Non-DCC Command Control Systems

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by NONDCC, Feb 18, 2005.


    NONDCC New Member

    Greetings, gang.....

    As a new member here, I was wondering if anyone out there still operates their layout with a non-DCC control system, specifically Dynatrol, one of the first successful command control systems. It is an analog system as opposed to digital, but is a reliable and proven system, can be made to operate with infrared wireless throttles, and even with DCC. It is still supported, now by a new owner who is constantly "bringing it up to spec" and improving it, and for those of us who want a simple command control system and are on a budget, this is it!

    Some of the hobby's most well-known layout owners have used Dynatrol before they took down or rebuilt their current layouts, like Tony Koester's Midland Road, and Lee Nicholas' UC&W, Chuck Hitchcock's Santa Fe, and RPI's NEB&W. One of the hobby's better kept secrets, Harold Werthwein's Erie layout, STILL uses Dynatrol in a big way, 20 years and running!

    If you've never heard of Dynatrol, you can visit the Classic Dynatrol website to see the component parts at -

    And if you ARE a Dynatrol user, and were wondering, "does anybody still use this stuff?", the answer is YES! Come join us at the official Classic Dynatrol users Yahoo Group at -

    Remember, just because it's not DCC doesn't mean it's not worth using!!!

    Ralph Heiss

    S. Plainfield, NJ
  2. 2slim

    2slim Member

    Nice to hear that Dynatrol still supports it's product. I've heard some horror stories about guys who were using CTC-80 after it went defunct and needed support. I have used Dynatrol and for what it was at the time it was pretty good. But that could be said of black and white TV, Atari computers and cassette audio tapes. I got hooked on DCC after visiting Lee Nicolas's layout and seeing the Raillynx system, IIRC Dynatrol doesn't have any circuitry to control lights and sound. I remember Lee had installed a couple of strobe flashers in his engines and added gyra lights to others, I just thought that was so cool. I remember Lee saying that with Dynatrol, by the time you got the decoder installed there was usually no room left for lighting circuitry. The only thing that kept me from making the jump then, was the way the infared sensor had to be mounted on the outer portion of the engine. It's funny, if you weren't looking for the sensor you probably wouldn't see it, however once you did notice it then it became overwhemingly noticable, at least to me anyway. I finally bit the bullet and went with Digitrax and I really like it! I really think it's just a matter of what you like and what your budget will support.


    NONDCC New Member

    Re: Dynatrol

    Hi 2slim!

    Good to hear from someone, even if they don't use Dynatrol! LOL!
    I agree, whatever works well, and of course doesn't empty the bank account is always a good thing.....I operate on Digitrax layouts, but I just don't like the throttles, for a number of reasons. Other than that, I have no objections wit hthe system, or even NCE for that matter, quite honestly. But since the throttle is the user interface with the trains, that speaks volumes to me, as I just don't find it comfortable. I realize that "good" sound effects are something I can't have with Dynatrol, but that's OK, I made "peace" with that issue early on! I also like the Rail Lynx and CTC-80 systems (2 layouts I operate on use them), but I am happy with my choice, even if most of the hobby scoffs at my "Dinosaur-trol"!!!!!

    Ralph Heiss

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