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Brakeman Hal

Well-Known Member
Hello...I'm an 84 year old model railroad hobbyist who remembers Steam when I was younger.

In the 1940s my Dad was a Fireman on PRR Steam locomotives, and when he wasn't highballing on the Main in 2-8-2 Mikados, he would take me to work with him in the Yards where I would sit in the cab of an 0-6-0 switcher all day, leaning the engine's controls while my Dad and the Engineer were slamming loaded freight cars together for the next run on on the PRR main.
What an experience for a 6 to 8 year old West Virginia boy!

But enough of that!

I have a 130-foot O-Scale 2-Rail folded dogbone layout that runs a single loco at a time, and I'd like to get your recommendations on what DCC Controller to buy. (The maximum current my O-Scale engines draw is 1.5 amps. at 16 volts DC.

I have an MTH DCS controller and a 45-year-old MRC analog DC controller.

My MTH engines have switches which can be set for either DCS or DCC operation, and my Atlas loco can be set for either DC or DCC.

I am currently looking at DCC controllers that are in a SINGLE UNIT, with no handheld controls.

The two which interest me are the Digitrax Model 52 and the Bachmann Trains E-Z Command Digital Command Controller....I will always run only 1 engine at a time.

Which would you recommend?

Brakeman Hal
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
The Zephyr is a good bet. Not sure about the EZ-Command because my experience with it is both dated and short. When I realized its serious limitations, I exchanged it with a Digitrax Super Empire Builder from the same retailer. You won't want the SEB because it does have hand-held throttles.

Why did I abandon the EZ-Command? It was low power, and it could not write programming commands to all CV's that modern decoders have engineered into them. If you know you'll never run a second locomotive (I have learned that the process of discovery and experience in all things about life means evolution, including of limitations one places on oneself), and that the draw of that lone engine will never exceed about 2 amps, you should be okay from that standpoint. But, if you want to 'trim all the variables' of your decoder, you'll want something else...anything else.

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