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Author Topic: good dcc starter pack  (Read 4882 times)
flmgrip

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« on: December 06, 2014, 05:47:38 PM »

I want to get my son and myself into train stuff ... I did it years ago, but I'm looking for something to start but good enough to keep growing with it.

any suggestions?

Thanks
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Bucksco

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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 09:40:36 PM »

Follow this link to a listing of Bachmann's offerings in DCC
http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=264_274

EZ Command is a great low cost way to get started. If you are willing to invest in a more robust system Bachmann Dynamis is a good choice. As others are quick to point out there are other systems out there. A quick internet search for DCC systems will provide info on the alternatives.
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wiley209

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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 12:36:51 AM »

If you want to go the train set route, I would recommend Bachmann's "Digital Commander" train set. It comes with two DCC-equipped locomotives so you can immediately take advantage of the technology. It comes with a 56x38" oval of nickel-silver E-Z track with a small stub-end siding, and it can be expanded with additional E-Z track to make a variety of layout plans.

Since I was upgrading an existing layout of mine to DCC, I went with one of those E-Z Command packs that includes the control system and a decoder-equipped locomotive (naturally I went with the BNSF version). I've been happily running DCC trains for almost eight months and I've been happy with it. (Bought some more decoder-equipped engines and upgraded a few existing analog ones.)
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Doneldon

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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 12:59:58 AM »

flm-

I encourage you to look into the Dynamis system. It has a good collection of features and capabilities, adequate power for most home layouts, a history of reliability operation, easy (if spendy) expansion and a good reasonable entry price. Its Bachmann competition, the EZCommand system, lacks power for anything beyond the very most basic layout and it has no meaningful programming ability. (It can program addresses for up to ten locos and tell a decoder which end of a loco is the front but that is all.) Its only real advantages are that it is very simple to learn and it has a low entry cost. But its expansion potential is limited and very expensive. The EZCommand's disadvantages far outweigh its assets, in my opinion. So ... go with the full-featured and sufficiently powerful Dynamis. It's only a little more complicated to learn and its overall utility make it a strong candidate for a new-to-DCC purchaser.

All DCC manufacturers have entry-level systems which are worth investigating. However, I believe you'll find that they cost a bit more than Dynamis for comparable capabilities. An excellent sale price on a given system might lead you to buy something other than Dynamis, but in a straight-up comparison of features, power and price, I think you'll find that Dynamis is a strong contender.

Be aware that there are a couple of manufacturers which offer DCC systems with added proprietary features not available on other manufacturers' "pure" DCC systems. These can look pretty attractive but you will have to go with those manufacturers' whole system to take advantage of the limited additional features. Those other systems are quite pricey and, again my opinion, not worth the added cost and inconveniences involved with a system which is not totally NMRA compliant.

Good luck with your research. Also, I salute you for looking at DCC as the way to get back into model railroading. The price jump from a basic power pack to a DCC system, even a rudimentary one like EZCommand, is daunting. But DCC has quite clearly established itself as the way of the future in model railroading (with the possible exception of large-scale trains). I'm sure that DCC will eventually give way to some new technology but for now it is the only way to go. That's just my opinion, of course, but I'll wager that the majority of model rails would agree.

Welcome back to the hobby and this board. Please keep us up to date on your progress.
                                                                                                                                    -- D
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jward


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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 08:08:46 AM »

one thing worth watching for is the bluetooth control bachmann has announced. it hasn't been released yet, but the announced features seem promising and i look forward to its debut. the ability to use your cell phone to control the train is intriguing, best of all, it would work with whatever dcc system you are considering purchasing.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
flmgrip

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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 09:40:23 PM »

thank you all ... so it sounds like the "Maine Central - Dynamis® Sound Commander Set" is a good starter and pretty future proof set?

of course sold out  Sad some sites say "discontinued" ?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 10:35:00 PM by flmgrip » Logged
Bucksco

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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 11:59:25 PM »

The Dynamis 2-8-0 sets were done a couple of years ago but should still be available at retailers.
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MBB


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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 01:11:56 PM »

flmgrip,

The train set includes the basic Dynamis DCC system with one handset. To add a second handset requires the addition of the Dynamis Pro Box (Retail price $509.00. Discounted by some retailers to around $200.00).

Click Here for Bachmann Europe Plc video.
Click Here for Dynamis Pro Box User Guide

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flmgrip

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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 07:25:14 PM »

do I need a second handset? or is there an other set that's good too as this one seems to be discontinued? I don't want to get stuck with something that I can't expand in a few years ...
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 07:29:15 PM by flmgrip » Logged
WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 10:39:51 PM »

thank you all ... so it sounds like the "Maine Central - Dynamis® Sound Commander Set" is a good starter and pretty future proof set?

of course sold out  Sad some sites say "discontinued" ?

If you're not stuck on the road name, then......

http://www.trainworld.com/manufacturers/bachmann/bachmann-ho-scale/bachmann-train-sets-2/spectrum-dynamis-sound-commander-new-haven-01402/

Sid
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MBB


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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2014, 07:01:05 PM »

do I need a second handset? . . .
With second handset your son can control his trains while you control your trains on the same layout when using DCC.

Suggest more research into the capabilities of DCC.
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JimJim

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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 04:33:13 PM »

Hello and welcome!

I have a fairly complex 4x8 pike. I had been running traditional DC and found it too cumbersome.

My first foray into DCC was with the E-Z Command system. A great starter set but I soon needed greater programming capabilities than the E-Z Command system offered.

I upgraded to the Dynamis system (which is what I should have done in the first place) and have had no regrets. I also added the 5-Amp power booster so I can run multiple locomotives simultaneously.

The communication between the handset and the receiver is line of sight. Because of the small size of my pike I mounted the receiver above the layout and have had no signal problems.

The only drawback I have encountered is the ability to Read the decoder functions. For some this is a non-issue.

Rather than buying the Pro Box, which would add read function, I purchased a Broadway Limited, stand alone, decoder programmer. This handy little gem reads and programs both installed decoders and 8- or 9-pin equipped decoders with the ability to connect this device to a separate programming track, all for less than $75.00.

I kept the turnouts DC and powered from a separate transformer using a Capacitor Discharge Unit, even though the Dynamis system will support DCC controlled turnouts.

Because the handset it battery powered I also purchased two sets of rechargeable batteries so I always have a fresh set when the batteries are low.

Users of other DCC systems have had some pretty disparaging comments about the Dynamis system but for me it is a perfect fit for my situation.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 04:50:18 PM by JimJim » Logged

“Uhh...I didn’t know it was ‘impossible’ I just made it work...sorry!”
flmgrip

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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2014, 08:43:37 PM »

thanks again everyone for their input! I went with the Dynamis set. I found one on ebay for $290 shipped ...
it sounds like it will do the job for me as it will be years before I out-grow it! if ever it seems ... this is a side project that will grow very slowly ...

I sure will have more questions as I want to grow the system and track... I have an L shaped area of about 8ft x 6ft with 40" width ...

Thanks again!
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