The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

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geotux
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:51 pm

The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby geotux » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:58 pm

Hi,

i know this may sound like a broken record and i know that choosing a DCC controller is like choosing a your car but lets try to constrain the boundaries to the question:
a) my budget is about £150
b) I want equipment that I can expand
c) my son and i have a small DC layout but we want to work with the advantages of DCC (controlling multiple trains, lights, etc easily from one controller) and this would be our first DCC unit
d) we want something that will last in time and that we don't need to upgrade
e) i doubt we would have more than 6-7 trains on the layout
f) i've learnt that the Hornby controllers are probably the least advisable
g) every one seems to have a different opinion with what is value for money (just like with cars) but i've figures that this "ZEPXUKI Zephyr Xtra 3 Amp Starter Set" (from http://www.digitrains.co.uk) is not a bad unit to start with and fits most of my requirements listed above?

I've read most of what is listed on DDCConcepts but I'm still struggling to make up my mind. Christmas is approaching and I need to order the dam thing ... Anyone want to throw in some advice that I may have not considered?

Many thanks

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Catweasel
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Catweasel » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:15 pm

Within your budget, I don't think you can go wrong with NCE. Easy to use and a good display.Can be expanded as required. You don't say where you are, but a trip to a DCC specialist is always worth a visit. They should have all makes available for you to try.

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Roger (RJ) » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:26 pm

NCE powercab. You may want to upgrade it in future because it is relatively low powered set but it's an easy upgrade (sb5 5 amp booster) and you can carry on using the powercab handheld unit with the sb5.

geotux
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:51 pm

Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby geotux » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:49 pm

Roger (RJ) wrote:NCE powercab. You may want to upgrade it in future because it is relatively low powered set but it's an easy upgrade (sb5 5 amp booster) and you can carry on using the powercab handheld unit with the sb5.


Oh dear, that's going at £239 on amazon which is quite a bit above my budget. BTW, i'm based in Shrewsbury, West Midlands. There are quite a few on eBay and they are going for less than that but I'd rather buy from UK supplier.

Cheers

BananaRepublic
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby BananaRepublic » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:11 pm

Geotux, it might be worth a drive down to DCC Supplies, who are just your side of Worcester.
They'll have a selection of DCC systems for you to look at and should be able to help you choose.

http://www.dccsupplies.com



.
Last edited by BananaRepublic on Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dad-1
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:12 pm

I've used a Zephyr and it's a fine piece of equipment, certainly a good basis
for any average home DCC layout.

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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Roger (RJ)
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Roger (RJ) » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:17 pm

geotux wrote:
Roger (RJ) wrote:NCE powercab. You may want to upgrade it in future because it is relatively low powered set but it's an easy upgrade (sb5 5 amp booster) and you can carry on using the powercab handheld unit with the sb5.


Oh dear, that's going at £239 on amazon which is quite a bit above my budget. BTW, i'm based in Shrewsbury, West Midlands. There are quite a few on eBay and they are going for less than that but I'd rather buy from UK supplier.

Cheers


But the basic powercab is about £130 if you shop around. You may never need to upgrade to the sb5. I only said you MAY want to upgrade.

geotux
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby geotux » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:18 pm

BananaRepublic wrote:Getup, it might be worth a drive down to DCC Supplies, who are just your side of Worcester.
They'll have a selection of DCC systems for you to look at and should be able to help you choose.

http://www.dccsupplies.com

.


Nice! I think i know where I will be spending my Saturday although it seems that they are out of stock for the Powercab.

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Flashbang
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Flashbang » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:58 pm

NCE PowerCab without a doubt... £129.50 from Wickness Models or £130.00 from Coastal DCC
Complete kit with everything needed in the box.
https://www.wicknessmodels.co.uk/shop/controllers/nce-controllers-powercab
http://www.coastaldcc.co.uk/products/nce/power-cab
System is fully expandable to allow future upgrades as time and financies permit.
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

BananaRepublic
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby BananaRepublic » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:10 am

Another option which would save you some money, is the Roco/Fleischmann MultiMaus.
This is a very user friendly system, with a simple, intuitive and robust handset.
Particularly useful if your son is a youngster.
The complete system can be bought brand new, from Germany or the UK on eBay.
Cost of the complete system should cost between £70 to £80.
The sellers are model shops who split up train sets and sell the contents separately.

The upgrade path is to buy the Roco Z21 system, with which the MultiMaus handset can be used as a wired handset.

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AustralisRico
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby AustralisRico » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:38 am

BananaRepublic wrote:Another option which would save you some money, is the Roco/Fleischmann MultiMaus.
This is a very user friendly system, with a simple, intuitive and robust handset.
Particularly useful if your son is a youngster.
The complete system can be bought brand new, from Germany or the UK on eBay.
Cost of the complete system should cost between £70 to £80.
The sellers are model shops who split up train sets and sell the contents separately.

The upgrade path is to buy the Roco Z21 system, with which the MultiMaus handset can be used as a wired handset.

I can second that suggestion. Bonus being the Z21 also support the Lenz and Digitrex controllers, so you could get a 2nd controller at a later time and not be locked into a particular brand (which from what I understand the NCE path would lock you into their system for the most part).

Bigmet
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby Bigmet » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:37 pm

geotux wrote:... Anyone want to throw in some advice that I may have not considered? ...

Try for some hands on, using whatever comprehensive DCC stockist is most convenient. It is like a car purchase: you want the one that both 'does the job' in terms of the functionality -plenty of choice there - and also is 'right' for you and your son in handling and ease of use, which is a whole other thing.

mjb1961
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby mjb1961 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:17 pm

My advice would be the NCE Powercab as well ,I've had the Hornby select ,and the elite and finally the powercab and find it very good and easy to use ,I've no need to upgrade to obtain more power as my layout is just a twin oval and running two trains with sound at any one time is enough ,may I also point out that the re-sale value on these is quite good ,I would rate this set 10 /10 for value for money ,if you want the best a man can get you'll need the ecos @£500/£550 ,,,,,,mjb

jaym481
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby jaym481 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:53 pm

I'm also in the NCE camp, after making the decision with parameters very similar to yours. I've since added a controller, and intend to add a booster at some point so I can run three controllers at once (I could run three now, but one of the ports is now behind a panel).

I've had three sound-equipped locos running at the same time with a Powercab.

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: The usual question ... on DCC controllers but ...

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:26 am

Although I have nothing to compare it against, I am another satisfied owner of an NCE Powercab. It does everything I need (3 locos simultaneously on my small N gauge layout) for a very reasonable price. Easy to use, and you can add a second throttle for your son cheaply if desired. Good after-sales service from Coastal DCC too.


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