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Old 28-07-2017, 11:02 AM   #1
mijj
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Default Which controller and why?

I want to start out with DCC and want to know the various limitations each has. Why is one controller the muts nuts and others suffer severe limitations?
Jim
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Old 28-07-2017, 11:48 AM   #2
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Usually price.
The more you pay you would expect to have more features (though not always true!)
Basic DCC systems often produced and branded as 'own brand' items by train set manufacturers and sold with their sets are possibly the worse in limitations, as they are built to a price which often needs to be kept low.

For something fully featured and not PC operation only, then expect to pay from upwards of around 100 or a lot more.

For PC operation consider the excellent SPROG II or the more powerful SPROG III SPROG link and free JMRI software or if you don't mind being restricted to the track pieces Hornby make then their eLink is OK. Bachmann have released their own PC based software system too, but as yet I know little of its potential and it probably only works with the Bachmann Dynamis Ulitma system?
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Old 28-07-2017, 04:10 PM   #3
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At this stage (my intro to model railways) I am going to bypass the computer controlled aspect. I might have gone this route but the laptop I got (brand new) had to be sent back, and I have not got another.
The H&M Clipper has some built in restrictions but thanks for the info, that is what I need to know. Googling it everyone that uses one loves them.
What else do peeps use and what are their advantages?
I see a prodigy wireless walk about. Does that require extras? A f'rinstance would be receivers somewhere.
Jim. (I am new to all this stuff so any information is better than nothing)

Last edited by mijj; 28-07-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 28-07-2017, 04:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkingthedog View Post
What a strange post Brian. Hope the OP doesn't take it seriously.
I have a clipper, i still use it occasionally but i would not recommend it for dcc. NCE POWERCAB is a good starter set that you can upgrade as you aquire more locos.
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Old 28-07-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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The H&M clipper is an old dc controller. It is NOT a DCC controller at all.

Best to ignore 4VEP's ridiculous post.

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Old 28-07-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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I have been using the H&M Clipper to control my DCC layout. It is a DC analogue controller which is better made than the cheaper sort of controller supplied with train sets.

I have found the cheaper DC type of controller is not good enough to control a chipped loco.

It is a good idea to purchase a type of DC controller that will work well with DCC fitted locos. Perhaps someone else in here can advise you about this?

As regards dcc fitted locos with lights and sound, you will need a DCC controller. The Bachmann EZ command will do for a start.

You cannot have both a DC controller and a DCC controller connected to the same track. You can have a DC controller on one track and a DCC controller on another.

Locos that are not DCC fitted must be removed before connecting a DCC command station.

However, locos which have a DCC chip can be left on the layout if they have DC power conversion enabled.

I operate my layout both as DC and DCC.

Some authorities maintain you should chip every loco, but this is hugely expensive. A good DC controller is a better buy. Remember if your DCC command station goes wrong, like your laptop, then not a single train on your layout will be able to move.
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Old 28-07-2017, 04:40 PM   #7
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The OP was asking about a DCC controller. I operate DCC locos on my DC layout but they only work as DC locos. You can't operate more than one at a time. You can't set one up to travel round a circuit then start controlling another with the same knob.
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Old 28-07-2017, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijj View Post
I want to start out with DCC and want to know the various limitations each has. Why is one controller the muts nuts and others suffer severe limitations?
Jim
Haha! If I answered that one I'd be bombarded with lots of replies on why my recommendations are wrong.
Ask yourself what you need as in how many locos and how large a layout and if you want sound, computer control etc.
Probably the best advice is dont go for the cheapest, and also make sure it is expandable.
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Old 28-07-2017, 05:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4VEP View Post
I have been using the H&M Clipper to control my DCC layout. It is a DC analogue controller which is better made than the cheaper sort of controller supplied with train sets.

I have found the cheaper DC type of controller is not good enough to control a chipped loco.

It is a good idea to purchase a type of DC controller that will work well with DCC fitted locos. Perhaps someone else in here can advise you about this?

As regards dcc fitted locos with lights and sound, you will need a DCC controller. The Bachmann EZ command will do for a start.

You cannot have both a DC controller and a DCC controller connected to the same track. You can have a DC controller on one track and a DCC controller on another.

Locos that are not DCC fitted must be removed before connecting a DCC command station.

However, locos which have a DCC chip can be left on the layout if they have DC power conversion enabled.

I operate my layout both as DC and DCC.

Some authorities maintain you should chip every loco, but this is hugely expensive. A good DC controller is a better buy. Remember if your DCC command station goes wrong, like your laptop, then not a single train on your layout will be able to move.
This answer is of no help to the OP.
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Old 28-07-2017, 06:47 PM   #10
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The answer to the OP is download and compare the specs of those DCC controllers that take your fancy based on forum hearsay.

Upon the evidence you can make up a short list and if possible go and find a retailer who has them on demo.

One basic rule you can rely on is if it's in a DCC starter train set then its likely to be of limited functionality.

Just a case of doing your homework then posting for opinion on a particular model, which will give you as many plusses as minuses regardless of make and model.

Bit like asking opinion of which car is best.
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