I would appreciate any advice on the best DCC system for UK Outline. My new
layout will be DCC only. I am considering the Lenz and Fleischman systems
but expect there is some good advice available from this newsgroup.
Happy New Year to all,
I dont have DCC as it don't do anything I need, however those members of our
club that have changed over have mainly gone for Lenz so far, though the
American modellers use digitrax
Try this yahoo group.
main Fleischmann base unit is an Uhlenbrock Intellibox.
No idea if its cheaper from Uhlenbrock suppliers, but there are some
additional intersting controllers from them, such as the Daisy and the Fred.
It uses a different bus system (LocoNet) to that used by Lenz; so the
control systems are not interchangeable.
Lenz is more common in the UK, so you may find UK support a lot easier.
You can get a lot of Uhlenbrock DCC advice from the Fremo club in northern
Europe, though I'd suggest being able to read/write German would be an
You should also consider Digitrax and ZTC as the other major vendors in
the UK. Note that ZTC/Lenz and Digitrax/Fleishmann use different network
interconnects if you are looking at layout feedback, computer interface
and additional throttles or controllers as call them in the UK.
You need to consider what you want to do with your layout i.e. the
complexity of operations and ease of use. Try getting hold of the DCC
book by Stan Ames available from
amongst others and
the Digitrax Big Book of DCC available from
amongst others. Both retailers will give a partial refund if you
subsequently purchase from them.
After you have read either you could more pointed questions about the
systems you are considering.
Happy New Year
ZTC is expensive and does not have the same level of reliability as Lenz.
The latter also has a no-quibble exchange policy in the unlikely event of
This book is NOT recommended in certain circles. I'd suggest joining one of
the specialist Yahoo Groups aimed at the DCC user. Try one of:-
and fire your questions at those with specialist knowledge.
established this then shop around for the system that suits you. The main
thing to think about is expansion and facilities available.
I use a Lenz Set 100 as there are plenty of expansion opportunities plus I
can program loco decoders to suit my needs. If often feel that other than
the decoders (which are Lenz LE1014) the Bachmann EZmate runs the risk of
people out growing it very quickly once they get the taste for DCC.
Once you try DCC you will never wish to return to DC!
I have no trouble with returning decoders to ZTC. Initially there was
trouble with Lenz as they tried to say the no quible exchange policy
only applied to North America and it took Mackay models a bit of time to
get them change their mind.
ZTC are the at more expensive end of market but some may prefer the
controls to other makes, depends on budget and what you want to do.
Well it is a bit dated now but it does give you the basics of DCC and
overview of the vendors products.
Doesn't matter what you get, so long as it's NMRA standard compatible,
as Lenz is. Don't know about Fleischmann - I do know that Marklin did
try to impose its own DCC standard, but has, at least over here,
accepted the NMRA specs. German mfrs have a tendency to go their own way
WRT wheels, tracks, electrics, making their product incompatible with
other mfr's. No doubt trying to create a captive market. So I'd be wary
of Fleischmann until I knew that their system is a universal one.
Also look at EasyDCC. Although from the USA it is easy to import
yourself, it performs well and is reasonably priced. I have found that
their service as also good, although I have not needed it for any
problems as I haven't had any.
Its a NMRA compliant system. It uses LocoNet as the bus between controllers
The Uhlenbrock Intellibox controller will talk NMRA and Marklin protocols if
I assume the Fleischmann badged version of the box will do the same.
Err... and Lenz is from which country ?
German engineering is very good with standards.
Its NMRA compliant.
Its been said before and I shall say it again. If you can, test drive
as many systems as possible. For the most part if a system is up to
the NMRA specs, things like boosters, loco decoders, and stationary
decoders are all interchangable. The biggest difference is in the
throttles (controllers) Find the one that best suits you, and that is
the DCC system you should choose.