Picking a DCC Command Station

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Dad-1
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Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:58 pm

Ah ........ everyone is asking what should they get.
That includes me, How many systems can you try enough to truly evaluate !!
I use my Selects & within what they can do have served me well & still do (Much prefer to Dynamis).
I have a Dynamis with Pro-Box & just can't get along with it (can almost say I hate it)
Currently using a friends Digitrax Zephyr set and not unduly impressed. (rather fiddly moving between points & locos)
Bridport Club have a Gaugemaster that's not bad, but still not me and the layout has no points to operate so can't evaluate that.
Milton Keynes club had a Lenz system don't know which ? and I did like it for running , but it never worked well on points (That may have been the wiring?)
Did look at NCE Powercab as an option ......
I need up to 3 cabs, and preferably a 5 amp power pack (have 4 amp for Selects) not too many fiddly
little buttons that my 70+ year old fingers can find easily.
Don't know what to look at next !! Will I have to stay running with Selects & setting decoders up through Dynamis Pro-Box ??

A suitably 'Puggled' pensioner !! (Always liked that word reminds me of a John Fosdyke who used to work for me real East Anglian !!)

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby flying scotsman123 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:15 pm

If you like your selects have you considered the elite? I think they're quite similar but the elite has.more functionality, and the selects can still be used as walkabouts I believe.
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Stone station in pre-grouping days, my layout.

Bigmet
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Bigmet » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:54 am

I'd say go for Lenz, because you can have the LH90 handsets for driving, and one LH100 for programming. I like the light weight of the Lenz handset - no wrist strain; simple layout, you drive with it like a car, watching the road, not the controls; tethered so you don't put it down and lose it. And there's Lenz bombproof reliability making it work.

Dad-1
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:34 pm

Hi Bigmet,

I was trying to find available in the U.K, prices are highish, but availability seems poor at the moment.
It was looking like my favourite. I always liked the visual single speed step at a time buttons, I don't
programme the decoders but do the driving myself - essential with bay platforms !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

james2k
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby james2k » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:53 pm

You could maybe venture to Digitrains, they have them set up for you to test and make sure your fully happy with it. There prices are quite keen to.

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End2end
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby End2end » Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:47 pm

I wonder if BUFFERS has any setup.Probably the closest proper model shop to you, as you no doubt are already aware.
I wanted to visit them last weekend when I was down your way (DAD-1) but fate dictated that it was a BH weekend so I couldn't make a visit as it was closed.
Don't waste your time at Toymaster in Bridport/Dorchester/Weymouth though, as they seem to only carry train products because they have to.
4 months into 2015 and none of them even had a copy of the new Hornby catalogue! :shock:
I had to get Mr Saturday spotted teenager to open the glass cabinet because all you can see is the end of the boxes with thier codes, not what is in the boxes at the Weymouth store. :roll: And after looking at most if not all they had I didn't purchase anything........but went on to spend 60p in the amusements, walking out with £7 winnings. :lol:
Thanks
End2end
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Peterm
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Peterm » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:27 am

Bigmet wrote:I'd say go for Lenz, because you can have the LH90 handsets for driving, and one LH100 for programming. I like the light weight of the Lenz handset - no wrist strain; simple layout, you drive with it like a car, watching the road, not the controls; tethered so you don't put it down and lose it. And there's Lenz bombproof reliability making it work.

Plus one. I've got both and had no problems since I bought new in '05.
Pete.

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THE CHIEF
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby THE CHIEF » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:24 pm

I'm in a similar situation. Out of interest, what's a good starter system that can be connected to a computer?

mjb1961
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby mjb1961 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:52 pm

THE CHIEF wrote:I'm in a similar situation. Out of interest, what's a good starter system that can be connected to a computer?


Hornby E Link !,,,,£60/£70

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THE CHIEF
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby THE CHIEF » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:00 pm

Does that need a control to connect to or is it an all in one system?

Edit: Just had a look at some videos. I don't think its the system for me. Thanks anyway :)

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AustralisRico
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby AustralisRico » Mon May 04, 2015 4:02 am

ROCO Z21, it's a command station which you can use smartphone or computer to connect to. Computer has a few options for connection and smartphone supports android and iOS.

Vonkiglin
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Vonkiglin » Sun May 10, 2015 6:29 pm

Dad-1 wrote:Currently using a friends Digitrax Zephyr set and not unduly impressed. (rather fiddly moving between points & locos)

I have a digitrax zephyr as my command station and have found it very good as a start set but see my below re your requirements however I understand about the switching between loco/points but I have got used to it now and it easier however I am going computer route so eventually hope not to have this problem.

Dad-1 wrote:Did look at NCE Powercab as an option ......

This is a very good set and very popular as I hear it is easy to understand

Dad-1 wrote:I need up to 3 cabs, and preferably a 5 amp power pack (have 4 amp for Selects) not too many fiddly
little buttons that my 70+ year old fingers can find easily.

