Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Saturday I went to the St Albans Model Railway show. Really enjoyed myself, although with my two sons, it was hard work at times. Picked up some bits, like phosphor-bronze strip, which I'm going to use to add some addition pickups on a 2-car DMU, and some miniature plugs for connecting the electricals between the two carriages.

One of the layouts we saw was using a ZTC dcc controller, I thought this looked really neat, especially with it's arrangement of brake and throttle. I see from the web site that it's British too, I just wondered if anyone has had experiences, good or bad, of it? (I did a search on the forum and ZTC received no matches).

Also can you run two separate controllers on one layout. For example, two electrically isolated sections, one with say a ZTC controller the other with a Hornby controller? I can't see why not but maybe there's something I'm missing.


· DT
5,345 Posts
See the info on the ZTC here:;page=DCC-ztc

It does look great and it impressed me when I first saw it.

Unfortunately looks can deceive and if you do a search on this site and others, you will find many problems with the system and the ZTC decoders. It is expensive as well.

The cool looking throttle is actually one of the problems - if you switch between locos that are running, you are going to have a problem matching the speed of the loco to the position of the throttle if they are different. Perhaps it wasn't designed to do that though. As it imitates a loco cab, perhaps the intention is that you drive one train at a time. Stopping completely before switching locos. The trouble is that we often like to control more than one loco at a time on our layouts. I have up to 7 or 8 locos running on mine.

I would suggest finding a dealer that has one set up as a demo. Play with it for a while first before buying it, to see if it works as good as it looks. Try controlling multiple locos at once and see if you really use the brake and throttle. ZTC are quite often found at DCC workshops around the country so if you called them, they could perhaps tell you when the next one will be. Contact details in the links above.

· Just another modeller
9,967 Posts
Hi Fabben
Doug has given you good advice.

The ZTC looks fine but is really very expensive for what you really get - The best most telling comment I can give you is that several members of this forum, and almost every other ZTC owner I know of has now changed from ZTC to another brand. Those who kept it end up "slaving" it to a Lenz system.

If you'd like to see threads with specific comment re ZTC you'll need to go to/join an email list such as DCC-UK where it and its quirks have often been discussed... I'd prefer not to go into detail here unless its in respect to specific questions.

If you want an expensive console type with really nice features then the ECOS is top of the list and not so different in cost to a ZTC once you add the items you need to buy with the ZTC..... If you want a console with great expandability and quite a low cost look at the Digitrax zephyr - this actually has a really good set of features and super nice speed control.

Elite is now NMRA compliant so in its latest form, its also another option, however apart from testing I do not have enough real hands on time or direct consumer feedback to judge well/comment fairly on it either way.

I will report on it later (on forum) when I have had time to preoperly relax with it and use it as a layout controller - its important to do that first as testing and using regularly are very different things.

There are other threads that give good background to the "handset" type controllers..

Kind regards

1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.