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Adding an On30 component to my 2-rail O-scale layout

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  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: Warren, MI
  • 89 posts
Adding an On30 component to my 2-rail O-scale layout
Posted by rfross on Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:03 AM

I'm going to be adding an On30 industrial switching component to my O-scale layout using only one locomotive and there will never be two locos operating at the same time. I'm using DC on the O-scale side but plan on using DCC on the On30 portion because the small (tiny!) Bachman locomotive that I purchased is DCC equipped.

I will have at the most 15 linear feet of track and a couple of sidings. A hand held device is a must because I need to be able to cover most of that 15 feet of track.

I've considered Bachman's Easy DCC because it is so inexpensive at $50 - $70 street price but it doesn't appear that a hand held throttle is available. Other than that, for the small amount of track and small locomotive it would be fine.

Any other suggestions on what I can consider? Note that I have no plans at all to convert the 2-rail side of the layout to DCC at any time in the near future.

Bob

Modeling the Ballard Terminal Railroad (a former Northern Pacific line) in Ballard, a district north of downtown Seattle in 1968, on a two-rail O-scale shelf switching layout. The Ballard Terminal didn't exist in 1968 but my version of the BTRR is using NP power. (My avatar photo was taken by Doc Wightman of Seattle)
  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: Warren, MI
  • 89 posts
Posted by rfross on Friday, February 29, 2008 7:20 PM
David - I'm looking for simple DCC. The small locos I'll be using don't really have room for sound so that option is pretty much out. But I do need a handheld throttle so that I can work the turnouts without stepping back and forth to a fixed mounted throttle as the train moves down the track.
Modeling the Ballard Terminal Railroad (a former Northern Pacific line) in Ballard, a district north of downtown Seattle in 1968, on a two-rail O-scale shelf switching layout. The Ballard Terminal didn't exist in 1968 but my version of the BTRR is using NP power. (My avatar photo was taken by Doc Wightman of Seattle)
  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Colorado
  • 3,942 posts
Posted by fwright on Friday, February 29, 2008 8:58 PM

I don't think you would be happy with the Bachmann system.  Besides its lack of walkaround capability, there is no ability to read/write CVs to "tune" your locomotives' performance.  You would be stuck with default values, which would not be optimized for switching work.

I also think it would be foolish to rule out adding DCC to the standard gauge at a later date.  This would make future expandability a useful feature for you.

Based on these critieria, it would appear the NCE Power Cab or the MRC Prodigy Advance2 would seem to be the least expensive alternatives, yet provide for the 3 features mentioned.  To go with wireless walkaround would be a significantly higher price, but it is an available option, either now or later, with either system.

More of a home brew alternative, the Digitrax Zephyr could be used as a fixed system with a simple DC (non-pulsed) walk around throttle connected to one of the jump ports for the time being.  Later a tethered walk-around or radio throttle could be added.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W 

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