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Discussion Starter #1
I really want to learn about this, but am really restricted to a tight budget. I am going into this with eyes open knowing that I will likely have to get a better system but if I wait untill I can afford it nothing gets done so I will use it to learn and hopefully when I have outgrown it I can pass it on to someone else. The set comes with Command Control, a DCC Steam train the (060) a few cars and even a remote switch, though I will most likely keep the snap track in the box. I am hoping that, even though it's a low end unit that I will be encouraged to grow with it. There is a lot of accessaries that you can get to go with it. It says it uses the DCC standard for compatability. I have been interested for so long without any hands on maybe this will allow me to experiment and experience a new level of train control.
 

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I think that you will find that DCC will only enhance your experience. I have never had , for my own layout, anything but DCC. As a youngster, we had a double rail blocked layout and before that the traditional single loop with a few turnouts.

Although I sometimes yearn for those simpler days, I don't think I would trade for the experience of today's technology. Being able to run multiple trains, not that one can't on a blocked layout, but DCC makes it SO MUCH easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After reading up on DCC "DCC Made easy" book By Lionel Strang I learned so much. I decided that the Bachman would not meet my needs so I just ordered a Prodigy Advance System. On researching it seems to be a pretty good system, the fact that it has 20 functions, seems to be better then most.
 

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When I finally decided to bite the bullet and go DCC, I looked at Prodigy, MRC and Digitrax. I was able to run Prodigy at our local train club. I did not like that it had such a limited number of addresses.

MRC, at the time, was not upgradeable.

The left the DigiTrax. It fit what I wanted but was not real user friendly in the beginning. But as they say familiarity breeds.....whatever it is. I now am a fan. But, it is rather pricey, hard to figure out in the beginning, but I feel, looking back, quite worth it.

I'm not familiar with the Prodigy Advanced System. I do hope that you will give us a critique once you figure it out. If like its predecessor it will be rather straight forward and easy to understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Prodigy Advance has 9999 addresses, 2 or 4 digit. 99 Cabs. I will review it after I get it and set it up. I considered DigaTrax but could not find a sale on it, I got the prodigy for about 1/2 the list price of $320 or 175.
 

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Yeh, my DigiTrax was around $580 or so. And NO DECODERS!!! At that time decoders were around $30-45 a pop. Much cheaper now.

I think you will enjoy it. A whole new ballgame with DCC. It's like finally learning to throw a curve ball for the first time.

I use the cab numbers of my engines as addresses. Keeps it simple for this feeble mind. MU's engines are always he lead engine which is the lower number. I also keep a log of engines and MU's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tip. I just ordered a "Spectrum 50 ton 3 truck shay" with no decoders so I went to TCS Dealer store and ordered a DP2X decoder. It is one that is supposed to work replacing an earlier 15 series. It is a plug in module and seems pretty straight forward. I just need to wait for everything to arrive. I am going to wait on the sound decoders until I learn a little more. With all I ordered I need to get things going before sinking further into the endless pit!
 

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One added tip I will give you. Set up a "programming" track. Doesn't have to be much. Wire it directly to your box. No other feeds. This insures no other "feedback" or distortion in communication between the decoder and the command module.

Mine is an isolated "siding". No one even knows that it is a "programming" track. It only needs to be as long as your longest engine plus a bit for clearance of passing trains.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have some instructions that say that a compacitor accross the motor circut need to be disabled as it affects the speed curve when using a quiet drive decoder. The compacitor is typically yellow and has marking of 105 on it. Does anyone know if that is accurate. Seems to be, but once it's done it's done! I am new at this and I don't want to screw it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thinking of setting it up without cutting it and see if I notice a problem. I can always go back and fix it then.
 
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