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cheapest DCC PowerPack

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  • Member since
    April 2003
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cheapest DCC PowerPack
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 7:21 PM
I am thinking of switching to DCC and I was wondering if there is a PowerPack under $60.
  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: US
  • 155 posts
Posted by conford on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 9:54 PM
I have seen the MRC Command 200 in this price range, but I would not recommend it. Plan on spending about $160 and get something like the Digitrax Zephyr. I suppose the Atlas system and the MRC Prodigy can be purchased for less than that, but the range of features they offer is so limited that (in my opinion) they are unsatisfactory. DCC ain't cheap, but what you can do with it is amazing. If you are going to have more than one operator and more than three engines running at a time you might as well plan on spending $150 to 200. Consider Digitrax, Lenz and Easy DCC for their low end systems and expandability.

Good luck
Peter
Modeling Grand Rapids Michigan, C&O, PRR and NYC operations circa 1958.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 10:40 PM
DCC is too expensive an investment to "cheapen" it is compariable to buying a toy train pack that will fail in 6 months.

Consider the lines above post, those are the better "Quality" brands. There is also the DCC decoders and sound units. Prices for each locomotive can easily double.

However to hear the steam engine quietly pumping air, and blowing saftey while sitting still is very motivating to the engineer. Also some engines are vry "touchy" and either stop and full speed and nothing in between. A good DCC throttle that can program these beasts to tame down into a controllable speed range is invaluable.

I have used a resistor for 3 decades, however am seriously considering Zypher for my first DCC. I will probably need to put off my next big engine to get this unit. It is going to be fun to have a "Strong" unit that will deliver all you want and more.

Good Luck let us know how it goes.

Lee
  • Member since
    October 2002
  • From: City of Québec,Canada
  • 1,258 posts
Posted by Jacktal on Thursday, October 9, 2003 8:42 AM
I don't mind setting up any kind of device,I even love it.But it has to work OK and I hate to have to redo it,and very often that's what happen with cheap equipment.If I save a few bucks only to experiment poor operation or even failure,then this material is way too expensive for me.

You have a choice,either invest on good material and enjoy it or go the cheap way and probably leave it unused after a while due to frustration.HighIron's clever statement is right on,there's no real savings in purchasing cheap stuff,however you could go cheap on many scenery components.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 11, 2003 8:24 AM
I'm cond=sidering the Digitrax Zephyr system to start and to use as a yard/local controller cab. I will also need two or three other boosters on the layout -- which Digitrax booster would be the preferable one to use as an additional booster with the Zephyr system?
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    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 13, 2003 6:24 PM
I have decided to get the Prodigy DCC system.Thanks for your help.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,278 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 9:23 AM
I have heard and read this misconception before among new DCC users or those new to model railroading and considering dcc. In most DCC systems, the control unit and the power supply are TWO seperate items. For instance the MRC Command 2000 is just the DCC control system. It does NOT have its own power supply. It needs a seperate power supply.
And if memory serves me correctly. the MRC Prodigy system also needs its own seperate power supply. And you can't use a power pack that comes with a train set. Just doesn't have enough amperage. 5 amps is a minimum for good operation, expecially if you are running more than 2 or 3 engines at a time. Even if not, I would still go with a 5 amp power supply for future use.
Hope this clears up a bit of confusion among new DCC users.
John
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Along the Murphy Branch
  • 1,410 posts
Posted by dave9999 on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 7:12 PM
I tried the Prodigy system and was extremly disappointed. The programming abilities are limited to basicly
voltage settings! I returned it and ordered the Digitrax Zepher. I am more than satisfied with this system.
Not only can you load speed curves but also program nearly all CV's for decoders.I use Digitrax and Soundtraxx
decoders,and also have the Broadway Limited 4-6-4 Hudson w/sound and it works great with all of these.
Prodigy is too limited for most anyone who wants a more realistic model railroad.
  • Member since
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  • From: CA
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Posted by bruce22 on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 11:43 PM
MRC 2000 has given this old rr'er a lot of enjoyment over these past number of years and as a lone operator I am very pleased with it. It is limited in it's scope but I knew that b/4 I bought it. I guess it all boils down to what u want the system to do.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • 141 posts
Posted by Kent on Friday, October 17, 2003 4:53 AM
Youve already heard the brand names, remember when your buying a DCC system that you might want to upgrade or add to it later.

I started with an Atlas Commander, then got a Digitrax Zypher with a DT400 throttle, the Zypher gave be trouble. It locked up a couple time in the few days I have it before sending it back. I then wnt full out and got a Lenz Set-90. It works great and I can use my old Commander as an extra throttle (the Commanderis made by Lenz)

So whatever you buy, make sure you leave an upgrade path for the future.
Kent Timm, author of ZugDCC for Lenz XpressNet DCC

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