DCC and NScale

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I posted in the newbie area, 'cause that seems to be the word that describes me the best.

I'm getting into the hobby and am unsure which scale to choose. I'm leaning heavly toward N Scale. I spoke to a person knowldegable in DCC at the local train store yesterday, and received some warnings about DCC in the N Scale world. My alternate choice is HO. I don't have a heck of a lot of room to start with and the size of the N Scale is attractive for that reason. Ok, I really like the look of those little guys. There so cool.

Thanks for any help. Steve

-- Steve Moss (SteveKentonMoss@msn.com), March 19, 2004


Ok, well it was early in the morning when I wrote that. I just figured out I never asked a question.

What are the advantages/disadvantges of HO and N scale in respect to DCC? I'm wondering about motive power area. (now theres a new word I never heard of until this week) I'm also wondering about issues with switches and the rest of the stuff that goes into it.

-- Steve Moss (SteveKentonMoss@msn.com), March 19, 2004.

I agree that N scale has a lot going for it. Lots of new good looking rolling stock and locos in that scale. It is great for spacious looking layouts due to the small scale objects. However, that also produces a problem because it is so small. You need good eyesight and steady hands to work on it. DCC converted locos must always consist of a factory built decoder pcb specifically made for your loco. You don't have much flexibility to DIY with a wide selection of decoders because there is no room. Same problem with adding sound to your locos. Scenery kit buildings, etc. are somewhat sparse, but getting better.

HO scale is more popular and therefore has more choices out on the market. It still is relatively fragile (not a rugged child's toy) but there is room to add your choice of decoders to locos, including sound. But, as you pointed out, it is easy to fill up available space with HO scale.

You can easily overextend your pocketbook in either scale. Find and visit some good examples of home & club sized layouts in your area in both scales. Ask the owners/club members about their choice of scale. The hobby shop is a good place to start.


-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), March 19, 2004.


Thanks for answering. I'm still pinging around the N - HO scale decison. You mentioned the size of the scale with respect to my daughter. Though I don't think she will have much to do with the trains, the size of the figures and structures in N scale will probably be just too small to have fun with.

So, it looks like back to HO. (I hope someone will come shield me when I tell the wife why she can't park her truck in the garage any more.)

Now on to the age old discussion on which manufacturer to go with. Well off to do more research. (Thats not a question I'm going to ask here. I don't like flame wars. If anyone has solid reasoned opinions and wants to email me on the subject, that would be really cool.)

Thanks again, Steve

-- Steve Moss (SteveKentonMoss@msn.com), March 22, 2004.

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