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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening,

Ok, DCC has gained a lot of support from users. I'm interested, but would like to know what I would need, what would work with my equipment, and if anything I have now would work.

I have a Digitrax Super Empire setup for my small scale railroad.

Large scale I'm running Bachmann steam engines, 4-6-0's, 2-8-0, and a 2-6-0 Indy Mogul.

I have an Ultima 10 amp power supply that I currently run with the Crest Train Engineer system for my large scale layout.

Questions:

Could the Ultima be used as a power booster with the Digitrax system?

What would be good decoders to use in the Bachmann engines?

Is the setup, i.e. decoder installs difficult in the Bachmann equipment?

Anything else I'm not thinking about currently that anyone can add?

Michael
 

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The power supply will work for Large Scale DCC. Parts of the Digitrax will also work in a Large Scale System. You could also use a Digitrax decoder in the Bachman. If the Loco is DCC ready the install is quite easy, others get more difficult. Being that you are using DCC in a smaller scale it should be much easier for you. The lighting in USA loco is a problem because of the high current draw, best to convert them to LED's.
 

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Michael,

Yes, the Ultima 10 amp should work, that is what I have and works good for providing power to my NCE DCC system.

Any DCC motor decoder should work in the Bachmann; Digitrax, NCE, Lenz, Massoth, Zimo, QSI ...
The only Bachmann I've set up with DCC is the K-27, which is newer, however, I've installed them in locos that had no pre-wiring and I found it fairly easy. The motor decoders are pretty small so they fit in any loco.

Are you planning on using the Aristo TE for control? Or are you looking at other DCC systems? Are you looking at sound systems -- if so you might look at combination decoders that control both motor and sound. Do you want to control lights and smoke units with DCC? Do you want to control turnouts with DCC?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Posted By jimtyp on 04/16/2008 9:13 AM
Michael,
Are you planning on using the Aristo TE for control? Or are you looking at other DCC systems? Are you looking at sound systems -- if so you might look at combination decoders that control both motor and sound. Do you want to control lights and smoke units with DCC? Do you want to control turnouts with DCC?




I wasn't aware the TE could be used for DCC control?? I have a Digitrax Super Empire system for HO; was considering using that on the outside as well...?
 

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Posted By Michael Tollett on 04/15/2008 8:46 PM
...Could the Ultima be used as a power booster with the Digitrax system?
What would be good decoders to use in the Bachmann engines?
Is the setup, i.e. decoder installs difficult in the Bachmann equipment?
Anything else I'm not thinking about currently that anyone can add?
...





Well, let's first try to UN-CONFUSE things.
There are boosters for DCC, they are not normally called "POWER BOOSTERS"
The Ultima is definitely not a "BOOSTER"

The ULTIMA is a "POWER SUPPLY"

For DCC the "POWER SUPPLY" provides power to the DCC "COMMAND STATION" and any throttles connected to it.

The "COMMAND STATION" supplies a DCC digital track signal to the rails. It controls AND powers the trains.

A BOOSTER takes a low current DCC signal and boosts the amperage it can deliver to the rails.
(A booster needs a power supply just like a command station. You can use a Ultima to power a command station, booster and perhaps other devices on the railroad that need a 22 volt DC supply.)

Your command station that came with the empire-builder set will deliver up to 5 amps to the rails. So the total number of trains you can run at one time will be determined by the grades, length of trains, speed, and number of additional lights (and smoke units) you run AT THE SAME TIME"

Just as a rough estimate, Your 5 amp system can run 2 or 3 typical Bachmann trains at the same time. (Or 3 to 5 LGB trains)

To run more trains at the same time, you will need a DCC booster. When buying Digitrax command stations and boosters (normally 5 amps) ALWAYS upgrade them at the time of purchase to the 8 amp versions. It usually only cost about 20 dollars extra to get the 8 amp versions.

You should already have a power supply for you HO layout, It should be able to put out 5 amps at 16 volts. It will need to be able to put out 5 amps at 22 volts if you want to use it for "G" scale. If it does, simply change the "N","HO","G" switch to the "G" position on your command station. If you existing supply can't provide 5 amps at 22 volts, then use the Ultima. It will supply up to 10 amps.

One thought here. Use the Ultma to power a new 8 amp booster (DB200) feed the output of the 8 amp booster to the garden railroad. Leave all the rest of the system connected to the HO layout. Connect a Loconet cable between the command station and the booster. Now, as long as you make sure you do not have both an HO loco and a "G" loco set to the same address, you will be able to run both layouts with a single walk-around throttle.

Have Fun.

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