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Thread: Ways to DCC

  1. #1
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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    Toolman: I totally agree with your comments about the MRC 2000 system. It was a good idea, just poor follow-through on MRC's part.

    However, I take exception to some of your comments about Lenz. Lenz is NOT the only system that offers 4-digit loco addressing. I can do it with my Digitrax system, and I believe the NCE system also allows this. Digitrax can also run sound decoders (I currently have a Soundtraxx module) and can be set up for remote switching.

    Digitrax also has both infrared and radio wireless throttles.

    Don't misunderstand me, this is not a Digitrax commercial, nor am I disagreeing with your choice to go Lenz. I have switched to using Lenz decoders, as they have a goof-proof replacement policy (and boy do I need one). Both are great systems. The choice is totally yours. But please be carefull about statements posted. There is already much misinformation out there.

    I believe in DCC 100-percent. I recommend it to almost everybody, and there are many fine systems available. I also recommend the new buyer to beware. Don't just look at web sites, and read literature. Go to your local hobby shop and ask to see demonstrations of the different systems. Remember that hobby shop people are sales people, and will try to influence your decision towards what they need to move. Also, ask the shop owners if they know of some layouts in the area you can contact and go visit. The best way to find out about any system is to run it.

    Also, keep your own goals in the forefront. A system that works great for the large train club, may be too big and complicated for your small switching layout. As usual, I recommend you start small, with a system that can expand with your growing needs.

    MOPAC 1
    Remember: An engine and four cars is a toy train, Four engines pulling a hundred cars is a model railroad! MOPAC 1 - Director of the Western Kansas Division, Mid-Continent Region, of the National Model Railroad Association, also the Vice-President, Boot Hill Model Railroad Club

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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    Quote Originally Posted by "MOPAC1"
    However, I take exception to some of your comments about Lenz.
    Lenz spins a lot of interesting statements from out of Germany. Gotta look at them carefully.
    Quote Originally Posted by "MOPAC1"
    Lenz is NOT the only system that offers 4-digit loco addressing. I can do it with my Digitrax system, and I believe the NCE system also allows this.
    As well as EasyDCC, Zemo and systems to be yet named!

    Lenz is great stuff. It is a great choice. Particularly the new systems. BUT, a lot of Lenz propaganda is simply hooey. Too bad since they could compete very well simply by being accurate.
    <center>[b]Christian
    Brockport, New York<center>[b]

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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    I do stand corrected. I did find out that Loco CE for PDA's also can handle some of the brands each of you speak of. I think I was trying to point out that there is an option for those who do not want to spend the $$$$'s for the hand held controller. Their is now software that runs trains from PDA's and that got my attention.

    I don't mean to mislead anyone and I would think that anyone who was going to layout a sizeable amount of cash for DCC would investigate themselves. Who knows maybe for T-Trak and simple 8 or 16 bit controller may work.

    Yes there are a lot of choices but I see a lot of club fumbling and grumbling on some major well know brands that requires re-programming when they lose power or don't do what they want them to do. This is supposed to be a hobby, be happy, and have fun. I am not the smartest in DCC but I know computing. DCC's are little computer that turn on and off 0
    Steve O'Toole (aka Toolman)
    Owner, Operator, CEO, CFO
    Hokie Pokie Railway Line
    "We Deliver Freight & Passengers Point-to-Point or In Circles"

  4. #4
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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    I am a big fan of Lenz. But I am thinking of moving over to Digitrax. However the LocoCE bundle from lenz has really caught my attention. I have an IPaq 3660 just begging to be used as a wireless throttle! The thing that got me thinking about the Digitrax though is how well it interfaces with PCs. I don't hear about many problems with interfacing to a Digitrax like I do about Lenz. Lenz does have a new interface out (that I believe is part of the LocoCE bundle) that might aleviate past issues.

    Just don't know what I am going to do!

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    Default Ways to DCC - Think about this.

    This also isn't a Digitrax commercial but....

    If you are into N scale, N track, and t track think about this. Contact every club you know of and ask which system are they using; Digitrax, Lenz, MRC, Northcoast, and others.

    Compare the numbers then give that answer considerable weight to your selection. I believe it will narrow your selection to Digitrax and Lenz with Digitrax being the favorite.

    What you don't want is to be travelling the shows and wind up with a Lenz throttle in you hand and everyone else holding Digitrax.

    Of course you can own a Lenz system and buy an extra Digitrax throttle for those times. There is always the Palm option, get both software programs loaded to the palm.