The digitrax zephyr you mentioned can only take 3Amp so you may want to consider the super chief which has a more standard hand held cab rather than the desktop like the zephyr is but the benefit of the loconet system used by digitrax is that it is very easy to expand and also many people are making compatible expansion modules for accessories etc.

Regarding the computer question that has been raised if you want to go solely PC route then the SPROG is a brilliant little piece of kit however I have bought a Digitrax PR3 which has allowed me to connect my zephyr to a PC. I understand the NCE system also has a similar piece of kit that allows it to be PC controlled.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby Bigglesof266 » Mon May 11, 2015 1:10 am

Dad-1 wrote:Ah ........ everyone is asking what should they get. That includes me Geoff T.

Looks like you've had a superb opportunity for at least some hands on evaluation of many Geoff.

I think its a very personal preference other than just electricially and funtionally, and the choice of handset driven by the kind of functional interface ergonomic each individual end user wants.

For my money, leaving out Android & iOS devices interfaced with Roco, Hornby or hardwares and software, ZTC or Roco's MultiMaus, there are only three serious contenders that fulfill all my prerequistes for interface, functionality, compatibility, widely adopted universal product popularity for end user support, and of course importantly for most of us at that end of income producting working life phase of the spectrum, price.

NCE, Lenz or ESU, the latter being a clever compromise between console or handheld although challenging the affordability prerequisite for many the last time I checked. I have quite a bit of ESU kit including decoder tester, multiples of their servo points controllers and loco decoders, each of which is a superb product in its own right, just not their controller. I'm an early tech adopter, and also have both a 10" screen android tablet and 6" screen android smartphone, and so could go with Z21 or Hornby's eLink if desired. But that kind of control is not for me in model railway even though I use my tablet for a digital subscription to BRM, buying and reading books and to control my "goto" Newtonian reflector telescope via SkyQLink2 wifi adapter and proprietarily adapted SkySafari4 app software, which I must add, whilst advantageous in many respects in theory, isn't when plagued by direct connectvity dropouts requiring realignment every time that occurs, an issue not afflicting its wire connected handset controller. Once they get that and other minor if seriously irritating issues like lag response of the motor drive in aligning the starpointer relative to the finer immediate response of the wired controller, tablet or phone control will be a serious contender for relegation of dedicated handheld control to a former era. But I digress in service of control analogy.

Because I prefer tactile single hand held style controller, and bearing in mind my initial choice and thus expansion committment was made 4½ or 5 years ago now with initial purchase of PowerCab and about 12 or 18 months later a PowerHouse Pro 5A wifi system, that narrowed it down to NCE or Lenz for me before other factors came into play including my location AU. In the UK closer to EU, I may have given more weighting to Lenz than I did, but here, NCE won that system, component pricing and worldwide availability guernsey before taking into consideration of the other deciding factors.

So from an end user perspective, I admit being prejudiced toward NCE, which is approbation indeed from a Germanophile who would ordinarily tend to Lenz (from experience of excellence with the brand in the RC world), or ESU. But that said, Bigmet's perpetual praise of Lenz over many years of hands on experience I take as approbation indeed for their product which infers it would be difficult to 'go wrong' or be discontent in purchasing either brand or system.

From extensive hands on experience however, I can only speak of NCE's Procab or Powercab systems and controllers, the positives of which are;

1. the product has such a huge end user base and support network in a primary market of sufficient size from which it isn't going to disappear anytime soon,
2. availability, at pricing which is amenable
3. design, function, compatibility, uniformity -unless wanting a console controller, in terms of interface ergonomics for older human beings with our clumsier digits and diminishing eyesight accuity, the NCE Procab/Powercab handset has yet to be equalled IMO.

All of that said, cost is always going to be a consideration, especially if requiring multiple handsets. That being the case, a solid argument presents for laptop or tablet visual interface & control, although I think in terms of maturity as practical model rail operating systems vs their promises, they all have a way to go yet inevitible as it is that they will certainly eventually get there, but by which time I am pretty certain I won't be in need of any kind of controller any more.

GL with your search. Hope the above assists in some way.

BananaRepublic
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby BananaRepublic » Mon May 11, 2015 12:58 pm

Blending the tactile experience of a real control knob and the practical and functional advantages of a modern touch screen GUI, there's a "new kid on the block" ....

http://blog.mojswiatmodeli.pl/wp-conten ... G_9680.jpg

http://www.spur-g-news.de/piko/2015/Sma ... regler.jpg

http://www.piko-shop.de/index.php?vw_ty ... w_id=13136


It's wireless, 5 amp power output, doesn't need a router (but one preferable for updates) and cost about the same as some shops are charging for the Prodigy Advance2 (squared).


Alternatively, the Roco MultiMaus is very user friendly and easy for those who struggle with lots of buttons.




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alex3410
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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Postby alex3410 » Mon May 11, 2015 3:49 pm

are they the same company as ESU? as it looks identical to their hand held offering link


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