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DigiTrax Super Chief; good deal?

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  • Member since
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  • From: O'Fallon, MO
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DigiTrax Super Chief; good deal?
Posted by Lateral-G on Thursday, February 7, 2008 9:41 PM

I can pick up a brand new DigiTrax Super Chief starter set for $200. Is this a good deal?

It'll be my first DCC set (and probably only one since I'm planning a small layout) and the Blackstone K-27 I already have is equipped with a DCC decoder. 

It also looks like I'm going to also need a 12V DC, power supply (which I also already have for my electric RC aircraft chargers).

 

Thoughts? opinions?

 

-G- 

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 7, 2008 9:49 PM

I dont know if they call the Super Chief a "Starter set"

I have the 8 amp Super Chief and use a Digitrax 2012 Power supply capable of producting 10 amps per output ternimal pair.

I find the only upgrades I will do is the full two way radio wireless and possibly the functions beyond F12 to F28 but that is unnecessary at this time. Otherwise the Chief is fully capable to meet my needs well into the future.

But keep in mind that Chief is NOT a starter set. Dont confuse it.

That R/C Charger you speak of probably cannot feed the required power safely to such a powerful DCC system like the Chief. You will need either a digitrax 5 amp or a equivilant of a regulated 12 volt power supply which some are extremly powerful.

 

WHen I bought my super chief, I got:

Command station, DT 400 throttle and some cabling along with the loconet panel.

I needed to buy a power supply. I chose the Digitrax 2012 because I felt inadequate at the time and didnt know any better. Any digitrax 5 amp power supply will work very well for the chief and for less money too.

However I feel better knowing I can add a second booster later to run a future addition to the layout in the ever-expanding train room.

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Posted by BNENGR on Friday, February 8, 2008 12:57 AM
Is it new? At that price you better hurry up and buy it before the price changes!!! I have the "Chief" and spent consideralbly more than that. For power, the MF-615 by DCC Specialties is a good one and the price is around $60.00 or less at Tony's Train Exchange. Cool [8D]
The Burlington Northern Lives On!
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, February 8, 2008 6:32 AM

I've got this 5-amp NCE supply:

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/524-215

It works great.  $37.95 at Walthers.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Lateral-G on Friday, February 8, 2008 7:47 AM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:

That R/C Charger you speak of probably cannot feed the required power safely to such a powerful DCC system like the Chief. You will need either a digitrax 5 amp or a equivilant of a regulated 12 volt power supply which some are extremly powerful.

 

It's not a charger. It's a dedicated 12-15VDC, 10A power supply that I use for the RC lipo battery chargers. 

Most likely, though, if I do get the Super Chief system then I'll buy a dedicated power supply.

-G-

 

 

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Posted by simon1966 on Friday, February 8, 2008 7:59 AM

The on-line discounters have new Super Chief systems for around $350.00 so $200 is an absolute bargain for a brand new Super Chief.

Make sure it is a current Super Chief with the DT400 throttle and not a Chief or Chief II with the DT100 or DT300 throttles.

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 8, 2008 8:13 AM

My bad. was thinking of typical Size C batteries for small toy aircraft charges. What do I know?

Anyway, second the recommendation to doublecheck the DT400 throttle use with that set you are looking at. Dont get caught with a older throttle.

  • Member since
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Posted by Lateral-G on Friday, February 8, 2008 9:28 AM
 simon1966 wrote:

The on-line discounters have new Super Chief systems for around $350.00 so $200 is an absolute bargain for a brand new Super Chief.

Make sure it is a current Super Chief with the DT400 throttle and not a Chief or Chief II with the DT100 or DT300 throttles.

 

Will do. I can't recall which throttle came with it. I'll have to check at the LHS where I saw it.

 

-G- 

  • Member since
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Posted by Lateral-G on Friday, February 8, 2008 4:46 PM

Just got back from the LHS. Thottle was indeed the DT-400.

Got my first DCC for $200 Thumbs Up [tup]

-G- 

 

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Posted by CSX Robert on Friday, February 8, 2008 4:54 PM
How come I never get deals like that?Sad [:(]  Congratulations, that is a heck of a deal.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 8, 2008 4:59 PM

WAL!!!

Congrats!!!!

Sheesh, With the discounts and the fact mine was a gift I spent like three times that amount.

Every dollar worth it.

Make sure you do the "Quarter test" on all your track at least once in a while and that if the year or so goes by and your unit fails to boot up, the internal battery may be at fault.

