I recently converted to DCC. After looking at Digitrax and NCE, I decided on CVP's EasyDCC system. The basic system consists of a base station and Single Zonemaster booster. I opted to upgrade to the mid-level system that included the tethered handheld throttle and to add the Dual Zonemaster booster.
The Dual Zonemaster contains two separate circuits, one of which has built-in auto reverse. I like this feature. The booster produces a total of 7 amps for both circuits. One downside however, is the booster requires a proprietary power supply.
I like having the base station to handle all the programming tasks, leaving the handhelds for control only. The base station also contains two throttles. I mounted the base station on my main control panel, in place of the DC controllers:
I mounted the booster (on left), booster power supply (middle), accessory power supply (the Tech II power pack), and throttle bus controller (top left) on a shelf under the control panel:
I particularly like the handhelds. They are narrow enough to be operated one handed:
I also like the fact, CVP uses headphone jacks rather then RJ jacks and standard co-ax cable for the throttle bus.
It took less time to install the base station then for the paint on the panel to dry. I was up and operating with the fixed throttles it about 30 minutes. Setting up the handheld throttle bus and fascia jacks took a couple hours.
The CVP manuals are the best I've used. It shows screen shots and gives the key strokes needed to accomplish the tasks. The system itself is very intuitive to use. After only 5 minutes, I was able to program addresses and set CVs. The display walks you through most steps if you get lost. EasyDCC supports both Ops (main line) and Service (programing track) programing. When programming 3 or 4 digit addresses, the system automatically sets up the CVs for extended addressing.
The system software can be upgraded with user-replaceable chips, rather then having to send the base station back or buying a new one.
There are a few quarks to EasyDCC though. First off, it DOESN'T support address 0. So, this is an all or nothing conversion. Second, as I mentioned before, the booster require a proprietary power supply, that costs extra. Lastly, the system is very powerful, feature packed, and completely upgradeable, it's not cheap. My system base station, booster, power supply, tethered handheld throttle, throttle bus controller, and three fascia plates cost $550 including shipping.
Overall, I'm happy with the system. And I'll report more as I get deeper in the nuances of EasyDCC's operation.