Who all is shunning DCC and staying Analog control?

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malletman

Alcohaulic
Not that DCC isnt cool, but most times I get very confused when trying to program and set up engines, even basic consisting baffles me(thank you autism). So, since my trains are for enjoyment and not creating anxiety and stress, I have kept my layouts analog for the most part. I have tried DCC, mostly to enjoy a couple sound engines I used to have. My current layout build is going to be analog. Just found a near mint MRC Railine 370 throttle in the beautiful copper colored metal case. I absolutely love the golden case MRC throttles, I dream is to find the one that had lighted volts and Amp meters on it in near mint condition. My very first hobby grade was a MRC 501 Golden Throttle Pack. Still have it, its not that pretty anymore but still works as designed. I use it for my workbench throttle. Who else here runs old school analog control, has nice home built control panels and such? To me, thats model railroading, not this new fangled electronic stuff that cranks up my anxiety trying to figure out how to do stuff with it. Mike the Aspie
 

cv_acr

Active Member
I don't, but I maintain that there are reasons to go either way.

As you say, a hobby should be for enjoyment, not stress, so obviously you've chosen what works for you.

I've run on several layouts that are built for prototype operations, and when I see 4 different sets of engines trying to work around in a double-ended yard at the same time, the thought of wiring it and controlling power blocks with toggles and rotary switches would send me running for the hills. DCC is definitely the way to go here, and really frees up a lot of possibilities.

However, if you've got a small, uncomplicated set up with just one or two trains, it can be complete overkill.

Like I said, there are reasons in favour of using either system, depending on your situation.
 

max diyer

Well-Known Member
Hi Mike,
My DC does everything I want from a layout. I'm the only operator and don't need the provision for running multiple trains and other features. I don't want the extra work and added expense of DCC. I have a GML walk-around with 3 jack's on the shortline for switching. The mainline is controlled by a MRC Tech ll 2500.
I usually run the main while switching on the shortline. I'm happy with DC, so I'll stay with it.
Jim
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
While I don't want to say I'm shunning DCC, budgetary constraints limit me to DC. I am trying to yet figure out how to split my layout to allow for 2 trains with 2 controllers. I work with computers for a living and don't find it relaxing to do in my spare time.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
As I have mentioned many times, I am a DC operator and have no plans to change my home layout to DCC. Built as a switching layout and also being a lone operator, DCC isn't really needed. As Max said, DC does everything that I need. I do have some DCC equipment that I run at my club where DCC is a necessity with as many as 8 trains running at the same time.

I am just fine with DC.
 

Sirfoldalot

Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
I would be very happy with DC and the ability to run just ONE train -- It's time that I build something again!
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
I would be very happy with DC and the ability to run just ONE train -- It's time that I build something again!
I am working on getting the permanent outer loop completed so I can watch it circle the layout as I work on it. My grandson said to me the other day, " Do you think you'll ever get done?" and I told him, "I hope not."
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
Mike - I am shunning DCC for three reasons. First, I just don't need it. As a lone operator whose main interest is switching, there are no conflicts. I do have two controllers and a bank of selectors and could run two trains if I wanted, but I cannot pay attention to two at the same time. Secondly, at this stage of the hobby, I would have to spend a lot of time and money to outfit 80+ locomotives with decoders, not to even mention the controlling system. Rewiring wouldn't be an issue as the wiring is already done so there would be no conversion issues. Time is more of a factor here as half of those locos are not DCC ready, so no plug and play. Thirdly and this only seems to be a problem to some users. I read every day on this forum and others, problems with DCC systems, decoders, boosters etc. This may be caused by mis-matched components or faulty installs; I am not in a position to judge this.
On rare occasions, I use both controllers and run two trains, letting one of my grandsons run one continuous running train on one level while I do switching on the other level. However only one of us can use the walk-around throttle.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
In the defense of DCC and its related problems, most of the problems I've encountered with DCC is caused by my human error. Read the manuals dummy!!! The second is dirty track and it seems that many of the DCC users are getting a handle on dirty track and locomotive wheel cleaning.

I will run a mainline train while doing switching operations which may require use of the main. Then I stop the local freight until the switching on the main is completed. Easier with DCC than with DC. The other biggest asset of DCC is the sound locomotives which have a far larger range of options than DC sound. I also enjoy installing DCC in my locomotives and the soldering as become second nature to me.

I amaze visitors when I stop a mainline freight just short of a turnout and then throw the turnout and pull out a locomotive on the main which is sharing the same track as the mainline local.

DC or DCC its your choice and reasons for using either system can be compelling strong in favor of either.

After all "Model Railroading is Fun."

