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  • Compatibility

    I’ve recently entered the world of DCC & Sound. I’m interested in compatibility and non, between different manufacturers’ products.

    Specifically, I have a Digitrax DCS51. I have three Soundtraxx Sound Value decoders. They’re about 90% compatible. I just got an Econami 200 and learned that the DCS can’t access some advanced decoder features.

    So, which sound decoders should I avoid because they don’t get along with the 51? ESU Loksound? Paragon? True Blast? Proto?

    What have your experiences been?
    Dragging myself into the 21st century.

  • #2
    Depends on your budget and ability with computers. The Decoder Pro component of the free JMRI software is the best single tool to work with all commercial decoders; the development group is large and they add new decoders every release. JMRI lets you deal with CV functions by group and by name, rather than bits and CV numbers. You will need to install it on your computer, though, and hook it up to a programming track. I use a small 'Sprog' stand-alone DCC system but there may be cheaper ways to use the Digitrax unit you already have.

    JMRI lets me keep all my locos' configurations on the hard drive - if I have to factory reset a decoder, or a visitor changes a bunch of settings, I fire up the computer and put it all back the way I wanted it in a minute or two. The Sprog lets me test speed and acceleration on my test track by the computer, then switch back to 'programming track' by clicking a software 'button'.