What is the best DCC system across the board in G scale - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the best DCC system across the board in G scale

Hello all,
I have been away from the hobby for almost 7 years. Fortunately, I saved all my trains. I have several engines from most companies of the day, LGB, USA , Aristocraft and MTH. I did buy the MTS system back then. Is there one company that comes to mind today, that would fit into all these engines? It would be nice if I did not need separate systems for each brand. Would the Piko system or anyone else you know of, fit the bill. Thank you in advance for any advice. Cheers, Arthur
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Today it seems that NCE is pretty well accepted in the US. The PH-10R gives you 10 Amps and is wireless for about $600

http://www.reindeerpass.com/ncepowerpro-10rdccset.aspx
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have the NCE PH-10 system, bought on the advice of several forum members (from Reindeer Pass, no less ) and have been happy with it. Ease of use seems good and plenty of power. I've appreciated the wireless cab, too.

I have decoders fitted in Piko, Hartland, LGB, and Aristo units. Most of my locomotives were bought second hand, so it's a similar situation to yours (I think). Though it's not "plug-and play" like it is if you buy new locos with decoder sockets in them, it wasn't hard to install the six I've done thus far. The Internet is a wonderful thing, and somewhere out there in the ether were installation instructions for most every loco I own.

The only downside for me was that I couldn't afford to do all the locos at once, since I was working on the layout at the same time. Buying track, the PH-10, plus that many decoders in one fell swoop would have been a little outside my budget, and it means some don't get run since I'm not set up for switching between DC and DCC. I've been using Zimo decoders, not cheap but lots of features and they seem pretty robust. I'm slowly working towards having everything DCC, but it will be a while
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Which system is best is like asking us what your next vehicle purchase should be!!

If you are running slow engines (Old steam from the 1800's ) then a system of 18 to 21 volts is great.
OTOH if you want full speed of modern diesels then 24 volts or more is needed.

Then there is the ease of programming. MTS was blind programming and multiple steps at that. You could net read out what was in the decoder unless you had the 55045 computer module and a Microsoft software based computer.

I use a ZImo and all decoder addresses are direct read and writes in the same operation. Also I have 24 volts to the track and can be 28 if I use a slightly higher voltage transformer output. BUT now I have to watch decoder ratings.. Older MRC decoders are 21 volts (and I would guess there are others) and should not be used on my system.

So, what do you need for voltage and current. There are 5 amp systems for those with limited amounts of rolling stock that will be run. NCE as mentioned above has 5 and 10 amp systems, MTS was 5 amp but only 14 speed steps and control of 10 functions.

Newest decoders have up to 30 functions available, and zimo decoders have 35 volt ratings even in the HO line.

So, you decide./...car or pickup truck, 2 passenger corvette or van for 12 people, 5th wheel for a trailer...... Motor home with a g sacale layout on the roof.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yep, it's why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors! As Dan said, one size does not fit all.

My input would be to choose a system that will be able to be used with free JMRI software. This makes programming decoders a piece of cake as you don't need a special decoder ring to figure out CV values. Everything on the screen is spelled out in English. Not only that, but if you have a smart phone (Android or iCrap) you have a free wireless throttle that also is very easy using JMRI app.

I started with Digitrax 8 amp chief, and struggled with programming and running using their low end throttle. I needed to remember all the sequences for programming an running, loco address etc. With JMRI, it is so easy to pick the loco by name, photo, description and change any of the CV values in an understandable user interface.

I have an old WinXP computer on my wifi network that connects to the Digitrax via a PR3 USB interface. My cell phone connects to it though my home wifi and I use the phone to control 3 trains at once. All the functions are available on the phone and labeled in English (horn, bell, whistle, dynamic brake, coupler clack, etc, etc). Easy peasy!

JMRI can be used to automate the entire railroad, just the decoder pro interface for programming and the throttle app are all I use it for. Here is the website to find out about the software, http://jmri.org/
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As was mentione before,there is no "best DCC" system, all depends what features and capabilities are important to you.

So the best thing is to read up on the various systens available for Large Scale, there are around 8 to 10, make a list of requirements what you want now and in the future,prioritize the list and then see which systems fit best.

I personally place a lot of emphasis on the user interface, ie the throttle and I would also take a closer look at systems that can handle mfx decoders as well as DCC.

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Old 04-22-2015, 12:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thankx for all the input. You have given me great ideas to consider. For Mr. Pierce, Mercedes GL350 Bluetec. The car question is easy. Trains have so many options. HA! Thanks again. Arthur
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Arthur, do you still have your MTS unit? The reason I ask is that if it is the MTSIII, another option for you might be to add a Massoth navigator handheld for your wireless controller. You would have to buy the navigator plus the wireless receiver, but at least you'd have the best throttle (in my opinion) and the robust MTS central station and power supply. That way if you found you needed more than the 5A you could upgrade the central station to Massoth someday (who also make the Piko unit).

In the meantime, though, as Knut pointed out, do lots of reading so you get a feel for what everyone offers and figure out what your needs are for power. You might find that if you only run two or three trains at a time the MTSIII unit works perfectly for you--it does for me.

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Old 04-22-2015, 07:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I do like the Massoth throttle.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry, I was not clear. I have the MTH system, not the LGB system. Arthur
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