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Which DCC System Do You Prefer?

Ed is new the hobby and would like to hear opinions on the various DCC systems:

“Hi, I’m just getting into the hobby. My question is witch dcc system is a better buy? I’m just going to be using it at home for my own use (no club) by myself. My layout will be a 12 by 12 someday. I’m caught between NCE power cap  or digitrax system. I’m not real computer smart at 65. I need something easy to program and easy too run any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Ed”

5 Responses to Which DCC System Do You Prefer?

  • Graemesays:

    Hi Ed I’m also 65 and old school I don’t even have a mobile phone. Now I got into model railway 4 years ago just standard DC but I found it boring so I updated very quickly to a Hornby Elite very easy to use and to programme Decoders. Then I decided to go bigger now I have a huge n scale layout running ,15 locos with sound on 8 main lines 1 turntable, fiddleyard,and 26 sets of points.The layout is built around the room with the command centre in the middle. The DCC system of choice is the NCE power cab + Throttle Cab with a 5amp booster the reason for the throttle cab is so I can control 12 locos 6 on each cab, they are so easy to use with plain English instructions that are easy to understand and the 5amp booster has power to spare. The cost $230 for the power cab which is really all you need for a normal home layout, that can run 6 locos without problem , I just wanted the extra to be able to extend without any hassle. The Throttle Cab was $130 and the 5amp SB5 booster was $ 250 so all up $610 that’s Aussie Dollars not US Dollars hope that helps Graeme

  • Mikesays:

    Hi Ed,

    I’m over 65 and I returned to railway modelling almost 10 years ago after very very loooong break. Previously, in 60’s and 70’s of XX century, it was HO gauge DC system from former East Germany (I live in Poland), yhe only available. This time I started with DCC. I’m not a member of any club, I also do it for myself. At the moment I have “test” 6’x9′ layout under construction to train “artistic” problems of making layouts, because all problems concerning electric connections and track laying are rather simple for me.
    At the beginning I had also the same problem: which system is better. After analysis I decided to buy Lenz SET100 (Lenz 60100), consisting of LZV100 command station with 5A booster and LH100 throttle. This set has most advanced and simple in use throttle. It allows to set values of decoders’ CV’s and is equipped with RailCom allowing to read values of CV’s previously set. Cost of such SET100 set is about $400. Additionally it is possible to buy cheaper and simpler throttles LH90 ($120) and LH01 ($50). You can read detail description and instruction on SET100, LZV100, LH100, LH90 and LH01 at LENZ web-site.
    My locos are equipped with ZIMO MX645 series and ESU LokSound V4.0 series sound decoders, depending on sounds available for specified loco. I have also 4 decoders for lamps in some of my passenger cars. I designed these decoders by myself taking schematic diagram and software from “Paco’s Official Website”; it was some time ago, now this decoder isn’t available on this website. As I mentioned above I live in Poland, so all locos and car types are Polish State Railways (PKP) from III and IV eras. I use Tillig Elite code 83 track and points. Me and many other railway modellers find this track family as one of most realistic.
    I think it’s all I can write to – may be – give You helpful information.


  • I am 85 A lifelong model railroader. I use Lenz. It is easier to use than the other systems. I also use a CVP system which is compatible with Lenz. It has the best wireless controls.

  • John Allansays:

    I agree with Graeme above and use NCE Power Cab at home and at my at my Model club. Hull Miniature Railway Society. It’s very good and easy to use. Other members at the the Club use Digitrix System and find it works well for them. You may not know that NEC made or still make for other suppliers as well as there own. Please look on both web sites for the latest info. Good luck.

  • Peter Nygaard Hansensays:

    I’m 61 and started up with Z21 when it came out. Using cellphone and different notepads to visualize whats going on. You can use as many as you want plus a number of Multimaus. Diesels on one telephone,, steam on an other, electric on a pad or all on one! Very easy to learn and use. Very intuitiv and good control over the system. Currently I run 32 locomotives on the Z21 and all locos have an induvidual settings. Save all settings on amemory card in your phone or pad as a backup of all settings. I even use mirroring from telephone and notepads so I can see what happens on on a 47″ tv screen on the wall!
    I use ESU sound decoders exclusively. It is compatible with a lot of other systems. You can start with a Roco Multimaus system an go from there. Cheap on Ebay. I have a degre in electronics and a degree in pedagogic/psycotherapy. You don’t have to have any education to use Z21/Multimaus. I use it because I like to have good control over the locos and easy to learn. (A little lazy?)


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