Quick overview of 2 decoders (DH05C and DH10C) that I have discovered recently.

From whom?

I have already mentioned Doehler & Haass (here), they not very well known outside Germany for two reasons. Firstly, their website is only in German (but all manuals are available as PDF in English, French & Italian).
Secondly, they are mostly known for supporting the Selectrix system (a digital system that predates DCC, and is still widely used in Germany). But all their modern decoders are fully DCC compliant.

They are very active, especially recently in the sound business. They have released a sound module (the SH10A that I will review later), and a relatively cheap all-in-one decoder with the new Next18 plug: the SH18A.

Here is a quick overview of 2 standard (non-sound) decoders.

Details

Doehler & Haass DH05C (above) and DH10C (below) - top view - DCC decoders

Doehler & Haass DH05C (above) and DH10C (below) – top view

Doehler & Haass DH05C (right) and DH10C (left) - bottom view - DCC decoders

Doehler & Haass DH05C (right) and DH10C (left) – bottom view

The DH05C and DH10C are very similar in their specifications:

  • They both fit in N-sclae
  • They both have 2 additional amplified outputs (Aux 1 & 2)
  • They both have a SUSI plug if you want to add a sound module
  • With the recent firmware udpates from 2014, they support a buffer capacitor, and the SUSI plug can be deactivated, leaving 2 additional outputs (Aux 3 & 4, not amplified also known as “logical” outputs).

Where they differ is in size and power rating:

  • The DH05C, rated for 0.5A in total, is very narrow with 13.2 x 6,8 x 1,4 mm.
  • The DH10C, rated for 1A in total,  is a bit wider, with 14.2 x 9.3 x 1.5 mm.
Doehler & Haass DH10C- top view - DCC decoder

Doehler & Haass DH10C- top view

Doehler & Haass DH10C- bottom view - DCC Decoder

Doehler & Haass DH10C- bottom view

Doehler & Haass DH05C- top view - DCC decoder

Doehler & Haass DH05C- top view

Doehler & Haass DH05C- bottom view - DCC decoder

Doehler & Haass DH05C- bottom view

 

Review

I have tested both DH05C and DH10C decoders, and they work very well.
The DH05C is extremely small, while the DH10C is barely the size of other “standard” N-scale decoders. Both are also very flat, which is a big advantage. I have decided to stop buying Zimo decoders; those work well, but are thicker.

The DH05C is actually 99% similar to the FH05C function decoder that I reviewed here (only, of course, it controls an engine with a motor).

FH05A function decoder in a Kato Thalys (similar in size to DH05C)

FH05A function decoder in a Kato Thalys (similar in size to DH05C)

The fact that they all have a SUSI plug and additional outputs is a plus for DIY-ers. The documentation is clean and simple, the configuration (CVs) customisable enough, but not too complex.

Conclusion

Decoders are a matter of taste. But I am glad I discovered the Doehler & Haass decoder range. They are not that easy to find in stores. Modellbahnshop-Lippe and DM-Toys sell most of their products online, and you can order directly on the Doehler & Haass website (via email).

If you are happy with pluging decoders into NEM651 sockets, then other brands are fine as well. But I have found the Doehler & Haass decoders to be perfect for more advanced requirements. They are in that respect similar to the Zimo decoders, but thinner. And since Zimo doesn’t seem to care about being customer friendly (too complicated CVs to my taste, and a website straight from the 1990s…), I have found a new decoder manufacturer of choice.

External links

I always try to be fair and square when giving grades, see the details about the evaluation criteria here !

Reminder: I am a hobbyist and these articles only represent my personal views. I am not receiving any compensation, in any form, from the brands or stores mentioned here. The product names, marketing names, and brands mentioned here are the property of their respective owners.