DCC and DC

There have been various threads on DCC on this newsgroup and clearly there
are some of you who shiver at the thought of it!
DCC is a leap forward that is greater than clockwork to electric. I bet the
wind up merchants of that period many years ago were frightened of this
electrickery.
I like simple layout wiring with very few isolated sections.
I like the constant illumination carriage lighting.
I like the locos in multiple/tandem with all motors at a synchronised speed.
I like switching on and off head and tail lights as I require it.
I like shunting five locos out of a siding (individually if I wish) to get
the loco I want and not worry about isolated sections.
This is the tip of the iceberg for the flexibility of DCC.
A lot of British outline models are yet to be made DCC ready so you have to
do some soldering and puzzle out how to isolate some motors. Programing
decoders comes with practise.
More and more RTR locos are being made DCC ready.
What is really showing the way is that Bachmann are marketing their own DCC
system made by Lenz.There is now a starter train set. In ten years or less
the first train set for young Fred will be DCC.
The other good thing is that most manufacturers follow the NMRA rules which
means you can use decoders of another make regardless whose control
equipment you have purchased. Upgrades and compatibility ensure that you do
not have a Zero1 on your hands!
Some posts suggest that DCC and DC is your choice. This of course is right
you have the choice.....but have you considered about becoming a DC
Dinosaur?
regards,
Steve
Reply to
titans
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I'm with you, but I would be prepared to say it's horses for courses. Some people enjoy working out electronic circuits, doing their own computer programming to automate a DC layout and prefer the lower cost involved as evidenced by another thread. I'm not one of them but to each their own.
Never mind 10 years, it is now, Roco certainly do cheap digital starter sets for European prototypes including a Lokomaus II and light (and sound?) equipped train. I think one or more of the American manufacturers do the same. It is the British manufacturers who are 10 years behind, not the technology or the marketing!
Not really relevant, although some are scared of what they do not know, others enjoyment of their layout comes from sorting the electrickery. I don't like it or the carpentry myself, but I'm not prepared to dictate to those who do unless they start dictating to me first!
Reply to
Michael Walker
That's _20_ years (Lenz's system arrived in 1984) and there are now no British manufacturers left,
Reply to
Gregory Procter
Rarrghh. I can't say it bothers me, what with a plank layout and limited expenditure, but being more future-proof sounds good. That said, I'd tentatively suggest the future might just be Virtual anyway.
Mark.
Reply to
Mark Dickerson
"Mark Dickerson" wrote
I wouldn't bank on it. The number of people who have NO interest in computers whatsoever is significant, and in any event the skills involved are totally different.
It's a bit like suggesting that painting pictures would become obsolete with the discovery of photography.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I'm not sure I want to bank on it - I like the idea of seeing something concrete and making it. It might be unfair to lump dislike of DCC in with that of electronics and computers, too, but I wonder. Are they linked?
obsolete with
A bit, but the convenience of one has been telling. If someone introduces a RTR Jinty that's any good (hint, hint), I'd suggest I'm less likely to buy an etched kit. You're right there's still an ordinal difference between that and a Jinty model for Microsoft Train Simulator, but will that be true for every generation? If I could press a button and generate a simulation of Broad Street circa 1956 (let alone a hologram...) I probably would. It might not satisfy the (physical) makers or collectors, but sometimes the plank layout and imagination isn't *quite* enough.
Mark.
Reply to
Mark Dickerson
Let's see: - AC control has lasted for about 110 years, with one upgrade to remote reversing about 70 years ago. - DC has lasted about 90 years so far, with one upgrade to permanent magnets and rectifiers about fifty years ago. - DCC has lasted 20 years with 3 upgrades and almost every component being outdated at the three year mark. - Virtual has been around for perhaps 10 years with hardware and software upgrades making everything redundant at 18 month intervals.
Yeah, it's hard to pick the potential survivors!
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Gregory Procter
DCC consists of a series of unrepairable consumer electronics modules that either work, misfunction or don't work at all. One needs to be able to understand complex instruction manuals to get them to work, and many many people can't or won't do that. Many people are attracted to the hobby because they can throw together basic materials and turn out an artistic masterpiece without having a technical background. Moving the hobby into the field of technology leaves them out of the hobby.
I'm of the firm belief that pushing people into digital control before they want or need it is likely to chase them from the hobby.
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Gregory Procter
"Gregory Procter" wrote
I have to agree. I have never attempted to sell anyone a DCC system, but if they come along saying they're interested then I will try and point them in the appropriate direction.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"Gregory Procter"
I agree with all of the above, however I'm at the stage where DCC is the only realistic way to operate my railway.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
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Reply to
Roger T.
salvé "titans" skrev i meddelandet news:y9%Gc.317$ snipped-for-privacy@newsfe1-gui.ntli.net...
