Author Topic: Dumb DCC question #352  (Read 5043 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Dumb DCC question #352
« on: November 01, 2007, 09:46:01 AM »
0
I notice that the "low end" systems only cover like 10 locos.

Let's say I have 50 locos. Let's talk Digitrax for example. I'd need the "Super Chief" starter set, since the Zephyr only can handle 10, and the "Super Empire Builder" can only handle 22.

Am I thinking correctly?

John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10833
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +507
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 10:06:10 AM »
0
I notice that the "low end" systems only cover like 10 locos.

Let's say I have 50 locos. Let's talk Digitrax for example. I'd need the "Super Chief" starter set, since the Zephyr only can handle 10, and the "Super Empire Builder" can only handle 22.

Am I thinking correctly?

Yes and no ..

The zephyr can handle 10 simultaneous addresses in memory, which means you can control 10 locos at any given time. If you want to add an 11th, then you need to drop one youre not using. The SEB does 22, and the Chief 255 or something like that .. but thats only actual addys being used. If the loco is in the box, it makes no difference.

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 10:08:37 AM »
0
Thanks! Is it relatively easy to add and delete addresses (locos)?

wm3798

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13196
  • Gender: Male
  • I like models. She likes antiques. Perfect!
  • Respect: +1405
    • Western Maryland Railway Western Lines
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 10:52:44 AM »
0
If you haven't already sold your soul to Digitrax, the MRC system can store up to 25 addresses in each hand-held, including m.u. consists (2 engines per consist = 50 locos).  Adding and deleting is a breeze, if you have 25 addresses in, when you add a new one, the old first one just drops off.  To actively delete an address, you have to read a chapter in the manual, understand quantum physics, and do a few calculations... oh wait, that's Digitrax...  on the MRC, you push the "delete" button on the hand held.

Long term memory (between sessions) stores 5 addresses in each hand held.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

ednadolski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3025
  • Respect: +360
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2007, 10:53:03 AM »
0
I notice that the "low end" systems only cover like 10 locos.

Let's say I have 50 locos. Let's talk Digitrax for example. I'd need the "Super Chief" starter set, since the Zephyr only can handle 10, and the "Super Empire Builder" can only handle 22.

Am I thinking correctly?

I think you have to be careful when considering low-end systems, as there are a lot of tradeoffs and it's hard to know exactly what you may be giving up.   I'd recommend calling Caboose Hobbies at 303-777-6766 and talking with Roger Frank, he is very knowledgeable & helpful, and he can answer your questions and point out things that you might not otherwise have considered.

HTH,
Ed

djsmeltzer

  • Posts: 19
  • Respect: 0
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 11:15:25 AM »
0
Something else to consider if you are heading down the Digitrax path.  The Empire Builder (or I should say, the DB150 in the Empire Builder) does not support CV read-back.  The Zephyr (DCS50) and the Super Chief (DCS100) both do support read-back.  If read back is important to you (the ability to read what a CV is set to from the decoder), then keep this in mind.

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 11:19:47 AM »
0
I haven't sold my soul to any of the systems. ;D

I'm just trying to map this out ahead of actually diving into it. I am many months from even thinking seriously about forking out cash. I appreciate the input!

So for my home layout it seems that I don't "need" it to be able to handle more locos than I anticipate operating at any given moment. I realize that one shouldn't plan capacity at minimum levels but am I theoretically correct?


engineshop

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 882
  • Respect: +19
    • http://www.engineshop.org
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2007, 12:05:11 PM »
0
I think it does not depend on how many engines you have in your collection with DCC but how many engines you will have on your layout at the same time even if you run one at the time.
The fun of DCC is to call up an individual engine with its roadnumber not to program all the time.

diezmon

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1006
  • Gender: Male
  • Do they speak English in "What"?
  • Respect: +148
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2007, 12:15:50 PM »
0
Long term memory (between sessions) stores 5 addresses in each hand held.

Lee

Lee, what exactly do you mean?  I sounds like every time you start up you have to reenter your locos, that can't be right, can it?

I too have been researching lately. 

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 17982
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2224
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2007, 12:25:18 PM »
0
I think it's important to keep in mind the fact that a decoder "remembers" its settings. The issue with items in memory are, I believe, about what can be quickly recalled on the throttle.

With the Zephyr, you're able to keep more than 10 units on the layout at any time, but only actively be controlling 10 of them, right?

cv_acr

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2349
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
    • Canadian Freight Railcar Gallery
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2007, 01:24:20 PM »
0
You don't have to enter in all the numbers of engines that you'll possibly use into any DCC system. You just plop an engine on the tracks, hit select loco (or equivalent) on the throttle and punch in the decoder address. Then the system sends commands from the throttle to that address.

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2007, 01:48:10 PM »
0
So, again as an example, the Super Chief can "handle" 120 locos - I guess this would be on a grand scale (speaking theoretically again here) in say a club where you have 130 locos on the track (at least 10 fueling up, etc) and 120 locos (as opposed to consists) in operation?

To put it another way, what's the advantage of 120 locos over 50 locos? Is it only in the extreme as above?

wm3798

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 13196
  • Gender: Male
  • I like models. She likes antiques. Perfect!
  • Respect: +1405
    • Western Maryland Railway Western Lines
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2007, 02:27:35 PM »
0
What Ed said...  The last 5 addresses you were using stay in the throttle when you shut down.  If you want to call up one of those 5, you just toggle to the address.  If you want to run something else, you just select  the new address.

I have about 25 - 30 engines on my layout, usually consisted in pairs (You can build a consist to however many units you like... I once lined up 18 units, set them all up in a single consist, and they growled and bucked around the layout a couple times... pretty fun.)

The MRC Prodigy Advance gives you readback on the basic set up for about $200 less than the Digitrax rig, and the full function throttle is about $30 cheaper than Digitrax's full function throttle.  You can get the new MRC wireless PA-2 for less than a regular Empire Builder, and get all the same functions plus full wireless programming.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

  • Administrator
  • Crew
  • *****
  • Posts: 10833
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +507
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2007, 02:39:56 PM »
0
So, again as an example, the Super Chief can "handle" 120 locos - I guess this would be on a grand scale (speaking theoretically again here) in say a club where you have 130 locos on the track (at least 10 fueling up, etc) and 120 locos (as opposed to consists) in operation?

To put it another way, what's the advantage of 120 locos over 50 locos? Is it only in the extreme as above?

yes .. thats more or less correct .. its how many are able to be addressed at the same time .. as far as programming .. its pretty simple .. select the number of the loco you want, ie 100, punch those number in, hit select, and off you go .. forward, back, fast, slow, stop .. whatever ..

My best advice, find someone who has a dcc system, and ask them to let you play ..

Mark5

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 9137
  • Always with the negative waves Moriarty ...
  • Respect: +185
Re: Dumb DCC question #352
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2007, 02:45:00 PM »
0
Thanks, very helpful input. I think I can safely say that I won't be needing the ability to have 120 locos "live" on my home layout.  :P

The main features I'm interested in at this point are consisting and the ability to control the loco lights.

It seems apparent from the above that I'll need to look the "ease of use" issue, and yeah that is very good advice find some folks that will let me "play" a bit. 8)