Author Topic: BLI Loco Power Use  (Read 929 times)

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MK

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2021, 11:06:58 PM »
+1
Digitrax is a more complicated DCC system that has some more capabilities, but it has been having some severe problems lately with a switch to duplex throttles that did not go well.

Huh?  My DT402D duplex throttle has been problem free for years.  I've lost count on how many "foreign" layouts at train shows I've used it on in duplex mode without any problems.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 11:10:04 PM by MK »

nkalanaga

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2021, 12:40:43 AM »
0
If your blocks are wired for multiple DC throttles, the solution might be as easy as replacing one of those with the DCC system.  You'd have to be careful not to run a DC into a block set for the DCC cab, but that should be the only problem.
N Kalanaga
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peteski

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2021, 12:56:51 AM »
0
If your blocks are wired for multiple DC throttles, the solution might be as easy as replacing one of those with the DCC system.  You'd have to be careful not to run a DC into a block set for the DCC cab, but that should be the only problem.

That could be a really big problem.
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Maletrain

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2021, 07:39:23 AM »
-1
Huh?  My DT402D duplex throttle has been problem free for years.  I've lost count on how many "foreign" layouts at train shows I've used it on in duplex mode without any problems.

Not to trash Digitrax, but others have had substantially worse experiences than you, including me with UT4Ds on multiple layouts.  At this point, the UT4D and DT402D are being phased out and replaced with the UT6D and DT602D because of those problems.  And, if you take a look at Digitrax-Users@groups.io you can see the flurry of firmware updates involving both the 4 and 6 series of devices, and the problems folks are having with those updates not going as desired.  By way of contrast, look at NCE-DCC@groups.io .

My point is that the question I am answering was  "Any suggestions on a simple system to power up a DCC system?"  My emphasis is on "simple" for my reply.  I am not going to try to say what is "best" for anybody.  That depends on too many things that differ from person to person.

CBQ Fan

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2021, 08:09:45 AM »
+1
See, this is why I have stayed away from DCC. Name a product and the response is as polarized as can be.  Absolutely great-Absolutely sucks.
Brian

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MK

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2021, 11:01:24 AM »
0
My point is that the question I am answering was  "Any suggestions on a simple system to power up a DCC system?"  My emphasis is on "simple" for my reply.  I am not going to try to say what is "best" for anybody.  That depends on too many things that differ from person to person.

In my opinion you seemed to have answer that question in a lopsided way, adding information that may be misperceived by the person asking the question.  I don't disagree that the NCE PowerCab is a simple and great starter set.  But then you go on saying Digitrax is complicated with them  lately "switch to Duplex" and imply all their duplex throttles are having issues, which isn't true.  That's apples and oranges.

The DT4xxx throttles are being phased out because they are getting long (very long!) in the tooth and not because of duplex issues.  They have been around for years and are pretty solid at this point.  Any duplex issues are mostly likely due to setup and connection of the receivers.  Yes, their DT6xxx throttles have some growing pain issues but that's irrelevant to what are simple systems out there.  I'm sure the next NCE new throttle will also have growing pains.

Don't forget Digitrax also has a simple and great starter set, the Zephyr.

I'm not a Digitrax Fan Boy.  Very far from it.  I chose Digitrax because my club and all the surrounding N-Trak and T-Trak clubs use Digitrax.  And if I want to run with them (Altoona, Amherst, Egg Head Harbor/Atlantic City, Ohio, etc.) I better have the right equipment.   I have run on combined N-Trak (3 clubs) layouts that are 30' x 60' (I didn't set it up) with no duplex issues though I was not using the newer throttles.  And this is not at Amherst, which I think may even be larger and/or more complex.

At the end of the day all manufacturers have quirks with their products.  Often those that scream the loudest on forums and list groups give the perception that XXX is crap and you shouldn't buy it.  But when the solution is reached it is often, but not always, something that the user didn't understand or did wrong, not on purpose of course.  The people that don't have issues don't come on forums screaming loudly as they are running trains!   :D

So to answer Brian's questions, look at the PowerCab or Zephyr.  But take a look around your area at what others are using as eventually you will want to go to their parties and hang out with the cool kids too.  :)

(BTW, I did not give you the -1 down vote.)

« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 11:03:30 AM by MK »

Maletrain

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2021, 11:08:22 AM »
0
See, this is why I have stayed away from DCC. Name a product and the response is as polarized as can be.  Absolutely great-Absolutely sucks.

