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Well, I've Decided D.C.C. Is My Best Choice
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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2013 01:36 pm
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mwiz64
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I had bought some recievers and batteries to go RC but after the hassle of finding a place to put the battery, the hassle of charging the locos, the lack of sound and the fact that my layouts will always be small shelf type layouts I've decided DCC will serve me better.

With all the foregoing in mind, what's a good smaller DCC system? I'll likely have 2 to 3 locos on the layout at one time at most. Many times only one and I'll likely never run more than one at once. I don't want to buy a big powerful system for that but I do want all the nice features like the ability to have sound and utilize some of the other features. I also don't want anything that is difficult to have serviced should the need arise. Any and all recommendations and advice is welcome and appreciated.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2013 02:38 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Mike--

If you are going to have a small layout, and only run one loco at once--why bother with DCC? The loco that you don't want to move can sit on section of the track that is isolated from the power with a simple switch. Sound was around long before DCC so why go to the expense?

Layouts were run this way, since back in the '30's.

Of course, either way, you still have the dirty track to contend with----

Herb



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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2013 05:24 pm
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mwiz64
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Dirty track to clean on a small layout seems simple by comparison when you talk about locating batteries in tiny locos and hiding charge jacks. I'll keep my mind open for now but I'm thinking about DCC. It seems there are some affordable used ones out there.... Particularly MRC ones.

Last edited on Tue Feb 19th, 2013 10:13 pm by mwiz64



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 Posted: Tue Feb 19th, 2013 05:39 pm
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NathanO
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There are may options to choose from. All the major manufactures have 'entry level' systems to run a small layout.

I use NCE. Of the two small systems they have that go for under $200 the PowerCab will give you more versatility. It will allow up to three additional Cabs and each Cab can handle at least 2 trains. The cabs can handle just about anything you can throw at them.

You will also want an NCE UTP panel or Tony's UTP panel to allow for the additional cabs. You can also us the Radio receiver and Radio Cabs with the PowerCab.

If you buy the PowerCab also buy the Auto-SW to allow for a true Programming Track. Set up one short piece of track for programing. You can put it on the layout and make it look like the end of a track that runs behind a building or put it in a City Park as if it were for a Historic Locomotive.

If you do expand to a larger layout the PowerCab can be used with any of NCE's larger systems.

The PowerCab does not have a true On Off switch so get yourself a power strip that has one.

Nathan

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2013 07:57 pm
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SJSlots
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Since Mike has kicked this off... I too have been kicking around the idea of DCC and was looking at the Bachmann EZCommand system. I'm assuming someone has knowledge of it and can advise if its junk or not.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2013 08:02 pm
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mwiz64
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Shawn,

I cant specifically answer that question. What I do know is that system is much cheaper than the others and my guess is that I couldn't run some of the other animation type stuff I might like to run with a DCC system. I mean, they had to leave off something to make that price point, didn't they?



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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2013 09:23 pm
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NathanO
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Shawn,

You may want to read the manuals on the EZ Command system. They are on the Bachmann Web Site. It is very limited in what it can do. Their Dynamis system is a better choice if you want Bachmann.

Most manufactures have their manuals on line. Take the time to read them and find the ones that match your needs.

Nathan

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2013 10:44 pm
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Lost Creek RR
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Hi Guys
It is an interesting question you raise about going DCC and what brand to choose.
I resisted for many years thinking I could not handle all of the functions that DCC could provide. I looked at several brands and eventually I chose Digitrax. The main reason was that most of my friends had Digitrax. This meant I had a great support base for me to learn from along with trouble shooting should the need arise and that was often. It also meant that when I have ops sessions the guys just bring along their own throttles and away we go. Saved me purchasing more than I would ever use on my own. We have since set up separate addresses and channels for each of our layouts that come up on the screen when they are plugged in, neat feature. By the way we have all converted to full radio ( Duplex) and wouldn't change a thing.
DCC has changed the way we run and operate and we all love it.
Rod.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 20th, 2013 10:56 pm
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mwiz64
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I can't imagine I'll have too many people coming to operate on my little shelf layouts. For one they will be little and for two they will be in unusual scales. That said, having help from the guys at the LHS is likely a huge benefit that I had not considered. I believe they are Digitrax dealers. Hum....

Thanks for the food for thought, Rod.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 21st, 2013 12:12 am
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Paladin
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I agree with Rod's comments.  There is a small group of us that get together once a week to play trains. We have a mixture of Digitrax and NCE systems. Both of these offer the same basic operations, and it only takes a question or two abour the hand held cabs and one is up up and away.

I feel that DCC is the way to go.  Just check out the options, then make your choice.
Like most things in this life, money is a guide as to what you get. Make sure you are not spending your dollars of stuff you will never need.

Don



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