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Pat Hammond tries out DCC

1725 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  CeeDeeI
A reader on Pat's site asked: QUOTE ... If you have a teenager in your family who might (just might) enter the hobby. What would that teenager's choice be, between DC and DCC? ...

Pat replied:QUOTE Having tested DCC on my 10 year old grandson over Christmas, my answer to your first question has to be DCC.

It was the first time I had used it and I realised that, to a beginner who had not been through the DC 'learning curve' of needing to have locomotives segregated and sidings isolated, DCC was so simple and logical. You told the locomotives which one you were talking to, gave it an instruction and it responded. It was the way someone completely unfamiliar with model railways would think. My grandson coded the locos himself, having read the very simple instructions, and I just left him to it. It was a Hornby Digital set but we also had Bachmann fitted locos coded and running well on it and also locos of various makes (without chips), by using the '00' code.

He eventually allowed me play with it - after all it was my train set!

Happy New year to you Pat and I hope to hear of more stories of your DCC adventures.
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I think that's typical of the youngsters today. My grandchildren are the same, put anything digital in their hands and they are away with it and here's me still struggling with an old video recorder.
>here's me still struggling with an old video recorder.
The controls of video recorders were deliberately designed to make older users feel foolish and helpless.
There is nothing straight forward about them, especially when it comes to setting program timers.

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I have a four year old that is testament to the ease of use which DCC enables. He wanted the Flying Scotsman starter set for his birthday at the beginning of November. He got on fine but with some of his birthday money he brought a gronk. At this point he started to get frustrated because he can't get the trains on the rails yet, and so could not swap the loco's on his own.

For Christmas he wanted the Hornby Select, so I installed it late on Christmas Eve. He found this much easier to control despite his Flying Scotsman being out of action cause Daddy had no idea that the capacitors had to be removed to fit the decoder in a non-DCC ready loco. Anyway he now has brought a Black 5 with his Christmas money and all his savings, and is now running 3 trains, buffering up, shunting and double heading on his own. He is happy because he can leave the trains that he is not driving in the sidings and never have to take any train of the tracks. He still can't get his trains on the rails properly on his own, but he knows the DCC controls off by heart.

For children DCC is leaps and bounds ahead of DC.
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I'm 39 so I don't know which camp I fall into. You know the too old for DCC or too young for DC. With DCC is the track wiring that much so simple where one needs to "power" the entire track grid and thats it. No use of isolating sections, insulated track joiners and the miriad of double switchs and what not. Whether one is using DCC or DC the most complicated part would be running the proper electric power to all parts of the track layout.
QUOTE (Stevie @ 1 Jan 2007, 19:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>He still can't get his trains on the rails properly on his own

For my children a rerailer was the answer to this problem (Hornby R620).
QUOTE I have a four year old that is testament to the ease of use which DCC enables. My two year old likes it because he can press the stop button and everything comes to a halt and go silent and then go back on again when he represses it. I occasionally give in and allow him to have the hand held control when we're playing with the trains and this is how he has his fun. It gets to be a problem when he hits the programming button!
Ah, the programming button. Now you are back to my video recorder.
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