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Andy Y

DC or DCC?

Are you a DC or DCC user?  

421 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you a DC or DCC user?

    • DC
      192
    • DCC
      289


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Tricky that.

 

How do I vote if I am involved with DC layouts and a DCC layout but don't like DCC? Does a tick in the DCC box mean that I am a DCC enthusiast?

 

The step from 3 rail to 2 rail meant a great leap forward in realistic appearance that few could doubt. DCC is just another (and more complex electronically) way of getting electricity to a motor. So I don't see a parallel there.

 

Perhaps the time will come when all RTR locos come DCC fitted and DC will be seen as a minority interest as clockwork and live steam are now. But I will always prefer the simpler electronics and easier fault finding of DC. I am not a luddite, just somebody who sees DCC as a lot of extra components that still put between 0-12 volts onto a motor, just like my DC systems do. 

 

DCC is not just a more complex method of controlling locos, it offers modes of use that cannot be easily achieved if at all using DC.  it also offers control and tailoring to individual motors that a DC system cannot do no matter what controller is in use .  

 

Furthermore DCC allows much supplier wiring of larger layouts compared to DC. Im that regard DCC is a simpler system and easier to debug that complex section switched DC 

 

the vast majority of reliability issues remain the user wiring installed on the layout whether its DC or DCC. Modern DC feedback controllers are quite complex also.  

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Having been out on the exhibition circuit with 2 DCC layouts for the past 12 years it does amuse me that DCC is still regarding as a special feature by some watching 'ooh it's DCC' like that's unusual or relevant in what makes for a decent layout these days!

 

I have no interest in electrics/electronics of any form, I'm all about the ease & simplicity of operation and choosing DCC just suits the needs of your user in the same way as you might choose a diesel, petrol or hybrid car - whatever works for you best! I don't get the rivalry between the two, or the suspicion from some quarters around DCC technology which, in 2017, is now indeed very old itself!

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50 years ago no-one had heard of DCC; in 50 years time will DC equipment exist only in a museum? 50 years ago, there were still 3 rail layouts about - now?

 

Before anyone points out that that is an 'apples and oranges' comparison then I will point it out myself. But it seems clear to me that DCC has greater appeal to the younger, iPAD generation so, as us luddite dinosaurs gradually disappear then for how long will mainstream manufacturers cheerfully support two parallel systems?

 

Unlike 3-rail, I’m not convinced that the loss of DC will necessarily be a good thing for the hobby (even though I personally probably don't need to worry about such things)

 

 

There are still stud-contact layouts around (especially in 7mm)- and Marklin very much promote stud-contact AC in HO . They even offer digital AC stud-contact...

 

Since 12V DC motors are common property to both systems, since 12V DC output transformers are not going to disappear, and since it has always been perfectly possible to build a simple DC controller yourself, there's no reason for DC to disappear completely . Since most folk prefer to fit the DCC decoder of their choice, rather than the manufacturer's, DCC Ready suits everybody and there's no reason for that to change

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Since 12V DC motors are common property to both systems, since 12V DC output transformers are not going to disappear, and since it has always been perfectly possible to build a simple DC controller yourself, there's no reason for DC to disappear completely . Since most folk prefer to fit the DCC decoder of their choice, rather than the manufacturer's, DCC Ready suits everybody and there's no reason for that to change

Fair comment.

 

OK - to be pedantic, transformers actually output AC - the DC output "wall warts" and other power supplies that are widely used have components to convert AC to DC (exactly what depends on whether they are simple, transformer / rectifier / capacitor based designs or the, rather more complex, switch mode types).

 

However, I think you've summed things up pretty well.

 

I can remember a few years back, when one major manufacturer threatened to move to supplying their whole RTR range only as "ready chipped", with their "own" decoder. Although, on the surface, this might have appeared to make sense, there were howls of protest from DCC "converts" as well as DC "luddites".

 

People not interested in model railways (yes - I've been told they exist) would probably have had no difficulty in seeing why some DC modellers would be unhappy about having to pay extra for "chips" they had no use for.

