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Old 06-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
alroz
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DCC vs DCS Confusion

Hi All,

I have a question regarding DCC. I have an MTH freight set and that I am considering purchasing the Digitrax ZEPX Zephyr Xtra. Is this unit a decoder
so to speak in itself? Or is this is a separate subject matter?
I read articles about decoding your engine Etc. What is occurring here?
Any input would be appreciated.
By the way, this is a down the road consideration since I am new to the hobby however; wanted to be prepared and get us much knowledge on these areas as possible.
Thanks,

AlRoz
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
Brakeman Jake
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The Zephyr Extra is Digitraxx's basic DCC system that powers the layout (track current mixed with a digital signal) wich,by the way,is enough for most small layouts.It serves a dual purpose,it supplies the energy to drive the loco and the digital portion controls how the loco behaves (direction,speed,lights and sounds in some dases).

Then,every loco that you want DCC controlled needs an onboard decoder wich reads the digital signal and translates it in whatever movement desired and at the same time can control independent functions like lights,sounds,etc.With DCC,you can have the loco turn its lights on,blow the whistle and sound an idling engine,etc without moving.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alroz View Post
Hi All,

I have a question regarding DCC.

Is this unit a decoder so to speak in itself? Or is this is a separate subject matter?

AlRoz
Hi and Welcome AlRoz....

Short answer is no...the Zepher is not a decoder. That's something you'll have to purchase separately and install in your loco. Basic decoders are around $25 and you can have them installed by your local Hobby Shop.

One of the guys here, NIMT, does this kind of thing for a very low cost. When you're ready I recommend giving him a ring.

Jim
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Last edited by manchesterjim; 06-06-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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I do not have any MTH products so I don't know from experience, this is just hearsay from the LHS but I believe that MTH engines that are equipped with MTH decoders do not like to operate on Digitrax systems (i.e. Zephyr) ???


You stated that you had an MTH freight set, I don't know if that includes an engine equipped with an MTH mobile decoder, but if you like MTH products you may want to look into this.


Is there something to this or am I all wrong? Any comments from members that are more knowledgeable?
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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OK here is what I know...Or think I know!

MTH uses a proprietary system called DCS Note: DCS is Not DCC
You can run a DCS MTH engine on DCC you will just lose some control of some functions...And from what I've seen and read it's nothing to worry about! It's background sound control functions.
MTH is the only one that uses DCS...I'm not sure the opposite is true that you can run DCC decoder equipped engines on DCS.
DCC is used on almost all the other systems manufactured (Digitrax, NCE, MRC, Bachmann, Roco to name a few) and all these systems general work the same and all use the same codes!
Most all DCC decoders no matter who makes them are compatible with other manufactures DCC controllers and vice versa, sideways compatibility!
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:11 PM   #6
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You can only run a ProtoSound 3 locomotive on DCC, ProtoSound 2 models are not compatible.

You can not run DCC locomotives of any flavor on a DCS system.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
alroz
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DCC Confusion

Thank you all for the great input.
Gunrunnerjohn, my MTh Freight set has Protosound3, so you are saying that
if I stick with MTH, the trains need to be Protosound 3 and the Digitrax should work fine? Will any functions be lost? Also, If I go with say another set on the Digitrax - Lionel, I should still be ok?

Thx,
Alroz
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Alroz, hopefully I did not totally confuse you with rerouting your thread a little, I apologize if I did.

I just wanted to clear up a few things about MTH and DCS, hopefully that might have helped you as well. Thanks NIMT and gunnerrunnerjohn

I'm pretty much a Digitrax guy myself. I have the Zephyr command station and I really love it. I've also bought about a dozen or so digitrax mobile decoders to switch my older engines to DCC.

I haven't been in this for very long so I am learning just as you are!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:17 AM   #9
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Alroz, hopefully I did not totally confuse you with rerouting your thread a little, I apologize if I did.
I'm sure the MTH/DCS/DCC discussion will likely be helpful as far as follow-on questions he may have, however the answer to his initial question is still....No, the Zepher is not, in itself, a decoder.

Thanks though for bringing up the DCS/DCC thing though.

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:28 AM   #10
alroz
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Bman,

No problem at all. So can someone just confirm as to my last entry to gunrunerjohn?
I just want to be sure that a MTH Train with Protosound 3 will function with the Digitrax
before I make the investment. I do want to get all the functionality of the engine as installed. If not, any suggestions as to other decoders?
Thanks again all,
This is surly a leaning hobby and I am enjoying it all.

Alroz
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