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I think that people underestimate the value of a PC interface. Yes you might not see the need for it today, but who knows what use it will be in the future. IMHO there is a huge misconception that with a PC interface you need to run your trains with it. This is not the case, and although controllers are getting smarter all the time, sometimes it is good to have an easily debugable PC program running things.

In terms of controllers, Zimo is really the Rolls Royce of DCC at the moment, and with the amount of bi directional feedback possibilities that you get with Zimo decoders (both locomotives and accessories) it is well worth a look, but it is by far the most expensive.

ESU and Viessmann are fairly much of a muchness in terms of what they do. The Uhlenbrock Intellibox 2 may be worth a look, but that is not out yet.

The best controllers are those that your friends are using so that if you have problems, you at least have "someone" on call who can give you a hand.

If you can have a play with a few different types then that in my view is the best way to come to a decision. I also think that there is a lot to be said for matching the majority of your locomotive chips with your controller as well.

I have played with a lot of different controllers over the years. I don't like the Digitrax controller (personal choice, but in my view way to may buttons!) and although a few of my friends have Intelliboxes, they just do not do it for me!

Most of all its about having something in your hand or on your control panel that you are comfortable using.

John
 
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