New to DCC

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Re: New to DCC

Post by BrianMoore » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:53 pm

andyp174 wrote:Hi,
I'm contemplating making the leap from DC to DCC and would like some advice as to which power system to purchase. My planned layout is 10 x 6 U design and is a single track short line with locos either operating singly or in tandem. I've been looking at purchasing a Gaugemaster prodigy system, would this be suitable for this type of operation, any views/pitfalls of this system appreciated.
My initial thought is that if you are planning, now or perhaps in the future, to join in with others locally (NMRA(BR) or otherwise), would it not be better to buy a system that others already use?

For example, at Western Union in Plymouth, we settled on Lenz system in 2003, and it remains the system used on club boards and modules. There is also an immediate compatibility with the Exeter-based RS Tower layout and modules. Obviously, with new technologies, compatibility issues are perhaps less essential, but it usually pays to find out what other people are aleady using in your area.

Good luck. You'll never look back, whatever system you pick.
Brian Moore

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Re: New to DCC

Post by Gloriousnse » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:08 pm

FWIW folk who use the Prodigy seem to like it.

Couple of thoughts to add to Brian's, there is something to be said for running the same brand as folk nearby, also from a 'tech support' point of view.

Another angle, if you don't mind fiddling a little is you can now setup a reasonable home built system using a Sprog, JMRI, an old smartphone and boosters to taste.

(Posted from my mobile)
Martyn Read

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Re: New to DCC

Post by Mike_R » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:40 pm

Prodigy is a rebadged MRC so you can't use JMRI with it. Maybe not a problem to start with, but if you get into more loco programming wireless control etc. it could be a limitation.

The Sprog route is definitely worth considering, especially if you some of the equipment already i.e. old computer, and smart phone. Koos runs his layout this way. Plus if you did expand, the Sprong can be kept for programming.

Brian is also correct in that if you attend local meetings or visit other modellers layouts it is an advantage to use the same system so you can use your own throttle. Of course if you have the smart phone, android tablet or iPod touch and the other layouts run WiThrottle that is just as useful.
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Re: New to DCC

Post by torikoos » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:38 pm


I can definitely recommend the SPROG route as a 'cheap' way to get started. I ran my home layout like that for a couple of years. I've now since upgraded it to Lenz. However, my SProg is used to operate my module boards as a stand alone layout, and for programming tasks away from the main layout.

Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

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Re: New to DCC

Post by tunnelmotor » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:26 pm

In addition to the above comments on systems, one thing you might consider is going to one of the major retailers in DCC to see if you can look at and play with different systems to find the one that suits you. We did this by going to Digitrains at Digby Manor in Lincolnshire. Worth also asking Ted Smale at Sunningwell Command Control.

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