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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I'm building a DCC layout and I'm wondering what decoders I need. I was planning to use Lenz LS150 accessory decoders (value!), however are these ok for computer control of points via the NCE powercab/system pro? Would I need additional feedback modules to see which way the points are thrown on my PC?

For my locos I have varying requirements.

For my trains on the mainline, cross country and suburban lines (e.g. A1, A3, A4 etc.):
- operate smoke generator
- operate DCC flicker free lighting

For goods trains:
- operate smoke generator

For shunters:
- basic operation

For ALL locos I need decoders that can tell an occupancy detector which loco it is (is this what is meant by transponding?) so I can see on my pc screen where each loco is etc.
For ALL locos I need the ability to programme routes again via computer software.

I'm still not sold on sound, just doesn't seem worth it just yet, when they work out a way to synchronise the sound properly with steam locos (and the decoders halve in price!) I might think again.

Also does anyone know a good decoder fitting service around Newcastle Upon Tyne?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info guys. Well, I knew it would be expensive but this project is starting to spiral way out of my budget. With over 30 points to control from the outset this is simply becoming too expensive. I'm realising that the only reason I would use DCC for point control is so I could use computer automation, however the cost of this is simply too much. I think I'll go with DC point control, possibly using master switches, I reckon using a couple of webcams and possibly a few bit switches (if they ever become available in the UK...) will achieve the same result. Does anyone know of any good sites describing how to make control panel's (with LED's)?

DWB, regarding the 120mA capable decoders, do you know of any for OO scale (other than loksound...)? Lenz decoders only have 100mA for their function outputs. Are the Zimo decoders suitable?
 

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DWB thanks so much for all that info, that control panel is fantastic, I'm sold! My layout will only have one operator (me!) so there isn't really a need for multiple controllers/panels. What did you use for occupancy detection? Would a LENZ BM1/2/3 achieve this? I'll probably be using masterswitches as they seem to uncomplicate things a bit (vital considering my complete ineptitude and ignorance of electronics). If using the LED's to show point position can you still use a masterswitch to control 2 points (so I would need 4 LED outputs from one masterswitch)?
 
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