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Old 14-06-2018, 11:18 AM   #11
Bunkerbarge
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I think it is fair to say and should be made clear to newcomers that DCC does not have to be any more expensive than DC if you so choose. I only restarted a couple of years ago and made the decision to go DCC based on all the advantages mentioned above. Cost, as with everything is under my control and is very much a part of the decision.

You can decide to not have lighting, remote operating accessories and sound in the locos and still have a much more flexible and controllable operation with simpler wiring and a greater level of system protection for a comparable cost.

I can see there being more of a challenge with a large established layout and how to move forward but starting from scratch at this point in time I am really surprised that there are still those who advocate a DC system.
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Old 14-06-2018, 12:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunkerbarge View Post
......................... I am really surprised that there are still those who advocate a DC system.
Because of the simplicity of the track layout and proposed operation of one loco at a time.

And anyone who says DCC is as cheap as DC is not living in the same world as me! Don't get me wrong, my own current layout is DCC but my next project will be a much smaller simpler layout in a different gauge and I have already made the decision to go back to DC for that one.

I urge the OP to carefully do his sums before making his decision.
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Old 14-06-2018, 01:22 PM   #13
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I really must take issue about advocating not to go DC if starting. We on here represent a tiny portion of modellers. Many young children starting first layouts, with parents, etc. Of course they are going to start with DC, and rightly so. Walk before you run.john
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Old 14-06-2018, 01:46 PM   #14
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Regarding both the cost comparison and the difference concepts in both systems I will first say what I like about both systems (As I "Use" both... Use in inverted commas as I've hardly run my DCC due to not having a layout).
DC is simpler to understand but DCC can (For a larger layout) be simpler to wire, though it depends on how things are carried out with either system.
You get the most out of DC by wiring the layout into switchable sections which are known as cab control. Each section will be wired back to a switch and then to the controllers so if one has more then one controller for more then one operator, these can be switched into any track section they need to use (If designed well). Naturally this uses a lot of wire and there is a way to use less by wiring the common return method which a few DC controllers are not suitable, but most are.
Now DC in its simplest form can just have a pair of wires straight to the track for a simple trainset style loop and it will work fine. Is just that you can do much more by dividing into sections.

Now we come to DCC. First note is you can wire a DCC controller instead of a DC controller on a DC cab control layout and just switch all the sections on. The aim for DCC wiring is to have all track sections "Live" while the DC aim is to only have the track in use at the time being "Live".
As with DCC one is aiming for all track to be live one can save on many wires going back to switches, which simplifies wiring. However, DCC has the concentration of ones efforts in the locos instead as each loco needs a decoder fitted. Its not fair to class the locos motor pickup condition as both need to work well for either system to work though some issues with DCC could be assumed to be with the DCC decoder side of things when all the time the issue was with the loco itself! Now that is one extra complication to DCC where one can have an issue and rather then with DC it would just be a simple case of checking for track power, then power at the motor side of things, with DCC you have the DCC decoder issues as well not to mention other DCC related issues.
Now DCC in operation is nothing short of brilliant once all the issues are ironed out. One can have lots of locos on a single stretch of ttrack and just move a single loco. One can turn lights on and off. One can have sound and even couple or uncouple using the DCC system (Though this feature seems rare with UK modellers, it is possible as demonstrated years ago by Roco, which is a European manufacturer making European models

Costs. DCC can be reasonably priced if one buys a DCC trainset, as for a good few years the extra DCC costs were part subsidised (Especially between the years 2000 to 2004 when the manufacturers who saw the potential made a concentrated move to produce both sets and decoders especially to kick off the DCC market. Prior to this DCC costs were enormous!
Slowly though budget DCC prices have been going up. Not to the level they were in the year 2000 if one compares the cost of locos to decoders, but they have been rising to more expected levels. Having said that, budget DCC sound decoders by Hornby are very cheap compared to the better DCC sound systems which used to add £100 to the cost of each loco!

For DC, while one has to buy more wire and switches which cost a bit, it is still cheaper then buying decoders for every locomotive, hence why, even without comparing the controller costs, DC makes more sense to budget conscious modellers.

Today, my personal thoughts about DC to DCC is my direction is to turn back to DC. Not because I dont like DCC, but because I just want to make things myself and fully understand what I make. I can make a DC controller from scratch which I'd never had thought I would have done years ago. (No, I can't say I'm yet at the level of fully understanding a complex DC controller, but I'm half way there!) Its the simplicity potential and the not wanting extra hastle that I like DC. One of the last times I was programming a newly bought (This was over a decade ago!) DCC sound class 37 I was there for ages trying to match the sound to the movement of the loco... Actually an hour before I decided that the compromise in movement to sound would have to do! )

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Old 14-06-2018, 02:01 PM   #15
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I prefer DC. I like lots of switches etc. and when I put a loco on the track I know it will move off without having to select anything.

Don’t agree about the Minor 1000 example. Modern DC controllers are a lot better that Minor 1000 era controllers.

Each to his own. I wouldn’t recommend anybody using DCC any more than I would recommend DC.
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Old 14-06-2018, 02:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelrow View Post
I really must take issue about advocating not to go DC if starting. We on here represent a tiny portion of modellers. Many young children starting first layouts, with parents, etc. Of course they are going to start with DC, and rightly so. Walk before you run.john
My apologies you are quite right, I am sure there will always be a place for DC systems for Train Sets. The fact that a question was being asked here as regards the benefits of both suggested to me that perhaps something a bit more sophisticated was being considered. I should have asked.

As has been said earlier though and which I think we all agree on, it is up to the individual which way they decide to go. All we can do is provide open and objective feedback on the possible options.

As regards the comment:

"anyone who says DCC is as cheap as DC is not living in the same world as me" I cannot exactly see where that was said. What was said was "DCC does not have to be any more expensive than DC if you so choose".

It is so very individual with many variables involved that it would be almost impossible to compare one with the other however I still think you can control the cost to keep it within a relatively small percentage of a DC set up. When rolling stock, track, scenery, baseboards and anything else could also get thrown into the mix I'm fairly sure the difference between a very basic DCC set up and a DC set up has to be negligiable.

In fact the more I look at the Hornby page the more interesting it becomes. The Hornby basic DCC controller can handle ten locomotives at one time, independently, and sells for £121.99. The HM2000 DC twin controller retails for £116.99 and will control two locomotives on seperate pieces of track.

Add a basic decoder for each loco and I think it would be unfair to say there is a huge difference in cost.

I hope James is not more confused that when he first asked the question!
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Old 14-06-2018, 02:14 PM   #17
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I have to say Mountain Goat, superb explanation. Really interesting conversation many thanks gents.
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Old 14-06-2018, 02:26 PM   #18
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I object to you calling my DC model railway a train set.
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Old 14-06-2018, 03:10 PM   #19
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Mcleod 4569. I run reasonably sized N gauge also, but in DC. Far too fiddly, as you age to play decoders in my view. I use switches for electric points, which i buy from ebay Germany, (fleischmann), all used, but very cheap. My points come from same source. Fleischmann used stuff, massive in Germany. Worth a look. john
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Old 14-06-2018, 05:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I object to you calling my DC model railway a train set.
My apologies, completely unintentional!
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