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The question that has been asked a thousand times...

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  • Member since
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  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Thursday, September 4, 2008 2:30 PM

David, would the gentleman understand that he also needs stationary decoders for the turnouts, in which case the Z would control them?  I'm not sure this is a given for the person asking.  Or perhaps he just means impulse solenoids used in the snap track turnouts?  Maybe I am the one who is not clear.

-Crandell

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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 7:01 PM

So I if I get the zephyr I will have every thing I need as far as a controler to run trains.  I just need to wire the track and then im good to test some trains.

Can I run turouts from teh zephyr?

 

 

Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
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Posted by skiloff on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 6:42 PM
I'm with David B.  Get the Zephyr and upgrade later if you'd like to get the DT400.  It should do all you want and leave you room to expand if you ever do later on.
Kids are great for many reasons. Not the least of which is to buy toys "for them."
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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 5:55 PM

I have found two DCC controlers that I like I just have a few questions about them

Does the DT400 come with a power supply?

How weak is the power supply that comes with the digitrak zephyr?  Is it good enough for what I want to do?

Kyle

Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 7:16 AM

Here is what I plan to do with my layout, ill try and be as specific as possible.

It is a 8ft by 12ft table that is dounut shaped.  On the bottom 4ft of the layout I am going to have a single main line that is going to go through a mountain and on to a tall brige which will be curved then it will go backin to the mountain and come out into a small town where I plan on haveing a small stock yard and some misc. buildings.  then once I get through all the indestries I am going to put a diesel and steam fueling area.  (coal tower, sand, water, diesel fuel) and a decend size yard.  The fueling area will be at the top of the yard farthest away from the inside edge.  Once you leave the yard you go back into the tunnel and start your circle again.

If you have any questions just let me know,  Kyle

Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 9:05 PM

I am asking these things for christmas so just shot off prices.

 This is going to be more than a chrismas tree layout.  I already have the benchwork done.  It is 8ftx12ft donunt shaped.

 What I mean by two trains at once is if I have 3 locomotives all pulling a 30 car long coal train.  Could I run all 3 locos at the same speed with the controler?

Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
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Posted by gandydancer19 on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 5:01 PM

Kyle,

DCC controllers usually don't run more than one train at a time. The SYSTEM can, but controllers are usually for one engineer to control one train with. If you have a good sized layout, two or three PEOPLE can operate their own train on the same track as the other people, but yet maintain INDIVIDUAL control of only their train. That is how DCC is designed to work.

It sounds like what you want to do is for YOU to control two or three trains yourself from one controller. To do that in DCC, you would have to keep switching back and forth between loco addresses on the one controller. That can get confusing fast, particular when you have kids and other folks watching you and asking questions.

To do what you want to do for a Christmas type layout, I think that you would be better off with a DC type power pack that can control two trains at once, and stay away from DCC.

So you need track, wire, a DC power pack, and trains.

If it is just for Christmas, maybe get two good starter sets. (Get the same brand for each set since you sound kind of inexperienced. That way they will match up OK without thinking about it.) They should have everything you need in the sets, and you can use one power pack for one train and the other power pack for the second train. You may have to get some more track with a different radius curve so one can go inside the other.

If you decide to get the starter sets, then ask on the Forums which starter sets are better than others. I have no experience with them.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 2:26 PM
What my main questions is.  I need a good dcc controler and power supply that are fairly easy to use but can run more than one train at once and maybe some cool other button.
Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 1:35 PM

Ah CB&Q, I like that fallen flag as well.  I'm not super familiar with the Burlington, so watch out if I linked to a paint scheme or model that is not era appropriate. 

Below are just a few of the many CB&Q HO scale locomotives that come with DCC decoders factory installed.  Ideally you open the box, place them on the track, and they run.  You'll likely want to reprogram the locomotives address number but that is very easy on most DCC systems.  Some are out of stock and no longer being produced, while some have not been released yet.  Hopes this helps.

Bachmann

Proto 2000 (LifeLike...now Walthers)

Broadway Limited Imports (BLI)

 

 

David B.  I'm not sure how much clearer my question post could have been.  But sorry if I confused you Confused [%-)]

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
Click Here for my model train photo website

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Posted by Great Western Rwy fan on Monday, September 1, 2008 9:23 PM

MRC Prodigy Express is the system I use, Its very simple to operate and comes with everything You need to get started except the decoders [no need for a seperate power supply].I have 2 decoders both MRC also, 1 Diesel 1 steam.Oh yeah the Prodigy Express is upgradable.

Hope this helps You.

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Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Monday, September 1, 2008 8:50 PM

There are a lot of DCC equipped locos out there.  To better answer your post, I think these questions will help us narrow down the field for you.

1)  What railroads do you like? CB&Q

2)  Do you have a preferred time period or era you would like to model? 1940's

3)  What type of train would you like to run?

  • Freight
  • Passenger
  • Both

4)  What type of locomotives do you prefer?

  • Diesel
  • Steam
  • Both

5)  Do you have a preferred scale?

  • HO
  • N
  • Other
Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska
  • Member since
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Posted by Southwest Chief on Monday, September 1, 2008 7:26 PM

There are a lot of DCC equipped locos out there.  To better answer your post, I think these questions will help us narrow down the field for you.

1)  What railroads do you like?

2)  Do you have a preferred time period or era you would like to model?

3)  What type of train would you like to run?

  • Freight
  • Passenger
  • Both

4)  What type of locomotives do you prefer?

  • Diesel
  • Steam
  • Both

5)  Do you have a preferred scale?

  • HO
  • N
  • Other

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
Click Here for my model train photo website

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Monday, September 1, 2008 7:09 PM

 4-6-6-4 Challenger wrote:
1)Track 2)DCC Controler 3)Some Wire 4)A locomotive that is DCC ready.   What else do I need?
Depending on the DCC controller you might also need a power supply for it.  Often an old DC power supply will work.  For example the Lenz system a prior poster noted would need a power supply.  The Digitrax Zephyr comes with a small one.

Then, I don't think you want a "DCC ready" locomotive.  You need a "DCC equipped" or "with DCC" locomotive.  "DCC ready" generally means that it will be easy to add a DCC decoder. 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, September 1, 2008 6:48 PM

I've got a Lenz System 100 myself.

You want a Digitrax Zephyr.  The Lenz is overkill.  The Zephyr will do what you want, but also gives you an upgrade path forward, something the Bachmann won't do.

You want an engine that's already got sound.  Really.  Since I gave up whistles with my Lionels almost 50 years ago, there's nothing I was more happy to have back than sound in my current HO layout.  Christmas trees, bells, whistles, yeah, that is what you want the kids to wake up to on Christmas morning.

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

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Posted by stebbycentral on Monday, September 1, 2008 6:39 PM
And a thousand times the answer still is ... righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. Whistling [:-^]

I have figured out what is wrong with my brain!  On the left side nothing works right, and on the right side there is nothing left!

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The question that has been asked a thousand times...
Posted by 4-6-6-4 Challenger on Monday, September 1, 2008 5:41 PM

I am asking for a DCC controler that is capable of controling a few trains at once for chrismas. I dont know if that is all I will need.  I am hoping to get enought stuff for christmas to be able to lay all of my track down wire it all up and test out a train or two.  If there are some user friendly one that would be nice to know.

So what would I need to do this?

1)Track 2)DCC Controler 3)Some Wire 4)A locomotive that is DCC ready.

What else do I need?

Kyle

Nothing is better that a big old Union Pacific Challenger or Big Boy rumbling the ground as it roars by! Modeling the CB&Q in the 1930's in Nebraska

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