Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to model railways (but old in age) and I am thinking of building a Small 'N' gauge Shunting yard. Seeing that its been fifty years since I had last had a layout things appeared to have moved on and I need to learn about the latest way of doing things before I start purchasing equipment.
My initial questions are:

1. Is DCC the way for me to go seeing that I will only be operating at slow speeds only?

2. If I bought for example a Hornby DCC Select controller, does that mean I have to use Hornby Decoders in the locos, or are others makes compatible and does that apply to all makes of controllers ?

Spottydog.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (spottydog @ 21 Sep 2008, 12:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm new to model railways (but old in age) and I am thinking of building a Small 'N' gauge Shunting yard. Seeing that its been fifty years since I had last had a layout things appeared to have moved on and I need to learn about the latest way of doing things before I start purchasing equipment.
My initial questions are:

1. Is DCC the way for me to go seeing that I will only be operating at slow speeds only?

2. If I bought for example a Hornby DCC Select controller, does that mean I have to use Hornby Decoders in the locos, or are others makes compatible and does that apply to all makes of controllers ?

Spottydog.

***If slow speed running is your goal then DCC is really the only answer... it is far superior in slow speed running to any DC system made if used with quality decoders.

You should absolutely avoid hornbys DCC totally for your stated purpose.

I would strongly recommend a product such as the NCE powercab control system (appx GBP100) used with the smaller TCS brand decoders. Both those brands give exceptional performance for the price and will deliver everything you expect and more.

Decoders and controllers are generally made to common standards and one brand cn be used with another brand controller, but all controllers / decoders aren't equal in performance, so skimping on cost will often have a big quality penalty to go with the discount.
The combination I recommend is exceptional in value and performance they are available from several places in UK who are reliable dealers.

regards

Richard Johnson
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,201 Posts
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 21 Sep 2008, 06:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***If slow speed running is your goal then DCC is really the only answer... it is far superior in slow speed running to any DC system made if used with quality decoders.

You should absolutely avoid hornbys DCC totally for your stated purpose.

I would strongly recommend a product such as the NCE powercab control system (appx GBP100) used with the smaller TCS brand decoders. Both those brands give exceptional performance for the price and will deliver everything you expect and more.

Decoders and controllers are generally made to common standards and one brand cn be used with another brand controller, but all controllers / decoders aren't equal in performance, so skimping on cost will often have a big quality penalty to go with the discount.
The combination I recommend is exceptional in value and performance they are available from several places in UK who are reliable dealers.

regards

Richard Johnson

Hi spottydog,
Welcome to the forum,

I totally agree with RIchard Hornby should be avoided as the powercab is far superior and advanced updated easily NCE sending mails after registration for upgrades, one hand operation easy to follow instructions.

I am planning a shunting yard and have the powercab for it along with TCS M1 decoders fitted to my class 08 locos and class 04 CT due to its size in N gauge, TCS M1's are economical (£16.50) each representing value for money with a two function versatile decoder.

Sure if you ask about DCC if you need advice we can help you more, DCC is the only way to go for your needs and will bring hours of pleasure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
QUOTE (upnick @ 21 Sep 2008, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi spottydog,
Welcome to the forum,

I totally agree with RIchard Hornby should be avoided as the powercab is far superior and advanced updated easily NCE sending mails after registration for upgrades, one hand operation easy to follow instructions.

I am planning a shunting yard and have the powercab for it along with TCS M1 decoders fitted to my class 08 locos and class 04 CT due to its size in N gauge, TCS M1's are economical (£16.50) each representing value for money with a two function versatile decoder.

Sure if you ask about DCC if you need advice we can help you more, DCC is the only way to go for your needs and will bring hours of pleasure.

Definitely go for DCC.

