dcc wannnabe newbee

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by wireyanker, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. wireyanker

    wireyanker New Member

    Jan 11, 2003
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    hey all i'm looking into dcc control . questions are:
    1. how much and what sould i start with? my foam is down but have not bought anything else yet.
    2. how much sould i expect to spend as a start up of say like 5 train engines. and 18 switches?
    3. where is your best place to buy track and system you would recommend on east coast?
    4. which system seems best?
    thank you very much for responding!!!!!!

  2. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    Jan 13, 2002
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    well the best thing i can tell you is act like a girl and shop around
    have you ever been shopping with the wife or any other lady they look at every thing in every store and they always say i can get this here for less as for track i buy mine in bulk a case or two of flex track it seems high but look at it this way less to buy and one pice is around 36 inches long and they come in from 25- 100 pices to a box. so at 36 inches long and 100 in a box you will have 360 feet of track...
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Mar 25, 2002
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    I have suggested frequently that you get a system that has local fans and local support.
    See which systems your local hobby shop sells, and which ones they know about. (If they don't have someone on staff that really knows DCC, who does decoder installations, find another shop.) Ask if there is a local club where you could see the system operate.
    Check out how the controls work. There are some variations between knob controls and push button controls; you might find you prefer one to the other.
  4. csxnscale

    csxnscale Member

    May 9, 2002
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    Same questions as wireyanker but not the right answers till now.
    Let's go more specific.
    If I could afford Digitrax Zephyr, and I would run five trains indepently with the Zephyr should I need more items ( boosters trottles) than what is standard included in the Zephyr set ?
    Before the answers "Newbee means, know nothing about it at all".

  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Jan 19, 2002
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    opinion: DCC

    With respect to all, step back a minute and lets see if the investment in DCC is really worth its returns to us.
    1. How big is your layout?
    a. If it is large enough that multiple blocks are needed for cab control, which means lots of rotary switches, and lots of wiring, and someone to sit at the control panel and change cabs, and throw switches so you can operate? DCC.
    b. If it is relatively small, but there will be several operators running on the layout at the same time? DCC.
    c. If it is small, and you will be the only operator most of the time? NOT DCC.
    d. If 'c' is true, but you will be operating on a larger layout somewhere, that is DCC equipped? Most DCC decoders allow straight DC running. Your choice.
    2. How many people will be operating?
    a. Less than three? NOT DCC( you may need a dispatcher)
    b. more than three? DCC
    3. Is the layout going to be operated by computer?
    a. Where's the fun in that?
    b. DCC, including all the automatic functions, and transponding.
    4. How many locomotives do you have, and how easy would it be to swap decoders between them.
    a. If there's only a few?, put a decoder in each one.
    b. if it's not easy to swap decoders? Put a decoder in each one.
    c. If it is easy to swap decoders? get a finite number, and assign them each an address, and then install the decoder in the loco you are going to use for that session.
    5. Benefits of DCC
    a.The wiring of the layout is FAR simpler for DCC, than for cab control.
    b. Because you don't have to be at a 'panel', to operate, you can walk around easily.
    c. Turnouts can be manually operated. You're right there, and hand throws are cheaper, and more reaiable than 'motorized'
    d. SOUND !!!

    For your consideration..........
  6. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Jun 11, 2002
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  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Aug 29, 2002
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    I would definitely suggest that you get "The Big Book of DCC" for a reference. While it is prepared by Digitrax the information is presented in a fairly readable and understandable manner and applies to DCC in general.

    Sumpters response above is great. Take a look at what YOU want to do with your layout. If you have access to a club or a friend or two that can show you their systems (DCC) what ever models they are look, ask questions, get a feel for the operation.

    I have just gotten into DCC on my new layout after being away from the hobby for about 30 years and it is the best thing going right now.

    Try it - you'll like it!!!:) :) :)