 

However, some DCC types were complaining about exactly the same thing, albeit for different reasons. These people wanted to be able to choose which decoders went into their locos - which features - stuff like that.

 

Then we come to DCC novices - the few modellers who might benefit most from basic "factory DCC". Rather than pushing one specific decoder on them, might it perhaps be better to provide them with information on what a suitable decoder needs to offer?

 

I'm not sure - after all, I'm no expert.

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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Regarding "DCC novices", I use DC, and am happy with it for my two current small layouts.  On the other hand, I know that a for more complicated layout, I would consider DCC and thus risk becoming a DCC newbie.  From what I have read, people seem to find DCC more satisfying if they try to do it with a reasonable standard of electronics.  I stress that I have no experience of using any DCC chips, but what I have read would make me go for better regarded chips than the ones likely to be supplied in DCC fitted locomotives.

 

Whilst I am using DC, chipped locos would be a pain because of my Gaugemaster 'electronic track cleaner'.  If I went for DCC I would want better chips than would be likely to be ready fitted.

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I've a foot in both camps. Well maybe it's just a toehold in dcc at the moment as I just have a few OO locos chipped that I can to to run friends layouts; it's sociability that's driven my interest in dcc. My 009 stock and layouts will remain dc partly because it would be a bit of a faff to install decoders (yes I know it could be done but...) and again there are relatively few others practising dcc in this scale. My HO stock will likewise remain dc. My next exhibition layout will be in this format and I like the idea of reducing the number of components which can cause problems. Fault finding on DC is a doddle, I'm an ex apprentice trained electrical engineer, but dcc adds an extra layer of things which can go wrong. I believe that understated models look more realistic and for that reason I'm not sold on the 'benefits' of lights and sound which dcc can bring. For that reason, more than the cost, none of my dcc locos are sound fitted, none have lights activated either.

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 of course DCC can indeed help with your point levers , as you can encode at the lever frame and decode wherever you need to drive points and signals , with no additional wiring , other then what is already  there to  drive the track.. This use of DCC seems often to be overlooked, but has been used to great effect in my local club layouts. 

 

I remain convinced that in the absence of a standards body for BPRC , it will remain a niche control system .  

Exactly how does one encode point rodding? :jester:

Edited by Dunsignalling

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And so it came to pass

Both the cat and the pigeons accepted one another

And they both lived happily ever after

 

post-20303-0-20066300-1490444063_thumb.jpeg

 

Yours

S.Hocking

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The model press do seem to have had an awful lot of articles over the last few years banging on about how great dcc is and how we should all be using it. I did find it a bit tiresome last year; it seemed as though at least one magazine was sponsored by dcc concepts. The simple answer is that if you don't like the articles in a magazine then don't buy it. 

 

Cant see it matters one jot whether featured layouts are dcc or not. Its about the design and the effect achieved.

Edited by Chris M

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This poll was an interesting though somewhat simplistic idea. A huge shame that it couldn't be achieved without allowing this totally pointless, needless, and exasperating discussion.

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That was bound to happen, after the sensible posts had been made.  Hence the popcorn.  But as these threads go it has been pretty controlled....mostly.

 

It was interesting to hear of Howard's reasons for starting the poll, rough though it is.  A Mrs Trellis letter from one of the great experts without a layout no doubt.

 

Horses for courses, to personal taste.  What's to argue about?

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When  it  commenced  it  was  not  possible  to  reply,  Although  I  was  one  of  the  first (perhaps  the  first!) to  reply  on reflection  it  may  have  been advisable  to  leave  it  without  the  option  to  reply.

 

All we  need now  is  another  poll  to  see  who  models  in  which  scale,  I  bet  that  would  be  interesting!! :nono: 

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It was initially posted as a poll only with no reply option. The trouble with that was that it fell off the bottom of View New Content within 24 hours

 

Andi

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Well I actually found it interesting and I had the same feeling that DCC was becoming quite popular. I don't see that we need to have dominance of any one system and as there are 50 year old H&M controllers still doing sterling service it's not like DC is in any danger. In fact there are plenty of spares from people going DCC so plenty of cheap options.

