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DCC Computer Control Decisions


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I have used a couple of DCC control softwares with my computer before, however, I would like to know peoples opinion on what is the best one to use?

I have an NCE system and would like something is graphically pretty as much as anything else. There are far too many that are decent enough but look poor.

 

http://www.perecli.com/rrauto/ RailRoad Automation looks quite nice, but I don't know if I have LocoNet with my NCE system?

 

The Big Bear one looked very nice, but I think it's quite insane that the number of loco's you buy yourself results in an extra couple of quid heading their direction for an upgrade! I'm not willing to do that.

 

Does anyone have any opinions on the best PC control software, using the NCE system?

Thanks

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Which one is best is the one you like to use.

 

I started with a computer system while still on analog and downloaded different ones to try

 

Not having the time to build the electronics I had already decided on a commercial system which

1) was expandable bit by bit over time

2) suitable for analog

3) also DCC compatible in case I went that route.

 

In the end I settled on the CTI system (http://www.cti-electronics.com/)

 

At $100 the starter pack was a good way to try it properly. I then bought additional modules over time.

 

Before I had even finished it I decided to give DCC a try and got an NCE Powercab because its compatible with CTI ,not to expensive( in case I decided against DCC) and I liked the handset.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by graphically pretty from what I've seen most of them are mimic panels of your track which is what you need to operate. Yes some may give you curves instead on doing it all with straight lines but its still only a mimic panel.

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We (WFRM) use RailRoad and Co BUT for signalling control only, Widnes is controlled from a software panel which emulates an NX panel found on the real thing, and I've implemented as many of the rules and regulations as I can within the limitations of the system, it's a good product but we only use a small part of it.

 

Two Tone Green and others use RR&Co for automatic train operation.

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Another freebie is Rocrail - Worth a look.

 

I chose Freiwald's TrainController, excellent but expensive, after trying both JMRI & Rocrail

I now use JMRI DecoderPro for loco programming.

 

Keith

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I like the idea of a cosmetically nice looking piece of software, such as either http://www.perecli.com/rrauto/ RailRoad Automation or http://www.bigbearrail.com/bigbeardcc.aspx Big Bear DCC, however I would like some good functionality.

 

I intend on doing as much as possible with my new layout to make it as interesting to make technologically as scenically and such... so I would love things like detecting loco's in stations, planning routes in and the software essentially runs and has trains running all over the place, with appropriate signals changing, points altering.... and with block detection. The Big Bear one looks ok, it's not the prettiest - the RailRoad Automation one is nicer looking, but only works with LocoNet and thereby not my NCE Power Cab I believe - but I don't think it has things like block detection.

 

As much as RR&Co seems interesting for what it has, although there are woefully few screen-shots, it is probably a little out of my price range for software! I don't mind spending up to £100 but £300+ seems a tad steep!

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As much as RR&Co seems interesting for what it has, although there are woefully few screen-shots, it is probably a little out of my price range for software! I don't mind spending up to £100 but £300+ seems a tad steep!

Download it and try it. Fully functional but time limited. The cheapest is Bronze, next Silver and top is Gold.

You can try all of the versions

 

http://www.freiwald.com/pages/index.html

 

Keith

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I like the idea of a cosmetically nice looking piece of software, such as either http://www.perecli.com/rrauto/ RailRoad Automation or http://www.bigbearra...bigbeardcc.aspx Big Bear DCC, however I would like some good functionality.

 

I intend on doing as much as possible with my new layout to make it as interesting to make technologically as scenically and such... so I would love things like detecting loco's in stations, planning routes in and the software essentially runs and has trains running all over the place, with appropriate signals changing, points altering.... and with block detection. The Big Bear one looks ok, it's not the prettiest - the RailRoad Automation one is nicer looking, but only works with LocoNet and thereby not my NCE Power Cab I believe - but I don't think it has things like block detection.

 

As much as RR&Co seems interesting for what it has, although there are woefully few screen-shots, it is probably a little out of my price range for software! I don't mind spending up to £100 but £300+ seems a tad steep!

 

All possible with CTI's system and I suspect most of the others.

Using CTI I operate my points either singley or route setting, many of my signals (lights) are controlled by the software and respond to either mouse action or detection systems. When I have finished it all, changing the starter signal on platforms from red to green will start a train without touching the Powercab. What can be done is how you use the software.

 

I suggest you download the software and manual for CTI and some of the others, do some reading and have a bit of a play with the software.

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  • 1 year later...

I like the idea of a cosmetically nice looking piece of software, such as either http://www.perecli.com/rrauto/ RailRoad Automation or http://www.bigbearrail.com/bigbeardcc.aspx Big Bear DCC, however I would like some good functionality.

 

I intend on doing as much as possible with my new layout to make it as interesting to make technologically as scenically and such... so I would love things like detecting loco's in stations, planning routes in and the software essentially runs and has trains running all over the place, with appropriate signals changing, points altering.... and with block detection. The Big Bear one looks ok, it's not the prettiest - the RailRoad Automation one is nicer looking, but only works with LocoNet and thereby not my NCE Power Cab I believe - but I don't think it has things like block detection.

 

As much as RR&Co seems interesting for what it has, although there are woefully few screen-shots, it is probably a little out of my price range for software! I don't mind spending up to £100 but £300+ seems a tad steep!

 

Railroad Automation does have block detection and just about anything you need. I have been using it for 5 years now and it has gotten a lot better in recent years as it looks to be actively developed. Since the software is free, it might be worth getting a cheap Digitrax command station, like the DB150 I have, just to use the software. You don't need to buy a physical throttle either because everything can be done through the software throttles or through speech control which my kids get a kick out of. If you like total and full auto control, its scripting capabilities are like no other (only WinLok attempted something close to this). The only thing negative I can say about it is that if you fear writing any script code, you might be put off by it. However the commands are relatively simple and the script templates provided account for the most common scenarios. The developer is very responsive to questions.

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