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Ray,
Several club members (myself included) have been using DCC outside going on 4+ years now. Most of the club members are using the Digitrax system, I've heard good things about the NCE system as well. My opinion would be to look at all the systems and go with the one that you feel the most comfortable with. I like the way Aristocraft has adapted their product and given those of us that run DC / DCC or battery a simple easy to use plug in....wish USA Trains would follow their example. Good luck, I don't think you could go wrong.

-Mark
 

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Hi Ray,

I have had great luck with DCC outside, and would certainly never go back to DC or switch to batteries. I run a wireless Massoth Navigator (well two now...my wife wanted her own she liked mine so much!) with MTSIII, so my power and receiver is all inside the house. I ran two wires to the track from inside the house and that's it. If your joint connections are good voltage drop is negligible due to the size of the rail.
Here's a typical scenario at our place, in fact this happened last night when I got back from work: My 6 year old had a friend over who really wanted to see the trains run. So I spent about two minutes sweeping off the leaves that had accumulated in one corner, plugged in the power, sent the track cleaner around twice to get the splashed up dirt off after all the rain we've had lately, put two locos on (one for him, one for me) and away we went with no problems at all. I run brass LGB track, and find that the whole oxidation and dirty track issues have been blown WAY out of proportion by people with vested interests. I can guarantee the time I spend watching the track cleaner go around a couple times is a lot less than the f*&ting around they do with their batteries or trying to solder SS track, not to mention the eventual disposal/environmental costs. All that being said, every person's requirements are different. What I have learned, though, is that you get what you pay for in DCC, and so bear that in mind when you look at the systems, and take the time to read the online manuals to see what they are/aren't capable of.
Good luck with it!
Keith
 

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Ray, I've been running DCC outside for 3 years, no problems. Well, there was one issue, when it got cold (below 38 degrees F) my wireless didn't work well. However, NCE came out with an upgrade to the radio this past Spring and now the range is incredible; did a test and was able to communicate while 300' from the base unit! So I'm hoping the cold issue is resolved, but it hasn't been cold enough yet to test the new radio.

But if Sandy Eggo is San Diego, you wouldn't have that problem any who :)
 

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Posted By Cougar Rock Rail on 11/05/2008 10:29 AM
Hi Ray,

I have had great luck with DCC outside, and would certainly never go back to DC or switch to batteries. I run a wireless Massoth Navigator (well two now...my wife wanted her own she liked mine so much!) with MTSIII, so my power and receiver is all inside the house. I ran two wires to the track from inside the house and that's it. If your joint connections are good voltage drop is negligible due to the size of the rail.
Here's a typical scenario at our place, in fact this happened last night when I got back from work: My 6 year old had a friend over who really wanted to see the trains run. So I spent about two minutes sweeping off the leaves that had accumulated in one corner, plugged in the power, sent the track cleaner around twice to get the splashed up dirt off after all the rain we've had lately, put two locos on (one for him, one for me) and away we went with no problems at all. I run brass LGB track, and find that the whole oxidation and dirty track issues have been blown WAY out of proportion by people with vested interests. I can guarantee the time I spend watching the track cleaner go around a couple times is a lot less than the f*&ting around they do with their batteries or trying to solder SS track, not to mention the eventual disposal/environmental costs. All that being said, every person's requirements are different. What I have learned, though, is that you get what you pay for in DCC, and so bear that in mind when you look at the systems, and take the time to read the online manuals to see what they are/aren't capable of.
Good luck with it!
Keith

Strange.
You ever tried battery power?

I've run dcc (indoors), 16 years ago, with lgb track, tried track power, and in two months gave up.
The power and acidic soils ate the lgb joiners out at the sharp bends.

Track, wheel and pickup cleanliness, yes, wires to the track, buried in ballast, get a good freeze after a hard rain, locks the wires in the ballast, then it heaves.
Rips all the wires off.

You using clamps or stock lgb joiners?

Clamp your track, expansion and contraction prevents you from effectively attaching the track to anything solid.

Elevated roadbed?
Not attached?

BIG problem.

No slug tracks?
No bird poop?

No sap from the trees?

Temperate climes, yeah, but around here, no way.
 

