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Guys,

I'm pleading for help!! Im a novice to this and ANY support would be greatly appreciated!

I've spent on a few $$$'s on this hobby and I'm yet to even lay a track piece on the table! Call it a building up phase - buy everything and then begin the project.

I'm STUCK on the controller issue - that is, how do I control the spee of my train! What method do the 'experts' suggest? I dont particularly want to go to DCC as i've spent enough $$$s but if I have to I'll consider it.

What suggestions are there out there for powering my set? Im slowly learning the electronics side of things, so go easy on me when asking the questions.

Im something simple, effective and reasonable priced.

ANY help will be appreciated!

P.S - a local shop suggested the digitrax system, but he done my head in with trying to explain it to me.

Stets
 

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You really have to decide what you want from your hobby.
Do you want to be able to run 3 or 4 locos, or do you want to be able to control individual locos. If you say you do not have an idea it maybe sensible to find out if you have a model rail club in your area and make youself known there where you can seek opinions. If you have a local dealer this again could be a start.
Its so difficult to advise others as we all have opinions. I have converted to DCC and don't regret it, yes its expensive but the benefits are abundant.You never finish spending on this hobby as I now have a lot of decoders spare as I am into sound now. Some of the magazines are helpful but you really need to talk to someone about your specific needs.
 

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Hi Stets,

The position you are in is ideal to do your layout in DCC, as has been outlined by previous postings it has far more advantages over DC, a good system is the NCE powercab .......... less cost than a DC three track controller, decoders from TCS will give you good control and ease of use in your locos.
 

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Hi Stets

What you are thinking of doing is a bit like having the opportnity to buy a new cycle and selecting one which has only one gear when, for a little bit more, you could have one with thirty gears. You obviously have no controller as yet and its gonna cost a few quid (dollars) to set yourself up with some reliable DC kit when, for almost the same (maybe a little bit more), you can get a decent DCC starter set (eg NCE PowerCab).

In my experience, once you've got your layout down, it's the controller which makes the difference to the enjoyment level derived from it and I'm sure, if you don't take this ideal opportunity to set yourself up with DCC then, within a very short space of time, you will seriously regret it and probably end up spending more cash on DCC anyway. Think of it as now having the choice between buying an analogue 12" black and white tv or a full blown 42" digital plasma with cinema surround sound - you may think you want the 12" b&w but in the back of your mind we know you really want the 42" plasma.

I am a DC to DCC convert who resisted the move quite voiciferously claiming it "has little or no advantage over DC" as I had just about everything you could want with DC. But, now I've switched over, I can't begin to put into words how much more enjoyment I get from my layout - seriously, and the difference is similar to the step up from clockwork to electric models. If we carried out a poll on this forum of members who had switched from DC to DCC asking how many regreted the move the answer would probably be none.

'Being put off by what sounds like complicated technology?' don't be. You don't have to know anything like all of it, just a few basics that's all you need. Once you get into it, like so many things, your natural interest will grow and develop your knowledge base, this is a growing technology, most manufacturers are now starting to develop new ideas and products to increase our enjoyment so, why choose to miss out?.

Done my preaching - so I'll get back in my box.

Mike.
 

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Hi

Just a bit to add to what has already being said. Now, would I be correct in saying your from Australia and if so what city? If your from Australia the best bit of advice I can give you for DCC, DCC controllers etc is contact Richard at DCC Concepts. I think you will find most members will agree with that.

[email protected]

Why simple I have now known Richard for about 1.5 years and when I first heard about DCC Concepts I was in the process of buying an Ecos controller. I found out Richard had a couple in stock, contacted him and came down to see him. Expecting to walk out $800 + lighter I was very pleased when I left $600 up........ He sold me a different controller that suited my needs, what I wanted to do based on my layout, operations future plans etc.

So thats my advice and I made this video a couple of weeks ago while I was board at work, explaining DCC with the basics.

May or may not help?????


Best of luck on the DCC road.

m
 

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If you don't want to spend too much but would like to start DCC then why not the Bachmann EZ controller? Yes, it is basic but it is OK as a starter. In fact, I have been using it for over a year and don't intend changing it all that soon. My layout is only big enough to run two trains at a time and it will do that easily. Why pay more?
 

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*** Because the limited functionality and programming of the EZ command prevents the best being obtained from the decoder and therefore the locomotive... and its totally hopeless with sound or any real function control.

Yes, the EZ command is a functional trainset controller but its quite crippled compared to a real controller... I really do think the saving isn't really worth considering - The Powercab has all the functionality of a high price system for not much more than a hundred quid.

Starting with the EZ command means that just like starting with DC only, a second unwanted cost is waiting in the wings.

Richard

QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 11 Mar 2009, 18:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you don't want to spend too much but would like to start DCC then why not the Bachmann EZ controller? Yes, it is basic but it is OK as a starter. In fact, I have been using it for over a year and don't intend changing it all that soon. My layout is only big enough to run two trains at a time and it will do that easily. Why pay more?
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 11 Mar 2009, 09:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** Because the limited functionality and programming of the EZ command prevents the best being obtained from the decoder and therefore the locomotive... and its totally hopeless with sound or any real function control.

Yes, the EZ command is a functional trainset controller but its quite crippled compared to a real controller... I really do think the saving isn't really worth considering - The Powercab has all the functionality of a high price system for not much more than a hundred quid.

Starting with the EZ command means that just like starting with DC only, a second unwanted cost is waiting in the wings.

Richard

Richard hit the nail on the head here with the E-Z ....... one example ... after fitting a decoder in a loco i took it to my LHS as the owner was interested in seeing it run, it had its own address but the E-Z he had set up couldnt read it at all proving its limitations.
I got home and tried it and it was fine on the powercab.

For the extra money between the Powercab/E-Z the NCE is the far better investment long term.
 

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QUOTE (16A @ 11 Mar 2009, 16:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Stets

..........SNIP...............
I am a DC to DCC convert who resisted the move quite voiciferously claiming it "has little or no advantage over DC" as I had just about everything you could want with DC. But, now I've switched over, I can't begin to put into words how much more enjoyment I get from my layout - seriously, and the difference is similar to the step up from clockwork to electric models. If we carried out a poll on this forum of members who had switched from DC to DCC asking how many regreted the move the answer would probably be none.

'Being put off by what sounds like complicated technology?' don't be. You don't have to know anything like all of it, just a few basics that's all you need. Once you get into it, like so many things, your natural interest will grow and develop your knowledge base, this is a growing technology, most manufacturers are now starting to develop new ideas and products to increase our enjoyment so, why choose to miss out?.

....SNIP
Mike.

Stets, just like 16A refered to above, I too was DC man all the way through my bones ( as my career was in DC).
I converted to DCC to allow the 3-4 operators on my evolving new layout an easier life & at that stage of conversion, it was the right decision at that time. Since then, the new layout has had changes which really negated the main reason why I converted.

That said, if I had modified the previous DC layout ( 20 x 12 ft - with 3 large & 1 small stations & 8 completely hidden dead end storage sidings) a small bit & altered the train operating paperwork ( train orders/timetables, etc) I had no real reason to completely rebuild the layout or convert to DCC - I worked out that I would have saved well over $3500 or more in the last 18 months. Hind-sight is a marvelous thing!!

Now DCC is no more complicated than DC, just different - a bit less wiring, a bit more electronics & it does make operating easier & for those just starting out in the hobby, the only way to go.
 
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