Like the trains themselves we have plenty of choice :)

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Although  I  am  a  dedicated  Digital  user   ( since  1997)  I personnaly  feel  that  Analogue will  be  with  us  for  ages, infact  I  am currently  involved  in  a  project,  in  its  early  stages which has  not  yet  had  a  decision  made  as  to  its  power  source  and  currently  the  feeling  is  it  may  well be Analogue,  due  to  the  planned  simplicity  of  the  layout,  The  baseboard  materials  were  purchased  today  and  it  is  likely  that  a   Vesta Zero Two  controller  from  Morley  Controllers will be  ordered  next  week. 

 

The  said  controller  may  give  a  clue  to  the scale  of  the  layout!

 

I was  a  user  of  H&M  Duettes  & Clippers  in  my  early  Modelling  days,  but  personally  would  not  even plug  one  in  these  days,  I feel  they  are  simply  too old  now, better  to  be  safe  than  sorry!

Edited by Stevelewis

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Although  I  am  a  dedicated  Digital  user   ( since  1997)  I personnaly  feel  that  Analogue will  be  with  us  for  ages, infact  I  am currently  involved  in  a  project,  in  its  early  stages which has  not  yet  had  a  decision  made  as  to  its  power  source  and  currently  the  feeling  is  it  may  well be Analogue,  due  to  the  planned  simplicity  of  the  layout,  The  baseboard  materials  were  purchased  today  and  it  is  likely  that  a   Vesta Zero Two  controller  from  Morley  Controllers will be  ordered  next  week. 

 

The  said  controller  may  give  a  clue  to  the scale  of  the  layout!

 

I was  a  user  of  H&M  Duettes  & Clippers  in  my  early  Modelling  days,  but  personally  would  not  even plug  one  in  these  days,  I feel  they  are  simply  too old  now, better  to  be  safe  than  sorry!

 

Surely, the simpler the layout, the simpler the DCC.  Driving the locos applies whether the layout is of Dumere Halt or Kings Cross and the opportunities to create a wonderful ambiance with the sensitive use of sound should not be overlooked.

 

For my present projects I plan to use a simple Bachmann EZ with a walkabout or two. There won't be more than 9 (too many) locos at any one time. I can control 8 loco functions. What few points I have will either be WIT (I have a couple of Harold's frames) or servos. #keepingitsimple

 

Each to their own but I cannot think of a single argument in favour of not using DCC for a new project which has new stock. (Use of old stock is a different matter)

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Each to their own but I cannot think of a single argument in favour of not using DCC for a new project which has new stock. (Use of old stock is a different matter)

 

  One obvious reason is the usual one  ££££££££ notes, in addition to already for many people a expensive costing Loco. One mistake and those hard earned ££££££££ disappear in smoke too.

Edited by micklner

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I can build a decent DC controller for less than a fiver. I think, even with a rather greater knowledge of digital technology than I currently posess (not difficult I'll admit), I might be hard pushed to equal that with DCC :D.

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  One obvious reason is the usual one  ££££££££ notes, in addition to already for many people a expensive costing Loco. One mistake and those hard earned ££££££££ disappear in smoke too.

 

I am  surprised  really  that  some  people  seem  to  have  the  impression digital  systems  are  prone  to  failure,  I  have   been   using  digital  systems   for  20  years,  I  made  mistakes  in  the  early  learning  days ( and  remember  advice  in 1997  was not  as  easy to  obtain  as  it  is  today, it  usually  meant  phone  calls to   suppliers, but advice  was  always  good)

 

I can  honestly  say  though  my failures  were  few  and  cost  me  nothing as failed  decoders were replaced without  question.

 

I  haven't  had  anything  digital  actually  fail  for  years  now!  (fingers  crossed  of  course  and   wooden  bench  touched!!)

