Digitrax Super Chief vs NCE Power Pro

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by ScottyB, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. ScottyB

    ScottyB Member

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    Both have similar pricing and features. In fact, on some websites, NCE is actually priced slightly cheaper. I'm debating between the two and was wondering what you all think. There is plenty of info on Digitrax on this site, but not so much on NCE.

    My layout is (slowly becomming) a 12x18 s-shaped layout so multiple plug-ins for the cab around the layout is important. (Wireless may be outside of the budget as of yet.) 99% of the time it would be just one operator, but I would like to run 2-3 trains at a time. And expandability is important as well when I choose a different direction for my layout (which happens often).

    The main differences I see between the two systems is NCE comes ready with a computer port (not sure how important that will be to me yet), and multiple reviews claim NCE is slightly more user-friendly than Digitrax. But Digitrax seems to have a larger community and much more documentation online.

    Looking for guidance...

    Scott
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

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    Scott
    A friend of mine who lives down along the Eastern Shores of Virgina uses NCE on his large layout and loves it. It does everything he expects from a DCC system. The only reason, I chose Digitrax is that is what my local hobby store carried. My advice to you is to see what your hobby stores carry and also find out what local model railroad clubs use. Using what they use or suggest may be of help to you.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Our modular club (www.hotrak.ca) runs one of the largest modular setups in Canada using Digitrax system(s). For this reason (among others), I chose to go with the Digitrax Zephyr for my home layout. I always have access to the club's "gurus" in case I need any trouble shooting help.

    Andrew
  4. gregbva123

    gregbva123 Member

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    Plus NCE can be upgraded later on, which Digitrix can not.
  5. LisaP4

    LisaP4 New Member

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    Digitrax can be upgraded just the same as an NCE system.
  6. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

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    Digitrax systems can be readily connected to a computer through the LocoBufferII. One end of this cable system is your usual RJ12 male plug which plugs into the LocoNet on your layout. At the computer end, you have the choice of a number of models with different types of connectors, depending on how old your computer is. This also includes input via a USB port. The LocoBuffer II "opto-isolates" your computer from the layout so that the layout doesn't blow your computer.
    http://www.rr-cirkits.com/LocoBuffer-II/locobuffer-II.html

    The software that runs on the computer is JMRI - shareware which is free. This software is open source and is continually being upgraded by its contributors.
    http://jmri.sourceforge.net/
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Also, the non radio Digitrax throttles are already set up for IR, all that is required for wireless IR use is the IR receiver which can be had for $35. IR is sight directional but in my experience coverage is quite good. You do need to point them in the general direction of the receiver, ie, not at the floor, or at someone else.

    Gary
  8. Richard Gude

    Richard Gude New Member

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    I picked NCE after posting a question on the NCE forum asking if any had owned a different brand. I must have gotten 12 responses that they had Digitrax and got rid of it due to difficulties you describe. No Digitrax users responded that they had switched from NCE.


    I have NCE and find all the assistance I need from the forums and the NCE support. The big factor for me is that the NCE T-bone controller is a single hand controller with the thumb wheel throttle and other functions located around the thumb wheel in easy reach of the same thumb. A recall button allows me to switch between engines with a single button, again using the same thumb. One handed control gives me one hand free to throw turnouts etc. All the others I have seen require the operator to hold the controller in one hand and turn the throttle control with the other.
    THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ALL THE SYSTEMS WORK WELL AND THE DECISION WILL HAVE TO BE MADE USING OTHER FACTORS.:wave: