DCC or DC for N scale door layout?

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by SwampFox, May 31, 2005.

  1. SwampFox

    SwampFox New Member

    Hi all, I am brand new here. I've been looking for a great BBS like this one!

    Due to space, I want to build an N scale layout on a hollow core door. My son is 14 and this will be a joint project. The layout will be nothing fancy, probably a modified version of one of the door layouts in Model Railroader.

    Would it make sense to go with DCC on such a small layout, or would keeping to DC be better? I've only ever used DC locos but haven't modeled in many years. If DCC is a good idea, are there any basic DCC systems that you could recommend? I'll be buying mostly newer Atlas and Kato, plus maybe some new Life-Like. If I buy an Atlas DCC equipped loco, will it work with only one system? DCC seems complex. BTW we really don't have much of a railraod hobby shop in our area--they're all RC shops.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Swamp,

    Welcome to The Gauge...! Glad you found us :)

    On a small switching layout, DCC would only make sense if you wanted to run two or more locos. While many people think that DCC is only for big layouts, it actually makes more sense for smaller ones where locos will be operating in close proximity. We have an industrial district as part of our modular club. It is amazing to watch the way freight deliver a cut of cars, and have the switcher come out and start pulling the consist apart, all on the same track, at the same time. No way that DC and blocking could do that really.

    However, the short answer is if you only want to run one loco, then stick to DC. If there is a possibility of either exanding the layout at some point, or running more than one loco, then go DCC. A variety of good starter sets that can be expanded start under US$200.

  3. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    DCC is just great fun -- on my 8x4 layout I always have two trains running and sometimes up to 4 on a single controller. If a friend wants to do some switching in the yard that's even more. DCC is more complex in some ways than DC, (although once you have a lot of blocks and reversing loops that might be debatable), but that's all part of the fun. It's obviously far simpler to operate once you have it wired up.

    I would suggest that DCC wouldn't be at all complex to the average 14-year-old, and would be most likely something they'd be very interested in (and would probably help hold their interest, if you see what I mean), by adding the electronics and computing side of the hobby to the 'mix'.


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