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I picked up a couple of On30 steam engines at a train show. They both have factory DCC and sound. What system optimizes their operation best?
I use an NCE power cab along with a Cab06 and connected to JMRI so guests can run a train with an old cell phone. It seems intuitive to most people nowadays. The Cab doesn’t look as intimidating as the hammerhead so those with some experience running trains are drawn to it. Either can configure a Bachmann On30 engine to react in neat ways that simulate inertia, momentum, drifting, and braking. The normal other functions can be configured to either throttle as well so bell, whistle, cylinder cocks, blow down, etc can be triggered easily.
Some of my engines are powered via batteries in the tender and have wireless receivers and throttles. At this point it is a side hobby and not for the faint of heart.
DaveB makes a good point (as he often does). Run various systems to see what works best for you.
Choices in DCC systems are like favorite pickup truck brands, religions or political affiliations; everyone has one and everyone thinks theirs is the 'right' one.
Going into this with no prejudice (as I was new to the hobby after returning from several years away, and finding DCC was no longer a "You have to build it all yourself" kind of thing anymore), I ran on layouts with different systems. In the end, one really jumped out to me as the most user-friendly.
I use the MRC Prodigy Express. It was the system I liked the most on all the ones I'd used on others' layouts, so I went looking for one. As luck would have it, I bought an entire system new in the box for a very good discount (and found another one, for an incredibly huge discount, so affordable I bought it for a spare and the extra controller, just in case, the price was that good).
All my locos are Bachmann (4 On30 ten-wheelers, one Whitcomb and one 'trench' 2-6-2T) and this system works great with them all.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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