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Author Topic: Beginning DCC layout  (Read 3570 times)
wallywag2000

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« on: September 17, 2016, 09:25:33 AM »

Hi I'm to the dcc system and I here looking for input on equipment to get started on a simple layout. I have the Bachmann 4449 with tender that says dcc on board.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2016, 05:15:16 PM »

Don't purchase steel track.  Only purchase nickel silver track.
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Keep Calm and Carry On
wallywag2000

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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 05:56:35 PM »

Thanks for the input I have a bunch of steel flex track so I'll make sure not to use that. What would be a good control unit and power supply?
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Nathan

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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2016, 09:21:20 PM »

Everyone has their favorite system.  If you are near some clubs go see what they use.  Go to the local train shows and see what people use on the layouts.

I have been using NCE for many years and  I am happy with their products.  Many people are happy with the Bachmann systems.  The same can be said for every system on the market.

Nathan
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wallywag2000

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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 09:42:42 PM »

I like the look of that and less money then the other systems. 
 Thanks for the input. Smiley
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wiley209

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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 09:52:14 PM »

I've been using the E-Z Command system for over two years now, and it still works great for me.
If you want to start out with a track plan designed to operate more than one train on, I'd look into the old TYCO Layout Expander system. Just build it without all the gaps or additional terminal connections, and you'd have a great DCC layout to start out with! And it can be done in stages too. You can find it here:
http://hoseeker.net/tyco.htm

(If only Bachmann did something like that in the 70s and 80s, too!)
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jbrock27

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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2016, 09:00:57 AM »

I'd look into the old TYCO Layout Expander system. Just build it without all the gaps or additional terminal connections, and...

...w/o using steel or brass track traditional sectional or flex track.  Use the design if you wish, but not the TYCO track.  If you go his route, again, use nickel/silver track to build it.
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Keep Calm and Carry On
wallywag2000

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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 08:49:25 AM »

Thank you everyone your input has giving me lots of ideas and info on controllers , points in one direction instead of all over.
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jward


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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 08:11:25 AM »

before you purchase a dcc system there are several things you should look for.

1. can it do basic programming, other than changing a locomotive's address.

2. does it have adequate current capacity to run more than one locomotive? this is especially true if you intend on running sound equipped locomotives, which can draw a lot of current.

3. can the system be upgraded? can your basic controller be used as part of a larger system if you decide to upgrade? are extra throttles available for this system, or can it use existing dc power packs as extra throttles?

for me personally. any system that does not meet all three criteria will not be considered, regardless of cost.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Maletrain

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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2016, 10:50:09 AM »

I used the basic Bachmann DCC controller to start, with 2 Bachmann small steam locomotives.  Worked well as a basic system running 2 locos on 2 loops, with a wye and 4 sidings.

But, as I gained interest in more complex layouts and locomotives other than Bachmann, I realized 2 things:

1.  Controlling more than one locomotive with the simple Bachmann DCC system was clumsy when switching from one running loco to another because the speed knob would be set for one loco and not match the other when switched.  The second loco just continued running at the same speed until I moved the knob and sent it a speed command, at which time it jumped to whatever speed was on the knob.  This is called "potentiometer" control, and works just like an analog DC speed control knob.  Some of the more advanced DCC throttles us an "up-down" type of control, some with buttons and some with wheels, so that switching to another loco and moving the knob or wheel only changes the speed by one or more "steps" from whatever it is at that moment.

2.  The simple Bachmann controller that I started with was apparently designed to have enough voltage to run large scale locomotives, which was higher than N scale locomotives require, and higher than some OTHER manufacturers rate their electronics.  So, I was concerned that the Bachmann controller might damage, or at least void the warranty for locos made by other manufacturers.  (My Bachmann controller put out 18 volts on a special DCC volt meter, while some manufacturers rate their electronics for N scale at 16 volts and the NMRA suggests 14 volts for N scale.)

So, if you really want to start with simple and less expensive, Bachmann's basic DCC controller will get you started with Bachmann equipment.  But, keep in mind what I said if you (very probably) get the urge to get more complicated operations and locos of other makes.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 12:37:43 PM by Maletrain » Logged
wallywag2000

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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2016, 08:17:39 AM »

Good info to know. Thinking about getting the NCE. I looked at the digitrax zephyr dcc starter system but I don't know much about it. I'm not trying to promote these other brands just get something I can afford and be happy with.
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Len

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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2016, 05:51:27 PM »

I've own the NCE and the Zephyr, and much prefer the NCE because the add on throttles are the same as the base throttle. With the Zephyr, the layout of the buttons on the add on throttles are in different positions than the base unit. Not good in a critical situation.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
wallywag2000

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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 06:44:28 AM »

Thanks for the input that tells me which way to go. Smiley
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Joe323

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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2016, 05:39:34 PM »

I have the NCE and I am still learning it I like the hand held form factor vs Digitrax brick if that matters. But truth be told it also doesn't cost much more than the EZ Command and so much more versatile. But I have found a learning curve which may put some off.
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wallywag2000

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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 10:59:54 AM »

Thanks I believe I'm going with the NCE.
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