Why The Big Cost Difference in Decoders

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by HPRL, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    I am gettng ready to drop my 1st decoder in a loco. It is a N Scale Life Like SW1200. The Digitrak Decoder suggested are the DZ123 or DZ143 at $15 and $27 Respectfully. What is the difference between the two besides Amps?

    More concerned, the Lenz decoder suggested for the same loco is $44.00.

    Why is Lenz so much more in cost than Digitrak? That is a dramatic difference is cost.

    Any insight would be very helpful. Also, has anyone installed a decode in the Life Like SW1200? Thanks in advance.
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    There may be other factors, but the 143 series has two more lighting functions than the 123 series. It also may have emf while the 123 might not, bu I'm not sure. Check the Digitrax site for a comparison www.digitrax.com
    Or, check Tony's site, his will also list the Lenz www.tonystrains.com
  3. billwv

    billwv Member

    I have tried both Digitrax and Lenz in HO. If you are looking for good slow speed control Lenz Gold or Silver is the way to go--their BEMF is awesome and far superior to Digitrax. I would think that in N scale this would be most important. They have a micro version for N.

    Of course cost is an issue, especially if you have many locos--I have only a few on a small shelf switching layout--so cost is not a major issue.

  4. zedob

    zedob Member

    LENZ=Germany. Nuff said.

    Although I have a LENZ DCC rig, I don't use their recievers. Well, I don't use anyone's right now, I'm still putting the system together. I 'm planning on using soundtraxx recievers( I model HO, so I can't tell you anything about N scale DCC), which are more expensive than non sound recievers.
  5. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Well, that make sense to me. I will start looking at some Lenz decoders. Thanks for your insight.:wave:
  6. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    What he said. I've got a buddy who imports live steam and other stuff (Sterling Engines, miniture internal combustion engines and the like) from Germany and I find that while across the board, quality is high, so is price. Some of that I'm sure is the cost of manufacture, but importers like him are also fighting a unfavorable exchange rate.

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Need to remember, also, that the cost of these things is coming down quite rapidly, as more are sold, and technology improves, and they get a return on their intial development investment etc, and one manaufacture will reduce their price, followed by the others sooner............................ or later. Price differentials may also be a result of this as well.
  8. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    When you do the install, please do a description and pictoral review of how you did it. I have put one in my SW1200 as well.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Sometimes it still is true that "you get what you pay for" in model railroading. Many of the more expensive items (and the more critical items like decoders), price is an indication of quality.

  10. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    DavidTrains: Did you put the Lenz Mini Gold in the SW1200 and save the use of the front headlight?

    Thanks for all the input on this....:wave:
  11. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    :oops: :oops: :oops: Steve - my bad!!! I didn't catch the error. I have NOT done the conversion yet. That is why I asked for the tutorial. I meant to say "I have to put one in my SW1200." :oops: :oops:
  12. HPRL

    HPRL Member

    Ahhh. OK. I will do my best to transform my SW1200 from DC to DCC in a descriptive & pictorial type "How To". Please don't hold your breath because some projects take me awhile to complete. I also need to purchase the decoder.
  13. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Take a look here. As you drill down in the installations tab (examples>nscale>diesel)- you will find the SW1200. Looks like Bruce has found a way to preserve the light. :) :)

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