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Author Topic: dcc controller  (Read 3055 times)
full maxx


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« on: December 18, 2010, 11:17:30 PM »

what would be a good inexpensive dcc controller...I have 1 engine that has sound and would like to change/adjust the cvs
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Barney R


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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 12:39:01 AM »

Hi full Max-
I only have experience with MRC Prodigy systems and I am well pleased with the two systems that I have. The price seems right for me. I bought one new and one used from EBay. The first was a basic system and it allowed me to adjust CV'S, as well as the second system which is the more advanced system.
Maybe someone else on the forum has experience comparing the MRC systems with the two previously mentioned by Hunt.
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jward


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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 04:19:28 PM »

with regards to the aforementioned dcc systems, i am on a limited budget myself.
i chose the digitrax zephyr because of its ability to take two dc power packs (which i already had) and use them as additional throttles. this undoubtedly saved me about $200 over a comparable system from anybody else.....
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 07:45:06 PM »

Jeffery has a good point, particularly if more than one person is to operate the layout at one time (and nothing beats operating trains with a friend.)  If you do not have any extra power packs around, you can assemble simple throttles for a very few dollars each.

Jim
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full maxx


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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 08:38:07 PM »

I have three Bachmann dc controls that came in ebay buys... so you are saying they can be used as a control with a zephyr dcc controller
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Doneldon

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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 12:22:43 AM »

maxx-

Unless you are converting to DCC I suggest skipping getting a DCC controller.  For one thing, I'm pretty sure you will have little or no sound or light control when using a power pack as a controller.  Besides, there is a much easier solution: Most or all manufacturers who sell DCC/Sound equipment also have a proprietary controller for their sound and light features when operating on non-DCC systems.  These are generally inexpensive, i.e., $30-50.
                                                                                                                                                                         -- D
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 10:42:32 PM »

what would be a good inexpensive dcc controller...I have 1 engine that has sound and would like to change/adjust the cvs

Doneldon,

Will those proprietary controllers allow maxx to program his locomotive as he wants, or would they just let him operate its sound features?

"Proprietary" rings alarm bells for me.  Does that mean these proprietary controllers will operate only the manufacturer's sound systems?  If maxx buys a proprietary controller from company A to match his present company A sound system, and later buys another sound equipped locomotive from company B, will he have to buy another proprietary sound controller from company B as well?  Will the proprietary sound controller he buys from company A today allow him to operate future sound systems from company A?  We are getting into an area where I for one do not want to go.  I still remember Keller Engineering and their proprietary train control system - top dog in the business one day and gone the next.  Owners across the continent were left in the lurch.  The freedom from proprietary controls was and still is the basis for the success of DCC.   

I believe the comments concerning the Zephyr being able to run a second and a third locomotive using dc power packs as throttles were aimed at the possibility of maxx running more than one train at a time without a major outlay for additional throttles.  Zephyr jump throttles are what they are - a low to zero cost method of running two extra locomotives independently with control of speed, direction, and directional lighting.  If you want full blown throttles, then you pay full blown prices.  Zephyr supports those too, up to about 20 of them at once.  If you are running alone and do not need a separate throttle for each locomotive, you can always switch the built in throttle between locomotives as needed.  And you can use about any combination of throttles that you can think of.  I have, for example, run my own layout with the help of five other people using a Zephyr.  The throttle on the Zephyr controlled the main yard, two other yards were switched by fellows with jump throttles, and the three through trains were operated with regular Digitrax throttles, one tethered, one infrared wireless and one radio wireless.

If maxx could use proprietary controls to program his sound locomotive, I would say 'go for it.'  But if he has to buy a full fledged DCC system to do what he wants to do, I am suggesting he buy one that can read back CVs, can program all of the CVs, can expand as his layout grows, and will be supported by the manufacturer for many years to come.  And for his stated purpose of reprogramming CVs, can read back their present settings before changing them.  For some sound decoders, he may require a low cost programming booster, although with the latest generation of Zephyrs, that has yet to be shown.  Most important, he will be able to program all the sounds and he will be able to operate all of them as well.

Jim
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Doneldon

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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2010, 03:14:19 AM »

Jim-

I'm as hinky on proprietary electronics as you are.  I only suggested that solution because maxx's question sounded like he only wanted to squeeze sound out of one loco.  If that's the case, the proprietary controller does the job just fine with a minimum outlay.  On the other hand, I agree that he'd do better to go all of the way to a DCC system if he plans to run multiple locos simultaneously.  And I agree that a DCC system should offer maximum versatility and its purchase should be made with the possibility of future expansion in mind.

The proprietary controllers (I'm talking sound and light features now, not the broad control offered by a proprietary system like the one from MTH) only work with one manufacturer's equipment.  Thus, an Atlas controller won't operate sound on a BLI locomotive.  I believe these units are aimed at MRs who want some sound control on their DC systems.  There wouldn't be any reason to use one on a DCC system since the DCC already does what the proprietary controllers do and more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -- D
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full maxx


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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2010, 07:49:51 AM »

yes I want a full dcc controller that will allow adjusting all cvs for speed sound lighting or what ever...have had the ez command for close to a year and have been very happy with it and have not had a reason to change anything as far as non sound locos go but my little engineer is getting a sound loco for Christmas with the possibility of adding sound to 3-4 other locos for his birthday in March and would like to be able to have more options and control....he seems to have a good appetite for model railroading so I'm gonna feed that hunger...he will be 6 in March and is doing an excellent job with the layout so far....he took on the original 6 switches and the ez command like it was in his D.N.A.... now hes getting a sound steamie and 7 additional switches ( that Santa has already installed ) for Christmas and maybe a turntable in March as well...if dad can construct it
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full maxx


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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2010, 09:40:18 PM »

ok just looked on ebay and there is a zephyr extra...sounds cool...3 amps? and it says 13 volts...just for my knowing I have checked the voltage from the ez command and its 19-21 is this correct
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