DC fundamentalist

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jambo101, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    It is amazing at the wealth of mis-information that the non-DCC people hand out.

    Testing a DCC equipped locomotve in a cab controlled DC layout is Like buying a Lamborghini and driving it only in town and under 80km. Truly a waste and not a true test of the vehicle.

    I have a Prodigy Express/Advance combination on order for less than $200.00 and my decoders are less than $25.00 each.

    My home layout is in a 10x10 room. It is a approximately 62 sq. ft. or N scale layout.

    Our club is running DCC at the added flexibility I find there truly amazing.
    I am looking forward to the improvement in my home layout. I will be able to run a northbound and a southbound on my single mainline at the same time, just like the prototype did.
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Will...I nearly had a head-on collision the other day...:cry:

    I had "parked" a train on the main out of sight behind a ridge while I worked the yard. I then sent that train out of the yard, having completely forgotten about the parked train on the main....If I hadn't followed the departing train, I would have had a collision....:curse: I killed the throttle and the train stopped a couple of inches from the other one...

    Just one of the added benefits of running DCC....:eek:
  3. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Very prototypical if you ask me, you have to be Engineer on your train and watch where you are going, just another of the realistic things about DCC :)
  4. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    So from what i gather from the responses the salesman should never have sold me this DCC unit when he knew i was going to be running it on a DC controller and him saying that it would run just like a normal engine only without the DCC capabilities and that i would have no control over the sound was BS or at least taking advantage of my ignorance..
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I think, if he was really knowledgeable as to what he was selling and the way you proposed to operate it, he should've cautioned you it wasn't going to run as you had hoped. The only + in this whole thing is that he took it back and refunded your $$'s. A really dishonest salesman would not have taken it back.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Unfortunately, I have found that a lot of hobby shop sales people, and particularly the younger guys tend to want to sell only what they would run on their layout. When I first got into the hobby, I had a sales person try to tell me that the minimum radius to consider was 22 inches and bigger would be better. At the time I had a layout space that would require a little bit of 18 inch radius and even a couple of sections of 15 inch radius to fit. It didn't matter that I was modeling a Santa Fe branch line in the middle 1950's that didn't have passenger service and would not see anything but gp7's & 9's and f-units with 40 foot and 50 foot freight cars. When I realized how clueless this guy was, I looked for someone else at the hobby shop for advice.
  7. Chaparral

    Chaparral Member

    I don't like spiders or snakes or DCC!

    I don’t like DCC- period, for one really good reason.
    Modellers boast about the proposed complex or simple layout still in the Xtrack software or whatever, and invariably end with the ‘blood spit and slap’ pledge of DCC.
    There’s not length of track in the house yet, pink and blue foam are a dream, the scale is still alphabet soup, but yadda yadda yadda DCC!
    For crying out loud, lay down some pink or blue foam, or two hundred placemats from the dollar store or some hi density thin upholstery foam, and run some trains.
    That’s a buncha reasons, but at least they are not rivets!
  8. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    chaparral, have you ever tried DCC?

    Our club uses it and it is simply head and shoulders above DC.

    At home I wanted to run more than one train at once and I wanted to run trains, not orchestrate a layout through a control panel by throwing toggles for power and routing.

    My home layout, N scale, is in a 10x10 room. Steam era, 7 station stops, 2 turntables, one yard and some industrial sidings. For DC, I would need 35 blocks to get close to the functionality I wanted.

    My DCC system will be here this week and I will be running this wekend.
    The track is 3/4 complete, the feeders are down and this week the Buss wires will be run.

    Then the operating begins...

    Try running 2 trains in DC, having one southbound and one northbound on a single main line. Allowing them to pass on the passing track at stations. Easy in DCC. Can it be done in DC???
  9. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I don't care whether you choose to use DCC or not, but that's about the most ridiculous post I have ever read.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I think that the point is is that people with different interests have their own reasons for choosing the control system which they do. However, many who are planning a layout, but have nothing running, and have never been model railroaders, seem to be big proponents of DCC even though their proposed layout might benefit only the most minimal amount if it were DCC controlled. There's certainly nothing wrong with them making that choice, but it seems that they also have no experience with DC either, so their decision may be less than educated. For some, DC may be a wiser choice. In my opinion, though, it's unwise to say that one is better than the other, at least without qualifying one's remarks. ;):-D After all, this is a hobby, and we should be having fun, not worrying about what the other guy is doing. :p:-D:-D
    On a club layout, I think that DCC could be a real boon. For a lone wolf operator, interested in operating one train at a time, it's probably overkill, unless he's looking for sound or control of signals and switches from the throttle. I have a room-size layout, and, because I generally prefer to operate alone, it's run as a single block, with passing sidings. I can run multiple trains in different directions on the same track because I prefer to run only the train which I am operating: the others wait their turn in a passing siding until I can enjoy operating them. I usually don't even bother, preferring to operate one train only, from terminal to terminal, before running another.
    It's been suggested to me that if I were starting over, with no locos to convert, that I'd be much better off with DCC, but I don't agree. I am not interested in sound, lights, consisting or multiple train operation. My locos operate in the manner I expect them to (if they don't, I modify them until they do), and I don't spend much time on wiring, as many DC operators do, because I like to keep things simple. I don't clean my track because my locos aren't finicky about running on the track as it is. I'm perfectly content with the way things are, even though the same situation might drive someone else nuts. I suspect those that are satisfied with the benefits of DCC are just as content, and if that's the case, then it's not going to drive me nuts worrying about it, nor should it bother anyone else. :-D

