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Wow I'm really having a hard time with this one. I've been making some progress on my route (bench work), and last Saturday I decided to go ahead and order my DCC system. I was set on the Zephyr, and looked online and found it for $150. Fifty-bucks cheaper than I thought I was going to spend. Then I looked at the Super Chief, and saw that at $280, it was only about $80 more than I originally planned on spending, plus a power source.


My layout's a decent size with a upper, and lower shelf - don't worry, there will be a walkway through the yard, and helix area - and I'm sure I will be running more than 1 train a time. The Super EB can run 2 trains at the same time with the same controller. Only drawback is when friends come over, but I don't see myself spending a lot of time play trains with my friends.

The Zephyr is cheap enough to where I can afford another basic controller, but the set itself doesn't have as many bells, and whistles as the SEB, and I'd have to hold 2 controllers to run both trains at once. I haven’t read the SEB’s manual yet, but looking over the data sheet I can see that it has more.

What do you guys think? I'm a beginner, so maybe the Zephyr is easier, but at the same time I wonder if I'm starting too low. Your thoughts welcome…….


In Training Down Under.
You can set one train running then select another and set it off, then select another etc, I have had 5 running on my old layout with the most basic Lenz controller.



Maytag "Danged Agitator"
Ross I had the same dilema about two years ago. I went ahead and got the Super Empire builder. Glad I did although I still have not gotten it installed, to many other projects to get done. Besides DCC still has me a little bit scared although I do not know why. I sent with the Empire Builder because of the extra bells and whistles.

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi Ross. My only issue with the SEB is that it has read only programming. When you're programming a decoder, you won't be able to read the current CVs to have a basis for a programming change. With the Zephyr or Super Chief, CVs can be read and written, a huge plus. We had the same decision to make, and while I strongly considered the Zephyr, we went witht the 5 amp Super Chief. In the end, if we'd added throttles to the basic Zephyr system, it just wasn't that much more money. I will say that we've been delighted with the Super Chief and I'd spend the money on one again in a heartbeat. I hope you get the system that suits your tastes. You're on the right track with Digitrax.


I did wonder about the programming issue - thanks grande man.

Ken, I wasn't appreciating that you could get 1 train going, and then switch to another. I know it said in the manual that you could run up to 10 trains, but when it said you had to buy additional throttles to contol more than 1 I thought that might mean the other train(s) would stop. That helps!

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Trackside said:
Alright, I just bought the Zephyr starter set online - $160 shipped. Thanks again guys!

Awesome! :cool:

If you're interested in a handheld throttle, give ebay a try. We got a good deal on LGM's DT300 in an auction. I'd recommend the DT400 though, of the two, it's my fav.

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