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Old 06-01-2017, 01:28 PM   #1
Shambles
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Default Wanted DCC Controller

Looking for a good condition DCC controller to run a max of 6 trains
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:49 PM   #2
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Hi James, you need to change your mindset with dcc controllers, they are not like analogue, in principle a dcc controller only controls one loco, you give that loco a command via the dcc decoder in the loco, and it will carry out that command until told to stop, so you set loco 1 to go round a loop, you then select loco 2 to go round a different loop, so while you tell loco 2 what to do, loco 1 is doing what you told it to do, so there are no limitations on the number of locos a controller can control, it is down to available power to the tracks,
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shambles View Post
Looking for a good condition DCC controller to run a max of 6 trains
It will take a lot of practice to control more than 2 train on a handset, the NCE recall allows flicking between up to 5 loco's i find 2 enough but there's no stopping adding handsets so you can flick between them as well as loco's.....

My handsets.....you have another thread with how i use them typed up...

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Old 06-01-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
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You can have a maximum of 6 in the recall stack if you set it to 6.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:39 PM   #5
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let's not over complicate things, remember James is new to all this, it is all too easy to put people off the hobby, although the intentions are good information overload is not
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:49 PM   #6
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Hi James,

I had a Bachmann EZ Command Dynamis (36-507) wireless DCC controller first off (probably getting on for 5 years ago), but I didn't get on with the slide throttle (little resistance) and the whole thing felt a bit cheap and flimsy... so I then chopped that in for a simpler Bachmann EZ Command (36-500) controller... but then I realised I could only read CV's from the chips and not actually write out to them! I think the shop I was using must have been heavily supplied by Bachmann!

I then bit the bullet and spent a bit more and went for one of these. I've had it for around 3 years now and it's excellent.

http://www.hattons.co.uk/235054/Gaug...ockDetail.aspx

**EDIT - just realised the item listed on Hattons above is identical to mine however, mine has never had a working backlight (that I know of!)... not hampered operation in the slightest though!

It can be upgraded to add additional handsets, but I have 5 locos at the moment and can have 1 running the loop, one crawling along a head shunt, one running around coaches at a station, one moving towards the main line... all with the one controller. If you set them going slow speed and have plenty of track run you can have loads crawling at once, but it does take a bit of practice... I love the fact I can have one running the loop and with a couple of button presses, do some shunting, and whilst the shunter is crawling into the head shunt, I can re position another loco... DCC really is impressive stuff!

I would highly recommend the Prodigy system. The only issue I had was the plug/transformer that came with it seemed to stop working, but I substituted it for another of the same polarity, output volts and amps as the original... you can buy them most places (Gaugemaster have offered to sell one to me for a good price if I ever need it too)... unfortunately, Gaugemaster's lifetime guarantee only covers their analogue controllers and so the Prodigy systems only come with 1 years guarantee.. touch wood I haven't needed it anyway!

Thanks,

Steve.
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Old 06-01-2017, 03:32 PM   #7
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If you are thinking of running six trains at the same time then you may need a better system, but if you have six locomotives but only running two or three at a time then a cheaper DCC controller will do the job.

I have the Lenz system. Started off with the Lenz compact, and expanded from there (As the Lenz system was completely expandable). Since then many other manufacturers have entered the DCC market and there are some impressive systems out there.
While I would have said the Lenz Compact would have done the job well, Lenz has stopped making them and seems to have gone quiet these days regarding what they do... Which is a shame as they make such lovely things. I guess the competition also do lovely things as well!
From what I have read from others, the Hornby DCC controllers they have in their train sets seem to be ok and are probably the closest equivalent to my Lenz compact starter controller. I did try the basic Bachmann controller but I did need to use my better Lenz system to program chips. Otherwise the basic Bachmann controller worked ok though with only 10 locomotive addresses (Or was it 9?).
So the best advice I can give if you want DCC without it costing too much, is buy a Hornby DCC trainset with a train you prefer, or if you want something better, go for Guagemaster or another more advanced system. For just six trains it probably isn't really worth spending too much. Try looking at the secondhand market, but get some sort of assurance it all works, and make sure you are given the instructions as with DCC you need them.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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Look in the forum for sale section!
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:21 PM   #9
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Some good advice here.

I wouldn't worry too much about the whole 'if you are only running 6 trains' train (excuse the pun) of thought...

I only have a few locos, but I much prefer DCC. for me on my small (8'x8') layout the wiring for DCC is much simpler than for DC, as with DC you have to isolate sections etc if wanting to run more than one loco + need multiple DC controllers to be able to do this.

I like the simplicity of DCC, the excellent realism through slow running, the acceleration and deceleration tweaks to add inertia which always brings the locos to a nice gradual stop and the ability to change the starting voltage etc really adds a lot of interest for me.

It sounds like you've decided on DCC, so go for it.

I've shared my experience of the Bachmann controllers, someone also noted the inability to write out to the majority of CV's (configuration variables) with the basic Bachmann EZ command, so I would steer clear IMHO.

Thanks,

Steve.
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