Greg
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
When I entered the hobby 14 years ago, I was very new and knew essentially nothing about it. I just knew I had enjoyed an HO Marklin train layout, a basic one, when I was ten years old. When I saw what the BLI 4-6-4 could do on a 3' length of track and operating it with a DCC system, I was hooked. But, I knew nothing. I operated it in DC for about three months and figured I wanted to get all the capabilities of the decoder that I had paid for.
I did have some hair-pulling at first. But, having mastered a few things, including my own temper, by the time I retired, I knew it was incumbent upon me to do the heavy lifting. I couldn't pay someone else to learn what the manual said; I had to do it. In that process, I learned a lot about the nature of DCC, its limitations, and all that it offered. And, I haven't looked back. Now, I wouldn't have it any other way. DCC is second nature, the wiring is 's..t' simple, and I can fine-tune my locomotive drives and sounds to make them do what I want, which is to behave as close to realistically as possible. For example, I learned that I could fine-tune the jerky drive of a BLI 'stealth' non-DCC Class J 4-8-4. Not with the wonderful ESU LokSound or the more modern WOW, but with the first edition of the Tsunami. Yes, that now 12-year-old version. I conquered that jerky drive which is now silky smooth.

Each of us must establish our path in life, and this hobby is but a part of it. If it were work, annoying, aggravating, or simply too complex for me, I would probably look for another diversion. Fortunately, between brain power and perseverance (my regiment's motto, BTW), I managed to carve a path that has made, and kept, me happy. My cat still has several layers of skin on it, too.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Dave - Those GML throttles are excellent. That is my main controller. I really like the ability to unplug at one location and move to another and having the train remain running while moving. I also like the large stereo plug making it so easy to plug in. I have a second walk around throttle that was given to me by a good friend. I have no idea who made it, but it too is excellent. When the grand kids come over, I can set a train out on the main line for them to run and use the other to work in one of the yards.

Like Willie, Keeping focused on one train is enough to keep my busy. If I were to try to run a second train on my single track main line, I'm sure that there would be a wreck in short order.

For me sound is not a necessity. I usually have a radio going while I'm in the train room. I do have a few DCC locomotives which I mainly run at my club, but do also run them on my DC layout. What I try to do is to run every locomotive I have just to keep the lubricants from hardening. I'll let a train run around the layout while working on projects and I find that after just a few minutes, the sound locomotives can get annoying.

At the club which is DCC, it is a different story as the club is open to the public during operating sessions and sound really gets the viewers interest. At the club we have multiple trains running at the same time and DCC is a necessity.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
I couldn't operate on DC. Just way to many features and benefits of DCC to even consider going back. One primary feature is speed matching of locomotives. Then sound control and lighting effects.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Has anyone ever tried a hybrid? Say an outer loop on DCC and an inner loop and switching areas on DC?
When I first started using DCC in 1998, I got a DCC system, and wired it onto one side of a double pole double throw, center off switch. When I wanted to run normal trains, I’d throw the switch to my DC controller. When I wanted to run digital, I’d throw the switch the other way. The center off position was to minimize the chance of dcc and dc somehow comingling, which usually had disastrous consequences for the dc c ontroller.
 

NCRC5315

Member
Everybody needs to decide what is best for them. For me, I like the capabilities of DCC. The railroad I model, in order to follow prototypical operations, requires the ability to split the power, to switch some industries. That wouldn't be possible with DC.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Has anyone ever tried a hybrid? Say an outer loop on DCC and an inner loop and switching areas on DC?
My club originally was all DC and had an outer mainline which included the fiddle yard and other yards around the layout, From that mainline, it had 3 branchlines which were all terminating, i.e. only 1 entry and exit. When the change was made to include DCC control, those branchlines were joined up to the outer mainline so the could enter and exit at both ends. By adding a second booster 2 power districts were able to be created. They were also able to be divided into DC on one and DCC on the other, or either.

In the scenario you have asked about, it would be best to make the outer loop DC and the inner the DCC one, for the reasons outlined by NCRC315, but there would have to be safeguards to prevent any crossing over from one to the other, while so being powered and operated.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
My club originally was all DC and had an outer mainline which included the fiddle yard and other yards around the layout, From that mainline, it had 3 branchlines which were all terminating, i.e. only 1 entry and exit. When the change was made to include DCC control, those branchlines were joined up to the outer mainline so the could enter and exit at both ends. By adding a second booster 2 power districts were able to be created. They were also able to be divided into DC on one and DCC on the other, or either.

In the scenario you have asked about, it would be best to make the outer loop DC and the inner the DCC one, for the reasons outlined by NCRC315, but there would have to be safeguards to prevent any crossing over from one to the other, while so being powered and operated.
Toot, that may be a better option for me. I have maybe 20 DCC engines and over 300 non-DCC or dummies.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Toot, that may be a better option for me. I have maybe 20 DCC engines and over 300 non-DCC or dummies.
I did see at MB Klein's the other day the NCE silent decoder that replaces the D13SRJ 9 pin, now smaller and called just D13J at just under $19 each. Hmmmmmmm? let's see 300 @ $19 = $5700. No problemo!

P.S. Have they had run on them since I looked, no singles left, but a couple of the 4 packs (works out to $17.50 ea. and the 10 packs @ $16.40 ea.) The 4's are identified as D13J-4 and the 10's as D13J-10.
 




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