DCC Trains: Why You’ll Be Thrilled, 5 Exciting Advantages

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I’ve gone on record before as saying that I prefer analog / DC trains over digital but there are six reasons I get envious.

The number 1 standout reason why people fall in love with digital

The number one advantage of digital trains: lights, smoke and sound. Just watch the video and dream of digital.

How can anyone not want this?

But this also raises a smile

If you’re one of the many readers who are moved by moving your engines DCC will delight.

On analog tracks, all the trains move at once and at the same speed. But on digital, every train can be independently controlled. Frank Hornby would have revealed in the ability to bring two couple locos to a halt, uncouple them and then drive one off while leaving the other behind.

Extra: Converting An Analog Train to Digital

If you’ve got analog trains and are tempted by what you read here, don’t worry. Existing most DC trains can be upgraded. You’ll need the central computer and throttle (controller) of course but this will save you replacing your trains.

Not to mention this analogue frustration fracker

Closely allied to my second point in this list of DCC advantages is precision control. If the stop-go control of analog rattles you, you’ll delight in the precision control possible with digital.

Want to dim the lights on a loco while as it approaches a station, no problem. Need to slow a shunter right down for coupling, easy. Just as you can control multiple trains independently you can also control the different features of individual trains and with precision.

But my favourite advantage is…

For me, with my computer geek hat on, this is the one feature that will probably tempt me away from analog. Hooking up a DCC Train set to a computer enables a multitude of new capabilities, including control of train functions via computer software and automated layout operation.

You don’t even need to use a standard computer. You can use of the low cost Raspberry Pie or Adrindo open source computers for a DIY thrill.

Finally, to see your kids eyes light up

For kids fun, it’s also possible to hook up DCC trains to wireless and game console controllers. Wireless options also help for large layouts where you might want to control the trains while walking around the layout.

Another idea that’s just crossed my mind, hooking up an xBox kinect controller to control trains via hand actions. This could add a whole lot of fun for kids. I’d love to hear if anyone has done this! Sounds like one for Sheldon and the Big Bang Theory crew.

How much do you like these popular digital benefits? Share with other model railway enthusiasts here on Model Railway Engineer in comment below.

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