The age-old question

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pete12345
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The age-old question

Postby pete12345 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:39 pm

I've tinkered with DCC in the past- mostly on snaller layouts. I'm building a "Minories to continuous run to fiddle yard" layout in the loft and I'm questioning whether or not to go back to DC. My situation is thus:

- Lots of older stock: mostly 1990s or early 2000s. A significant expense to convert it all to DCC.
- No intentions of getting into sound. I just find it annoying and unnecessary.
- Most likely, wire-in-tube or rod-activated points so no need to consider point motor wiring. I prefer a hard-wired switchboard over accessory decoders anyway.
- I have an old Lenz Compact as my DCC system, which is fine for a simple layout but I'd need to upgrade it. On the other hand, I have a HM2000 DC control which works well

I figure with some section and isolation switches, plus a couple of extra controllers, I could have up line, down line, station shunt and MPD controls and operate the whole lot the old-fashioned way.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

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Mountain
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Re: The age-old question

Postby Mountain » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:04 pm

I like DC more then I like DCC just because I prefer clunky switches and the satisfaction of wiring them. I find DC is easier to understand in regards to the internal workings (Not that I know a lot).
I have both a Lenz Compact (With a slave lead), a set 01, a pair of extra hand controllers (The ones used on set 02) and an extra booster which I may one day sell along with DCC decoders. At the moment I am keeping them as I want to test locos prior to selling them. I do like DCC but in the future, with the potential rising costs of model railways, to use DCC for any of my narrow gauge future locos does increase the costs of the build. (Where as with DC, once one has bought the switches, wire and controller one is finished spending even though one may increase ones fleet).

To be honest, both DC and DCC are good. Sound is fun but can get anoying. Lights are great with DCC. However, after exploring DCC it is the DC switches and control panel that I missed the most. So easy. So quick to use. Satisfying to throw a decent sized toggle switch.

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pete12345
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Re: The age-old question

Postby pete12345 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:23 pm

Mountain wrote:I like DC more then I like DCC just because I prefer clunky switches and the satisfaction of wiring them. I find DC is easier to understand in regards to the internal workings (Not that I know a lot).
I have both a Lenz Compact (With a slave lead), a set 01, a pair of extra hand controllers (The ones used on set 02) and an extra booster which I may one day sell along with DCC decoders. At the moment I am keeping them as I want to test locos prior to selling them. I do like DCC but in the future, with the potential rising costs of model railways, to use DCC for any of my narrow gauge future locos does increase the costs of the build. (Where as with DC, once one has bought the switches, wire and controller one is finished spending even though one may increase ones fleet).

To be honest, both DC and DCC are good. Sound is fun but can get anoying. Lights are great with DCC. However, after exploring DCC it is the DC switches and control panel that I missed the most. So easy. So quick to use. Satisfying to throw a decent sized toggle switch.


This is my thinking too. If you have lots of lights e.g on American stock or a modern UK diesel, DCC makes sense as you have that control. Whereas with UK steam you basically want it to go forwards and backwards and that's about it.

I saw a thread on RMweb about the Minories layout, and there was an extract from an old magazine with a scheme for interlocking power to key points and signals (so you don't have to throw loads of switches just to route power to the train) which appealed to me. By default, the station area would be under its own controller, but by routing a main line to one of the platform roads, that line would instead connect to the main line controller so a train could be brought in or out under independent control. Likewise, the MPD would have its own controller which would take over a section of the running line when the points were set to access it. Combined with a few isolation switches at the end of the platform roads and in the shed, that should give the control I need.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: The age-old question

Postby luckymucklebackit » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:28 am

pete12345 wrote:
Mountain wrote:I like DC more then I like DCC just because I prefer clunky switches and the satisfaction of wiring them. I find DC is easier to understand in regards to the internal workings (Not that I know a lot).
I have both a Lenz Compact (With a slave lead), a set 01, a pair of extra hand controllers (The ones used on set 02) and an extra booster which I may one day sell along with DCC decoders. At the moment I am keeping them as I want to test locos prior to selling them. I do like DCC but in the future, with the potential rising costs of model railways, to use DCC for any of my narrow gauge future locos does increase the costs of the build. (Where as with DC, once one has bought the switches, wire and controller one is finished spending even though one may increase ones fleet).

