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entry 31 Dec 2011, 13:35
Back when I last used trains I had a controller with a knob on it that controlled speed and a switch that controlled direction - period. Now I find that I can control 1000 different trains simultaneously, each doing something different including sounds, lights, etc, plus any amount of trackside accessories. But with great power comes great confusion and great expense.

Given the concept plan with over 50-odd metres of n-scale track planned, various shuttles and branchlines I opted for DCC. Seemed a no-brainer. Went with the ESU ECoS 50200 which just seemed to be the bees knees to an IT Geek such as myself. More importantly it provides everything I need in a single easy to use unit. Dual controllers, colour touch screen, track plans with point automation, automated shuttles, and the list goes on. Whilst the AU$800 price tag may seem a little high when you add up all the inclusions that would be extras with the other systems it isn't that bad.

I have read both good and bad things about this unit, but so far I can only support the positive. Yes it has a long startup time, but you generally only do that once per session, so I think I can live with that. Otherwise seems to do what it is supposed to do.

Adapted the layout to include a simple short siding that is actually the programming track, to be fully insulated from the main track electrics, but hopefully still just looks like a normal siding.
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