DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
User avatar
PinkNosedPenguin
Posts: 1580
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:23 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:28 pm

When you all say controlling a train via DCC is nothing like driving a real train, I hope its not me you thought was saying that :?:. Of course its nothing like driving a real train!!! But it is like controlling the train as opposed to the track. E.g. when you select forwards, the train goes forwards no matter which way it is facing on the track. I agree with most of the DCC advocates above in that I'm not into sound or controlling accessories via DCC (because it seems harder to control them unless you use software on a tablet or something, and its much more expensive). Anyway, I think its time to hear back from the OP on the subject . . . :D

User avatar
bike2steam
Posts: 1061
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: near Blandford

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby bike2steam » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:28 pm

Let's face it, with some things there's always those that blindly think that if it is the latest gimmick, and it costs a lot of money, then it must be better than anything else, but let me tell you sucker, it aint that way - it all depends on peoples ability to put things together.

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 4919
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby End2end » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:04 am

bike2steam wrote:Let's face it, with some things there's always those that blindly think that if it is the latest gimmick, and it costs a lot of money, then it must be better than anything else, but let me tell you sucker, it aint that way.

This takes me back to 2 times in my life. First was when my older brother bought a Playstation 1 for £299 when they came out which I thought was a ridiculous price. :o
The second time takes me back to last year, when in a gamers shop, a boy came in selling his Playstation 1 and was offered a measly £10. :lol:
Will they never learn...Don't CHASE technology, instead just keep an eye on whats going.
And with that said....
Full size Lego car that runs on air anyone?
Image
Or perhaps a 3D printed lifesize house ?
Image
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

User avatar
pete12345
Posts: 1020
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:53 pm
Location: Coventry

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby pete12345 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:10 am

DC wiring requires you to consider all likely train movements, and set up sections to allow you to do so, ahead of time. For example, when I helped Dad wire his layout (N gauge DC) we had to look at the plan and think about all the positions the locomotives would be in, and the best position for section breaks. With DCC this would have been unnecessary. For me DCC is more 'modular' and hence easier to wire. The individual elements are largely self-contained, and the basic concept scales simply to any size of layout.

One of the main advantages to DCC is independent control of lights and other functions. Admittedly, this is less of a factor in UK modelling, where the prototype doesn't use lighting in the same way as e.g. the USA. Here it's difficult to get accurate lighting due to its use as a train descriptor rather than as 'normal' headlights. In American modelling the ability to correctly dim the headlights and operate flashing ditch lights on the loco must surely be a great advantage.

Aside from wiring, which only needs to be done once in any case, I just find the operation to be far simpler with a DC setup. All you have to do is select a train and drive it, without worrying about what sections need to be live and whether there are any other locos in that section. However, I do find the user interface for operating points to be a bit 'clumsy' on a DCC controller and much prefer a 'graphical' representation on a switch board.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

BananaRepublic
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby BananaRepublic » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:08 pm

End2end wrote:
BananaRepublic wrote:Can I just point out that control of points, routes, signals etc, can be carried out using DCC through an ordinary "hardware" control/mimic panel, using physical switches, buttons or levers and LED indicator lights if so desired.
All it requires is one of the available modules to be fitted under the panel. All the wiring to/from the buttons/switches lights etc, goes into that; with just one cable connected to the layout cab/throttle bus.


All good points BananaRepublic, but here is where the inherent cost of DCC spirals.


Indeed, these extra, useful add-ons come at a cost. Quite naturally of course, as with everything in life, you have to pay for what you get.
Some people see that as unwanted expenditure, but we need to remind ourselves that it's an option and not compulsory.
Others don't mind spending a few extra tens of £'s to obtain what they consider added value to their layout plans.
An interesting comparison is that £20 or £30 DCC for a DCC accessory gizmo box would only be the cost of a RTR wagon or two.

However, I only posted the remark to point out that another option for DCC point/route control was available and to counter the misplaced view that such operation was limited to pushing buttons on handsets, or resorting to a complicated software operated "glass" control panel.




ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby ParkeNd » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:30 pm

So let's suppose that, following listening to all the compelling arguments from the DCC fans, I am now persuaded to convert to DCC. Putting aside my £69 Gaugemaster D Twin that will control the speed of two locos simultaneously (two rotary knobs - one per hand) is not really a serious financial loss - I have got a year's use out of it.

Then buy a Gaugemester Prodigy Advance 2 = £215. Then 36 locos to be chipped at £34 each fitted by say Wickness = £1224. That's £1439 without postage to convert plus a load more wires to solder.

So for £1439 I can have the trains go forwards, backwards, faster and slower, and start and stop (which the Gaugemaster D will do too) as long as I only actually control one at a time, and I can have the pin head sized lights on the 20 diesels stay on when the locos are stationary.

The other potential capabilities of DCC are rated by many users of DCC as not worthwhile so I will leave it there too.

