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Discussion Starter #1
Having read many valued opinions I realize that my track needs to be set up for constant power (DCC) with an option to go battery as required or needed. This way I have total flexibility as my train world evolves. This is what I believe at this time and have yet to review an argument that tells me otherwise.

I really do suspect is that DCC can be upgraded (via software upgrades or otherwise) as time moves forward. Think DOS operating systems then and now VISTA. In other words... I would not be obsolete in a few years by latching into one particular platform.

That being said, this new TE Revolution by Aristo..... ummm. How real are their claims? From what I read the system looks like a winner. I'm sure I can integrate 3'rd party locos and accessories. This is but a simple install of a DCC decoder yes? I don't need to assign 50 locos as I will have 2 at best at one time however I do need to introduce a third party loco or accessory and have my control system accept it with "glee".

I really want flexibility and "plug'n play" as it relates to my locos... Aristo seems to offer this. I am into computers, however not into rewiring if you know what I mean.

(Thinking of Phoenix and that "Big Boy" stuff as time moves on)

AND someone mentioned a "solar powered" unit? Working a plan... Track could handle both options and this concept would really be interesting to explore from a hobby perspective.

Regards,

GG
 

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GG... the TE is not DCC, and is completely proprietary, and has no way to interface to a DCC sound board. It interfaces to boards that have "trigger inputs" which is pretty much limited to just the Phoenix and Dallee products.

So there is the standardization and huge functionality of DCC with dozens of suppliers of equipment that works together, or get the TE and buy only their motor controllers and limit what sound systems you use.

DCC is continually evolving, and adding features, but there's so many now, I haven't heard many requests that could not be handled.

Even MTH is going to put DCC compatibility into their fine line of motor and sound decoders.

You can always run battery on your layout, although you need to be sure that the battery units are completely disconnected from the rails for safety.

You can read my take on the new TE on my site...


http://www.elmassian.com/trains-mainmenu-27/dcc-battery-rc-electronics-mainmenu-225/battery-power--remote-control-mainmenu-32/aristo-rc

It's not out in the general public yet, so some things may change.


Regards, Greg



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greg, good input and thanks...

Your comments say... maybe acquire Loco's here with a "simple Decoder" and then with time build the control system. ?

I do not want to get tied into anyone's system.


Regards,

gg
 

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The only "standard" is DCC where you can buy from multiple manufacturers...

The control systems, i.e. the throttles are proprietary, you do have to choose there, but you can buy an entry level control system (throttle, command station) and then change boosters (more power for more locos) and control systems later.

All of your DCC decoders will work on any system. Thus your major investment is protected.

Easy DCC and the MRC system come to mind.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Refreshing info:

MRC... can you give me a thread on this topic?

AS for your comment on power consumption in California (earlier comment) and as I live in North Canada...

Try $400 CAD per month Heating (nat gas) and electricity (base consumption and AC) balanced over thye year yes? Average...

We, here in the north just came out of a cold snap that lasted a month @ an average of -25 C

I was thinking of the G-scale snow blowers on a track at this temp... What fun. Stiff snow I say

gg
 

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Hi GG
Sometimes the words "EASY" or "SIMPLE" are sales speak for "We never got around to finishing our system . Only half the features that our competitors have are now working, but, we got it to the point where it will sort of run the trains and so here it is. Maybe by the time you realize you need a real system, we will have gotten everything working and you can throw this one away buy an entire new one from us."


A good DCC system is supported with lots of add on devices so the system grows. You only buy the functionality you need. It is a good idea to consider the system that very large MRR clubs use successfully. You can be sure you will never outgrow your system. Then buy just the components you need. For example, one 8 amp command station/booster from Digitrax and a Utility throttle will get you going. YOU CAN"T GET MUCH SIMPLER THAN THAT. That system can be expanded to handle 80 or more operators at one time. It can do just about anything that can be done on DCC.
Since you want maximum versatility, be sure that the decoders you buy will automatically run on analog DC. That way your locos will run on analog layouts.

Make sure the DCC system you buy will support running a loco without a decoder (aka "zero pulse stretching" or "analog loco as loco zero"). That way you can run visitors non DCC locos.
(Not all decoders or systems support analog conversion)


If you do the above, then your layout will support locos with DCC, DC, Battery/RC or (with an additional component) live steam.


If you want to run your locos on other layouts, then there are two options:
  1. If the layout is DCC or DC, you can run any of your DCC locos on those layouts.
  2. If the layout will not accept a track power connection to the rails then you can still run any of your DCC locos, but there are two requirements.
    1. The locos must have a plug on the back of the loco to accept a DCC track signal, and a switch to disconnect the rails from the decoder.
    2. You need to build a DCC battery car. It is really simple. You need two 12 volt motorcycle batteries, a command station and a wireless throttle receiver. Build a harness with plugs on it so you can take your layout command station and drop it into a boxcar with the batteries. You need a plug to mate with the locos connected to the DCC command stations track outputs. I fit my Digitrax command station in an LGB boxcar, but it took a little modification of the floor to get it to fit. A 1:20 scale Bachmann boxcar is a much easier fit. If the railroad you are visiting does not run live steam, and their track conducts and is not shorted, you can even make an jumper with alligator clips to go from the boxcar to the track and then you will be able to run several locos at once on the layout.
I hope this helps

B0B
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, everything helps here and thanks to both for some quality input.