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  One obvious reason is the usual one  ££££££££ notes, in addition to already for many people a expensive costing Loco. One mistake and those hard earned ££££££££ disappear in smoke too.

 

The cost of simple decoder is actually less than some wagon's and definitely most carriages. And really there is no reason why the device should catch fire or blow if used properly. If it does it's obviously faulty. (if used wrongly then it's a person's own fault but then they would probably wire up a DC layout wrong too) The cost of a basic DCC controller can also very reasonable. 

 

In the overall cost of making a model railway the additional cost of decoders is not a huge part. If you factor in the cost of fitting chips to five locos it's about the same as buying a sixth loco. 

 

I really don't accept that cost is a good reason if you are starting a new project with new stock.

 

 

I can build a decent DC controller for less than a fiver. I think, even with a rather greater knowledge of digital technology than I currently posess (not difficult I'll admit), I might be hard pushed to equal that with DCC :D.

 

Good for you. :-)  But again not a good reason not to use DCC unless you are truly impoverished but I fear your layout will be quite bare of stock and scenery in that case. ;-)

 

 

Keep the excuses coming guys and gals, please.

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I can build a decent DC controller for less than a fiver. I think, even with a rather greater knowledge of digital technology than I currently posess (not difficult I'll admit), I might be hard pushed to equal that with DCC :D.

 

join merg , and you can build their DCC system for about 20 quid , if you use your smartphone as a throttle !!!!

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This poll was an interesting though somewhat simplistic idea. A huge shame that it couldn't be achieved without allowing this totally pointless, needless, and exasperating discussion.

I never quite understand why people find these discussion pointless. I mean once they do not decend into rancour, they are merely a thread in RMWEB amongst thousands of other threads.  The electrons show no sign of getting tired !!!

 

a discussion is just that , it doesnt have to convince anyone, converge or convert 

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Exactly how does one encode point rodding? :jester:

ah here, how many layouts have working point rodding, I was referring to the majority of point motor operated ,layouts , often operated by a form of lever frame 

Edited by Junctionmad

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I am  surprised  really  that  some  people  seem  to  have  the  impression digital  systems  are  prone  to  failure,  I  have   been   using  digital  systems   for  20  years,  I  made  mistakes  in  the  early  learning  days ( and  remember  advice  in 1997  was not  as  easy to  obtain  as  it  is  today, it  usually  meant  phone  calls to   suppliers, but advice  was  always  good)

 

I can  honestly  say  though  my failures  were  few  and  cost  me  nothing as failed  decoders were replaced without  question.

 

I  haven't  had  anything  digital  actually  fail  for  years  now!  (fingers  crossed  of  course  and   wooden  bench  touched!!)

The main reason I tend to contribute to DCC versus DC is that its always DC " enthusiasts " that are negative about DC and rarely the other way around 

remember that many DCC modellers would have been former DC modellers , The reverse isnt usually true 

 

The usual issues are trotted  out 

 

(a) costly , but with decoders at about £12 and throttles for less then a single loco , I would suggest this isn't true

(b) Complexity , but the reality is that a multi controller DC layout with section switching , has more complexity and wiring then the equivalent DCC layout 

© reliability , digital electronics are very reliable and likely to be the last thing that fails on your layout 

 

typical of the mis-information would be this type of stuff 

 

 

 One obvious reason is the usual one  ££££££££ notes, in addition to already for many people a expensive costing Loco. One mistake and those hard earned ££££££££ disappear in smoke too.

 

one mistake !! , modern decoders are very robust and cheap , DCC command stations have extensive short circuit protection , its very hard to break a modern DCC system 

so , opposed to £££££££££, were are talking about £12-15 quid and you have to try very hard to blow it up . in DC the controller would have long ago failed and blown up 

 

IM all for a reasoned debate , but less of the shibboleths 

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Unlike 3-rail, I’m not convinced that the loss of DC will necessarily be a good thing for the hobby (even though I personally probably don't need to worry about such things)

 

Don't say that in Germany, there is no shortage of German modellers who consider two rail DC to be the leftfield choice.

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