Looking for a DCC Controller for O-Scale 2-Rail

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#1
Hey Roundhouse Gang,

I'm getting tired of my unreliable 2-year-old MTH DCS Commander controller, which sometimes quits during a demonstration of my 127-foot O-Scale, 2-Rail single-track layout.
When this happens, I change to my 55-year-old MRC analog controller, which is utterly reliable, although it doesn't give me Whistle, Bell, Brake Squeal, Coupler Slack , Air Compressor Sound, and Steam Release. It does give me synchronized Chuffing, However!

I don't need much power, since I run only a single loco with a short consist, and no switches. Two amps max would be sufficient.
Both my engines are switchable between DCS and DCC.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,
Brakeman Hal
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#2
I think almost any of the popular systems would work. The MRC Prodigy Express is the exception being only 1.6A. Digitrax Zephyr has a power capacity of 2.5A, and the NCE Power-Cab is a capacity of 2A. Of course, it is always better to go with a higher capacity unit.

Therefore it is my opinion that you decide which system to get based on the throttle you prefer. The big hammer head of NCE, smaller hammer head of the Prodigy Elite, or the cube blocks of Digitrax and Lenz.
 
#4
Guys, I appreciate your replies concerning my desire for a simple DCC controller.

What I DON'T want is a controller with seperate Power Supply, Main Unit, and Throttle Unit.

I want everything IN ONE BOX, like my old MRC analog controller!

I don't like "walk around" throttles either...I command my railroad from one spot on the layout, which allows me to see my train leaving and returning from a distance, like a real railroad!

Does this narrow down the field?

Thanks,
Hal
 
#6
I've eliminated the MRC Prodigy Express because it's a 3-piece affair.

I've eliminated the NCE Power-Cab because it's a throttle only.

I'm considering the 3-amp Digitrax DCS 52, even though it has a seperate power supply. I like it because everything is on the front panel, including the throttle.

I'll be doing some YouTube research on this unit...what do you all think of it?

(Shown is a portion of my 127-foot Folded Dogbone in O-Scale 2-Rail)

Hal
002 (23).JPG

Hal
 
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jdetray

Active Member
#7
Hi Hal -

It may not be what you want, but the NCE Power Cab is more than a throttle. It is a command station, booster, and throttle, all built into the handheld. Its main limitation for your purposes is that it can provide only 2 Amps.

Good luck on your search.

- Jeff
 
#8
Hi Hal -

It may not be what you want, but the NCE Power Cab is more than a throttle. It is a command station, booster, and throttle, all built into the handheld. Its main limitation for your purposes is that it can provide only 2 Amps.

Good luck on your search.

- Jeff

Thanks, Jeff, but I don't like handheld controllers...I had one once and returned it.
I like my controller to stay in one place, like a concrete block!

My steamer pulling my 6-car consist up a 2% grade pulls only 0.5 Amperes at 13 volts DC.
Hal
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#9
Thanks, Jeff, but I don't like handheld controllers...I had one once and returned it.
I like my controller to stay in one place, like a concrete block!

My steamer pulling my 6-car consist up a 2% grade pulls only 1.5 AMPS.
If you are certain of that amperage it is sounding more like a Digitrax Zephyr to me. You can put some screws in the bottom and anchor it to your table.

I didn't mention it before because of the price, but the CVP system main unit is a panel that HAS to be mounted in a fixed position. I have one and don't use it for that reason (I have no layout to anchor it to). Behind the scenes it is three pieces though.
 
#10
Thanks, "Ferrous Cowboy" (Iron Horseman) :D

I was mistaken in the current draw of my loco when pulling its 6-car consist up my 2 % grade: The ammeter reads only HALF AN AMP instead the the 1.5 amps I originally stated.

Hal
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#11
Thanks, "Ferrous Cowboy" (Iron Horseman) :D

I was mistaken in the current draw of my loco when pulling its 6-car consist up my 2 % grade: The ammeter reads only HALF AN AMP instead the the 1.5 amps I originally stated.
All the better. And take second note of the screws (or some sort of mounting) to anchor the Zephyr, because it is anything but a cement block.
 

beiland

Well-Known Member
#12
If you are certain of that amperage it is sounding more like a Digitrax Zephyr to me. You can put some screws in the bottom and anchor it to your table.

I didn't mention it before because of the price, but the CVP system main unit is a panel that HAS to be mounted in a fixed position. I have one and don't use it for that reason (I have no layout to anchor it to). Behind the scenes it is three pieces though.
I may have one of those Zephyr units you can have cheap, as I will be using NCE wireless. Will have a look in my storage unit today.
 
#13
Thanks, beiland, but I just ordered a new DIGITRAX DCS52 dcc controller!

It should take care of all my needs (which are very few), since I have a single loco pulling a 6-car consist on a single track, with no switches.

My layout is as simple in operation as a 6-foot circular track going around a Christmas Tree!

Brakeman Hal
 
#14
Got my Digitrax DCS52 DCC Controller, and it works fine on my GP35 Diesel loco, with Bell, Horn, & other sounds, after setting the loco address to 0003, but I can't get any sounds for my Steamer, with its switches set to DCC and 2-Rail, and with the loco address set to 0003.

Like the GP35, it runs and has speed control, but no sounds.

Hal
 
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