DCC Starter Sets...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by SNCF, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. SNCF

    SNCF New Member

    I am currently trying to decide on a DCC system. I have been flip flopping between the MRC Prodigy Advance and the Digitrax Super Chief...

    My requirements are that I can run at least 5 trains at one time with the starter set; then hopefully later on run around 10+. I see that the spec for the MRC system only provides 3.5 amps...while the Digitrax provides 5 or 8 amps. How many locos can you run with 3.5 amps...? Then there is the whole issue of decoders whether to stick with Digitrax DCC and decoders or MRC and have a variety of different brand decoders...

    Anyway, I would like some help from those of you that have been doing this a while...
    I need a realistic approach to this... I really don't want to spend over $400 on a DCC system when I'm only going to use $200 worth of its capabilities...

  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I was in the saem boat as you up until i got my set 2 weeks ago. I had exactly the same criteria, about 4 or 5 trains no additional equipment (besides decoders) kinda easy to use easy to setup and expandable when need be. Did all the required reading etc. I was flopping back and forth between the digitrax Super chief/Empire builder and the MRC and the Lenz. I decided on the Digitrax super chief model. I've read quite a few good things about the unit, and on recieving mine i promptly hooked it up to dc only engines :) and ran my engines around like a mad man ;).

    It's a VERY nice setup. I like it allot it is perfect for me and has lots of things to get into. The cab is easy ot figure out once you read the quick start section in the book. It's light enough even w/ the battery to not be a bother and heavy enough to feel like you are holding something. I liek the clicks of the throttle wheel, the backlit display and the little flashlight at the end of the cab :).

    So far i've put 3 engines on the track, an athearn sd45 athearn heavy weight f7 and a lifelike toy grade f7. i am going to put a couple more toy grade engines on the track to see how many it will run. based on amperage calculations i've see the unit will support 5 of my athearns, or 6 to 7 of the atlas (they are lower amp draw than the athaerns). We will see how many toy grade loco's i can run in regular dc before it shuts down.

    I'll try that tonight and edit this thread.

  3. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    I am really happy with my NEC dcc system - inexpensive ($150 ) and can be upgraded easily... The decoders are a tough nutt to crack with the price. I got a few elcheapos for about $15 a pop. They just regulate the engines speed and the headlight can go one solo w/o the engine running. my $0.02 .
  4. SNCF

    SNCF New Member

    Thanks guys...

    Any one with MRC DCC experience comments...?
  5. wickman

    wickman Member

    I went super chief 5 amp . I've tried running 3 trains at once on my layout on my own what a nitemare :oops: Super Chief has been flawless for me .
  6. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I put 8 engines on in regular dc mode (5 amp super chief) and they all started up and ran great !! Surprised me .. i'm out of running engines hahahhaa.

  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    The tech literature says that you can estimate about .5 amp per decoder which in n-scale give you about 7 decodered locos.(you didn't say what scale you were in but this is close.

    I regularly run 10 decoder equipped locos plus 2 non-decoder locos on my layout with power to spare.

    BTW I am using the Digitrax Radio Super Chief. Great package.
  8. SNCF

    SNCF New Member

    Sorry... I'm modeling HO scale...
  9. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    me im in ho scale too.
  10. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    I have Prodigy Advance[​IMG], and have ran 3 engines in a consist, and switched with another engine all at once, AND i have ran two trains with two engines in a consist on each[​IMG]. SO, in BOTH cases i have ran a total of four DCC engines WITH sound ALL AT THE SAME TIME! announce1 BUT CAN I RUN FIVE OR MORE? ...i couldn't tell you, i have never tried ittooth1. i can verify that running FOUR DCC ENGINES WITH SOUND DOES WORK on the Prodigy Advance system, AND, i had NO PROBLEMS doing it[​IMG].

    Prodigy Advance puts out 3.5 amps alone, if you need more you can get their booster[​IMG], the booster ADDS 8 amps to the system[​IMG]. [​IMG] -Deano

Share This Page