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Ha ha! You took longer than I thought to respond, but good to see you're still paying attention.

To answer your questions though Dave:
Yes, and I hate batteries and chargers even more than ever...
My two feed wires come in perpendicular, are clamped to the rails, have a loop buried, and very little deep frost here.
90% stock LGB joiners with paste, 10% Hillman clamps.
Track is floating in 1/4" manufactured fines, below that about 4" of 3/4" crush compacted. The track is in a flower bed about 1' off the ground.
Slug trails, bird doo and sap...yup, but I'd want to remove that even if it was battery powered...don't like bringing all that in on my shelves either.
Temperate yes, but I still go out and plow snow when we get it...only problem is over trestles where it will ice over.
Like I said, every situation is different...for me it was a perfect fit...
I do run live steam as well, and after a while I use a hard sponge soaked with some LGB smoke fluid to take off the oil prior to running electrics again.

Keith
 

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If you come over in the daytime next time, I'll let you experience it and see what you think. It works great, and many "horror stories" are greatly exaggerated.

Regards, Greg
 

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And yet, all offers to come up here, install it, and MAINTAIN it were refused.....

I have a good one for ya.
We've run through 4 power outtages (one for 5 days), and ran trains (the batteries were charged and ready to go).

How many have you run through?
 

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We don't have power outages down here, they are all used up in the northwest!

It's pretty darn rare, but I have a 10kw generator, so I do not have any potential problems.

ha ha ha.... the climate is just too nice here... sorry!

It works fine in the 2 weeks of annual rain too...

Regards, Greg
 

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Dave,

Greg has the right idea, a generator.. But if you do not have a generator you can use the 1 or 2 car batteries to power the system..

BulletBob
 

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Do I run DCC outdoors. Yep been doing so since 1992 in rain, snow, ice, power outages and this is the NE so lots of acid rain and dirt.

We have 2000-2500 ft of track outdoors and a load of locomotives.

Track is floating in gravel.

And yes I also have live steam / RC/ and the like but preder DCC.

1/2 of the railroad is brass track and 1/2 is stainless steel. I do recommend stainless as it works better for this application.

I have also converted about 2/3 of my roster to hybrid drive which combines the benefits of batteries and the benefits of DCC.


There are lots of good systems in the large scale maket. For my railroad DCC with hybrid drive is the best fit.

Stan Ames
www.tttrains.com/largescale
 

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No plastic frogs.
No power-routing in the turnouts.
No microswitches in the turnouts to A) rust or B) explode.
No worry about going to visit another railroad and whether or not they have 21V max or 23.5V max.
No worries is they have an older DCS system .
No worries about taking a 1K ohm resistor to get my engine to "program".
Don't care if the railroads I visit are straight DC or not.
Run on live-steam railroads with some engines utilizing shorted drivers.
Don't have to listen to Stanley.

I've got more.......
 

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Well i really do not worry about my DCC locos being able to run on some one else s RR as they will run either or. Battery is such a bore charging and all that goofy stuff. Power goes out just crank up the old gen and run run run trains no interruptions to re charge. I've seen the light.
BTW pay my way and I'll have you up and running in no time
Later RJD
 

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Posted By Curmudgeon on 11/06/2008 6:04 PM
No plastic frogs.
No power-routing in the turnouts.
No microswitches in the turnouts to A) rust or B) explode.
No worry about going to visit another railroad and whether or not they have 21V max or 23.5V max.
No worries is they have an older DCS system .
No worries about taking a 1K ohm resistor to get my engine to "program".
Don't care if the railroads I visit are straight DC or not.
Run on live-steam railroads with some engines utilizing shorted drivers.
Don't have to listen to Stanley.

I've got more.......


Dave,

It really has gotten humorous how you try so hard to misrepresent things and can not miss an opertunity to try to insult others.

I have no problems with any of the above. No difference, just a different system. I will admit you have me on one item. On my railroad I use mostly track signal and thus my live steam must have insulated wheels. It is a shortcoming I am more then willing to accept. Fortunately most manufacturers have learned that insultated drives for live steam increases sales.

You have chosen a system for your railroad that fits your needs. Others have chosen systems that more fit their needs. No big deal. The hobby supports both.

