DCC suggestions for shelf layout

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Kerrskountry, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Kerrskountry

    Kerrskountry New Member

    Oct 28, 2004
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    Hi Fellow Railroaders,

    After much thinking, planning, drawing and procrastination I finally began my 14 x 12 shelf point to point layout (HO Guage) I have started laying my mainline (1 track with 2 passing sections) and plan on having a simple Atlas turntable (I'm not into real prototype scenery) in an engine service area and 5 industry branches. I hooked up my terminal wires to my Tech II DC power and began thinking about my blocks etc. Whoa!

    I have never used DCC before but have built several fairly complex block systems. Man, a wiring nightmare. Since this layout is pretty simple I thought it might be a good time to enter the age of DCC. I have done a little research but am really DCC illiterate. I want something simple and easy to set up and use. I have read about the MRC Prodigy and the E-Z Command systems. They seem pretty easy to use, but is this only marketing on behalf of the two companies? I don't need anything elaborate, since most likely there will be no more than 2 - 3 locos at one time. Most of the time 1 I have one Bachman steam loco (DCC equipped) and a Proto 2000 sw-1 w/o its decoder installed. I do want to set up block signals, however.

    Would either of these two systems be good for my shelf layout and if so which one is the best for a DCC Rookie. Also, before doing any additional wiring can I continue with my DC hookup and use the same wires to convert to DCC or is there something I need to know about the wire guage I.m using for my DC setup? There will be no electrical gaps to start with except on the turntable section.

    Thanks for any help or advice you can give.

    Rockaway Beach, MO
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Mar 25, 2002
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    Joe: Can't advise on the system.
    If your wiring works for DC, it should work for DCC. Only consideration is number of locos. It sounds as if you're doing it as a single block. You'll need wiring heavy enough for all your locos at once when you go to DCC. Given the size of the layout, I'd probably feel that 16 or 14 gauge would be enough and you can go smaller for the feeders.
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    May 15, 2002
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    Hiya Joe,:wave:
    You won't be satisfied with the EZ-Command, because it will not program CV's.
    If you want to adjust your start voltage or speed tables, or mu 2 locos, no go.
    Probably works best with a Bachmann factory-decoder-equipped loco.

    Lots of folks seem to be happy with the Prodigy Express. It seems underpowered
    to me (1.6 amps) but since it won't run DCC accessories, it's plenty of juice for a
    couple of locos. You likely don't need DCC controlled turnouts, anyway!
    It does not support back emf speed stabilization. If you have grades you might
    like this feature.

    Take a look at the Digitrax Zephyr for a starter system.

    I hope you get more responses, because I am NOT the DCC expert.:D :D