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Choosing a Dcc system


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Hi

Indecision has struck me again. After Rmweb Taunton meet I have decided to stick with Dcc thanks to the guys I spoke to there. Whilst there I managed to have a go at the NCE system which was easy to use and seemed to be everything i wanted from a dcc controller. I have also now used the Gaugemaster Prodigy and seems very similar to the NCE but am now unsure which system to spend my money on and asking if people can help because dont want to buy the wrong 1 and have to make another expensive mistake like I have done in the past with controllers :)

if anyone could offer me advise i would be very greatful of the help again.

Scott

:)

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Scott;

 

A search should bring up any number of threads that cover this ground.

 

In essence, you need to decide what features you need out of a controller, and which is the most comfortable/natural for you to use. Also, if you have friends with DCC systems, it may be helpful to get a similar system to theirs so that there can be mutual assistance if questions come up.

 

Adrian

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Reading your other recent threads on DCC suggests that you are trying to jump in at the deep end - not just in your choice of controller, but with all sorts of complex side issues like point control as well.

 

It may be that you need to go through your layout with a fine toothcomb to sort out any shortcomings with the wiring, points etc. before you leap into the dark again with another DCC system. Spend lots of time with a basic DC controller and a non-decoder equipped loco and sort everything out with the layout as your first priority. Only when everything runs smoothly and reliably will it be worth spending a lot of money on a DCC system again. No DCC system is going to solve some of the problems you seem to have, on its own.

 

The 2 systems you like are both entry systems, which can only cope with a limited number of locomotives and accessories at one time. If you have lots of locos, each fitted with sound decoders and numerous DCC-controlled trackside accessories, then an entry system may well not be powerful enough for your needs.

 

You may also need to spend a lot of time checking all your locos to make sure they are picking up current correctly - and add extra pickups if they don't already pick up on all wheels.

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Hi,

Good advice indeed! I had a similar problem - however having been on the show circuit with my own layouts - I got to know them inside out as you say. I then finished up with finescale track and electrofrog pointwork with motors and initially it seemed a bit of a 'night-mare' but I got to know all the pitfalls!. Because of the size of my layout and taken in to account my needs I opted for a Guagemaster Prodigy Express system which for me works a treat!

Bill.

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I hardly think either is a entry system!

 

I have the Gaugemaster and are very satisfied with it, but it is unable to interface with a computer

 

But if I was the start from scratch I think I would go down the NCE route which will interface with a computer.

 

I have operated with both systems as a guest operator and the both do what it says on the can.

 

If you can try all the systems that would be my best advice. I understand Digitrains and others have them set up for to try

 

Terry

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Thanks for the advice. I have now gone through all the problems I had on my last layout and have addressed them and hopefully wont be making them again. I am aware these are more entry level and are not to complex and easier to use. The ECoS i had was a fab bit of kit but was not for me and became more of a chore and not a hobby and was not enjoying modelling because i had made alot of errors being that it was my first proper layout. I tried to run before i could walk and went and got the ECoS and never really seen one before then realised it wasnt for me. (a msitake i think we are all guilty of doing at sometime in our lifes)

Just hoping for a little advise so i dont make another mistake. Well i have used the both systems and do like them both.

 

Thanks

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I've used a Lenz 100 system for over 4 years without a single problem. The "user interface" on the hand controller might appear a bit primitive to the 3D games generation, but the product is pure quality and has never let me down. Highly recommended.

 

Jeff

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Lenz Set 100 but with the Roco Multimouse hand set is a solid workhorse system, reliable with a superb replacement warranty.

This is what I use for my trains. For programming though I also have a Sprog which I use with JMRI.

Toy

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I feel it is more intuitive, more user friendly, and is very simple for upgrades. Many of the local clubs here run NCE, a couple Digitrax, but none use the Prodigy system. This says something to me. The more people that use a system means there are more to talk with if you have any issues. What they have to say is another matter!

Not as much a factor to you, but there is much more local support for the NCE which means it can be repaired in Australia, and advice sought with a very quick response.

Matthew

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Many of the local clubs here run NCE, a couple Digitrax, but none use the Prodigy system.

 

I have no axe to grind either way, I use ZTC and I love it, but I go to lots of exhibitions in the UK, and recently I've noticed a lot of exhibition layouts now using the Gaugemaster system, as well as all the others.

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I've said this before but having started with the Prodigy, then moved onto the NCE Powercab, I can see some good pros and minor cons with both. I now use the NCE for my N scale layout and the Prodigy for my 4mm one. After a year of living with both systems, and switching between them, I'd have a hard time saying which is "better", at least for the average idiot like me who isn't into hooking DCC systems up to computers and so on. The NCE has more bells and whistles but the Prodigy is simple and intuitive and the memory stack works more usefully.

 

I've had the Prodigy for 6 years or so and it is very reliable - the only thing that's partially failed on it is the thumbwheel, but since I prefer to use the buttons, that's not really a big deal for me and it would be easy to get it serviced if I were that bothered. Thumbwheel failure also happens with the Powercab, (Digitrains are offering a repair service) so it's not something specific to the Prodigy.

 

There's a lot of heat around discussions of DCC systems but most of the people I've met are basically happy with the system they chose and stuck with. As it happens when I bought my first system I went into the shop hoping to walk out with a Lenz, but they didn't have it in stock so I opted for the Prodigy instead. Doubtless if I'd bought a Lenz I'd be happy with it.

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Thanks Everyone for the info. Im really cant think which system to get because I am so indecisive :)

Having had a go at both systems think they are both good just need something to really tip me more to 1 system than the other?

Scott

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