What is a good DCC Transformer for beginners?

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#1
Hello, I am looking for a simple DCC transformer that allows me to get the most out of a DCC equipped locomotive. I've looked at the NCE Powercab and find it might be too complex for my experience level. I've also looked at the Ez command transformer from Bachmann. However, I am looking for input from other people with more experience. Thank you.
 

Motley

Active Member
#2
The NCE Powercab is your best choice. It is not complicated at all really. I got the NCE Power House Pro 5 amp when I was a complete newbie, and got it hooked up and running within an hour. Just read the manual.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
#4
I am with Motley! NCE is great, American made, great service and support.

I went with the NCE DCC Twin starter set with power supply and a NCE ProCab all for under $250 including shipping. I chose that for price and because 3 amps is more then enough for me and I have 2 grandsons so 3 throttles is perfect for me.

In my mind and for my money you can't go wrong with any NCE set up. Depending on what you needs are almost all DCC systems are pretty good. Some have different features and power supplies.

You can start with a NCE DCC Twin for about $125, but you won't have all the functions of DCC. You can always all a ProCab later for about another $125 and then you have all the functions.

I use EZ Track and the power cable for the Bachmann track hooks right up to my NCE, no problems. I would imagine it would hook up to any DCC system because one end is just bare wire.
 
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#6
I would surely look at the MRC Prodigy 2. Very simple and enough power for a good sized layout. Much easier to get used to and you can convert to wireless when you are ready. The manual is very easiy and not complicated.
Wayne
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#7
I am looking for a simple DCC transformer that allows me to get the most out of a DCC equipped locomotive.
I'm sorry but you need to clarify what you mean by "get the most out of". The more I think about it the less that means. What do you want it to do besides go forward and back, fast and slow, turn the head light on and off? Are you interested in speed curving, and setting your own CVs? That is not usually beginner stuff.

I've looked at the NCE Powercab and find it might be too complex for my experience level.
I don't believe it is any more complex than most of the others, in fact it might be easier than some. It is just a matter of reading the step by step instructions to do what you want and ignoring the 90% of instructions for things you will never want to do.

I've also looked at the Ez command transformer from Bachmann.
That seems to be the opposite end of the spectrum from the NCE. Bachmann also has a Dynamis DCC system which has much more functionality.

How many trains are you looking to run simultaneously? The NCE DCC-Twin is almost trivial to learn to use (entire user manual is only 8 pages), but it is very limited. It only does 2 trains and only on 2 channels without adding additional equipment.
The Digitrax Zephyr is a nearly fully featured beginners set that can run locomotives (up to 10 I believe) on just about any channel you want. Finally many people like the MRC Prodigy Express 2.
 
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cajon

Active Member
#8
For ease of learning & using you can't beat the NCE Power Cab. But try to go to as many places you can to try them yourself. These include your LHS, Local club l& home layouts. That way you can find one that "feels right for you. And while you're there ask alot of questions. Also there's alot of DCC info on this & other forums. Just look thru all the previous posts by using the search box.
 
#9
I converted over to DCC last summer.

I went with the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra. Its capable of more than I probably will ever need. It can handle up to 20 locos at a time, do any programming I need (more than I need/use). I also have several UT4 (cheap) throttles and added a UR90 IR receiver and can use the UT4 throttles via IR wireless by simply adding a 9V battery. The DCS51 was about $180.


JD
 
#10
I would surely look at the MRC Prodigy 2. Very simple and enough power for a good sized layout. Much easier to get used to and you can convert to wireless when you are ready. The manual is very easiy and not complicated.
Wayne
That has been my experience too.

It's as easy as hooking up two wires to the track but at the same time it can handle complex commands that you can build towards in the future. I started with the wired handheld but soon upgraded to wireless because that allows me to move around the layout and control the trains at the same time.

Don't overlook the MRC Prodigy 2.

Don't settle for something cheap just to get you started. Get something that can grow with your layout down the road.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
#11
Find out what most other modelers in your area are using (usually NCE or Digitrax) and go with that; then you'll have a local network of support if you run into problems.
 



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