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Beginner in DCC

6956 Views 28 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mikeg
Hi all
I'm a total novice where DCC is concerned, so please be gentle with me!

The last time I had anything to do with DCC was in the 1970, when Hornby introduced their Zero One system. While this worked reasonably it did suffer from large chip size, motor incompatibility (Some motors overheated) and high resistance rails to wheel connections causing loss of data signal.
I am about to start wiring my new layout and until now I had only thought about a conventional common return DC system. However, I can see the advantages of DCC - two or more loco's running on same track etc.
If I decided to go down the DCC route what would you DCC experts suggest…
1) Do I buy two of everything - one setup (DCControl system) for the down line and the another for the up line etc or is one control system only needed? If one system how do you control up and down trains together without separate controllers or being a multitasker? My brain only works in 'slow mode' these days, so knowing which loco has what address is mind-blowing to me when perhaps four or more trains could be thundering around the layout on two tracks in differing directions!
2) Would my stock (some early 1990's locos - Hornby, Lima, Bachmann etc) run on these newer systems of DCC ok.
3) Are there still problems of 'loss of signal' due to high resistance connection (wheels to rail) which causes poor performance?
4) What general information - Web based, DVD or book form do you suggest for an electrically sound, but novice DCC beginner?
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I am looking for a new DCC system and I had considered buying from the USA but I wasn't sure if it would be worth it if the French charged the same import duty as the UK. You said that you bought from Walters at "Very reasonable shipping and no taxes"! Does you mean that it came through the French customs free of charge? And if so, is that normal?

Thank you. java script:emoticon(':D')

Bill Dunseith
Thank you for that Doug.

Some years ago when I lived in the UK I modelled US railroads and I too got lots of 'stuff' from the US. It seemed to be a lottery whether or not I got charged VAT or customs and quite often I 'got away with it' as it were. I have never bought from the US since moving to France, so I wasn't sure of the policy here.
I now model British Diesels and I haven't had the need to shop in the US. However, there are some good prices on DCC items, so I may give it a try. My original choice was the Lenz 100 and I liked the idea of push button control, but I want to look around before I commit to buy.
I have a Roco 'Lok-Maus' MkII which is an excellent starter set, but as the loco stud increases and I want to do more, I find myself growing out of it.

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No TVBG, unfortunately my stud is nowhere near 99. However, it is the double heading and the ease of selecting loco addresses, etc. that appeals to me.

I think that the Lok-Maus is very underrated. It is a great little controller and ideal for the beginner. And, as you say, there is no need to get rid of it when you upgrade to Lenz because it is fully compatible.

I have yet to try to import to France, but when I do I will report back.

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