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buying advice appreciated

1839 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Makemineadouble
Does anyone have any views on either ZTC or Fleischmann controllers. I also think there is a Fleischmann clone or copy or is it the other way around, made by someone else.
I liked the idea of having twin controls but perhaps the more expert users will know better and suggest an alternative make.
Thanks very much for any advice.
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Don't know much about the ZTC except that is is expensive & does have a few quirks, it is British though.

The FM Twin-Centre is in fact an Uhlenbrook "Intellebox" that can also operate the older FM "FMZ" digital system. Currently, it is may personal choice for a consul/desk based unit.

The FM Twin-Centre works out more cost effective if you buy it with a start set - even if you don't want the rolling stock (go for the 218 with the double deck coaches) you can sell them & also the profi-track.

If you want a hand-held my personal choices here are the Lenz Set100 or the Gaurgemaster Prodigy.

best regards
This is a highly charged subject, almost all of us will favour our own system and base recommendations on that.
Can I sugguest you buy a book or two on the subject and do a little research of your own.
No offence intended.
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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 19 Oct 2006, 08:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is a highly charged subject, almost all of us will favour our own system and base recommendations on that.
Can I sugguest you buy a book or two on the subject and do a little research of your own.
No offence intended.

Thats fair comment. I would say though that ZTC are very expensive given what they offer. I would look elsewhere unless patriotism is your priority. It's the only system built in Britain.

There is comparative information at the top of this page which you can look at to help you. See the DCC systems chart.
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Smokeyone, as MMad says, this is a highly emotive topic that comes up quite often.

The trouble is that not many people have much experience with more than one system. Also, each guy or gal ends up spending quite a bit on their particular system and so doesn't like to knock it for fear of hurting their pride.

I have used a few systems and currently run two different systems on my layouts. I've studied others at trade shows, but I couldn't tell you which is best for your budget and needs.

I would advise that right now, perhaps wait until Hornby release their new systems in the next few months as they may suit you. I'm sure there will be quite a few model shops with Hornby DCC systems setup on a display layout for you to try.
Thanks all for the advice. I'll wait and see what hornby have to offer.

About 6 months ago I was in your position and wanted to dip a toe into the DCC water.

I opted to purchase a Lenz Compact on Ebay for the following reasons :
1 - One of the leading brands
2 - Could be added to and scaled up for the future.
3 - Reasonable price for a first purchase.

Have I been happy with my choice - Yes, it has allowed me to try DCC and learn from my experience. Lenz has plenty of support via the trade and stuff comes available on Ebay regularly.

My Lenz system can be added to without having to sell what I have. Even the Compact can be linked to a bigger Lenz system so that investment is not wasted if I go for a Lenz 90 or 100 set. I will ultimately hook my system up to a PC for even more control. I have added more locos, accessory controllers for point control ( just testing this aspect ), Hand Held controller and XpressNet extension cabling. I will continue to add more DCC features slowly as my experience and confidence grows. The Compact is still man enough for all of my plans, even computer control. Lenz keep coming out with new innovations that I can take advantage of, like USP, Block control, Chips that report back info etc etc.

I think starter systems are a good way to get an introduction, so even a Bachmann EZ system is a good place to start, although I am not sure you can grow with that. There are a few starter systems such as Compact, Bachmann EZ, Hornby etc that are all NRMA standard. I chose Lenz because it suited me - you can chose what suits you.

If you start off with a £250 system then that is a leap of faith as you won't want to change if it doesn't suit you. I can sell my Compact without changing all the ancillary bits, so my investment is safe.

Try and find a club with DCC or a fellow modeller who you can talk to and see DCC in action. Find out the niggles and see if you are happy with all the compromises.
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I think the advice given above is excellent. Wait until after Christmas and their should be a flood of Hornby Elite's on EBay to purchase, I think on spec it's probably better than a compak, which I've also used, (the Walters Equivalent). While I don't wish to sturr the waters too much, have a good look around at Warley and test some of the sets out for yourself. Price is not always the main critereon. Features, and useability are the main things.
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