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DCC decoders? Which ones do you prefer?

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  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 425 posts
DCC decoders? Which ones do you prefer?
Posted by GTX765 on Friday, March 28, 2008 7:12 PM

We all know the blueline has the bigboy and more engines coming out. So I have purchased the Digitrax DN143IP and installed it and everything works ok. I was wondering though is there a better choice for me than this one? I read websites and they all say thier products are the best. So really which decoders for a blueline install has the best performance? I am using a Digitrax zephyr and just wonder what is best? I have read other forums that say Zimo is good but do not know anything about them. So please give me your insight on what decoders you like to use in your DCC ready or blueline engines. If you have the model of the decoder that would be great. I will have another blueline arriving soon and may try a different brand to just compare.

Thanks

 

Sean 

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,914 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Friday, March 28, 2008 7:39 PM

You might want to ask this on the DCC forum.  That's where all the electronics geeks hang out these days.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964 - analog DC)

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Gahanna, Ohio
  • 1,987 posts
Posted by jbinkley60 on Friday, March 28, 2008 9:04 PM
 GTX765 wrote:

We all know the blueline has the bigboy and more engines coming out. So I have purchased the Digitrax DN143IP and installed it and everything works ok. I was wondering though is there a better choice for me than this one? I read websites and they all say thier products are the best. So really which decoders for a blueline install has the best performance? I am using a Digitrax zephyr and just wonder what is best? I have read other forums that say Zimo is good but do not know anything about them. So please give me your insight on what decoders you like to use in your DCC ready or blueline engines. If you have the model of the decoder that would be great. I will have another blueline arriving soon and may try a different brand to just compare.

Thanks

 

Sean 

For Bluelines I prefer the DZ143PS over the DN143IP.  Both work fine but I found in some Bluelines that the DN143IP covers the plug which allows you to control the lights from the motor controller.  With the DZ143PS you have a short harness which gives you a little more flexibility.  Both have the current rating.

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

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Posted by locoi1sa on Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:15 AM

  Most of my locos have TCS decoders. I love the auto dim of the headlight when stopped. If the loco has ditch lights then its an NCE decoder.

 I tried 2 Digitrax decoders once. Both were plug and play and both fried on the program track. When I sent them back they tried to charge me for repair. I feel I didnt do anything wrong but buy your product. Now none of my locos (52) dont have D co decoders. Probably the best selling point to me is the customer support, Features of the decoder, and the durability.

   Pete
 

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    October, 2005
  • 79 posts
Posted by ianalsop on Saturday, March 29, 2008 5:20 PM

Sean

No simple answer. 

If you have a Digitrax Zephyr, the Digitrax decoders would be the first choice as programming should be easier on same-make equipment (despite NMRA standards, CV's still aren't standardized).

I have an NCE Powercab, and the majority of my 30+ locos are fitted with NCE decoders, followed by TCS, Digitrax and, if I'm desperate, Lenz as that's all my LHS carries (Lenz are very good but expensive, and I find the programming manuals hopeless).

Also, many manufacturers make decoders for specific applications; Digitrax and TCS make decoders with 1.5v light outputs for Proto 2000 for example. Remember TCS have a 'no questions asked' 12 month replacement warranty.

Two makes I'd give a miss are MRC and Bachmann.

Favourites (for HO) are NCE's tiny Z14SRP, TCS A6X, Digitrax DH165LO and Lenz mini Silver.

Ian 

  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • 4 posts
Posted by Agrant on Sunday, March 30, 2008 11:55 AM
I'm shocked by another's experience with Digitrax. As long as it's within the warranty period, I've never had a problem. During one unfortunate series of mistakes, I fried the same board three times. My fault. Each time, Digitrax replaced it without comment. I've also found them helpful with telephone tech support.
  • Member since
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  • From: Orig: Tyler Texas. Lived in seven countries, now live in Sundown, Louisiana
  • 25,640 posts
Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:19 PM
I prefer the DZ125 myself. All I need is speed and lighting control so it works well for me.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

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