NCE DCC wireless any thoughts?

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Urloony, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I'm new to the forums here and had a couple questions about DCC. I model O scale and have a 100'x50' layout that has been running "power block style" for ever and we have been thinking about going the DCC route. I was hoping for some feedback as far as installation, ease of use, etc. about the NCE wireless system or any of their other systems as they all seem to be pretty similar. I've seen a little of E-Z DCC as well as Digitrax and was wondering how they might compare in practice. The vendors I've talked to never seem to offer anything negative about their products oddly enough. Thanks for any input.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    When the modular club that I belong to went to dcc, we formed a research committee to look over the products available to see what would be best for us. For various reasons the committee eliminated everything except E-Z DCC and NCE. The committee split on those last two, and the club members voted for E-Z DCC mostly due to a $300.00 savings on a $1500.00 set up. Please don't be scared by the cost, this was an investment for a club and needed much more capability than a home layout would normally need. I think we ended up buying two complete systems and extra throttles. The main benefit of the NCE system was that the "hammer head" throttle could be used to program a locomotive decoder anywhere on the layout, whereas the E-Z DCC system requires the use of a programing track to program all locomotives. We found from experience with the E-Z DCC system that when programing, the programing track would take priority over the operating tracks. Since a club at a show will have members programing constantly, we use two command stations. One reason why our initial investment was so high. One command station is hooked directly to the programing track, and is used only to program locomotives. The other command station is wired to the layout and is used to operate the layout at shows. A second advantage of the NCE system, that we could have used during some of our shows when we had some problems, is that if the wireless throttles have some problems with outside interference, the NCE wireless throttles can be plugged in to the layout with short "telephone cables" and plugs. They don't have to be long since the loco remembers the last throttle setting as you unplug and move on to the next location. We operated at a GAT Show at the L. A. County Fairgrounds while the NHRA Winternationals was going on accross the grounds at the Pomona track. There was radio interference everywhere from the radios used by the drag racing teams. This is kind of long, I hope the the info helps you.
  3. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

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    The nice thing about NCE wireless is that it is actually both wireless and teathered and converts automatically to the latter when you plug it in. As far as layout size and range, it varies with conditions but I understand the new EPROM is going to allow them to develop a repeater for situations that may require it.
  4. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

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    Thanks for the response guys

    I'm thinking we will probably end up going with the NCE system primarily for what looks like the best radio control system out there. After doing a little more reading I found that the only way to avoid using a program track is if you use NCE decoders. Any other brand will require you to use a program track. I don't think this will be a big issue for us though.
  5. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

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    I don't think that's true. When programing on the main, you program individual CVs. I have done so on both Soundtrax (combo sound/decoder) equipped units and a BLI E-unit.
  6. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

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    I'm sure you're right as you have done it. I only know what I've read in the NCE manual. PH-5 manual page 17, and PH-10 manual page 12. It simply says that other decoder manufacturers may not support "programing on the main."
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    That is probably NCE doing some cya in case somebody's decoder doesn't program in the main.