QUOTE (Dynamite26 @ 21 Jan 2006, 00:32)I think i might just stick with DC control less confusing for me and that i have designed my layout so i can run 4 to 5 locos on DC anyway as i have 5 controllers.
I just find DCC so confusing.
As you can tell I am no expert on DCC, in fact like you I am a beginner & I must admit there is a lot that you can learn BUT
When I started in old fashioned analogue it was with a simple controller and a circle of track connected by two wires. It worked OK except that I always had badly running locos and somehow I always wanted to run two locos at the same time or I was surprised when the loco in the siding that I hadn't noticed ran into something that it shouldn't have. As a result I ended up with soldering track sections together - making a BUS - and putting in sections each with a switch. Even with these sections it never felt right. I have never wanted to have more than two trains running at once because my brain simply will not cope with that.
With DCC I can get over all this mess by just having two wires from my DCC controller connected to the track in a number of different places - the BUS again.
After a few years the idea of electric points and signals became appealing. This introduced horrible amounts of cabling and the real problem that the signal & point switches were never quite where I needed them to be when I was actually controlling anything - I like to wander round my layout & indeed needed to for uncoupling etc. DCC lets me control all this from the one handset with an extra controlbox and one more pair of wires around the circuit - the 2nd BUS. No layout I have ever built has told me where locos are or which way points are set & I don't think I would know how to wire it all if I wanted it to do so. DCC can do it but you don't have to any more than you did with analogue. If you want to do so however at least I can see how to do it with DCC. I have always wanted sound on my system but it has never been possible. With DCC it is and very easily. At the moment it is too expensive for all my locos but like everything electrical it will be affordable soon.
My layout has lighting for some buildings and that comes from a separate pair of wires. No need to change that for DCC if I don't want too.
I could go on but I won't (sighs of relief all round) DCC is new and it can be complicated but I really don't think that it is as complicated as what we did before and it allows us to do all sorts of things that we could never do. My intention is to start simple - a good excuse for saving up time - like I did with analogue but make sure that I am prepared for what follows in terms of wiring. That way I won't be trying to put wires into impossible places later. I have done that too many times with analogue.
A lot of what is posted here is about the extreme end of DCC. The basics are very simple & I am sure worth it. Take comfort from the fact that Bachmann & Hornby are selling/ going to sell thousands to ordinary people and believe that they will cope. In 5 years I strongly suspect we will all look back on analogue and realise how horribly complicated and messy it really was.
If you really have uncertainties you could always start with a simple shunting plank to get the feel of it before you commit to setting up your main layout. This would always be a useful test track & could well help you avoid mistakes on a bigger scale. Didn't we all start with the simple track rather than the complicated things that we progressed to?
I am sorry if this is off thread but it did need to be said.