This is indeed a hobby that challenges the brain. Not to mention strategy.

I will start with my basic yard (abeit limited) plan and build a robust and wide curve railroad. I will then prove same with my basic starter and proven LGB xmas train...

Then... "watch out"...


I really appreciate your input. You have saved me many dollars here.

gg
 

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I'm a novice at this, a total novice. I'm currently running DCC using Airwire and constant track power. The DCC information is sent over the air, rather than the track. This is a slightly odd way to do it, although it works quite well. Her'es how I got there.


I started out using Aristo's 75 hz onboard system, which is extremely simple. Really it just does speed and direction, and if you do a lot of extra fussing you can get it to trigger sounds. Then Aristo announced they were discontinuing the system, leaving me with considreable invested in a proprietary system that's now dead. Annoying. But it's pretty robust and again, it's simple. 2nd graders can run it with no trouble.


Aristo's new system promises to do marvelous things, but so did the 75 mhz system, and it didn't do what what prmised. It worked fine, but never matched the hype. The new system may be really great--Aristo makes some really great stuff. It may do everything they say, and simply. But I'd be cautious, for two reasons.

I would wait to see the system in operation for six months before thinking about buying. There will be a lot of inital glowing reviews, and then the real story will start to emerge. Again, it may be really great, I'm not saying it's no good. But th track record with the 75 mhz system was lots of hype, lots of promises, a different reality.


Do you want a proprietary system? One supplier., one set of components. I sank considerable dough into the 75 mhz system. Now it's dead. If the same thing happens with the new systems...

One advatage of DCC is interchangeability, as mentioned. So you're protected from the failure of a product line.



But Arsto is great at making it simple. They really work on that. They don't always execute exactly right, but they really work on making it easy, and by all accunts the new system is really easy.

DCC is not--not at all. As mentuoned, it's like DOS. I want to put two locos in a consist. I've wanted to do it for like a month now. I still have not had time to sit down with the two manuals I'll need and figure out how to do it. That's ridiculous! It should not be that complicated or coumbersome. I have a loco that starts and stops to abruptly. I want to use DCC to change that. Yikes! It should be as easy as turnign a knob or dragging a slider on a screen, but instead it takes a very complicated sequence of key commands.



Aristo claims to have found a way to get a lot of the functions of DCC without the fuss. If they have, they will sell a lot of units. But I'd stil be hesitant, fr the reasons listed above
 

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Posted By lownote on 01/12/2009 7:36 AM

... snip ...
(SIMPLE)
DCC is not--not at all. As mentuoned, it's like DOS. I want to put two locos in a consist. I've wanted to do it for like a month now. I still have not had time to sit down with the two manuals I'll need and figure out how to do it. That's ridiculous! It should not be that complicated or coumbersome. I have a loco that starts and stops to abruptly. I want to use DCC to change that. Yikes! It should be as easy as turnign a knob or dragging a slider on a screen, but instead it takes a very complicated sequence of key commands.



Aristo claims to have found a way to get a lot of the functions of DCC without the fuss. If they have, they will sell a lot of units. But I'd stil be hesitant, fr the reasons listed above







Let's be clear. DCC is a serial protocol not much different from RS232 or USB .

The difficulty you are having with consisting has to do with the brand or model of the SYSTEM you chose.

Keep in mind that every DCC maker has it's own target market. Some "entry level", "beginner", or "easy" brands of DCC systems have the very easiest form of consisting of all.

It's SIMPLE. They don't provide any ability to Consist multiple locos.
Other systems might provide several options for consisting. Perhaps their target is large club layouts.
A couple examples:
  1. On my Digitrax system, a handheld CAB, has two throttles (knobs for controlling a loco). Select one loco on the left knob, select another loco on the right knob. Drive one loco over to the other loco and couple them together. Make sure they are both set to move in the same direction. Now the complicated part, you have to push TWO buttons... Press the [MU]button. MU stands for Multi Unit. the screen will prompt you to confirm you want to add the loco on the left knob to the loco on the right knob. Press the [Y] button. Now you can run both locos with just the right throttle knob. That's it! Two button-clicks, Real hard :
 

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I hate to see someone struggle: (and I'm not picking on lownote, I'm picking on AirWire!!!)


Lownote says:

DCC is not--not at all. As mentuoned, it's like DOS. I want to put two locos in a consist. I've wanted to do it for like a month now. I still have not had time to sit down with the two manuals I'll need and figure out how to do it. That's ridiculous! It should not be that complicated or coumbersome. I have a loco that starts and stops to abruptly. I want to use DCC to change that. Yikes! It should be as easy as turnign a knob or dragging a slider on a screen, but instead it takes a very complicated sequence of key commands.

It's not DCC, unfortunately, AirWire's user interface is poor in my opinion. DCC programming seems like an afterthought. The system I use supports programming and consisting so easily it's silly.