  11. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I am a DCC guy, but I have always said that if you plan to only operate one train at a time, there really isn't a huge benefit. As soon as yo put the second train on, I will argue a bit! And I'll argue more on a small layout than a large one!
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I would have thought that the number of operators would be more of a determining factor, although, as a DC guy, it's my opinion that every train should have an operator, and no operator should operate more than one train, or at least one train at a time. I think that this may be the mindset of many avowed DC operators, and perhaps one of our main objections to DCC. It certainly is in my case: to me, operation is having my train under control at all times, obeying the posted speed limits, using the proper track(s) and, of course, switching the industries along the line. I also have to be aware of the tonnage ratings for my loco(s) on each division, and when and where I should stop for water and/or passengers where required. To do this for more than one train at the same time is probably beyond my capabilities, and even if it weren't, I think that my divided attention would result in less enjoyment of the situation.

    Wayne (a contented Luddite ;) )
  13. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    Seems like my original post has branched off into the realm of trying to convert me to DCC,well that may happen in the future but for now i'm just trying to figure out how to make a single DCC equipped engine run on a 5ft shelf layout with a DC controller.The loco wont run 2ft without cutting out and i'm now suspecting the rubber traction bands on two of the wheels are creating a power starvation problem,going to try putting something heavy on top of that loco tomorrow and see what happens..Thanks guys your input is appreciated...Jim
  14. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I think I will stick with DCC then...
    No Battleship sized control panel, just two small handheld remotes. one with each train number displayed.

    No mass of toggles to memorize and control, just toggles/switchstands for turnouts along the edge of the layout. I can move with my train around the layout and look and throw switches right there.

    Simplicity and functionality gotta love DCC.
  15. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I like my DCC system. It's the bestest ever!
  16. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I agree with the one train per operator concept, whether you are using DC, DCC, or pushing them around with you hands! I'm sure there is an exception to every rule, but I think a second train for an operator is almost always a bad idea!

    Jim, I'm not going to try to concert you to using DCC. I just tend to jump in when there is misinformation getting spread, in any direction, really. People who are thinking about it should at least have accurate info to work from! As you found, a lack of good info can lead to considerable frustration!
  17. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Here is a scenario I wish to try.
    On the prototype for my layout they operated both Passenger and Freight.

    I would like to position all switches so that a passenger train could navigate the loop on the layout and pass every station (there will be 7). Start the passenger train moving at the correct speed and let it go.

    Then take control of a freight and move out of the yard with the assigned cars to be delivered to the various industries on the line. The freight engineer would have to be mindfull of the passengers as they took precident.

    I think it would be an interesting one-man operating session that could be done in DCC, but never in DC.
  18. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!


    To expand on my last post I went with DCC because I liked the simplicity of wiring the layout without having to set up blocks. I hooked up two wires to the main bus and was essentially done. ( Aside from some technical difficulties at the beginning, not the fault of the DCC system though...)

    I also wanted to have it so that two operators can work it at the same time. Mainly, I want to get my girls involved, without any fuss. Assign a loco to a cab, give them the throttle and let them go to work. I'll play the Yard Master/Conductor for those sessions.

    I'm also a bit of a tech head too. The idea of a computer controlled layout fascinates me. The fact that I can buy a piece of hardware with a USB port which will allow me to connect my layout to a computer is uber cool to me.

    I did however decide to forgo the DCC controlled turnouts. I was going to do it, however decided against it. I like the hands on feel of flicking a switch to throw a turnout, manual throw or switch machine. Plus, 24 DPDT switches and some cheap LED's purchased at The Source, at present, will save me a bit of money. It somewhat isolates one system from the other too.
  19. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Agreed Tetters, I too like the "throwing of the switches". I will be using the Osborn models working Switch Stands, for the manual throws on turnouts close to the front of the layout. I will be using Tortoise Switch Machines for the turnouts farther back. (Good thing is I sell both in my store :) ).
  20. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    This has been a very useful discussion.

    About hooking a computer up to the layout: Please elaborate here. Is this basically a software package and an interface that emulates a DCC controller? What is involved in the interface, and is software available for both a PC and a Macintosh?


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