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You'll find lots of reviews and experience reports if you search around the internet.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with Hornby or Bachmann's DCC systems. They're difficult to upgrade, control is annoying in a lot of ways, and as companies they're not really clued-up on what is possible.

For loco decoders, strongly recommend you start with ESU, Lenz or Zimo, and then, having experienced quality control judge other decoders against those (many other decoders are sadly lacking in control finesse, yes they work, but they just lack the fine quality). For some locos, you'll have a DCC socket inside to connect the decoder. For others (older) types, you need to wire the decoder into the loco (or wire a socket into the loco, which is what I do if there is space).


Suggested control approaches:
Traditional-ish systems: Start by looking at NCE PowerCab or Digitrax Zephyr systems. Both relatively easy to upgrade and add additional elements. Both supported by various computer applications.
More modern systems: Digikeijs (but can be a bit techie) or Roco Z21 (note the capital Z, don't bother with the white small-z version). Those have far more integration with tablets, phones and computers, plus will take throttles (handsets) from several makers.

Point control. Possible under DCC, but through a DCC handset can be a right pain (a few people like it, most loathe). So, you have an option of leaving that as analogue wiring (generally vastly cheaper to stick to the old way), or building a control panel which talks to the DCC system. Those control panels can be switches/lights with a device which links it into the DCC system (different device types needed for each system maker), or can be software on a computer/tablet/etc. Software panels are hugely flexible in their design, and relatively cheap to build - a 10inch touch screen tablet costs about £100.



- Nigel
 
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