What DCC system would be best for me

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by LIRR, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    I am starting work on a 4x8 with a 2x6 extension (The turtle creek central from MR with its branch) soon. And I want to switch to DCC. Since its a small layout I was considering EZ-DCC but I have heard bad things about it. Really all I will need is being able to run a train on the main loop, switch out some cars at the industrys and run the mine job.
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I pretty much have the same setup and I went with the Digitrax Super Chief starter set. Might be a little overboard for what I'll be using it for, but I like having the option of upgrading and stuff if I ever nead it in the future. It comes with the DT400 throttle and being able to control two trains at once with it is really cool (since I'll probably only ever have two running at a time).

    http://www.fiferhobby.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi?product= SCF

    I'm a total newbie to DCC but the digitrax stuff was a snap to setup and program my current two locos with.
  3. moria

    moria Member

    Hi :)

    This is one of those eternal questions which is always hard to answer :)

    Bachmann DCC, so I have heard, is good at doing what it is meant to do.. be a simple easy way into DCC and capable of addressing 10 seperate locos on a layout, but it is a very early beginners set, just like the very basic throttle you get in some trainsets.

    DCC is an investment, if you are going to do more than just run a basic train, then you may want to look further to something that is expandable in the future.

    I have found, over the years, that people seem to place most store on how the controller feels in their hand... no matter what the pro's and con's of each system, the "user interface" i.e the bit you hold is by far the most important facet of the system.

    From personal Experience I have used Digitrax with a DT300 throttle, Atlas Commander and Lenz 100.

    My early start into DCC was with Digitrax.. hated it (remember this is a personal opinion.) Swapped it with a friend I met online for an Atlas Commander and Handheld... Loved it, it was fun again. Spent a couple of years with the Atlas, then went to Lenz with a Lenz 100 set, and still have my Commander and Atlas Handheld in use as additional throttles for the lenz.

    In my Opinion, I would look seriously at the Atlas Commander Duo Pack as your starter set. The only thing that could be seen as a drawback is the fact that it uses 2 digit addressing rather than 4 digit for locos, so you are limited to a max of 100 locos on your layout :)

    The rational is, that like I did, if you eventually want to expand your layout, or get all the bells and whistles, then you won't need to scrap it when you upgrade to a full function lenz outfit with full computer control.. if thats where you wind up :)

    If you want to go the Digitrax route, then look at the Zephyr.. that will give you a full upgrade to a Digitrax set up in the future, should you wish.

    Personally, as you can see above, for various reasons I am not a Digitrax fan of their command stations, alhough I have nothing against their decoders, where I have no other choice :)


    Graham Evans
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The club I belong to bought E-Z Dcc and we had a few bugs, but the company was very good about correcting the problems. That may be because a number of members "piggy backed" personal orders onto the club order so that our order was over $5000.00 total, but the club member who already was using it on his home layout was very enthusiastic about the product, the company, and the customer service. Our club is modular so we needed a wireless system that would enable us to use it at shows with other modular clubs around and not "walk on" each other's signals. The committee that looked into dcc for us came back with only two systems that would work for us. North Coast Engineering and E-Z Dcc. Digitraxx was one of the first systems rejected as not usable for us, but I don't remember why. The committee was split between the two systems so we had a vote and that was split as well, but E-Z Dcc one by a small majority.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi LIRR,

    I use a Digitrax Zephyr at home with m little 4x8. I am very happy with it, and it is expandable in a number of different ways. One neat feature I really like is the "jump ports" which allow you to use a standard DC throttle (like MRC Tech 2, etc) as an extra throttle. That means that you do not have to buy another Digitrax throttle right away if you've already got an old DC one sitting around.

    The other thing that is nice, is that the Zephyr is compatible with just about all the other Digitrax pieces out there, so if you want to try a radio throttle, you can just add it on.

    Our local modular club also uses Digitrax exclusively with little or no trouble, even at the big meets with over 400' of mainline in place.

    i would sugget that you take a look at the links in the "sticky" thread in this forum, and also try as many as you can before you buy. What feels right to me may not be for you.

    Good luck!

  6. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    As always, I must throw in my vote for the Lenz 100 system. Mid-priced, expandable, flexible, powerful, and I like their throttle.
  7. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    Bachmann's EZcommand is built by Lenz. So it's no surprise that any problems get worked out quickly.

    Personally, I like the Lenz Set 100. But, I prefer the LH90 for operating a locomotive. The LH100 is really the dispatcher's throttle.

    The Atlas Commander, also built by Lenz, is an excellent system. I do wish it had four digit addressing, but for small layouts the Commander is very good. I doubt that anyone would ever get to the point on 4x8 that they had so many turnouts that the Commander would be over the limit.
  8. Mike Desira

    Mike Desira New Member

    I'd welcome any comments on MRC's Prodigy Advance, please

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