As previously said avoid Hornby

Of the others try several doing what you want to do because the user interface is the most important thing and some of that is very personal and if you are getting older and less dextrous then this is very important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
I'm in much the same position as Spottydog. I retired in April and was given a Bachmann Dynamis Wireless as one of my retirement presents. After looking at and in the box in incomprehension for a few months I visited a friend who had recently DCC-ed his Banchory layout and came away convinced that this must be the way forwrad for my russian layout. I now have two DCC ready locos and a couple of older analogue locos I will have to convert. Information on DCC is all around me, not least on this website, but its like I have walked into a shotgun blast. I can't cope with the confusion of web based information, I'm still very linear in my approach to new things. Ideally I would like a book that would take me through everything about building a DCC layout from using decoders (which is "best"?) to installing decoders (they seem to be all sorts of sizes for instance) to wiring the layout (how is it different from wiring an analogue set-u) to wiring and operating points to . . . whatever. Does such a book exist? Or is there a detailed sreies of articles in some magazine - or even on the web that is structured so that a complete beginner can take it from the beginning and end up with the necessary knowledge to get the whole thing up and running?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,201 Posts
QUOTE (1ngram @ 21 Sep 2008, 16:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm in much the same position as Spottydog. I retired in April and was given a Bachmann Dynamis Wireless as one of my retirement presents. After looking at and in the box in incomprehension for a few months I visited a friend who had recently DCC-ed his Banchory layout and came away convinced that this must be the way forwrad for my russian layout. I now have two DCC ready locos and a couple of older analogue locos I will have to convert. Information on DCC is all around me, not least on this website, but its like I have walked into a shotgun blast. I can't cope with the confusion of web based information, I'm still very linear in my approach to new things. Ideally I would like a book that would take me through everything about building a DCC layout from using decoders (which is "best"?) to installing decoders (they seem to be all sorts of sizes for instance) to wiring the layout (how is it different from wiring an analogue set-u) to wiring and operating points to . . . whatever. Does such a book exist? Or is there a detailed sreies of articles in some magazine - or even on the web that is structured so that a complete beginner can take it from the beginning and end up with the necessary knowledge to get the whole thing up and running?

I always advise people to take a look at Brian Lamberts website. He seems to have covered most things there.
http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/

Good advice Poliss,
As to a good concise book covering most aspects of DCC is ....

Aspect of Modelling Digital Command Control By Ian Morton

it is full of 'plain english' understandable advice on DCC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who responded so quickly to my Post. Your advice is appreciated.

It was encouraging to see that it wasn't just me that was confused (1ngram) but with all your instant imput I'm sure both he and I will get there........eventually !

I did'nt expect such a quick response seeing that I'm in Australia, but within minutes 2 people replied from Perth WA and now you lot from the UK even one from Lancashire where I originally come from, small world isn't it ?

Thanks again

Spottydog
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
Unfortunately in Melbourne there are limited options for DCC, mainly Hornby and Digitrax. Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide seem to have model shops which have a better variety of systems than here. The recent show at Caulfield had a few interstate shops with stalls that had some other systems on display and the above mentioned NCE system was being demonstrated on the BRMA stand by my mate Jeff.

It might be worth calling DCC Concepts in Perth for some advice on the different systems and how to get started.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,201 Posts
QUOTE (spottydog @ 21 Sep 2008, 21:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I did'nt expect such a quick response seeing that I'm in Australia, but within minutes 2 people replied from Perth WA and now you lot from the UK even one from Lancashire where I originally come from, small world isn't it ?

Spottydog

Sure is a small world spottydog
despite the distance we are all here to help, where in Lancashire where you ? i'm in Burnley
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs. My mam's from Lancashire too. Whiston to be exact, right next to the Rainhill Trials track. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
We do have a Burnley in Melbourne too!


As Neil said there seems to be less variety locally although Train World advertises NCE equipment as well.

Quite a few people ask me for advice and for new starters I definitely recommend the DCC path. For existing modellers I find out more about what they already have before I advise a course of action. But yes, if you a re new to the hobby, DCC gives better slow running, more reliable pickup, and more versatility for train movements and shunting manoeuvres, plus the ability to keep lights on and the possibilty of using sound more effectively too. And that's just off the top of my head!

BTW, I'm the Jeff he referred to!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (upnick @ 22 Sep 2008, 09:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sure is a small world spottydog
despite the distance we are all here to help, where in Lancashire where you ? i'm in Burnley


Hi,
I was originally from Blackburn, then Rishton, long time ago though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
OK, I've looked at Brain's site and bought Ian Morton's book - and read it through twice. There still seem a lot of things I need to understand - like when I need extra boosters, having to have power directly attached to every single piece of track (on an 8 foot end to end with loop and three sidings over two boards I count 21 separate pieces of ttrack inc points - thats a lot of links) etc etc - things I will no doubt plague this forum with in the months to come as I build the layout.

But right at the start I want to get my locos up and running. Nowhere do I get a clear notion of what decoders are suitable for me. I will have 5 locos only. Two are Bachmann decapods with DCC already installed. Two are old Russian tender driven 0-8-0s but with better tender motors attached - one is a Fleischmann and one, I hope, will be a British H0 Lima Fowler tender scavenged from my British layout. The fifth engine is an Electrotren 2-6-0 shunter. My DCC system is a Baschmann Dynamis given me as a retirememt present.

