What DCC systems are you using in Z

Garth-H Nov 23, 2009

  1. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am interested in what are the most popular systems being used currently by current DCC users.
    What decoders are you using in your MTL Geeps/ AZL SD75i/ MTL F7

    cheerz Garth
     
  2. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    The ZoCal group uses the same system as the BAZ Boyz use. That way when we set up our Z Bend modules together we can use our own controllers. I have used Digitrax before but the NCE system is easier to use. Most of us use the wireless NCE system, but a few still use the corded NCE controls.
    I use Digitrax, NCE, and TCS decoders. The TCS Z-2 is the smallest 1 amp decoder around and works good in the AZL SD70 - about the only decoder that fits it. Any decoder should work with any DCC system. It is when you start getting into sound equipped decoders that problems can happen. We just don't have the luxury of using sound, mostly because of the size constraints. Not that it couldn't happen eventually...
     
  3. animek

    animek TrainBoard Member

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    Do you know if; When the SurroundTraxx Multi-Train system will become available that the NCE system will or will not be compatible with it?

    Ben
     
  4. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Ben, the SurroundTraxx uses Transponding, not available in NCE decoders (an extremely small segment of the market use anything more than default motor and lights). They were going to make a version based on simple block detection ($10 detectors from many sources, compatible with any DCC system) but this does not work with more than one loco but can work on 2 (or more) parallel tracks.
    .
     
  5. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    NCE is not yet supported for Surroundtraxx, but I am waiting for someone to come out with something for under the table block detection sound for NCE.

    We need to grow Z Scale some more so these people will take notice that we exist. After all, us Z Scalers have all the money, and are more than willing to part with it to get what we want! :D
     
  6. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those of you using DCE systems for DCC control do you do anything to reduce the track voltage and amperage for Z-scale operation

    cheerz Garth
     
  7. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

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    Robert has turned his voltage down on his NCE system. I have left mine alone at 5 amp and 14v AC with no problems for several ZoCal shows now. Running up to eight engines easily.
    When I was at Portola with Jeff and Robert, we were using Jeff's PowerCab with only a 2 amp power supply and with five engines, Jeff's tortoise machines and LED's all on the same circuit, we were only using .69 amps. The PowerCab shows you amps being used on it.

    Or is it PowerPro? I always mix those two up.
     
  8. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I used to use voltage dropping diodes, but I desided not to use them. I haven't run into any problems with the engines. I been running it at full voltage for over two years. By the way, I use the NEC Powercab, and I highly recommend it. Its just so easy to use. Its too bad NEC doesnt make a drop in decoder for z, because its so easy to program a NEC decoder with the Powercab. I remap a NEC decoder, and I doub I can do it to another decoder.
     
  9. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks David and John

    Power Cab is what I am looking at with the wall wart transformer. I think I would rather turn the track power down to start with as I learn the system and how to limit power to motor so I do not do any damage. I think I will also get USB interface and software to program via computer to program track.

    Robert how are you limiting the voltage to the track and at what limit.

    thanks Garth
     
  10. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

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    Garth,
    NCE makes both the Power Cab and the Power Pro units. the Power Cab is an entry level system with the wall-watt transformer you described and is rated at 2amps. The Pro Cab is the more andvanced system with a seperate booster (the Power Cad uses the throlle as the booster). The Pro booster has a pot sick in it that will allow you to regulate the track voltage. The Power Cab does not.

    Pro Cabs can be bought as either or standard unit, or as wireless (like what Robert and i have). You can use a Power Cab throtle as an extra cab with a Pro unit as well. This is the main reason our club runs NCE.... Club members all run at home with Power Cab systems, and bring them to shows where we run my larger Pro unit.

    Tony B...
    Wasatch Z Club

    FYI: If you add up the addtional components for the Power Cab like the USB interface, and the Smart Booster, you'll find that buying a Pro Cab with all of these features is a good deal.
     
  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, the Pro Cab 5A systems I have, both have trim pots to set the track voltage. I set mine to 9 volts on one, and 10 volts on another, and so far everything works fine. One thing I have noticed is that on 9 volts, the MRC sound decoders reset every time they loose pickup, so a tiny piece of dirt while highballing with sound, causes you to stop, then re-start and ramp up speed and sound. Maybe higher voltage would help for sound decoders, but for everything else, 9 or 10 volts works fine.

    Also, it probably don't hurt anything to run with higher track voltage, except maybe Marklin motors if they get hot. We have not seen problems with coreless motor locos with 12 volts. Remember all the decoders drop 1.4 volts just getting through the bridge rectifier, so 12 becomes 10.6volts max possible to the motor.
     
  12. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Garth, like most all DCC systems, the track power is somewhat determined by the power supply. For the Power Cab, they use a 15V wall-wart (because of HO and N). You can use a 12v one. Any one that is a switch-type (those quite-a-bit smaller and lighter ones, rated at 2-to-3 amps. I can send you one from the surplus store around the corner. $10 including the postage. For the larger systems, they use an AC transformer to feed it (even though it might look like a regulated DC supply). Some, like the NCE ProCab Command Station have a regulater to set the voltage so the transformer AC voltage supply can't go too low.

    For more info, join the NCE-DCC forum on Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCE-DCC/
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