DCC Decoder Recomendations for O Scale?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Urloony, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

    How many of you guys use DCC? It's seems incredibly expensive to get into especially if you have quite a few locos. Any recomendations for inexpensive O scale DCC decoders?
  2. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    I guess it depends on the engine. If you have one of the older power hogs, it will take a bigger capacity decoder. A friend of mine uses the larger HO decoders on his 2-Rail O scale engines. With that being said, they are newer engines and lower power requirements. He has also used them in the old Atlas F-9 units IIRC. I guess the system you choose will dictate much of your requirements. I personally have used the NCE brand of DCC and bought a System1, which could be a twin to NCE. I have also used Diggitrax. There are several new DCC systems that are aimed at the HO market, but the decoder really depends the motors power requirements. I'm starting to repeat myself. LOL Check back and I hopefully will be able to get some clarifications for you from my friend.

  3. wrmcclellan

    wrmcclellan Member


    I agree that NCE (North Coast Engineering) is one good way to go. Be aware that for O scale, unless you run tiny engines, you need to get the 10 amp power booster (HO usually uses a 5 amp unit), like the NCE PB110. Not many DCC manufacturers offer the 10 amp PBs. O scale locos have large Pittman motors and diesels typ have 2 motors. Add some lighted cars and one is stressing a 5 amp unit and it trips out often.

    You also have to use the 4 amp and above decoders. These typ run about 2-3 times the price of an HO decoder.

    I also like the NCE wireless CABs, but they have some quirks that one must get used to (display on the high end cab will go blank as the display is updated from the controller via the wireless link and this info collides with outgoing commands.

    Yes DCC is a bit pricey to get started.

    Good Luck,
  4. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    Roy, that is why both Lionel and MTH went with thier own control systems. The power requirment of most 'O' gauge engines exceeds DCC.
  5. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Roy, my familiarity with NCE's cabs are limited but the one i used was very easy and comfortable :)

    I'm not sure wether this will help or not but these guys do DCC and Sound and are the offshoot company of QSI (Quantum Sound Industries)
    The BLI On30 engine i have is powered by thier DCC equipment and the sound is excellent.
    There is a Yahoo group dedivated to the QSI sound DC/DCC products
    It is certainly worth an inquiry as nothing compares to an excellent locomotive or steamer with the addition of sound!!


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