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Model Railroad Solutions have prepared a thorough comparison chart of DCC systems and although it may now be slightly dated it is still very useful:-

Model Railroad Solutions DCC Comparison Chart

Loy's Toys have compared different systems and run you through the process of what you should be thinking about when choosing a DCC system. Again useful although they only stock Digitrax so there is a slight biase. However in taking you through the process it will help you to appreciate what you require of a system for your own model railway plans:-

Loys Toys System Comparison

Remember that in both cases these are American sites and that ZTC, a full feature British DCC system, is not covered. And of course Gaugemaster's recently announced Prodigy Advance DCC system (see news story) is not featured.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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That 1st link is very out of date, alot of those systems aren't even available anymore!

For a comparison of Bachmann EZ Command, Lenz Set 100, ZTC 511, and Digitrax Super Chief, have a look at
http://www.p4me.net/dcccc.html

I haven't posted it here as it is quite wide and would disrupt the thread.

The Bachmann unit isn't really a fair comparison to the other units as it is very basic starter set, while the others are their respective makers' top systems. I only really included it because it's a good starter set, and if you have it you can compare what you have to what is available.

Moderators; the copyright on this is mine, so you are welcome to add it to the site if you wish.
 

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Thank you for that.


A very useful up to date chart of the systems that are readily available in the UK.

If anybody else has any DCC comparison tables or has spotted any websites that contain comparison tables then please include a link in this thread.

The only thing I would add is that DCC comparison tables do seem to be full of jargon that I as a DCC dummy don't understand and so maybe we should have a DCC jargon buster feature. If I don't understand the jargon then I find it difficult to appreciate the merits of the comparisons.

And unfortuneatly DCC dealers when trying to sell the systems at model railway shows are guilty of using jargon. No wonder your potential customers for the most part have blank expressions!


I know how they feel!


Happy modelling
Gary

PS We now have a DCC jargon buster feature as it seemed like such a good idea! See the topic at the top of the DCC section...
 

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I always use 128 speed steps, the slow speed control compared to 28 steps is incedible! I have 1 loco that can take almost 30 seconds to move from one sleeper the next!

I will try to add the Lenz set 90 and Campact, as well as the Digitrax Super Empire Builder and Zephyr to that table in the next day or so.
Might see if I can un-jargon (is that a word?) it too.

Watch this space.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fantastic!


We have pinned this topic as it is a useful reference.

Clearly some aspects of a comparison will be more important to some folk and other aspects will be more important to other folk.

The number of "steps" (jargon) is clearly one aspect that is important to enable fine control. We will talk further about these aspects elsewhere in new topics that we will create. If we take it one "step" at a time then we can all become DCC experts with the aim of becoming more knowledgeable than the sales reps trying to sell the kit too us!

Thank you all again for your help with this.


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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Zimo doesn't have any limitations in terms of number of locos, number of consists etc. Sure the hand unit can hold 30 locos in it's memory, but any other loco running can be simply called-up with its number. The actual limits are governed by the amperage of the system, but to increase that, boosters are added. On any 8-amp booster section, you could have up to 10 locos running without a problem. Their boosters have 2x8 amp outputs.

Nowhere in the Zimo technical manuals do they say how many controller units can be chained on their CAN bus. I did write to them, but didn't get a reply yet.
 

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Based on the idea that a handheld has a slot stack of 30, would it be fair to say that the system can run 30 trains per hand held?

It can run more as you say, but can't run more than 30 without losing memory of 1 of them.

Would it be best stated as "system - no limit, 30 per throttle"?
 

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DT
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Finally received this from Zimo:

QUOTE (Zimo tech dept.)There is no limitation ofthe number of cabs, except the electrical reasons. About 100 cabs should be possible, but never tried .... of course depending on cabling, etc.

256 locos are handled from the command station at the same time (that means that the instructions for those 256 adresses are repeatedly sent out to the rail, in 7 different priority levels); additional addreses could be used, but throw out one of the 256 (the most seldom used) from the memory. But of couse, also for this there is no real experience ...

Decoders support "advanced consisting" (I think you mean the CV # 19); the cabs support "consisting by cab and command stations".

So it can handle a little more, but it seems they haven't tested it to it's limits.
 

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DT
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QUOTE (Dennis David @ 2 Oct 2005, 18:18)...Seems most of these systems will do a lot more than we will ever require in our lifetime.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. It shouldn't be the reason you buy a system.

More imortant is how it interfaces with other units from other brands and how upgradable it is with EPROM and software updates.
 
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