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  • Simple basic DCC system--which one

    Good evening,I'm starting a project with On30 and need a DCC system.I will only have 3,maybe 4 engines and operate in a loop most of the time on a 2.5'x12' layout.I have just bought 2 Bachmann switchers that have sound.I'm thinking about there E-Z Command.After looking on the computer for the last 4hrs,I'm more confused now then when i started.If i want to run 1 train and have the sound(idle,brake hiss,??)running from a 2nd engine,what do i need? I would like to have a wireless throttle to run with.Any comments or thoughts??Rick

  • #2
    You may consider Digitrax or NCE (North Coast Engineering). Keep in mind any future growth with your layout. Talk to someone person to person and see what they use, such as someone involved in a club layout or a hobby shop owner who operates a layout. These folks can usually point out things you may not have cosidered. Good luck.

    GULF COAST & WESTERN

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    • #3
      I use MRC, 2 wired and 3 wireless throttles. The control buss can be extended and I've found the guy who does support helpful.
      James

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      • #4
        John,Thank you for your reply.I'm a garden railroader and mainly run trains outside.I have decided to build a On30 indoor layout just to display my buildings and things at RR shows i go to.I would not be truly operating on this layout.I would like to have a control system more for the control of sound in the engines.I would run things in a simple loop and there is a 99% chance i would not run at all.The only expansion there would ever be is 2 more sections to make it a loop.That might not ever happen because i can spend all winter adding details to the first 2 sections and building my "G" scale stuff.I use to operate all year round outside and pray for snow so i could run the rotary.As i get older,I tend to stay inside and drink hot chocolate.Rick

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        • #5
          jbvb, what is the most basic system to start with for the E-Z Command? I need 1 wireless throttle and what ever else to power it.I'm wanting to keep the cost as low as I can.Where would you suggest buying it from.Thank you.Rick

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          • #6
            From what you are describing, you would be very satisfied with a Digitrax Zephyr DCC system; http://www.digitrax.com/products/starter-sets/zepx/

            Use Zephyr Xtra as a starting point for your Digitrax LocoNet System, then add components like a wireless throttle.

            No DCC system is cheap, but for what you get, and what you can do with as far as adding onto, this Digitrax system is the way to go.




            Louis L&R Western Railroad
            Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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            • #7
              Richard, I don't know much about EZ-Command except that it's a Bachmann product. I started with an MRC Prodigy Advance system years ago (wired throttle). Then I bought a Prodigy Wireless add-on, then two more and another wired throttle. A few years ago I paid $50 and shipping to return my older components for a firmware upgrade. Most DCC retailers sell MRC components, prices vary. But I think upgrades have to go through the factory. I wasn't asked where I'd bought my system when I communicated with MRC support.
              James

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              • #8
                Rick,

                I think most systems are easy to set up and use on a small layout. You might consider looking at what people use in your area. They could provide advice before you buy or support after you get a system.

                I have an NCE system and changing from DC to DCC was little more than detaching the DC power pack and hooking up my new system. I went wireless.

                Mike
                _________________________________________________

                Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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                • #9
                  Rick, Mike offers great advice; see what system others in your area are using. The reason that's important is you will have a support network nearby, as well as a supplier too if need be.

                  Personally I prefer Digitrax. I've had it for years and had no issues. They offer a 'starter' system as Louis pointed out above. More importantly for me, just about everyone here in south Jersey uses Digitrax so as we travel from layout to layout for op sessions, we can use our own throttles instead of each host having to have enough throttles for each operator.
                  Mark

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                  • #10
                    Rick, Mark also makes a good point. Even if like me you tend to be a Lone Ranger, it's nice to know you could invite a model railroad buddy to drop by to run trains together.

                    Mike
                    _________________________________________________

                    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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                    • #11
                      NCE Powercab.
                      Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                      Cedar Swamp
                      SW of Manistique, MI

                      Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

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                      • #12
                        Good Morning to all: I guess I will think about things some more and talk to the other guys in the local NMRA group.It sounds like this is a Ford vrs Chevy thing where if I buy a good one to start with,it should work.Thank you for all the info and help.I guess its off to the LHS to have a look.Rick

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                        • #13
                          Best to adopt what is predominant in your area so you have a ‘support’ system in case of issues. The dominant makers of dcc all make well engineered components and are good values.
                          Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                          Cedar Swamp
                          SW of Manistique, MI

                          Avatar image by Savannah Lyn Burgess 7-15-2022

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                          • #14
                            I got the Digitrax Zephyr and like it a lot. Easy to use, wasn't expensive. Does everything I need it to (run trains and sounds). Haven't tried programming it yet but looks like it won't be hard. I currently only have two 6' modules so I don't need a wireless throttle, but if I want to add one - it's easy-peasy.

                            Cheers,

                            Dave

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                            • #15
                              Great choice. I use the DCS-51 on my test/programming track along with the Soundtrax PTB-100 programming booster. Works great.

                              GULF COAST & WESTERN

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