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Asking the right questions to help you decide on your DCC system
It’s easy to get caught up in the marketing of any product, and DCC is no different. Different brands flaunt their specifications, claiming to have the “biggest” or “most powerful” feature, but this doesn’t mean a thing if the feature isn’t necessary to run the layout you choose. As mentioned above, it is extremely helpful to talk to other model railroaders about what they use and why. Pay close attention to what they say, and even take notes that are pertinent to your interests. When you narrow down your choices to three or four Digital Command Control systems, you can ask yourself the following questions to pinpoint your final choice.
- Are the controls easy to use?
- Do you like the layout of the throttle?
- How steep is the learning curve?
- How difficult is it to control multiple trains at the same time?
- How difficult is it to program locomotive decoders?
- Can you upgrade the DCC system?
- Can the turnout be thrown?
- Can you connect the DCC to a computer with ease?
You will also have to consider your budgetary constraints before pulling the trigger on your Digital Command Control. You may have to make some concessions, but the best choice for you will be the one that offers you the most features you want at the best price. When comparing Digital Command Control systems, it’s also important to compare cabs and throttles. Some are easier to use and more intuitive than others. Most newer systems from major manufacturers are comparable, but you’ll get far greater enjoyment out of your DCC if you understand and appreciate these essential features. If you’re still having trouble making that final choice, feel free to contact us at Litchfield Station with any of your questions. Our in-depth knowledge and experience may well prove indispensable as you jump into the wide world of DCC trains. Attaching a computer to a DCC system is become quite popular. If you’re interested in doing so, be sure to check and see if it’s possible with the system you select.
Are you a recreational user or casual hobbyist?
This is an important distinction because the casual hobbyist doesn’t need anywhere near the number of features that a seasoned railroader may need. Some of the best introductory DCC systems offered by names like Atlas and Digitrax will run a few locomotives, and some (literal) bells and whistles. Some are even capable of small upgrades. These “starter” or “beginner” DCC systems are affordable, easy to use, and are a great way to take a few baby steps into model railroading without breaking the bank. If you eventually decide you want to dive deeper into the hobby, there will be ample ways to expand and grow your layout.
All aboard for Litchfield Station!
At Litchfield Station, our name is synonymous with quality products, prompt shipping, affordable prices, and unmatched customer care. We are enthusiastic model railroaders dedicated to helping our fellow model railroaders get the most out of this amazing hobby. If we can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call or send us an email.