DCC and new modelers

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jambo101, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    Feb 15, 2007
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    After recently returning to the hobby in a small way after many years of being too busy it seems that DCC is now the standard operating system of the hobby.I was wondering if the financial burden of this new system is impacting on potential new recruits to the hobby.
    When i started with the hobby it was with an inexpensive Triang train set to which i gradually added more track and rolling stock until i filled a 4'x8' board.
    Seems that todays build it up gradually method has to include at an early stage the outlay of several hundred dollars to get a DCC controller system in place to make any future upgrades adaptable to DCC,i'm wondering if parents are now passing up on the beginner train sets for kids when the extra cost for DCC is factored in.
  2. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Nov 3, 2006
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    When you consider using DCC on a DC layout is pretty much possible there is no problem with building cheap then upgrading later. The fundamental wiring is pretty much the same.

    If you don't want to get DCC no worries you can always add it to your layout later with abit of effort.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Good question. My simple answer is "no".

    Case1: If the child is NOT a child of a model railroader, and instead just some kid who liked thomas and whose dad had trains as a kid, the parents are likely to get the child a train set from a department store. Basic train sets are still basically the same. These parents may never have heard of DCC.

    Case 2: The child's parent (or other relative) is a morel railroader who knows something about the hobby. In this case, the parent will know something about DCC, and get him or her the top-of-the-line whatever from the hobby shop.

    Case 3: The child has rich parents who want to give a kid a train, and go to a hobby shop first instead of a department store. These parents, being rich, will buy the kid anything.

    With the amount of gadgets I see kids carrying around these days, it's hard to believe their parents can't afford DCC if they wanted to.

    The only situation where I see the cost of DCC hurts is when the child becomes a teenager. Suppose the teen wants to join a club, but needs DCC to run trains at the club. The teen is too old to have mom and dad pay for everything, but DCC is not within his budget. So, he/she doesn't join the club, and loses interest in the hobby.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Feb 14, 2003
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    In the club situation, dcc isn't a big problem. In the modular club I belong to the club bought the dcc system, including the throttles. The only thing the modeler needs to buy is the decoder. If you don't care about having sound, a decoder is less than $25.00, and some are around $15.00. We have one member who is a part time dealer with Walthers and one of the companies that specializes in dcc, and he gets stuff for guys at a good discount. He will typically bundle the orders for decoders together for a number of members so that we get the maximum volume discount. We also have members who will help any other member who wants help to install a decoder in his/her locomotive that wasn't originally equipped with a decoder.

    As far as whether to go dcc or not, the wiring for dcc is simpler on a big layout that would need a lot of blocks than dc. For a small layout or even a big layout that only runs one train at a time with one operator and doesn't have operating sessions with multiple operators, dcc is probably a waste of money. If you have a layout of any size that is operated regularly by multiple operators, dcc is wonderful.