So no lights or sound on the latter three but I want them to run as well as possible - so what decoders should I install? The prices of whats available varies so much and I have to confess that the technical detail on each just confuses me at present.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
QUOTE There still seem a lot of things I need to understand - like when I need extra boosters, having to have power directly attached to every single piece of track (on an 8 foot end to end with loop and three sidings over two boards I count 21 separate pieces of ttrack inc points - thats a lot of links) etc etc

I think you've got "DCC Indigestion". You don't need boosters until you have a pretty large number of locomotives running at the same time, so for your setup, you can stop worrying about them.

Directly connecting power to every piece of track is the ultimate for reliability but for starting off with pretty new track, it's not necessary. If you find that you do have a "dodgy" fishplate connection direct connect is a sure fire cure for it. One of the downsides of DCC is that if the decoder detects a lost connection, everything restarts from scratch. If you have a sound loco which is set to go through its start up sequence this is a real pain in the neck. On DC there would be a momentary hiccup and the loco continues regardless, you might not even notice.

David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,201 Posts
QUOTE (1ngram @ 3 Oct 2008, 17:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK, I've looked at Brain's site and bought Ian Morton's book - and read it through twice. There still seem a lot of things I need to understand - like when I need extra boosters, having to have power directly attached to every single piece of track (on an 8 foot end to end with loop and three sidings over two boards I count 21 separate pieces of ttrack inc points - thats a lot of links) etc etc - things I will no doubt plague this forum with in the months to come as I build the layout.

But right at the start I want to get my locos up and running. Nowhere do I get a clear notion of what decoders are suitable for me. I will have 5 locos only. Two are Bachmann decapods with DCC already installed. Two are old Russian tender driven 0-8-0s but with better tender motors attached - one is a Fleischmann and one, I hope, will be a British H0 Lima Fowler tender scavenged from my British layout. The fifth engine is an Electrotren 2-6-0 shunter. My DCC system is a Baschmann Dynamis given me as a retirememt present.

So no lights or sound on the latter three but I want them to run as well as possible - so what decoders should I install? The prices of whats available varies so much and I have to confess that the technical detail on each just confuses me at present.

You need to determine if the locos are DCC friendly first ....no doubt others here can tell you the suitablity of your stock to DCC ...... as to decoders TCS are a good choice economical and with a no question 'goof proof warrenty'. if your looking for a small decoder go for TCS M1 ideal for OO gauge locos.

Wiring should be with a main bus in a t shape away from the control with droppers every three foot at maximum there are different ways to wire points discussed elsewhere on the forum
http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...?showtopic=6006
This one as an example.

Ask here and no doubt you will receive help with anything
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
QUOTE (1ngram @ 4 Oct 2008, 01:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But right at the start I want to get my locos up and running. Nowhere do I get a clear notion of what decoders are suitable for me. I will have 5 locos only. Two are Bachmann decapods with DCC already installed. Two are old Russian tender driven 0-8-0s but with better tender motors attached - one is a Fleischmann and one, I hope, will be a British H0 Lima Fowler tender scavenged from my British layout. The fifth engine is an Electrotren 2-6-0 shunter. My DCC system is a Baschmann Dynamis given me as a retirememt present.

So no lights or sound on the latter three but I want them to run as well as possible - so what decoders should I install? The prices of whats available varies so much and I have to confess that the technical detail on each just confuses me at present.

Hi 1ngram

I have converted quite a few Fleischmann Loks Depending on the Model You will need a Insulated Motor Backplate (Motor Sheild) The later ones only need a few cuts on the circuit board to Isolate the Motor Brush connections from the body of the motor I use TCS Decoders for nearly all my conversions as they have a "No questions asked , Goof Proof Warranty "

This Link will show you what I mean by the Insulted Motor back plate
Link to Post

In that post you will find two versions of the Insulted Motor Backplate I have done lots Of Tender driven Loks as well
They tend to have a little more room for decoders Although the Power pickups are generally in the Locomotive there is sometimes Power pickup from the tender as well usually the Negative power to the Motor through the chassis and I have found 1 with just one power pickup to the +ve side as well

Hope this helps , I can always send you the pictures I have taken of the various Installs and see if they match your loco

Regards Zmil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Once again I crave indulgence for my total ignorance but please tell me: When Bachmann say their loco is "DCC ready" what do they mean? I've read that their decapods are DCC ready and that this means there is a decoder already fitted. Elsehwhere I find a definition of "DCC ready" which says ready to have a decoder fitted. Bachmann give precious little information in the box with the loco, alas and I am now perplexed as I thought I had, very cheaply, bought a couple of locos with decoders aleady fitted. If not then they were still cheap but not quite so cheap as I had hoped.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top