Stan Ames
http://www.tttrains.com/largescale/
 

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I think this is just about the funniest thing I have seen.

I've talked to some others in the nmra.
Gatta have universaility of dcc.
Why?
So when you bring an engine to my RR you can address it from my controller.

Try and try, cannot explain to them you don't want that.
You don't want everyone on the same frequency.

They CANNOT get they narrow minds around the term "fully self-contained".

Packet transfer.

What is the percentage on an indoor, scrupulously clean layout?
What's the best you can get (without your capacitive transfer) outdoors?

Know how many folks with dcc of any ilk can run on my railroad?

Know how many gauge one railroads I can run on?

How may booster districts would I need for 20 full trains doing wayfreight ops at once on 1500 feet of up to 4%.

Keep it up, Stanley.
We do so love to read what ytou put in print.

So, tell me, harkening back to the thread on 3-truck Quasi-Nami Shays........

What happens if someone takes his locomotive to a railroad that's MTS/
What if that person has swallowed, hook, line and sinker, "plug and play" and has no idea how to fix it, even if so instructed?
 
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Basically, if your railroad works with DC, it will work better with DCC.

If DC doesn't work, for any number of reasons, DCC won't work either.

I've not yet experienced any of the problems, save one, that TOC thinks are so fatal and I've been using DCC out of doors for over 10 years. That one problem is track oxidation and dirt, it happens, but it is no big deal, at least in my environment.

However, I also run battery power and I have experienced failed batteries, intermittent operation, sometimes poor R/C range. Maybe I'm not using the "right" stuff in my battery power conversions, but the experience has left me with the "meh" opinion.
 

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Cougar Rock Rail, ".... I run brass LGB track, and find that the whole oxidation and dirty track issues have been blown WAY out of proportion by people with vested interests. ...."

I do maintance to a group that uses DC track power with LGB locomotives and LGB brass track indoors. They run 365/366 days a year, 7 days a week, ~18 hours a day. If you do NOT clean the track the motos on the locomotives will be screwed. How do I know this, I have TEN motors and EIGHT locomotives at my house waiting for motors due to UNCLEANED track. So, you tell me....... Am I blowing things out of proportion?

Cougar Rock Rail, "....I can guarantee the time I spend watching the track cleaner go around a couple times is a lot less than the f*&ting around they do with their batteries...."

That is probably true. But how many times do you have to clean your track inorder to run your train? 100% time.....90% of the time.... I run battery RCS and the track is cleaned when there are large objects that would derail a train (and that is done while I am running the train mind you). So, in the long run, who spends the most wasted time.......

For me, in the Pacific Northwest, DCC is NOT an option. For me battery RCS is the ONLY option. But that is ME.....
 

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Posted By Snoq Pass on 11/10/2008 9:20 AM


That is probably true. But how many times do you have to clean your track inorder to run your train? 100% time.....90% of the time.... I run battery RCS and the track is cleaned when there are large objects that would derail a train (and that is done while I am running the train mind you). So, in the long run, who spends the most wasted time.......

For me, in the Pacific Northwest, DCC is NOT an option. For me battery RCS is the ONLY option. But that is ME.....


To answer your question we had anoperating session on Sunday.

Time spend in clearing railroad - about 2 hours. We had had a lot of bad weather and the leaves were wet and really think in spots.

Time cleaning track - about 15 minutes not a necessary step and not always done. After a storm there is a lot of real dirt on the rails and I perfer not to get this dirt in the drive trains so I wipe the rails down with demin attached to a pole sander. I walk briskly in this step and only stop to get the small twigs (and sometime large branches) off the track. We have 2000 ft of track to walk so thats why it takes 15 minutes.

While each of us have personnel preferences for what we prefer, there are no geographical boundries.

With DCC as a packet transmission approach you have a full range of choices from DCC with track power, to full RC/Battery DCC, to a variety of hybrid solutions inbetween. There are a lot of manufacturers in the DCC world providing a welth of options.

In Large Scale we are very fortunate to have a wide variety of good options to control our railroads. Each of us has chosed a control option that we like for our railroads. Each has advantages and each has disadvantages. In the end all that matters is that we are happy with how our railroad operates.

Stan Ames
http://www.tttrains.com/sjrp/
 
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