Ready to make the switch to Digital Command Control (DCC) for your model railroad, but don’t know which system to buy or how to operate them? Here are a few things to help narrow down your purchase, and choose the system that’s right for you.
For many years MRC’s Prodigy DCC system has been a staple for model railroaders. This system is versatile and easy to use, and gives buyers a user friendly experience. My DCC system of choice is the Prodigy Express DCC system, as it is easy to use and has many features that is sure to impress. NCE also makes a great DCC system, that is great for beginners, as well as Digitrax, although, this will come at a higher price point.
These are my top 3 picks for DCC Systems
- Model Rectifier Corporation Prodigy Express DCC Train Controller– this is a versatile DCC system and in my opinion is the simplest for beginners, who are just entering the world of model railroading. This is also the least expensive option.
- NCE Corporation 5240025 Power Cab DCC Starter Set– NCE’s DCC starter set actually has more functionality than the MRC counterpart. It is also around the same price point. However, it may take a little time to get used to.
- Digitrax DGTEVOD Evolution Advanced DCC System– this system is built for the advanced modeler and has a large assortment of functionalities and advanced programming capabilities.
Why I Picked the MRC Prodigy Express
- Its easy to use functionality makes it easy to program locomotives, and change sounds, lights, etc. It is also very easy to program.
- Although the other two options include more options for programming the Prodigy Express is the simplest, and is best for beginners.
- This DCC system is very responsive, as the screen responds almost instantly to the user’s inputs.
Features to Look For In A Quality DCC System
- Functionality- ensure to purchase a DCC system that has the functionality to fit your needs, such as how many locomotives you will program into the decoder, and how many functions you expect to use. Also, ensure your system of choice is capable of at least 28 accessory functions, enabling the user to operate more than one train simultaneously.
- Ensure that the system has speed steps of 1-28/128.
- Ensure that the system can program two or four number locomotive numbers.