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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I currently collect 2 scales. N & Large 1:20.3. For my n scale layout I have switched over to DCC this last year and loving it. I would like to switch my large scale layout over.. I currently have a Digitrax Zephyr with a DT400R throttle.

For my large scale set up, I have a temporary layout using Aristo Steel. I'm currently purchasing Sunset Valley for my perminant layout.

My Engines include all Bachmann:
K-27 w/ QSI aristo sound decoder & programmer software
Consolidation w/ Soundtraxx Sierra
Side Tank Porter

My questions.

Will I only need a Digitrax DB200+ 8amp Booster to get started on running 2 engines at a time?
I'm sure I will need a DCC meter to determine how many amps each decoder would use. Would you recomemnd one like Tony's DCC reader? Is there a cheaper option?

Since my K-27 is the only engine with a mobile/sound decoder, I will need to purchase decoders for the rest of my engines. I will have to read up if the Sierra has a mobile decoder.

Since I have the QSI programmer, I should stick with using a QSI magnum with my Shay. Is there any known problems with installing that sound decoder with the Shay?

Also any recommendations for a mobile only decoder for the Porter.

The QSI decoder on DC is an obvious pain without a battery, so switching to DCC is a must.

Thank You for your time.


· Premium Member
175 Posts
Hi Ralph-

You wrote:
Would you recomemnd one like Tony's DCC reader? Is there a cheaper option?

The Tony's meter works fine and it is my personal preference. However, there are other methods of reading track voltage without buying a scope.

Digitrax gives instructions for reading the DCC voltage between each rail and the ground.

NCE also provides a DCC meter schematic. Here is a discussion, including a link to the meter schematic:

Best regards,

· Premium Member
426 Posts

The DB200 will be OK.. In large scale you will want a power supply that can supply 8 amps @ 24 volts DC or 18 volts AC.. You can contact Bachmann about a sound decoder for the Shay or install a QSI Magnum.. For the Consolidation I would use the DG 583S with the Soundtraxx or install a QSI Magnum.. I have a old Porter & the stall current was less than 1 amp.. For the Porter I would use a HO decoder that has about 1.5 amp constant & 2 amps stall current..

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