Adjusting the start voltage is CV2 and it's as simple on my system:


  1. Press program (the screen verifies the loco number you want to program) (hit enter)
  2. select "CV" (I think says hit 2 for CV) (press "2")
  3. The screen prompts: "enter CV number"... (press "2")
  4. The screen prompts: "enter CV value"... press 5 (or whatever setting you want)
You are done... it definitely took me longer to type this than to do it.


I use an NCE system, and I took a neophyte OVER THE PHONE and had him running in a few minutes on his brand new system.

The system does not use complicated programming, it prompts you in simple english.


The higher-end systems have more ease of use.

There are some "entry level" system that have an easy to use user interface.


This is why I advise reading about systems, and going to see someone use it, like visiting a club. I read about DCC for about 4 years, and made my decision sight unseen, but I read about every system I could get my hands on.




Regards, Greg
 

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How can you not love this site!
You guys have answered questions in simple english that I didn't even know I had.
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yipper, I agree

Greg this famous NCE system .... Do they have power supplies > 5 amp. Can't seem to find

And yes there is something to be said re the MTH control system. I think that they are coming out with a proto-sound 3 version that is DCC compatible??? I'm in this for the "sound" If they did this release then the world is mine in being able to work with anyone's loco...



gg
 

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I still like Airwire, and QSI, even though i still don't know how to use all of it as of yet, but I am learning everyday. bot manuals do leave alot to be desired, but i guess it's like everything else new, you just have to get in there make a few mistakes (hope it doesn't blow anything expensive up) and JUST DO IT!!!! LOL The Regal



DON'T READ THIS POST GO DOWN ONE hee hee
 

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I still like Airwire, and QSI, even though i still don't know how to use all of it as of yet, but I am learning everyday. both manuals do leave alot to be desired, but i guess it's like everything else new, you just have to get in there make a few mistakes (hope it doesn't blow anything expensive up) and JUST DO IT!!!! LOL The Regal


Sorry for the double post but it would not let me cancel or delete it!!! So for pete sake's just read the second one ok???? LOL
 

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GG, their boosters go up to 10 amp capacity. I can point you to an appropriate regulated switching power supply for $85, I use 27 volts and 11 amps.

Read some of my stuff on DCC on my site, I show the equipment. Now, I just happen to like the NCE throttles best, in terms of what I need and what they cost. There are a number of good systems, and everyone's tolerance for how easy it is to use varies.

I've got an engineering background, I could use anything myself, but I have visitors, and this system makes the most sense for me. Had a niece bring her 10 year old and 8 year old over the other day, first time.

After about 1/2 hour of running, they were both not only running by themselves, but they were throwing switches and going through turnouts and ringing the bell, and whistle, and even doing the "doppler shift" on the horn/whistle (a QSI feature)...

As an aside, it has to be remembered that there are always going to be 2 parts to controlling, how the controller sends/executes commands, and what commands have what effect on the decoders.

There are a number of "standard" things like what rings the bell, blows the horn, etc. Where the variation is in more complex operations. NCE excels at doing stuff the easy way in my opinion.

Regards, Greg
 

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Thanks for all the great responses to the Pres' of the aspiring shortline 3 hrs north of here !

Will have to visit Gregs' site to read up on this NCE sys and then chk for availbility of the various components regionally or as imports !



Simplicity !!?


doug c

p.s. as i just mentioned on the other thread re: the Revo' sys, OOOOPs CORRECTION !!!

SORRY I had forgot yesterday to 'translate' retail into Cdn funds !



http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/view/topic/postid/69289/forumid/35/tpage/3/Default.aspx#74636
the AC beta-test deal seems to be monetarily a deal for us even up here north of the 49th ! SOooooo if you like the challenges of BETA- testing, have the $ to buy in, , and learning new things go for it . . . . . IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, I agree based on my readings.

I had the opportunity to visit Ray's DCS website as it applies to the MTH system and I was totally blown away by the options and simplicity.

AND, give me an engine with a flywheel.... it can be refitted.

I am truly impressed with the MTH system... VERY impressed and as I've said... I have no problem working computers.... soldering them togther is an other issue !.

Proto-sound 3 may allow for more flexibility and at the same time provide an easy "bullet proof starters" platform? Thus allowing for growth!

As you can see I am being influenced.

gg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Is there a fellow Canuk within reach here in the North Country and would this lad be from "Brown Cow Town" ???
 

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Greg,

The NCE website seems to be a little bit on the weak side compared to Digitrax. Is NCE kind of a new company or small company?
-------
Also, my two cents, I'm a big fan of two-way communication which makes transponding important to me. I'd like to see Digitrax do more with transponding but so far not much has happened...in any event, those are advanced applications and you want simple :) From my short experience here it seems Greg knows his stuff.

I'd be interested to know if NCE or others are going to bi directional communication. The new Aristo Revolution can but it appears it is a useless feature at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
DCS has transponding capability.

Prove me wrong...
I am but being educated by the internet and these great chats on the forum.


Becoming bias... GG
 
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