptop based systems as they lack the tactile feel of a throttle/cab with its buttons and knobs.

 

Some images of cabs below. Cab/Throttle ergonomics is a very personal choice, arrangement of buttons, knobs, sliders, throttle control, display, function buttons if using sound, weight, feel in hand, portability, etc. The first three are priced as starter systems.

 

Guagemaster

DCC01.jpg

 

NCE

NCE-Pro-Cab.jpg

 

Roco - best of the toy brands (beats hornby and bachmann)

10810.jpg

 

Zimo - More expensive high end system

MX32.gif

 

Lenz - The best of the best

lenz_set-100.jpg

 

ESU ECoS 50200 - The ultimate top of the line in DCC console based systems

title_DS_ECoS_01.jpg

 

Cheers

 

Noel

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I'm finally getting round to putting together a long-planned Austrian-based 009 layout. All of the locos are ordinary 2-rail with traditional controller. The live frog wiring issue is bad enough for an oul wan like me to figure out - but - can anyone tell me is there a better control system for older-type models, some at least with little or no room to add DCC stuff?

 

What's the best "traditional" type of controller available these days?

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I'm finally getting round to putting together a long-planned Austrian-based 009 layout. All of the locos are ordinary 2-rail with traditional controller. The live frog wiring issue is bad enough for an oul wan like me to figure out - but - can anyone tell me is there a better control system for older-type models, some at least with little or no room to add DCC stuff?

 

What's the best "traditional" type of controller available these days?

 

I'm wondering if DCC chips designed for N gauge locos might fit your 009 locos, JB?

 

Gaugemaster also produced traditional DC controllers, which are very good. I have one somewhere - if I come across it I'll loan it to you so you can see what you think of it.

Edited by Garfield

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As IT suggests you won't go wrong with systems like Gaugemaster Prodigy Express, NCE Powercab, or Roco Multimaus. I beg to differ slightly on one point with IT, NCE Powercab is one of the most user friendly DCC controllers on the market and famed for its ease of use. To get a spread of information and opinions on DCC suggest have a look at threads on the UK's RMWEB as it has a larger user base than here in Ireland. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/forum/21-dcc/

 

Suggest you avoid PC/Laptop based systems as they lack the tactile feel of a throttle/cab with its buttons and knobs.

 

Some images of cabs below. Cab/Throttle ergonomics is a very personal choice, arrangement of buttons, knobs, sliders, throttle control, display, function buttons if using sound, weight, feel in hand, portability, etc. The first three are priced as starter systems.

 

Guagemaster

DCC01.jpg

 

NCE

NCE-Pro-Cab.jpg

 

Roco - best of the toy brands (beats hornby and bachmann)

10810.jpg

 

Zimo - More expensive high end system

MX32.gif

 

Lenz - The best of the best

lenz_set-100.jpg

 

ESU ECoS 50200 - The ultimate top of the line in DCC console based systems

title_DS_ECoS_01.jpg

 

Cheers

 

Noel

My god, the choice!

I think i will go for the NCE powercab starter set, as it's cheap,(relatively), there's no need to buy anything else(I have literally no idea what to buy) and seems decent. Thanks so much for the help.

Brian

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I beg to differ slightly on one point with IT, NCE Powercab is one of the most user friendly DCC controllers on the market and famed for its ease of use.

 

Just to clarify; The process of selecting and driving a loco is straightforward enough but the process of programming CV's is a bit of a rigmaroll with the Powercab! Especially when compared to the simple couple of key presses needed on the likes of the Gaugemaster.

 

BS819 - Don't let that scare you though! The NCE is excellent and will do all you need and it's almost within your budget. If at all possible if you can find a way to actually try the systems for yourself that would be the best thing but of course that's not too practical so I suggest you have a look on Youtube as there are many video reviews showing the operation of the various DCC systems.

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My own experience is that anyone wiring a complex layout , ie more then a few points would always be better going DCC. Far less wiring and no section switching which generates a lot of wiring complexity in large(er ) layouts

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