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cleanerg6e

DCC SYSTEMS

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Looking on other forums at how people bemoan the price of DCC Systems makes me laugh. Those same people will no doubt spend good money on a new car costing thousands and then quibble over the price of a decent DCC System.

When purchasing a DCC System ALWAYS use extra hardware by the same manufacture. So if you've bought say a Hornby Elite use Hornby boosters and accessory decoders. Don't use a Hornby Elte command station with Lenz boosters and Bachmann accessory decoders or you could have BIG problems. Don't buy components from different manufactures just because they're cheap or you've found a cheap example on Ebay. In theory they should be able to all work together, BUT if you have problems with one of them then the other manufactures may blame that component for stuffing the whole lot. After all you wouldn't buy a GM Vauxhall and fit it with Ford or Nissan parts, would you?

So keep everything on the hardware side from the same manufacturer. Mobile decoders such as the ones in locos can be from anyone as long as they are NMRA compliant.

Looking on the DCC Concepts website they have a rundown on DCC Systems. They recommend NCE as it does everything as it comes. Digitrax is OK but It's 'Super Chief' system is the only one to buy as the 'Empire Builder' and 'Zephyr' are not even up to the NCE Powercab. It's manuals are full of techno jargon and ads for it's products. Zimo is the Rolls Royce of DCC systems with a Rolls Royce price. Lenz is not bad but you need the Lenz 100 not the Lenz 90 system and many people complain of Lenz manuals being too hard to understand due to more techno babble. Hornby Elite isn't that great and Select after being reviewed by a German magazine only had one line in English: return to manufacturer, which say it all. Bachmann Dynamis promised SO much yet delivered so little as you had to by extra components just to be able to read CV's. ZTC has seen no development work to keep pace with the changing times and has been through a few owners, the latest just trying to put old technology back onto the market when everyone else has moved one. Gauge master Prodigy looks like an NCE copy but you need two hands to operate it instead of one.

Roy.

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eh DCC is an odd thing. Most people who argue over what's batter only have that system. I tested a bunch of systems at the LHS and took about two years to buy one. I have only owned one system i can't really argue the points of others.

My biggest concerns were 4 digit addressing and being able to access all the decoders functions. It was based on what i'd read about DCC systems on various forums. NCE is touted as being the best and it probably is; I'm actually really happy with my zephyr system. I never got beyond it. I doubt I ever will.

Your comments about pricing are very relevant. My decision for Zephyr was based on functions per dollar and it seems to be working out ok. But i'll get back to you after a few years of using it on the outdoor layout as soon as I can fit some decoders into all this legacy Ho scale stuff.

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Biggest mistake I ever made was selling my DCS50

Funilly enough I now use a DT401 throttle on my Fleishmann Twin Center. Oh and a PR3 for decoder programming via JMRI.... so much easier than remembering al those CV Values

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traingeekboy said:

eh DCC is an odd thing. Most people who argue over what's batter only have that system. I tested a bunch of systems at the LHS and took about two years to buy one. I have only owned one system i can't really argue the points of others.

My biggest concerns were 4 digit addressing and being able to access all the decoders functions. It was based on what i'd read about DCC systems on various forums. NCE is touted as being the best and it probably is; I'm actually really happy with my zephyr system. I never got beyond it. I doubt I ever will.

Your comments about pricing are very relevant. My decision for Zephyr was based on functions per dollar and it seems to be working out ok. But i'll get back to you after a few years of using it on the outdoor layout as soon as I can fit some decoders into all this legacy Ho scale stuff.

When I bought my system Griff I wanted radio as we garden railroaders have a habit of ignoring everything going on around and above us. So for me radio was the way to go because if the heavens opened (due to me being oblivious to the weather and everything else when operating) then that would eliminate having to unplugged a control panel and rush it indoors.

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Posted (edited)

Bumping a really old thread but just to ask.

I have the Hornby Elite (EDIT I meant elink) with railmaster running on an old laptop. Everything works fine, can recode CV's etc. However I want a so called walkaround (although not actually needed to walk around) controller. In a nutshell I'd prefer a dial/handle to turn/push for the speed on a loco. Feels better than raising a bar on a touchscreen device I think. Would most suggest just to add the hornby select for that. Then everything ties in nicely by same manufacturer.

Edited by Dav2

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I'm like that too - much prefer a dial or even buttons to adjust loco speed rather than a touch screen.

I'm not familiar at all with the Hornby Elite but don't the dials on that unit function as a speed control when it's connected as part of Railmaster? Does Railmaster take over from the Elite?

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Doh. I've wrote elite and not elink. Sorry. 

 

So all my control at present is via an old laptop. Which i find a bit fiddly. Especially if you want to do something quick. 

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8 hours ago, Dav2 said:

Doh. I've wrote elite and not elink. Sorry.....

Ahh right, that explains it.

I still have little idea but a quick glance on forums would suggest it's not something worth considering but I suppose it depends on what your particular requirements are. If you wanted to keep things in the same family then the Elite is the better option apparently. Do you know anyone who has a Select that you could try? If they're as poor as most people seem to make out there should be lots of them knocking about. 

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I'd avoid the Elite at all costs, my Dad uses one and I find it a hateful system. The Select isn't a fully NMRA compliant system apparently, mostly works but certain things might not, probably only worth it as a walkabout if you already have an Elite.

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Posted (edited)

I believe that the Select has been improved fairly recently and an uprated one will now operate more functions as well as set CVs. I understand that the unit has to be be returned to Hornby for the upgrade to be carried out and I think a figure of £15 was mentioned for this. I have also used eLink and the Elite which I found a cumbersome system. My preference is Z21 (by Roco/Fleischmann). Although I have a Z21 wi-fi multimaus, which has a dial/knob (see below), I much prefer to use my iPhone or iPad as it is so much easier to find and operate different functions. With a little bit of practice it is possible to have very precise speed control simply by angling my thumb slightly on the touchscreen. I must admit that I never expected to find that.

894966244_Roco10813Z21Multimaus.jpg.a084d50ace063a8638dd4bccf7ed7e02.jpg

Edited by Riddles
Duplication

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The walkabout controller would only be used for one thing, and that would be loco start/stop and speed. All other functions I'm happy to use the railmaster software. I did look into a Z21 system once over and it did seem exactly what I wanted. But then I just thought why shell out all that money again. I have a working system now. Just wanted to add a controller with dial on for loco speed. That's my thinking anyway

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Yeah I've probably read a bit on the devices. But Hornby forum can't really advise on other brands. As you'd expect. Was just wondering if anyone had a good cheap device that fills my needs that I'd not seen or heard of. And would work fine with the elink/railmaster software.

I may end up going for a wireless device to actually be able to walk about with it.

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