DCC reviews - Atlas & MRC


I did a search of the group and know this issues was hashed many times, but most/all of the postings were one-plus years old.

I want to get an introductory DCC system. At my local hobby store I can get the MRC Prodigy for $112 or the Atlas Commander for $99 ( both are on sale and are complete with power supply, minus the decoders). Any recommendations? As for my requirements, I suspect I will probably have not more than 8 - 10 engines in my collection, and will want to run no more than 3 or 4 running at a time. I will not use DCC for the switches, since I prefer the 'control board' style. I'd like to be able to run a consist once in a while.

I read numerous posts about problems with the Prodigy system but again these posts are pretty old and maybe they were fixed. Issues that were noted:

  1. throttle control was only active across the first 25% of the motion of the control knob
  2. existing MRC decoders did not work with Prodigy
  3. Prodigy could only program MRC decoders
  4. 14/28 speeds steps is too limited

Can anyone comment on these issues? Have they been resolved?

Also, users of the Atlas system, does it meet your needs and would you buy it again?

Thanks, Tony

Reply to
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I'd suggest looking for a Digitrax Zephyr

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I've seen it listed for about $40 more than either of the two that you've looked at but it will provide you with more options and greater opportunity to expand later should you so desire.

If you rather not go this route then based on my knowledge of the two systems, I'd recommend the Atlas.


Reply to
Robert Blackwell

Tony wrote: I did a search of the group and know this issues was hashed many times, but most/all of the postings were one-plus years old. I want to get an introductory DCC system.

------------------------------------------------------ Tony's Train Xchange has a comparison of DCC systems that might help:

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Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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History of N Scale:
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Links to over 700 helpful sites:
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Reply to

I use the Atlas system in much the same circumstances you describe. It suits me very well. The four items you cite above do not exist with Atlas units. Do exercise some care in decoder selection as some are difficult to program with the Atlas Commander, but most work quite well. I would buy it again - in fact I recently bought my second Hand Command. Everything works as advertised and is easy to use. Dave in GA.

Reply to
Dave in GA

Reply to
David P Harris

Try calling Steve's Depot @ 888.84DEPOT in the evening. He will talk with you as long as you want and won't try to sell you what he supplies, as he has all of them. After talking with him for about an hour, I decided the best route was a Digitrax system which is the best for a switching layout, which is what I have. His web is

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so you can see what he has to offer.

Reply to
Charles Callaghan

Does anyone know where these products are built?


Reply to
Matt/Meribeth Pedersen

I'd go with the Digitrax Zephyr, as suggeted by several folks in this thread.

Consider: In threads such as this one you always hear about the limitations of the Prodigy vs. the limitations of the Commander. But the folks who mention the Zephyr tend point out what it CAN do as compared to those other two, and for only a few dollars more.

Reply to
Steve Martinak

As Atlas is really Lenz it's possible that it's made in Germany but I don't know that for sure. China is probably a good guess for MRC.

Reply to
Jon Miller

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