Choosing a Decoder

I'm working on picking a decoder to upgrade them to run on my clubs Digitrax DCC system. There are a LOT of options out there, what should I
be looking for feature wise in the decoder? What should I avoid?
Two locomotives have the 8-pin plug, but the others are older and would need direct wiring.
Thanks
Puckdropper
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You might try "one" TCS T1 w/bemf. These are a low cost decoder with a good bemf. If you don't like it then try something else.
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At $50 or whatever they cost each?!?! Trial and error is not the best method here... Do it right the first time!
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Most of the ones I've been looking at have been in the $15 - $25 ea range. For my FA1 & FB1 set, that's another $30-50 to add to the cost of the units. I'm not much for trial and error when you're talking this much per trial.
Many places won't let you send something like this back if there's nothing wrong with it.
Puckdropper
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Well now that's good news... The last time i priced anything DCC i decided then and there that it's out of my league (The Cheap League) and immediately gave up the idea so it's good to see that the prices came down... I'll have to re-evaluate my cheapness... (hey at least i admit it openly!)
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method here... Do it right the first time!<
Not sure where you get that price. Street price for a T1 is +/-$17.50 unless you live outside the US which should make it cheaper due to the tanking of the US dollar. There are mail-order folks who will ship postpaid if the order is $50 or more.
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See previous answer...
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If you want some older T1s (read not latest software) I have some in packages (read brand new) I will sell you for 10 bucks each plus shipping.
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Will they be compatible with the Digitrax DCC system? I've got several older locomotives that probably wouldn't suffer from having older decoders.
Contact me off-list, and we'll discuss shipping options and the like. Email instructions are below. (Please note the newsgroup in the subject or message so I know where it's from.)
Puckdropper
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Big Rich Soprano wrote:

Is this despite the fact that they cost pence to manufacture?
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Puckdropper wrote:

Been a lot of discussion about this over on the Model Railroader web site. Some posters over there claim decoders can be had for $15 in quantity. I'm not a DCC'er (yet) but you'd think a decoder either works, or you take it back and get a replacement. I'd tend to go with the best price.
David Starr
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The reason I asked is I didn't want to miss out on getting a decoder that had some really nice feature that only costs a few dollars more to get. If you want to charge a dollar or two for Athearn Bluebox cars and give me KD couplers and metal wheels, I'm probably going to give you the extra money.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

Look for features specific to the loco to be converted. For example, TCS's "Dither" works very effectively with the standard Athearn Blue Box drives. Other than that, just pick the features you want for that particular loco. Most manufacturers provide nearly identical feature sets in both plug-in and hardwired versions so that isn't a big deal. I tend to go with the plug-in choice when possible simply because it's easier.
What to avoid? Any MRC decoder.
HTH, Steve
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Puckdropper wrote:

The options are there because modellers have different situations - for example "ditch lights" are irrelevant if you're modelling 1935 LMS ...
You have to decide what you _need_ and pick a decoder that at least matches your requirements because an underoptioned decoder will never upgrade itself to match your requirements.
Obviously, the fitting arrangements need to match your loco and the current capability has to be equal or greater than the loco's current draw.
I wouldn't bother to fit a decoder without feedback control, speed mapping, MUing capability and sufficient lighting functions, but that's my personal opinion.
Greg.P.
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