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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I'm currently using a Prodigy Advance MRC controller (used and bought from Ebay 2 years ago). It is having some problems now and I want to replace it with a new NCE Power Cab controller (2Amp type used to run 4 HO loco or 8 N loco at the same time). In your opinion, should I buy the same MRC Prodigy Advance (new, unused) or buy the NCE Power Cab (new and unused)? I don't know the pros and cons of these two types of controls? On Ebay, the price of the two types is also quite different: MRC is nearly 400$, and NCE is 200$

Thanks you
 

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I am sure you are NOT going to find a member who has both systems to compare and give you a fair assessment.
Now that I shot myself in the foot, with that statement, watch a few members have had both!
All I can offer you is I like my NCE DCC controls and it is still, very popular with a lot of local model railroad clubs.
I could take my handheld and plug in to their layout and bring my case of cars and locomotives and run on their DCC system.
So in my case, I choose the most popular system in my area, all my friends run NCE.
 

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There really isn't much difference between the two systems. Personally, I like the fact that the Prodigy is bigger and has more room for the buttons, as well as that nice, beefy control knob, as opposed to the more cramped layout of the NCE with it's tiny, fragile thumb wheel. For those reasons, and the fact that you already have a MRC so you're familiar with it, I'd just stick with MRC. But definitely, buy new or factory refurbished. Stay away from eBay.
 
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I agree, avoid ebay for things like this.

I use an NCE Power Cab. I’ve never used Prodigy Advanced.
Here is what I like about it:

Separate Program Track & Program on the Mainline options.

Three (yes 3) different methods for speed changes; a 1 “mph” increment button set up & down, a similar set that increments in 3 or 5 “mph,” and the thumbwheel like on a computer mouse. The increments are not scale “mph” I don’t think but needed some way to convey it.

A Consist section of buttons, no need to go through menus etc.

That a throttle can “slave” to another simply by using the 4wire coiled cable.

Easily expandable with DB & SB boosters later on down the road… if you ever find yourself needing 15 amps to run 12 sound equipped locos at once.

MRC may also have some or all of these features with direct access (meaning no need to go through menus, submenus etc).

They’re probably 99% the same, just different, like getting a new car that has radio buttons etc in different locations.

One more thing to consider. Sticking with MRC may…. I want to emphasize that…MAY end up with you having two viable throttles, one for a friend/nephew/etc. Which brings me to the big question. What specifically is wrong with yours? You didn’t provide details on that. If your preference is replacement then by all means do that. Just wondering if it could be repaired? Even 50/50 odds of that happening would make me say stick with MRC. If it’s 90% likely dead, then…. Yeah. But I’m curious what is wrong with it exactly?
 

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I agree, avoid ebay for things like this.

I use an NCE Power Cab. I’ve never used Prodigy Advanced.
Here is what I like about it:

Separate Program Track & Program on the Mainline options.

Three (yes 3) different methods for speed changes; a 1 “mph” increment button set up & down, a similar set that increments in 3 or 5 “mph,” and the thumbwheel like on a computer mouse. The increments are not scale “mph” I don’t think but needed some way to convey it.

A Consist section of buttons, no need to go through menus etc.

That a throttle can “slave” to another simply by using the 4wire coiled cable.

Easily expandable with DB & SB boosters later on down the road… if you ever find yourself needing 15 amps to run 12 sound equipped locos at once.

MRC may also have some or all of these features with direct access (meaning no need to go through menus, submenus etc).

They’re probably 99% the same, just different, like getting a new car that has radio buttons etc in different locations.

One more thing to consider. Sticking with MRC may…. I want to emphasize that…MAY end up with you having two viable throttles, one for a friend/nephew/etc. Which brings me to the big question. What specifically is wrong with yours? You didn’t provide details on that. If your preference is replacement then by all means do that. Just wondering if it could be repaired? Even 50/50 odds of that happening would make me say stick with MRC. If it’s 90% likely dead, then…. Yeah. But I’m curious what is wrong with it exactly?
Yes, the Prodigy can do all that too, although implementation is a little different. The current handheld unit can be used as a second throttle if he buys a new system.

However, he said in another thread that he already took his unit apart. That means he probably killed it, as far as MRC is concerned. But he never did seem to figure out what was wrong with it. Just jumped to a lot of conclusions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree, avoid ebay for things like this.

I use an NCE Power Cab. I’ve never used Prodigy Advanced.
Here is what I like about it:

Separate Program Track & Program on the Mainline options.

Three (yes 3) different methods for speed changes; a 1 “mph” increment button set up & down, a similar set that increments in 3 or 5 “mph,” and the thumbwheel like on a computer mouse. The increments are not scale “mph” I don’t think but needed some way to convey it.

A Consist section of buttons, no need to go through menus etc.

That a throttle can “slave” to another simply by using the 4wire coiled cable.

Easily expandable with DB & SB boosters later on down the road… if you ever find yourself needing 15 amps to run 12 sound equipped locos at once.

MRC may also have some or all of these features with direct access (meaning no need to go through menus, submenus etc).

They’re probably 99% the same, just different, like getting a new car that has radio buttons etc in different locations.

One more thing to consider. Sticking with MRC may…. I want to emphasize that…MAY end up with you having two viable throttles, one for a friend/nephew/etc. Which brings me to the big question. What specifically is wrong with yours? You didn’t provide details on that. If your preference is replacement then by all means do that. Just wondering if it could be repaired? Even 50/50 odds of that happening would make me say stick with MRC. If it’s 90% likely dead, then…. Yeah. But I’m curious what is wrong with it exactly?
Thanks for your information
Do you use NCE and plan to upgrade to wifi in the future ? I have read about using wifi with NCE but find it more complicated than some other systems like MRC (just buy a wifi module), Z21 (add TP Link and handle to connect to Wifi, or use App on iPad, Android)
 

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I do not plan on upgrading to wifi. The future sees DB & SB boosters being added along with 2 additional throttles.
I do not like wifi/bluetooth connections due to poor reliability and interference issues, for any application. For comparison my internet wifi router is 4 years old and needs replacing. My brand new thermostat for my brand new furnace required being sync’d via bluetooth on my brand new smartphone. And that took 10 attempts standing 2 feet away from it.
As more things go wifi, the more bandwidth is utilized and more interference will occur.
I won’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. But the above is why I’m sticking with time-tested hardwire.
 
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