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The old decoder question. How many times have I heard or read this question on emails or forums over the last 15yrs. It's basically horses for courses, if you buy a cheap horse it'll run okay for a while then the waranty will run out and the damn thing will die and you have to start all over again. With DCC it's the same if you buy cheap it's cheap for a reason, if you buy expensive it's pricey for a reason. Your choce would most likely be based on availability, support and cost as was mine in the beginning. When I started three systems were available here in Oz Digitrax, Lenz, Wangrow System One. Digitrax was the cheapest at A$500 and looked it, Lenz was about A$850 and middle of the road and System One was top of the line at about A$1300. With Digitrax you got a base system that you had to buy extra bits for but was limited in functionality and only two didgit addressing, Lenz was similar but you could run more locos and System One was a full system with 4 didgit addressing and a lot more locos could be run. I went for Lenz although there was a complete lack of support at that time for Lenz. Then after a couple of years I moved up to System One due to the limitations the Lenz system had at this time. Now my Sysytem One is getting old and since the owner passed away support is limited to what bones NCE will toss into the bowl so I'm changing again to the CVP Easy DCC system as it has better radio setup than NCE and I like the idea of the base station type of controller which makes it look like a fancy H&M Duette from way way back. As for decoders well my choices are Lenz Gold and Gold Mini's but you have to carefull with the Mini as it's max current draw is only .6A, Zimo if I can get them and that's only usually at train shows, TCS if I'm not really fussy and Soundtraxx Tsnumai's for sound decoders. I'm not really convinced that the Loksound is a good decoder . It's an OK decoder but I seem to have a bad run with them so I avoid them whereever possible. As for checking current draw on your locos do this on DC first. Check waht it takes to get the loco moving, what it draws at full speed, what it draws with the wheels slipping and what it draws with the motor stalled. Only do the last one for long enough to get a reading so you don't fry the motor. Most HO scale decoders are in the 1A to 1.5A range, N scale in the .5 A to .7A range although there are decoders from the likes of Zimo and NCE that are rated at 1A.
The choice is all up to you depnding on what you want it to do and how much can you pay and can you get one.


QUOTE (ebaykal @ 17 Apr 2007, 19:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Might be a dumb question but anyway.

Since I am going to convert to DCC am looking for a suitable decoder to fit in tight spots in my FLM loco's.
Hornby decoders were perfect due to its small size but what I have read so far shows me to keep away from it.

Now, can I use decoders designed for N scale to my HO locos?
Is the Amp. value important.
And if the answer is yes, any recommendations?

Still couldn't decide on the DCC command module.

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