New to DCC

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by TimB, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. TimB

    TimB New Member

    After a 30 year absence from the hobby I am getting back into it with my young sons. DCC appears to be the way to go. My question is which system is "best." I understand that best can mean many things to many people. Best for me is probably summed up as reliable, easy for my sons to use, reasonably expandable over time, and a reasonable entry price. Compatibility with other manufacturers components would be good as well. I've been looking at Digitrax, NCE, and MRC. Specifically NCE PowerCab, MRC Prodigy Express, and Digitrax Zephyr Express (in that order.) I'm leaning toward the NCE right now. I'll have a roughly 4x8 layout with a second level and plan to run maybe 2-3 trains at a time.

    Any suggestions? Any experience with NCE or MRC DCC products?


  2. rksstl

    rksstl Member

    Hi Tim, I've started with a Prodigy and got the Prodigy Advance about 8 months ago haven't had any problems with it at all. It's real easy to use and fits my needs nicely. I run a couple of mu's and sound. The yard mode is a real nice feature.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Tim: on compatibility, anything you control through the rails or bus should be compatible with any control system. (Allow for some items having more features than others). The control systems will NOT be compatible between manufacturers; once you have selected your master controller, all the extra bits will have to be the same make. (Some makes are actually other makes and will be compatible.)
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge Tim
    Thank goodness for NMRA standards that forced makers of DCC to be compatible.
    It is also a good idea to see what your hobby shop carries and also if there are any clubs around, see if you can find out what they use. That way you can always find a source of help.
  5. Charles Mark

    Charles Mark Member

    I just installed my NCE Powerhouse Pro a week ago. It is easy to use with the LCD screen prompting and following the manual getting started. So far I love the NCE and wonder now why I waited to get it. It is a lot of fun running multiple trains controlling each seperately. I have a new layout approx 10' x 11' not completely finished but I finally can run trains! I trusted my LHS [owner] who told me he has used most all the DCC systems on his home layout trying them out and he recommended NCE when I asked for his opinion. It is what he likes and uses now saying he thinks it is easiest to use. He said he liked Digitrac next best. That was helpful for me to hear so I went with NCE and am obviously pleased with it.
  6. billwv

    billwv Member


    I see this question asked often, and seldom do I hear considerations of the throttle.

    I use Zephyr with DT400 and am very happy with that setup. The DT400 basically has two sets of throttle controls on the same handheld. I like this feature since it allows one person to easily control two trains at the same time with the same handheld. Also, the control knobs are click encoders which are great for very precise slow speed operation.

    My advice is simply, don't forget to consider the throttle when selecting a system.

  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Bill makes a good point. I've run on NCE and I own Digitrax, and I like both systems. But I like the Digitrax throttles better, I prefer the DT300 over the 400 and the NCE throttle because it is smaller. And the two throttles in one is nice.


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