Digitrax has good support.

Good luck!!

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Posted by simon1966 on Friday, February 8, 2008 5:12 PM
Superb deal!  Since I am in the STL area as well, what hobby shop did you get it from?

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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Posted by jamnest on Friday, February 8, 2008 6:22 PM
 simon1966 wrote:

The on-line discounters have new Super Chief systems for around $350.00 so $200 is an absolute bargain for a brand new Super Chief.

Make sure it is a current Super Chief with the DT400 throttle and not a Chief or Chief II with the DT100 or DT300 throttles.

DT100 and DT300 throttles are OK, they are just out of production.  I have a Digitrax Super Chief (radio) that came with a DT100.  I currently have two DT100R, two DT300R and a DT400R.  They all work great.  I would not spend money on a DT400 throttle.  Since you apparently have a computer get a MS-100 (RS232 port) or a USB Locobuffer.  These devices will connect your Chief to your computer.  You can then download Decoder Pro for free. You can use Decoder Pro to program your decoders and also use your computer for multiple throttles.

It is rare that people program locomotives while operating.  For this reason I have my programing track on the work bench and not the layout.  All my future throttle purchases will be DT4 as you just dial up your locomotive and go.

At one time you could buy DT100 and DT300 and send them to Digitrax to be upgraded to radio throttles.  Digitrax no longer does this.  You can still send DT400 throttles to be upgraded to radio.  To convert your Chief to radio you will need to purchase a UP-91.  You will only need one for your layout.  You can use a mix of radio and teathered throttles.

One of the things I like about my Digitrax system is my DCC investment, some purchased 10 years ago is still useable today.  I have an older Chief (DCS100) that can only access a mzaximum of 8 functions.  I will be sending it to Digitrax with $35 to have the functions upgraded.

JIM

Jim, Modeling the Kansas City Southern Lines in HO scale.

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Posted by Lateral-G on Friday, February 8, 2008 9:05 PM

 simon1966 wrote:
Superb deal!  Since I am in the STL area as well, what hobby shop did you get it from?

I got it at Mark Twain Hobbies in St Charles. The unit was returned NIB. The previous owner had to liquidate his entire train collection due to health issues. MTH has deals like this from time to time.  

Just a case of being in the right place at the right time.

-G- 

 

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Posted by simon1966 on Friday, February 8, 2008 9:23 PM
I'm over on the East side so have not been over to MTH, will have to make the trip some time.  If you are over this side of the river make a point of visiting K-10 model trains in Maryville, IL  Ken has a huge Digitrax controlled DCC layout that is open to the public.  http://www.k-10smodeltrains.com/  They are usually open for public running on the 1st Sunday of every month. 

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 8, 2008 10:02 PM

 simon1966 wrote:
I'm over on the East side so have not been over to MTH, will have to make the trip some time.  If you are over this side of the river make a point of visiting K-10 model trains in Maryville, IL  Ken has a huge Digitrax controlled DCC layout that is open to the public.  http://www.k-10smodeltrains.com/  They are usually open for public running on the 1st Sunday of every month. 

That will be one weekend trip I wont mind making one day. Gives my ABBA F set a chance to test the moxie.

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Posted by simon1966 on Saturday, February 9, 2008 7:42 AM

I am fortunate to only live 5 min drive from the place.  The hobby shop attached to the layout is small, packed to the rafters and has superb pricing.  If you plan to make the trip drop me a line and I will come over and say hello.

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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Posted by JulesB on Friday, February 15, 2008 12:15 AM

"I dont know if they call the Super Chief a "Starter set"

I have my Digitrax box in front of me.

It reads "Super Chief Starter Set - 5 Amp"

DCS Command station/Booster (5 amps)

DT400 LocoNet Super Throttle

UP5 Loconet Universal Panel

One LT1 LocNet Cable/Decoder Test Kit

Super Chief Manual

Digitrax Decoder Manual.

I puchased it from Tony's Trains.

I think the DCS100 had an upgrade some time ago, new firmware or whatever. He may want to send it to Digitrax for the upgrade?

If he gets all the parts I listed and it works, it's a good deal...otherwise???

 

Jules

 

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Posted by mmartian22 on Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:16 AM
buy it  it's a steal if it's not used . also get  good train transformer for the power pack .like mrc digitrax's etc.you will have enough amps to work with in powering  the super chief.

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