Bargain !! Where do I sign up ? :wink:

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 4919
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby End2end » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:13 pm

I will point out the obvious here.... If you own 36 loco's :shock: :mrgreen: , I think you'd know how to install decoders yourself reducing a little of the cost, and of course, not all decoders cost £34.
Still a large outlay though and if there's one thing that most hobbies require, it is the large inital outlay whichever hobby or method of control is chosen.
Personally I was lucky in that I still had some stuff from a child including a full 125 train set plus some more I bought back in 2006 when dipping back into the hobby. A lot of this was sold and reinvested into my model railway with all sorts of stuff that I needed, need, wanted or want.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

shaunster
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:27 pm

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby shaunster » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:21 pm

If you already own a dc system, fully wired for dc and are happy than that's fine. If your not happy or are starting a new layout that's when the dcc choice really. I prefer dcc as you may have gathered but if I had a dc system I wouldn't even contemplate spending £1000s to convert..

Just out of interest though, if you have 36 locos how do you use them all with a twin track controller?

Btw I believe lights staying on while a diesel is stationary really does add a lot to realism, even in N gauge the lights are obviously noticeable.

ParkeNd
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby ParkeNd » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:04 pm

How do I use 36 locos with a twin track controller ?

The layout has space for 7 locos on the main pieces of track. By changing the points, and hence isolating sections, any 1 of 6 of the 7 locos can run across/around the layout to the fiddle yard where 3 other locos are waiting to be interchanged and to take the train on to be a new arrival at the station. That's 10 locos per operating session. Then I can have steam days, DMU days, Green Diesel Days, and Blue Diesel Days.

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 4919
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby End2end » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:53 pm

Marcus do they have to be the £20 decoders?
Just that i've seen Lenz New Standard + 8 Pin NEM 652 DCC Decoders for £17.25 + p&p (cheapest I have found so far), not a great saving , but a saving none the less for a good 8 pin decoder, especially if you buy more than 1 at a time saving on the p&p.
http://www.modelmarket.co.uk/products/10231-01.html
No affiliation
I'm not sure about other sized pin decoders as I have not been looking for those, sorry.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

BananaRepublic
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby BananaRepublic » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:22 pm

End2end wrote:Marcus do they have to be the £20 decoders?
Just that i've seen Lenz New Standard + 8 Pin NEM 652 DCC Decoders for £17.25 + p&p (cheapest I have found so far).......


Due to the fall of the Euro against the £ (UKL), European brand decoders have been available at substantially lower prices for quite a while now.

e.g. The Lenz Standard+ you mention, is available for €18.25 (approximately £13.22) + p&p
More...
Lenz Silver+ 8 Pin for £17.75
Lenz Silver+ 21 Pin for £18.10

If taking advantage of the low prices, ordering 5 or 6 at a time will usually mean Free p&p.




User avatar
End2end
Posts: 4919
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby End2end » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:35 pm

BananaRepublic wrote:The Lenz Standard+ you mention, is available for €18.25 (approximately £13.22) + p&p
More...
Lenz Silver+ 8 Pin for £17.75
Lenz Silver+ 21 Pin for £18.10
If taking advantage of the low prices, ordering 5 or 6 at a time will usually mean Free p&p.

May I ask where please BananaRepulic as I need them.
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

User avatar
TimberSurf
Posts: 2472
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: N.Wales
Contact:

Re: DCC or DC? Wait for future

Postby TimberSurf » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:26 am

All the above is correct, really depends on own opinion and own model railway, factoring in own finances!

Or wait for the next generation........

WiFi direct to engine and accessories
Wifi camera on board engine
Simple AC on track
(small) battery and charge circuit on engine
Induction pick-ups from rails
GPS tracking of real position
PC control via Wifi
Surround sound speakers under board tied to engine state (WiFi) and position from GPS to nearby speaker and crossfade control

Most of above is available in some form already, we just need someone to pull it all together into one standard and mass produce down to the right price!

:D
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

b308
Posts: 5006
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:48 pm
Location: North Worcs

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby b308 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:23 pm

Going back to that Playstation analogy... The simple question for those of us who already use DC is simply "Why change"?

Would we get a return on our money that justifies the massive extra cost both in money and in time to fit the decoders (remember older locos have to be hardwired which isn't always easy)... The simple answer for me is "No it's not", the supposed gain (and that supposed gain is extremely debatable) is minuscule.

I enjoy new technology but not simply for the sake of it which is how I regard DCC at the moment... Perhaps things may change in the future, that's something i can't answer and doubt anyone else can...



Going back to the OP's question, instead of listening to us he needs to read up what the two systems entail, preferably form an unbiased source, and make up his own mind based on HIS requirements and not ours!

User avatar
bike2steam
Posts: 1061
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: near Blandford

Re: DCC or DC? What to do, what to do.

Postby bike2steam » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:46 pm

b308 wrote:Going back to that Playstation analogy... The simple question for those of us who already use DC is simply "Why change"?
Would we get a return on our money that justifies the massive extra cost both in money and in time to fit the decoders (remember older locos have to be hardwired which isn't always easy)... The simple answer for me is "No it's not", the supposed gain (and that supposed gain is extremely debatable) is minuscule.
I enjoy new technology but not simply for the sake of it which is how I regard DCC at the moment... Perhaps things may change in the future, that's something i can't answer and doubt anyone else can...


Exactly, I wholeheartedly agree, I have a tried, and trusted ( bespoke) DC system that works perfectly, and can't be improved upon, even by DCC, when running one loco ( per controller) at a time, and that's all I need. So as I said in my first post on this thread 'if it aint broke....'. But there is one other point to add, I also run kit built tank locos where there is no room for additional 'gubbins' - and I aint gonna replace 'em !!!!


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 21C1 and 13 guests