Actually the old clockworkers were nervous rightfully so at 240 volts in the rails controlled through a lighbulb, so wrong!
At the moment what I am building requires two locos on seperate circuits so why should I fork out nar 300 quid when I can do exactly the same for 40?, I am , due to a stroke handicapped in my left hand and soldering is not an easy thing for me (not that it ever was!) so why would I want to pull a perfectly good working model apart and probably cripple it with a module? I know my present limitations, if yuo want to use DCC all well and good but dont look down on us that dont need to use the latest technical doodahs, I would rather that locos ran better mechanically rather than use a 300 quid electrical system which I wouldnt dare let my 5 year old loose on even assuming he could master it ..... Beowulf
Reply to
Beowulf
That's the least of your worries, 5 year olds have no problems with DCC, any more than they have with video recorders. Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Reply to
Keith Norgrove
I helped a friend in designing his dream modern image Swiss terminus - four bi-directional mainlines plus branch into a twelve platform terminus. (plus Post, goods, Looc depot ...) He wanted to reproduce the constant comings and goings of one of the big stations. Unfortunately, analogue control complications basically multiply expotentially with the complexity of the track and as I described the wiring required to link 5 controllers to any one of 12 tracks his eyes started to glaze over. I pointed him to FMZ which workably allows digital while still allowing analogue (he has a large 30-40 year collection) and the control was sorted. He is never going to have signalling beyond the level of colour lights indicating turnout positions. I converted a few locos to FMZ for him. 18 months later he asked me for the loco addresses as he had lost the card I wrote them down on.
My own 4' x 18" shunting layout can have my DCC system linked to it. Under analogue control all track power is routed through the turnouts which means that only one loco can run at once. Running a loco onto any siding, the headshunt or either run around track at changing a turnout will isolate it allowing the other loco to run, but it's definitely only one loco at a time. With only a DCC unit, two hand controls and 6-8 decoders I can run two locos simultaneously, but not more than 2' each or they will collide!
OK, I'm convinced that DCC is the way to go for very small intensively worked layouts where analogue block/section sizes would need to be less than loco length, for very large intensively worked layouts where analogue control would get out of hand. Club layouts are another definite, so that operators don't need to learn the complexities of operation, but members rarely agree to fit decoders to their locos!
For everything else, analogue is the way to go.
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Gregory Procter
To be honest, I was referring to model manufacturers rather than DCC equipment manufacturers.
Reply to
Michael Walker
And remember that saying "the camera never lies"?
Reply to
MartinS
Many people are attracted, too, because they like trains. Younger people especially, with the ability to do "anything they want" on a computer, don't understand why they can't simply drive "this train there", and "that train over to here." To these people even simple block wiring can be daunting.
Multi-cab (even two-cab) block wiring is something which some people have difficulty with, and for these people, DCC is a godsend. You just need to read various posts where people ask for help with their basic wiring...
The ability of people to "throw things together" is rapidly disappearing in this consumer age.
John Dennis
Reply to
John Dennis
Pushing along the floor has stood the test of time. No derailments, the only limit is the power of one's imagination. Why insist on your handist nonsense?
I wonder how many layouts outlast the period of use of a typical PC, without modification. And I'm not sure rapid technological change or alteration of the market is a good indicator of future longevity. I'd *guess* DC will continue for a long time, but, the usual conservative sneering notwithstanding, there'll be at least a major rival in virtual modelling.
Mark.
Reply to
Mark Dickerson
I dont think that any of the DCC proponents on this newsgroup, at least, have looked down on those who stick with DC control. The benefits of DCC are many, and prices will (and indeed have already) come down considerably - the Lenz DCC compact is only £75 and modules are £10.
I wouldnt be surprsied if, in 10 years or so, we had a range of british outline locomotives with modules already fitted - there are already some US and continental ones which do.
Reply to
John Ruddy
Is that the same thing as a computer dinosaur? I'm one of them and happy with it.
In the 1980's I'd have jumped at the chance to have had a small layout with something like DCC (or Zero 1 - couldn't afford it on a student budget). However, after 25 years of programming for a living, I don't want a computer anywhere near what I do to relax and get away from them.
Now, if only I could get a handle on all these wires... or even a decent book...
Reply to
Rod Furey
Bet you like to control all your turnouts by push-button at a single console....you probably like diesels too. :( Have you ever tried operating a good clockwork layout?
Ken.
Reply to
Ken Parkes

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