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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    :roll: Todd: You can go to http://www.kamind.com and download the full version for tryout on the iPaq. That way you can fiddle around and see if you like it. You also need to make sure that the iPaq works on a network prior to installing Loco CE (Their instuctions -- not mine).

    I on the other hand need to upgrade my iPaq to Win CE 2002. I think with the number of people out there in curiousity land would be &quot;WOW'd&quot; seeing a model RR operated by a hand held PDA. Who knows, may get them excited in joining our T-Trak interest. Differentially - &quot;And That's What It's All About&quot;




    Steve O'Toole (aka Toolman)
    Owner, Operator, CEO, CFO
    Hokie Pokie Railway Line
    &quot;We Deliver Freight &amp;amp; Passengers Point-to-Point or In Circles&quot;
    Steve O'Toole (aka Toolman)
    Owner, Operator, CEO, CFO
    Hokie Pokie Railway Line
    "We Deliver Freight & Passengers Point-to-Point or In Circles"

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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    Todd: I looked at kamind.com again and noticed that there are 12 or 13 users using Loco CE on Digitrak and 8 with L _ _ _. That should excite you.

    Steve O'Toole (aka Toolman)
    Owner, Operator, CEO, CFO
    Hokie Pokie Railway Line
    &quot;We Deliver Freight &amp;amp; Passengers Point-to-Point or In Circles&quot;
    Steve O'Toole (aka Toolman)
    Owner, Operator, CEO, CFO
    Hokie Pokie Railway Line
    "We Deliver Freight & Passengers Point-to-Point or In Circles"

  8. #8
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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    Thanks for all the research Toolman! I do use a wireless card in my Ipaq here at the house. It is a lot of fun being able to check mail and the interent from anywhere, even outside! I upgraded to CE2002 and found it to be a worthwhile effort. My battery just recently died so I am going to have to shell out 50 bucks or settle for using it plugged in. I will let you know how my test of LocoCE turns out.

  9. #9
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    Default Re:Ways to DCC

    Quote Originally Posted by &quot;Admin&quot;
    I don't hear about many problems with interfacing to a Digitrax like I do about Lenz. Lenz does have a new interface out (that I believe is part of the LocoCE bundle) that might aleviate past issues.
    Actually, the new interface WAS the major problem interfacing a Lenz system to a computer. Things that worked flawlessly on the old interfaces (the LI100 and LI100F) crashed the new interface (the LI101F).

    Lenz has released a software update for the LI101F which does actually correct the problems. If you go this route, make certain you get a software version 2 LI101F.

    The Digitrax MS100 has a few serious problems, especially if you use a non-microsoft operating system. The main problem is the device uses an odd baud rate, and it really isn't a serial interface. What it really does is looks for level shifting of the status lines.

    The better Digitrax Interface is the Locobuffer. It actually buffers data going between the Loconet and the PC. See http://www.locobuffer.com for more information.

    Paul
    For decoder installation and JMRI services, please visit http://www.bentraildigital.com
    For n-scale intermodal information, please visit http://nscaleintermodal.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ways to DCC - Think about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by &quot;btharp&quot;
    If you are into N scale, N track, and t track think about this. Contact every club you know of and ask which system are they using; Digitrax, Lenz, MRC, Northcoast, and others.

    Compare the numbers then give that answer considerable weight to your selection. I believe it will narrow your selection to Digitrax and Lenz with Digitrax being the favorite.

    What you don't want is to be travelling the shows and wind up with a Lenz throttle in you hand and everyone else holding Digitrax.
    I think this is less of an issue than you might think. I'm a Lenz user, and when I go to a show where I know others will be using Digitrax, I make certain that there are spare throttles available. Clubs usually have at least one or two they will let you borrow if you ask nicely.

    Also, I'm working (slowly) on some software (a part of the JMRI project), which will really make this a non-issue. It's what I call a &quot;throttle bridge&quot;. It will work as a gateway between one or more DCC systems. The idea is that with apropriate hardware, you will be able to use a wireless throttle from any system on any other.

    Quote Originally Posted by &quot;btharp&quot;
    Of course you can own a Lenz system and buy an extra Digitrax throttle for those times. There is always the Palm option, get both software programs loaded to the palm.
    Actually, all you really need is a wireless PDA with the LocoCE package from Kam. If you buy LocoCE from Kam, you can interface to ANY dcc system, as long as you have the correct interface hardware.

    Paul
    For decoder installation and JMRI services, please visit http://www.bentraildigital.com
    For n-scale intermodal information, please visit http://nscaleintermodal.com

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