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Hello I am new to all the DCC control systems. I am looking at different DCC control systems. I have 2 Kato sd70 engines, one Broadway limited GE AC6000, and one Spectrum EMD SD45, all are DCC equip. My question I ask you is can you use one control system for the different brands? What system is the best and easiest to use? I am looking at running 2 trains and a rail yard off one line, is this possible? It is all confusing to me. I love the hobby, but I like anyone else I don't want to by a system and find out later that it is junk and can't handle what I want.:(
Please Help.
Thanks
John
 

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HI,Don't buy something that cant be expanded later. A good one to start with would be the Digitrax Zephyr. The only drawback is that it is stationary rather than a walkaround throttle. I think one can be added. I personally like the Digitrax system because you can control 2 trains withiot constantly changing addresses ( they have 2 control knobs) You should be able to operate all the engines you have with all except some entry level systems. Welcome to the world of DCC....Jerry
 

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Nce

I've been waiting and watching this new electronics world of trains to develop over the past 7 years, and talked with numerous persons about various DCC & sound systems.

My summation is if you are not really into the computer and electronics portion of the subject, go with NCE (North Coast Engineering). It appears to be the most user friendly, yet fully capable of the major brands. It works with all the other decoders out there.

They have a self contained starter set, the PowerCab priced about 155.00. And it can be utilized even when you upgrade to the powerful systems of theirs.

...my two cents worth
 

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When I bought mine I looked at Prodigy, Lenz, NCE and DigiTrax.

I was familiar with Prodigy since our train club used it. But, I found it too confining and limited.

Lenz had customer service issues.

NCE was nice, but, at the time, lacked some features I wanted.

I decided on Digitrax, which I had heard war stories about. It is a little more complicated than the others and not as pocketbook friendly. After using it a few times, I found that it really wasn't that bad at all. Full featured, extra cabs and plenty of power. Customer service was great.

Bob
 

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... Customer service was great.
Bob
I've heard and read some conflicting reports on this service. I have seen some reports that their decoders suffer some significant failure rate? And that the client is charged some minimum fee of $25 for a replacement, even on a decoder that failed as a result of a manufacturer known problem??
 

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I don't use their decoders just the system. I use Lenz and NCE decoders. There are about 6 of my 100 or so engines that have Digitrax decoders, I've never had a problem with any. Fried a couple of NCE decoders, one due to my negligence.

The Digitrax decoders are the oldest I own. I bought them when I bought my system. They are well used, having been installed in a couple of switch engines, and some of my older engines. The switch engines are used heavily.

I switched to the other decoders because of their cheaper price.

Bob
 

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I went through the same dilemna

Before I purchased my system (MRC Prodigy Advance2), I spoke to several vendors at local train shows and owners at hobby stores. Their main recommendation is to get your hands on a system, even if it's just the controller (throttle) and see if you like it aesthetically. Narrow down from there and learn the features of the system - read, read, & read - because everything is now available on the world wide web. Go on the manufacturer websites and the train forums and read about their systems.

I will tell you this, a basic system is good and cheap to start with (and it does depend on your budget) but eventually, if you really enjoy the hobby, you will want to have the extra capabilities of a more advanced system.

I like the MRC, because it was love at first sight and I am still happy with it, but I am finding out more and more that each system has its limitations. Recently, I've been hearing good things about Digitrax's more advanced system.

I hope my bit of information can help you to move closer to your love of this hobby.
:)
 
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