To be honest, both DC and DCC are good. Sound is fun but can get anoying. Lights are great with DCC. However, after exploring DCC it is the DC switches and control panel that I missed the most. So easy. So quick to use. Satisfying to throw a decent sized toggle switch.


This is my thinking too. If you have lots of lights e.g on American stock or a modern UK diesel, DCC makes sense as you have that control. Whereas with UK steam you basically want it to go forwards and backwards and that's about it.

I saw a thread on RMweb about the Minories layout, and there was an extract from an old magazine with a scheme for interlocking power to key points and signals (so you don't have to throw loads of switches just to route power to the train) which appealed to me. By default, the station area would be under its own controller, but by routing a main line to one of the platform roads, that line would instead connect to the main line controller so a train could be brought in or out under independent control. Likewise, the MPD would have its own controller which would take over a section of the running line when the points were set to access it. Combined with a few isolation switches at the end of the platform roads and in the shed, that should give the control I need.


Agree with the above sentiments, I can never see me investing in DCC as I do not see any personal benefit, as for the interlocking signals and power supply, perfectly doable with basic old fashioned diodes and relays, Northbridge (RIP) was fully interlocked with one press switch route setting. Don't like sound and lights I can do without, running one train at a time is a challenge for me, never mind two or three :D

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
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Mountain
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Re: The age-old question

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:32 pm

A few clunky toggle switches thrown..., turn the knob on the controller and bliss! Simple. :)

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pete12345
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Re: The age-old question

Postby pete12345 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:48 pm

Mountain wrote:A few clunky toggle switches thrown..., turn the knob on the controller and bliss! Simple. :)


Although arguably, "choose a locomotive and turn the knob" is just as simple!

That said, I don't like how difficult it is with DCC to set up a direct relationship between speed and controller position. The assumption seems to be that you will instantly set a speed and use the acceleration/braking delay, but I don't want to drive that way. If I want a smooth acceleration I'll do that manually, and this needs to be different for a light engine compared to a loaded coal train.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

Bigmet
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Re: The age-old question

Postby Bigmet » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:59 pm

That's the reason for one of my friend's preference for the ZTC system. It allows complete flexibility in acceleration and braking so he can drive his trains. But there isn't a limiter on the version he has, which limits it to 'this much braking and no more' and he often pulls up as though he's in a Porsche, instead of hitting the stops at a scale 40mph.

Me, I just change CV's 3 and 4 to values relevant to the move. A DCC system will beat direct manual control for smooth progression, much superior in suggesting the high inertia of the railway's locos and vehicles. But then I want to watch the trains gliding past, rather than drive them.

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Mountain
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Re: The age-old question

Postby Mountain » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:25 pm

I do see certain practical advantages of DCC. For example, a single controller powering through its 5 amp booster is enough to power a fair few locos on the layout. Also buying slave controllers and allowing friends to share can be fun. I almost bought a ZTC controller but I had such a rude lady on the telephone when I made an enquiry I didn't bother. I only said "Are the ZTC controllers in production yet?" (As I had been waiting where a man had said to phone back in a months time). Her language as she was screaming to me down the phone was quite a shock.... What had I done to upset her?
Hence why I decided that I didn't want to buy British after all! I ended up with Lenz who had a Scottish dealer whe was so patient and nothing was too much trouble for him. He probably would drive all the way to Wales if I had asked him! I was so releieved and glad that I ended up buying a little more then I needed (Though I did have plans to expand).
A couple of years later though I missed my DC. Nothing wrong with my DCC as it works fine. I may yet use it if I decide to use my 00 gauge. We shall see.

Bigmet
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Re: The age-old question

Postby Bigmet » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:59 pm

I am going to guess, the description sounds like Mackay's. The soul of helpfulness throughout.

ZTC has led a somewhat torrid existence with change of ownership and long periods of product unavailable. I imagine 'the rude lady' was talking to one customer too many that day, and it just happened to be you...


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