If you are comfortable with not going to DCC in your foreseeable future, and already have a layout and loco roster that are DC, then your best choice is probably to just have your few DCC locos switched to DC.  That is a whole lot simpler to do than making DC locos DCC.

But, if you would really like to get into DCC but are having a hard time making heads vs tails out of all the chatter, I suggest that you find some friends with various DCC systems on layouts somewhat like yours and ask them what it would take to get your layout converted to systems like theirs.  Don't ask them which system is best - just ask them to show you what you need and tell you what it takes to put it together and get it running.  Don't forget to ask about updating needs and methods.  And, once you pick a DCC system, you can ask the appropriate friend to help you trouble-shoot any issues, too.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 11:42:06 AM by Maletrain »

Maletrain

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2021, 11:36:22 AM »
+2
MK,

I am not going to get into the Digitrax vs NCE battle. 

And I think you have misinterpreted the gist of my post.  I did not recommend either the PowerCab or the Zephyr system because I am not sure that either would fulfil his needs.  He asked for a simple system, and it seems that the usual reply to that involves the PowerCab, but, as I posted, it may not be sufficient for him due to its limited power and limited number of throttles.  I don't know enough about the Zephyr system to describe its limitations, so I didn't try.  What I did try to do is to tell him that the Digitrax systems can be more capable than the NCE systems, but that it comes at a cost of added complexity.  He has to decide how he wants to trade off simplicity for capability.

Regarding the problems Digitrax has had and is still having with its discontinuance of its "simplex" radio system and reliance on its new duplex throttles, I think that is worth warning anybody about.  The current situation seems to be far from "plug-n-play" for a large number of people, and Digitrax is trying to address that by introducing new throttles and discontinuing its first series of duplex throttles and duplex  receivers.  And currently there are issues with getting the two versions of duplex equipment to play nicely with each other.  So, especially if a person new to DCC tries to get started by buying used equipment to keep costs down, there are some substantial pitfalls worth knowing about and avoiding with Digitrax right now.

In comparison, NCE has been so stable it is nearly static.  There are issues, but those issues are not new and have well established trouble shooting and work-around processes.  The latest thing for NCE has been a third-party vendor that created the WFC-30 interface for WiFi throttles - the equivalent to Digitrax LNWI. 

So, down vote me if you feel the need because I said something not favorable to your preferred system - it isn't going to upset me.  That is the way the Digitrax vs NCE  debate typically goes - very negative from both sides.  But, please realize it is what is turning CBQ Fan off to all of DCC.  So, I am trying to not be a part of it.  That is all I am going to say - carry on without me if you want to argue more.

peteski

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2021, 01:38:26 PM »
0
You guys are makinig Brian hesitant to jump into DCC.  :scared:

Brian, DCC brands, like many other subjects in model railroading(Like best track cleaners) is a very polarizing subject matters.

There are plenty DCC choices out there and each has its positives and negatives.  Instead of looking at the brand-sparing between members, if you want to invest in a DCC system, do your research then decide yourself.

Personally I would recommend to start with the NCE Power Cab. It is a well-established and inexpensive DCC system (cheaper than most N scale factory equipped sound DCC locomotives) and it is fully-featured, completely enclosed in a handheld throttle.  To me it is more intuitive that Digitrax (and I used both).  It is expandable, or if you decide it is not your "cup of tea", you can always sell it (at very little loss) and get another system
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CBQ Fan

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2021, 04:45:05 PM »
0
Ironically my only real resource is this forum for DCC. I am also now wondering how hard it would be to skip the whole decoder in my E units. Lol
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

peteski

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2021, 04:49:01 PM »
0
Ironically my only real resource is this forum for DCC. I am also now wondering how hard it would be to skip the whole decoder in my E units. Lol

If you are comfortable servicing N scale locos, and performing some semi-precision wiring and soldering, it should not be all that difficult to remove  the decoder.
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CBQ Fan

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2021, 06:16:43 PM »
0
If you are comfortable servicing N scale locos, and performing some semi-precision wiring and soldering, it should not be all that difficult to remove  the decoder.

I think you were the one who helped me save an MRC steam loco with a fried circuit board.
Brian

Way of the Zephyr

peteski

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Re: BLI Loco Power Use
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2021, 07:13:12 PM »
0
I think you were the one who helped me save an MRC steam loco with a fried circuit board.

I sill have an envelope with a fried MRC sound decoder (with melted wires) to be examined.  If your last name begins with a "D", and you live in Indiana then yes it was me.   That was few years ago. Where did the time go?
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