This website was started when S Helper Service became a Lenz DCC distributor. This meant that:
As the SHS webmaster, I got to do a lot of the testing and documentation of the DCC installations. As I was also doing installations into non-SHS locomotives, I decided to create my own website where I could cover all S scale manufacture's products.
A major advantage of DCC is that it is owned and controlled by the NMRA, not be a single manufacturer. That means that products and improvements come from many vendors, and competition lowers prices and raises creativity. Compatibility at the rail means that you can buy a system from one vendor, yet still buy locomotive or accessory decoders from all DCC vendors.
A disadvantage of all the options available is confusion. A modeler who wants to get into DCC is faced with a wide range of products from many sellers. S scale has not been a targeted market of any of the vendors, which makes it hard to know what fits best in S. There has been some great work done testing and documenting a range of products for use in S (check out Michael Greene's site), but the modeler is still faced with multiple vendors to complete his or her railroad.
S Helper Service (SHS) has been the leader in DCC for S. They were the first to offer a DCC-ready loco (with an NMRA plug) in S scale. They were the first in any scale to offer a locomotive with DCC sound installed at the factory. Now They are the first S scale manufacturer to offer a complete DCC system as part of a ready to run set. Everything you need from one source. And available through SHS dealers!
The documentation here will be based on a Lenz DCC set. Anything that is not specific to a DCC set should be generic, but I'll only be testing with Lenz, as that is what I use.
Lenz GmbH developed the basis for the DCC system in 1988. In 1996 Lenz was the first company to ship a fully compliant DCC system with decoder, earning the prestigious NMRA conformance warrant. They have built OEM systems or decoders for Atlas, ConCor, LGB and ROCCO. Lenz is famous for decoder innovation, very high quality, full NMRA conformance, and friendly user interface. Some history available here.
There is a wealth of information available on the Lenz website regarding the Lenz company and all their products.
Primer on Lenz DCC for S Scale
Lenz Quick Start