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Need help with DCC

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  • Member since
    March 2008
  • 11 posts
Need help with DCC
Posted by mustang14 on Saturday, April 5, 2008 6:27 PM

I need some help with DCC, I don't know that much about it. I don't know how much it coasts or what DCC system I should I buy. I don't know how much it would coast me. I only have one DCC engine, the Mantua 0-6-0. I have 6 DC engines. Is it possible to put DCC systems on those engines. I run HO Athearn, Mantua, Bachmann, and IHC trains. Would it be cheaper just to buy new engines?

  • Member since
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  • From: Michigan
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Posted by rolleiman on Saturday, April 5, 2008 6:48 PM
 mustang14 wrote:

I need some help with DCC, I don't know that much about it. I don't know how much it coasts or what DCC system I should I buy. I don't know how much it would coast me. I only have one DCC engine, the Mantua 0-6-0. I have 6 DC engines. Is it possible to put DCC systems on those engines. I run HO Athearn, Mantua, Bachmann, and IHC trains. Would it be cheaper just to buy new engines?

It is Possible to put DCC in ANYTHING.. With some the procedure is a little more difficult than others but nothing, that cannot be mastered if you can read a volt/amp meter and solder a wire. There is a huge thread a couple posts down from yours that will answer All your questions. I would Personally suggest, without getting into the X vs Y fight, the Digitrax Zephyr as a starter set. NCE I'm sure is very nice and may have features over or different than the digitrax but I've no experience with them. As for cost, one of the best DCC resellers around is Tony's Train Exchange..

http://www.tonystrains.com/

With a little bit of an initial investment (not necassarily cheap), you'll be chuffing and blowing those steam whistles in no time..

Good luck..  

Modeling the Wabash from Detroit to Montpelier Jeff
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, April 5, 2008 7:33 PM
I second the nod on the Digitrax Zephyr. I'm working toward one myself.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 5, 2008 8:19 PM

I third the leaning.

Keep in mind that DCC is a journey, not the means to a end. All you are going is putting a computer inside a locomotive and telling it to turn the motor very fast, very slow, not at all (Even though there might be voltage on that track) or speak to you the status of the engine in certain situations known as programming.

It starts with a binary switch ZERO or 0 = "OFF" and a Binary switch ONE or 1 for on.

Do you want the head light on or off? In DCC it might be a function key on a throttle very much like you have on your keyboard at the computer.

That should ease you into the journey and the possibilities.

 

I know enough to stay away from trying to install decoders. I buy my engines factory equippted with one main provider called QSI to keep things simple in the railroad room. I still have a place for analog engines but I keep just one SD7 from Proto that is for testing during track construction so I dont burn up a 400 dollar engine trying to get the feeders to work.

Generally prices have fallen 30 to 50% in the last 5 years and expect it to fall further each few years just like computers did in the last 10 years and is increasing rates of hardware power versus cost.

Example will be a 700 dollar DVD player way back when. You can get one for 15 dollars today. (A computer DVD drive)

  • Member since
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Posted by Bapou on Sunday, April 6, 2008 2:32 PM
For a starter set I recommend the NCE PowerCab. Both Digitrax and NCE have their pros and cons. A big consideration is what does your club use if you go to one. I am biased for NCE but Digitrax is also good. The only ones I don't recomend are EZ-Command and Progidy.
Go NJT, NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit. Whatever you call it its good. See my pictures and videos here: http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff20/Bapouthetrainman/
  • Member since
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  • From: Northeast OH
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Posted by jktrains on Sunday, April 6, 2008 3:10 PM
Here's another piece of advice - Make certain that the person whose giving advice on a DCC system actually knows something about that system, like they own it and have used it  Have the person explain what system they own/use.
  • Member since
    March 2008
  • 11 posts
Posted by mustang14 on Sunday, April 6, 2008 5:59 PM
How much do these DCC systems coast?  Can I get them at my local hobby shop?  Do I need to program them before I mount them in my trains?
  • Member since
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  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, April 6, 2008 6:24 PM

The club I belong to uses the NCE Power Pro. I use the NCE Power Cab at home. If you like supporting uor local hobby shop you can get stuff there. If they offer DCC service it might be worth the extra expense. I buy all my DCC stuff online. Much better prices. I bought the NCE because I tried it at someones place. It cost me $140 from am online DCC supplier. Converting older locos to DCC can be a challenge depending on the model. Here are possible online sources. There are more. Also, there are good buys for DCC locos on ebay.

http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Department&ID=34

Just got this in a email meessage.

http://www.micromark.com/newsflash/040308trainblowout.html

http://www.litchfieldstation.com/lobby/index.htm

I buy from both.

Good DCC info. 

http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/nswmn/dcc_articles.htm

 This site is also good.

http://stores.ebay.com/THE-FAVORITE-SPOT_HO-SCALE-TRAINS_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ2QQftidZ2QQtZkm

Another one I buy from.

http://www.caboosehobbies.com/catalog/index.php

Be carefull on the labeling for the loco. DCC ready usually means the motor is isolated and might have the neccessary wiring. DCC equiped usually means DCC power, no sound. Of course DCC Sound is complete. Many can run on DC layouts. 

 

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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