I have decided it is time to go digital, and having read the many useful threads here in the DCC section, after reading the helpful reviews of different systems and consulting the big systems chart I feel rather lost in a sea of information! I cling dearly to my key requirements in the hope that they can be matched to a short list of systems or recommendations by those who have already embarked on the exciting journey into DCC.
While I am sure the biggest most expensive all singing system (ECOS or Zimo etc.) would satisfy my requirements and much more I wonder if there is something that would prove a good launch pad for going digital. Advice gladly welcome!
The situation is that I have about 30 or so N scale locomotives, most with DCC interface and three with decoders already installed. My current analogue layout is due for retirement and has some dodgy connections, track in one tunnel is at a 45 degree cant (!!) and is fit only to check new purchases run properly:
A much larger replacement is in the pipeline, currently going round in circles (
) at the advanced planning stage. My key DCC requirements are:
#1 Double heading of trains
#2 Full automation of future layout via computer, to provide background movement of trains
#3 I'd quite like to build my own signals and occupancy detectors (or rather "there is a train passing this sensor" sensors) but not essential
Since this is N scale, DCC sound or advanced decoder functions are not really relevant - just as long as the head and tail lights are on in the right direction is enough!! So...
...after all this waffling, I noticed Roco are releasing a new N scale digitial startset this year (quoted from Roco website):
QUOTE ('Roco')Roco 21200
N-gauge digital starter set
- N-gauge starter set with a electric locomotive class 101 of the DB AG and four IC express passenger cars.
- 5 x Ro 22203 straights 104,2 mm
- 10x Ro 22202 straights 312,6 mm
- 13x Ro 22204 straights 54,2 mm
- 1x Ro 22206 straights 33,6 mm
- 4x Ro 22207 straights 17,2 mm
- 12x Ro 22224 curves 30° R3a = 295,4 mm
- 2x Ro 22226 curves 15° R5 = 362,6 mm
- 2x Ro 22265 manual turnout left 15°
- 1x Ro 22267 manual turnout right 15°
- 1x Ro 22216 buffer
- 1x Connecting cable for digital
Transformer 10725, 50 VA/3,2 A
Digital amplifier 10764, 50 VA/3,2 A
-----9999 locomotive addresses programmable
-----Initial voltage, acceleration, and deceleration can be individually programmed
-----Light separately controlled
Recommended price 229 EUR
(~ 170 GBP)
So would this make a good start point, providing a complete system to experiement with? I gather the multiMAUS works with Lenz if I were to choose that system in the end, but what about computer control and double heading trains etc? (This can be done with multiMAUS PRO wireless I gather...) Although this is a Roco set I have no preference for Roco DCC over anything else, only it has trains included I like, anyway the Roco system is basically Lenz anyway?
Thanks if anyone could make suggestions!