First Time DCC

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wpgrailfan

WYSIWYG Photographer
My club is looking at getting into DCC

Currently, we normally setup a typical NTRAK layout with about 14 4' modules and corners

We are trying to figure out what the best DCC system would be for our needs, whether we go Digitrax, MRC, etc

We realize the members will have to add chips to their engines at their own cost. Some members have even mentioned purchasing their own throttles (at least those that don't have DCC at home yet)

Over the course of the next couple months, we will be upgrading wiring on club owned modules and it has been strongly encouraged to the members to do so on their own modules as well. It has been suggested to upgrade to the NTRAK Recommended Practice 2005 - Anderson PowerPoles.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd like to hear them. And if anyone has any tips or tricks that might make the installation simpler, please please please let me know.
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
Hi WPGrailfan,

One thing you mentioned is that some of your operators have DCC already. Are they all on the same brand, or different versions? If different, I might suggest having the group run at these layouts to try the different systems. If the majority are the same, you might want to consider that product.

the other thing is expandability. I know that Lenz, Digitrax, EasyDCC, and NCE are the top of the line from an expandability stand point. I know MRC just released a booster, but don't know too much about it. You might want to call each of them to see what kind of deal you might get from them.

I know we spent several months trying different systems to see what work best, what felt best, what was the easiest to work with before we decided on NCE.

Just my two Cents.

Bob A.
 

ncng

Member
Our club made the decision to go with DCC last year. Don't even think about using MRC. Very limited in its capabilities and expandability.

Our club decided on Digitrax mainly because we wanted signaling. Digitrax offers the lowest cost and most complete signaling package available. Their BDL168 block detectors and SE8c signal drivers are a great deal. The SE8c does require a computer tie-in to actually tell the SE8c board what signal indications to display but I see this as a plus. Using a computer makes changing the layout and reconfiguring the signal logic a lot easier than changing wires for relays. There is also a company that works with Digitrax detection to drive signals if you don't want to use a computer. Another plus for the SE8c is besides driving up to 32 signal heads, it drives 8 tortoise type switch machines, and has 16 external inputs available; 8 for pushbutton switch activation and 8 for detection input.

Both NCE and Digitrax offer a one time only 30% discount off of their MSRP to clubs and individuals involved with train shows. Individuals can piggy back on the purchase but it has to be done all at once. Contact your DCC pusher when you are ready to purchase and tell them you want to participate in the National Incentive Program (Digitrax name).

David
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
There are a few good systems out there, but probalbly many of your club memebers will already have Digitrax equipment at home and already have controllers.

Another very important piece of information to find out would be what systems are supported in your area.

Joe Fugate has a forum clinic desigend to help people choose a DCC system. That would be a worthwhile read.
 




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