DCC for Dummies

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grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
I also concur with Hartmut. I started with an atlas system, converted to NCE, but the decoders are from NCE, Atlas, Lenz, Digitrax, Soundtraxx, and BLI. the only decoders i have bench were the MRC decoders which are not that easy to program. They are also no longer made.

The only major consideration that must be made is that which ever system you select, the operation controls, have to match that system.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi grumpybob, in your opinion, what do you think would be the best entry level set for a beginner that could be added onto. Soldering and electronic work is not a problem for me. I have to admit that I know very little about DCC or whats available on the market these days, guess up till now and this thread, I've had very little interest in it, but it looks like the way to go.
Cheers Willis
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
There are several good entry level sets out there. Digitrax makes a Zepher and Lenz makes a, i believe a Set 90. I know MRC is coming out with a new system, so i don't know about expandability.

I bought a NCE system, because when i went looking in my area, that seemed to be a good fit for me. Also this is used in the groups I belong too. I am up to 5 cabs running a 24' foot double decked layout, but this starts to get into the higher end.

The best suggestion i can make is go to a hobby shop that carries DCC equipment. Or better yet see if you can locate a club in the area that may be running DCC. i would also go out to the respective web sites and get as much info as you can.

I know this may seem like a vaque answer, but some of the issues you are going to run into is going to be your comfort level with the products capabilities, how easy it is too operate and how much you wish to spend.

The soldering issues are going to be more in the decoder installs and a knowledge of electronics is definitely a plus when trying to read some of the manuals. :confused:

Hope this helps.

Bob
 
Hi Bob,

best from Lenz is the SET 100...

But also the latest issue of the MODEL RAILROADER shows a new MRC system on the last page. Looks good and controls up to 20(!) accessory functions!!!

Hartmut
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Ok, wasn't sure about the Lenz system.

The MRC system does look good. Their throttle looks something like the NCE paddle. I just remember the old one. Curious about the power output. I know the new EZ system from Bachmann is very weak.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
OK thank's guys, since there is no local hobby shop close to me, I'll do a little research on the net with the mfgr.'s names you posted, and I know I'll be back with questions that are more to the point about specific options. There's also a show in a few weeks time in the next town over, I should be able to get a few pointers or demos there.
Cheers Willis
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Good place to ask. hopefully, a club will be there running DCC that you might be able to get someone to talk to.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
The Atlas system is "Lenz light" in that Lenz builds it for them. As such, folks are attracted to it because Lenz was in the forefront of developing DCC for the industry. A number of the DCC standards are based on old Lenz standards.

I don't know a lot about the MRC system, or the new Bachmann system; I hope they follow the NMRA DCC Standards (they should), but flexibility and upgradeability may be an issue. At least the Atlas can integrate with the Lenz line. Same with the Digitrax Zephyr with the rest of the Digitrax line (as in, upgrading components). Not sure what MRC and Bachmann have in store.

Kennedy
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Haggis,

I also understand that Lenz has something to do with the Bachmann system. My only drawback to the Atlas system, even with the upgrade, is that is only supports two digit addressing. That became a problem with me when I picked up a new GP7 with 966 for an address and i had a F7 4266. I knew you can switch things around and use the first two digits, but it meant that I had to make up Engine cards with not only the consist number but the Decoder number as well. Plus i was hoping for more functionality as i was looking at sound.

Other than that it is a great starter system.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Good place to ask. hopefully, a club will be there running DCC that you might be able to get someone to talk to.
Yes at least the Truro club will, they have had it for ages I believe, I know one year quite awhile back the modules were in semi completion state and the conversion was the reason it wasn't ready for the show. My online mrr supplier will be there also so I'll be able to get some local prices and info also.

Thanks Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Yes, two digit addressing is a limitation. You have the bad luck that two locos have the same last two digits. Sorta like that old story about only two autos in the state and they got into a traffic wreck.

I remember when the Atlas first came out; it was targetted at the really small user. The fact that it was from Lenz was attractive to those who may have had some long-term vision as to where their layout was going. But, there's been a lot of increases in DCC; sound is the biggest thing, and the new QSI decoders support up to F-12.

In my instance, even though I only had a 4x8 Plywood Pacific layout (actually, Foamboard Central is more apt) with a trackplan out of Model Railroader, I jumped in directly with the NCE system. Because I had plans for a much larger layout eventually, although now I've expanded on the current 4x8, I decided to take the plunge now.

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Oh! oh! NCE who makes that one? I had a look at the Digitrax and the Lenz home pages, and the terminology is leading to a lot of questions that I'll take to the MR show in a few weeks. I'm not in any hurry, so if I think DCC is for me, I'll buy a book on DCC before I rush out put the money down.
Cheers Willis
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
(NCE) North Coast Engineering. I have it as well as Kennedy. Many of the internet Suppliers carry it at a pretty good price. There web site will give you a pretty good overview. Would be good if you can see it at the show you are going to.
 




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