Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm such a Luddite...

I have now read through the latest copy of Scalefour News.
DCC operation of Alex Jackson couplers. Mind boggling.
Blimey Charlie! I haven't even got around to the installing of AJ's on my stock let alone DCC operation of my locomotives yet.
DCC. Technology marches on. I suppose I should at least try it out somewhere.
But why should I fork out an extra $100 for a locomotive just because it has a computer chip in it (then lets not forget a new controller for another $150) when my straight DC loco's work fine as it is. You should have seen my FDT trackmobile on my US outline layout at the weekend. Ran to a perfect crawl. Same with my Athearn Genesis MP15-AC. So I just don't see the need currently. (Was there a pun there? Sorry)
What about other features like digital sound? Someone will chime in.
What about it? Say I. Surely the sound coming from our 4mm scale locomotives should be 1:76.2 scale too.
How loud is a class 31 throttling up? 90 decibels?
What's 1:76.2 of 90? 1.25 decibels. How loud is 1.25 decibels? Would you even hear it?
Just a thought from a Luddite. I'm sure that the subject has been hacked to death somewhere already.
Ironically the one DCC feature that interests me the most is the one that boggles my mind the most. DCC operation of couplers...


  1. I tend to agree, though I'm not sure about you're sound calculations. I'm not sure how you'd calculate scale sound but you certainly can't just divide 90 by 72! You'd hear a class 31 in you were 300ft away from it so maybe a 1:72 class 31 should sound the same when you're 300 scale ft away? The trouble with DCC sound is you can't get the bass out of a tiny speaker, and if you've got one DCC sound loco it then sounds odd if the rest don't make a sound too.

    DCC operation of couplers does sound cool though!

  2. I wasn't too sure abouit the details of my calculations either. I know Otto Schouwstra in the Netherlands uses a bass speaker mounted under his layouts and a smaller speaker to handle higher frequencies in his tiny narrow gauge loco's perhaps thats a better way around it.

  3. "Ironically the one DCC feature that interests me the most is the one that boggles my mind the most. DCC operation of couplers..."

    That was extremely impressive. Nigel did a demonstration at Scaleforum '09 of this on a short length of track. The ability to stop anywhere along the length, uncouple, and move off was just like the prototype.

    Of course, you would still need to have fixed magnet locations for uncoupling vehicles in the middle of rakes. If you had just a small layout with a few vehicles to shunt (and Nigel's modelling ability!) then it would be just great to sit and play with.

  4. I've seen Otto's website - his set up looks quite impressive and I bet it would sound great!

    If I could buy a loco that did DCC uncoupling off the shelf then I'd certainly want one. I bet it'd be expensive though!