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1  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 06:24:58 PM
I knew what u meant Guilford Guy. And thanx for the link Hunt, it helped.
2  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 06:20:05 PM
Mechanics- no problem, Electronics- I can keep from shocking myself and I know how to solder, Learning ability- I can read, and once I do something once I've got it down. But more importantly, I like to learn from other peoples experiences, and mistakes, hence all these questions.

I've got my heart set on the HO Norfolk and Western 4-8-4, and I'm merely trying to learn all I can before I buy one due to the different DCC options. I know my preference and ability are important but I'm asking for input to see what others have dealt with and overcome. My budget plays an important role as well.

I'm not looking  to set up a huge diorama right now with multiple trains on separate tracks, I merely want a nice little train set-up with a little bit of track. But, as with all of my hobbies, I believe there will come a day when I wish to expand beyond that and I'd like to be able to look back and say I bought the right train, basically I'd like to keep my options open.

What I need to know is if a DCC locomotive will be OK for me right now on a basic train track set-up, or will I need to spend alot of money to run that train with DCC controllers. I'm also looking at some other, cheaper HO trains, that will have nothing to do with DCC and I want to be able to use them on the same track, (not at the same time), without needing different controllers.
3  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 05:42:39 PM
Well, it seems that for even just performance alone, (leaving out the sound, programmability, and load compenastaion abilities), that the DCC trains are the way to go. Does anyone feel otherwise?

Do the DCC locos seem to stand up to a regular DC loco in load pulling ability on a DC only track, or do they need the DCC, (I guess it's called a controller now, not a transformer), to reach their pulling potential. From what I've read, it seems that the DCC decoders eat up some of the power, leaving less for the motor.
4  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 05:13:12 PM
OK, some of my questions about "lines" has been answered in another blog "Topic: Bachmann Train "Lines"", but I'm still open to any suggestions on which specific train models to seek based on other's experience and preferences.

As for the AC / DC issue, is this something that I'm likely to encounter? I assume that this applies merely to the transformer and that all track would be universal, but it seems that with all I've read about these trains, the DC systems would be the most common. I obviously want to go with what is most readily available in parts and pieces, but more importantly, what will work with any trains that I choose to pick up in the future. Are there that many AC components out there or is that just something that I'm likely to find in old box at a flea market somewhere?

Keep in mind that I have nothing right now, (except for some electric Lego trains which are quite simplistic compared to this stuff), so I will be buying track, transformer, etc. I have read enough to know that I will need wide radius track for the 4-8-4 locos, and that nickel-silver track appears to be the way to go, but will I need to choose between an AC or DC transformer as well?

Also, does anyone feel that buying a "DCC ready" loco would be my best option right now? Or, does spending the money on the front end outweigh the hassle of having to add the decoder components later? Not only, might better decoders come out later, but going DCC Ready vs DCC Onboard would expand my lsit of available locos right now as well.
5  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 04:25:34 PM
Thanx for the replies, it's all comin together now. And yes, HO scale.

Now, for starters, I believe that I would probably start with a basic DC track set-up, (I grew up with Lionels and simple layouts), so I won't need the DCC right away. However, I think that I would like to have it for if/when I do upgrade. And I believe it is correct to say that a DCC train will run fine on a DC track, but that care should be taken when running a regular DC train on a DCC transformer due to overheating concerns. Can anyone offer advice in this area? Should I stay away from DCC locos until I know more about the system, or will I be fine with a DCC loco on a regular track?

Also, my dad mentioned how some of these different "Manufacturing lines" that have produced O-scale trains over the years have had beautiful detail, but lacked seriously in the electronics department, particularly models out of China. I think I read somewhere that Spectrum is a Chinese line and I've also seem some blogs containing Spectrum malfunction questions. Can anyone advise on this? Does one line make better motors than the others?

And last, does anyone care to recommend which line/model/road number I should go for? There seems to be so many to choose from just Bachmann alone. From what I've read, number 611 is obviously the most historic, but I am willing to sacrifice a different road number for a better running/looking locomotive.

Thanks again for all the help.
JC
6  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / ????? DCC ready/equipped/sound in Class J ????? Plz help on: June 15, 2008, 08:35:09 AM
Can somebody please help me with this?

I'm new to these trains and I've taken quite a liking to the Norfolk and Western 4-8-4 class J locomotive. I plan to buy one but I have no idea which models have what as far as the DCC is concerned. Does the DCC ready/equipped/sound correspond to model numbers? Ie: 600,603,608,611...etc.? I have searched this site and google but I can find nothing pinning this question down. I've seen that the 611, (railfan version), according to this site, is DCC equipped, (by the way, what is the railfan version?), but a 611 I've found on E-bay says DCC ready, not equipped. Also, others I've seen on E-bay, particularly the 600, say nothing about DCC, I'm assuming that the 600 is an older version of this train?

Simply put, Is the model number indicative of which DCC options are on that locomotive, or are DCC options like a factory option you would order on a new car, available on all models? And one last thing, what is the diference between a Spectrum version and non-spectrum version of the class J? Just want to make sure that I get what I want the first time around.

Thanx, JC 
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